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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

How does alexa know if you have kids or not?

I was going through the site statistics for enidhi.net at alexa.com and following screen caught my attention. Here’s the alexa summary about enidhi.net

Enidhi.net has a three-month global Alexa traffic rank of 286,350. The site is based in India, and visitors to it view 1.6 unique pages each day on average. The time spent in a typical visit to Enidhi.net is roughly two minutes, with 73 seconds spent on each pageview. Compared with the overall internet population, this site appeals more to users who have postgraduate educations; its visitors also tend to consist of childless men earning less than $30,000 who browse from homeenidhi-site-stats-06102010
Above screen tells me that most of my readers are either between 25-34 yrs of age or 55-64 yrs of age, are all graduates, mostly males without kids and access my blog primarily from home. Some how this is not convincing. While its possible for trackers to get details about a person’s browser, OS, location and country, personal details like age, sex,kids, education are difficult to collect accurately. I believe these stats are gathered from registration details of alexa users or possibly with tie up with facebook or such resources.

I wanted to findout if any site has more audience with kids than those without kids. Labnol.org, ndtv.com, google.co.in, irctc.co.in, rediff.com and almost all other sites I checked had over-representation of people without kids. Can this be true? People with kids don’t use internet? How can alexa know if a person has kids or not?
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I gave some more thought and below is the logic I could think of. Many people register when they are young, so select their profile as NO KIDs, but never update their profiles after they become mom or dad. Naturally updating alexa profile will be last thing on your mind when you become a parent and  this is resulting in a lifelong miscalculation at alexa site statistics…

imageBut then, above were generic sites. What about sites meant for parents only? say parents.com? Finally I was proved wrong. Lots of people with kids, largely females, with undergraduate education and in the age group 25-44 were visiting parents.com. So they have some mechanism to identify if you have kids or not… any idea what it is?

Think think think…


Similar: enidhi.net beats 2 million sites for the keyword rejection handling * Comment Kings of this blog * (Dec 2007)

10 comments:

Pavan Pendyala said...

Very interesting. Cant imagine how Alexa would be able to accurately get the age of the user. I would imagine it would be their guess work based on the insights they have on your key words and content.

Anonymous said...

what was the point of writing this? seriously, such a waste of time.

Anu Menon said...

I was wondering why ppl like mr anon read posts and leave such lame comments(i'm assuming you leave such comments often)... The point behind the post if you consider to delve deeper is that a lot of websites out there can actually get a lot of personal data from various social networking sites that a lot of us login to and never bother to keep a track of. I remember the time when social networks just started and I used to get a zillion invites - mostly out of peer pressure a lot of people join most sites and then never go back to delete their data. Maybe this site uses that kind of loose information available on the net.
Of course i might be wrong and the website has a more complex process to get data - anyways its a good thing to ponder on and be careful about leaving your data out in the net.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Anu menon,
No need to waste your time responding to anonymous comments like that, its mostly a spam, generalized comment that can be written on almost any blog post... Appreciate your response though

Pavan

May be alexa toolbar monitors users behaviour and content to assess these- like if you often type "my son is doing this", "my daughter needs a dance teacher" "we're going to Bali with kids for vacation" etc then it might conclude that you have kids!

Just a guess, not sure.

Sampling theorem was another comment received at facebook, along with a suggestion that Alexa's credibility as such is doubtful

Anu said...

very interesting... i hadnt even realised that they would try to compile stats in such detail... and i agree with you that they may be using keywords to decide whether the readers have kids or not... i was curious enough to try out my blog, and it turned out that most people reading my blog are females with kids! not surprising, is it??

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Nice. Most likely its the work of Alexa toolbar. As long as it is relevant and true, its helpful

Kiren said...

I agree with Anonymous Such a waste of time writing that comment.

Great post Bud, i dont have an opinion about this yet cuz im quite clueless. Alexa tool bar collects information but there is no way that the alexa tool bar can determine your age or your martial status etc.

Im gonna ask a few of my friends who are primarily into analytics. Lets see what they say

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Kiren

pallavi said...

I loved the title, so came to read the post :-)

Btw, if you like my post, please vote for it at Indiblogger

http://www.indiblogger.in/indipost.php?post=34664

Thanks!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Done

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