Is China Banning Alexa?

from the might-be dept

Juan Lopez-Valcarcel writes in noticing that, according to Alexa, “Baidu online traffic dropped 50% this week.” He wonders if it’s a sign that the Chinese dot com bubble may be popping, but that seems unlikely. In fact, he shows that some other Chinese sites have similar drops. He even checked to see if it was due to the expected loss in traffic after Baidu removed the ability to download unauthorized music and movies — but that’s not the case either. The drop is simply too fast for that to make sense. Combined with the similar drop in (and a few other sites I checked, like, it certainly suggests that the problem has more to do with Alexa and China. It’s pure speculation, obviously, but given China’s tendency to block sites somewhat arbitrarily, it seems likely that China has put at least a partial ban on traffic from users of the Alexa toolbar. One more reason why Alexa stats are anything but reliable. Anyone else have any idea what else may be causing it?

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Comments on “Is China Banning Alexa?”

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Alan Gray (user link) says:

It may be back soon

As an email ISP, we often block senders and the sites advertised in spam email. Sometimes, we get it wrong and after one or more support requests, we review and possibly remove the blocks. This may be a similar case. Alexa should investigate more to see what they can discover, but I wouldn’t be worried about it unless it lasts more than a week.

Juan Lopez-Valcarcel (user link) says:

Alexa is looking into it

I just received this email from Alexa:
We are looking into what’s going on here. It’s a lot of data to plod
through, but I’m sure we’ll get to the bottom of it. We don’t think,
actually, that any of the theories in the linked articles is correct,
but I’m sure we’ll figure it out.

Looking forward to getting an official explanation from their side. Will keep you posted.

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