I believe that as websites that were created to improve the Alexa.com service were introduced such as Alexaholic.com, Alexa realized that they had to stay ahead with the times and has totally revamped their chart system so that you can now compare 5 websites at a time, compare rank and page views and reach without having to leave the current page, and now the charts on Alexa.com are AJAX-driven. Here is a screenshot:
Here is a comparison between TechCrunch and SantaBanta, two websites with a close ranking. For all the comparison and settings that you initiate, Permalinks are created. So for example, I’m comparing the Rank, set the image as Large, kept the default smoothing at Level 3, and have the range set at 6 months and here is the Permalink for those settings.
On the Alexa homepage, there is a module called Web Discovery which links to the Blogger account of the Alexa team. The latest post was by Geoffrey Mack stated:
“I was just playing with some of the new ajaxy buttons and sliders our traffic graphs and ran across something that raised an eyebrow. Check out this YouTube graph…”
“It started going flat on October 9th. Anybody care to guess what happened on that date?” stated Mack.
Given that Geoffrey Mack was able to compare the drop in Reach with the Google/YouTube acquisition announcement, I think a great addition to Alexa’s charts would be if they could somehow associate the spikes and drops with news associated with their top 100,000 websites similar to Google Finance:
Notice how I selected A in the chart and it correlates with the news article to the right of the above screenshot. That would be phenomenal if Alexa could pull-off a similar feature so top 100,000 website owners could see what to improve on.