Sites in the Top Sites by Category directory are sorted by popularity, but the sorting is not based on the 3 Month Alexa Traffic Rank.
Many listings in Top Sites by Category are for specific pages or subdirectories, not for entire sites. For example, in the Reference > Maps section you’ll find mapquest.com (an entire site about maps) and maps.yahoo.com (one section about maps on a larger site).
If we look at their Traffic Rank, maps.yahoo.com has a rank of 4, because it’s part of yahoo.com, while mapquest.com has a rank of about 500. If we used the overall Traffic Rank to sort the list of map sites, maps.yahoo.com would be the first site listed.
However, if you’re looking for sites about maps, you probably want to know whether mapquest.com is more popular than Yahoo’s map section, maps.yahoo.com. The Popularity sorting in the directory is designed to answer that question. We use the same basic traffic ranking technology (a combination of unique visitors and page views) but apply it only to the traffic for that specific listing. When we do this, we find out that mapquest.com does indeed receive more traffic than the pages contained in maps.yahoo.com.
To find out the Traffic Rank of any site in the Top Sites by Category directory, just click the name of the site and you’ll be taken to the Site Overview page for the site. You’ll find the Traffic Rank near the top of the page, just below the site’s description.
For more information about how we calculate a site’s overall Traffic Rank, please see How are Alexa’s traffic rankings determined?