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Is Digg Traffic All its Cracked up to Be?

Posted By Darren Rowse 9th of November 2005 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

davak at Tech-Recipes has a great post analyzing Digg as it relates to bloggers who manage to get on the front page. For those unfamiliar with Digg it’s a social bookmarking site that I’ve written a little about previously.

Digg has the ability to send many thousands of visitors to your site if you manage to get a front page link up – but is it all as good as it sounds? Here’s some of the points that davak makes (they write more on each point at the original article).

1. Digg users do not click ads
2. Digg users do not use Alexa
3. Digg traffic does not generate new users, comments, or posts.
4. Every site on the front page gets flamed in the comments.
5. The digg effect brings in a moderate amount of traffic and uses a lot of bandwidth.
6. Digg users are more polite than slashdot visitors.
7. The digg effect is much less on a weekend.
8. The best digg post regarding a topic is not always the one that reaches the front page.
9. Digg may or may not have positive effects on your google pagerank.
10. After a site is highlighted on the Digg front page, it will start showing up in the other social bookmarking systems soon.

The interesting thing is the correlation to most of these points to most bloggers experience of getting a link on Slashdot.

The lesson is that Digg and Slashdot traffic can be a bit more glamorous than the reality. Of course I’d never knock back a link on either site’s front page – in fact if you’re smart and act quickly you can increase the positive impact that such an influx of traffic might bring to your blog.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

  • Pingback: The PC Doctor » Blog Archive » Examining traffic from Digg, Slashdot and memeorandum()

  • Thanks for the mention! Now, I’ll have to write a post regarding traffic patterns of getting mentioned on problogger. The circle continues and continues… :)

  • It is my opinion that point #10 is the clue. It is widely known (well, not so widely…) that traffic from sites like fark, digg, slashdot and so doesn’t end up in a notorious increase in ad revenue, but word of mouth and “natural” link propagation to other sites is the most valuable benefit.

  • I agree Enrique. The traffic itself won’t really generate the ad revenue, but the exposure is priceless. Usually when I visit Digg and find articles I like, I don’t go to those pages looking to purchase something. On top of that it’s rare that a Digg post with a blog as a source doesn’t get complained about. In any case, having your site mentioned on Digg and then getting traffic as a result is a nice accomplishment.

    Ariston Collander

  • Interesting. The times I got linked by MetaFilter, my CTR and CPM actually increased by an order of magnitude greater than my site traffic. Kind of a weird effect. Anyway, here’s a link showing ust how fast digg is catching up to slashdot:

  • My site has been digged several times and farked once. One of my posts received over 1000 diggs. Overall I agree with these observations about such traffic. Even though it generates a low CTR for ads, it doesn’t generate a nonzero CTR, so there is a small revenue boost, but it’s nothing to get excited about.

    Fark produced the greatest traffic spike, but it seemed to bring a surge of very juvenile visitors. In my case the article that got farked was called, “How to Give Up Coffee.” You can see the end result here if you care to. There are 70 comments listed, but many of them had to be deleted for excessive profanity and such:

    I do, however, disagree with point #2. If you check my Alexa stats page, you’ll see strong spikes where I got digged and farked (fark was the first big spike at the end of May 2005, digg produced the next three spikes):

  • I had a nice little experience with digg when my post Google Maps as Art got dugg. It got 577 diggs and was on the front page for a while.

    Maybe not a high percentage of digg users click ads, but I definitely got more clicks for two days afterwards as a result of the higher traffic. I got several comments (all nice), and several sites linking to me, including some links.

    However, I would say that probably hardly any of the visitors were converted to regular readers. Though I’m not really surprised, since mine is just a personal site without a single specific focus.

  • It depends. Way back in 2002 -2003, I use to work for Linux training and consultancy firm. In order to increase our popularity for site we started to put Linux article and guides on line and we got slashdotted couple times. Though site never put any third party ads as result of slashdot we sold more services and got high ranking in google.

  • Here’s a spike we got from digg (1st week of October):
    It was from a link to a tutorial I wrote a year ago. You never know what’s going to catch someone’s attention. Another reason to focus on “content” above all else.

  • I got a site blogrolled by a couple of people because of a digg post that didn’t make the front page. In fact, you might be better off with the posts that get a smaller traffic than those front page server crashers. The issue is not always the immediate effect, but the cumulative one. An extra link from being dugg today, an extra link from a carnival tomorrow, an extra link from a mention on ProBlogger the day after that…I’d take one new link a day for a month over a slashdotting or Instalanche any day.

  • I’ve been slashdotted once before. It definitely doesn’t bring a large increase in revenue, and the CTR across ad programs seems to hover around 0.5% for that particular group where I’ve been able to segment them out. Since my usual CTR is far, far higher than that, I don’t really care about slashdot, in terms of generating revenue. I do care in terms of generating exposure for my site, inbound links, and maybe a few additional readers.

  • Manual trackback and follow-up:

    What? Meme Engines Aren’t Worth the Traffic?

  • Nathan

    But you have to understand that digg is currently aimed solely at technology news, so for your site to even have a chance of making it to the front page it needs to be something new, exciting and in most cases tech-related. So assuming your site is tech-related and it makes it to the front page, most users which are directed to your site from digg will have interests in what your site has to offer (be it a product, service, news or entertainment). So I’d say Digg is a very good advertising medium for traffic increases if you manage to make the front page and bring in targetted traffic.

  • I will increase traffuce, nice job..


  • Here’s an interesting article from Blake Schwendiman’s blog about Digg vs Reddit.

    Speaking as someone who has been on the Reddit front page several times, I can say that Reddit traffic is very good. After I get hit by Reddit, I notice solid growth afterwards.

  • I made it on the frontpage of digg and a couple of others, it resulted in 15.000 extra visitors in 30 hours and almost crashed our servers. Revenue went up high but not as much as I expected though.

    And it made me get as high in ranking on Alexa as, so I guess Alexa does take digg traffic into account.

    For the rest I still get a few 100 of visitors per week from those digg stories, so it does create some traffic afterwards, not that many stay long, especially when you get dug for a story that does not reflect your blog. Obvious.

  • Pingback: Understanding digg again, natural order at twopointouch: web 2.0, blogs and social media()

  • There’s a site out there called that helps promote your digg articles if you’re looking to generate more traffic from digg. It’s main purpose is to help businesses who use to promote themselves.

  • Darren what are you thinking now about Digg?

  • One of my posts is on digg but didn’t land on the frontpage (not even near). The effect surprised me big time. A huge traffic spike and we sold three T-shirst to people who came in through digg. Conclusion: even if you are not on the frontpage there will be a digg effect.
    Here is the post:
    It is about a digg like site for T-shirts.

  • By the way, Nate referred to (a few comments up). I’m sorry to say that it doesn’t exist anymore.

  • I haven’t yet implemented it but I was thinking about adding Digg links to my posts. Thanks for the information.

  • Pingback: Metode de promovare - Bani pe net in 10 pasi - partea a 7a | Bani pe net - by Cotiso()

  • I’m currently developing a blog and was going to add digg button, but no I don’t know if its worth it. Isn’t all traffic good traffic at the end of the day.

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