Effects of StumbleUpon vs Digg

My latest tutorial has brought in some large traffic numbers from StumbleUpon users. The traffic patterns between these two traffic generators is interesting. I’ll say right now that StumbleUpon hasn’t generated the HUGE traffic spikes that Digg is known for, the website-crippling “Digg Effect.” What it has done is increased my daily page views by nearly triple.

The Similarities
Most users of these two websites most-likely belong to more of the technology-savvy breed. They are interested in your website (or article on your website) for probably no-longer than 10-seconds. Most of them are not ad-clickers. They’re accustomed to seeing advertisements on websites and can separate them from the real content in a second or two, blocking them out for their visit. I know, because I’m one of them. That’s not saying I haven’t experienced more ad-clicks, but it’s not proportionate to the increase in traffic. When my site was linked to by an Arizona radio talk-show, I got a whole different kind of audience and they were definitely ad-clickers.

A side-effect of these two is the spread to other high-traffic websites, especially Del.icio.us. Most of these tech-savvy users have Del.icio.us accounts and want to bookmark for later reference. The higher number of bookmarks a URL gets, the more popular it becomes in Del.icio.us and the more traffic it generates.

The Differences
Digg provides a huge spike in traffic… but as fast as the Digg referrals rise, they also fall. Usually once your link falls past the second or third page of Digg, the traffic decreases exponentially. The traffic that you retain from that front-page Digg, is usally by way of other bookmark or piggy-back websites. Usually, in Del.icio.us, a first-page Digg will result in a top spot for popular bookmarks. Go ahead… compare the Del.icio.us Popular list to the front page of Digg.

StumbleUpon has provided a steady stream of referrals for over a week now. The traffic increase, initially, is largely attributed directly to SU. It doesn’t have that crippling effect that Digg does, but it’s definitely a noticeable increase. The spread across other websites is a little slower too, but it’s more steady. The link probably won’t spike to the top of the popular list like Digg, but it may float around the middle of that list for a bit longer.

StumbleUpon users are also more likely to pick up other pages in your site and add them back into the StumbleUpon mix, causing an increase in traffic to other pages also. This has never happened with Digg. With this recent increase, SU users picked up on about 3 or 4 other pages that I noticed higher-than-normal referrals from StumbleUpon.

Which Is Better?
So, which one do I like better? Well, the recent increase in steady traffic from SU is now starting to die down… but my overall traffic isn’t. I seem to be getting more links from Google, Del.icio.us and other various blogs and websites. Which is nice.

But honestly, any traffic is good traffic. Having something you’ve written become recognized and popular among those you see as your peers is a rewarding experience. There’s more ad-clicks going around, which makes the advertisers happy. The satisfaction from seeing your website become more popular is definite motivation to keep the content active and fresh, which, hopefully, will start the cycle all over again.

I’m not a website statistics expert, so my writings are just perceptions from my personal experience(s). I’d be interesting in hearing what other people have witnessed with their own websites.

Comments Spill 2 Comments »

  1. April 7, 2009 7:11 pmJon

    I find a similar thing: Digg spikes a day or two at most, often less than 24 hours.

    SU tends to get a big-but-not-quite-so-big-as-digg spike at first, but tails off much more slowly. I’ve yet to experience a lot of SU’ers adding other articles, perhaps due to the varied nature of my writing. As a stumbler myself, I tend to just have a glance a the “recent articles” and see if any grab my interest.

  2. April 8, 2009 12:22 am5 comments

    5 comments, no comments yet. A coding error, or no APPROVED comments yet?

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