The Truth Behind The Digg Effect

The Digg EffectChris Brogan, a social media maven, has published an article on his blog that goes into detail about his experience with the so called “Digg Effect“. Chris provides a visualization which shows the surge in traffic he received when he reached the Digg front page. What happened as a result? According to Chris, NOTHING. His RSS subscriber base didn’t increase, nor did the initial traffic to his site which is the basis for this post. Bloggers and site owners alike believe that getting on the front page of Digg is like striking gold, unfortunately this is not the case.

I’m not saying that being on the front page of Digg is a bad thing, but there is something you have to realize. The type of traffic that Digg sends is the “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” type of traffic. And while were talking about this sort of traffic, the same thing can be said for Stumbleupon, Sphinn, and Propeller. I’ve read so many blog entries that covered their own surge of traffic and the similarities between all of them are the same. No one sticks around, no one subscribes to the RSS feed, and the site that was once popular ends up returning to the shadows of the web.

A blogger or site owner should be looking to grow their reader base and that won’t happen by getting on the front page of Digg or any other major social bookmarking site. There is the argument where if you appear on these sites multiple times, there is a more likely chance of gaining quality traffic. I wouldn’t consider the digg effect to be called quality traffic, but I do think that by receiving this fly by night traffic, your building brand awareness. Your brand being your site and it’s a golden rule that REPITITIVENESS works.

The gist of what I am trying to say is to not rely on Digg, Stumbleupon or any other website to provide you with traffic. Instead, write good quality content. Good quality content does the job of so many other facets of blogging. Good quality content creates links, conversations, interactivity, spawns relationships, builds your brand and does so many other positive things for you, that if I were to write a book on SEO, it would contain one page. That one page would simply say, WRITE QUALITY CONTENT.

Tell me what you think in regards to this issue. I’d be very interested in your opinion.

BTW. Hello to all of you STUMBLING across this post. Are you here to prove me wrong?

9 thoughts on “The Truth Behind The Digg Effect

  1. Well, on the contrary. My article hit the front page of Digg.

    I had over 17,000 viewers, and my RSS numbers trippled, and I got a few more links coming in my site and now it appears my daily average will double for views.

    So, that is just from my perspective.

    Of course, my site is still tiny. Any traffic will improve the stats. If my site was more established, I could see maybe a minor increase in RSS subscribers at most.

  2. Oh, to add on to this, I must say that StumbleUpon seems to bring the most curious traffic. They seem to stick around and view multiple pages of mine.

    So I believe StumbleUpon is one of the best ways to get loyal traffic.

  3. Hey Jeff, I just had an excellent article idea for you. I think it would be great if you wrote a detailed article about PageRank, and giving tips on how to improve it. I keep trying to figure it out, and neither your site or mine appears to have a pagerank.

    At one point in the past, my pagerank was 7/10, but now it is back to nothing.

    I’d be interested in reading what your say on it is. I think it would be an interesting read for others.

    Just a thought.

  4. We’ve been using StumbleUpon as a method of generating traffic on our startup web store. The experience we’ve had directly mirrors what you write about here. SU traffic has been brilliant when it comes to creating awareness but it doesn’t generate much for sales and hasn’t really led to much return traffic.

  5. Day after the Digg Front Page I noticed 400 new subscribers, 75% were going away in next few days. Any conclusions? I’m still in love with Digg (not because of stats from Feedburner – the major reason is 85k of uniq visits and a real nice linkbait ;) )

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