The Digg Effect Revisited

June 30th, 2007 by Chris

More fun in traffic analysis…..

A few months ago one of my sites made it to the front pages of Digg & and since so many people optimize, work, and dream to achieve the same, I did a writeup about how much traffic it provided. Visit the link to read that.

Well I just got back from a vacation and apparently while I was on vacation my survival site also made it to the front pages of both sites, and so I thought it’d be fun to do another report about the traffic.

Unlike the last report though, I do have some specific time information to put things into perspective. Google analytics (atleast that I can find) doesn’t do minute or hourly reports very well, so I’m using my secondary program to get this info.


I got to the Digg homepage at around 11:56 PM Mountain Time on 6/22, the last recorded hit from the homepage was 10:08 PM Mountain Time on 6/23. However, that hit is an orphan and I think was probably from a cached page since there is no more hits near it. Really, by my logs I lost the homepage listing at 6:22 AM Mountain Time on 6/23. So really I was only up for around 6.5 hours and in the middle of the night.

Here is the story of my rise and fall:

On 6/22, all times MST.
Submitted at 12:06 (near as I can tell, Digg’s crawlers visited me then).
12:23 AM, hits from upcoming page 4 (2 uniques from here).
10:54 AM, hits from upcoming page 3 (9 uniques from here).
12:08 PM, hits from upcoming page 2 (37 uniques from here).
4:55 PM, hits from upcoming root (61 uniques from here).
11:56 PM, touchdown! (6,291 uniques from the homepage)

My fall went as follows:

On 6/23, all times MST.
6:23 AM, moved to page 2 (3,008 uniques from here).
1:20 PM, moved to page 3 (728 uniques from here).
4:05 PM, moved to page 4 (346 uniques from here).
6:34 PM, moved to page 5 (480 uniques from here).
11:26 PM, moved to page 6 (236 uniques from here).

Additionally I received 1,884 uniques from the post page itself, these were scattered over the whole length of time, but did seem to be more concentrated on the way up than the way down.

In total the trip to the top of Digg garnered 16,157 uniques. Additionally (the blog of Digg’s cofounder) chipped in 362 uniques (last time this happened I didn’t have a mention on Kevin’s site as well).

Normally this site only gets around 2k uniques per day, so this was a substantial increase, last time for my larger site it was a drop in the bucket.

I find it interesting too how so little traffic is gained on the way up the ladder as opposed to the way down the ladder.

Rise & Fall on 6/23

2:59 AM, traffic from /popular/
11:01 AM, traffic from homepage (255 uniques).
7:21 PM, off homepage, back to /popular/

In total I received 640 unique visitors from, 340 from /popular/, 255 from their homepage, and the rest from varying other pages.

So, in comparison, I was on’s homepage for 8 hours and received 255 uniques, during the middle of the day on Saturday. I was on Digg’s homepage in the middle of the night Friday night/Saturday morning for 6.5 hours and received 6,200 uniques.

Again though, I cannot be sure where I was placed. I could have made it to #1 on Digg for all I know, whereas just the bottom of the first page of

Page Views Per Visitor
This is rather sorry….

Digg: 1.81 3.10
wikipedia: 6.60 7.64
google: 6.27
yahoo: 8.31
msn: 8.13

Normally this site gets most often mentioned in such sites because of it’s quiz (for instance the quiz has gotten Farked before which results in a huge traffic spike). The quiz is 21 questions and generally creates 25 pages views for each visitor that takes it. This also helps increase my ppv for the generic traffic sources listed above.

The page that got Digg’d had all the applicable information on 1 page, it was deep within the site, so it makes sense that most only viewed 1 page.

Do they click on Ads?

Again, revisiting the topics I broached in my first blog post on this subject, do the visitors from Digg click on Adsense ads or not? Well, for the two main days of the traffic my CTR was 1.01%, exactly 1 week earlier it was 1.73%. So they’re definitely less likely to click by this information. But I do run Tribal Fusion CPM ads on this site as well, so clicks aren’t always needed.

5 Responses to “The Digg Effect Revisited”

  1. Ken Barbalace  Says:

    Thanks for sharing this. It really helps to give some perspective about what making it to page one of Digg can do for a site. What I’d want more than clicks on my ads from said Digg traffic is the establishing of a fair number of new regular visitors who pick up my RSS feed, etc. The clicks on ads is only a one day bonus. Long term repeat visitors is could result in more people routinely telling their friends about new articles I publish.

  2. Andrew Johnson  Says:

    Have you seen an increase in backlinks, specifically backlinks that drive traffic? It might be interesting to track this for the next 15 days.

    I have old posts on my blog that will recieve fresh links from high traffic sites over a year after they were originally published. The content link model certainly beats the heck out of getting a little link buried on page 3 of someone’s links page.

  3. organ  Says:

    all the digg users are webmaster. They know what the ads is. So won’t click.

  4. Dan Grossman  Says:

    I’ve had W3Counter on the homepage of Digg 4 times now. Most recently, it passed 6000 diggs, and was featured on Diggnation. More than 50,000 uniques resulted directly from the homepage listing.

    Most importantly, the Stumbleupon traffic resulting from that day has lasted more than a month now, with several hundred to low thousand uniques per day coming from there.

  5. Shams  Says:

    I am glad to know some points on digg and delicious.

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