Sunday, May 27, 2007

An analysis of Digg numbers against visitors

Is there a relationship between number of diggs and visitors?

I recently created two posts that I pushed onto Digg. The two posts are in many ways quite different. One was written over several days and required quite a bit of research and the other was written in about 10 minutes or less while watching TV.

The first one BlogCatalog social networking strategy so far has received 11 diggs (the most I ever had) and attracted so far 16 unique page views. The other one was Amazing Flickrvision 2D/3D Flickr mashup so far has received only 2 diggs but attracted 41 unique page views.

Bizarrely the BlogCatalog post didn't receive a single visitor from Digg at all while the Flickrvision post received 19 unique page views from Digg. Clearly there is something rather odd in this.

The average time on page is very revealing. On BlogCatalog social networking strategy visitors stayed an average of 3 minutes while on Amazing Flickrvision 2D/3D Flickr mashup the visitors stayed a mere 1 minute and an half. The bounce rate is also very revealing. The BlogCatalog post bounce rate a little below 20% while the Flickvision bounce rate is over 70%.

There is about 15 news in Digg that include the term "Flickrvision". They have between 1 to 8 diggs. There is about 20 news in Digg that include the term BlogCatalog (a few of them relate to a newer press release from BlogCatalog). They have between 1 to 35 diggs.

Is there a relationship between number of diggs and visitors? I am not too sure this is an easy conclusion to make. I feel that the front page effect must be the main factor responsible for the rush of visitors from Digg to my Flickrvision post. That would explain why the BlogCatalog post didn't received visitors from Digg. It must have failed to make the Digg front page. But then what about the Digg upcoming page?

Finally using my little SEO plugin (see Great SEO FireFox plug-in by Aaron Wall), I can see that the Flickvision homepage as about 50,000 links (Yahoo search) while BlogCatalog homepage attracted more than 1,200,000 links (Yahoo search). Clearly there is today far more people interested into BlogCatalog than Flickrvision.

In conclusion, I believe timing is key in Digg. Being the first to digg on a new upcoming topic and making the front page must be of upmost importance to drive some of that Digg power juice. Also, writing real contents increase vastly your chances to retain some of the visitors you worked so hard to attract to your posts.

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