Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Digg Effect: The Top 7 Habits Of Digg Users Webmasters Should Know

Recently, my friend website getting front page of Digg. He told me that this is not his first time. Well I'm not surprised with the situation since his website is cool enough to attract huge visitors. Getting honored in this way is always a thrill to most webmasters. Who doesn't like being attention in the crowds, right?

So on a short discussion with him last night, I've ask him to share his experience about something that I've never experienced before, or might not notice it. It's a digg effect! My friend experienced digg effect for couple of times, and said he always learn a little more about actions of digg users.

So what is digg effect anyway? Digg effect is "the term given to the phenomenon of a popular website linking to a smaller site, causing the smaller site to slow down or even temporarily close due to the increased traffic." Digg effect is good because it brings you huge traffics, but everything has pros and cons you know. Getting dugg on is good because it brings you traffic and exposure, but it also has side effects such as server downtime and bandwidth excess. If you think you might get dugg next, be sure to prepare for it.

Having a discussion about this with him has realized me something. Digg traffics bring less money. If you're a webmaster who try to manipulate digg traffics for quick money, you might want to read this first:

1. Digg users is not potential ads clicker

The increased traffic will use up your bandwidth and will risk slowing down or crashing your server. My point is, getting on the front page is more likely to cost you money than make you money if you are depending on ads for your revenue. Most of digg users do not click on ads. My friend is using AdSense, and not expect to see an increasing CTR on his ads when get digg. Why? My best guess is that a lot of this traffic is just people who surfing to see what’s popular in the internet world. Surfers are not looking for anything in particular; and therefore, they are not going to be influenced by content-targetted ads on the site. So for Webmasters, quit trying to abuse digg for your greed; it does not work.

2. Digg traffic does not generate new users, comments, or posts.

Digg users rarely leave comments on your website if you get digg. They often comment regarding a site on digg itself instead of on the dugg website. Even though my friend website have giving easy ways for people to leave comments (no registration required), digg users typically do not post. Likewise, you do not get a bunch of new member registrations. They swing through, look around, and leave. I believe this unique phenomena is on many websites and blogs out there.

3. Every site on the front page gets flamed in the comments.

If you read digg, you need a thick skin. If the site is something about windows, the apple/linux people whine… and visa versa. However, this is in no way saying that the comments are not helpful to the digg users or to the webmasters. My friend told me he received many helpful suggestions in the digg comments as well. Any webmaster who is lucky enough to have their site dugg should follow and participate in the digg comment section regarding his/her site.

4. Digg users are more polite than slashdot visitors.

While I don’t know if digg has less of a troll culture or not, but digg users do not wreck a place like slashdot members can. Many times you’ll see a slashdotted site have comment boards filled with typical trolls links and material. Digg users typically leave the place as they found it. On the other hand, both slashdot and digg have users that will attempt to mirror sites if the server gets slow.

5. The digg effect is much less on a weekend.

The traffic you'll gained from being on the front page of digg is much less on the weekend. It seems like it usually about half as much. Likewise, the traffic is easier to tolerate on the weekend as most sites are less busy then. The digg effect is also variable on the content of the site as well. For example, my friend has a post on hacking but did not receive near as much traffic as some of the tech-related tutorials that have been highlighted on his site. It makes sense as digg is a technology-related site first and foremost.

6. Digg may have positive or none effects on your google pagerank.

Digg is a popular site. Getting on the front page would seem that it would tell google that your site is important. Likely sometimes it does. However, often the digg link itself will appear higher in the google rankings than the actual site to which to link points. If you are a SEO-type person and trying to use digg for your evil doing, it’s probably not going to work. It is just another reason that webmasters should quit trying to abuse the digg system for their evil purposes.

7. After a site is highlighted on the Digg front page, it will start showing up in the other social bookmarking systems soon.

My friend seen several of his tech tutorial post become very popular in after he were on the front page of digg. Most recently the tutorial regarding using batch files to start or stop windows services starting appearing on the other social bookmark sites after it was highlighted on digg. The tutorial is 1 years old and never appeared on any of them as far as I can tell before it was highlighted on the digg front page.

The conclusion is:

Having a discussion about this with him has encourage me to explore digg deeper! I'm now a huge digg fan. If you were on digg front page, it actually suggests that a large group of people have decided that something on your site is very valuable. It's more like receiving a honor. Isn’t that why most of us have websites or blogs in the first place? However, for those webmasters that try to abuse the digg system, you are wasting your time trying to make a fast buck.

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