3 Reasons Why Delicious Bookmarks Beat Digg Traffic Hands Down

Which is better, del.icio.us bookmark traffic or the stampede that comes with a big Digg?

Well, I was fortunate enough to have a post make both the top of the de.licio.us popular page and the front page of Digg yesterday with my (formerly) private collection of link baiting resources entitled How to Attract Links and Increase Web Traffic – The Ultimate Guide. Of course both events were awesome, especially since they tend to reinforce one another, as well as lead to links from other bloggers.

But if you had to choose one over the other, I think there’s no real question.

Bookmarks beat Diggs. Here are 3 reasons why:

1. Bookmarks are Enduring.

While it’s true that sometimes someone will bookmark a page simply to come back when they have more time, more often than not the Delicious user views your page as a resource that they might return to again and again. A Digg is simply a one-time vote that may or may not result in big one-time traffic. A Digg is short-term event, while a bookmark endures.

2. Bookmarks Show Commitment.

Related to the idea above, a Delicious user has made a commitment to your resource by adding it to their collection of links, most likely because it provides a benefit to them. Other Delicious users notice that commitment, and therefore your resource gains in credibility thanks to that bit of social proof, which often leads to more bookmarks. I believe this is one of the key reasons why a big day on Delicious translates into subscribers and return readers, while the same exposure on Digg often doesn’t.

3. Each Bookmark is a Targeted Link.

Here’s the real power of social bookmarks. Each bookmark you receive is a separate link on a separate web page. Moreover, those links are classified by tags which define their overall relevance, much like normal link anchor text does. Not only does this help you in the search engines, it makes Delicious itself a search engine. Tagging will no doubt play a big role in the evolution of web search, and Digg’s model misses the boat here.

Ignore Digg? Nope.

Overall, you should continue to strive for both bookmarks and Diggs, since they do have a bit of synergy between them. If your resource is compelling, Diggers will bookmark you too.

But it’s important to realize that flash in the pan web traffic means very little other than high server load if they never come back. Diggers aren’t much for clicking ads, and they often don’t stick around long enough to decide to subscribe.

Creating content with the bookmark in mind tends to make you concentrate more on delivering truly useful resources, rather than just pulling stunts to pull traffic. Getting the right type of traffic (rather than just tons of traffic) is one of the main keys to a successful blog.

So, aim for getting a bookmark, and you just might get Dugg too.

25 thoughts on “3 Reasons Why Delicious Bookmarks Beat Digg Traffic Hands Down

  1. ?????? ????-????? 2008 ???? ?? 200 ??. ???? ????????. ??????!!!
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  2. I think digg’s traffic is great. It is about 8 times comparing to splashdot. Digg is popular to the world including Western, Eastern, and Asian countries.

    Thanks for sharing this great article.


  3. Seems like each type of social site works better on a particular subject or type of page. For example with Stumble it needs to be an eye catching page, strong graphic etc. Digg seems to work better with technical pages.

    What works best with del.icio.us?

  4. Between everything, I just don’t have the time to explore everything like Digg etc, so I end up sacrificing something (for instance commenting on some of the big sites) which I’m sure is no good at all. I guess I just need to spend more time having a crack at it, but it’s hard to do when you need to do other stuff too.

  5. All the links on del.icio.us/tag/performancing have nofollow tags, and some of those services might have robots.txt exclusion rules even if they don’t have nofollow tags. I don’t know the current status of the nofollow tag, so some search engines might have realized what a stupid idea it was and decided to follow/rank them.

  6. I’m not sure if I can find a useful way to use it (see all the pro’s and cons in this article for reference), but it is cool!

  7. Personally I don’t think either one is that great for any sustained traffic. I’ve never been Dugg but have seen the Reddit effect firsthand, which is less but still impressive.

    Having been Delicioused (?) a couple of times on blogs/sites I’ve been associated with, it also seems to be something of a one-hit wonder, but, as Brian says in this post, because of tagging, those links are often very relevant and I’ve seen that play out in search engine rankings. (Of course you can never be sure exactly what affected your SE rankings, but you can make an educated guess.)

  8. In addition to these:

    1. Bookmarks are Enduring.
    2. Bookmarks Show Commitment.
    3. Each Bookmark is a Targeted Link.

    I would add:

    4. Bookmarks are fed to blogs, portals, and more.

    For example, my blog includes my 10 most recent del.icio.us bookmarks so I drive people to my bookmarks via both my blog and my del.icio.us pages. Also, there are many portals that include a list of the most recent del.icio.us bookmarks with a particular tag. For example, Performancing.com might want to grab the feed of this:


    and stream it onto their site — maybe they already do?!

    I don’t know that much about Digg, but I don’t think I’ve seen a stream of a blogger’s recent diggs on their blog, but I often see a stream of a blogger’s recent bookmarks.

  9. For me delicious is a way of saying “I like this page and I think I want to see it often..” And Digg is more like: “Dude! Check this page out, it’s awesome!”

    The power law of the long tail is also applicable to the interest that is sustained when a page/article/post/site becomes ‘popular’.

    I perceive Digg as the Check-this-out-This-is-happening zone of events while del.icio.us is more like: This-seems-to-be-useful-so-let-me-store-it-somewhere kind of an event.

    Eventually, if you combine the two, you get something like StumbleUpon which can ‘understand’ your choice (by whatever algorithm) and serve you similar pages.

    In any case, each of them provides a big boost to the site and in effect, drives a lot of revenue, which is cool by any standards I guess… 😉


  10. but in this case it was totally organic. The guy who submitted happens to be a reader of mine and is by no means a big Digg participant.

    That said, I’m all for creating the Andy Hagans Memorial Flash Mob to teach those Diggers a thing or two about gaming.

  11. Here’s a little secret to making it to the front page of digg.

    Who submits matters!

    Yes, its true. If a new user submits an article, it doesn’t get dugg that much. But if the person who is submitting is popular, then there is a good chance of the post being promoted to the home page.

    reason: The digg army called friends.

    When a popular person submits an article, his followers treat it as an agreement, and then digg it.

    Another secret: Most of the people don’t even read the story before digging it.

    Yes! lets say a person diggs 20 stories, most probably he might have read around 3 stories.

    There’s a lot of gaming going on. People were inventing new ideas to promote the submissions. I was surprised, some people go all the way to email their own buddies requesting them to digg the post.

  12. Just kidding.

    Nice summary, Brian. I guess a spot on the Digg front page might outweigh a front-page stint at del.icio.us if whoever diggs your article miscategorizes or incorrectly describes it. Either way, both experiences tend to give you a huge spike that sadly only lasts a day or two at most. But they increase your chances of getting that spike again, and they win new followers to your faithful fold.

  13. Some time ago I got a Digg and a First page slot in Delicious.

    Digg – I got 14.000 uniques from Digg, during the first 2 days. 3rd day – 100. 4th-5th day 10-15. After that it was like gone.

    Delicious – I got about 4000 uniques the first day. Over the next month, another 40.000 uniques. Imagine that. Even now, after more then 3 months, I still get 5 to 10 visits from Delicious. More than 800 people saved that page anyway, too.

  14. Digg = Great way to find new articles. The act of digging, for me, is to vote up a story. At first I thought it would be a useful way to bookmark the story, but it is nowhere nearly as practical as del.icio.us.

    Delicious = Where I bookmark everything. The reality is not everything I read orginates from Digg. If this is the case, why would fork my bookmarks. And there’s no tags – I like being able to perouse through my funny links from time to time. Besides, when I bookmark something I would prefer it be the actual article instead of a Digg landing site.

  15. Not sure why. Got some Furl action today.

    But I did mention Paul Graham in a Tubetorial video, so maybe that Reddit love will start rolling.

  16. Reddit – I think they actually drive the highest quality traffic of any of the link aggregation services (Fark, Digg, Yahoo! Site of the Day, Slashdot, Del.icio.us/Popular, Shoutwire, Furl, etc.)

    Reddit’s readers have shown the highest comment ratio, the highest browse rate (they’ll look at other pages on your site) and the highest conversion – become members of your blog or subscribe to the RSS feed.

  17. I’m new to live bookmarks and tag clouds, etc. Have you tried Swiki? I’ve had pretty good results over the past couple of days with it. I’m not sure if it’s the same concept as Digg or del.icio.us. I suppose I’ll have to buy a Dummies Book to keep up! LOL

  18. I couldn’t Digg my own grave if I were standing in a 6 foot deep hole in the ground!

    Congratulations on both points and I think you make an excellent point about the longevity and value of a bookmark.

    I’ll Digg in to your ultimate guide this weekend.

    In the meantime, I Dugg your article and added you as a friend.

    Now I’ve got to get back to scratching at the dirt with my handy thimble!

  19. Got to agree. Having said that as a user of the two I find far better articles more often on Digg.

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