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Web Traffic – I’ll Take Quality Over Quantity

By Char

Given your choice of making it to the front page of Digg, a huge Stumble wave, or a mention/link on a prominent blogger’s site, which would you prefer?

Personally, I’ll take a link on a prominent blogger’s site any day! Why? Because quality always wins out over quantity in my book. Over the past few weeks I have been paying very close attention to where my traffic is coming from and the resulting effect it has had on my site.

During the week of my blogging birthday bash, my wonderful gift from Dawud of 164 Essential Tools for Online Success post was Stumbled, Dugg, and linked to from others. The Stumble was mistimed and never really got any major momentum so the resulting traffic came in the form of a few small spikes, but those small spikes are still lingering. The post did get a fair amount of Digg attention – 83 at last count – and did briefly hit the front page, but the resulting traffic was nothing to write home about and many of the Digg comments were snippy, at best. However, the number of blogs that linked to the post and endorsed it with nice comments, created the largest benefit – from traffic and inbound links.

Later in the week I did a post on the reality of Web site monetization and Problogger (thanks Darren) linked to it. Not only was the traffic increase equal to a Digg, many of those who found the post by way of Problogger took a moment to comment and let me know how they found it or they mentioned it in a post at their own site. This kind of interaction is just so much more important to me. I also noticed a nice jump in RSS subscribers during that time, too.

Of course, my experience is just that, my experience and my opinion. I’d love to know what your experience has been with Digg versus other traffic generating sources. 



Very good point. Being an SU user myself, sometimes I never even bother to “see” the actual site for more than a few seconds. I link from another blog well get a lot more viewing time.


About a year ago I made a post about Weird Al and his share of his iTunes sales. It made the front page of Digg which was good for a server-crashing landslide of traffic, then was picked up and made the front page of Slashdot the next day. Digg was a one-time thing, but I still get a lot of traffic from the Slashdot archives.

I launched a new blog called Photoschooled and got a big wave of folks from StumbleUpon a few days ago on a post related to shooting fireworks. That was a one-day affair, however, and the StumbleUpon traffic has entirely dried up.


I agree, quality over quantity, because quality pays in subscriberships :)


I never got dugg, but had similar experience on a smaller scale. My niche blog in french often makes the front page on french digg-likes, this brings spikes of traffic, but not of feed subscriptions. But when it was quoted by newspapers that are in the same niche, my feed subscription went up.


I have had large increasez in traffic from Stumble Upon. Also joining in Memes and group writing projects increases has increased links and therefore hits for me.


Thanks for all the great input so far! I just want to clarify – I am not saying anything negative about any of the traffic sources as they each have their own end benefits – Digg is good for reputation building, SU is awesome for boosting page views, but quality links from bloggers you respect seems to be absolutely the best kind of traffic ever in my book.


I empathise about the negative comments on Digg. I’ve experienced the same thing on a few occassions, but what really matters is your regular readers and what they think, and for me, you’re doing a great job.


I’m with you Char. Given the choice I’d much rather produce content that gets links from other bloggers than gets Dugg.

Digg (and to a lesser extent StumbleUpon) is a bit like an addiction. Some people start doing weird things to get more Diggs and then feel let down whenever a Digg campaign doesn’t take off as hoped.


Char, I hope that you don’t mind me calling you Char :) , I agree that a link from a blogger means more to me than a Digg. Of course I also love seeing those traffic spikes when a post of mine gets Stumbled (and it is usually the most oddball post never the one I really wish would get stumbled and recognized). While I haven’t had the fortune or misfortune of being on the Digg frontpage it would be nice to be able to say “Yep been there.”. Ok now I totally lost my train of thought on what I was going to say in this comment. Anyway, again a link from a blogger, and not just a so called A list bloggers like ProBlogger (Mr. Rowse you are the standard I judge all such blogs by) or EssentialkeyStokes but also just about anyone else means way more to me than all the others combined. Sorry for the disjointedness, I haven’t had my morning Mt. Dew yet.


I completely agree. Traffic from Digg or Stumble can be a flood of mere seconds and split glances where a link from a trusted blogger will be considered and read more completely.

I’ve never really caught the Digg bug. I’ve never seen the value in it at all really.


As everyone else has said, I think getting on Digg’s front page is overrated. It would be a nice rush I guess, but is it really worth bringing down your site? I have found the Stumble traffic to be better overall, but, I’d trade all that for a link out from ProBlogger. I’m curious, did you e-mail Darren about your article or did he find it on his own?


Totally agreed… Digg doesn’t work for me (I don’t have a technical or geeky blog)… SU has been really good, consistently, but I also get stumbled regularly. My greatest traffic has come from regular articles that others write, … one of which was on the front page of Yahoo! (!!!!) for 3 hours – wow, that was an amazing three hours. Another ended up on a popular marketing site, and another was in a newsletter. Each of these drove hundreds of free signups to my site, and various spikes in traffic to my blog and website (which isn’t a blog).

Jason Alba
:: self-serve career management ::


I agree with your opinions, Char. What we blogger need is not a spike traffic, but a “Quality” traffic which will really respond with what we read.

I need more comments and conversion than traffic that goes no where but the homepage. I see something funny happen to my stats. It stated 1809 Visitors, but only 4 conversion for my google ads and 1 for my chitika eminimalls and at that day, I received 6 comments only! :)


Hey Char. Really good point on this post. It’s so tempting to want to drive massive traffic through Digg and Stumble, etc. Yet it’s in writing great content and building relationships that our blogs really grow. And I feel that especially true if we’re marketing our service-based business through our blogs rather than just relying on monetization.

Ultimately, it’s really about relationships. And I think your report on what Darren’s blog brought versus what Digg brought to your site shows that.


Quality counts! I don´t care about Digg or SU but it made me proud to be featured at Essential Tools.


Interesting comparison. Think I agree with you Char, although in reality, this is really a hypothetical question as you really don’t get much of a choice and they are also not mutually exclusive. I will take all of them if you don’t mind :)


I agree as well Char and would actually prefer not to get the spike from Digg and their ilk. I write a blog to create relationships and share information, not to play the game of who can get the most readers, links or comments. As my blog is not monetised I don’t feel the need to push as many people to it as possible just in case they might click on a link or so that I can charge extra for a sponsorship/ad. Yes the blog is part of my marketing but it is primarily to help people get to know my style and me to get to know the people that might become clients (if I choose to accept them ;-) )


I’d take visitor from a long tail targeted keyword search via any of the big three any day of the week over a thousand stumbles but ultimately it’s about what your selling isn’t it? :)


You are spot on, Char. A couple of my posts are in Stumble Upon, and they have continued to send a few people each week. Not huge, but targeted.

My purpose with my site is to reach a targeted audience of small town small business people, so I don’t pursue traffic spikes.

Thanks for your many great articles!

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