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Digg vs. Fark: Who Drives More Website Visitors
Ed Kohler

Technology Evangelist happened to get front-paged on both Fark and Digg in recent weeks. The graph below shows a comparison of the traffic spikes caused by each front-paging. Both sites caused a large spike in visitors when compared to an average day on the site, but while one basically doubled the site's traffic for a day, the other tripled it.


The first spike was caused by Fark while the second came from Digg. Both caused traffic increases lasting 2-3 days with the bulk of the spike coming in the first day - actually within the first hour or two after hitting the front page.

This isn't a perfect comparison by any means since the front-paging involved two different stories. But they did happen to be on the same day of the week.

For a similar comparison between Digg and Slashdot, check out this post by Jason Kottke.

One other thing worth noting comes from Tech Recipes via Pro Blogger: Spikes in traffic from sites like this do not bring a corresponding spike in ad revenue. It turns out that extremely experienced web surfers like the ones using sites like this are very good at ignoring ads. David Kirk from Tech Recipes makes this and nine other observations about Digg that are very applicable to other similar sites like Slashdot, Fark, and Reddit as well:

1. Digg users do not click ads
2. Digg users do not use Alexa
3. Digg traffic does not generate new users, comments, or posts.
4. Every site on the front page gets flamed in the comments.
5. The digg effect brings in a moderate amount of traffic and uses a lot of bandwidth.
6. Digg users are more polite than slashdot visitors.
7. The digg effect is much less on a weekend.
8. The best digg post regarding a topic is not always the one that reaches the front page.
9. Digg may or may not have positive effects on your google pagerank.
10. After a site is highlighted on the Digg front page, it will start showing up in the other social bookmarking systems soon.

So the immediate direct benefit may not be all that, but there are a lot of bloggers among this crowd so the traffic can lead to links from blog posts that lead to additional traffic and higher search engine rankings, which will lead to increased ad revenue down the road.


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2. Posted by: davak on October 6, 2006 1:51 PM:

Thanks for the mention of my Digg traffic blog post. I need to post an update. I think the demographics of digg (and the other social sites) are changing.

Let me know if you need any further information.


3. Posted by: Ed Kohler on October 6, 2006 6:00 PM:

Davak, thanks for stopping by. Keep us posted on what you learn about social sites and other fun stuff.

4. Posted by: davak on October 7, 2006 7:48 AM:

Will do!

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