StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon Traffic Deluge
Last week my spam radar went off when my site received some innocuous-looking comments from random visitors. I couldn’t see that they were promoting anything, so I approved them. Curious, I went to Google Analytics to see if I could spot where they’d come from. HOLY CRAP, my site traffic was going BERZERK. What the–? On Wednesday November 16th alone, I had over 21,000 visits! That’s more than fifty times my regular audience.

Traffic

It didn’t take long to find out what had happened. Somebody submitted one of my posts to StumbleUpon and the floodgates opened. In one week, I got over 76,000 hits from them. And what was the post? This one with the embedded YouTube video of “25 Ways to Tie a Scarf.” It’s not even my content! I simply shared it. The comments kept coming though, and people seemed to think that I was the girl in the video (even though I’d included a link to the site where it’s from). Eventually I edited the post to add a disclaimer, but it hasn’t helped much.

So what’s the fallout from this? That big surge of traffic looks nice, but most of the visitors didn’t click on any other page on the site. I doubt they’ll turn into repeat visitors. Since the post was so recent, I didn’t even have Google Ads on it – I only show them on posts over two weeks old – so I didn’t earn any money from it. I had to deal with a lot of very dumb comments from people who don’t read very closely. (I have to say, I don’t have a very high opinion of StumbleUpon users after this.) On the plus side, I’m very happy that Quadrahosting seems to have handled the extra traffic just fine. Bring on a slashdotting! (Just kidding.)

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4 Comments

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  1. I wouldn’t be surprised if Slashdot brings less page views than StumbleUpon these days. The quality of the discussion there has deteriorated to a pretty low level too.

  2. So would you recommend Google Adsense? I was thinking about monetizing some of the ancient content, but don’t want to get into it if it’s an extremely intrusive process.

  3. Kevin – it depends. I didn’t actually set it up for w-g originally; I set it up for RDF. Those are actually a tidy little earner for me, many times more than the cost of the site hosting. I don’t remember how much hassle it was to set up the account – it was years ago – but it can’t have been too bad or I wouldn’t have bothered. They used to send me paper checks (which sucked, because it cost me like $15 each to get them cashed from here) but now they’re able to just deposit straight into my Australian bank account.

    Okay, so that’s RDF. Once I had the account, it was pretty trivial to add more sites to it. So I put them on WG in the archives, on anything over 2 weeks old. This site gets like a tenth what RDF does. I’m lucky if I hit $10 a month. Still, that’s $100+ a year. I imagine with the breadth of your archives – especially the movie reviews – it would be worth having a go.

  4. Im a stumbleupon user and I clicked on other pages. Sorry that you had a bad experience!

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