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Paid Digg Experiment – Can I buy my way onto the front page?

17 February 2010 No Comment

If you are like me and often look for easy options online, you have probably at some point come across paying for diggs to get one of your pages on the front page of Digg and receive a heap of traffic. Well in my quest for furthering the knowledge of webmasters (particularly lazy ones) I thought I would try a Paid Digg service and document my results.

I probably should start with a disclaimer and re-iterate the fact there are two rather large variables with this experiment. The first is the paid digg provider as there are hundreds of individuals and companies offering this service with (you would assume) vastly different results. The second which pertains to all viral type marketing is the quality of the product available, in my case the quality of my article. If my article is total rubbish, it won’t matter how good the paid digg service is I will never see the front page.

Having said that I found a gentlemen on DP who was a power Digg user and could offer 75 diggs for $20. If my article hits the front page I owe him another $150. In addition he previews the article first (to ensure quality and assess the chances of hitting the front page) before he begins digging it. But before he starts work I had to write the article. Top 10 dumbest blog comments was the end result which was (in my opinion) quite funny and worthy of being Dugg. The top 10 title should also help with the prospects of the article hitting the front page and my service provider agreed and began digging it on a Monday morning (he claims to get better results that way).

Results

  • Day 1 – 74 Diggs
    One would have to assume these are purely a result of the service I hired and nothing more.
  • Day 2 – 108 Diggs
    Extremely happy with these results. Much of the traffic from Digg (and my own traffic) were digging the article which I can assume means my article was of high quality.
  • Day 3 – 131 Diggs
    On track to hit front page if the article continued this strong growth in Diggs.
  • Day 4 – 132 Diggs
    Looks like the Digg experiment is dying. Have to see if today is the rule or hopefully just the exception.
  • Day 5 – 133 Diggs
    With no more diggs it seems as though this articles 15 minutes of fame is over and with that the experiment is over as well.

So what about the traffic the site received? Well it had an extra 257 visitors over 3 days directly from Digg. Enough to spike my traffic for a few days. But more interestingly is the type of traffic it sent. To say it was disappointing is an understatement. Here are my results from my sites analytics:

  • Visitors: 257 (3 days)
  • Pages/visit: 1.05 (that’s 1 person out of 20 visiting another page)
  • Avg Time on Site: 5 secs
  • Bounce Rate: 96.5%

Conclusion

I would have like to see the results had the article hit the front page. Perhaps it would be beneficial also to measure the different results if I had tried the same thing with a premium Digg service. Putting all that aside the results were less than overwhelming. Whilst the extra traffic looks good in my analytics statistics and the blog itself looks a lot more professional with so many diggs for an article the end result was disappointing. If people are on my site for 5 seconds what is the chance they will sign up to my RSS feed, become return visitors or complete a call to action? I have heard it before when referring to Digg traffic, but my own small experiment seems to confirm it as well, the quantity is good but the quality is poor. I think it is imperative that your site hits the front page and get thousands of visitors to have any real success with Digg.

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