Why Stumbleupon is better than Digg for Webmasters

Martin Brinkmann
May 11, 2007
Updated • Jun 30, 2013

Let me introduce Stumbleupon and Digg first in case you never heard of this services before. (must be living on the moon for a couple of years, uhm?) Every user may post and vote for articles on Digg. New articles are kept in the Upcoming Stories section for a maximum of 24 hours. If the article receives enough votes in that time it will be transferred to the frontpage which drives incredible traffic to the website where the article is hosted. If the votes are not sufficient it will be removed and can only be reached using the site search.

Stumbleupon on the other hand is using a different approach. Their users vote and review sites using a toolbar. The main feature of Stumbleupon is the stumble feature. You select a category and click on stumble and a random website will be loaded. Websites will be shown more often the more votes and reviews they receive.

The difference between Digg and Stumbleupon (from a webmasters point of view) is that Digg is far more controlled by its users than Stumbleupon is. If you add a link to an article on your blog you will probably get flamed and dugg down pretty fast. The concept of Digg is that users decide if a story is worth making it to the frontpage. They can do this by "digging" (positive) the story or by "burying" (negative) it. The problem is that some "gangs" work on Digg that digg down articles as soon as they appear.

Lets say you post an article about a new version of Firefox, link to the Mozilla ftp site and describe the new features. This article will surely be dugg down simply because it is not linking directly to the Mozilla ftp site from Digg. If however a authority site comes along, let us say Lifehacker, Pc Magazine or Gizmodo the same article will make it to the frontpage without any problems. Even if they report about it later than you did.

The conclusion here is: Digg is great for sites that have a certain authority. Lifehacker could probably submit a article with no information whatsoever and would still make it to the frontpage.

Stumbleupon on the other hand is different. If you submit your site to the service it will drive traffic to your site right away. Not that much at the beginning but it is targeted traffic. If you do get additional reviews and "thumbs up" your traffic level will rise. I experienced it myself that you can very well get hundreds of daily visitors over a long period with 3-4 reviews of the site. Getting this amount of reviews is normally not a big problem, even for sites with not that many visitors. Remember that not only your regular visitors but also the users that visit your site from Stumbleupon may give you a thumbs up.

My conclusion is rather obvious. If you have a new website and want to get some traffic use Stumbleupon. Digg is only worth it if you are writing about something exclusively, new or groundbreaking.


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  1. Gravity said on August 23, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    well Heather, you just need a simple toolbar to stumble your post. thats pretty much it.

    And totally agreed with the article, Digg usualy sends traffic to its selected list of sites… stumbleupon shares with everyone.

  2. Heather Wallace said on July 17, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    Hey – I’m the senior editor of the online citizen journalism webzine Orato.com. I have always promoted our stories in the various news aggregator sites, but I find Stumble Upon too confusing so far – I understand how to stumble upon articles of interest, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to submit our own links, which I know the stumblers would enjoy.

    Any stumblers who want to help me??

    senior editor

  3. gnome said on May 12, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    Couldn’t agree more, even though Digg’s traffic can be immense…

  4. Mosey said on May 11, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    I utterly agree with you here and I believe that Digg is absolutely over-rated. I don’t use it at all – if I want to find out information, Technorati, Google, etc. are my first destinations. I would never even dream of going to Digg – it’s just messy and too easily prone to manipulation.

    As a webmistress, I know many many more people (who are internet literate) that use Stumbleupon on a daily basis than Digg – it allows them to keep track of their favourite link items (regardless of the time it was posted) and share it with others! I cannot stress enough that these are people that use the internet on a daily basis for more than 20minutes to check email.

  5. CypherHackz said on May 11, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    it looks like there are many peoples usin opera than firefox here. lol…

  6. kunal said on May 11, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    i agree with you martin. In my opinion, StubmleUpon is better and has more returning visitors than Digg. And yea not to forget, the temporary rise of income. Digg users help the traffic but not the revenue.

  7. Tobey said on May 11, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    Can’t wait for StumbleUpon support in Opera. Hope I won’t be waiting 4ever. That would be a really important disadvantage for Opera’s users :(

  8. Martin said on May 11, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    I forgot to mention time is critical when you submit something to Digg while it is less critical when submitting a site to Stumbleupon.

  9. Roys said on May 11, 2007 at 11:42 am

    Sorry to post again but you can’t Stumble without the toolbar, toolbarless Stumbleupon allows u to login, submit sites but not Stumble :(

  10. Roys said on May 11, 2007 at 10:43 am

    Thanks, now using with Opera with help from toolbarless StumbleUpon

  11. CypherHackz said on May 11, 2007 at 10:02 am

    my site had been stumbled about 4 or 5 times before. and the traffics was increase so high. and i think if you want to get high traffics, better you make your entries to get stumble by your visitors.

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