The Lifecycle Of A Link

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StumbleUpon drove 50.3% of the social media traffic referrals in the US from August to September of this year.
Facebook drove 37.4% of the social media traffic.
Reddit drove 4.26%.
Twitter drove 3.23%.
YouTube drove 3.19%.
And Digg drove .44%.

THOUGHT: Oh how the mighty fall.

Remember when Digg was the hotness? Remember when journalists used to monitor Digg to discover popular topics? Remember when media organizations were trying to figure out how to get on the front page of Digg? Remember when getting on the front page of Digg meant your servers would crash?

No more. Digg has become the MySpace of social sharing sites.

The new hotness is StumbleUpon, the social sharing site no one talks about.

Okay, so it’s not exactly new but it does deliver, however selectively.

It doesn’t surprise me all that much that StumbleUpon drives so much traffic, nor that the half-life of the links that are shared through it is immensely longer (400 hours) than links shared through Facebook (3.2 hours) or Twitter (2.8 hours). StumbleUpon defines half-life as “The point in time when a link has garnered half the engagement it will ever get.”

First, the content that is shared through StumbleUpon is far more likely to be entertaining and more broadly appealing; links shared through Facebook and Twitter, on the other hand,  is more likely to include personal content that is of interest only to family and friends as well as business content, especially on Twitter.

Second, since StumbleUpon content is compelling because it consists of stuff people think is awesome (my first Stumble today, for example, was an audio mashup of the first five seconds of every #1 Billboard Top 100 hit from 1993-2011), more people are likely to comment on it, like it, and share it than the comparatively pedestrian content found elsewhere.

Traffic from StumbleUpon, however, tends to be intense by fleeting. You’ll get a massive spike in traffic if your content catches on there, but few of those visitors will likely return.

Still, think about your articles, your graphics, photos and video: Do you have any remarkable content that might work with StumbleUpon? Consider sharing it there.

Though the traffic may be ephemeral, it can be a good link building tactic and at the very least, you’ll likely expose your company, products, brands to a lot of people with relative ease.


THROWBACK THURSDAY: Best Buy Sunday newspaper insert, circa 1996.


Thank you for civilization. It’s far better than the alternative.



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