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How I Got 70,000 Useless Visitors To My Site In One Day! (Analysis Of Social Bookmark Traffic)


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Recently, a page on one of my websites was bookmarked

or listed on Digg, a popular social bookmark site. It

gave me the perfect opportunity to study and analyze

the traffic coming from these social media sites. Read

to discover the advantages and disadvantages of social

bookmark traffic and how it can be applied to your

own online marketing or site.

Is Social BookMark Traffic Useless?

First, we must make the distinction that no traffic

is useless. Any visitor to your site is a good thing

and should be welcomed. However, all traffic is not

created equally, there are great differences in the

sources of your traffic. This article takes a close

analytical look at social bookmark traffic from an

internet marketing perspective.

In case you haven't noticed, right now social bookmark

and media sites are all the rage on the web. Social

bookmark traffic comes from such popular sites as

Slashdot, Digg, Stumbleupon... basically these sites

are driven by their users -- that is, users or members

pick and bookmark the content they want to view and

discuss.

These social bookmark sites are extremely popular;

they command the high traffic numbers most ordinary

sites can only dream about obtaining.

But is this social bookmark traffic useful?

Is it worth your time? Should you be actively promoting

to these social media sites? Is social bookmark traffic

of any use to the affiliate marketer? Should you

concentrate your online marketing efforts on these

types of sites? More importantly, what are the benefits

and disadvantages of getting a front page listing on

a sites like Digg or Stumbleupon?

As a full-time online marketer I wanted to know the

answers to those questions. Moreover, I wanted to

discover how or if I could use these sites from

an online marketer's advantage; i.e. how can they

help me create more online income.

Recently, the Digg listing gave me a first-hand

opportunity to really study these sites.

Of course, nothing happens without a reason... I did

actually court these social bookmark sites by placing

the free Addthis.com bookmark on all my pages. You can

do the same. This simple bookmark lets your visitors

bookmark your content for you in all these sites; it

only takes a few seconds to place the bookmark code

on your webpages.

But be careful; getting your site featured on the

front page of these sites can drive 100,000's of

visitors to your site immediately, so much traffic

that it may overtax your server and crash it.

So be warned; if you're actively promoting to these

social bookmark sites just make sure your servers or

web hosting is up to the demanding task of handling

all these sudden visitors.

In my case, it didn't crash my servers but unfortunately,

the page/link in question featured an old poorly

written article I did on the history of the Internet.

It was just some random facts and things about the web,

not really an article at all. Why it was even

featured on Digg is a puzzle and beyond me.

But still I am not one to waste an opportunity, so I

put my Google Analytics into overdrive and starting

analyzing these visitors and social bookmark traffic.

It pointed out some very interesting factors about this

social bookmark traffic.

Most of this traffic will:

simply bounce back

very few visitors will spend much time on your site

very few visitors will even venture into your site

very few will sign up to your newsletter

very few will enter your marketing follow-ups/funnels

(The unknown variable here being the content on your

site, how good it is? How well does it perform?)

Regardless, one common problem with traffic from these

sites, it's very temporary traffic. The high volume

will only last a few days... until your item is moved

back from the front page.

These visitors will not stay on your site long and

most are gone within seconds, never to be seen again.

A few may sign up to your newsletter or venture to

other areas of your site but not many.

Social bookmark traffic is very fleeting, like

customers in the drive-through section in a fast

food restaurant, they grab the content and surf back

to the major linking site very quickly and surf

on to the next item.

This traffic will behave very differently than

organic traffic from the search engines, or from

your newsletter traffic or from traffic in your

marketing funnels. Much different.

It was unlike getting one of my articles featured

in Addme or SiteProNews, where I can easily get 200

or 300 new subscribers in a day. Plus, these visitors

are interested in my information and have been exposed

to my content (article) before coming to my site.

So there was no comparison; I would take the

traffic from these sites any day over traffic

from the social bookmark sites. And I would

take free organic traffic from the search engines

over any other source of traffic including

PPC traffic.

So the question remains - is social bookmark traffic

useless?

First, as I mentioned before, you must realize no

traffic is useless; any visitors to your site is a

good thing. Without traffic your site is worthless,

just a few files sitting on a server in the middle

of nowhere.

Obtaining visitors is one of your first objectives

as a webmaster. You have to get visitors to your

site or it's game over.

The best kind of traffic is traffic coming from

organic search, visitors who come from the search

engines seeking exactly what you're offering on

your site. These are targeted visitors who will

consider your offer, real your information,

maybe buy a product or sign-up to your newsletter

or follow-up system. They often become repeat

visitors to your site. These are your ideal visitors.

This is the kind of traffic you want.

Social bookmark/media traffic is different but it

does have some saving graces.

Mainly it can help expose your site to millions and

help brand your site or business. It can get the word

out about your site. Start a buzz.

If you have a site that appeals to the mass market,

then these social sites could be an excellent

recruiting ground for visitors and traffic.

These social sites are good for another reason;

getting your links on all these high traffic,

high PR7 and PR8 sites can't hurt your search

engine rankings. Once featured on a site like

Digg, your link will appear on many secondary

sites around the web, so far 500+ and counting.

Monkey see, monkey do. Although it has never been

my main ambition to get featured on Fark.com, all

these sites do have high PR ranks so from a SEO

standpoint it is not necessarily a bad thing.

Since many of these visitors will be using the

Firefox browser which has the Alexa toolbar

embedded - your site's traffic rank will increase.

Over 50% of the bookmark traffic coming to my site

were using the Firefox browser. Alexa's traffic

rankings are not a true picture of the web's

traffic but it's a good measuring stick,

nonetheless.

Google might even consider it when ranking your

site. Google basically considers their whole

indexing system as a democratic voting structure...

sites give a vote by linking to your content;

wouldn't it also be reasonable to assume more

traffic means more votes. So wouldn't getting a

lot of traffic or being featured on a site like

Digg where the users vote to propel the best

content to the front be the ultimate vote.

One strange thing I did notice, for some reason

the traffic from Stumbleupon was different. These

visitors stayed longer on my site and reacted more

like organic traffic. Maybe the Stumbleupon site is

of a higher quality and this may have been reflected

in the quality of the visitors coming from there.

It also reminded me, all traffic from these social

media sites can't be judged with the one brush.

This whole experience also pointed out another

important factor; it made me realize how unsuited

my content is for the general web surfer or the

mainstream web. Just how much my online sites are

geared towards marketing and selling. My main goal

as an affiliate marketer is to gather leads and make

sales for the companies and products I promote. All

my sites and content were planned and organized to

first draw in targeted (warmed up) visitors from free

organic search and from my online articles.

If I or anyone wanted to take advantage of this

social media traffic, you would have to create

your site/content to appeal to these surfers and

then somehow draw them into your marketing funnels.

I don't know if the majority of the users of these

bookmark sites would make good prospects, but my

guess is not very likely, the nature of the beast.

But it would largely depend on what you're offering

on your site and how well it is suited to these users.

So I am not drawing any conclusions yet.

Hopefully, I will have further chances to study traffic

from these social sites and get the long-term effects,

especially in regards to my keyword rankings in the

search engines before making any final judgments.

For now I will keep an open mind but the jury is still

way out whether or not social bookmark traffic is worth

the interruption to the daily marketing tasks of your site.

Just seems like much ado about nothing.

 

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