How to Use Digg to Get Traffic

I learn something new every day. Little did I know, being the trailing-edge blogger that I am, that Digg is so powerful. I’ve focused on links and Technorati, but there’s a parallel universe of traffic and Digg.

Here’s a good example. This is my traffic log for the first few weeks of September. The spike of 37,366 page views on September 8th is purely because a blog posting appeared on the home page of Digg.


The guy who removed the scales from my eyes about the power of Digg is Neil Patel. He’s written a very informative post called “Using Digg and Netscape to get traffic”; you should read it if you care about traffic. He writes lots of good stuff about blog and site optimization, so consider subscribing to his RSS feed by clicking here.

By |2016-10-24T14:24:24+00:00September 19th, 2006|Categories: Blogging|46 Comments

About the Author:

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of The Art of Social Media, The Art of the Start, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.


  1. Creative One September 19, 2006 at 11:15 am - Reply

    Sometime I just get so dumb founded it of how much money company like google and yahoo makes. Without mass production of anything(hardware) they are able to bring in billions of dollars. So if I can gather a mass of people in one place. Am I guarantee to be rich or there are more hidden concepts that I have to understand.

  2. Sean Tierney September 19, 2006 at 11:16 am - Reply

    I would be interested to see the “Kawasaki-effect” on Neil’s traffic stats after this post 😉

  3. Aaron Brazell September 19, 2006 at 11:40 am - Reply

    +1 John
    Digg traffic, while great for numbers, doesn’t tend to convert very well on longterm readers, ad conversion or deeper traffic. Digg users are pretty fickle and, though I’ll never turn down a Dugg story, would prefer to focus on back links and Technorati myself.

  4. Todor September 19, 2006 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    You all guys are right regarding Digg, but the headline of Guy’s article is “How to use Digg to create traffic”, not “How to use Digg to create conversion”.
    Well, traffic could be created via Digg and it’s a fact. What will be the long term effect in terms of sales, CTR and other conversion rates is another story. It is up to every site owner to decide how exactly to convert the big traffic into something valuable.
    May be in a second post you could advice on conversion, Guy.

  5. Chris September 19, 2006 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    Guy, I notice that your post footer contains links to Digg and Delicious only. Did you make a conscious decision to exclude similar links such as Reddit?
    Many blogs have 20 different social bookmarking icons on every page; I’ve been wondering whether it makes more sense to list them all, or mention only the most popular.

  6. Andy September 19, 2006 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    I came here for the first time on September 8th too but I’ve never been to digg. Amanda Congdon had a link on her old blog on that day also.

  7. Michael Phipps September 19, 2006 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    I agree with the spike comment – even though you got stacks of traffic by being dugg, the content that diggers found may not have compelling enough to help you very much at all.
    I would be more interested in the after affect of being dugg, in the days following the digg – the conversion factor everyone else is talking about.
    Diggers are very tech savy compared with regular internet users. If anyone did find your site interesting, they probably didn’t bookmark you – more likely they added your rss feed to their reader. Do you have separate stats on the number of people who access your feed?
    Did your email signups increase on that day?
    I think to get maximum out of being dugg, you need to move your feeds and leads right up, practically at the top of the right hand column.
    The power of digg traffic is enormous – but if you can’t turn it to your advantage, by capturing signups to newsletters, or by getting added to feed readers, you are just wasting bandwidth.

  8. Neil Patel September 19, 2006 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Michael, RSS stats usually increase after a digg.
    Chris, the reason we did not put 20 icons on the bottom of each post is because it gives users too many options. If you focus users on digg and the other social mediums usually follow in.
    Todor, you are right about the conversion rate. Digg does not convert well.
    Sean, my traffic did not increase too much because of the link. So far it has sent around 200 extra visits. My blog gets around 100,000 unique visitors per month.

  9. Tom Kelly September 19, 2006 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    I’m turning into a Digg conspiracy theorist. The process of front paging articles is highly suspect. I’m thinking that the best way to get traffic at Digg is to know one of the handful of people that probably hand select the stories that are promoted. The evidence is starting to suggest that there is no algorithm- just a person on watch who arbitrarily decides what to promote.

  10. Tom Kelly September 19, 2006 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    BTW, Guy- your decision to put the newest comment on top of the heap instead of the bottom is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  11. Hadley Stern September 19, 2006 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    Apple Matters has been on Digg page one around a dozen times (once we had two stories on the home page at once, how surreal!). There is no doubt it has a huge affect on traffic, bigger than being slash-dotted. As for netscape some of our stories have shown up there but it has never been a traffic driver, not sure why (although no story was on netscape page 1 to be fair).
    The conversion question is absolutely another topic, but it is an interesting one.

  12. rags September 19, 2006 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    Looking at the numbers after the spike, they all fell back to normal levels. That probably is an issue when you get click throughs from a “news aggregator”. There just are too many things to read. While a link may be click worthy, the site isn’t subscribe-worthy. May be people think that if every article is of value it will show up again in the Digg home page.

  13. Doug Karr September 19, 2006 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    I wrote about the Digg Effect on my blog:
    Part I – The Digg Effect
    Part II – Conclusion
    Digg can be appropriately utilized as an acquisition tool for visitors. However, I think it’s important that the content being ‘Dugg’ must match your site’s strategy… otherwise the visits will come and go. Digg may get them, but content still keeps them!

  14. Ohad's Internet News September 19, 2006 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    Digg – find your story

    If you haven’t visited then now is the time. Digg is a user driven story rating system that allows users to post links to new stories and URLs and have other users rank them according to thei…

  15. Brajeshwar September 19, 2006 at 11:21 pm - Reply

    Sometimes, it is enough without be dugg to the front page. There are still lots of people who read news, articles on digg that never made it to the front page. If the article, news is good enough, it sure does gets a good traffic to the site though not near the one that gets dugg.

  16. Martin Henk September 19, 2006 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    John and Aaron and others: I found this blog some time ago from Digg and started reading it every day. So it’s not totally hopless 🙂

  17. Daniel CerVentus September 20, 2006 at 2:56 am - Reply

    The beauty of it all is there is Slashdot, Reddit and Netscape, most of these info/news are the same from site to sites. These sites are like a huge echo chamber. So when news get digg to the front page, it will be usually picked up by netscape and the others vice versa.
    Personally, I like netscape now because there is a wider range of interesting stories.
    Guy, maybe you should try to be the guy with the most digg on his blog instead of technorati #1.

  18. Brian Duffy September 20, 2006 at 5:55 am - Reply

    I find Digg to be kinda of scummy, actually. They make an effort to portray themselves as some sort of democratic institution, but in reality Digg is corrupt and controlled by a relatively small number of people.
    Slashdot has long been accused of “Slashvertising”, but at least /. is focused on making their site a focal point. You visit Slashdot to visit Slashdot. Digg is just an unprofessional, carnival version of what Yahoo was doing in 1996.
    I’ve observed several websites over the years that have attempted to use public moderation or selection… and in almost every case a cabal of users or the site owners in the guise of “troll” users abused the site in a nefarious way to generate money from someone. (or just to exert power)

  19. Paul September 20, 2006 at 6:14 am - Reply

    Yes… Digg works really well to generate traffic to a blog. Sometime again I created a post to give our free domains, I created a Digg entry to advertise it abit. Inbound traffic from Digg alone accounts for 10 fold the normal traffic I’m getting daily.
    I just hope it doesn’t become a link dump, I guess they keep their best digg and deactive those less popular ones. 😛

  20. Milo Riano September 20, 2006 at 8:40 am - Reply

    I agree with Brian that Digg is controlled by very few people. So many times I am the first one to post about a newly launched product complete with features, guides and recommendations and suddenly someone just posts a link to where you download the products and gets digged a thousand times making it to Digg homepage. And worst you get comments from those few people saying that people should digg the other link. It’s pretty annoying…

  21. Innovation Zen September 20, 2006 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    do you guys think netscape will be able to outplace digg in the long run by paying story posters?

  22. Marilyn Scott-Waters September 20, 2006 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    I agree with Mr. Minnihan. He makes an interesting point! Spikes in traffic are flattering… but not necessarily useful.
    My website caters mostly to parents, grandparents and teachers. I judge “success” by newsletter signups, book sales and happy emails from people telling about making things with their kids.
    Some spikes in traffic, such as links from,, and mentions in magazines like Family Fun and Women’s World have been great… leading to lots of Amazon sales and hundreds of new newsletter subscribers. Other spikes in traffic, like a mention in on a French site or (which is mostly funny or bikini videos), gleaned me lots of visitors but not a ton of book sales or signups.
    I’ve found the second best way (at least for me) to way to boost traffic is to google out “best of” sites in your field and submit your URL. I received a coveted one of only sixteen spots on the American Library Association website that way.
    The best way, of course, is to have interesting content on your website or blog, everything else is just wrapping paper.
    Make toys! Play more!

  23. Ed September 21, 2006 at 3:52 am - Reply

    Creative One, it is indeed shocking how much money these monsters make. Note though, popularity is by service and revenue is by selling advertising. I’ll be interested in the service you create to bring everybody into one place.

  24. Pamela Slim September 21, 2006 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    I did a small experiment with a post today and submitted to Reddit, Digg and Netscape. Perhaps because I didn’t go through the “Digg 100’s”, (or because my post was not interesting to Digg readers!) my post languished in the back pages and created sparse traffic. Reddit, on the other hand, drove a few hundred new visitors to my site (good numbers for my current reader volume). Netscape had nary a whisper – not one visit.
    My post was on “5 ways to get out of “job” mentality when starting a business” which may have been more interesting to Reddit readers, since they seem to be an entrepreneurial bunch. (since links always cut off here, it is the 9/21 post on
    I will continue to play around and see if I don’t get more Diggs if I woo the big players, as well as creating more sexy content.
    And a technical question for your smart readers … as a Typepad user, how do I get the “Digg this” feature to work at the bottom of each post like you have? I currently have “email this,” “add to delicious,” and “subscribe to this feed.” Any guidance would be appreciated!

  25. Pamela Slim September 21, 2006 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    Oops – forgot to mention Guy that I did this today as a way to tip the scales into the 3’000s in Technorati ranking. I was at 4,004 before submitting … now I am 3,992!
    I thought you would appreciate my glee at the slow upward grind of ranking. I know I shouldn’t care, but it gave me a short burst of competitive glee.

  26. engtech September 22, 2006 at 6:07 am - Reply

    I got to the front page this week for the first time on an article with 1175 Diggs.
    What I found interesting from the traffic analysis was how little traffic came from the second tier web2.0 sites like Furl and Stumbleupon.
    What I found is that Reddit, Digg and Netscape all have slightly different audiences that like different things.
    Digg – teenagers
    Netscape – 30+, real news seems to do better than tech/career/web pieces
    Reddit – professionals
    I’d love it if one of them would create an article voting site for articles about blogging.

  27. Spaces on the Wall September 24, 2006 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    Digg Works

    Here’s an exceptional Digg article on how a fringe site like Digg can get you an enormous spike in traffic.

  28. Mark Ivey's Authentic Communications October 4, 2006 at 7:49 am - Reply

    “Digging” for More Traffic

    Great conversation on Guy’s blog about using Digg, Netscape and fringe sites to build traffic. Guy Kawasaki’s blog. Digg is interesting because you actually submit your story, put it into play–and if you get lucky and it draws readers, you

  29. Batuhan October 5, 2006 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    Perhaps the thing to notice here is that you get absolutely zero repeat traffic. Digg is not sticky, it doesn’t create longer term awareness, just mindless follow of the crowd. It is powerful though.

  30. paul October 11, 2006 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    My experience being frontpaged at digg back in May was 10,000 hits in 14 hours. And, I am still getting an extra couple hundred hits a week from digg referrals of that story. The next day, I posted a graph and a more detailed discussion of the effect. Interestingly, although the bounce rate for the digg crowd were higher than normal for my readers, they still viewed 1.3 pages on average – so at least 25% of them decided to look around.

  31. znitch rss search engine November 2, 2006 at 2:45 pm - Reply has a clear tutorial about how to get to digg’s home page too.

  32. Chris November 25, 2006 at 5:56 am - Reply

    I personally prefer
    Digg really seems to be controlled by some spam masters, while seems to be close to death recently.
    Am I dreaming?

  33. Michael January 3, 2007 at 3:16 am - Reply

    Thank you very much.

  34. Anonymous January 7, 2007 at 9:19 am - Reply

    How to Use Digg to Get Traffic

    I learn something new every day. Little did I know, being the trailing-edge blogger that I am, that Digg is so powerful. I’ve focused on links and Technorati, but there’s a parallel universe of traffic and Digg.

  35. Jack January 22, 2007 at 12:23 am - Reply

    I prefer reddit too, superior compared to digg

  36. Buck March 8, 2007 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    I recently started using digg as well. Not much to report yet. I read a really good article on SEOmoz called the anatomy of super digg or something to that effect. It got me interested.

  37. kent April 2, 2007 at 8:46 am - Reply

    Great post, I used these techniques last night and already got traffic. Not what I was anticipating but its better than nothing. Thanks a lot this post really helped .

  38. sakib June 16, 2007 at 3:40 am - Reply

    What traffic can 15 diggs in one day give me

  39. Blogulate July 7, 2007 at 4:23 am - Reply

    man !
    I did try this .
    Page views went up from 2k to 5k / day
    cheers !

  40. Tupacko July 18, 2007 at 7:30 am - Reply

    This is a cool info, thanks a lot!

  41. william July 25, 2007 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    You should not only use
    Another great social bookmarking website is:
    – William 🙂

  42. Pervara Kapadia September 6, 2007 at 4:48 am - Reply

    Very interesting. Yes recently i too have got onto digg. seems to go well. also try writing articles in various article banks.
    You are most welcome to visit any of the blogs here: Each of the blogs has something different. The address of these are:

  43. October 24, 2007 at 8:36 am - Reply

    Get 1 million diggs to your news article by using DUPLINKS.COM

  44. nithin October 28, 2007 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    Nice info. I am thinking of starting to work with this concept for this blog.
    Wish me all success.I will comment back to you if i find increase in my stats.

  45. Kurnia November 12, 2007 at 10:15 am - Reply

    Very informative tip. I promptly tried it. Will visit your blog regularly.

  46. Quest November 13, 2007 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Here is another website you might like.

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