The truth about traffic on the Internet

Ahh, the Guardian got into a little dirty truth about traffic on TechMeme: there isn’t many people there.

Every time I get on TechMeme I get 500 to 3,000 visits. That matches what the Guardian and what Nick Carr are seeing.

But, truth is not many sites out there do any better. Yeah, when I get on Digg I get 20,000. When I got on the front page of the BBC a couple times in the past month I got 5,000 each time. But Valleywag? I get 100 to 1,000 visits (I’ve been on there something like 20 times including with some VERY sensational posts that would make anyone click and ask themselves “what the heck did that guy do?”)

Even when I quit Microsoft and was in 150 newspapers and TONS of blogs and such I got 200,000 visits in a two-day period.

Dave Winer? A few thousand per link, but sometimes only a few hundred. Wired? A few thousand. Stumbleupon? I got tens of thousands once, but not lately. Twitter? A few hundred, even when dozens of people put my link up.

I was on the Register one time and only got a few hundred visits even though a friend of mine claimed they had millions of visitors.

My own blog? Most links lately will drive a few hundred visits. My link blog seems to be a little bit better, but not much according to people who’ve been on it.

So, if you’ve gotten a good shot of traffic where do you find you get the most traffic?

Oh, and why does TechMeme get the hype? Because Eric Norlin said in his interview with me today that he reads it. If he reads it that’s good enough for me.

I don’t want a big audience. I want a smart audience. So far I’ve gotten exactly that from TechMeme.

If I wanted a big audience I’d go write a Paris Hilton blog or something like that.

Comments

  1. I had to laugh at your last sentence as that’s the running joke on the Sun Microsystems “bloggers” alias. If you want hits, blog about PH.

  2. I had to laugh at your last sentence as that’s the running joke on the Sun Microsystems “bloggers” alias. If you want hits, blog about PH.

  3. In the top tier blogs (for the sake of argument, call that the Technorati Top 35) and maybe some of the big media properties like CNET, it really all depends on the piece.

    If it’s something entirely new like a product release, it might drive a lot of traffic. If it is some small piece of niche news (like V-wag tends to publish), you will only get those few people who actually care clicking through.

    Publishing cycles have expanded to include dozens of posts a day on some of these blogs. Only a few posts a day will catch fire. It’s the way it has to work, I fear. Thus the belief that these sites are driving less traffic per link.

    Once you get past that top tier, then the traffic that any individual site can drive is nominal unless they happen to write for a very close-knit niche. Example, a post of mine appeared on the front page of a blog in New Zealand for 2 days. The traffic for the site is about 1/20th of Digg but I probably got 10k visitors in that period.

  4. In the top tier blogs (for the sake of argument, call that the Technorati Top 35) and maybe some of the big media properties like CNET, it really all depends on the piece.

    If it’s something entirely new like a product release, it might drive a lot of traffic. If it is some small piece of niche news (like V-wag tends to publish), you will only get those few people who actually care clicking through.

    Publishing cycles have expanded to include dozens of posts a day on some of these blogs. Only a few posts a day will catch fire. It’s the way it has to work, I fear. Thus the belief that these sites are driving less traffic per link.

    Once you get past that top tier, then the traffic that any individual site can drive is nominal unless they happen to write for a very close-knit niche. Example, a post of mine appeared on the front page of a blog in New Zealand for 2 days. The traffic for the site is about 1/20th of Digg but I probably got 10k visitors in that period.

  5. “I don’t want a big audience. I want a smart audience.” Quality over quantity.

    I like this statement, it demonstrates that everyone isn’t all about numbers, but about building a good, solid community.

  6. “I don’t want a big audience. I want a smart audience.” Quality over quantity.

    I like this statement, it demonstrates that everyone isn’t all about numbers, but about building a good, solid community.

  7. M Freitas: in that case you should subscribe to my link blog. It’s broader than TechMeme and I watch a ton of blogs for you. Saves you time and makes sure you see the best stuff.

  8. M Freitas: in that case you should subscribe to my link blog. It’s broader than TechMeme and I watch a ton of blogs for you. Saves you time and makes sure you see the best stuff.

  9. Maybe net traffic is all just one group of like 100 people going from site to site over and over, like the one fruit cake that circulates at Christmas.

    Just sayin.

  10. Maybe net traffic is all just one group of like 100 people going from site to site over and over, like the one fruit cake that circulates at Christmas.

    Just sayin.

  11. I feel that techmeme gives a great snapshot of the tech industry. If you want more depth and less echo you have to start trawling the feeds.

    As for traffic, in my niche, stumbleupon rules. I haven’t found anywhere else that supplies such a steady stream of knowledgable traffic. Stumbleupon may not give you the big Digg numbers but when you are surviving (and thriving) in the long tail you wont get on the front page of Digg anyway!

  12. I feel that techmeme gives a great snapshot of the tech industry. If you want more depth and less echo you have to start trawling the feeds.

    As for traffic, in my niche, stumbleupon rules. I haven’t found anywhere else that supplies such a steady stream of knowledgable traffic. Stumbleupon may not give you the big Digg numbers but when you are surviving (and thriving) in the long tail you wont get on the front page of Digg anyway!

  13. When a niche, thinks it’s the world, and yet someone points out the obvious small numbers, the argument always goes, that the small audience, is quite a bit “smarter”, worth 10 or more of the riff-raff, and that the “common people” are vastly inferior have such lowbrow tastes, as if they had any sense whatsoever they’d already be here.

    When traffic low, claim “superior” audiences or “community”, when traffic high, claim the trend has finally taken hold, you of course, being the first to know. It’s a great shell con-game — you never lose.

    Low = Better people. “Smarter” more “engaged” audiences, more “purchasing power”, greater mind-share, the “influentials”, The Übermensch. The best wisdom of the masses.

    High = They finally get it, but what stupid morons they be, for taking so long. We were here first, and we invented everything, you must pay your fair share and worship us.

  14. When a niche, thinks it’s the world, and yet someone points out the obvious small numbers, the argument always goes, that the small audience, is quite a bit “smarter”, worth 10 or more of the riff-raff, and that the “common people” are vastly inferior have such lowbrow tastes, as if they had any sense whatsoever they’d already be here.

    When traffic low, claim “superior” audiences or “community”, when traffic high, claim the trend has finally taken hold, you of course, being the first to know. It’s a great shell con-game — you never lose.

    Low = Better people. “Smarter” more “engaged” audiences, more “purchasing power”, greater mind-share, the “influentials”, The Übermensch. The best wisdom of the masses.

    High = They finally get it, but what stupid morons they be, for taking so long. We were here first, and we invented everything, you must pay your fair share and worship us.

  15. This is not the only truth about Techmeme.

    Try to explain why Techmeme has NEVER linked to a non-English website. Good luck.

    Techmeme is to me an absolute abomination. It’s exactly the kind of sites that corporations want you to stick with, because it’s such a 0.000000000000000001% of the internet, therefore a good way to keep you UNINFORMED about what’s going on.

  16. This is not the only truth about Techmeme.

    Try to explain why Techmeme has NEVER linked to a non-English website. Good luck.

    Techmeme is to me an absolute abomination. It’s exactly the kind of sites that corporations want you to stick with, because it’s such a 0.000000000000000001% of the internet, therefore a good way to keep you UNINFORMED about what’s going on.

  17. I was mentioned in an article in the New York Times Cooking Section once and got about 7000 visitors from that.

    I have had Stumbled articles get 8000 to 10,000 page views in a couple of days. Most of the time SU results in about 300 page views in a few minutes, then, if people like it, it gets more, and then more.

    If people hate it, it vanishes, never to be seen again.

    I also used to get a lot of visits from the front page of wordpress.com back before Matt decided my blog is not very interesting and banned it from the top blogs ranking.

  18. I was mentioned in an article in the New York Times Cooking Section once and got about 7000 visitors from that.

    I have had Stumbled articles get 8000 to 10,000 page views in a couple of days. Most of the time SU results in about 300 page views in a few minutes, then, if people like it, it gets more, and then more.

    If people hate it, it vanishes, never to be seen again.

    I also used to get a lot of visits from the front page of wordpress.com back before Matt decided my blog is not very interesting and banned it from the top blogs ranking.

  19. Smart audience interested in similar stuff, yup.
    Re. TechMem – from what I’ve heard of the selection algorithms they sound exactly designed to keep echo chamber blogs at the top of the list.

    Hmm, not sure if I am subscribed to your link blog – got a link?

  20. Smart audience interested in similar stuff, yup.
    Re. TechMem – from what I’ve heard of the selection algorithms they sound exactly designed to keep echo chamber blogs at the top of the list.

    Hmm, not sure if I am subscribed to your link blog – got a link?

  21. “there isn’t many people”? Sigh.

    Look, what makes you think you aren’t writing a paris hilton blog, for the tech world, anyway? Equally fluffy and lacking substance, but lacking the audience, too.

    It seems to me to be a mistake to equate tech fanboy fluff with substance.

  22. “there isn’t many people”? Sigh.

    Look, what makes you think you aren’t writing a paris hilton blog, for the tech world, anyway? Equally fluffy and lacking substance, but lacking the audience, too.

    It seems to me to be a mistake to equate tech fanboy fluff with substance.

  23. Never been Digged, but the biggest single influx I ever had was from StumbleUpon, amounting to about 45,000 hits over a period of several weeks. In comparison the couple of times I’ve been on BoingBoing, I’ve seen 10-15,000, kottke.org 2-3,000, del.icio.us/popular 2,000, and other sites like Fleshbot and Metafilter <500.

  24. Never been Digged, but the biggest single influx I ever had was from StumbleUpon, amounting to about 45,000 hits over a period of several weeks. In comparison the couple of times I’ve been on BoingBoing, I’ve seen 10-15,000, kottke.org 2-3,000, del.icio.us/popular 2,000, and other sites like Fleshbot and Metafilter <500.

  25. How Much Traffic is the New York Times Worth?

    Discussing a blog post on the Guardian’s site, Robert writes about referral traffic–the number of visitors he receives when he’s referenced on other sites:
    Every time I get on TechMeme I get 500 to 3,000 visits. That matches what the …

  26. As someone said earlier, the sites mentioned are all blogs. It’s the mainstream media sites that drive traffic, though of course they are less likely to link to a blogger. When I’ve had a link from a couple of the ISPs here in the UK (an audience 1/7 that of the US) I’ll ge a few thousand clicks; from a retailer, again ditto, a few thousand. A recent link from cnet.com resulted in over 70k clicks over a two week period. But from the blogs? As you say, digg/slashdot/stumbleupon ok, everyone else – well, it’s the long tail.

  27. As someone said earlier, the sites mentioned are all blogs. It’s the mainstream media sites that drive traffic, though of course they are less likely to link to a blogger. When I’ve had a link from a couple of the ISPs here in the UK (an audience 1/7 that of the US) I’ll ge a few thousand clicks; from a retailer, again ditto, a few thousand. A recent link from cnet.com resulted in over 70k clicks over a two week period. But from the blogs? As you say, digg/slashdot/stumbleupon ok, everyone else – well, it’s the long tail.

  28. We made techmeme on our site for the first time last night, and thanks to the 4 people who clicked on the link. For us though it is more about arrival than numbers, being on techmeme is a milestone, one to be celebrated and enjoyed. But realistically if you google our site and techmeme, we have as many links, we are as popular in technorati, they have a page rank of 7 while we hang out at page rank 0. In the mean time we have made one of our milestones, it all works in the end. And there is a certain amount of humor on this one. Digg, Reddit, etc have been good, but the best refferal source has always been google, closely followed by live. Love web 2.0, we still need web 1.0.

  29. We made techmeme on our site for the first time last night, and thanks to the 4 people who clicked on the link. For us though it is more about arrival than numbers, being on techmeme is a milestone, one to be celebrated and enjoyed. But realistically if you google our site and techmeme, we have as many links, we are as popular in technorati, they have a page rank of 7 while we hang out at page rank 0. In the mean time we have made one of our milestones, it all works in the end. And there is a certain amount of humor on this one. Digg, Reddit, etc have been good, but the best refferal source has always been google, closely followed by live. Love web 2.0, we still need web 1.0.

  30. Robert, I am not certain how you measure your traffic here. I rarely hit your site; I read the feed daily, however. The only reason I am here now is to leave this comment.

    It seems like a lot of my web time is spent reading off-site. Only when I read “smart content” am I compelled to respond. I wonder if that traffic is measured . . .

  31. Robert, I am not certain how you measure your traffic here. I rarely hit your site; I read the feed daily, however. The only reason I am here now is to leave this comment.

    It seems like a lot of my web time is spent reading off-site. Only when I read “smart content” am I compelled to respond. I wonder if that traffic is measured . . .

  32. I’m the author of the Guardian blog post you mention.

    Sure, there’s a quality over quantity issue. Most of us would rather have good, intelligent readers than a swarm of abusive visitors. But I think it’s not wrong to have a correction before the scale gets too out of whack.

    OK, so there are a maximum of 5,000 top level tech-heads who might drive past you after seeing a story on Techmeme. They’re pretty high quality traffic (not exclusively, though). But there are still only 5,000 of them – I’m not sure it’s enough of a critical mass to drive forward any kind of ecosystem apart from one based purely on something (a) ladder-climbing (Techmeme as popularity contest).

    Don’t get me wrong – I like Techmeme; I use it a lot. I just think we’ve got to keep our toes in touch with reality; the constant chatter about it seems out of line with the actuality of what it does.

  33. I’m the author of the Guardian blog post you mention.

    Sure, there’s a quality over quantity issue. Most of us would rather have good, intelligent readers than a swarm of abusive visitors. But I think it’s not wrong to have a correction before the scale gets too out of whack.

    OK, so there are a maximum of 5,000 top level tech-heads who might drive past you after seeing a story on Techmeme. They’re pretty high quality traffic (not exclusively, though). But there are still only 5,000 of them – I’m not sure it’s enough of a critical mass to drive forward any kind of ecosystem apart from one based purely on something (a) ladder-climbing (Techmeme as popularity contest).

    Don’t get me wrong – I like Techmeme; I use it a lot. I just think we’ve got to keep our toes in touch with reality; the constant chatter about it seems out of line with the actuality of what it does.

  34. Just last week, I posted a chart showing the “stickiness” of TechMeme and Scobleizer visitors vs. Spikiness (like Digg and StumbleUpon). While you won’t get the huge spikes of Digg, TechMeme visitors, in my opinion, have more value, because they are engaged and will more likely both return or sign up to RSS

    Tech Blog Link Power: Spiky Visitors or Sticky Visitors?
    http://www.louisgray.com/live/2007/10/tech-blog-link-power-spiky-visitors-or.html

    As for traffic, one has to decide why they blog in the first place. If it’s for conversations, then it doesn’t really matter all that much how many visitors they have. If it’s to sell ads, that’s another story. I hope most bloggers are out there to be educated, to share a story and to communicate.

  35. Just last week, I posted a chart showing the “stickiness” of TechMeme and Scobleizer visitors vs. Spikiness (like Digg and StumbleUpon). While you won’t get the huge spikes of Digg, TechMeme visitors, in my opinion, have more value, because they are engaged and will more likely both return or sign up to RSS

    Tech Blog Link Power: Spiky Visitors or Sticky Visitors?
    http://www.louisgray.com/live/2007/10/tech-blog-link-power-spiky-visitors-or.html

    As for traffic, one has to decide why they blog in the first place. If it’s for conversations, then it doesn’t really matter all that much how many visitors they have. If it’s to sell ads, that’s another story. I hope most bloggers are out there to be educated, to share a story and to communicate.

  36. Might just be my own user behavior- i read scobleizer in my feed reader and the majority of the time if i see you on techmeme (which i basically check every 2 hours or so) i probably already read your post and i am looking for bloggers who are starting,following or joining the same conversation- or what Techmeme is even better at i am discovering new topics and bloggers that i would probably not have found in my own feed reader (which yes includes you link blog among others).

  37. I’ve been on Fark, Shoutwire, ebaum’s world, etc and they send decent traffic.. but their traffic sucks.

    They don’t buy, they don’t click ads, and they don’t leave comments (preferring instead to comment on the site they came from, not mine)

    The only benefit of this traffic is that it usually generates a few other links on other websites.. which helps with SEO

    As far as good traffic, yahoo site of the day was by far the best. many hundreds of thousands of visitors who actually clicked ads and commented!

    Kim Komando reference actually saw a good increase in converting traffic too.. so does local news shows whenever they mention me (plug: I’m on channel 4 in Detroit tonight at 11 talking about internet slang)

    I’ve been on Scoble’s link blog too. I got a couple hundred visitors.. but no comments / ad clicks, etc from it.

  38. Might just be my own user behavior- i read scobleizer in my feed reader and the majority of the time if i see you on techmeme (which i basically check every 2 hours or so) i probably already read your post and i am looking for bloggers who are starting,following or joining the same conversation- or what Techmeme is even better at i am discovering new topics and bloggers that i would probably not have found in my own feed reader (which yes includes you link blog among others).

  39. I’ve been on Fark, Shoutwire, ebaum’s world, etc and they send decent traffic.. but their traffic sucks.

    They don’t buy, they don’t click ads, and they don’t leave comments (preferring instead to comment on the site they came from, not mine)

    The only benefit of this traffic is that it usually generates a few other links on other websites.. which helps with SEO

    As far as good traffic, yahoo site of the day was by far the best. many hundreds of thousands of visitors who actually clicked ads and commented!

    Kim Komando reference actually saw a good increase in converting traffic too.. so does local news shows whenever they mention me (plug: I’m on channel 4 in Detroit tonight at 11 talking about internet slang)

    I’ve been on Scoble’s link blog too. I got a couple hundred visitors.. but no comments / ad clicks, etc from it.

  40. and one more thing because i just noticed this behavior as i did it…i just cruised over to Techmeme saw Techcrunch, Winer etc talking about this topic- i have work to do and an appointment to get to looking at all the headlines clicked on one that had an interesting headline that i hadn’t seen the blog name before and decided that if i am still interested in the topic later i will read Techcrunch and Winer later in my reader.

    The power of Techmeme is the aggregation and discovery for the user.

  41. and one more thing because i just noticed this behavior as i did it…i just cruised over to Techmeme saw Techcrunch, Winer etc talking about this topic- i have work to do and an appointment to get to looking at all the headlines clicked on one that had an interesting headline that i hadn’t seen the blog name before and decided that if i am still interested in the topic later i will read Techcrunch and Winer later in my reader.

    The power of Techmeme is the aggregation and discovery for the user.

  42. Great summary of some of the TechMeme traffic issues, though TechMeme is clearly catering to an “elite” audience and it’s also premature to think TechMeme will not grow to be *the* key tech news provider in a year or so. It’s the best way to sort through the mess and as Gabe improves things it’ll get even better.

  43. Great summary of some of the TechMeme traffic issues, though TechMeme is clearly catering to an “elite” audience and it’s also premature to think TechMeme will not grow to be *the* key tech news provider in a year or so. It’s the best way to sort through the mess and as Gabe improves things it’ll get even better.

  44. I’ve gotten (relatively) huge traffic spikes – 3,000 to 10,000 hits in a day, up from what’s normally ~100-200

    What I’ve found is that when that happens, it makes little difference. In a couple of days, traffic returns to normal, and almost none of those people leave comments, click ads, or so much as bother to explore the site. They read the linked article and then go.

    Search traffic seems to bring the most activity. People who find the site through Google tend to click around a bit before leaving. RSS subscribers seem to be the best metric for an engaged audience.

  45. I’ve gotten (relatively) huge traffic spikes – 3,000 to 10,000 hits in a day, up from what’s normally ~100-200

    What I’ve found is that when that happens, it makes little difference. In a couple of days, traffic returns to normal, and almost none of those people leave comments, click ads, or so much as bother to explore the site. They read the linked article and then go.

    Search traffic seems to bring the most activity. People who find the site through Google tend to click around a bit before leaving. RSS subscribers seem to be the best metric for an engaged audience.

  46. Bobbie Johnson: your article, according to my friends, isn’t driving much traffic either. So what makes you more authoritative than TechMeme? Or more interesting?

  47. Bobbie Johnson: your article, according to my friends, isn’t driving much traffic either. So what makes you more authoritative than TechMeme? Or more interesting?

  48. Stephane: I really don’t care about non-English sites. If you want to participate in the technology industry learn to write English. If you want a Japanese audience, learn Japanese. I don’t mind it at all that TechMeme isn’t bringing non-English sites.

  49. Stephane: I really don’t care about non-English sites. If you want to participate in the technology industry learn to write English. If you want a Japanese audience, learn Japanese. I don’t mind it at all that TechMeme isn’t bringing non-English sites.

  50. The problem with things like TechMeme and the Technorati 100, is the fact that it’s reserved for elite’s, not saying this is bad, but most of the good stuff comes from the bloggers you stumble upon whilst browsing the web, and anyway would you call things like lifehacker and gawker blogs? I think we have to separate the publishers like Gawker Media and TechCrunch away from blogs and give them a new name.

  51. […] Robert Scoble, in response, has a  great  summary of how he gets very different traffic depending on the source.     Although he does not focus on the *topic*, clearly that matters a lot as well.    Scoble’s blog is influential enough that it would often send more traffic to a linked site than TechMeme.     I’ll have to check my own stats to be sure but I the times I’ve had links from ”A list” bloggers like Robert Scoble, Jeremy Zawodny or Matt Cutts  it has sent more traffic than my frequent links at TechMeme – though I have never had a post be a “headliner” at TechMeme.    In fact I don’t think Gabe’s algorithm would allow his “second tier” sites to have featured posts.   My (wild) guess is that TechMeme has at least two lists of blogs/sites, and only sites and blogs on his top tier list can have the posts featured prominently – others are relegated to the comments section even if it’s a more detailed, more linked, or better post.   […]

  52. The problem with things like TechMeme and the Technorati 100, is the fact that it’s reserved for elite’s, not saying this is bad, but most of the good stuff comes from the bloggers you stumble upon whilst browsing the web, and anyway would you call things like lifehacker and gawker blogs? I think we have to separate the publishers like Gawker Media and TechCrunch away from blogs and give them a new name.

  53. In Bobbie Johnson’s defense, the only thing s/he seemed to be saying in that comment was that techmeme is just another webpub with an avid, though relatively small readership and a link there drives a little traffic (as a link here does).

    This whole tech blogging scene has traffic numbers that are a couple of orders of magnitude smaller than reasonably well visited political and pop culture sites.

    No value judgment there. That’s just how it is. (I’m here because I clicked through from Dave Winer, whose blog, Scripting News, I read quite regularly).

  54. In Bobbie Johnson’s defense, the only thing s/he seemed to be saying in that comment was that techmeme is just another webpub with an avid, though relatively small readership and a link there drives a little traffic (as a link here does).

    This whole tech blogging scene has traffic numbers that are a couple of orders of magnitude smaller than reasonably well visited political and pop culture sites.

    No value judgment there. That’s just how it is. (I’m here because I clicked through from Dave Winer, whose blog, Scripting News, I read quite regularly).

  55. Scoble: my biggest link so far remains scobleizer, my app went from about 1000 to close to 4000, 1 day. thats installed users not just clicks.

    cheers!

  56. Scoble: my biggest link so far remains scobleizer, my app went from about 1000 to close to 4000, 1 day. thats installed users not just clicks.

    cheers!

  57. fp: agreed, although when I was on John Edwards’ plane when he announced he was running for President I was linked to by some of the political sites and they don’t drive much traffic either. Newspapers drive very little, in my experience. I’d rather be on TechMeme than be in the Guardian, truth be told.

  58. fp: agreed, although when I was on John Edwards’ plane when he announced he was running for President I was linked to by some of the political sites and they don’t drive much traffic either. Newspapers drive very little, in my experience. I’d rather be on TechMeme than be in the Guardian, truth be told.

  59. I recently got 50,000 from a story that was posted to Fark.

    I hereby declare Fark to be the new King of teh Intarwebs!

  60. I recently got 50,000 from a story that was posted to Fark.

    I hereby declare Fark to be the new King of teh Intarwebs!

  61. Digg gave me some 40k hits when my blog is on the front page, but the traffic only lasted for 2 days and it broke my server for couple of hours. The same story was linked by Lifehacker and in a weeks time it gave me 20k hits, the good thing about lifehacker is it is still driving some traffic to my site. Stumbleupon also good in the long run, it drives traffic steadily.

    My conclusion is that get a link from a top blog in your niche and you will see traffic and more importantly those visitors will return. If you get on to Digg front page traffic only lasts for 2 days and then no one will return back.

    Although i never got in to Techmeme i daily visit it to see what’s hot in the tech world

  62. Digg gave me some 40k hits when my blog is on the front page, but the traffic only lasted for 2 days and it broke my server for couple of hours. The same story was linked by Lifehacker and in a weeks time it gave me 20k hits, the good thing about lifehacker is it is still driving some traffic to my site. Stumbleupon also good in the long run, it drives traffic steadily.

    My conclusion is that get a link from a top blog in your niche and you will see traffic and more importantly those visitors will return. If you get on to Digg front page traffic only lasts for 2 days and then no one will return back.

    Although i never got in to Techmeme i daily visit it to see what’s hot in the tech world

  63. Scoble said “I really don’t care about non-English sites.”

    Unfortunately if you say so it contradicts the definition of Techmeme.

    Do you want my definition, or Gabe’s ?

  64. Scoble said “I really don’t care about non-English sites.”

    Unfortunately if you say so it contradicts the definition of Techmeme.

    Do you want my definition, or Gabe’s ?

  65. The whole question of traffic flows versus traffic ranks is very interesting, particularly as it applies to ranking “services.” I had a post yesterday about geek t-shirts (one shirt has a graphic equalizer display on the front that measures ambient audio, the other is a wifi detector, both are battery powered). Doc Searls linked to that post and I got a huge (for me) traffic boost from his linkage. Today Norm Jenson linked to it and I expect an even bigger boost from Norm than I got from Doc. Doc is on a new blog, but his readers seem to have moved with him, and he probably picked up quite a few in his new community. Norm just keeps plugging away at One Good Move year after year. We’ve all heard of Doc, but how many of us know Norm? Hard to say, but I’m guessing Norm’s traffic dwarfs most tech bloggers. So he has this huge volume of readers, but I’ve never seen him on the top bloggers lists. There is food for thought in that. As the real number of people using the net goes up, I wonder what that does to the relative percentage of tech blog readers and to the real number of tech blog readers? I think we’re in a very small and specialized niche.

  66. The whole question of traffic flows versus traffic ranks is very interesting, particularly as it applies to ranking “services.” I had a post yesterday about geek t-shirts (one shirt has a graphic equalizer display on the front that measures ambient audio, the other is a wifi detector, both are battery powered). Doc Searls linked to that post and I got a huge (for me) traffic boost from his linkage. Today Norm Jenson linked to it and I expect an even bigger boost from Norm than I got from Doc. Doc is on a new blog, but his readers seem to have moved with him, and he probably picked up quite a few in his new community. Norm just keeps plugging away at One Good Move year after year. We’ve all heard of Doc, but how many of us know Norm? Hard to say, but I’m guessing Norm’s traffic dwarfs most tech bloggers. So he has this huge volume of readers, but I’ve never seen him on the top bloggers lists. There is food for thought in that. As the real number of people using the net goes up, I wonder what that does to the relative percentage of tech blog readers and to the real number of tech blog readers? I think we’re in a very small and specialized niche.

  67. We’re slightly different from most of the other tech commenters here, because Seeking Alpha is a stock market site that covers the tech sector among many others. Our conference call transcripts have been picked up many times by TechMeme, as they are primary source material for what’s really going on in companies and are often the starting point for blog discussion. We don’t get huge traffic — a few thousand page views — but the traffic we get is extremely high quality, and as a result our transcripts have now been discovered by many senior executives in tech companies. We’ve had similar experience with PaidContent.org in the media sector.

    Traffic from Digg is spiky and tends not to result in recurrent readership.

    We get a relatively larger and higher quality traffic stream from the sites for Apple fans, such as appleinvestornews.com and Mac Surfer, which we are on frequently because of our extensive recent coverage (again, from a stock perspective) of the iPhone.

    Also, we have a tag for housing for content covering the housing market, and there’s a lot of traffic from housing related sites.

    Hopefully this is a slightly different perpective than the pure tech focus you guys have.

  68. We’re slightly different from most of the other tech commenters here, because Seeking Alpha is a stock market site that covers the tech sector among many others. Our conference call transcripts have been picked up many times by TechMeme, as they are primary source material for what’s really going on in companies and are often the starting point for blog discussion. We don’t get huge traffic — a few thousand page views — but the traffic we get is extremely high quality, and as a result our transcripts have now been discovered by many senior executives in tech companies. We’ve had similar experience with PaidContent.org in the media sector.

    Traffic from Digg is spiky and tends not to result in recurrent readership.

    We get a relatively larger and higher quality traffic stream from the sites for Apple fans, such as appleinvestornews.com and Mac Surfer, which we are on frequently because of our extensive recent coverage (again, from a stock perspective) of the iPhone.

    Also, we have a tag for housing for content covering the housing market, and there’s a lot of traffic from housing related sites.

    Hopefully this is a slightly different perpective than the pure tech focus you guys have.

  69. I think that my ‘showgirl school’ (it is really a place for wannabe strippers to check out b4 going to work in a club is a unique blog/ idea. will you big boys help me drive more traffic to this place that isn’t that filthy- but somehow got flagged as mature… I just talk like a sailor about the facts of life in the strip. Please, I only seldom blog about PH look a likes. Could I be a better kiss up?

  70. I think that my ‘showgirl school’ (it is really a place for wannabe strippers to check out b4 going to work in a club is a unique blog/ idea. will you big boys help me drive more traffic to this place that isn’t that filthy- but somehow got flagged as mature… I just talk like a sailor about the facts of life in the strip. Please, I only seldom blog about PH look a likes. Could I be a better kiss up?

  71. Scoble: I think somebody else said it up there first. I wasn’t making a value judgement, just trying to get some perspective.

    I’m not sure why anyone needs to get defensive about it.

    You’re right, I imagine that the Guardian doesn’t drive vast amounts of traffic either – certainly not my little blog, which ponders along of its own accord. But since we’re not an aggregator I don’t think it’s particularly important or relevant, and nobody’s talking us up.

    Like I said, I’ve got a lot of respect for what Gabe’s doing – it just seemed to me like nobody was giving any sense of proportion to the leaderboard. Seems like a topic worth talking about, no?

  72. Scoble: I think somebody else said it up there first. I wasn’t making a value judgement, just trying to get some perspective.

    I’m not sure why anyone needs to get defensive about it.

    You’re right, I imagine that the Guardian doesn’t drive vast amounts of traffic either – certainly not my little blog, which ponders along of its own accord. But since we’re not an aggregator I don’t think it’s particularly important or relevant, and nobody’s talking us up.

    Like I said, I’ve got a lot of respect for what Gabe’s doing – it just seemed to me like nobody was giving any sense of proportion to the leaderboard. Seems like a topic worth talking about, no?

  73. toivo: I don’t have stats for the link blog.

    Paul: I’ve been on Fake Steve a number of times. Usually get a couple of thousand visits from there. A lot more than Valleywag.

  74. toivo: I don’t have stats for the link blog.

    Paul: I’ve been on Fake Steve a number of times. Usually get a couple of thousand visits from there. A lot more than Valleywag.

  75. Its not the traffic, but what you do with the traffic. With this blog your conversion goals might be to increase RSS subscriptions and get people to click on your advertisements to your book and show.

    Robert, how many books does this blog sell?

  76. Its not the traffic, but what you do with the traffic. With this blog your conversion goals might be to increase RSS subscriptions and get people to click on your advertisements to your book and show.

    Robert, how many books does this blog sell?

  77. Maybe there aren’t many people there… but those who count might be linking to your blog. I’ve never been on digg or stumbled upon much, but one link to pharyngula and wham! hit count hit the roof. It was fun.

  78. Maybe there aren’t many people there… but those who count might be linking to your blog. I’ve never been on digg or stumbled upon much, but one link to pharyngula and wham! hit count hit the roof. It was fun.

  79. @ Chris Coulter – I believe that happens moreso because of the overall lack of understanding of what is traffic, what makes for good traffic, etc., within the broad market (advertisers, bloggers, media, etc.). Everyone expects every site to have huge numbers but that’s never been consistent with media business, or television, for that matter. Niches are just going to be smaller and that’s that.

    The top vertical publications in print media, for example, has about 50-80k circulation and that’s considered high for a vertical. I think the web is going to prove basically the same, but the industry overall is still a little closed minded and inexperienced to understand it yet. People haven’t really even really discovered that Alexa has flaws as an analytics tool, or that traffic can be and is bought/engineered. I think it’ll be a long while before anyone fully understands what traffic should look like in niches, like techmeme.

    So, you hear a lot of that garbage but don’t blame the messenger.

  80. @ Chris Coulter – I believe that happens moreso because of the overall lack of understanding of what is traffic, what makes for good traffic, etc., within the broad market (advertisers, bloggers, media, etc.). Everyone expects every site to have huge numbers but that’s never been consistent with media business, or television, for that matter. Niches are just going to be smaller and that’s that.

    The top vertical publications in print media, for example, has about 50-80k circulation and that’s considered high for a vertical. I think the web is going to prove basically the same, but the industry overall is still a little closed minded and inexperienced to understand it yet. People haven’t really even really discovered that Alexa has flaws as an analytics tool, or that traffic can be and is bought/engineered. I think it’ll be a long while before anyone fully understands what traffic should look like in niches, like techmeme.

    So, you hear a lot of that garbage but don’t blame the messenger.

  81. What about ctrl+click (right click/open in new tab) clicks? Are referrers tracked for this kind of clicking?
    I use lot of this, and for aggregators like techmeme I tend to just open new tabs for the links.

  82. What about ctrl+click (right click/open in new tab) clicks? Are referrers tracked for this kind of clicking?
    I use lot of this, and for aggregators like techmeme I tend to just open new tabs for the links.

  83. The most traffic I’ve ever gotten is when you linked me from your Fast Company blog. TY, btw!

    2nd StumbleUpon.

    3rd TechMeme.

  84. I think Bobby is spot on. The problem with internet communities in general is the lack of perspective of size. The world is big and the fact all the posts here are talking about a few thousand hits just demonstrates the point. These figures represent a very very small percentage of the English speaking IT industry… which in itself is very small percentage of the average person on the street.

    All these great community sites haven’t come close to cracking the egg with the average consumer.

  85. I think Bobby is spot on. The problem with internet communities in general is the lack of perspective of size. The world is big and the fact all the posts here are talking about a few thousand hits just demonstrates the point. These figures represent a very very small percentage of the English speaking IT industry… which in itself is very small percentage of the average person on the street.

    All these great community sites haven’t come close to cracking the egg with the average consumer.

  86. Joe with No Website or Blog: what do you know about anything?

    Scoble just said it’s not about “influencing” the masses, but influencing smart people who actually change the world, not lemmings who follow any charismatic warmonger or leader.

  87. I am trying to get traffic to my blog through word of mouth and I am finding that it is working to an extent. However , I am having to work very hard to feed it and make useful and relevent as it is related to Indian stock market. Since I am not a technical person I find it hard to use the tools recommended.

  88. I am trying to get traffic to my blog through word of mouth and I am finding that it is working to an extent. However , I am having to work very hard to feed it and make useful and relevent as it is related to Indian stock market. Since I am not a technical person I find it hard to use the tools recommended.

  89. Great info, although it was a little bit confusing at first. I was lost as to what you were talking about at the start haha. Thanks for the help!

  90. Great info, although it was a little bit confusing at first. I was lost as to what you were talking about at the start haha. Thanks for the help!

  91. […] blogger ed ex uomo Microsoft, ha scritto un paio di giorni fa un interessante post dal titolo The truth about traffic on the Internet. Nell’articolo si analizza il rapporto fra citazioni del suo blog su alcuni siti e visite […]

  92. Digg – 20,000

    StumbleUpon – 10,000 – 25,000

    Reddit – 5,000

    del.icio.us/popular – 3,000

    Spillover traffic from bloggers who’ve found my sites through these sources: Priceless

  93. Digg – 20,000

    StumbleUpon – 10,000 – 25,000

    Reddit – 5,000

    del.icio.us/popular – 3,000

    Spillover traffic from bloggers who’ve found my sites through these sources: Priceless

  94. Link In. Link Out. Shake it All About.

    TechMeme delivers hundreds of visitors if a story is a lead story, and can be a few dozen if you are following someone else. Digg can deliver thousands.

  95. My site is 10 weeks old, and 100 unique visitors is a good day for me. I think I have done the things I need to do to move things forward, I just have to keep delivering content and wait. It’s disheartening but I guess everyone goes through this.

  96. My site is 10 weeks old, and 100 unique visitors is a good day for me. I think I have done the things I need to do to move things forward, I just have to keep delivering content and wait. It’s disheartening but I guess everyone goes through this.

  97. […] Back in July, Robert Scoble wouldn’t stop talking about the wonder that is Facebook (search for the word Facebook on this page, for example). Then, less than a week ago, he posts a very honest and interesting look at the truth about web traffic – the truth being that there simply isn’t as much traffic out there as we’d all like to believe. […]

  98. Traffic can be hype but you can have millions of visitors to your blog if you come up with something shocking that’s first hand that everyone online is looking to find. But even that will be temporary.
    There are ways to get more traffic but quantity vs quality is the issue.

  99. Traffic can be hype but you can have millions of visitors to your blog if you come up with something shocking that’s first hand that everyone online is looking to find. But even that will be temporary.
    There are ways to get more traffic but quantity vs quality is the issue.

  100. I get the feeling that the web is becoming a big used car sales lot. The want to clean up the car, wash down the motor and sell a lemon.

    This business model of spinning the social networks is a temporary climax, with too much foreplay needed. Then the girl leaves as soon as you stop putting the money on the table.

    I would rather be on a on-theme site and there continuously for years than one time in digg or stumbled or all theme genetically impaired, mass breeding rabbit sites.

    Good business is a day to day traffic, not spikes, especially when the spike is totally manipulated.
    Andy of HoboTraveler.com

  101. I get the feeling that the web is becoming a big used car sales lot. The want to clean up the car, wash down the motor and sell a lemon.

    This business model of spinning the social networks is a temporary climax, with too much foreplay needed. Then the girl leaves as soon as you stop putting the money on the table.

    I would rather be on a on-theme site and there continuously for years than one time in digg or stumbled or all theme genetically impaired, mass breeding rabbit sites.

    Good business is a day to day traffic, not spikes, especially when the spike is totally manipulated.
    Andy of HoboTraveler.com

  102. Totally agree with you andy..quality not quantity…but quantity and quality is good…
    As long as its always there and doesnt need to be fed all the time by your time..

  103. Totally agree with you andy..quality not quantity…but quantity and quality is good…
    As long as its always there and doesnt need to be fed all the time by your time..