On Sunday evening I finished writing an article I had been preparing for a couple of weeks. It was full of my own experience and careful research into the area of OS X optimization, I compiled in total 52 tips. Once publishing on Sunday I submitted the article to around 20 top Mac news sites thinking that a couple might pick them up. Luckily some did and by late Monday it found its way onto Digg.com, where it got promoted to the front page early Tuesday morning. I've never had an article on Digg so was quite surprised to find someone has submitted it and that it received over 1500 Diggs. The traffic increase had quite an effect on ImAFish so I'm going to try to evaluate whats happened.
The graph is from ImAFish's Google Analytics and shows unique visits. As you can see from the Graph the huge traffic spike on Tuesday, this is when the article made it to the front page of Digg. The flat line represents around 200-250 visits/day.
The table below shows total number of hits from the week for the various locations. What's interesting is how this balances out over the individual days - 20,000 off the Digg hits come on the Tuesday though the StumbleUpon traffic is spread quite evenly over the week. It will be interesting to see how this traffic will taper off over the coming days/weeks , one of my other popular articles still has a constant traffic stream even though it was written over a year ago. I thought it was also interesting to leave the 'average time on site' stats in as the StumbleUpon average is double what it is for all the others. I thought this may be because there are more comments nearer the end of the week for Stumble visitors to read however 99% of the lifehacker.com visits have been in at the end of the week. Why are StumbleUpon visitors spending twice as long on the site and viewing on average 2 pages? I'm not really surprised about the low pages/visit as being a Digg user myself I rarely look further around a site unless it's been Dugg a number of times in a short period making me more interested. The browser stats shouldn't be of any particular surprise considering it's a OS X based article so I was expecting a higher rate of Safari users than usual. 70% of the visitors used OS X, 27% Windows and 3% Linux. Over the week I used 35gig of bandwidth, mainly because I hosted all my own images for the article. Adverts My advertising revenue was better than usual however it did not increase at the same percent that the visits did. It's pretty well known that Digg users don't click adverts and I could have done more to optimise the adverts to be in better positions however my main goal of the article was not to milk it for revenue. On average for the week page click through rate has been at 0.19%, which is down considerably from usual.
I was quite surprised with my hosting in the fact that it didn't go down at all. I just have a normal shared hosting account. Its not unusual to see websites that have gone down because of the Digg effect and with the volume of hits I was getting I was expecting the worst. I'm not sure the exact reason on the server staying up but I know its not overloaded with accounts, is a reasonable speed and is run by some very good techies. My articles blog runs Wordpress 2.1 with the WP-Cache module installed which I can imagine also helped. Response The response to the article was in general very positive and its created quite a debate for some people, one person has even copied my list and written responses to all of them, its a bit patronising and he doesn't add anything useful to my article. Though I have to give credit to him for being able to spin my article into something that has also brought him traffic and for not censoring all the negative comments it has given him. Its been good to see a range of comments on ImAFish and I thank those people who made corrections or added to the original article.
Content Evaluation There are some parts of the article where I should have been more clear and this unfortunately led to some confusion for some people, in future I will have to make sure any points made are obvious. Overall though its been a very positive experience and a very interesting week, hopefully I can repeat it again with another article in the not so distant future. I'm off for a week to Egypt on holiday so will bring another holiday review the week after.