SEO tests with Stumbleupon

A lot of people complain that the traffic from Stumbleupon is too hit and run, that the people do not click on ads, do not subscribe to RSS, do not bookmark. I wanted to test exactly how much Stumbleupon traffic is worth.

I first noticed Stumbleupon a year ago when it started to show in my logs. I have since used it extensively to drive traffic to my website and although few visitors took actions other than to exit I did feel there were benefits but had no hard data.

So I took a domain that I owned for two years but had done nothing with. Put up a WordPress blog, chose a niche which I knew had a rabid following and started to throw up content. I then stumbled the content which was then stumbled by others.

The test is very simple, throw Stumbleupon traffic at a website or blog and see what happens. I have kept the test as pure as possible with no external links pointing to the site other than happens organically.

February 10,206 uniques with 25,593 page views
March to date has had 6,501 uniques with 23,372 page views.

The site has no advertising or distractions other than the posts.

The site received 40 links, of which 2 were from blogs the rest were Stumbleupon pages.

I made 20 posts in February, 23 pages are cached by Google, previous to this none were.

So far 38 unique searches have come from search engines, mainly MSN.

Conclusions so far:
The only benefit is the 23 pages being cached, cannot say that this is directly because of the Stumbles.
No real benefit in setting up a made for stumbleupon site.

I will keep the experiment running and start to place things like an email opt in box, an adsense banner, a link to an ebook and will blog the results later.

I notice this blog, has been stumbled a number of times and I wonder if there are any regular readers that found the blog via a Stumble.

16 thoughts on “SEO tests with Stumbleupon”

  1. This is the type of testing that really needs to be performed. Very few of the SMM specialist blogs discuss anything about how to convert traffic ibto something valuable such as subscribers or income.

  2. I agree Andy. If every seo blog did a little experiement here and there we would soon build a good library of data.

    The update on this experiment is that the number of cached pages are up to 41, even though I only added 3 new pages. The clearest effect of the Stumble upon traffic is to increase the number of cached page.

  3. Very interesting. I have been using SU to promote articles on one of my sites and am considering not doing so any more just because the bump and run visits are screwing up my traffic data and making it hard to see what people really like on miy site. I’ll check back for the updates.

  4. Backlinks are now at 44 (Yahoo)

    Cached pages in Google 23

    Site was last cached on Feb 18th

    No other changes.

    Unique visits from Stumbleupon fluctuates between 300 and 800 a day.

  5. How can you tell if the traffic is qualified or not from this basic test? It seems to me you should try to get them to do something relevant – buy a book on the subject from Amazon through tracking links? Depending on the site, 300-800 visits per day is good regardless of what they do on the site. Eventually, one of those visits will convert into something – right? I guess it depends…

  6. If anyone else has tests running feel free to drop a link in the comment. It may even be worth posting a collection of them and drop the no follow.

  7. Hi there.

    I have had the same experience with Stumbleupon. Thousands of visits, but I never really saw any substantial linking. Personally, I?ve linked to several of the sites I?ve found on Stumbleupon, but I guess the majority of people who use SU just aren?t the linking type.

  8. I found your blog through Stumble Upon. In fact, I found several of your articles and have read through quite a number of them.

    A few weeks back I shelled out 20 dollars for paid stumbles dividing that small amount between two sites with 75% of the traffic allocated to one site, and 25% to the second site. I received a thumbs up, but I cannot quantify whether the traffic generated were one time visitors or not.

    Still, I like to stumble every now and then and have turned up useful SEO information that I may not have easily uncovered otherwise.


  9. Hey, just to let you know I am running an experiment like this right now myself. I am not sure if it is because of the stumbles or not but I did increase my feedburner reported subscribers from 4 at the start to 10 in just a few days by stumbling a few articles.

    Right now I am playing with different keywords and topics – the trick, I guess, is to make the user feel they have come across a real resource.

    I found your website by stumbling, btw, and subscribed to the feed after a quick browse of the content. I also once read an article about how a company got a website to some ridiculous number of rss subscribers (10,000 or more I think) in just a few weeks (a month, I think) by using stumble upon paid ads and digg. There is potential, it just hasn’t been unlocked.

  10. Yuri, it confirmed something I knew. Traffic generation needs to have an holistic approach. There is a lot of misguided advice given on this matter, the reality is there is no one thing that works.

    The experiment was flawed as it’s not the best thing that Stumble does, it is great for boosting your rss feed subscribers, which may turn into links later down the line.

    Thanks for asking this as I will post regarding this later.

  11. I found you on Stumbleupon, and I’m subscribing to this blog’s RSS. (and your Stumbles.)

    You’re in my niche, you appear to be smart and I’m always trying to figure out SEO, so I bet I’ll link to you, too. Count me as a sample of one.

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