Why Digg is More Popular than Del.icio.us… Or is it?

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Why Digg is More Popular than Del.icio.us… Or is it?

Digg is probably the only company which got loads of online buzz when it hit the one million user mark. Come to think of it, there is even a story on the Digg.com homepage today about Digg hitting a million users even when the date they announced their millionth user was a month and a half ago.

Funny thing is, if you look at Digg’s competition, especially Del.icio.us and StumbleUpon, the competition have much larger registered user bases, each more than doubling the amount of registered Digg users.

As an example, let’s compare the user base and incoming web links for Digg.com and Del.icio.us.

User Base

  • Digg has a million users.
  • Del.icio.us has over 2 million users.

Inbound Links (tracked by Yahoo!)

  • Digg has 1,473,685 inbound links to Digg.com.
  • There are 2,544,257 inbound links pointing to Del.ico.us.

Mentions of Each Brand (tracked by Google)

Even though Del.icio.us has more active users and is more popular in terms of incoming links, Digg gets much more buzz amongst webmasters and bloggers.

If you look at the Digg vs. Del.icio.us Alexa ranking, even though Del.icio.us has more users, Alexa is still ranking Digg much higher than Del.icio.us. This is because Alexa rankings are skewed towards sites which attract web marketers and webmasters.

Alexa Ranking

  • Digg.com has a Alexa traffic ranking of 86.
  • Del.icio.us has an Alexa traffic ranking of 181.

Alexa Digg Delicious Traffic Rank

I have heard stats however that only 5% of Digg’s traffic is registered. And Del.icio.us attracts a good number of bloggers and webmasters themselves, so it’s probably safe to say that Digg does get equal or a bit more traffic than Del.icio.us.

Furthermore, since this traffic is consisted of bloggers and webmasters, getting a story on the Digg homepage is even more valuable as these opinion leaders who use Digg may blog about those stories.

Stories which make it to the Digg homepage can also send much more traffic than Del.icio.us popular. Why?

Probably because more Del.icio.us members use the service to bookmark the sites and references they find, not just clicking on those links which make it to the Del.icio.us homepage.

But there is another reason Digg is more popular than Del.icio.us; Rock Stardom.

Kevin Rose is a Rockstar

Kevin Rose Digg Rockstar

If you search for occurrences of the names of the founders of Digg vs. Del.icio.us on Google, you’ll find that there is a huge discrepiency between Digg’s Kevin Rose and Del.icio.us’s Joshua Schachter.

Why? There are many reasons for this, besides Digg still being somewhat independently owned and operated:

  • Kevin Rose takes full advantage of the Internet’s Cult of Personality by throwing himself in the media spotlight while Joshua is more of a behind the scenes master of technology.
  • Kevin Rose was a quasi-celebrity before Digg because of his past at TechTV.
  • Digg users connect to Kevin and the other Diggers, via the videocast “TV show” Diggnation.
  • Digg fills its remnant ad space with links and promotions for Diggnation, which reenforces Kevin’s popularity.
  • Digg throws huge parties like their Million User Celebration (1.5 months after the announcement) complete with Digg DJ’s, which makes the Del.icio.us parties seem quite tame and overshadowed by Yahoo! branding.

So, if Del.icio.us stands for Bookmarking, Sharing and Discovery, and Digg stands for Buzz, Partying and Traffic, which service will have a longterm appeal?

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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