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Pingdom has released a new report about traffic trends across a variety of social news sites. The sites included in the report are: Digg, StumbleUpon, Slashdot, Reddit, Mixx, Propeller, Newsvine, Fark, Dzone and Sphinn.
What the report shows is that while so many sites focus only on Digg, there are other players that are still worth working.
Here are the findings:
- Traffic-wise, Digg.com stands heads and shoulders above the other sites in this survey, but they seem to have reached a plateau. They have roughly the same number of visitors now compared to a year ago.
- Mixx.com has the most aggressive growth curve. Propeller.com (previously hosted on the Netscape.com domain) is also growing fast, doubling its traffic in the last year.
- Slashdot.org (the original) is losing visitors. They have roughly 25% less visitors now compared to a year ago.
- The five largest based on website visitors (sorted, largest first): Digg.com, StumbleUpon.com, Slashdot.org, Propeller.com and Fark.com. (Reddit.com is in 6th place, and is about to overtake Fark.)
The report uses Google Trends for the raw numbers. It’s clear the Digg traffic needle is stuck in neutral. Also, whatever happened to Newsvine? The service were acquired by MSNBC last October and haven’t been in the news since.
Back in November, I discussed Alexa when Jason Calacanis discussed how he could easily game the system by just using a couple computers and an internet connection. Today I want to give you a few more concrete reasons why Alexa is broken.
Reason 1 – backlinks are not working
The backlinks currently displayed for CenterNetworks are the same backlinks they displayed over 2 years ago. They are for when the site was a web development site. So in the 6 months that CN has been up in its current state, the links have not been updated. See the image below.
Reason 2 – Today does not mean Today
Most times when someone says to you, let's meet today at 3pm, you expect to meet today. Well in the land that is Alexa, today does not mean today. Typically today means 24-48 hours after today. Bigger sites will never notice this as their traffic tends to trend the same everyday. Yet, when new sites receive traffic spikes, today tells you a lot.
Reason 3 – Traffic is still missing
This past Sunday we had a HUGE spike in traffic due to being slashdotted. We had just under 28,000 visitors and about 20,000 unique visitors. This also led to higher than normal traffic on Monday. But as you can see from the chart below, we seem to show outside the top 100k for today, and yesterday, and the day before, etc. Clearly something is wrong. This happened once before, I emailed Alexa support and after a week I received a reply that basically that was your traffic. Now I understand that not everyone uses the toolbar, but I have to believe that at least a percentage of the new unique visitors do.
I still say the same thing I have for years: Alexa is broken. Yet, we rely on it. I used to believe that the trending graphs could at least provide some basis, but I don't believe that anymore either based on what I see for CN.