StumbleUpon: Interesting Results Examined

Last week I published a post that did pretty well with a few social media sites, but I saw some interesting results from StumbleUpon that I thought were worth sharing. I normally don’t send pages to my StumbleUpon friends through the SU toolbar to ask for a thumbs up, but I did for this post and it seems like that may have restricted the amount of traffic the post received from SU.

To look at the situation I’m going to compare the stats from that post to stats from another post that had similar success with social media last month. Both posts received very similar traffic from DZone,, popurls, and CSS Globe.

21 Factors that Influence the First Impression of Your Website’s Visitors was published late on 11/27/07. Here are the stats for this post from November 28th & 29th:

13,638 page views

6,272 visitors from StumbleUpon

2,320 visitors from

839 visitors from popurls

591 visitors from DZone

187 visitors from CSS Globe

It’s impossible to tell how many thumbs up the post received at StumbleUpon because anything that receives more than 50 thumbs up just shows 50. This post does show 50, and there are 13 reviews with thumbs up.

Now, here are some stats from 22 Resources to Easily Create CSS Layouts, which was published late on 12/17/07. These stats are from December 18th & 19th:

7,356 page views

1,746 visitors from

1,525 visitors from StumbleUpon

678 visitors from popurls

549 visitors from DZone

266 visitors from CSS Globe

This post also shows 50 thumbs up, and 12 reviews with thumbs up.

Obviously the 2nd post received a few less reviews (and no way to tell how many less thumbs up) than the first post, but the numbers are not that far off. However, it only received about 25% of the traffic that the 1st post received in the same amount of time. Of course there are other factors involved that are being accounted for here, such as when the thumbs up and reviews came.

I can’t say for sure, but I believe the StumbleUpon algorithm saw that I shared this post with several friends, which influenced how many thumbs up it got, and as a result SU sent less traffic. I have read from a few different bloggers who have said that sending a page to your friends will result in less traffic than if the thumbs up come naturally, but I hadn’t seen results quite like this for myself.

Personally, I’m pretty happy with the traffic from StumbleUpon even if it was less than it could have been. If I hadn’t shared the post with friends who knows how many thumbs up it would have received? I don’t think this will prevent me from sharing other posts with friends in the future, but I do think it will discourage me from doing so when I am hoping for big results from SU.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? Or a different experience?

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