3 StumbleUpon Traffic Myths Debunked

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Most Internet marketers about to introduce StumbleUpon to you will tell more or less the same story. According to those StumbleUpon tutorials you have to undertake certain actions to succeed on SU to get more traffic for your own blog or website. Well, at least 3 often repeated tips are simply wrong according to my own experience as an active user on StumbleUpon during the last weeks.

The 3 most common StumbleUpon myths are:

  1. Get more friends on SU to get more popular and thus get more traffic
  2. Stumble yourself as much as possible
  3. Most stumblers are friendly and do not hate SEO

1: After initially just receiving traffic from StumbleUpon, I was stumbled for the first time on day 2 of SEO 2.0, and then again and again, I decided to use StumbleUpon myself. As I am real social media aficionado, until recently mostly in Germany, I gained momentum very quickly on SU. Maybe too fast for the algorithms or the SEO haters. Why? The more friends I got the less successful my SEO 2.0 blog got on StumbleUpon it seems.

While initially complete strangers would stumble me and I would receive a small wave of traffic each time after some weeks Lyndon of Cornwall SEO stumbled me a started the first avalanche that brought me massive and enduring traffic for a single post. This post still gets some visitors from SU.

In contrast the same Lyndon stumbled me some days ago and did not bring any significant traffic for some days now. Also several other SU friends of mine reviewed and stumbled this story. Either it was “disliked” by many others (the equivalent of burying it) or SU does not count your friends votes to prevent fraud. That’s why I stopped to befriend people on SU in order not to hurt them and myself. Your friends will notice your posts and probably stumble you more often as they read your blog on SU and your real one probably but you won’t get traffic if no strangers vote for you. So basically it would be better if those people would not be your friends, then their vote would count.

Conclusion: It is rather useless or even counterproductive to befriend all the other people of your niche at SU, especially if it’s the SEO niche, as SEOs are watched ten times as close being perceived as spammers by most mortals. Lay low on SU or do not engage in the community at all if you do not want to be perceived as a SEO wanting to spam StumbleUpon (as any action by even the cleanest SEO will be perceived as spam by the SEO haters). I made the mistake to be outspoken about the SEO hate on SU and just more SEO haters buried me as a reaction and nobody else cared that people use hate speech to intimidate me.

2: Being active on SU is the prerequisite to success with your own projects on this social discovery site people tell you. Well, I noticed no positive change. Being active on SU is very time consuming and addictive, so you end up stumbling 1 or 2 hours per day. So think twice if you want to invest the time into an eBay company or into your own. The more active you are, the more SEO haters will notice you and offend you even without taking a look and who you are.

Conclusion: Think of your activity at SU as leisure, just like surfing the web. Do not mix it up with work for your blog. Write your blog posts and let the SU community discover you, but it doesn’t make much sense wanting to push yourself by sheer SU activity.

3: I wrote it myself, “stumblers are much friendlier than Diggers” who will flame in the comments etc. Well, that’s not true. The only difference is that SU sends more targeted traffic so the people who hate SEO or whatever your topic is won’t notice you at first. After you become somehow popular on SU they will and they will stalk you. If you criticise them, they will inform all of their friends on SU and those will “review your SU blog” or your real site with a thumbs down and things like “Get some AIDS 2.0″. I have at least 6 negative reviews out of 14 on my SU profile. 3 of them are so ugly that I decided to hide them. The difference to Digg is also that no other people will speak on your behalf. Nobody cares if those people puke on you.

Conclusion: Do not give additional publicity to the SEO haters. I know I do it again, as I’m not a true internet marketer. I’ve been on the net for 10 years and do SEO for 3 now. So things like Netiquette and truth are more important to me than to other people who earn their money and ignore those who mess up the Net. You should too if you want to get traffic from SU. If you are truly after a community like I am, SU will disappoint you. People don’t care for the hate speech. Just those that want to hate care for it and will bring you more of it.

My overall conclusion is: I will curb my professional use of SU as it has a rather negative impact on my professional endevours at the end of the day. I will use the time for working on my projects instead. I will keep on stumbling photography sites and reading my SEO daily newspaper by my SU friends but I won’t work for StumbleUpon that much anymore.