By Chrispian Burks

Digg Users 3 Times Less Likely to Click Ads Than Google Users

By Chrispian Burks

Anyone who’s been on Digg can tell you that while the traffic can be amazing there isn’t a correlating increase in ad revenue, the bottom line being Digg users don’t click on ads like traditional visitors do and especially not as much as traffic from search engines. Chitika has stepped up and provided some facts to backup this claim.

Chitika grabbed 31 days of logs and compared traffic from Digg and Google and came to the obvious conclusion that Digg users are less likely to click on ads. The actual ratio is a little closer than I thought it would be. I suspected something like 5 to 1 or 10 to 1, but Chitika’s results put Digg users at 3 times less likely to click on ads. As we all know users are becoming more and more banner/ad blind and no one more so than the tech/geek crowd which is the primary audience of Digg.

What does this mean in terms of making money? Don’t rely on the Digg traffic as a direct method for making money. It’s a means to get exposure. If you do get on Digg try to capture the audience as much as possible. Direct them to other content on your site and try to get them to become repeat visitors. You’ll also get some trackbacks and links from being on Digg and we all know how important links are.

Read Digg Traffic v/s Google Traffic – A Chitika Analysis Report for the full details on Chitika’s report.

  • Geeee

    Very true Chris, actually I don’t visit digg that much because I’m using RSS feeds to read their content that’s why I don’t know what’s going on (ads) on their website. Talking about traffic … it’s wow and there’re plenty of ways to attract users. Thanks for highlighting this ;)

  • @Geeee: Chris is referring to ads on your site, comparing visitors who come to your site via Google with visitors who come via Digg (if your site makes the front page).

    I’d be interested to see raw stats on how other bookmarking tools (e.g. del.icio.us, Slashdot) stack up.

    try to get them to become repeat visitors

    This is the tough part.

  • Matthew, indeed it would. I imagine any of the social networking type sites that are geared towards more general audiences might be better about clicking on ads etc, but I think by the very nature of these types of sites they tend to gather an audience of more savvy users who tend to not notice ads. I do think a few of the services probably have a better shot than Digg though, Digg being so tech centric.

  • I think the reason is that Digg users are heavily on the “techie” side. From what I had read, technically savy users (i.e. web professionals) are less likely to click on ads. From my personal experiences I have found this to be somewhat true.

  • Sachin

    Hmm i do not visit digg at all.

  • AntiChrist

    I never click on ads anymore… waste of time.

  • Anonymous

    3 times less likely to click an ad, huh? That’s strange, seeing as one time less equals zero. A number can’t decrease more than one time or more than 100 percent.

    Might you mean, one-third as likely?

    Not to mention, people generally have to PAY for that kind of exposure. It’s called advertising. You are getting free advertising that actually has a chance to generate revenue and you are complaining about it.

  • Bob Barker

    The reason users go to Digg and other social sites is for the fact that they wish to avoid the annoying pop ups and flashing advertising provided with other search engines while still wanting to find sites and information that others also find interesting. If a user or company wishes to “make money” then they need to find a more efficient way without taking up pixels on my monitor. I pay for a free internet and i choose to disable all ads for the fact they are annoying and take up to much web page real estate. please be more considerate to all users of the internet. thank you.

  • iamyuriy.com

    Probably because Digg users are not dumb to fall to advertisements and do not want any where as the typical Google user and also typical regular computer user will click advertisements because they fall for it. Let me ask you: do YOU click ads? Nope. Go figure.

  • MarketingGod

    The fact that I bothered to click through and read this article speaks volumes on the very topic. I as a RULE never click ads. They are the antithesis of what I find to be of value online, as a developer and as a consumer. It’s the wasted bandwidth you mention that we are “stealing” from you. If there weren’t so many ads, you wouldn’t have so much bandwidth consumed, and hence if you were publishing pure content we ACTUALLY wanted to consume, we’d have no problem clicking through non-invasive text links to items of VALUE.

  • Anonymous

    and how many ads do u click on at digg?

  • Brad

    I bet sitepoint users don’t click on ads either…

  • PJ

    How about this: Don’t start a blog or website with the sole purpose of making money by placing ads! If you do, you’re a douchebag. Try getting a career that doesn’t annoy people.

  • Mark

    Honestly, who gives a flying fuck?

  • MaC


    Adverts are rarely hosted on their publisher’s resources, so in reality they don’t contribute to the bandwidth usage – they are simply there to recoup the costs of the resources used to view standard pages.

    Generally speaking, I bet Digg (and other tech site) users have a high percentage of adblock usage, and as a result, the stats may not reflect the true number of non-clicks since the Chitika ads will not even have been requested for certain visitors.

  • Anon.


    Shut the fuck up.

  • LOLz

    Spam that rejects users… lol how ironic :P

  • Digg user

    When I am walking down the street or have the television on, I do not instantly go out and buy whatever I see. Why do you expect me to on your website?

  • Becca

    There is always the smallest, slightest chance that the people who frequent Digg.com and other such sites have the common sense not surf news/info sites when they’re looking to buy something. Cause, ya know, if you do want to buy something it’s usually much quicker to do a Google product search.

    And personally, if the ads on a web page are excessive, annoying, or disruptive, I usually don’t go back to the site. Ever. Truly, if you want to piss me off put one of those damned in-page pop up ads directly in front of what I’m trying to read and don’t give me any other way to close it except clicking on the ad. Nope, not playing that game either.

  • Razor512

    the reason why we use adblock is because many sites have annoying ads that are poorly made and waste our bandwidth

    If you use a program like netlimiter, you will see that if you load a ad filled web page, with adblock disabled, the page will usually be around 1-3MB in size but with adblock enabled, (if you clear the cache and reload the page, it only takes about 100-300KB) almost 80-90% of th page file size is ads, this is annoying for the broadband users and painful for the dialup users

    most ads are hosted by the 3rd party ad server so it has no effect on the site owner so the site owner doesnt care about the file size of the ads, but for the end user who actually goes on the web page, it is wasting their bandwidth and if the user has a monthly bandwidth cap them it is really hard on them

    also what kind of idiot do you think we are to actually believe that we will get a free a $5000 computer is we can click the button 5 times in a row?

    also, many of us spend all day on our computers, (I personally spend a lot of time coding and doing graphic design) do you think were really interested in boosting our lovelife because we are no longer able to get hard?

    if you have a site and your not getting the ad revenue you want then at least look at the ads on your page and ask your self, who in their right mind would actually want this, not many people are quick to buy random pills from a company located in the basement of a rundown hut in Zimbabwe or any other random place

    no one wants free screensavers from a place named doubleclick or adserv or gator

    if you want people to not block your ads then put ads that are actually useful

    if you look at real tech sites, you will see that the ads are usually not blocked by adblock (i run my own adblock filter http://mysite.verizon.net/vze2241e/tips/id1.html and i don’t even block them), on sites like tomshardware, they have ads, about half of them are blocked and the other half is left alone as there useful, when they review new computer hardware, the ads are clean and direct to the point, they list the top sites (amazon, newegg etc) and list their prices for the product) while their other ads advertising random crap like coffee, they get blocked because what does coffee have to do with ddr3 memory support in new motherboards?

    from a annoying ad filled site owners point of view, adblock blocks all their ads and they cant get av revenue from them anymore

    when in reality, adblock only blocks the stupid ads

    it is like the spam filter in everyones e-mail account, real e-mails go through and junk and other crap like that

    spam is illegal if it was up to me, annoying ads in webpages would also be illegal, ad filled webpages will generally crash the web browser on many mobile devices thats like attacking mobile device users

    to everyone who has ads on their website, go and look at the ads on your page, and check if they have anything to do with the content of your page. (in other words, if your writing a review on new heatsinks, don’t show me a ad for heartburn medicine, show a ad for the lowest price for the heatsink out of all the trusted big sites like amazon and newegg)

  • mavrck

    I just got tired of punching the monkey.

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