Digg Stats: Hits vs. Page

Yesterday I wrote a post on The Impact of Digg, and Digg vs. StumbleUpon, which involved stats on site interaction rates. Today, I shall look at Digg only, and how the page number of the Digg website impacts the number of hits. Basically, if a site is on the first page of Digg, it should get a lot of views. When it gets pushed to the second page, the number of views should decline, as only a fraction of the people who viewed the first page would click to the second page. Same goes for the third, fourth, fifth pages.

WordPress stat tracking allows me to see the number of hits from each separate url. And I see hits from digg.com, digg.com/page2, digg.com/page3, etc. So, what is this fraction of users that go beyond the first page? Below is a table of the number of hits from each Digg page url. This gives the number of people who clicked to my blog from the first page, the second page, etc. As I am compiling the data right now, the site is on page 11 of Digg, so I shall only go up to page 10. Also, note that there are many ways to access a site on Digg than directly from the front page or numbered pages, so the total views below will not add up to anywhere near 100k.

Page Hits Ratio to previous page
1 14855 N/A
2 5036 33.9%
3 1447 28.7%
4 1247 86.2%
5 641 51.4%
6 299 46.6%
7 385 128.8%
8 179 46.5%
9 196 109.5%
10 133 67.9%

Here are the corresponding graph for the Hits column:

Digg Stats: Hits vs Page

And for the last column:

Digg Stats: Hit Ratio vs Page

Quite a few surprises here! I shall try to comment in order.

First, from page one to two, we see that the clicks generated on page two is only a third of that generated on page one. That is, you’ll get about three times as many hits from the first page of Digg than from the second page. Roughly speaking, this also means one-third of users who go to the front page of Digg will continue to the second page.

From page two to three, there is an even larger drop—only 28.7% of those on page two continue to page three. But, from three to four, there is barely a drop. In fact, the number of hits generated by the fourth page is 86.2% of that generated on the third page. There are several ways to explain this, and each one most likely plays a role:

  • Dedication: Users having the energy to click to page three will probably have the energy to click to page four. Compare this to the first page. Someone might go to Digg, glance at the topics, then leave. But if someone is dedicated enough to go all the way to page three, there is a likelier chance that he will stay on Digg.
  • Post Timing: Depending on the number of sites that are dugg, a particular site might be sent back pages faster or slower.
  • User Timing: Perhaps more users are on at certain times of the day.

From four through six, the view count drops by about one-half each time. At seven, however, the view count INCREASES by 28.8%! Most likely it is a combination of the timing issues, plus the superstition of seven—a user might jump directly to page seven. Who knows?

From seven to eight we have about the same drop as from five to six. But at nine, the count increases again. And again, this is most likely explained by a timing issue. Page ten has a drop from page nine, but it is not a big drop.

Just looking at the first graph for a minute, we see the dropping rate almost flatten from three to four. After two sharp falls, it falls much more slowly.

The second graph has two points above 100%, which we have looked at before. It also has an generally positive trend: the later the page, the higher the retention rate. This makes logical sense, as explained in the bulleted dedication part.

There you have it. Overall, it’s mostly about the first page—it gets more views than the others combined. But weird things happen once you get into the later ones.

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