One of the observations raised at Elite Retreat San Francisco was: Digg Users are lousy ad clickers. So I decided to put this theory to the test using data from the billion+ ads served by Chitika over a 31 day period. For the impatient, here is the take-away message:

Digg Traffic is more than 3 times Less Likely to Click on an Ad than Google Traffic

Background: There’s been a lot of discussion about the value of Digg traffic (Problogger, Neil Patel, etc). This analysis aims to use the data culled from the Chitika logs over a 31 day period to put an actual number to this theory. Since pretty much everyone receives Google traffic, this analysis uses Google as a base to compare against.

The Actual Analysis (for the stats folk):

  1. I started off with the entire log data over a 31 day period from Feb 26th 2007 – March 28th 2007. This comprised over a billion ad impressions and millions of clicks.
  2. I then filtered down the data set to only publishers using the Chitika | RPU product line. Since the RPU is always placed in the exact same position on all publisher sites (i.e. the bottom of the blog post), this had the nice side effect of eliminating any positioning effects (as in: You should never compare an ad unit placed at the top of the page to one at the bottom).
  3. I then filtered down the data set to only those publishers who get Dugg. This way, any publisher who gets a ton of traffic from Google but never gets Dugg does not skew the results.
  4. Lastly, I calculated the impressions and clicks on the ads for traffic from both Digg and Google and calculated the click through rate (CTR)

Results:

  1. Over the 31 days, the google traffic resulted in a CTR of 0.97% on the RPU ads — compared to 0.30% for the Digg traffic.
  2. Digg traffic is more than 3 times less likely to click on an Ad than Google traffic.
  3. Publishers who talk about Diggable topics like Apple, Games, Linux, etc seemed to get Dugg a lot. This indirectly confirms the demographic profile of the classic Digg user (think college-going Internet power user).

 Dealing with Digg Traffic: So what do you do with the Digg traffic ? Is it worth your time to get your post Dugg ? Here are some experts who have delved on this topic:

  1. How to get the most out of digg trafficNeil Patel
  2. How to Build a ‘Digg Culture’ on your BlogProblogger.net
  3. How To Monetize DIGG Traffic ImmediatelyTechSoapBox (via BlogHerald)

Questions ? Thoughts ? Comment below .. Posted by Alden DoRosario (alden [at] chitika [dot] com)