Digg readership doubled by HD DVD fiasco?

Updated May 7: Internet traffic to Digg.com was doubled by the firestorm of controversy surrounding the release of an HD DVD decryption code, according to a monitoring service. The furore appears to have temporarily boosted the social networking site into the world's top 40 most visited websites, according to Amazon subsidiary, Alexa Internet.

Alexa's figures are often criticized for inaccuracy, but they are also seen as giving a useful indication of general trends in internet traffic at major websites.

The graph on the right shows Alexa's measurement of traffic to Digg. Note that these statistics are released by Alexa approximately 48 hours after the traffic is measured. This graph will update automatically as Alexa updates its data daily (please also refer to the latest summary at the end of this story).*

Downward trend?

As measured by Alexa Internet, the surge in traffic has reversed a general downward trend in visitors to Digg over the past six months - at least temporarily. Some competing sites have also seen their traffic fall over this period, according to Alexa data. Other monitoring services do not appear to show the same trend, however. Until the events of May 1, Digg was ranked at approximately 100 in Alexa's list of the world's most popular websites.

Alexa reliability

Alexa's data is gathered from users who have installed its browser toolbar in Internet Explorer or Firefox. Some other browser add-ons also submit data to Alexa. The statistics are often faulted for inaccuracy on several points.

Critics charge that the data does not measure more tech-savvy or privacy-sensitive users who won't install the toolbar, that it is geographically biased, and that it is subject to manipulation. In addition, although the toolbar is generally believed to have millions of users, Alexa does not provide details of the size of its audience, and little information on its methodology or statistical weighting.


reddit and slashdot audience data during hd dvd case may 1

Competitors also benefit

Competing websites, such as Slashdot and Reddit, also show a notable surge in visitors during the same period, according to Alexa's data (see graph). Both sites hosted several popular discussions on the crisis at Digg, and the controversy surrounding the HD-DVD key.

According to user comments at Reddit and Digg, Reddit also saw a substantial influx of new members: disgruntled Digg users, some of whom had seen their accounts banned by Digg.

This has led to an apparent backlash from a small number of Reddit users, who fear the newcomers may reduce the quality of discussion and postings on the site. Currently, links submitted at Reddit which mention Digg appear to be attracting a substantial number of negative votes.

Update May 6: 'Therefore the graph is currently only showing the beginning of the traffic surge to Digg.' - this line was removed as Alexa has now updated its data to show more of the period in question. The latest Alexa data shows Digg's global ranking leaping to approximately 46 amongst the world's most visited websites, from its recent average position of 92.  According to this latest data, Alexa's 'Reach' figure for Digg, which corresponds roughly to the number of unique visitors, jumps from between 0.6 and 0.7 to 1 percent of all internet users worldwide. It's unclear if these are the final statistics from Alexa, or just interim figures.

*Update May 7: The latest data from Alexa appears to show Digg's audience falling below previous levels over the weekend following the HD DVD controversy (similar to many other sites, Digg's average audience is markedly lower during weekends). Click on the first graph on this page to see more data at Alexa.com.

Digg your way to riches

That's amazing, it just takes off like a rocket there at the end. That's a pretty awesome thing to see from a site that's already in the global top 100

Digg Got Dugg!

Well i guess something positive comes out of this after all.
It was safe to assume that was going to happen anyways, when it happened digg went down for a little bit and even when it came back up i was noticing the page loading a little slow.

Digg your principles

I get so tired of these lame lawyers, that I've added my own "lame" poem to show my frustration. way to go DIGG. I'm not any famous person or radical, but I come from a long line of free thinkers and freedom fighters (as in american colonists and patriots). I've got, I think, two accounts here now, although I'm not much of a digger.

well/ it would probably been

well/ it would probably been even more as many ppl remove alexa.

among all the news voting

among all the news voting sites, digg provides the most reliable source of news because of it has a large user base who is actively voting.