Magazine article ADWEEK

Digg Helps Send Time's Traffic into Orbit: Shared Recommendations Are a Key Weapon in the Fight for Traffic

Magazine article ADWEEK

Digg Helps Send Time's Traffic into Orbit: Shared Recommendations Are a Key Weapon in the Fight for Traffic

Article excerpt

NEW YORK Time.com's traffic trajectory in 2009 has been skyward, thanks in no small part to a partnership with Digg.com.

The venerable newsweekly's Web offshoot has seen its audience balloon by 41 percent versus last year, landing at 6.7 million unique users in July, per Nielsen Online stats. And according to John Cantarella, Time.com's general manager, some of that growth is attributable to a 164 percent increase in traffic from the social news property since January.

Digg "buttons," which allow users to recommend news stories by "digging" them, are ubiquitous on content sites. Similar buttons are found at the end of text articles from social networkers like Facebook and LinkedIn to other news-sharing platforms like StumbleUpon and Reddit. In January, Time.com pared down its button collection and added a "smarter" Digg button--one that now lists how many "Diggs" a particular story has received. Then a few months later, at no cost to the site's parent Time Inc., Digg built a custom widget that ranks the five most Digged stories on Time.com for that day.

Since then, the site has gone from placing 55 stories on the Digg home page each month to more than 100, according to Bob Buch, Digg's vp, business development. That sort of exposure is invaluable, considering that Digg reaches nearly 40 million users each month. From January through July, Time.com's Digg-driven clicks exploded, surging from 500,000 to 1.3 million, said Buch. …

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