You might have read about how much web traffic StumbleUpon can send blogs with interesting/ fun/ quality content. You might even have experienced such. However, when a friend asked why another friend’s site was not getting StumbleUpon traffic, I thought to look into it. There are several possible reasons for declining or no traffic from StumbleUpon.
Possible Reasons for StumbleUpon Not Sending Web Traffic
The reasons listed below are only possible reasons, based on an educated guess and the discussions of other bloggers.
- Not enough “up” votes on your articles, possibly within a certain duration after submission.
- Too many “down” votes on your articles. Maybe your topic is of little interest to SU users, or of poor quality. Or someone doesn’t like you. (Ah the joys of social media.)
- Poor categorization. If you don’t have friends submitting your content/ articles, it’s hard to control which categories are being used to tag submissions.
- Delayed response. One of the benefits of StumbleUpon over, say, Digg, is that if your content goes popular, the traffic does not come all in a flood. SU spreads it out over a period of time. How long? Your guess is as good as mine. (If you know, feel free to comment.)
- Not enough activity from your user account. When you sign up, you can list your blog’s URL in your profile. If you then have someone else submit all your stories but you yourself are not submitting anything, this might be a factor. This is probably less likely, but SU does like to stimulate social behavior and get all members participating.
- You don’t submit enough articles and only vote on stories submitted by the same group of people over and over.
- Self-serving. If you’re submitting your own articles and nothing else, then you’re overpromoting yourself, which SU frowns on. It’s not very sociable.
- Exclusion. Someone asked SU to exclude the site (and somehow proved they were the owner).
- Your site or account is banned. (See the next section for reasons.)
Why Your Site or SU Acount Might Be Banned
If your stumbles are not showing up in your SU profile, your account might be banned. Here are some possible reasons for banning in SU.
- Too many different SU usernames voting from the same IP address.
- Reciprocal voting activity, based on tracked patterns or published confirmation (i.e., a blog post or social media campaign suggesting potential reciprocal voting activities)
- Too many users voting on the same story and coming from the same referring URL – e.g., from a forum listing.
- Misuse of the ‘send’ button. The SU browser tool bar has a Send button that lets you message your SU friends on some content you’d like them to look at. If you you’re only sending them your stories, votes for your site could be discounted.
- Complaints. This is a pretty broad area, and there can be any sort of complaint from other users which might cause you problems on SU.
- Other reasons. Missed anything above? Social media sites, no matter how open-minded, always seem to reserve a few reasons to ban someone.
Avoiding Being Banned on StumbleUpon
- Submit interesting/ fun/ useful content. Spam will get accounts and sites banned. Read articles carefully before submitting.
- Submit (and vote up) content from multiple sites, not just yours.
- Stumble (preferably up) other content that has already been submitted to SU.
- Avoid “incestuous” reciprocal voting. Sure, SU has a fairly small limit for number of friends, but don’t just vote for your close friends’ submissions.
- Avoid any sort of reciprocal voting patterns. The idea is to use SU “naturally,” not to market yourself. Marketing yourself shows patterns that many social media sites track for.
- Avoid any sort of public campaign which might suggest reciprocal voting activity could follow. That might have been one of the reasons Darren Rowse’s very popular ProBlogger blog [was temporarily banned] on SU.
- Don’t vote from behind company firewalls. Many companies will only show one IP address, and that means all SU users in your company will show as a single IP. Even if it’s not intentional, it’ll unfortunately smell of marketing.