While we have been very careful not to submit more than 2 or 3 articles to Stumbleupon a week, someone at SU headquarters has decided to Soft Ban us (or so it seems). For the past 3 weeks virtually all traffic from SU has dropped to next to nothing (about 50 clicks per day), all the while averaging thousands of clicks per day for the last year or two. While this is a noticeable drop, and painful when it comes to advertising, much has been learned which I would like to share.
For starters, let me point out that there is no direct evidence of this soft ban. We are simply running on assumptions made by speaking to other site owners who have experienced the same thing. While we don't really care too much, several people went directly to SU's higher chain of command looking for answers, and they didn't like what they found. Likewise, it is possible that over time SU will lift their ban, something that we are not at all knowledgeable about. From what we learned, when SU bans a site they stay banned, but only time will truly tell.
When SU commits to soft banning a site, they are very quiet about it. Even confronting them with questions like, "Why have you stopped sending traffic to my site" returns answers like, "Nothing has changed here, people probably just aren't liking your links" (I will copy my question to them and their response below). SU is very secretive about their inner workings, which makes sense. It is completely opposite of what we at Mizozo are trying to do, but its their decision.
What we learned from this is very simple, never rely on Social Media to attract visitors. Most good visitors come from search engines or natural referral links. As an example, the average SU referral clicked about 1.15 pages, while the average Googel referral clicked about 2 pages. While this may not make much sense to the non-blogger or non-siteowner, it makes quite a hefty difference. Even natural site referrals average about 1.7 pages per user. There is worse than SU, however, and those are sites like Reddit. While Reddit isn't that much worse than SU, it is noticeable ... just below 1.1
So, what does this mean? It means do not rely on SU for your traffic, and don't try to encourage any Social Media to your site. Of course, once in a while is fine, but it since it isn't stable you can't rely on it. To keep Social Media pointed at your site on a daily basis requires a full time employee, and in the end your site will become banned. While it is unclear why SU banned Mizozo considering how infrequent we submitted articles, it seems that they felt the need to do so and there is nothing that we can do about it. If you as a site owner spend more time generating unique and interesting content, you will get a great deal more out of the effort in the long run.
For Reference: The following is my initial email to SU followed by their reply.
Hi There. As of last week, SU more or less stopped sending traffic to my site, mizozo.com. Has something happened with regards to my site? I have been very careful not to submit links to my site often (two or three times per week), as stated in your answer to "Can I use StumbleUpon to drive traffic to my web page?". Did I do something wrong? Maybe someone else did something wrong? Can this be reversed?
Hello,The site you inquired about is not blocked on StumbleUpon. You can verify if a site is blocked by clicking on the Info/speech bubble button on your toolbar while you are visiting this page, in order to get to the URL review of the page. If the site is blocked, you will see a message saying that this site is currently not available for rating or review.As mentioned in previous correspondence, we cannot guarantee traffic. StumbleUpon's recommendation algorithm is extremely complex and we are not at liberty to say what may or may not have effected the traffic to your site. The only insight we can give is that it is dramatically driven by the Likes and Dislikes of our members.I'd suggest reading this blog post "What Makes for a Great Stumble": http://www.stumbleupon.com/
sublog/what-makes-for-a-great- stumble/We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause, but there is nothing more we can do than provide the information given in this and our previous responses.Best,Adrian
StumbleUpon Community Advocate