A few weeks ago, I took a look at some traffic and social sharing statistics for Digg vs. Reddit after Digg launched their new version which received a lot of backlash from members of the Digg community. This week, I decided to take a peak at the numbers between Sphinn since they have released their newest platform sans voting and their newest competitor, SERPd.
Please keep in mind that SERPd is a new site, still in beta mode, and has not been officially launched yet!
From around the time Sphinn came out with their newest version, SERPd has gained in traffic – pretty impressive for a site that hasn’t officially opened it’s doors yet!
With exception to the day that Sphinn’s new version came out, the two sites’ pageviews have been trending similarly, dropping off on weekends.
The bounce rate for SERPd has stayed a bit under Sphinn’s, probably due to the higher volume of new stories submitted to the site for visitors to read and interact with.
Time on Site
Finally, the time on site is higher on SERPd, again likely due to the ability for members to be more involved through being able to submit new stories and vote upon other submissions.
Tweets from Sphinn vs. SERPd
Since SERPd hasn’t been live for even a full month, Sphinn gets them on number of tweets for the last month. But the last day and week’s count show that SERPd’s 300+ member base enjoys sharing stories as much as Sphinn’s.
Overall, SERPd is likely to continue to gain in popularity because they allow their members to have more control over their experience on the site, something noted in each review for the site so far. They can do more than just comment on and tweet submissions, or submit stories and hope that they make the one cut for new stories of the day. On SERPd, they can submit, vote, comment, tweet, and even submit the original URL of stories they like directly to StumbleUpon. It will be exciting to see how the site grows, especially once it goes out of beta mode and is officially launched.
Your Thoughts on Sphinn vs. SERPd
Are you a member of one or both of these communities? What are your thoughts about the changes and the response to those changes in the new site?
I have not used Sphinn, but its only recently that I have started using SERPd and I'm in love with it. There are many helpful resources shared by the folks out there.
I recently published a couple of articles on SERPd, one on social media and the other on link building. So far, I have resisted my dark side impulse to rig the voting (I am from Chicago, so I inherited this bent through my mother's milk). Obviously, fighting artificial inflation of voting will be a key challenge for SERPd. I hope they are successful, because I would really like to see SERPd become a valuable resource for the SEO community.
I trust Google Trends far more than Alexa. On Google Trends, SERPD doesn’t have enough traffic to even register. That might change. If you do trust Alexa, the takeaway here is that Sphinn’s traffic is holding up just fine and that there hasn’t been some massive switch to SERPD. Rather, SERPD seems to have largely built either a new community or is picking up people who go to both sites. The idea that SERPD will gain in popularity because they allow more control is, of course, simply your guess. Having run an actual voting site for 3 years, I can give you more than a guess about what may happen. An alternative scenario is that as they gain in traffic, they’ll be slammed by spam and vote gangs. Ironically, that can drive page views up but actual engaged visitors down. If they impose controls, then they also face fights within the community that they are being too controlling. I’m not sure what daily “cut” your talking about, but we don’t have one. We continue to take submissions at Sphinn and welcome them. We look at what comes in throughout the day. In terms of your upset about contest post having been banned on Sphinn, agreed – it should be that any exceptional content makes it. Which is why I’m glad voting is gone. The context ban rule came from our community. We had community people who asked for it, and if you read some people on Sphinn, we should do whatever the community demands. In that case, it came because there were a lot of junky contest posts that would come in, polluting the What’s New feed. Now that voting is gone, we don’t have to have that rule. That’s because the What’s New queue remains private, where it doesn’t disturb our members. In contrast, SERPD might get overrun by poor quality ones, as I’ve described. As always, I do wish SERPD the best in trying the voting model. Maybe they’ll avoid all the problems we found with it over the three years we diligently tried it. I also understand that some will continue to position the sites as rivals to each other. However, I don’t see them that way. If you want to vote on stories, and you believe that there’s enough voting that you can get a “community” view of what’s popular, definitely try SERPD. If you want a nice collection of stories that have been curated by people who know internet marketing, who are looking at what comes in and also looking around the web for other good stuff – especially good stuff on unknown sources that might not have enough people to just vote them into visibility – try Sphinn. Or try them both.
Hi Danny, One thing I will have to agree with is that I hope that people don't feel they have to choose one or the other - everyone should be able to appreciate both sites for what they have to offer. One thing I miss is the upcoming news area. I caught Sphinn earlier this week when the editors were at SMX, and there were only a few new stories each day, and I thought if the upcoming area were still around, there would still have been lots of new stories provided by members. I just like my daily fix of getting lots of new content to peruse. :) Thanks for stopping by to comment!
Danny, Thanks for stopping by and leaving your in-depth comments. I agree with many of your points you make, especially that SERPD will get overrun by spam and link gangs once more people start to hear about the site. It is just something that every social bookmarking site has to deal with, so it is inevitable that the results will start to become manipulated. I guess that is just part of running a site powered by voting. The more power you give to the users, the harder it is to control. I am still a huge fan of Sphinn, and have actually noticed now that voting is removed, that more of the posts on StayOnSearch are reaching the first page. I have always liked to think we have some of the highest quality content for the IM niche, and have been disappointed in the past when our content doesn't ever hit the 1st page. Now I can tell that our content is being thoroughly reviewed and is getting better exposure because of its high value. On the other hand, I have to be honest that I have been disappointed to see many of my submissions get disapproved simply because it is part of a contest. Why should a high quality post get removed just because it is part of a contest? To me, the decision to remove voting from Sphinn has gotten blown WAY out of proportion. I have been pretty active on other social bookmarking sites like SU, Digg, Buzz, and Delicious and it is AMAZING how easy it is for people to get their post to the 1st page, simply by getting their friends to help promote it. Hopefully Sphinn will keep their goal of promoting content that is of the highest quality. With SERPD, I am just looking forward to having just another resource and place to gain exposure and find other quality blogs in our niche. Thanks again for the comment Danny. Mark
This is great news about SERP'd. The Alexa data may be influenced by the high % of savvy members that use Alexa toolbars. But that can only be viewed positively, in my opinion. I used Sphinn exactly one time, I think. It seemed that the niche they were going after was really narrow at the time. It could have just been the language they use/nomenclature. I'm not sure. I have used SERP'd once, too, but more to come. I just cannot keep up with all of these social bookmarking sites. LOL Too many.
Some great starts there, although I do agree with Tad that they may need to be taken with a pinch of salt. In honesty, I can see the majority of Sphinn's user base migrating to SERPd eventually - it's just a matter of time.
I wish SERPd good luck. We need more awesome tools like this to help our efforts and build our brand.
Hi Kristie, I think most people feel that Sphinn has lost relevancy. SERPd is doing a better job than Sphinn ever did in my opinion. I never understood why Sphinn did not accept submissions that included videos - which I include in most of my posts. I look forward to seeing SERPd added to the Digg Digg plugin (and other social sharing plugins) once it comes out of beta. Thanks for sharing the stats, reviews and comparisons.
The Topsy screens above do not match, they display Sphinn stories shared in 19h but SERPd articles for one week ;-) Also I'm not sure we can believe Alexa. Google Trends for Websites and Compete don't show comparable numbers yet. Said that I don't think though that the early adopters use SERPd for the sheer numbers.
I don't know about Google Trends, but I think Compete won't have stats for a few months in. I used Alexa simply because they have numbers early on, and they do show trends in the graph. I agree the numbers are off, but the peaks and valleys of the trends are usually comparable with Analytics (judging from my own site at least).