Have you ever wondered what the economic value is of landing on the front page of Digg? There are several ways to approach this question. I’m going to discuss this issue from three angles. First, there is real money return. This can be broken down into both short-term and long-term revenue analysis. Second, there are non-revenue based returns such as the acquisition of links, rapid exposure to your brand, etc. Third, we can consider the percieved value that a client might be willing to pay to land on the front page of Digg.
Proximate Revenue Analysis
While everyone knows the mantra that on the internet traffic=revenue, we also know that the Digg crowd tends to avoid clicking on ads. So the standard correlation between ad revenue and traffic persists, but in a diluted state. If you are a content driven site, you can expect some degree of a spike in ad revenue, but not consistent with what one might generally expect from the corresponding traffic. If your content is good, though, what you might get is a new base of permanent visitors. This might tranlsate into long-term revenue growth, especially if your new base of readers tells their friends;-)
On the other hand, the Digg crowd tends to be tech oriented, and people who like tech like gadgets. If you sell a product with mass appeal, you could really hit the gold mine with a front page listing on Digg. In fact, even if your product is merely mentioned in someone else’s article, you could score big. That seems to be just what is happening with this post on Google’s Wifi Service which mentions Google’s endorsement of the PePLink Surf 200BG. Inquiries and orders from WISP’s and resellers around the world spiked because of this article.
Content Based PRA: $XXX
Product Based PRA: $X,XXX
Non-Revenue Based Returns
It’s something of a misnomer to call this non-revenue based because in many ways, it does end up coming down to revenue. But the immediate value to be discussed is non-monetary. For example, a front page story on digg will get you loads of links from blogs (and even splogs) that use digg as a spring board for their own content. Further, you increase the likelihood of getting mentioned in some MSM content. CNN, CNet and many other media outlets often link to content that they discover by monitoring Digg. A mention from CNet would be priceless…pure bragging rights!
We all know the value of links. Not only do they increase your visibility across the internet, but they increase your prestige in the eyes of the search engines. Most importantly, they send visitors your way. If you have something good to offer, then the more visitors that come to your site, the bigger your permanent audience becomes…and down the road, that can result in a nice base of eyeballs to view ads or buy products.
Perceived Value By Client
If you work in SEO, then you probably have clients that want increased exposure. Maybe they have an awesome product that no one knows about. If they’ve really got the stuff to back it up, it would be worth their investment to get noticed on Digg. I’ve heard of clients paying $X,XXX for a guaranteed front page digg placement (not guaranteed by digg, but by the SEO). The SEO simply has to leverage his or her network en masse (a little bit of that cash from the client comes in handy). Of course, if the product or content is good enough, then getting on the front page should almost be natural…so long as a good title and teaser are developed.
A good SEO could literally make a living by finding the right clients (read: businesses with cash), developing a solid network and nailing two front-page diggs per month.
PVoC: $XXX – $XX,XXX
Landing on the front page of digg can pay major dividends, but only if you’ve got the content or product to back it up. Nonetheless, the value is not going to all be realized as immedate revenue. You’ve got to consider the value of link acquisition, brand exposure, repeat visitors, etc. And, if you’re a new business with a great product, landing on the front page of digg could be worth tens of thousands (actually millions if you have something really good).