The decline of Digg, the rise of reddit

By Razib Khan | December 27, 2011 11:25 pm

This is probably old news to you, and I’ve read about Digg’s problems in the tech media, but I just realized how much reddit has eclipsed Digg in referral traffic. I’ve always gotten way more attention from reddit (some science bloggers have told me that reddit readers are a “smarter set”), but when I did get Digg bumps they were often of greater magnitude. No more. Not only are referrals from Digg much more rare than they used to be, but they aren’t as significant as reddit.

So of course I checked out Google Trends:

Even StumbleUpon has now surpassed Digg in search queries. Was Digg the MySpace to reddit’s Facebook? And of course Slashdot keeps going…. (Slashdot is so well established that I doubt many people are “searching” for it, so these trends probably underestimate its reach and influence).

MORE ABOUT: Digg, reddit, Slashdot

Comments (6)

  1. siod

    I suspect the digg bumps were a higher magnitude because digg acted as more of a grab-bag of links. A new user to reddit will mostly be left with memes, cat pictures, and so on. To get linked to your kind of content on reddit, you’ll most likely have subscribe to a small, specialist subreddit (e.g., or dig through the enormous amount of links on /r/science.

    You might be interested in this:

    It shows the most upvoted content from you and your fellow bloggers at discover. I think you could become a /r/history favorite if they were simply aware of your blog, but that subreddit only has around 50k subscribers compared with /r/science’s 800k (and /r/science is occasionally shown to non-subscribers as well).

    So, if your interested in promoting your content, I would simply submit links to some of the following sub-reddits. (Your christmas article would have done well there. “A Subreddit for really great, insightful articles”)

  2. Darkseid

    interesting that everyone was blaming the digg redesign for the failure but it was already in steady decline. i never liked that site because it was so rigged anyway and the users were intolerably dumb. probably the same people that leave youtube comments. i don’t think people are yet aware of how valuable reddit can be though. if you want to find quality links you pretty much *have* to go there and just try to avoid all the autistic users and nerdy pics.

  3. Digg needs a decent application on the android market . Bacon reader for reddit by 1 louder apps is the perfect example of what digg needs!

  4. jon

    Digg was tech, humor, and geek-type entertainment; it was fun commenting with like-minded people.

    Now, it’s a bunch of political trolls going back-and-forth.

  5. @Darkseid I can’t agree with you more, the redesign was really the catalyst for larger problems at Digg. The user culture was a ticking time bomb, whilst it had great parts, it was for the large part it was brutal. This is where Reddit succeeds, small parts are horrible but for the most part they are just awesome people.

  6. John Hubertz

    I hope this doesn’t spell the end of Digg, as the depth and relevance of the news material they cover works for me.

    I’ve tried reddit and it seems by comparison childish and unfocused.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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