Back in June 2009, SumbleUpon launched a new URL shortening service called

I thought the idea behind it was pretty smart: shorten your URL’s and get URL’s seeded in StumbleUpon.

It was a two-for-one deal and I thought it was a no brainer to adopt. If you can shorten a URL while at the same time maybe get some extra traffic from StumbleUpon, why not use it?

Use it I did. I started using to post all my blog posts to Twitter. In addition to the URL shortening, I could also schedule posts and at the time it was one of the better options around.

For about a year I StumbleUpon was my largest source of traffic. For a time, I was kicking serious ass on SumbleUpon. At my peak I got 500,000 pageviews a month from StumbleUpon. Not shabby.

Most of it was the sort of things which people on StumbleUpon like: photos. Some did better than others and there was no guarantee that anything would become popular.

Yes, the traffic wasn’t great quality, but I am a firm believer that there is no bad traffic. I know from emails many people discovered my site from StumbleUpon.

Then in 2010, it just stopped.

They did something to change the algorithm and wasn’t so super anymore. StumbleUpon traffic plummeted. The scheduling system sometimes didn’t work right. I’d submit bug reports and nothing ever got fixed.

I got the strong impression that was in zombie mode. They didn’t kill it, but they weren’t doing anything with it.

I kept using it on the theory that maybe it did something and even if it did nothing it was still worth using now that I had gotten used to it.

I eventually began experimenting with posts that I’d never submit to, and I found that those posts did BETTER on SumbleUpon than the posts I submitted using their own URL shortener.

I eventually began to wonder if wasn’t in fact hurting me on StumbleUpon. It didn’t make sense, but the data was piling up, and I had no data which said otherwise.

Nonetheless, for whatever reason, I stuck with it.

Last week was the final straw. StumbleUpon did a major revamp of their entire site. They updated their logo, changed the look of all the tool bars and widgets. They changed everything…….except

No one bothered to put the new logo on or change anything about it. It was the ultimate signal that they had no one working on this project anymore. When you make a big corporate top down decision like a brand change, you can figure out what someone’s priorities are. is not a priority for StumbleUpon.

With that, I have ceased using it.

It was fun while it lasted.

Rest In Peace

By Gary

3 dimples. 7 continents. 130 countries.

9 replies on “Goodbye”

@Dave – That was my doing. Gary’s been crazy busy in Europe so I have been doing the scheduling lately. You are right, I have been using which uses the url shortener.

I like Timely. I don’t like that you can’t schedule things at a certain time. I realize the whole point of Timely is that it schedules tweets for when their algorithm determines it would get the most response, but we’ve been experimenting with posting on Europe time as well and that’s not something it does well.

Also, was inflating the CRAP out of the number of people hitting the links. Our numbers of pageviews were around 1/4th of what was saying they should be. So it’s a little hard to see if there is any traffic change. may be inflating traffic I guess, though I’d wager more likely the bounce rate is through the roof and the problem is actually that GA is under-reporting bounce.

SU tracks it at their end — not yours, so if users are mindlessly clicking stumble, stumble, stumble then while SU is recording the “click” they visitor is not even staying long enough for the site to load GA and record the impression. This is even more of a problem if you’re using GA in the page footer as even more of the page needs to be called before what SU calls a click gets transformed into a view at your end.

This is the “hidden bounce” of SU. It’s not that SU is overstating the traffic they’re sending you, rather the traffic is so bad GA in understating the true bounce rate.

Nevertheless 500k impressions in a month not to be sniffed at — get some CPM ads up 😉

I’ve well aware of the difference between what SU says and what Google says. Any traffic numbers are from Google Analytics.

Yes, the bounce rate is high. That is the whole point of StumbleUpon. To find random new URLs.

Nonetheless, some of it did convert and I did get new readers from it with no extra cost or effort on my part.

I agree that some traffic is better than others, but I don’t think there is any bad traffic.

Right – yeah I was addressing Amy’s comment rather than the opening requiem for SU.

Agree though, I never say no to an impression – quick time, long time, I’m no fussy.

I kissed it goodbye as well, with a smile. It’s too bad but I don’t stick with things that just don’t work if I can help it.

I was using as a convenient way to update Twitter and Facebook at the same time without having to visit either of those sites…. Today I noticed that seems to be completely down – the homepage still exists, but clicking on any of the links just redirects you to StumbleUpon. In fact, this blog post was the ONLY site where I could find anything at all about what happened to the service – even their help forums no longer exist.

Some warning would have been nice. Some of us aren’t web traffic gurus and just wanted a simple service that could save us some time. Seemed like it was working fine at doing what I needed it for… all the way up till the killing blow.

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