How Stumbleupon’s Beating Google, Yahoo & MSN

    October 29, 2007

Stumbleupon is one of may favorite social media sites, Not only can it drive traffic that matches or often exceeds that of Digg, stumbleupon users are much less critical/confrontation/judgmental than the typical Digg user.

In addition they are much more likely to subscribe to your blog/rss feed and click on advertising compared to other social sites. Last week they rolled out a updated toolbar that really takes social search to new level.

yelp - Google Search

Above is a screen shot for a search for [yelp] on Google, the three icons next to the listing tell me someone has submitted the site to stumbleupon (the su logo disk), some people liked it (1 star = some votes, 4 stars = lots of votes), and the comic book like talk bubble tells me there is a review of the site. This has been around for a while and not new.

The addition was the RMonkeyGirl and +1 part. RMonkeyGirl is my friend Rhea Drysdale and you can learn about her primate motivated nickname here or read her columns on Search Engine Journal if you’d like. Since I’ve actually met Rhea and we’ve chatted a bit both offline and online, I’m more likely to trust something that she has given a “thumbs up” to as opposed to something with no thumbs up. Because I’ve elevated cyber stalking to an art form and as someone has said “have an insane attention to detail”, I also follow follow her on twitter and know she’s very interested in “green” or environmentally focused material. Additionally I know that anyone who wants to buy her a gift should totally buy her Planet Earth on DVD, because not only is it really good but she likes it and AFAIK doesn’t have it yet. From the screen shot below you can see she voted for it on stumbleupon.

Google Search - Planet Earth

So what have we learned here, seeing positive recommendations from your friends, is a good thing. Seeing positive recommendations from your friends about areas where they are topical experts, is much more powerful, and more importantly more click inducing. For example if you saw SERP with a result listing that Danny Sullivan voted up you’d be more inclined to click it because he’s a smart and intelligent person whos opinion you respect(except if it’s about Disney because clearly he is clearly misinformed about Disneyland being better than Disney World).

So Yahoo if I were you I’d get to work integrating delicious data into SERP’s like stumbleupon did right away, like really last week is already too late … get to work. Google kill the ridiculous ness that is personalized search, and stop with all the crappy efforts you’ve made so far in getting people to give you online bookmark data, and get to work on something that’s actually simple, useable, and benefits the users more than data borg, and people might actually use it.

Also special thanks to Rhea who let me use her as an example in this post