Use StumbleTrolls to Boost Your Stats

This article will not show you how to get the magical thousands of hits from StumbleUpon. It will, however, show you an unusual way to improve your daily hits, pages per visit, time per visit and subscribers (in short; how to increase website traffic), while performing a public service.

Improving these statistics will increase the value of your ad space, raise your RealRank and increase the sale value of your blog.


Two weeks ago I posted this article in response to a personal attack I witnessed on StumbleUpon. The article received several "Thumb Downs" and negative reviews on StumbleUpon from friends of the original offender. While studying the analytics of that post's traffic, I noticed some interesting facts I had never heard anyone talk about before.

The Observation

The traffic stats revealed the post was receiving very few direct referrals from SU but was receiving quite a bit of indirect SU traffic. This indirect traffic was coming from Stumblers checking out the negative reviews by members they were fans of or from the negative reviewers using the "Send To" feature to spread the article.

Every negative review would send a wave of new traffic, some of which would leave negative reviews and/or send it to their friends who would come leave a negative review, etc., etc.

The viral nature of social media wasn't really surprising, even in a negative context. What was surprising was these were "quality" visitors. They were staying longer than normal, viewing more pages than normal and subscribing to my feed. They were boosting my stats!

The Experiment

I could not bring this to you without first discovering if it was just a one time thing or if it could be repeated. In order to try to duplicate the results I wrote a follow-up article and linked to it at the bottom of the original article. It worked better than I had expected it might.

The Result

Right off the bat, a troll helped me out by "Thumbing Up" the article and burying it in The "AIDS" category. This made my job considerably easier because I didn't have to filter out any regular StumbleUpon traffic.

Just as I had expected, the negative reviews started coming and with them, the steadily increasing traffic. The more vicious and personal the attack, the more traffic it sent.

The Numbers

For comparison purposes, I have included the numbers for a different post that was receiving traffic from StumbleUpon at the same time.

Article 1 - This is the article with no negative reviews on SU. It is included for comparison.

Article 2 - This is the original article which drew the negative attention to begin with.

Article 3 - This is the experiment article which was written to attempt to duplicate the results of article 2.

Thumbs Up + Rev - Rev Direct Hits Indirect Hits Pages Per Visit Time Per Visit
1 32 8 0 270 8 1.6 1:43
2 17 8 9 22 311* 2.1 2:01
3 5 1 16 0 221 2.3 2:41

* This post was linked to on two different forums.

As you see, Article 1 received the most direct referral traffic from SU while Articles 2 & 3 received almost none but still got some very respectable numbers.

The chart also shows the negative referral traffic to be "quality" as well with higher page views and time on site.

While it is not indicated on the chart, seven of the readers referred by the negative reviewers subscribed to my feed.

It should also be pointed out, at the time these numbers were put together, Article 1 was 8 days old, Article 2 was 15 days old and Article 3 was only 6 days old. While Article one is not getting much SU traffic anymore, Articles 2 & 3 are still getting steady traffic.


Writing a post to attract the attention of the trolls is really easy and covered extensively in this article. Basically, you simply take on an air of righteous indignation and condemn the trolls and their personal attacks. Declaring that they don't belong on StumbleUpon will push them over the edge and they will have to attack.

Once they attack, just sit back and watch your stats go up.


The experiment post concluded with the question "Why?" with no answer. This answer is simple; It's something that needs to be done and it has positive results for you.


Everyone's first inclination is to think being attacked online is a negative thing. This article is simply pointing out some positive things that can result from these attacks. Aside from the boost to your stats, here are a few positives of this tactic.

  1. You receive very few comments on your actual blog. It pretty much all takes place on SU.
  2. SU traffic is usually a few days late. If you post regularly, the drama, if any, takes place off the front page and away from your regular readers.
  3. You are pointing out a legitimate issue that has no place on SU. If you reap a benefit from it, good for you!


Long time readers know I don't care about traffic here, at least not traffic just for the sake of traffic. I don't have ads and I don't sell anything. I just bring things to your attention for you to use or not.

While I don't necessarily recommend the use of manipulative tactics like these, I feel this is legitimate information I have not heard anyone else point out.

Be forewarned, you are playing with fire and must have a thick skin before attempting this. Prepare yourself for the onslaught of verbal attacks. You will be maligned and your words will be twisted and taken out of context so the trolls can feign offence and play the victim. You should also be prepared to delete a few comments.

If, however, you want to use the StumbleTrolls to boost your stats, the process is easy, just walk up and thump one on the nose.

If you enjoyed your read, grab my feed!


Pearl said...

Gosh, I just finished reading all that has been going on here! and I am sorry for all that you have had to go through! I was just reading emoms and today's article, written by Dawud refers to Wendy's yesterday post
When Trolls, Flame Wars and Cyber Rage go too far
, about a girl who committed suicide as a result of 'online' personal attacks.... People who attacked that girl 'online' obviously did not believe they were doing anything wrong or hurting the girl! Wendy has some snippets in her post, its sickening!!

So, cyber bullying can end up being as and even more damaging as offline attacks...

As time consuming as this might have been, your analysis is brilliant, as usual! I'm sure SU visitors will find a lot of articles on your blog beneficial... I'm not surprised that they subscribed :)

Anonymous said...

I like this post, I made 2 experiments and each time I got over 10.000 visitors but experiment was just an experiment. As you said it is not because of traffic just pure experiment.

I live in iowa sometimes too, my blog is

Thank you.

Ad Tracker said...

@ Pearl - Don't be sorry. Sadly, I've come to enjoy it a little.

I read Wendy's article too. I think this problem has been around and is only now boiling to the surface. It has to be confronted head-on. I'm not scared to do that because I have nothing to lose.

In fact when they try to auto-bury me, they end up sending me more traffic than SU would normally. It's kind of funny, really.

As I've discussed before, this blog is going to go away eventually anyway. I really never intended for it to last this long. This puts me in a position where I can't be intimidated. I can thump the trolls on the nose any time I want with nothing to fear.

It's all very liberating actually.

I'm sure a few of them subscribed so they can play gotcha but I'll take 'em ;)

Ad Tracker said...

@ BONTB - Thanks. Yeah, experimenting is fun.

I've seen you around. You've got a nice blog :)

Thanks for stopping in and commenting.

Anonymous said...

Your Google Adsense was blocked NoScript, and Adblock caught the rest, along with any advertisements and sitemeters you may have on the site.


Ad Tracker said...

A-Nonny-Mouse - HaHaHa!! Oh my, that is funny!

You see, you forgot one possibility; I DON'T RUN ANY ADS!


You guys are so funny and predictable :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Adtracker,

I received my first negative review on SU the other day. I was called a spammer, because I "stumbled" on to this persons profile page. There was nothing interesting there so I moved on. I guess that is what classifies you as a spammer these days.

I think this same guy gave a thumb down on one of your posts. It sucks that the negative reviews impact your traffic.

I'm glad you at least have received some benefit from it.

Keep up the fight.

Steve the weight loss weapons guy :)

Ad Tracker said...

@ Steve - LOL!! That's the funny part! The negative reviews are sending me traffic! SCORE!

Yeah, these troll types think they own the place and have expanded the definition of "spam" and "spammers" to include anyone they don't happen to agree with.

Amazingly, they want to call me a spammer when I haven't even voted on any of these posts, don't have any ads and am not selling anything.

The problem is, yelling "SPAM" is the only thing they know to do when they don't agree.

The way I figure it, if those people are upset with me, I must be doing something right :)

Allyn Paul said...

Interesting study. I guess if one were so inclined, one could own several of their own trolls on SU and accomplish this same result? ;)

People do that on forums quite a bit as I have seen.

Good post AT.

Ad Tracker said...

Allyn Paul - Thanks. Forum trolls only have to start an incendiary discussion to be effective. For a StumbleTroll to have a positive impact they must have a sizable following of fans.

The traffic they generate comes from their fans reading their reviews and coming to check out what got flamed.

Thanks for taking the time to stop in and comment, come again :)

Anonymous said...

Very clever, Ad Tracker! Negative stuff in the media & on line seems to get lots of attention. When doing searches for info -- it appears that the negative stuff rises to the top.

If you want attention -- act like a brat! That's the way many celebs get there attention. Who needs that kind of attention anyway -- only those who are insecure.

SU/eBay is going to have to take a stand at some point -- that is if they want to grow, and draw quality members to the platform.

Thanks for the helpful tips!

Ad Tracker said...

Suzy - It really is a strange f]phenominon isn't it?

Thanks for stopping in and commenting :)

Anonymous said...

Sadly, this new band of trolls won't last very long, as they will very soon wear out their welcome.

They assume that just because they come across a site with ads that it's spam. They seem to forget that normal people stumble articles based on the content, and don't give a rat's ass whether there are ads on the page.

Additionally, these trolls actually think they are depriving us of something when they turn on their ad blockers. They are actually helping me. SU traffic is widely considered 'junk' traffic, and by blocking the ads, they keep my click-through ratio high.

And yes, you are SO right about the negative attention (which is what these trolls must have gotten a lot of as children). ;)

Ad Tracker said...

Wendy - First of all, thanks for taking the time to comment! I'm honored.

I think you're right, it's only a matter of time and these imbicils will be eradicated. The internet isn't as wild as it used to be and will get more tame with time.

I think ad blocking script is awesome. If they don't want to see the ads, I don't want to show them. The last thing I want is for someone to Stumble one of my sites with ads on it. All that does is tank my CTR and give me those wonderful 5 cent clicks :(

Thanks again for stopping in. Don't be a stranger :)