16 March

Yahoo Buzz Has Ability to Out Muscle Digg By Delivering Greater Traffic

A week after Yahoo Buzz launched, I suggested that Digg shouldn’t have reason to be nervous unless Yahoo took advantage of their ability to deliver greater traffic to publishers: “…Yahoo has an opportunity to out-muscle Digg by delivering top content-providers more traffic than any other web property (and rumors are that Yahoo is willing to float top articles on Yahoo.com’s front door).”

Today, three weeks after Buzz launched, Michael Arrington suggests that Yahoo is in fact capable of this:

Yesterday we were linked from the Yahoo home page as well, for this story by Duncan Riley on Japanese ISPs blocking file sharers (see image above, click for larger view of how the links look). The link went live at 5:45 PM PST as one of the bottom four links in the news box (these send less traffic) and was up through the day. Despite the fact that yesterday was a Saturday (slowest traffic day of the week) and that it was up only 1/4 of the day, we had our highest traffic day ever and over 1,000 comments were left on the post.

While Yahoo Buzz fails in many key (but fixable) ways… this is scary news for Digg because their ecosystem is predicated on driving traffic to the publisher. Digg is successful in large part because blogs embed the Digg widget on every post and content creators submit their own content in the hopes of acquiring free traffic.

If

1. Yahoo Buzz opens itself up to all publishers (my single biggest complaint as I don’t understand how a social news site can also be a closed community)
2. And Yahoo allows content from all publishers to reach the front door

We might see users flock to Buzz in hopes of seeing the sorts of traffic that TechCrunch saw… enough to take down the average server and enough to out-muscle anything Digg can provide.

An aside, Yahoo’s ability to drive such tremendous traffic from its front door is precisely why they are still a massively valuable company, an under-utilized property and attractive to Microsoft…

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