(Disclaimer: this post is not a “How to Spam Reddit Guide” or a “Marketers handbook”. It is simply an analysis on some trends for people looking to get to the front page of Reddit. These are not the views of StartupPlays as a company, but of the author. Enjoy!)
Reddit! The wonderful addiction for more than 34 million people globally. For those who know and understand its inner workings this beast might seem untameable, but do not fret. I will help you in your quest to FrontPagedom.
First let’s look at some stats.
I’ve used Google Insights as a primary research tool on traffic due to the fact that Google is much better at providing search results data than website traffic. I welcome any representative from Reddit to chime in as a response to this post.
I’ve focused in on the most recent complete time frame available (July 2011 – November 2011).
WorldWide Search Volume: (query:reddit.com)
Not surprisingly (if you spend some time on reddit) top search volume for reddit.com comes from:
1. The United States
let’s …zoom .. rotate… enhance… to look at the specific sub region for those countries.
USA Search Volume: (query:reddit.com)
In the US west coasters represent the highest search volume index for the query “reddit.com” with Washington and Oregon in top spots. Search volume index is calculated the following way:
“Google insights analyzes a portion of Google web searches to compute how many searches have been done for the terms you enter, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time”
Top American searches this past data set were for “nsfw” and “FFFFuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu”. Also worth noting is the not exact, but, striking resemblance between redditors per state and so called “Red” and “Blue” states.
Canada Search Volume: (query:reddit.com)
West coasters in “America’s Hat” seem to love Reddit too, with British Columbia taking the top search volume spot this past data set.
Australia Search Volume: (query:reddit.com)
Big Trends here – west coasters in Aussie land love reddit too.
Some important things to take into account when submitting:
The Effect of Submission time:
Submission time has a big impact in ranking your submission; the algorithm will rank newer stories higher than older. A way to optimize this is to test different submission times where the highest volume of visitors are online while taking into account the overall goal of the user during that time period (are they lurking, engaging in comment threads, browsing “New”etc…).
A Look at Time Zones
West Coast United States/Canada = UTC -8 Hours
Australia Western Standard Time = UTC +8 Hours
8am in West Coast of US/Canada
12pm East Coast of US/Canada
12am Western Australia
3am Eastern Australia
Reddit uses a weighted logarithm scale to attribute more weight to the first batch of upvotes. The first 10 upvotes have the same weight as the next 100 upvotes which have the same weight as the next 1000 and so on.
So? Get your first 10 up votes quick.
It also helps to get a conversation going in the comments section of your submission. Some people hang out in the “New” section of Reddit (The Knights of New); they look to create early inset hilarious comments in hopes a good submission will go front page. Then…then they bask in comment karma. Be weary, having a lot of early comments and a good balance of upvotes/downvotes can set your submission as “Controversial“.
On the subject of Controversial…
Submitting a controversial story can have a big impact on your overall ranking since Reddit uses an up-vote and down-vote system. The overall score of the submission will be (up votes – down votes) so
(100 up votes – 0 down votes) is the same as (1000 upvotes – 900 downvotes) – avoid controversial or opinionated posts if seeking frontpage.
Spending some time on Reddit will give you some insight into some more prominent “inside jokes”. Below is a picture I uploaded to reddit a few months ago that went front page #19 at its peak. It follows a theme of pictures titled: “If you park like this… I love you”.
The Picture received 363,636 views on imgur.com and used over 49 GB of Bandwidth.
Pictures are the easiest submission to go front page, they have mass appeal and if they are in line with the community they will be very successful.
There is a blog post by Amir (co-founder of Plurk) that can be found here that goes into detail on the inner workings of the Reddit algorithm from a developers perspective (definitely worth checking out).