Do you think StumbleUpon results get worse the more you stumble?

The first thing I do every day is check my emails. After that I login to my newsreader to check up on my favourite blogs (and blogs which commonly break news). The emails I receive and the blogs I check daily are the inspiration for quite a lot of my posts however I also use Twitter, check forums from time to time and use StumbleUpon occasionally too.

Going, Going Gone

I am not active in the StubleUpon community at all but I do love stumbling from time to time as it’s a great place to find great articles, particularly on smaller sites which I’m unlikely to find during my usual browsing routine. However, recently I have found that results seem to get less and less accurate the more you stumble.

For example, the other day I was stumbling using the keyword Blogging, a popular keyword and one which should bring up a lot of results. I came across a few good articles but after about 10 stumbles or so I noticed that results were getting more and more unrelated to blogging. I started coming across some joke sites, some political news and some funny image sites. The results also started to get older. All in all results were more and more unrelevant with each stumble.

If I was searching for a strange keyword or perhaps 2 or 3 keywords then I could understand why results would get worse as there would be less pages tagged with my search term. However, Blogging is an incredibly popular term and one which I’m sure many pages get tagged with so I’m confused why results are getting poorer after 10+ stumbles.

I’ve read a lot of posts on the internet about the StumbleUpon algorithm, most of which are speculation and involve a rating applied to the initial stumbler and the number of thumbs up and thumbs down. However, I haven’t see anyone else talk about the inaccuracy of results after a lot of stumbles.

Has anyone else noticed this? I’m curious to know if other stumblers have seen this too 🙂

Written by Kevin Muldoon of Blogging TipsFollow Kevin on Twitter.

7 thoughts on “Do you think StumbleUpon results get worse the more you stumble?

  1. David Peralty

    Well, not only does it feel like you get penalized for constantly stumbling, but if you stumble one site too often, you eventually can’t submit it any more. Say you really enjoyed Xfep, and you submitted one article every day (out of the two or three I average), then eventually, SU wouldn’t allow you to submit articles from this site. 🙁

  2. Kevin Muldoon Post author

    Sorry, perhaps I should clarify my post more. I’m not talking about suggesting links or giving a thumbs up or down. I’m talking about using the StumbleUpon tool bar and entering a keyword in the drop down search tab and clicking the stumble button. Every time you click the stumble button you get a new page which is related to your keyword.

    With regards to submitting articles, as I said, I am very unactive. I think I’ve only suggested 3 pages and gave thumbs up to about half a dozen :):)

  3. David Peralty

    Yeah, I understood what you had meant, I was just adding that the problem with SU doesn’t just exist on looking for things, but also submitting stuff. It just doesn’t feel like the entire system works as it should.

    Maybe its a transparency thing and they should let us users into what makes SU do what it does?

  4. Kevin Muldoon Post author

    Oh right ,sorry, I thought you had misintepreted what I wrote 🙂

    I actually hope that SU don’t tell users their formula. Think how useless it would be once everyone knew how to game it.

  5. Nicole Simon

    Stumbles are made up from what your friends are stumbleing in that topic you are browsing. If you get to boring pages quick, you do have the wrong friends connected in stumble upon and / or not enough friends.

    Imagine one friend having 2 good pages (+) and 10 bad (-). He is your only friend and you stumble 12 pages, which go ++———- with some magic how others found the +/- to be good or not.

    Having 20 friends who stumble stuff you really like and they add more pages which you don’t you still get the ‘good’ selection first.

    Suggestion: Use friendfeed with filter by service or search there for stumbleupon and [topic] and take notice who stumbles pages you like. Subscribe to their stumbles and see if your theory still stands.


  6. Sly from Slyvisions dot Com

    It really all depends on WHAT you’re stumbling. Stumble your site (or any site for that matter) too much and yes, results will get worse because Stumbleupon won’t allow you to take advantage of their great service.

  7. Kevin Muldoon Post author

    Nicole – I didn’t realise that more friends means your results will be better.

    Sly – I was not referring to voting for another site, including my own. I have only voted for a site via stumbleupon about 3 or 4 times, I was referring to actually finding sites via stumbleupon.

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