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StumbleUpon Takes The Road Less Travelled in Internet Search

Since divorcing itself from EBAY StumbleUpon has grown  from 6 million to 20 million users, signaling subtle shifts in how people are using search technology outside of Google and Bing.

The idea behind StumbleUpon, started in 2001, is offering a way to discover sites you did not know existed. It is often compared to Digg and Delicious but distinguishes itself by personalizing the recommended content. The other two are more concerned with social bookmarking.

Mashable reports that StumbleUpon has grown to 20 million users and is now considered one of the top social media search sites on the planet.

“During the Super Bowl, there were some 41 mobile stumbles per second, which is not surprising given that 80% of people multi-task on their mobile devices while watching TV,” said Mashable.

“We help you easily discover new and interesting stuff on the Web. Tell us what you like, and we’ll introduce you to amazing web pages, videos, photos and more that you wouldn’t have found on your own,” said StumbleUpon.

The focus is on “surprise” and intent to customize future results towards your search preferences. These are accumulated from other users with similar “Likes” to you.

You can add a web page StumbleUpon’s index by going to your Profile page and clicking the link to “Add a new page” below the left-hand panel of tabs.

“There are limits in place regarding how many times you can add a page from a single domain – if you approach or reach that limit, you may be identified as spammer,” said StumbleUpon.

In fact, StumbleUpon has implemented these specific restrictions designed to limit ‘gaming’ which influences more mainstream search engines:

  • domains with the .tk extension
  • any shortened URLs created with various URL shortening services (to avoid getting duplicates in our directory)
  • domain names which use an IP address
  • submissions from ‘secure’ pages (https://).
  • submissions from certain major email provider domains
  • submissions from domains that were banned for breaking our Terms of Service

Just like Twitter or Facebook, you can also use it to drive traffic to your site.

“If you have a commercial web page that promotes a specific product or service, you may only use StumbleUpon to drive traffic if you are using our Paid Discovery service,” said StumbleUpon.

It has also launched something called Channels as a service for  brands, celebrities, and domains  where you can promote your own-curated content to other Stumblers. This seems to be a similar approach to both Facebook Pages and LinkedIn Pages.   However, it requires a direct email to partners@stumbleupon.com in order to activate this feature.

In the last several months, it has launched a popular mobile version and offers further Internet Toolbar options to customize your StumbleUpon experience.

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