For several years, people have been accusing SEOs of “gaming Digg”. While it is true that there are low quality SEOs who have attempted to spam Digg on a regular basis, I don’t see what good SEOs were doing as “gaming Digg.” While it is true that they were using Digg to attract links for their projects or their clients, this doesn’t mean they were gaming the system. Instead, they were taking the time to invest in creating great content, and because this content appealed to the Digg community, they reaped the benefits of attracting lots of links (as well as a nice flood of traffic for a couple of days).
However, it doesn’t seem like the people at Digg saw things this way, because they have been striking at SEOs for quite some time now. For example, Gerald Weber pointed out last month that Digg had removed all of the links from profiles. Although Digg eventually replaced the links (but only after they caught a ton of negative publicity for this decision), this goes to show where their intentions are in terms of allowing the people to contribute all of their content to benefit at all.
While this seemed pretty bad at the time, it pales in comparison to their most recent decision. Last week, TechCrunch announced the arrival of the DiggBar. While this may seem like just another web toolbar, it has far bigger implications. Not only does the toolbar have its own URL shortening service, but it also keeps all the traffic on Digg (instead of sending it to the site of the original content). As Michael Arrington explains:
“But Digg didn’t stop there. They’re also using DiggBar for all stories on Digg as well. So all those home page stories that send massive amounts of traffic around the web are now redirecting right back to Digg, too. That keeps all that traffic in the Digg ecosystem, to the detriment of the sites being linked to.”
So, with the addition of this new feature, Digg has completely killed the opportunity to gain links from their service. While Arrington says that “the page is still rendered and includes the advertising; the way most internal analytics software works means that page views will still be counted,” you may be able to still get a temporary flood of visitors, but you’re definitely not going to be picking up any quality links.
Now that we’ve discussed the DiggBar, the big question is whether or not it is time for SEOs to goodbye to Digg? I would love to hear your personal opinion in the comments below, and I will leave you with the opinion of a well-known member of the SEO community:
“We stopped using Digg for linkbait 9 months ago, I suggest you do the same.”
-Patrick Altoft of Blogstorm