Spotting the Disturbing Digg Trends — Time to Move On?
The SEO community is becoming increasingly frustrated with Digg, and it’s no wonder why. I have the domain www.diggworthy.com under my ownership. I understand that Kevin has asked us nicely to not use the Digg name, and I’ve respected his wishes thus far, but I’m curious to know if it takes a “clone” site (that is not affiliated with the Digg at all) to get the true quality content where it belongs.
Why am I sharing this information with you? I’m as frustrated as Kim and I want something done about the quality of Digg’s service.
Despite my dissatisfaction with Digg, I’ve been using it more often recently. As much as I don’t want to, it seems to be the leading social news site. However, I think that needs to change. I’ve been observing the Digg user base from a comments, blog submissions, and burial perspective and have my own opinion on Digg users. Here’s how I’ve categorized them:
- Diggoodytwoshoes: The Digg patriots, the brown nosers, the kiss-ups, the sycophants. You get the idea. This group consists of anyone who disagrees with any anti-Digg content despite the truth in whatever anti-Digg statements are made. These individuals may also be working for the company and want only for their company to be viewed in a positive light. Anything negative would hurt their self-pride, and therefore, they are quick to bury or remove such posts.
- Diggnorants: These people use Digg but don’t really know what they’re doing. They click anything that says “Digg” because it appears to be fun. They couple these Diggs with their own site spam and their own submissions get buried (for legitimate reasons).
- Digginstigators: These are the individuals who contribute the best content to Digg. They typically have a high Digg rating and a lot of friends. By submitting an article, they provoke their friends and admirers to bring news to the front page.
- Diggmocrats: These are the individuals who put heavy emphasis on making Digg a “democratic site.” They will bury good content that they disagree with despite the value the content gives to the rest of the users.
- Diggnored: Digg users who feel that they cannot use the social network due to this strong right-winged democratic force and feel that they are being ostracized. I personally feel that I am in this category, and I believe many other SEOs feel the same way.
I’ve always had my gripes with Digg, but they’ve gotten worse as of late. Some site observations include:
- The stupid behavior of the Diggnorants. These are the people who Digg everything that has a catchy headline and a good description without considering the content of the actual post. Today, I observed a website that made the Digg homepage. Since its headline intrigued me, I tried to access the page (it had just made the front page 5 minutes prior) and the site was down. (While this isn’t abnormal behavior for a site that makes the Digg homepage, the Digging should ideally stop until someone can judge the page fairly to determine whether the content is worth their vote.) I continued trying to access the page for 20 minutes and then reloaded the Digg homepage, only to see that the number of Diggs increased by over 100, despite the comments on the bottom of that Digg page that were to the effect of “Site is down!”
- The strong Digg bias which I have previously touched upon in a different capacity. The Diggmocrats seem to have an agenda. Some hate Microsoft; any Microsoft post will be buried by these folks. Some hate Bush; they will bury any political posts in his favor. Some hate SEO. This brings me to my next bullet point.
- The irreversible Digg bans. Today, Lee Odden of TopRankBlog, an extremely respectable SEO blog, discovered that Digg had banned his site. Chris and I discussed this this morning and he made a wonderfully researched post on the growing trend of Digg bans. The post on our company blog did make the Digg homepage, but it was there for a few minutes before being buried (see the comments, especially those that were buried — some people didn’t hesitate).
- The Digg team. I’ve never seen lousier customer service. If they are genuinely concerned about the user’s positive experience, they need to show it in their email replies. I think I’d rather not receive a response from them than an impersonal reply to a lengthy complaint about Lee Odden’s page burial and how to locate buried stories. Their response to my lengthy question, was, and I quote “Just go to digg.com/search and check ‘include buried stories.’” Even a “Thank you for using Digg and making it a great place to be” would be nice, even if that’s not how they feel. I got the impression that my question was a burden. Maybe they can’t wait to be acquired. In any event, I didn’t feel appreciated for contributing to the success of their site.
Digg just announced a ridiculous amount of new features (that I think wasn’t quite necessary), but it seems that they still haven’t adjusted their algorithm to deal with the dissatisfaction for many users and the negative user experience that is being discussed in the blogosphere. You’d think that they’d think about their current users rather than trying to hit 1 million of them. With the continued feeling of inadequacy, I personally say that we need to find a new service to replace Digg.
So — what do we do with an unrelated diggworthy.com “clone” site? If anyone is up for collecting the best SEO articles that may (or may not) have been buried on Digg, be in touch with me and maybe we can work together.