How to Stop Digg-cheating, Forever

dirty digger
That’s Slashdot’s title for this article about ways to improve the Digg algo; I’m not that hyperbolic. Unfortunately the “fix” is a description of almost an entirely different service (one commenter said it’s StumbleUpon). Someone else:

Summary of the article:

“I have devised a marvellous way to stop Digg-cheating, which this article summary is too short to contain.”

(aka: if it’s so simple, why does it take 19361 more bytes to explain it?)

I won’t get into the details of the solution because I think there’s a general misunderstanding of the problem. People using the services of User/Submitter don’t understand the limited benefits of hitting the front page of Digg. You get a burst of traffic for a short period, but without quality content those viewers won’t stick around. Even if you do manage to hit the frontpage the smart users will bury it asap. I think the only people paying U/S are the ones who believe their blackhat SEO.

Dumb people pay for votes; smart people guarantee they get buried anyway. Is the system really broken? I don’t think a dramatic redesign is going to fix the appearance of a problem—and the U/S guy isn’t fooling anyone by suggesting this is the fault of transparent voting.

I might be giving the Digg community too much credit though. Many don’t seem to understand when they’re getting baited: Take this story that has nothing to do with the hosting site.

There is some “legitimate” (as in functional) SEO going on out there though. These are the people adding their stories to the system and not caring if they if they hit the front page. The story still appears on a PageRank 9 site and is indexed by Google. That “credibility” does a lot more in the long run.


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