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A Downside of Getting to the Front Page of Digg

The Holy Grail of incoming links for many bloggers is an appearance on the front page of Digg. It has the potential to send tens of thousands of visitors and bring about a lot of secondary links from other sites who see it.

However the downside of a site the power of Digg linking to one of your articles is that it is an authoritative site in the eyes of Google.

Yesterday one of my posts – 15 Stunning Lightning Images – got to the front page of Digg. It was actually an old post that I’d recently updated and moved back onto the front page and it already had done pretty well on social media sites so had some link equity already.

The front page appearance on Digg brought a fresh influx of visitors which was fantastic but here’s what I saw in Google’s search results when I searched for Lightning Images this morning:


Yep – Digg out ranks the post it links to.

I fully expect this to change at some point as Google’s rankings are in constant states of change and even the link to my post above will give it a little extra authority but it is an issue that many bloggers face and should be aware of when submitting their posts to social media sites, or other sites and forums with established authority on Google. update: the DPS article now outranks the Digg one.

I’ve seen this same thing happen again and again on Digg but also when a site gets linked to like a site like Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Engadget etc who link back to the source of their story but use a similar title for their post to the post they’re linking to.

I don’t think this is the problem of the sites linking to posts – it’s probably more an issue for Google to work on – but post this as a little warning for bloggers active in promoting their blog posts on other sites.

It is still a good thing to get on the front page of Digg, just one consequence of doing so to keep in mind.

TIP: One quick tip for those of you who suffer from this problem. If you have any control for how your posts are submitted to Digg, try to get the title to be something different to the title of your blog post. For example, if the title of the Digg submission above had been ‘Lightning Pictures’ or something completely different like ‘Flash, Bang – 15 Images of Storms that Will Rock Your World’ then it wouldn’t rank as high for ‘lightning images’ as my own post.

Of course not everyone has control over how their posts are linked to – but if you do, it’s worth keeping in mind.

Update: OK – some have seen this post as me saying that this is a disaster, that people should avoid Digg, me overacting. Perhaps the way I wrote this conveyed that I thought it was a massive problem – it’s not massive, it’s not a disaster, it’s not the worst thing that could happen to a blogger – it’s simply one downside. I’ve commented on this more deeply below here.

All I attempted to do with this post was to point out one thing that people might be interested in when they have their posts on Digg. It’s not the be all and end all, getting on the front page of Digg is still a good thing, it’s just one of the consequences of it.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Changing the title keywords of a Digg post from the title of your blog post is the worst thing you can possibly do to your blog.

    Don’t ever do this….

    One quick tip for those of you who suffer from this problem. If you have any control for how your posts are submitted to Digg, try to get the title to be something different to the title of your blog post. For example, if the title of the Digg submission above had been ‘Lightning Pictures’ or something completely different like ‘Flash, Bang – 15 Images of Storms that Will Rock Your World’ then it wouldn’t rank as high for ‘lightning images’ as my own post.

    If you do not have the keywords in the title of the Digg post in your blog post, Google will find all relevance in the link juice passed on to your blog to be worthless.

    Let me see if I can explain this more thoroughly…

    You use certain keywords in you blog title.

    You want the blog post to rank under those keywords.

    You get other blogs to link to the post using those keywords.

    You get a Digg power user to submit your post to Digg.

    If he uses your title with your keywords in it, you will rank higher in Google for the incoming Digg link juice.

    If he uses a title that does not contain your keyword phrase you do not rank any higher in Google for that phrase.

    Number one, if you want to go front page and your post has what it takes, don’t let just anyone submit it.

    Number two, most social bookmarking outranks a blog post for a time, until the post gains incoming links.

    Remember that your article is new and has no incoming links yet, but it will soon and the Digg post will not.

    If it does continue to rank along with your blog post, great! It is forcing you competition off the top ten Google SERP.

    That is a strategy in itself. I don’t usually give this kind of stuff out but the blub at the beginning had the chance to mislead many so I had to add to your post for your own good.

    Cheers = Chris Lang

  2. Oh Yeah,

    @Constantine: Digg traffic bad of business? Are you kidding me? What business are you in? The mafia? Do you not want to be known or seen or do you just hide out at Da Bing like Tony Soprano?

    @narendra.s.v: Forget about it, that blog is thru. Internet marketing, SEO and email marketing do not do well on Digg. Search Digg mafia.

    @Ilaarijs: you aren’t going anywhere of Digg with a foreign language blog. Go somewhere that suppports your language.

    @charles: Digg is NOT owned by Google and never will be, Google said no way to such a easily gamed, Digg top 100 manipulated, Digg mafia buried mess. But it is still good for many things, just not Google. Google “Googling Social” and you will see where Google is headed.

    @John, “Chowder your theory assumes that Google both crawls AND reindexes Digg about once every hour, which I’m afraid doesn’t happen.”

    You are right John, Google does not index Digg every hour, Google does not index Digg at all. Google is pinged by Digg everytime you submit something. RSS, have you heard of it?

    Google consumes every user profile thru the RSS feed that is part of every profile. Google simply parses the RSS feeds in seconds and gets all new submissions when ever they want. Sometimes that is in seconds of submission, sometimes not.

    But after submitting a post in Digg, you will be in Blogsearch in a few minutes at #1 due to age of post. You will stay there as long as the Digg post keeps getting Diggs.

    @Chowder time: Thank you, you know what you are talking about!

    Just my two cents and an attempt to set the Digg info straight, it’s my job.

  3. Darren, don’t ok this post, instead give me a call, I would like to compare notes because Google is doing strange things with social bookmarking and the parent blog post.

    I believe this could be the start of the social bookmarking Google slapdown that I have predicted for the last 6 months.

    Call me at 480 686 1217 – Chris Lang

  4. Darren,

    The Digg post is now in the #2 spot out of my Google data center and your parent post is #1. It is real hard at this point to gather what and how much link juice Digg is passing since there are so many other links and social media posts to your blog post.

    Also the Digg post could easily outrank yours since MSaleem submitted it to Digg (#2 user behind MrBabyMan) and he pulled 1180 Diggs.

    Also this cannot be considered a true representation of Digg performance since not too many of us get Dugg and submitted by Saleems and BabyMans.

    Their ability to go front page, their power in the Digg algo and their ability to pull Diggs from their following on Digg is unlike anyone elses.

    One last point I want to make here is that since the Digg ban hammer has now kicked over 2000 users off Digg, Zaibatsu being one of them, you can now get Digg front page for a short time due to the low amount of Diggs.

    The Digg front page algo is dynamic, reacting to how many Diggs there are on a specific 24 hour period. I recently saw 73 Diggs go font page.

    Traffic and participation is way down as many try to keep their heads down and not get banned for using scripts on Digg. So, if you have ever wanted to build a better Digg profile, now is the time since it is easier to go Digg front page in the power vacuum.

    BTW, it was mostly the Who Dugg This script that got many banned. It referenced the Digg API and leaves a big footprint that Digg can see. DO NOT use scripts on any social site, it is not worth the loss of a good profile and the site may pull all your posts when you get kicked off.

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