By 5 years ago in Social Media

Digg just totally killed linkbait

Digg has released a toolbar called the Diggbar and in the process has pretty much killed any reason for website owners to try and promote their sites on Digg.

The toolbar works by capturing the target page in an iframe and shortening the URL, you can see it in action here.


The Diggbar is going to be fantastic for Digg but no so much for content producers. Basically Digg has turned into a Tweetmeme style service with millions of users already.

The main issue with the new Diggbar is that Digg no longer links directly to stories – they are linking to the shortened Diggbar URL instead. This means that not only do you lose any links from but you also lose the links you get from lazy bloggers who will just link to the shortened Diggbar URL.

To add insult to injury the Diggbar source code has lots of extra content such as comments and related stories as well as an SEO friendly title so will outrank the original post in a lot of cases.

Finally you will notice that the Diggbar links both to the Digg story page and the page on the source website. Guess which one gets the optimised anchor text?

We stopped using Digg for linkbait 9 months ago, I suggest you do the same.

By Patrick Altoft. at 8:34AM on Friday, 03 Apr 2009

Patrick is the Director of Strategy at Branded3 and has spent the last 11 years working on the SEO strategies of some of the UK's largest brands. Patrick’s SEO knowledge and experience is highly regarded by many, and he’s regularly invited to speak at the world’s biggest search conferences and events. Follow Patrick Altoft on Twitter.


44 Responses to “Digg just totally killed linkbait”

  1. Updates to DIGG spell unhappiness for content publishers:

  2. [feed] Digg just totally killed linkbait: Digg has released a toolbar called the Diggbar and in the proces..

  3. “Digg just totally killed linkbait” ( ). Good content will still work. (via @prdienst)

  4. Lese gerade: “Digg just totally killed linkbait” ( )

  5. interesting, if a little dramatic, take on new diggbar at blogstorm

  6. Is the Digg toolbar really that bad? Surely anything that encourages genuine content over linkbaiting is a plus?

  7. Fadi says:

    it’s like stumble upon but it’s called digg

  8. Interesting stuff.

    Digg is not that big in Europe – apart from UK. I’m sure the potential is limited for Digg, when the cut of the content producers like this.

  9. Stever says:

    Seems everyone wants to be a Twit and destroy the nature of linking.

    Patrick, you’ll want to remove the Digg button from your sociable pluggin.

  10. Boo! I’ve never been a major fan of Digg to be honest but this at least gives me a reason to avoid it!

  11. Don’t forget – people follow links too.

    If you have a story (or other content) which is likely to get front-paged on any of these sites, and bring in attention – then thats worth it.

    I’d agree that ‘digging’ stuff as a matter of course is probably relatively pointless, though.

  12. I’ve been saying this for over a year – why are marketers marketing Digg? Clearly, Digg doesn’t give a damn about you guys.

  13. Kyle says:

    There is a way to remove this, click the arrow in the digg bar next to feedback and click “always hide the diggbar”. This still doesn’t make it a good decision, and who knows how many users will hide the bar.

  14. Glad you brought this to light with all the other praise going on about the new toolbar.

    Digg is trying to do everything in its power to be profitable and if that means screwing everyone but them on the way they will do it. I haven’t relied on Digg for links for over a year, plus the links I see from SU or Reddit or Twitter users and their blogs are far more quality than 99% of the lazy blogger links you get from Digg users.

    I have had articles get 1,000 links just from Twitter passing it around and people finding it that way. We don’t need Digg anymore.

  15. Wow…looks like I am definitely NOT going back to Digg. I wish they’d just understand that marketers like using their service too and not just to promote their own interests. The redirect of the link to Digg is extremely shady…

  16. Rob says:

    Javascript is your friend.

    A standard iframe breaker negates the problem.

    4 lines of code.

  17. davet says:

    I KNOW!!! It’s almost as though they don’t like being spammed!

  18. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but wouldn’t;,, etc etc. doing the same thing? No one has brought this up with those services before.

    or am I misunderstanding?

    All the best,

  19. Must say I agree, I think Twitter will take over in generating traffic to the Blogs. Twitter is growing fast in Europe, and I hope see a breakthrough in Denmark any day now.

  20. Mr. Gunn says:

    Iframes do suck, and Digg sucks worse, but the content has to come from somewhere, right, so it’s not like they’re copying your content and re-hosting it. What am I missing?

    Oh, doesn’t have frames, but there are nasty shortening services like that have this parasitic activity.

  21. Tim_Myth says:

    Is there a rel=”nodigg” attribute yet? ;)

  22. Dave says:

    So Digg is essentially stealing content and getting traffic off your pages.

  23. that’s truly amazing that they can do that… it’s almost like hotlinking an image like google images indirectly does… perhaps they’ll see a lack of hot new content being submitted and revert, however unlikely.

  24. Blogercise says:

    I personally advise people not to chase Digg traffic in the first place! Think about who uses such sites and why they are using it. Someone typing a term into Google knows what they want, they have a purpose and a goal, they are necessarily search for something. These are the people you want on your site.

    A Digg user is just clicking around and wasting some time, they’ve clicked to your site because Digg has put it up in front of their face, 99 times out of 100 they will have no interest. This is particularly bad if you use eg adsense as Google will reduce the amount it pays you if you are not getting clicks.

    I sometimes feel like the kid from the old fable who points out that the Emperor is naked after all! On the plus side, the more people chasing social traffic the less there are chasing search traffic :)!

  25. [...] Killt die DiggBar Linkbait? – könnte auf jeden Fall spürbare Effekte haben! [...]

  26. [...] 2. Abandon ship – Digg just isn’t worth it anymore Sick of the DiggBar? It might be a good time to abandon ship and focus your marketing efforts elsewhere – like Twitter. Patrick Altoft expresses this sentiment pretty well in a post entitled Digg just totally killed linkbait. [...]

  27. Will says:

    Digg is just a glorified scraper site now. I think the exodus to reddit will soon be massive.

  28. [...] the original source’s ranking in Comscore, Google and more. This had this news website editor weeping for the death of linkbait – and wondering when we’d begin to discourage our users from Digging our [...]

  29. [...] is the latest culprit when they introduced their Social Media Toolbar, effectively killing linkbait in the process. Basically websites like Digg have the potential of referring thousands upon [...]

  30. I wonder how long it will take the folks at Digg to react to this criticism?

  31. [...] Traffic and Links: As some people have stated, “Digg is just a glorified scraper site now.” The reason that this statement has some [...]

  32. Linkbait is still alive on and kicking on Digg. I’ve had a lot of my linkbait for clients pop on Digg and benefit from dozens to hundreds of links from other sites linking to it. Digg has not come close to outranking the original post once it has gone hot.

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