SEO’s Still Dominating Digg

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There was a recent study on popfail which showed the last 500 stories to hit the front page of Digg. An impressive 1/3 of the 500 were controlled by 10 users. Of those 10 users many are recognized in the SEO industry.

  1. MakiMaki – 42
  2. msaleem – 23
  3. jaybol – 15
  4. SirPopper – 14
  5. optimusprime01 – 12
  6. badwithcomputer – 12
  7. dagorret – 11
  8. mklopez – 10
  9. MookieBlaylock – 8
  10. irfanmp – 8

For those who do not recognize any of the monikers or do not know any of the secret handles of the Digg users I am not going to out them.

SEO’s are creative and very good at gaming systems (if they can game Google they sure as hell can game Digg) and as much as Digg tries to combat them I think they are hurting their overall user experience.

There are always going to be people who know how to “optimize” better then others and Digg should just accept it and stop thinking of it as a flaw or a bug IMO.

64 thoughts on “SEO’s Still Dominating Digg

  1. Erica DeWolf

    I totally agree- Digg is a great tool, yet very simple. Just because a few people know how to manipulate it a little bit doesn’t make it imperfect. Accept it.

  2. team ray

    i wouldnt called it gaming digg

    gaming to be when a person or company loses money

    digg isnt losing money because of it

  3. ShoeMoney

    Since when is gaming causing people to lose money?? Gaming is just playing the game. Gaming a system is when you understand it so well you can win it easily.

    Don’t hate the players hate the game.

  4. Zak Show

    Digg is a great tool to find interesting story and to get entertained when you are free, but it’s so sad to see some guys manipulate the all system! The Dugg stories have to be more natural!
    How much I need to pay to get my story in the first page :) lol JK!

  5. Chetan

    And am still wondering how helpful might the new “Digg recommendation engine” would be.. as the top diggers stories would be more commonly appearing in the recommended stories page.

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  7. Greg G.

    Depending on how you make money, Digg traffic can be useless or even harmful to your sites. It may have its place in SEO, but its a small one.

  8. Web Hosting Rebates

    The way most SEOs I know phrase it, they pay top diggers to “consult” on their articles. Basically, they hand a pre-published piece to the top digger, who gives them pointers on what would make the article more digg-worthy. The SEOs then take the recommendations and implement them, then they notify the digger that they have taken their recommendations. The digger is technically under no obligation to submit the story, but they aren’t dumb. And hence, you buy a digg submission without having to sacrifice your integrity… right.

    Ultimately, I feel that digg had limited utility to begin with. If it has become an exclusive club of sorts, then that utility is further depleted. Digg knows that its legitimate user base will evaporate if they don’t quell the gaming, but it’s not an easy task.

  9. JD Rucker

    Thanks shoemoney for posting this story. I’ve seen several blogs that aren’t linking back to my story. Referring to it as you did was extremely honorable, and the commentary you posted was excellent!

  10. Chetan

    I think Yes! As he always is with pronetadvertising which is Neil patel’s property!
    Still Saleem is a professional bookmarker at propeller and also a social media consultant!

  11. PPC

    The gaming of Digg is leading to it increasingly being seen as a less serious parameter in establishing web cred. Just Google it, you’ll be directed to loads of articles and posts about tips and tricks to game the Digg system.

  12. Get Rich With PPC Coach

    It is pretty impressive what this group has achieved. Congratulations to them.

    I do wonder how much value there is hitting the front page of Digg these days. I’m sure it still is good but I doubt it is what it used to be.

  13. Melvin

    know what? im impressed with these seo’s because they have managed to take a big network down and everything is under their control…

  14. CaptainObvious

    It doesn’t matter who submits anything, for any page to appear on the front of Digg it HAS to be MANUALLY approved by a small group of Digg moderators (employees), and they so happen to be biased in a very obvious fashion.

    And in case you didn’t notice, whatever is on Digg today was on DrudgeReport, Reddit, or 4chan three days ago.

  15. Fish

    What’s the point in ‘not outing them’ by not posting their real names – by listing their usernames surely you’re outing them anyway?

  16. Movies

    If you manage to stay a couple pf hours on the frontpage of DIGG, you would get ten of thousands of visitors….be sure that your server can manage this kind of traffic.

  17. RacerX

    So Maki is a Male from Toronto Canada…hmm I wonder if there are ANY big bloggers based out of there…Oh well, I am hungry and need to get my Chow on :)

  18. Scorpiono

    I’m preparing for my new big project – FrenzyRSS – and I’ll need Digg/Blog exposure for sure. Maybe these guys want to make some bucks out of their wicked digg gaming skills.

    Good pointing shoe!

  19. Dick

    By the way, if there is a desire to be in Digg on the upper rows, you need a lot of comrades. One man had nothing to do there -)

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  21. FreeKill

    Actually, I’ve had a lot of success with just emailing them. A lot of the top users need a lot of incoming stories to maintain their front page capabilities so if you just email them and ask them to post your link, they might just do it…

  22. Glenn

    Actually, I think it does make the system imperfect. Digg’s algorithms favor top users. Once you’ve made the front page, it’s easier to do it again. This is why they end up with these ‘power users’ that dominate the front page, and make it harder for smaller publishers to.

  23. Glenn

    Stuff like this is why I have been using Reddit and Sphinn a lot more. I think niche bookmarking sites like digg are going to start taking off more (thinking about launching one myself actually)

  24. BPaul

    Bottomline, regardless if these digg masters are pulling the strings, it’s providing a service for many web surfers, and that’s good quality content at your doorstep. When that fails, that’s when Digg will be in trouble.

  25. Dick

    There is another powerful bookmarking site – Pr 9, dofollow. However, I can not say for sure.

  26. Kevin

    You cannot hate the player, just the game. If they want to focus on Digg, that is there option. It may be bringing the traffic that they need and that is fine. The thing to remember is that they are creating content that is getting Dugg. That content will still be around long after Digg is done. It is a win-win for them.

  27. Ken

    I found out about Digg about 3 months ago and have since visited the site at least twice a day for the latest news. I especially like how they have a section devoted to web design because it has helped me out tremendously with improving/enhancing my own site, I think you’re awesome MakiMaki! I’m going to Google MakiMaki to see if I can follow him/her…hopefully you have a blog, twitter or plurk!

  28. Jkl123

    wow… that is strange…. I only use digg when it comes up in the google search but it seems strange that there are only mainly 10 people who post when there is a digg post on practically everything! Maybe theyre payed by Digg, so that they constantly have posts!?maybe?

  29. Jaybol

    I am one of those top users and I think this is pathetic. Ever tried doing research first? Look at this link which will show you my sources used in the last 30 days. If you wanted to write a relevant article you could try putting a bit of time in and finding people who have a username that matches the domain that they submit from every time. If you knew anything about digg you would know that spammy submissions that lack quality rarely make it through the community and reach the front page.

  30. Brian

    Yea, I had an “SEO Company” approach me about helping us improve our rankings through social networks, including digg. They said, “we have hundreds of accounts on digg, youtube and others. We just start a campaign and then focus all our accounts on digging the post to create buzz.”

    I responded, “Or, you can create us a campaign that real people would be naturally interested in and have the buzz be real…” His response,” We’ll get back to you on that.”

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  32. Olga

    As for me, SEO will popular and actual always, because will appear more and more new companies, which want to advertising their sites in the web. Aslo a reason: Intenet became more and more popular in our life. Without it – life would be not so intrersting :)

  33. David Eaves

    “SEO’s are creative and very good at gaming systems (if they can game Google they sure as hell can game Digg)”

    O.K. I will let you off with bashing 95% of SEO experts for saying that. Gaming is a bad word though, a lot of it is just good old fashioned hard work. The ones who work the hardest get the best results.

  34. Chip

    I guess that you gotta have lots and lots and lots of friends, and everything becomes sooo easy. Digging, stumbling, and everything.

  35. Agent Magenta

    I’ve given up on Digg as I found it far too time consuming to get good results. It’s so hard now to compete with those guys at the top. I prefer to use some of the smaller Digg clones these days. I also think the quality of Digg has gone downhill lately, so I dont even use as a ‘reader’ anymore.

  36. knud


    I am working on a site which try to solve many of the problems with
    You can find it on

    The main problem with digg is the voting system.
    When only top voted stories get on the front page it has
    to be a subject that many can relate to,
    which result in stories with a low information content.

    Crowdnews solves this by using sharing instead of voting.
    Every have a personal news page on which they can subscribe to other users and when those users share stories they will appear on the personal news page.

    Join me on CrowdNews

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