On the cover of Wired Magazine this month is a title of a inside story that really got my attention… It said “How to Game Digg”. Come to find out the article was more about gaming all of social networking including reddit (who is owned by the same company that owns wired magazine).

Anyway so there is a new site called Subvert and profit. Now this site says they pay out 50 cents per digg but charge 1$ per digg. This is pretty interesting…. except for 1 thing… Cant digg see the referers? I mean obviously that would tip them off? Sounds like a easy way to get your Digg account banned. Anyway they say they are going to have a referral program soon.

Here are some of my quick thoughts on this.

Idea wise: I think its unique and a service people will use. It will make money.

Ethically: hrmm i dunno. I think spam will still get buried.

Legally: this is a can of worms…. If Fox can sue howard stern for suggestion people vote for the worst singer on American Idol then I would think paying somone to game a system would be illegal and digg could seek damages.

Best of luck to them. At least they are trying something.

BTW if you do not listen to Rush Hour on webmaster radio you should. Neil Patel and Cameron O. always give the latest info on social media.

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

48 thoughts on “Cheating Digg Is All The Rage”
  1. It won’t last, they’ll get pwned trying to game Digg. Pwnage with gamed had to do it.

  2. I am guessing that they give you the URL to copy and paste. That way the referral information isn’t passed.

    Of course Digg could start not counting diggs that don’t have referral info.

  3. What I don’t get Jeremy is why give the domain? I got the same spam you did, and I was going to blog it, but I already knew I wouldn’t give out the domain.

    What do you gain by promoting that? Or more importantly Jeremy, what do your readers gain by you showing it to them?

    You said… “Best of luck to them”

    You’re kidding right? Is this the kind of message you want your readers to have from you? I realize you’re a very successful persona. I just wonder why you think it’s ok to be so flippant on something that is obviously a short-term, crap solution to building a real brand and/or readership.

    I mean, you didn’t build yours “gaming the system” right? I don’t think you did, so I wonder why you think it’s ok to let your readers think that it is an “ok” strategy?

  4. I read that they go through some complex proxies and stuff so they don’t get caught..

  5. > Legally: this is a can of worms…. If Fox can sue
    > howard stern for suggestion people vote for the worst
    > singer on American Idol then I would think paying
    > somone to game a system would be illegal and digg
    > could seek damages.

    Do you have a link to this article? The only reference I can find is that there is a website encouraging people to lobby congress to stop the sirius/xm merger to spite Stern.

    Legally speaking, “gaming” the American Idol voting… or the Digg system, isn’t illegal at all. Unethical, probably, but not illegal.

    It’s true that you can sue anyone for anything you want in civil litigation; however, unless you can prove financial loss or damages were incurred as a result of the behavior for which you’re suing, you’re unlikely to win anything.

    Is it illegal to create a business whose sole function is to game or manipulate another business? Not unless it’s a federally regulated industry like securities or gambling. Digg isn’t regulated, and so I don’t see there being a risk at all for this new service.

  6. They probably mask the referrer somehow with another domain or something but Digg will eventually find out how and ban the website, the users and everyone else who is associated with them. Best to stay away I say.

  7. Yeah, wasnt there someone else or another site trying this idea too? Didn’t last to long if I remember right.

  8. […] read a post on Shoemoney’s blog today that talked about a site called Subvert and Profit.  Subvert and Profit is a site that […]

  9. I actually had this idea a while back, but it seemed like a legal hassle would just end up pissing a bunch of people off. I decided not to spend time on something that will eventually get shut down anyways like this service inevitably will.

  10. Theoretically you can hack into someone’s browser history with a javascript+CSS hack. However, if Digg were hacking into all of its users’ browser histories, they would most definitely be sued into oblivion.

  11. Actually, its not easy to catch anyone when you rely on a client app (browser) to send info, be it in a header or otherwise. In fact, filtering by IP is pointless as well nowadays. Misguided references to JS histories, let alone voting patterns (which dont exist because blogs reference their own dugg stories just like this one) are only misinforming people.

    Take a look at Torpark if you need an example of real security/anonymity: http://update.torrify.com/distro/torpark/Torpark_latest.exe

    As for the practice in question, the only difference is this particular form of vote biasing is not endorsed by Digg.

    Reminds me a little of the whole ODP thing.

    At the end of the day, what these guys are proposing WOULD subvert Diggs voting system and its effectiveness if it got off the ground. But I find it VERY unlikely.

    You DIGG the dirt, you better have some SOAP 😉

  12. To anybody thinking about it. DONT.

    I am an example I used the user/submitter service, to see if it really worked, and promptly got blocked out of my account. An email later I found out that’s why. I was reinstated later after I promised not to use the service anymore.

  13. There are a number of sites doing this, as much as I disagree with it morally I can’t say I haven’t been tempted to try this..

  14. Whenever webmasters can do something that gets sites ranked everyone does it and eventually it ruins it for everyone and people move on to the next trick..

  15. As much as those methods are great if you become enough of a problem to Digg eventually they’ll find a way to eliminate at least some of your users..

    Honestly if your company puts a serious effort into quality control of what you put into the system then you should have enough regular users digging that it would be pretty hard to really find a trend and even if they could it wouldn’t be hurting anyone but if you start promoting garbage then..

  16. Theres always a way, ultimately if it becomes a big enough issue there response will hurt normal users and cause a problem but if it works alot of people are going to start there own digg scam and then yet another link building tactic goes down in flames.

  17. I don’t think its a big deal that Jeremy wrote about it, at least some of us have seen this before and most will never use it

  18. As long as there is a system there is always people that will try to cheat the system. But then usually a better system comes out of it.

  19. They can always look at their log and see patterns with your user’s digging and probably identify them with that.

  20. I think the whole existence of folks around here is on the margins. It is the nature of the middleman on the Internet to be squeezed. But once complex systems are in place, the marginal cost per digg is close to zero.

    Remember some folks may have several hundred digg accounts, so could collect real money from a few lines of Perl if this scheme persists.

  21. Fox may be able to sue Stern for his comments but it doesn’t mean they will win. Why aren’t they going after the site that encourages people to “Vote For the Worst”?

  22. for such services should be ban … Votes from legitmate users will be vaild. … it is totaly spam

  23. I’ve never been a big fan of Digg. I go to it once in a while and read a few of the top digg’d headlines. Other then that I find it to be a pretty useless community of IT nerds with nothing but time to waste. The fact that 90% of the users are all techey geekish characters pretty much tells you the site is not making as much profit as a site with the same amount of traffic and a different user base.

    Nothing against Digg. It’s a great service and it was a great idea, but I don’t really think it’s all that.

  24. I see so many diggs that are bought that I cant believe Digg doesnt find them right away when it is obvious

  25. There are several services like this out there, what everyone seems to mention when they write about them is none of them (including subvert and profit) are accepting new requests for diggs, so either they are just doing their own pages or they can’t game the system

  26. USers/Submitter still works, even though it is down sometimes. The real question is why game digg? The traffic is worse than MySpace.

  27. Me too.

    However – morally I don’t see the problem. It’s morally no different than paying someone to review your web-site (like Jeremy did here recently).

    Inevitably (as was mentioned in the article) sites which suck are going to get buried. But stands to give other high value sites a valuable “boost”.

  28. The traffic is crap until you get a prominent position.

    Front page = crashed server

    StumbleUpon FTW IMHO

  29. Yup, I like Digg, but it’s definitely been hyped a little much. Remember reading an article recently that said Digg is the #1 influencer of online traffic…

  30. I can’t remember the URL but there was another site awhile back that did the same thing. Digg started banning all the users that were referred from that site and the site eventually closed.

  31. they actually tried and did game the system…according to an article on mike arringtons techcrunch!

  32. I just took a look at their alexa stats and they seem to be doing quite well for themselves. I wonder how long they will be up.

  33. As a blogger, I have been trying to get my articles to the front page of Digg for a while. I would never do something like this, but I am sure there are desperate bloggers out there that would.

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