Social Bookmarking Updates

Social bookmarking sites have had a big week, here are the changes that have occurred, the good the bad and the world’s largest Digger

In this post:

  • Why Google is about to go social
  • Digg launches Digg mobile
  • Propeller removes backlinks
  • Digg user banned for Digging too much
  • Why Microsoft will still buy Yahoo
  • New Delicious Interface and Domain

Why Google is about to go social

Myself and my mastermind group have been predicting this for a long time, but so far I have not delved into the specifics as I was not sure that I wanted to release all our thinking on the subject. Also, the Digg acquisition loomed, so why try to reinvent the wheel, so to speak?

However, since Scoble made enough of the idea public, I am going to start talking about what we really expect to happen very soon.

Take all the pieces and add them up….

  • Google reader
  • Google notes as a bookmark engine
  • Google profiles
  • Google sharing within profiles
  • Friends profiles within Gmail
  • Google social features in results

Take all these pieces and add them up and you have a social bookmarking / networking interface. You don’t even need to submit your bookmarks, they are already there in the Google search index.

My friend John McGowan at City Social Marketing has put together what we think the Google social marketing interface could look like. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom where we have a version of what it could look like.

Digg launches Mobile Digg

Digg has been working hard and build all kinds of new features, the most interesting is the Digg mobile site for Internet browser enabled phones.

Propeller removes backlinks to articles

This was actually brought to my attention to this as I had overlooked it in the new Propeller by B Hopkins tips on writing a good article. What Propeller now does is use a server side redirect to your parent site in your posts. So, Propeller is no longer returning SEO benefits from submissions that go front page or even items that get a decent amount of votes.

One of my social bookmarking friends posted this about the new propeller design and I definitely agree. Most of the redesign was about knocking the spam rate down by making it harder for users to follow friends submissions and simply mass vote.

A number of options were removed so that:

#1: more advertising is loaded due to more page views.

#2: users have to actually read the post synopsis, not just prop their friends submissions with a click.

But certainly, the design is rather 1999 clip-artish. Design aesthetics mean nothing to me really, I would rather have a site that is coded efficiently and executes blazing fast than any thing else. As a programmer and in defense of the new design, it does run faster that the old code. Now that we seem to be past the basic Ooooppsss! type error screens, that is.

I have never really seen a new code base rolled out and tested while we (the users) suffered thru a very low functionality period as the errors were found and fixed.

Digg user banned for Digging too much

One of my clients got a little carried away and Dugg too many articles. Yeah, that’s right, too many Diggs. Here is the email from Digg banning his account.

Greetings from Digg.com,

Your account has been banned under suspicion of using a bot/script/macro to Digg stories, which is explicitly against the Terms of Service (digg.com/tos) you agreed to.

Over a period of 24 hours you Dugg 4000+ stories which is not indicative of organic Digg usage and determined that there is no way you would have been able to actually read the stories you Dugg in the time-frame.

Thank you for understanding as we must be vigilant in protecting against activities that compromise the Digg Community.

–Digg Support

Now, I know this guy and I know that he did not use any clicking software. He is simply “The worlds largest Digger.” Not to be missed but also the owner of “The Worlds largest Shout

While I definitely recommend participating highly in Digg, do not just rip through results blindly Digging everything in your path.

I told my client that you have to submit good articles and comment intelligently for your Digg profile to prosper. Nobody listened and look what happens. Blindly Digging will just bring you up on the radar and you are NOT guaranteed your day in court with Digg.

Digg has so much spam and spam activities that if you brush up against the wrong side of Digg’s TOS you are thru.

Delicious Redesigns Interface and Updates Domain

Search Engine Journal wrote a great article on this last week as well as Thinking Serious.

Designer Daily has a good take on what they would like the new delicious interface to look like.

Why Microsoft Will Still Acquire Yahoo

But ask Eric Jackson, president of one of the company’s biggest investors, Ironfire Capital–which owns about 3.2 million shares–and you get a very different take in an eWeek article on the future of Yahoo.

“I had never used Microsoft search before a couple of weeks ago. I sat down to try it and then realized I had no idea what to type in. I tried Microsoft.com, but the only search bar was to help me search MSFT internal directories. I then remembered seeing some advertisement for ‘Live Search,’ so I tried Livesearch.com. It was some spam site. Finally, I tried Live.com, and the results were no good. I will never use it again. When I want to Google or find Yahoo, I know what to punch in. Simple as that,” Jackson said.

The bottom line

Social bookmarking and social marketing sites are not going anywhere, if anything they are going to simply refine their interfaces, move to ban spammers and monetize their business model further, so why not learn to use social bookmarking sites thru whitehat tactics?

9 Comments

  1. Posted August 5, 2008 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    The point of the article I wrote on the CSM Blog was from the stance of the Digger. Show me in the Digg TOS where it says A member of Digg has to read the articles they Digg or You may not Digg over “X” amount of posts per day. I’ve looked through the TOS over a dozen times, it doesn’t say such things… therefore it’s not a case of ‘brushing up against the wrong side of the TOS”, it’s a case of Digg creating it’s rules as it goes along. It’s not even a case of spam.

    Many people who use social programs, be they sites like Digg or the common message board, don’t give a fig about being a Top Digger or getting page rank… they are on whatever site they are on to ‘do their thing’. They may be there to post articles, they may enjoy the ‘voting’ process offered, or they might even be on the site to give their opinions in the comments section. It may even be the fact that the Digger gets tired of 90% of their attempted submittals being found as duplicates — so they resign themselves to simply digging posts.

    I am one of the first to tell people that they should learn the rules, both written and unwritten, and either abide by those rules or not be a part of whatever it is they are disgruntled with… but also when a person runs a site like Digg or a message board, the people running it ought to be fair to it’s members and treat all members equally. In my opinion, the casting of 4,000 Diggs in one day or 20,000 in a week is small potatoes when compared with those who sit on Digg and submit dozens or hundreds of articles per day in the attempt to get some articles to the first page.

  2. Posted August 5, 2008 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Regarding the Propeller… Many SB sites are using redirects. But they are 301 permanent redirects so some SEO benefit is still passed to the destination site.

  3. Posted August 6, 2008 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    @Bookmarking Bill,

    The Propeller redirect is a server side link redirect. This does not apply to 301 redirects, nor would a 301 be valid in these circumstances. 301 is for “content moved” situations. Not for a link.

    Just what sites are using 301’s if this is true?

  4. Posted August 6, 2008 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Chris,

    I just checked Propeller, and sure enough you are 100% correct. No SEO benefit exists. Below is the header check for an outbound URL (actual domain removed).

    HTTP/1.1 302 FOUND
    Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2008 15:28:24 GMT
    Server: Apache/2.0.52 (Red Hat)
    Vary: Cookie
    Location: http://a-domain-here(dot)com
    X-Request-Processing-Time: D=55426
    Connection: close
    Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8

    SB sites like Kirtsy are using 301 redirects on outbound links. I just had not checked Propeller for a while. I am glad that you challenged me on that. :) It’s good to know Propeller has no SEO benefits anymore.

  5. Posted August 6, 2008 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    @Bill, thanks for the great info here. Propeller does offer the benefits of high powered Prop users that you can make friends with. While it is hard to crack top users on Digg some on them are on Propeller and more accessible there. Also Propeller does give you an outgoing link from your profile that is dofollowed.

  6. Posted August 6, 2008 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know about others on Digg, but I really read what I dugg and if an article I don’t like it or try to fool me, I don’t dugg, even is from a friend, because all that I dugg goes to my feeds, so I respect my readers in that way… Great job Chris, I like all your articles…

  7. Posted August 13, 2008 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    Hey Chris

    Great site. Just found you from your comment on my blog, and I’ll be sure to check out your book…

    Just wondering what your thoughts are now the Google/Digg deal seems to have fallen though? Lots of opinions being bandied about on the net but you certainly seem to know your stuff with this so would be interesting to hear your thoughts!

  8. Posted August 13, 2008 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    @Billy Deakin,

    If Google does not buy Digg then they will launch their own social engine. All the pieces exist, all they have to do is roll them together.

    Google blocked Microsoft by investing billions in AOL. AOL owns Propeller but what Microsoft was really after was Delicious and Flickr at Yahoo. My position is still this: If Google does not buy Digg, then they have to roll out a social engine in Google. The problem is getting entrenched social bookmarking users to add yet another network to their list of daily tasks. That is a big job and Google has a history of acquiring properties rather than creating them. They learned that from Microsoft.

  9. Posted August 18, 2008 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    In ref. to the comment about Google needing to roll out a social site of their own, they are already doing that, it is called Google Connect, and it will allow you to add a snippet of code to your website, which will place a viral social media community window there for you have an instant community. You will be able to integrate Connect with most of your other friend networks as well, like FriendFeed, and instantly build a following on your blogs or sites. Connect is just moving into beta mode now and is expected to launch later this year. It is part of the OpenSocial network, which Google is a primary funder of, so it will have access instantly to just about every widget out there. Talk about a viral app.

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