How to Get More Diggs, Digg Privacy Breach and What Shouts Mean to Your Search Rankings

How to get more Diggs and not destroy your SEO at the same time because Google can see your shout history

How to get more Diggs and spamming Digg is more what most Digg articles are about. While I have been putting together evidence to support my theory that we are hurting our search rankings by shouting our own articles, I have been tracking it to the T! I have times, datestamps and 20 screen shots to document everything I believe is happening here. This is part 3 in a series, part 1 and part 2 are here.

UPDATE: Many of the links in this article no longer work since I was banned from Digg shortly after publishing this article. Pleas excuse this but I want you to see what happens when you publish articles critical of Digg. As of this time no emails or phone calls have been returned by Digg in any way.

NEW!Also Digg Analytics guru Don Draper just wrote this excellent article on not shouting your Digg stories.

How to get more Diggs – Day One 4/25/2008 10:24 Arizona time.

I wrote my second How to Get more Diggs Part 2 article and published it via WordPress. For some reason Google did not index my blog on Friday and the articles appeared at #1 in Blogsearch on Saturday 10/26/2008 7:39 AZ time. WordPress pinged the pinging services, Google and Yahoo immediately listed my RSS feed in their readers but the article did not appear in blogsearch or websearch until Saturday morning.

Friday 4/25/2008 12:30 AZ time the article was submitted to Digg and shouted to a list of 100 mutual friends. Neither the submitter or the shouter are in my friends list, nor am I in theirs. This way it is impossible for Google to align me with any of the activity on the Digg item for testing purposes.

How to Get More Diggs – Day 2 – Saturday 4/25/2008 6:30am AZ time

The new How to Get More Diggs Part 2 article here on my social marketing blog shows up at #1 on Blogsearch.

It kicked my original “How to Get More Diggs” off after 6 straight days at #1. Everything I have read on the subject has always said that the post will age and go down the list. Even Charly’s blog post never outranked it, but hers is still number 4.

A few hours later the How to Get More Diggs Part 1 Digg item on first article is has now reappeared at #2.

Can you see how using many forms of social media marketing can take over the results of an niche term? Right now I own #1, #2 and #4. Just because it is Charly’s post at number four does not mean that it is not another form of social media referencing my blog and setting Chris Lang as an authority figure. Not to mention I have a two page comment on the page. LOL

At the (same time noon on Saturday) under how to get more diggs Websearch I am #6 for the How to get more diggs Digg item part 2 (the new article we are testing).

Now the original article is back at #8 and the part 2 article is in a sub heading at #9.

Now I own 6 top ten spots in Google at the same time under the same phrase.

At 12:30 Az time Diggs were at 104, the Michael Lofton post on Ning showed up at #3 and Chraly is at #2.

My How to Get more Diggs part 2 at #1 in blog search.

Both of my blog posts were at #6 and #7 and the Digg part 2 articles were at #12 in websaerch.

4:30 AZ time and Michael’s post is at two and charly’s post is at six.

How to get More Diggs Day 3 4/26/2008 5:30am AZ time

On Sunday morning How to get More Diggs part 2 was at #5 in Websearch.

How to get more Diggs part 1 was at #6 (it’s back) and the Digg item (more diggs part 2) was #9, more diggs part 1 (original digg item) was #10.

At #11 is a Propeller submission of the “How to get More diggs part 2 article.

In blog search the “more diggs part 2 KWD article was #1 for the second day in a row.

Michael Lofton’s post from SMC on the Digg thread has moved into #2. The Digg more Diggs part 2 item is #2. Charly’s blog post on my first “more diggs” article is at #10 with three days in the top ten.

So much for my theory that copy and pasting the original title and description directly from the article when you submit it creates duplicate content. Obviously since so many Digg users do this it has no effect, or it is minimal.

So far, more Diggs part 2 has been way more successful that Digg 1. The only varible we did not account for was the propeller item. Also the fact that all the articles link to each other is a variable that I did not account for.

Let’s see if the article stays up past the three day point. Also my search engine rankings have been very stable for the last three days. No major changes up or down to report and my incoming search traffic is also stable at 50%.

Day 3 Chris Lang has a chat with Digg

Sometime Saturday afternoon someone clicked the “bury” button on the part 2 article on Digg citing “inaccurate content.”

I looked for a contact email address on Digg and decided the abuse desk would get the fastet response.

After 2 emails asking why my shout history in appearing in my public profile, I emailed Digg a third time.

Chris Lang said:

Good morning,

I have asked you why my shouts that are set to private are still open to public view in my history in two emails sent this morning.

No response.

Now I have a “Warning: The Content in this Article May be Inaccurate Readers have reported that this story contains information that may not be accurate” slapped on the item that someone else submitted from my site.

I have never stated that any information in my blog posts was true.

Everything is “theories” and “I believe” and “I think.”

Look at http://www.keywebdata.com?=77 for the original content.

Here is the Digg item.

http://digg.com/tech_news/How_to_Get_More_Diggs_Part_2_and_How_Not_to_Get_More_Diggs

There is not any information that is quoted as correct.

Two different comments by readers even point this out.

In fact I would love it if Digg would respond in some way and tell us if shouting our own items is considered spam in any way, by Digg or Google.

Could someone weigh in here and clarify the subject?

regards,

Chris Lang

Digg relpies fast on this one…

Hello Chris,

Sorry for any inconvenience. Your shouts are set to private. You’re probably looking at your shouts when you’re logged into your own account. To verify that your shouts are private and not shown to anybody, try logging out and then viewing your profile.

This is also explicitly addressed in our FAQ (digg.com/faq). It’s in the “Accounts” section, question #8.

Regarding the “inaccurate” flag on your story submission…those choices are up to the Digg community. For whatever reason, some users who saw your submission buried it as “inaccurate.”

Additionally, “shouting” stories is not considered spam, it’s a feature built to highlight a story to your friends and fans that might otherwise be overlooked.

Hope that answered your questions, –Digg Support

They emailed me back in about 5 or six hours, from an live person.

I emailed the address from Digg support and I told them their party line was full of crap. I have not heard back but we did pick the weekend to do this on. Another variable I did not consider.

Right now I am going to screen shot my account, John’s and Sexy’s so that Digg cannot correct their problem and then refuse to address it. Yes John and sexy are real, they are not fictitious accounts. I also have permission form them both to screen shot their accounts.

How to get More Diggs Day 2.5 Sunday 4/27/2008 5:30 pm

Now I decide to run my search engine reporting software, this comes free as part of Social Marketing Search Engine Tactics eBook and is worth the price of the book alone.

I have been watching Google, Google UK and Yahoo slowly delist all my main search terms little by little each day for two weeks and it has been killing me. Since I quit shouting my own items that eventually link back to my site for the last four days I have been watching my rankings closely.

WOW that is so cool I cannot even believe it. Suddenly Google stopped degrading my rankings, Yahoo and Google UK moved me back up as may as 45 items and re listed me under terms that I had been kicked out (less than #100). I just wasn’t sub top 100 I disappered all together.

http://www.keywebdata.com/images/digg-google-uk.gif

http://www.keywebdata.com/images/digg-yahoo.gif

http://www.keywebdata.com/images/digg-yahoo.gif

As you can see the items I am listed under are extremely varied and have nothing to do with Digg.

I have come to believe that Google and Yahoo are not so much judging the shouts to your own sites as spam. They are simply finding repetitive links, just like if you were constantly submitting and Digging your own blog posts.

After constantly watching my Google and Yahoo rankings sink while I was shouting my own items and now looking at the sudden success of my new rankings I am convinced. This article you are reading now should confirm it. If it does as well or better than the first two articles and I see my ranking stabilize or improve, then I will definitely be correct on the shouts issue.

Chris Lang’s shout theory and screenshot evidence

So we all agree that continually submitting and Digging our own items will make you look like a self promoting Digg spammer. Right?

So if you have multiple entries in your history tab in your public profile with links to Digg items that also link to your site or the same site repetitively, how is this different from numerous Digg submissions and Diggs, by yourself all leading to the same site?

Digg you better wake up, read this article and disable the bad coding that allows what I am going to show you next in these screen shots. I have permission from all 3 Digg users screenshotted below to reproduce the content from their public profile.

Digg actually suggested I was stupid enough not to be logged out of my account so I logged out, closed all the broswer windows and restarted the machine.

Let’s start with my own acount, ChrisLang.

You can see that I am logged out.



Here is the history tag….

Here are the shouts I sent under my history tab in my public profile. http://digg.com/users/ChrisLang/history/page3

Next I browsed to Sexy Social Marketing’s profile who I cannot possibly be viewing logged in because it I don’t have access.

Once again I am not logged into my ChrisLang profile and you can see that I am truly on Sexy’s profile.

Here is the tab on Sexy’s profile where I screenshot the next image from.

Here you can see her shouts in her public profile and in the live URL here: http://digg.com/users/SexyMarketing/history/page2

No I browse to John McGowan’s public profile and you can see I am logged out.

Now under his history tab…

You can see his shouts and here is the live URL where you can find them. http://digg.com/users/Ashmadai/history/page7

The bottom line

Here is the results of my article rankings for Google Blogsearch Monday 3/28/2008 7:00 am AZ time.

I am listed at #1 for my How to Get More Diggs Part 2 article.

I am listed at #2 for the How to Get more Diggs Digg item.

We believe that this path in Digg is highly listed because the Digg user has a small friends list, did he shout the item and in not in any other friends list that shouted them.

Charly’s post is not back at #3.

Here is the results of my article rankings for Google Websearch for Monday 3/28/2008 7:00 am AZ time.

I am at #5 with the propeller article.

I am #6 and #7 for my blog posts.

I am #10 for the Part 2 Digg item.

Can you see how using Social marketing can create multiple entries all pointing to your content?

This is what Social Marketing Search Engine Tactics is about. Creating multiple forms of social media all linking back to your site, all carrying your original content and highly ranked in Google.

I could have crammed this Google result full of so many different form of media, all pointing to my site. However for the purpose of testing the shouts issue I let the thing run it’s natural course.

Open Letter to Kevin Rose and Digg:

Digg: I hope that you fix this issue. I could care less about spamming the crap out of poor Digg users that just want to enjoy using the Internet. In fact I now rarely send shouts at all. But come on here Digg. You are allowing my personal private information to leak out on to the internet.

You even cite that shouts can be set to private and they are not. How big of a privacy violation class action law suit are you setting yourself up for? I don’t want to sue anybody, I just want to not have my search ranking destroyed by your security vulnerability. Fix it!!!

Acutally I am trying to help you here Digg, I love using Digg and would really like to help you improve your users experience.

kind regards and still awaiting your reply,

Chris Lang

9 Comments

  1. Posted April 29, 2008 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    something interesting to think about and possibly blog on my own blogging blog…

  2. Posted April 29, 2008 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Chris, just read your post on our Link Building Best Practices blog and thought I would jump over to check out your Digg article.

    If some others can corroborate this data, in my mind, this is some seriously good research. How many of us follow the submission patterns you described? — most of us?

    Good job!

  3. Posted May 2, 2008 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Interesting and readable post – thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge!

  4. Posted May 3, 2008 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Your articles are really good. Digg is weird. I digg my friends’ stories but they don’t reciprocate much. Have you seen my sites?

  5. Posted July 17, 2008 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Hey Chris,

    Unless I am mistaken, it seems the listened to you. I went to the Sexy profile and am not able to see any of her shouts. Unless of course I am looking in the wrong place:)

  6. Posted July 17, 2008 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    @John Curie, those profiles were deleted by Digg after we told Digg what we thought of them the only way we could:

    http://www.keywebdata.com/?p=80

  7. Posted November 8, 2008 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    This is really good site and rich with content.

  8. Posted April 12, 2009 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    I like this theme you are using… what is it?

  9. gman
    Posted July 18, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    wow….. great website/blog. I just discovered your site by googling “why no one diggs my digg posts” and I was not suprised to learn that most diggers are just insecure people. keep up the great work!

2 Trackbacks

  1. [...] A couple of days ago I wrote about an experiement being conducted by Chris Lang about the effects of “shouting” your own posts on Digg. At the time of writing, Chris suspected that shouting your own posts to your Digg friends actually caused Google to derank your information and not list your posts in the natural search engines. However, that was conjecture at that time. Hats off to Chris, he persisted in his experiementation and has since developed a reasonable case that “Shouting Your Diggs” can indeed hurt your Search Engine Rankings. I won’t go into the details of it here, but check Chris’ post out for more detailed info at Key Web Data. [...]

  2. [...] you write about getting a few more Diggs by not spamming Digg then then your readers are SO FRAKING STUPID that they obviously think that I [...]