Last week Chris Winfield did a great job reviewing the new Digg. Today, I want to discuss how the changes affect SEOs. We all want to get on the homepage of Digg because it can bring in thousands of links, but the recent changes made it both easier and harder to get stories promoted. Here’s an overview of the changes and what they mean for SEO.
Friends submission page. Other than spamming, the easiest way to get votes was to add tons of friends. By having hundreds of friends, when you submit a story many of your friends vote on it, thus increasing your chances to make the homepage. The reason this worked well in the past was because users could see ALL the stories that their friends submitted. Now Digg limited this feature by showing users only the last 60 stories that were submitted by friends. This makes it harder to get votes from friends unless they are constantly checking up to see if their friends submitted any stories.
Shout it. As Chris mentioned in his post, Digg released a “Shout it” feature. This feature lets you easily send all your friends a story that you submitted, which will help increase the number of votes it receives. There are two things to be careful with when using this feature. The first is that you don’t want to abuse it or your friends may think you are a spammer. The second is that if you have too many friends the feature isn’t currently working. Hopefully Digg will be fix this feature for the users who currently have too many friends, but for now it doesn’t work.
Notifications. Before, if you friended hundreds of Diggers it would be rare to get 10 to 20 percent friending you back. Now you can expect higher ratios because users get notified when others friend them. This should make it easier to build up powerful accounts and get more votes for your submissions.
The bottom line: Getting homepage stories. Taking all these changes into account, if I wanted to get a story on Digg’s homepage, the first thing I would do is to get a non-power user to submit it. This way the number of votes required to get to the homepage won’t be as high due to very few friends voting on that submission. Then I would get tons of power users to promote the story via the shout it feature. Granted, you need to know power users for this to work, but from what little testing I have done you can get stories to the homepage easier and with fewer votes.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.