Is the New DiggBar Pure Evil?

Apr 23, 2009   //   by Gerald Weber   //   SEO Blog, Social Media  //  20 Comments

On April 2nd, Digg launched the DiggBar. In Digg’s words, the DiggBar allows you to “Digg directly on the destination site, easily share stories, access, view comments while on the story page, discover related stories, see more stories from the same source and discover random stories.” In reality, as TechCrunch noted on the day that this new feature from Digg was launched, the DiggBar is a way to keep “you on Digg and shows the site being pointed to in an iframe wrapper.” This means that while Digg used to send large amounts of traffic in exchange for being able to feature great pieces of content on their web site, they are now trying to have the best of both worlds by not only using content from other publishers but by also benefiting from the traffic that content generates.

Not surprisingly, this new feature has generated a lot of controversy throughout the Internet community. While there has been a lot of scattered discussion about why many people feel the new DiggBar is pure evil, here is a centralized look at the three main reasons people are getting upset:

Steals Traffic and Links: As some people have stated, “Digg is just a glorified scraper site now.” The reason that this statement has some validity to it is because not only is Digg stealing traffic by framing in content from other publishers, but because the DiggBar includes a URL shortening feature, people will be linking to the “Digg URL” instead of the actual URL of the content. Regardless of how you feel about SEO, social media optimization, linkbait or any other related topics, I think we can all agree that when a publisher takes time to create a piece of content that people enjoy, they should be the one to receive the links and traffic generated from that piece of content, and not a third-party service. Just imagine if Google started framing all of their search results and creating their own URLs instead of linking to the original URL of the content!

Still Not SEO Friendly: Although Digg announced a change to the DiggBar (“301 redirect anyone who comes across a page with a DiggBar on it – IF they are not signed into Digg”) on April 15th that was intended to make it more SEO friendly, SEW summed up why this attempt at a “change” was not sufficient quite well:

“I’m going to go out on a limb and say this won’t appease SEO’s. This almost feels like an admission by Digg that perhaps their DiggBar isn’t quite as SEO-friendly as they hoped.”

Sets a Dangerous Precedent: As Kevin from ToMuse pointed out in his comment on a SEW post:

“What most people fail to realize is that if Digg is allowed to frame other publishers’ websites, more will follow their lead and soon the Web will be nothing but frames within frames.

This is exactly why frames were stopped in the early 1990’s. The only difference is that these frame spammers are repackaging it as a service and baiting publishers with promises of greater traffic returns. In contrast to Digg’s empty promises, publishers can improve their traffic stats by actually blocking the DiggBar.”

If you think Kevin is exaggerating, just check out the image he posted on his blog, which explicitly demonstrates what he is talking about:

Multiple iFrames

In addition to sharing your thoughts with all of us the comments below, be sure to make your opinion heard by voting on the twtpoll!

Recieve new weekly articles by email:

Similar Posts:

Gerald Weber

I founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. More recently I co-founded viralcontentbuzz.com. which is the free platform that helps bloggers generate REAL "social buzz" on their best content. Feel free to follow me on Google+

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle PlusStumbleUponDelicious

"Newsletter" Our weekly newsletter features some of the best curated SEO content from around the web!



Comment Policy

  • Anonymous says:

    Great article. I'll stick with StumbleUpon. Much less controversial. #DiggFail ?

    <abbr>Will Paccione’s last blog post..Why I believe Facebook is Hammering Myspace</abbr>

  • Anonymous says:

    Great article. I’ll stick with StumbleUpon. Much less controversial. #DiggFail ?

    Will Paccione’s last blog post..Why I believe Facebook is Hammering Myspace

  • I've never been a huge Digg fan from the start. I don't really know why, I just always liked the community atmosphere of Stumble Upon and the set up and ease of Del.icio.us.

    As of today, I'm going to go with Likaholix for the win. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I got in as one of the first round of users, so I can actually post content that hasn't already been posted, but I actually like the platform a lot.

    I never really felt that a typical Digg flood of traffic that stays for 2 seconds and then moves to the next one was worth the amount of effort it takes to get something way up on Digg.

    The Digg bar is IMHO, very icky. When people link to my content, I would rather they link to my actual url than to a Digg url, no doubt.

    It seems to me to be nothing more than a way for users to skim through even more content, even faster than before, and appear to spend 27 hours a day reading blog posts when actually, they probably don't read many in their entirety.

    @Web20Empire

    <abbr>Sheree Motiska’s last blog post..The Only Must Have Social Media Element, A Blog.</abbr>

  • I’ve never been a huge Digg fan from the start. I don’t really know why, I just always liked the community atmosphere of Stumble Upon and the set up and ease of Del.icio.us.

    As of today, I’m going to go with Likaholix for the win. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I got in as one of the first round of users, so I can actually post content that hasn’t already been posted, but I actually like the platform a lot.

    I never really felt that a typical Digg flood of traffic that stays for 2 seconds and then moves to the next one was worth the amount of effort it takes to get something way up on Digg.

    The Digg bar is IMHO, very icky. When people link to my content, I would rather they link to my actual url than to a Digg url, no doubt.

    It seems to me to be nothing more than a way for users to skim through even more content, even faster than before, and appear to spend 27 hours a day reading blog posts when actually, they probably don’t read many in their entirety.

    @Web20Empire

    Sheree Motiska’s last blog post..The Only Must Have Social Media Element, A Blog.

  • Sascha Kimmel says:

    "This is exactly why frames were stopped in the early 1990’s"

    Frame support was first introduced with Netscape Navigator 2.0 which was released back in March 1996.

    I'd suggest you'd rather write "This is exactly why frames were stopped on most large websites at the end of the last century."

    Many small and personal websites are still using frames, regretfully.

    <abbr>Sascha Kimmel’s last blog post..Cool Firefox Addons For Everybody</abbr>

  • Sascha Kimmel says:

    “This is exactly why frames were stopped in the early 1990’s”
    Frame support was first introduced with Netscape Navigator 2.0 which was released back in March 1996.
    I’d suggest you’d rather write “This is exactly why frames were stopped on most large websites at the end of the last century.”
    Many small and personal websites are still using frames, regretfully.

    Sascha Kimmel’s last blog post..Cool Firefox Addons For Everybody

  • Craig Miller says:

    I didn't even know there was such traffic stealing by digg, that's no seo friendly. what about propeller, i find it ok.

    Craig Miller

    affordabe search engine optimization

  • Craig Miller says:

    I didn't even know there was such traffic stealing by digg, that's no seo friendly. what about propeller, i find it ok.

    Craig Miller

    affordabe search engine optimization

  • Gerald Weber
    Twitter:
    says:

    Craig,

    Well this is just a results of the new DiggBar. Propeller, Mixx and Reddit are all OK. Although they all have their own unique culture. Digg is the only one using frames atm.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    <abbr>Gerald Weber’s last blog post..Is the New DiggBar Pure Evil?</abbr>

  • Gerald Weber
    Twitter:
    says:

    Craig,

    Well this is just a results of the new DiggBar. Propeller, Mixx and Reddit are all OK. Although they all have their own unique culture. Digg is the only one using frames atm.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    <abbr>Gerald Weber’s last blog post..Is the New DiggBar Pure Evil?</abbr>

  • Michelle says:

    It's completely fascist, and Facebook does the same thing.

    I have to say, I'm surprised at Kevin Rose. I thought he was cooler than this.

    That may sound naive, because 'business is business', but that's bullshit. With new media have come a new paradigm of user as equal (getting there anyway), a digital culture moving beyond this kind of corporate manipulation disguised as convenience.

    Digg should scrap the bar all together and apologize. It's a mistake not to, because this kind of business practice is not going to encourage loyalty or drive growth. They will have long-term issues.

    <abbr>Michelle’s last blog post..Shane McConkey 1969 – 2009</abbr>

  • Michelle says:

    It's completely fascist, and Facebook does the same thing.

    I have to say, I'm surprised at Kevin Rose. I thought he was cooler than this.

    That may sound naive, because 'business is business', but that's bullshit. With new media have come a new paradigm of user as equal (getting there anyway), a digital culture moving beyond this kind of corporate manipulation disguised as convenience.

    Digg should scrap the bar all together and apologize. It's a mistake not to, because this kind of business practice is not going to encourage loyalty or drive growth. They will have long-term issues.

    <abbr>Michelle’s last blog post..Shane McConkey 1969 – 2009</abbr>

  • vaunce says:

    This is a great post. Thank you.

  • vaunce says:

    This is a great post. Thank you.