Why Does Digg.com Hate SEOs?

Feb 12, 2009   //   by Gerald Weber   //   SEO Blog  //  32 Comments

Digg URL Ban

I have noticed over the past couple of months as I have become more active in the Digg community (and making many friends), a sort of dark cloud appears when the subject of SEO comes up. Not only is there a general dislike of SEOs in the Digg community, but my URL has also been banned from Digg, per a ‘so called’ “TOS violation”. The ironic part is that the article that got the attention “10 Sure-Fire Ways to Get Banned by Digg” was about how to get banned by Digg.

I have been warned in the past by many friendly Diggers that it is not a good idea to have anything that reflects SEO in your profile, or this could make you lose points within the Digg community as a whole.

So here is where it starts to get interesting. A high profile user. mklopez submitted an article from this blog a couple of weeks ago. Now, I have to say I was a bit surprised (and a bit flattered at the same time) that a high profile Digger had submitted one of the articles from my blog. This naturally caught my attention. So I was paying attention to the submission at this point. It was climbing fast and hot in all categories.

(click to see original Digg submission).

Digg Submission
To make a long story short, it was buried at 256 diggs shortly after a user by the handle IHaveIssues had made this comment:

Hmmm…SEO marketing site? Seems like a Digg bait article.

Apparently, “IHAVEIssues” had an issue. Now, in addition to the article being buried, a few days later my URL is actually banned from being submitted to Digg.com. It is not entirely clear if this action was taken by the Digg ‘powers that be’ due to the content about Digg itself in the article, or if it is because the article was simply on an SEO site and this is viewed as a “TOS violation”. Digg still does not return emails on the subject. Only the generic TOS message when you try to Digg any URL from this site.

This URL has been reported by users to be in violation of Digg’s Terms of Use and cannot be submitted at this time. Please refer to our Terms of Use (digg.com/tou) for more information.

The best possible answer I have come up with (using feedback from other Diggers) is that since the article was on an SEO site, it is considered self promotional in nature. Although there is no sales copy on my blog, if you spend some time wandering around the site you would eventually find SEO/SEM services offered.

So I can ultimately understand this point of view, and it does actually make some sense. However, this being the case, it is pretty obvious why Digg.com might not be the best investment of time for SEOs in general. I would like to be able to occasionally share my “quality content” within the social communities that I invest my time in, and there are plenty of great platforms that do allow this kind of sharing. I’m not turning my back on Digg completely; however, you can bet that you will see the majority of my social efforts spent elsewhere for the time being.

As always, we welcome your comments and feedback in the comments section below.

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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+

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Comment Policy

  • I've always said (since it was the case 2 years ago too) that it's NEVER a good idea to have SEO in your website URL, logo, or site when using Digg. The hatred toward so-called SEOs was a LOT worse back then. IHaveIssues was a teddy bear compared to the kind of attacks I've seen on Digg beforehand against SEOs.

    To answer your question, though, it's a stigma by virtue of your affiliation with the search engine marketing industry. You are hated on Digg simply because you're writing an article you think will pander to the community, but you are perceived to care about Digg only for your own marketing motives.

    Honestly, I think marketers should stop focusing on Digg. Then, perhaps, the site will lose momentum. The ironic thing is that marketers really helped market Digg to the masses (which is why Digg is still so popular; it's a great site for gaming but not so much for real news nowadays IMO) but a lot of those marketer type folks who told everyone else about Digg are getting screwed over. The bottom line: while everyone writes articles about Digg, it's still on people's radars. Stop marketing Digg.

    The end! 🙂

    <abbr>Tamar Weinberg’s last blog post..Best Internet Marketing Posts of 2008</abbr>

    • Gerald Weber


      So it used to be worse than it is now? Wow! Thanks for your insight. 😉

      • It’s hard to say if it’s “worse.” I mean, I saw the personal attacks a lot more visibly back then, and they were pretty scathing.

        I think that most of it was successfully addressed because the majority of SEO type folks really stopped using Digg as overtly as they did in the past. Most significantly, they started hiding visible references to the act of using Digg for search marketing, and that really helped minimize the damage. You simply saw a lot of new search marketer Diggers not using their SEM-Group.net-related domains (and hiding their own identities), since both would have gotten them in hot water. 😉

        Diggers still hate SEOs, and the stigma hasn’t ceased to exist (which is why the domains are banned).

        Tamar Weinberg’s last blog post..Best Internet Marketing Posts of 2008

  • Alex Crabtree says:

    I submit articles to Digg on a regular basis through various outlets, i.e. Squidoo, and have often wondered at what point my submissions would start getting locked out. Every one of my lenses and blog posts carry at least one banner that links back to my store, yet the proverbial mud in my eye from the SEO marketers who are traversing this slippery slope has yet to occur.

    So, I would agree that you folks already go to the game with a hooligan tag planted square on your chest by the gate keepers, and before too long the likes of myself will also be uncovered as what we are; writers of purely self-promotional articles. Articles generated for the sole purpose of generation.

    What it will boil down to is how truly Web 2.0 Digg will be. If I’m not mistaken, Web 2.0 sites are ultimately in the hands of the users. This being said, I gotta ask if your URL has banned by user complaints or just because the Digg Omnipotents perceive it as spam?

    • Gerald Weber

      Well you have a good questions as to why y URL was banned. It is possible that the “Digg Omnipotents” did not like the content of the article. As it had some points that might have been construed as talking negatively about Digg. Bear in mind the article was not actually written with the intention of being “Digg Bait”. If this was the case I’m sure the article would have been nice and flowery and only would have only said lovely things about Digg.

  • Matt says:

    No way, the Digg ban hammer came down you the G-man!?!?! That's crazy, I've been reading your blog for quite a while now and haven't seen one article that was overly self serving or self promotional! Crazy.

    • Gerald Weber


      Well yes the Ban Hammer came down on my URL but might as well have also come down on my user account.

      Thanks for your continued support. 🙂

  • Dave says:

    As bad as it is for you, I do see the point why Diggers have a general dislike toward SEO guys/gals. I'm not saying it's a good thing, of course, but it's not more than human to start disliking a specific group, if said group abused Digg (in this case) far too often. Sadly it's all too common that people calling themselves SEO experts tend to tip their hats to the dark side more often than the light.

    I'm a new-time visitors to your website, and so haven't had the privelege of reading your previous articles. I will probably RSS up to see what you have to offer, as previous commenters mentioned what good articles you generally write. Banning your site seems a bit excessive, but then again, you're probably one of the good flies that got stuck in the huge net against the bad guys. SPAM filters make their mistakes too every now and then :).

    Hope you can figure out a way to un-ban!

    <abbr>Dave’s last blog post..Announcing Everybody Loves Clients (or, in short, ELC.)</abbr>

  • Gerald Weber


    At this point I’m not really concerned about being unbanned. I’m simply moving forward to greener pastures. Thanks for taking the time to comment and subscribing.

    Hope to see you around here more in the future.

  • Ann Smarty

    I've been aware of the problem but still decided to go there as SEOsmarty (I know this might be a mistake and I suspect that's partially the reason for me being banned from StumbleUpon, I also networked there using SEOsmarty nickname).

    For me Digg is more about networking, meeting new people, seeing new faces than trying to promote a page to the fp.

    <abbr>Ann Smarty’s last blog post..Amazon.com Navigation Menus Evolution</abbr>

    • Gerald Weber


      I actually agree with you about the networking. Despite this negative stigma associated with SEO on digg, I have made a lot of great friends and contacts. I’ll still continue to Digg my friends quality submissions and network there.

  • Dennis Edell says:

    Those mock and scorn what they do not understand.

    Simple minds perhaps?

    Dennis Edell’s last blog post..New Comment Policy – You Want To Read This

  • Jordan says:

    It used to be if you simply posted a link to a BLOG the Digg masses would go crazy on you!

    People are really trying to get Mixx rolling since it is a good alternative to both Digg and Sphinn.

    <abbr>Jordan’s last blog post..How to Make a Blogs Video</abbr>

    • Gerald Weber


      You know I really like Sphinn since it is more or less geared specifically toward the SEO industry and that happens to be what I’m all about. I haven’t tried Mixx but I hear positive things about it so I am going to check it out as well.

  • Gerri says:

    Because so many people put on a “SEO” hat and then spam their asses off, all of you are given a bad name. That’s why a SEO site is not well received on Digg. No fair, since you did have a good post, but that’s the reason.

    • Gerald Weber


      I have to say that people fear what they don’t know. I assist business owners show up favorably in search results for Google.

      Because I help people show up in Google this makes me a spammer in certain social communities?

      Maybe this is because many Digg people don’t understand SEO. I’m curious if they also think Google is evil.

  • Hilary says:

    I think Mixx is better place for SEO guys, digg people love Mac, and other stupid things, they get happy even if someone at mac base blows a fart lol

  • Yes, there are a few bad apples who will blindly submit everything they publish to Digg and claim it is SEO, which is perhaps why such a stigmatism exists on Digg. But I wouldn't even call that Black Hat, I'd call it a Dunce Cap. Digg is an SEO tool only in that it provides a high quality backlink that, if it gets enough traction (which requires being interesting to the Digg community, which means not spamming), may get a few more links. Digg is an addictive mindgame, but a relatively inefficient SEO tool. In fact, in many cases the Digg link you create can trump your own page in search rankings, which probably has a NEGATIVE (if a small one) effect on traffic. But the key to building a business is conversion rate, and the key to building an audience is a lower bounce rate, both of which Digg does nothing to contribute to.

    <abbr>Ethan Stanislawski’s last blog post..Why Jose Canseco Is The Sen. McCarthy Of Baseball</abbr>

  • Jose Llinares says:

    I might say that other 'Digg' like communities have the same problem.

    In Spain it exists a huge community site called 'Meneame', which is the Spanish clone of Diff. SEO related articles are voted negatively, even if the info is interesting.

    I suppose too many bad practices were done in the past for SEO professionals(?).

  • Kai Lo says:

    What happen to free speech? Digg doesn't give you an opportunity to speak up simply because they perceived you as an advertiser/spammer. There are plenty of people that are like IHaveIssues on Digg. They sit in front of the computer 24/7 to be Digg Police. They suck up to Digg instead of finding better things to do.

  • Gabriella says:

    To me Digg was never and still is not a viable tool. I have tried to engage my digg user name is http://digg.com/users/M7levels) and participate in the community as it were. I was left with a bland taste of nothing. Hard to do considering even bland has some texture. It seemed every article I "dugg" from others I never got a reciprocal. Now I see why. I am an SEO copywriter and I don't use my articles as "bait" I just think they are good informative articles. But now thanks to your article I see why. lolol I just had a "duhh" moment always nice when that happens. Thanks

  • Joe says:

    It’s really simple. Digg users are your average guys on the internet. They’re not marketers. They see SEO as somebody trying to sell something, and it’s generally frowned upon.

    Digg focuses more on politics, tech news, and humor. Get-rick-quick schemes don’t fly. Sphinn is a better place for that, as the community actually embraces SEO and other forms of online marketing.

    • Gerald Weber


      While I definitely agree wtih you that sphinn is a better place for SEOs your statement about “get rich quick schemes” being synonymous with SEO I find curious.

      I am and SEO and have many many friends who are SEOs and I loathe “get rich quck” schemes.

      If you think that’s what SEOs are all about then that misunderstanding may be part of the problem.

      May I suggest that there is a group of cheesy spammers, (possibly affiliate marketers) that are getting inaccurately pegged as SEOs.

  • audrey says:

    Sorry you got banned on Digg. I don't know why certain websites are banned on social bookmarking sites. TOS are quite complicated and most of the time, we don't really know we're violating anything. Maybe they're just too strict. Looking at your site, though, I think you don't really need Digg.

  • Dare says:

    What do you expect from geeks who don’t make money at all? Yes, they DESPISE people who make money especially online. It’s a terrible mindset to be in. I’ve been there and I know.

  • Baba says:

    Digg hates SEO. One proof is it has banned my URL (SEO Expert's Homepage. Basically, people understand digg as a part of SEO like getting indexed quickly in google, getting backlinks and increasing the SERP and the purpose of digg is not that. People still misunderstand digg which forced digg to kick out SEO itself. So, no SEO Stories are promoted and digg went nofollow. But people are never going to understand and will always target digg for SEO purpose. 🙂

  • Gerald Weber

    I think you are totally missing the point. I never taregetted digg for SEO.

    Another digg user submitted a post from my blog that apparently he found quite interesting.

    And digg buried the article and banned my site.

    The post wasn’t written with the intention of being promoted on digg or “digg bait” it was submitted by a power user that apparently found the article interesting.