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The hypocrisy of digg and spam

Posted on Dec 21st, 2006
Written by Lee Odden
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    More aggressive SMO marketers often talk about being careful not to get user accounts banned on digg. But what about the domain name? Banning user accounts has to do with the actions of the user. That is, behaviors and actions the user can control.

    However, a domain name brings into other considerations. For example, whether or not influential members of the digg community like or don’t like a certain site or topic, regardless of what the mass of digg users respond to in the form of story submissions and votes. The site or blog owner has little control over whether other people submit stories and/or vote on them, bury them or report them as spam. Even if they’re not.

    Sites can be banned from having their stories submitted to digg based on the activities of others having nothing to do with the site owner.

    I recently learned from a top digg member that certain digg community members decided to start getting rid of SEO sites by emailing spam complaints to digg. These community members’ definition of spam blogs is not what you might think. As long as the site has to do with SEO, they apparently consider it spam because the digg community generally detests anything to do with SEO.

    “All the users decided to email digg on spam about the seo sites. It is their way of stopping them getting on digg even if they are not spamming. They also modified version 4 to stop spammers as well by removing the “befriend” feature on digg. Their version of spam is not splogs, but instead what the users don’t like (seo sites)”

    This happened to Online Marketing Blog recently. No stories from our blog had ever been buried until last week. “5 Myths of SEO” and “Interview with Stacy Williams” were targeted. Does anyone reading this consider those stories misleading or spam?

    The kicker is that we didn’t submit those stories. A few days later it was bye bye to our domain. To describe this as a rotten thing to do to a site is a gross understatement. I may be biased, but I would hardly consider Online Marketing Blog as spammy in any way. What do you think?

    An email to digg support was returned with:

    “When submitted stories are consistently reported as spam and users complain via our feedback email about submission spam, we ban the domain. The domain will not be unbanned. The domain would consistently get reported as spam otherwise.”

    -The Digg Support Team.

    I was at a loss until I put 2 and 2 together and suspected it was a concerted effort either by SEO-miffed digg users or competitors. The comments from the digg user above seemed to confirm this. Interestingly, a follow up email to digg support remains unanswered.

    If you are keen on such activities, be sure to read Graywolf’s itemization of tactics on how to get a competitor’s site banned on digg with this post: “How to be a “Dirty Digger”. For me, it was a bit eye opening as to how easy it would be. Regardless, it’s a crappy thing to do.