Digg Adds No-Follow to Combat Spam

Digg made a change to their site today, adding the no-follow attribute to all external links until they felt sure the link was safe.

They also issued a statement about the change on their blog and even went as far as to speak directly to SEOs, saying they would indeed lose some of the authority they may have been getting from Digg in the past.

“These changes reduce the incentive to post spammy content (or link spam) to Digg, while still flowing ’search engine juice’ freely to quality content. We’ve added rel=”nofollow” to any external link that we’re not sure we can vouch for. This includes all external links from comments, user profiles and story pages below a certain threshold of popularity.”

Since Digg has received some backlash in the past about releasing changes that effect the way the search engines crawl their site, they made a point of mentioning that they had consulted ‘with leading experts from the SEO/SEM and link spam fields, in an effort to lookout for the interests of content providers and the Digg community’ before launching the change.

Of course it is important to note that they are doing a better job of handling ‘nofollow’ than Delicious does. Instead of completely nofollowing all external links, they are going to have a system to determine which links actually deserve to be followed.

So if you take a quick look at the front page of Digg, you will notice that all the popular stories are properly followed.

digg fp nofollow 460x292 Digg Adds No Follow to Combat Spam picture

Where if you head over to the section for the newest content, you can see it is being nofollowed.

digg fp nofollow01 460x252 Digg Adds No Follow to Combat Spam picture

Based on what I have seen on the site to date, the determining factor in whether a link is nofollowed or not, is simply whether it is ‘popular’ or not. Even many top level domains are currently being nofollowed when in the upcoming sections.

Of course this change should really not effect most social media marketers, as the social media site links are never what you really shoot for anyhow. So only people who really throw stuff in Digg in hope of getting any link value they can out of the site, will really be effected.

Social Media Marketing is about getting the visibility and exposure for quality content through the social media sites, and then getting higher quality natural links by being in front of an audience that is more prone to give links.

The only change that may actually affect people is the links on the profile pages being nofollowed as well. Unlike popular pages having followed links though, when it comes to profiles, no one passes the quality test. Not even Kevin Rose, a Google PageRank 6 profile page, has his profile links followed.

kevinrose nofollow1 Digg Adds No Follow to Combat Spam picture


9 Responses to “Digg Adds No-Follow to Combat Spam”

  1. The Dude Dean on September 3rd, 2009 2:36 pm

    From my email to Digg: Rel=”no follow me”? I don’t trust myself now? Come on it used to be rel=”me” you shouldn’t do up your long time loyal diggers like this.

  2. Splinter09 on September 3rd, 2009 9:45 pm

    I do believe that will reduce the amount of junk posted on Digg daily, but the real digg spammers, the ones that game digg's system to make it to front page will become even stronger. Stronger in the way that they will use stonger spamming strategies to make content popular.

  3. Gin on September 3rd, 2009 7:46 pm

    It’s ok to use the *popularity* contest rules for topics that are geared for this specific audience but will no longer be relevant for business or professionals.

  4. Gerald Weber on September 4th, 2009 6:05 am

    Personally I think the change is cool. Basically it sounds like links will be no followed unlesss they are made popular. I’m more about getting a story to the Digg home page than just submitting something for a quick link so for me it’s fine. ;-)

  5. Nick Stamoulis on September 4th, 2009 1:13 pm

    Well you have to do what you have to do when it comes to cleaning up spam.

  6. brentcsutoras on September 4th, 2009 3:26 pm

    It really should not make the power users stronger or weaker. Digg is never about links from Digg to anyone who uses it for real. It really won't stop the spammers so it is a big change that will really do nothing at all.

  7. brentcsutoras on September 4th, 2009 3:27 pm

    Will it clean up the spam? Did comment spam go away? Wikipedia spam? Delicious or any other social site that nofollows? Nope, nope, nope.. :)

  8. linkbuildr on September 4th, 2009 3:57 pm

    Even though I link build for a living, I'm still fine with this. There is too much bad junk out there and I'm all for better content getting the rewards.

  9. Singapore SEO on September 6th, 2009 2:23 am

    If that’s the case, then what’s the point of bookmarking your favorite websites at Digg? Am I the only SEO who is not wasting time at Digg?

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