I’m not going to debate the ethics involved with gaming Digg or any other social media site. It is what it is. I do want to warn anyone thinking about using such a service. Digg is very aware of them and actively monitors their actions. If you’re going to use one make sure you understand the possible repercussions.
The S&P blog claims their system is setup so you won’t get banned from Digg.
* Our algorithm selects users to Digg a story based on how unrelated they are in terms of their Digging history. This is key, because one of the primary methods of detecting â€œgaming behaviorâ€ is seeing if the same group of users Diggs the same stories repeatedly.
* We hide the story you are paid to Digg in a short list of randomly selected stories that you will Digg as well. These stories also show up with the same relative frequency as the paid stories. This prevents Digg from making accounts on our site to see which stories are paid for, and then banning the users who vote for them.
* We never link directly to Digg.
* We verify our usersâ€™ Digg activity through a complex string of proxies.
Sorry, but I have to call B.S. on this one. Too much information is available for Digg not to able to develop a way to monitor who is using the service. If S&P was completely private and Digg employees were unable to create accounts, then I could believe the claims.
Just to be clear, if you vote for any of the Digg gaming services you are likely to be either banned or your vote rendered useless. Also, any website being submitted through these services is just as likely to be banned or auto buried from any future submissions.
I hear a voice from the back of the room say, “But Jeremy, where is the ‘Unless…’ you promised us in the title?”
Ah yes, the “Unless…”. This is where you have to be a little crafty. Note that this technique is good for one thing only, and that is link building. If you are doing social media marketing for anything other than links, please stop reading now.
If I was one to game Digg (which I am not), this is what I would do.
- Create a stand alone site.
It would be in no way associated with the actual site I was trying to build links for. Different IP, different whois, etc. The only thing it would have in common with the site I am building links for is the topic.
- Go to town building your Digg bait.
Make sure the Digg bait is worthy of the front page or it will be buried soon after reaching stardom. If the bait doesn’t stay on the homepage then no links will come. Once ready, fire up the paid Digg service and watch it soar.
- Rinse & repeat Digg bait weekly.
Or until it’s obvious the site has been banned or auto buried. Then just wait. Let it sit for a couple months while the links mature and Digg forgets you ever existed.
- 301 redirect it to the main site.
How sneaky I get with this would be really dependent on my paranoia level for the day. I’d probably just do a straight redirect but you may want to get a little bit more covert.
In the end we have the links and a main site that is still on Diggs good side.
This post is for education purposes only. Something to get you thinking outside the box. I would slap a Surgeon Generals Warning on the package about right now, but you all know that dirty tricks can give you cancer.