Posted January 18, 2008 10:09 am by with 21 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

OK, if Valleywag’s revelation–that Digg employs editors to bury certain stories–is news to you, welcome to the nightmare.

According to someone who was approached about a job as a Digg moderator, Digg uses one moderator per topic, and their duties go far beyond patrolling the site for spam. While they don’t have the power to launch a story straight to the homepage, they can adjust the criteria to make it easier or harder for a story to make it big. And in so doing, of course, they exercise editorial judgment. When you submit a story to Digg, it’s not just in the hands of the users; it’s also at the mercy of unnamed Digg editors.

I’ve seen an increase in the number of Marketing Pilgrim stories buried on Digg, and I know others have seen the same. It’s extremely frustrating to see a system that’s supposed to let the users decide what’s popular, what’s lame, and what should be buried, interject itself and not tell anyone.

So, I’d like to ask you. Have you seen an increase in stories buried on Digg? And was it related to internet marketing in any way?

  • Pingback: The Digg Bury Brigade Saga Continues » Lake Star Media Weblog()

  • I don’t know if it’s true … I’ve heard and read many similar stories but I don’t know if the fact that your story gets buried more often is a human intervention or part of the algorithm that we as bloggers just don’t know about …

    Then again, your speculation is based on potential reality as well …

    Time for an ice cream ….

    Lex –

  • I would be curious to see if every digg post that makes it onto twitter eventually gets buried.

    Kind of seems that way from what I have seen over the past couple weeks.

  • I suspect that this marks the beginning of the end of Digg.

  • Though I don’t have positive proof, in my experience, articles that are clearly about marketing, SEO or related topics get buried.

    What seems to happen is that such articles (when popular) get all the way to the first or second “upcoming” page — and then completely drop-off).

    My theory is that if there are digg editors that are monitoring individual topics, they bury things not when the article is initially submitted (because the volume is high), but before they make it to the digg front page.

    Of course, this is completely conjecture, but I’ve seen this phenomenal several times — and coincidentally, articles that are not overtly about marketing (but of similar quality) often break through.

  • There’s a lot of sites on auto-bury. That’s too bad because a lot of ’em have great content. I wish Digg was more democratic and social than it really is.

  • I’ve had an article related to managing time hit the Digg frontpage on the very day of my launch with about 70 diggs and during the next two days, two other articles (one providing hosting tips and one providing tips on how to make money online) have each received about 100 diggs yet have not made the frontpage so that I’d say that something fishy is clearly going on. Personally, SU has worked a lot better for me and Digg should do something about those editors while they still can.

    Alan Johnson

  • Gail Nobles

    Andy, I wouldn’t doubt it. Nothing is %100 right on the internet. We can’t depend on nothing. I found you here. Not through Digg. If you are writing for these sites and getting paid for it, you are doing better than most. If you’re story is getting buried at social sites like Digg, you have nothing to worry about. There are other options like right here. People see your article. If you have never made it to the front page of Digg, you can’t miss something that you never had. Don’t worry about being buried. They don’t deserve great articles like yours. You are doing great and your writing ability may need to be in a better place than Digg.

  • Indeed, there are so many options as far as the issue of getting exposure for your articles is concerned that one really can’t complain. If the people over at Digg choose not to do anything about the current situation it’s their problem and they will just have to deal with the consequences.

    Alan Johnson

  • Just switch to Mixx or Sphinn

  • This is news. didn’t know there were moderators between the posts and the people. To have moderators to busy spammy links that are artificially raised up the ladder is alright, but to bury genuine stories is a different thing altogether.

  • I’ve always known something was “fishy’ – How can you have a story that is digged 20 minutes ago – have 500 diggs and an interesting story that is 3 days old only have 1 or 2 diggs?

    As far as editors playing thier part in the scheem – I had a friend who gave up on Digg. he would post [ digg] a story and get no results, only to find a similar or same story digged by someone else an have great results. He even went as far as to check the similarity of how the story was written – and with none to little difference – his diggs never got more than 3 diggs. Interesting……????

  • Although I’ve submitted to DIGG, I could never find my story afterwards. It seems to have disappeared into thin area. Perhaps it’s there someplace…isn’t it?

  • Although I’ve submitted to DIGG, I could never find my story right afterwards. It seems to have vanished into thin air. But it must be in there someplace…please (:

  • Well you can login and check your profile, if you can’t find it that way then it means that the story in question no longer exists.

    Alan Johnson

  • I have used digg to test possible interest and to help showcase new things, but in the end, unless you have a large group of users to help you get that initial bump, then you can be left standing around in the cold.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if they do have editors doing more than spam protection. But twisting the results in a so called democratic site just screams of hypocrisy.
    You can have one or the other. It is either democratic, or it is just another google style site with hidden algorithms and editors adjusting the results in a way that they see fit.

    It is still another way to get your stuff out there, just don’t rely on its results, as there are plenty of other similar sites out there. (and cross posting to see the difference in results can result in some quite interesting ranking differences)

  • This is insane. I mean how can one get his story digged maximum times who has just posted few minutes ago.

  • I submit to digg all the time. I am actually ranked in the top 160 diggers, and I have seen an increase in stories getting buried.

    I don’t know if it’s the automated bury, that I have heard so much about recently, or if it’s the editors/moderators of digg.

    Either way, it’s incredibly frustrating to see your story get 125+ votes, but not make it to the FP. Then suddenly get a crapload of buries…

  • As you know, you can comment on your own story and get at least one digg upfront.

  • I had 13 stories go popular in a span of just over two weeks, and in the past week, none. What’s more, none of my new stories in the past three days have even shown up on Digg’s “Upcoming” pages in the Movies category, despite some of them having 80 diggs. All of them have enough to qualify for Upcoming, but not one has made it since Saturday.

  • Pingback: Reviewing a Perilous Transition - The News of January 2008 » Search Engine Optimization Blog()