Digg Members Go Renegade

I don’t spend too much time frequenting Digg, but this sucks.

Lee Odden reports that his Online Marketing Blog was recently banned from Digg for consistently spamming. Of course anyone who knows Lee knows that Lee Odden is not a spammer. His blog is filled with informative, intelligent content, but unfortunately that doesn’t matter. It seems there’s a new campaign over there at Digg that the rest of us didn’t know about.

Lee explains:

"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."

I know I’ve joked before about the high school mentality of Digg and we all know Digg users are notorious for not liking SEOs, but are you serious? A group of people can join together to get my URL banned just because they don’t like me or the type of work that I do? These people really need to grow up and get a life.

The dangerous part is that a URL can get banned even if it’s not the site owner that’s submitting the content. For example, Lee Odden’s site was banned after a reader Dugg one his articles. Lee wasn’t even involved.

Sadly, Lee’s not the only one experiencing this. Chris Winfield posted a list of other domains that are now banned by Digg for the same ridiculous reason, including Text Link Ads and the entire DigitalPoint forum. And don’t even bother submitting a site that has the word "SEO" in your URL. If just 10 people vote to ban your site, Digg may label you a spammer and ban you.

Yesterday, Michael Graywolf posted How to be a Dirty Digger, which was a virtual how-to guide for getting someone banned from Digg. I chuckled when I read it because despite its obvious ability to be used for evil, it highlighted how easy it is to manipulate the Digg system and take out your competition. I hoped it would be a sign to the guys behind Digg that something needs fixing. Obviously some kind of review process needs to be created before we go kicking people out of the lunch room for wearing the wrong clothes.

But until that happens, Digg remains its own self-destructing mob that even its founders can’t rein in. And that’s sad. The search engine optimization community has been very good to Digg. Digg and other community-based media sites were a hot topic at SES Chicago earlier this month, but instances like this will create a backlash that Digg will not be able to recover from. We’re already hearing reports of SEOs taking their "Digg This" button off their site, if only for self protection.

Part of launching a community is monitoring it to make sure it’s running correctly. You can’t let your community decide to eradicate an entire industry. That has a tendency to irritate people.

Lisa Barone is a writer, content marketer & VP of strategy at Overit Media. She's also a very active Twitterer, much to the dismay of the rest of the world.

See Lisa's author page for links to connect on social media.

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