Oct 17, 2007 115 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Digg, Netscape, Reddit, Newsvine and others allow community members to share and rate news stories. They are primary news sources and influential outlets that must be considered by marketers. But don't expect to post your old-school press release and get a good response! Learn how these sites work and how to best tailor your message for maximum visibility on them.

Moderator: Danny Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Land


Neil Patel, CTO, Advantage Consulting Services

Chris Winfield, President & Co-founder, 10e20

Tamar Weinberg, Search Marketing Strategist, Rusty Brick, Inc.

Before the session kicks off, Danny Sullivan, Moderator and Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Land explained that social media sites are divided into many categories. This session in particular discusses social news sites specifically.

Kicking off things is Neil Patel the CTO of Advantage Consulting Services who says he loves Digg as much as porn. Getting to Digg's homepage is a no-brainer. Only stories that have the highest votes reach the front page and nothing less. According to a study he did, content that has been Dugg on the first page will get 129 links approximately. With great branding you can also receive 10,000 visitors. The Digg audience belongs to a younger male demographic as compared to other places on the web. Neil believes that podcasts are nothing but a waste of time while video is a good in attracting video and links.

Digg works on votes but it depends on timing too. Meaning, 100 votes in a day are pointless while 100 votes in an hour is significant. Other factors include the reputation of the person submitting the post and the number of friends all decide whether your story becomes hot or not.

Digg has unwritten rules that must be abided by:

  • No self promotion
  • Do not pay for votes (usersubmitter.com)
  • No Spamming
  • No SEOs allowed

Next is Tamar Weinberg from Rusty Brick, Inc. As a first-timer she is nervous as Danny tries to calm her down. Anyway, she's here to talk about Digg Tips and Tricks. Within a year's time, Tamar has become a top user and critic of Digg.

In less than a year, Tamar's become a top user. Also a critical user of Digg. She first starts with

Advice for Winning Content

  • Viral content works well. Lists, games/quizzes, controversy, tools, breaking news, videos, pictures (digpicz.com) technology/science are all very helpful topics. Come to think of it, everyone likes a fair amount of eye-candy.
  • A relevant title and description are crucial. A good title determines whether your article is read or not.
  • If you can, stick to Breaking news. This gives you a lot of credibility.
  • Be cautious about where you post your content. If it seems like a marketing ploy, you're in for trouble.
  • If you are submitting it in Digg, also use Stumbleupon.

Advice for promotion as a Digg User:

  • Create a clear avatar for yourself.
  • Give your contact details(blog, email, IM and so on) in you profile.
  • Befriend Digg users. If your digg their stories as soon as they are posted, they will notice it.
  • Post your comments on stories available in Digg. Add humor and write keeping in mind a 16 year old boy' humor.
  • It is miles safer to promote your own content in private. Use sites like Twitter, FaceBook, etc. but do it only when you are offline.
  • Make use of Digg's social elements


Further your Digg experience by integrating some extra tools:

  • Smart Digg button
  • Digg Alerter
  • Additionally: Social Media for Firefox
  • Use tools available at www.techipedia.com/2007/digg-api-tools

Things to Note

  • When in Digg, avoid SEO like the plague. Avoid SEO or marketing terminology in your article's title or description.
  • While networking, start by making friends with important people with whom you have common interests. Don't go around asking people to Digg your story.
  • Digg's algorithm, plays on the diversity of the number of Diggs per story within a specified time frame. Avoid making the same people from Digging your story again and again.
  • Be in no hurry to promote your story so quickly. 20 Diggsper 20 minutes is unnatural and suspect.
  • Go through digg.com/news/upcoming/most or digg.com/videos/upcoming to get an idea of the stories that reach first page.

Lesser Known Tricks

  • Do not promote your posts only in Digg ans StumbleUpon, use others too.
  • Subscribe to Digg's feed and read Digg's archives (www.digg.com/archives) to know what works.
  • While voting, pay attention to the categories as some require lesser votes than most others. Popular ones include Technology and Gadget. If possible submit your content in a different category that is related and relevant to it.
  • As you get more popular, the algorithm changes. In the mean time, take a break, find more topics you could write on or make new friends.

Last one to talk about Digg is Chris Winfield the President & Co-founder, 10e20. You and your business need to be on the first page of Digg, to bring in more traffic and gain maximum exposure. Per day, with your story on the first page, your site can receive 10,000 to 1,00,000 visitors per day. Now, these lead to regular visitors and bookmarks. The biggest benefit? When stuff from Digg get picked up by blogs, it results sales.

Know the language:

  • FTW (For the wind)
  • RTFA (Read the ****ing article)
  • I can has?

Know what Diggers like

  • Apple
  • The Office
  • Ron Paul
  • Heroes- the show

Know what Diggers dislike

  • RIAA
  • President Bush
  • FoxNews.com

What to Avoid

  • Stay away from Press releases
  • Overtly selling
  • Never fake content on Digg – Sony's fake PSP site

What works

  • Knowing your audience
  • Photoshop
  • Lists
  • Death
  • Get featured on a popular blog
  • A creative idea – knowing your audience

Case Study: A Leading Vacations Package Company

The package company needed links and brand exposure. Instead of going the usual route of doing “Top 10..” he used the number 11 (as opposed to Eleven). Using images, beautiful videos, banner ads and local information (peple love their towns and cities) a page was created. Remember to incorporate Flickr, Wikipedia and YouTube. Within 6 hours the post was on the homepage and unlike what usually happens, a maximum of the 151 comments received were positive. The site garnered 2,00,000 visitors single-handedly from Digg. Word spread and this influenced blogs. The post gained over 1,000 links. 200 people signed up for e-mail.

One Digg Tip to Live By: Make sure you have good hosting.

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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