Digg Speaks About DiggBar and Your Traffic

    April 9, 2009
    Chris Crum

Last week, Digg released the DiggBar, a toolbar that sits at the top of your browser as you view content from Digg. It frames the content not only with the bar itself, but with a custom Digg URL. The following clip demonstrates what it does if you have not encountered it yet.

DiggBar from Kevin Rose on Vimeo.

Since the DiggBar was introduced, there has been a great amount of concern that Digg has started hoarding all of the traffic for itself. Some experts have come out and played down the concern. Brent Csutoras for example noted it would only increase traffic. He pointed out the additional sharing features (via Twiter, Facebook, and email) and that content would still receive page views, proper clicks for ads, etc.

Such reasoning has still not been enough to convince some people. Digg has now addressed the issue officially in a company blog post. Digg’s John Quinn writes:

Prior to launching the DiggBar, we reached out to Google and SEO experts to ensure we adhered to the leading best practices, as we framed and linked directly to source content via the DiggBar. This process involved gathering feedback from publishers to ensure the execution was as content-provider-friendly as possible. We took several steps to ensure that search engines continue to count the original source, versus registering the DiggBar as new content. We include only links to the source URLs on Digg pages to allow spiders to see the unmodified links to source sites. These links are overwritten to short URLs in JavaScript for users who have this preference.

Quinn says Digg has already launched additional updates this week to further address "search engine juice" concerns. He adds:

We always represent the source URL as the preferred version of the URL to search engines and use the meta noindex tag to keep DiggBar pages out of search indexes. For those of you interested in the technical details, we also include link rel=”canonical” information to indicate that the original URL is the real (canonical) version. Additional URL properties, like PageRank and related signals, are transferred as well. This is recommended by Google, Ask.com, Microsoft and Yahoo!.

Will this information set some minds at ease, or will Digg’s word about its practices not be good enough? One thing’s for certain – Digg is going to keep a lot of eyeballs on it’s own site with the DiggBar as it focuses users’ attention on what else they can find on Digg.