Digg’s Value to Non-Digg Users
A discussion going on on several blogs about whether Digg should be included in Google’s search results has got me thinking about the value that Digg provides to internet users outside of the Digg community.
To my understanding the basic argument against Digg being listed in Google’s search results is that Digg provides no new content (except for discussion) and therefore should not be listed above the original articles that are linked to on Digg.
First of all, I don’t think Digg’s prevalence in search engine results will change, but the question still remains as to whether Digg really deserves to rank higher than some of the articles it links to. After all Digg is just acting as a middleman to the actual content that searchers are looking for.
Shouldn’t the original articles be the ones to be listed instead of a Digg page that just provides a brief summary of the article and requires users to click once more to actually read the article?
Digg provides a valuable service to its users by pointing users to quality content ranked by their voting system, but Does Digg provide any real value to outsiders who stumble across Digg while searching on Google or to publishers whose articles may receive less traffic because Digg may have “stolen” their spot in the SERPs?
I actually do believe that Digg provides value to both Google searchers and publishers when Digg acts as a middleman when it is listed in the SERPs.
If it weren’t for Digg many good articles would go unnoticed to search engine users because the articles come from sites with a relatively low authority in Google’s eyes. Such good articles could be submitted to Digg, reach the homepage if it were interesting enough, and receive several links to both the Digg story page and the original article.
It is likely that the Digg story page would rank higher in the SERPs even when the original article does not rank at all. So all the traffic from Google that goes first to that Digg page then to the article is traffic that the publisher would not have received otherwise. At the same time users who click through to the Digg page can see a brief summary of the article as well as a some discussion of the article which can help them better judge whether it is worth their time to read the actual article. So in a way Digg acts as a voice of authority which vouches for the quality of less authoritative sites.