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I just came across an excellent post by our neighbor just South of the 49th parallel. Basically there has been a lot of chatter recently about Digg, and other social network news websites. Let's ignore all the "good vs. bad" editor talk and manipulation and take a brief look at Rand's post from a purely algorithm perspective.

For those of you not familiar with Digg and the like. Let me explain why the SEO community cares so much. Basically these sites have a couple of major benefits.

  1. They can drive thousands of visitors and generate excellent industry buzz (if your story gets promoted properly) – short term benefit.
  2. They can create hundreds of quality back links which will help your site rank organically – long term benefit.

Lately there have been plenty of posts about how to write a good Digg story, so lets focus on the math.

Basically stories get ranked based on the following algorithmic criteria.

  • Number of votes over time
  • Domain of link
  • Profile of submitter
  • Profiles of voters
  • Timing of submission
  • Similarity to other links (duplicate)
  • Source of votes
  • Manual review as it hits the homepage
  • Number of comments
  • Number of views
  • Down votes
  • Source of Votes

Rand has gone in to more detail in his blog – read his full post here. I felt that this information should also be posted here as there has been a lot of discussion inside our company about Digg and their competitors, so I thought posting this might help clarify how Digg works.