A special thanks to Prashant Vikram Singh for providing his endless help to complete this article.

From the past few months Digg has made many big changes, changes in their algorithm, introduction of DRE, increasing upcoming story time and now the recent banning of the diggers. These recent changes point my mind towards two things.

1. Are they doing these changes to increase traffic of Digg for their future buyout plans?
2. Are they planning to generate traffic for the submitted links like StumbleUpon?

digg-banned-script-users

Now I would like to explain you, why I think this:

1. Are they doing these changes to increase traffic of Digg?

A few months ago Digg introduced their long awaited Digg Recommendation Engine (DRE). Now Digg banned those users who were using scripts for digging their friends easily. First introducing the recommendation engine and now banning several users may not seem very welcoming. What I think they are planning something to make Digg a better place for the users.

Digg’s traffic has decreased to a very low level since they applied their algorithm change. According to Alexa, traffic of Digg is 3 times lower than they had like 3 or 4 months ago. You can see it in the below Alexa stats.

Digg-traffic-depression

According to the above Alexa’s analysis, Digg has the highest traffic in the month of June. But, in the last of the month the traffic again lowered to an average level. Digg would have realized that they should have more traffic than their average traffic. This thinking compel them to increase traffic as they got in the month of June. At the end of the month June (30th June) they Introduced DRE.

They got a better results from the DRE and got some more traffic in comparison to past few weeks and activity by the users, as told by Anton Kast in the next post (Digg Recommendation Engine Updates) after introduction of DRE.

Well, this is what I thought they had in their minds behind the introduction of the DRE, now they banned many of their active submitters who were using a script for digging their friends’ submissions and shouts. Digg is an open source project and anyone can use Digg APIs. So, the scripts should not have been a big issue for Digg and it wasn’t until the recent weeks. What I think compelled Digg to take an action against it was, they tried resolve a problem (lacking traffic) with the introduction of DRE, they were in trouble with the usage of scripts again. If you have 500 friend submissions and you want to digg them all, you will have to open all the submissions and digg them. In this action you have to open all of the submissions, which will increase their page views.

Script-digg-friend-easier

Now if you are using the script like “Digg friend Easier” then, you don’t need to open the pages because you can digg them directly from the page. So there was less page views per user. This caused the decrease in the page views of the digg which was resolved by introducing the DRE.

2. Are they planning to generate traffic for the submitted links like Stumble?

What I realized in these days that, I had got more requests for Reddit and Stumbles than Digg. It indicates that many users are leaving Digg because of their tough algorithm and their strictness. The top digg users are there because for maintaining their account and popularity only, and most of them go for reddit and stumble for getting traffic for their sites.

digg-vs-stumbleThere are many benefits of the StumbleUpon as compared over traffic from Digg. So Digg may think to apply some changes to make itself like StumbleUpon. SumbleUpon traffic is different than the Digg traffic in various ways.

StumbleUpon is capable of delivering traffic for a longer time frame in a viral manner. A Digg vs Stumble experiment suggets that StumbleUpon can send more steady infusion of traffic that it can send to a website that gets stumbled, especially if it is hit by multiple top users.

When you think for the Advertisement you won’t make a fortune directly from Digg users, but stumble is Quiet and reserved. on StubleUpon you can find more feed readers. The traffic from the stumbleupon look more on your site and once you got them interested you can’t stop their fingers. Finally the StumbleUpon traffic is better than the Digg Traffic. And also the stories get traffic even they not became popular on the StumbleUpon. So, Digg may think about trying to do some experiments to deliver traffic like StumbleUpon.

Well I had compared the traffic data of the upcoming news of digg and stumble. If you had any story in the upcoming of digg even it had got more than 200 diggs they would generally get approx 50-100 visitors. While in Stumble, I have seen that even if someone discovers anything on stumble you get at least 500 visitors to the article. So, people tend to go towards stumble and reddit, as it is easier than digg to make a story popular there. In the starting of this month, I had started working for a site and I had submitted the content on the all these three social media sites. First day what my AwStats showed proved to me the power of Stumble, you may see it here in the image.

AwStats

The post was discovered on stumble and got couple of reviews and a few ThumbUps, on reddit it was category popular and stayed there for a few hours and on Digg it got over 200 diggs and it did not hit the FrontPage.

The benefit for a site is only when you hit the front page of Digg, because digg front page has more visitors than upcoming pages. Only 4-5% of the visitors go to the upcoming pages. So, for increasing the traffic to the upcoming pages Digg introduced DRE.

DRE

Well you can read what DRE do here and here. In a nutshell, when any Digg user diggs any content then digg checks that who has dugg similar stuff and calculate your percentage of compatibility with the other digg user. Now if you digg on any other story that will be recommended to those users who are like you (or who are more compatible with you.)

Here you can find that what Digg disclosed about the DRE.

  • Digging activity is up significantly: the total number of Diggs increased 40% after launch.
  • The Recommendation Engine is running strong: at any given point in time, the system is generating over 54 Million Recommendations, with the average Digger having nearly 200 Recommendations from an average of 34 “Diggers like you”.
  • Friend activity/friends added is up 24%.
  • Commenting is up 11% since launch.

What does this mean?

Means digg users are going on upcoming pages more than digging them from the friends’ submission page, getting a clear picture now? Great!

After introduction of DRE the users want to know the users who are like them and prefer to see the stuffs which are recommended than to see all upcoming stuffs. So, the digg count increased with the digg’s upcoming page traffic.

If you could remember that when DRE was introduced the stories stayed in the upcoming section for more time than ever, and got more diggs in upcoming than usual. At that time you could see many stories having more than 500-600 diggs but they still stayed in the upcoming section. Also in an update Anton Kast said “We are thinking to add the 30-day Digging window to a longer time frame, to get more Recommendations.” Now this is what we talked about in the above paras, getting a sense of similarity as stumble. If any story is in upcoming and any new user digg that stuff it will be recommended to those who are like them, means when the story will be in upcoming for more time and it will get more diggs and more recommendation in a viral way. So, an article may get good amount of traffic even if it did not hit the FrontPage of Digg, ofcourse. So, upcoming stories may get more traffic from the DRE. This may work similar to stumble and stories may get traffic for a longer period of time.

I have discussed what Digg might have in their minds about becoming similar to StumbleUpon by introducing the DRE. And now the banning of the digg script users may also be the a step towards it. When the scripts are used by many of the users the traffic of the upcoming and other pages was very low, the users did not even go to the digg’s story page, then why would they go to the sites from where the link was submitted? The introduction of the scripts lowered the traffic towards the submitted links than the previous level. So, they have to take action against the script users.

Why Digg Shouldn’t Think to Generate Traffic Like StumbleUpon

Digg is a Social news sharing site for getting News about the world, technology, science, industry news etc. Digg users visits here for getting new updates and latest news about the appropriate category.

Digg is all about sharing and discovery, you’ll always find something interesting and unique. It is a news-sharing website, Diggers submit stories to the site and the items are ranked by popularity or interest. Many leading news websites provide a link asking readers whether they want to “Digg” a story. So the most of the digg users share the News stories. If Digg is trying to generate traffic like StumbleUpon then it will not be good for Digg and they might be a complete fail. Because the visitors and users who come here want to know the latest news updates not just for older news.