Natural Search Blog

Using Linkbaiting & Social Engineering to Get Tops on Digg

Seoblackhat posted a great article on Ten Steps to Guarantee You Make The Digg Front Page.

I like his tips particularly because he cites some methods that use social engineering or linkbait to gain Digg votes, and he also suggests using headlines which are more attractive to the big Digg demographics.

I’m calling some of Seoblackhat’s tips “social engineering” because he seems to’ve studied Digg users’ behavior, and quantified the sorts of titles and themes that would result in Digg users voting for an article.

Disclaimer: no, I don’t use “Black Hatâ€? methodology, if you’re wondering. Most the tips on that list are not black hat, with perhaps the exception of his tip # 8, “Make up outrageous statistics that you have not researched.â€? I wouldn’t do that, since I think it’s irresponsible to purposefully deploy false information that’s not obviously false/satire. Also, I think playing the part of a troll by posting stuff intended to incite people to anger is in bad taste, though it could certainly be a cheap and easy way to fast traffic building. Fast maybe doesn’t = sustainable, though!

Other folx, like Matt Cutts, might call most of his Digg tips “linkbait” or “link baiting”. Matt further mentions that just being controversial all the time without having real content likely won’t give you good longterm repeat users/readers. Seoblackhat’s descriptions for his tips are a riot as well — a very entertaining read!While I was writing this, I noticed that Digg’s website didn’t have its domain names properly canonized, so I blogged about that as well. Funnily enough, my posting about that ended up following Seoblackhat’s Step # 2: “Write about Digg.” I really wasn’t aiming to exploit Digg users when I wrote that — honest! I just thought it was interesting that a cool Web 2.0 site like Digg would make such a basic blunder with SEO, and it was too good to pass it up as a prime example for lots of smaller sites who’ve made the same mistake.

But, if tons of users were to Digg that story, I guess I wouldn’t complain. 😉

In fact, I’ll play along a la Seoblackhat’s style, and add the digg it link to this article as well:

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