Digg Bait and Switch

If you want to leverage Digg.com for SEO, you'd better understand alpha geek psychology.

Getting onto the front page of Digg.com is a lofty goal for many SEOs. They know that hundreds of links will ensue -- from blogs, Digg mirrors, individuals' del.icio.us bookmarks, etc.

Search marketer Alan Rimm-Kaufman's first successful Digg bait, conducted last month, was centered around a 120 foot long water balloon. Indeed Alan made it onto the Digg homepage, receiving 22,694 visits in the first 4 hours after being dugg, and 33,072 visits in the first 24 hours. With the Digg effect, the traffic spikes dramatically -- to the point that it often brings the web server down -- then quickly drops off to pre-dugg levels. Alan's Digg bait followed the expected traffic pattern:

 traffic graph from Alan's Digg bait

And the links that Alan garnered from being featured on Digg will be invaluable for SEO -- links from respected blogs like Geek News Central, Third Time Dad, Deadly Computer, and Edge.i-Hacked.

Those who have cracked Digg tend to understand the psychology of Digg users. For example, these alpha geeks love lists. And they absolutely abhor SEOs, because they think SEOs are all trying to game the system on Digg. If they sniff out that an SEO is behind a Digg submission, the submission will get buried and the URL may even get banned. Digg bans are known to happen even when the accusations of Digg impropriety are groundless, as was the case with TopRank's Online Marketing Blog.

Knowing this, it would behoove you to remove anything commercial from the landing page of your Digg bait before it gets dugg. Note how Alan's Digg bait is devoid of links to or mentions of his consulting company. Instead, he links to sites like Makezine and Ubuntu, which would appeal to alpha geeks. Very smart.

So then what's the benefit of getting dugg and getting all those links, you may ask. There really isn't much of one, since you aren't passing that hard-earned link juice on to your home page, product pages, etc. Unless... you add all your links, ads and commercial content to your dugg page as soon as the Digg traffic has died down.

Heck, some social media optimizers even cloak the page for Digg users -- serving a commercial-free version of the content to Digg-referred visitors. I guess you could call that a "Digg bait and switch" -- as in a bait-and-switch for your Digg bait. ;-)

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About the author

    Search engine optimization expert Stephan Spencer shares late-breaking SEO tools, tips, trends, resources, news and insights. Stephan is the founder and president of Netconcepts, a web agency specializing in search engine optimized ecommerce. Clients include Discovery Channel, AOL, Home Shopping Network, Verizon SuperPages.com, and REI, to name a few. Stephan is a frequent speaker at Internet conferences around the globe. He is also a Senior Contributor to MarketingProfs.com, a monthly columnist for Practical Ecommerce, and he's been a contributor to DM News, Multichannel Merchant, Catalog Success, Catalog Age, and others. Disclosure.

     

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