Should You Digg & Shout Your Own Articles?

Whilst it sounds like a cool song title, it isn’t. Are you risking a “google slap” for practicing bad social techniques?

Well, it must be Digg week! Imagine that. I logged in this morning and found this great Forum article on Social Authority Central by Chris Lang detailing an experiment he has been conducting with Digg. Full details of that article can be found here.

However, let me summarise what I can here.

On April 20, Chris posted an article titled How To Get More Diggs on his blog.

In this article, he details that you need approximately 20 to 30 mutual Digg friends and about 51 Diggs on article for it to appear on the homepage. Advise is also given that articles should be dugg in the early morning hours, Pacific Standard Time because more people will see it (information courtesy of Neil Pattel).

The one thing that all experts agree on, is NOT TO DIGG YOUR OWN ARTICLES. Let me say that again, DON’T DIGG YOUR OWN ARTICLES! You need one of the other Diggers to do it, preferably a power user.

However, Chris has found that his sites have been “buried by Google” today and are ranking very low for keywords they previously ranked well on. Chris is surmising that it is because of the Shouts he has been sending to his Digg friends. Although Chris has kept his shouts private, thinking that they aren’t visible to the world, he has since found out that they are and that this is where Google has canned him. I believe Chris is testing this premise.

So, where does this leave us Bloggers? We shouldn’t Digg our own posts and we really shouldn’t be self promoting them to our Digg friends.

Are you asking the same question I am? So how do Diggers know to Digg your posts? How do you benefit from the “goodness” that is Digg? Mmmmm, interesting questions.

Let’s start with the understanding that the reason we like Digg (and the other bookmarking sites) is because Google ranks links from these site highly in the search results. Having an article in the Digg links means that we have a higher likliehood to rank for our chosen keywords.

To have an article dugg generally means that at least one person has found that article interesting and informative.

Here’s what I think will help:

  1. Make sure your articles are interesting and informative (stating the obvious I know but….), don’t just regurgitate information. Develop a voice, be controversial if you must but DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT
  2. Make sure you have syndication icons on your posts – see the bottom of this post? I have the SHARE THIS icon, which allows my readers to bookmark to several of their favourite sites, at a click. I also have links to Onlywire and Mixx links too.
  3. Offer a subscription service to your Blog, so that your readers receive automatic notification of new posts. I use Feedburner to do this using my RSS Feed (See the BIG ORANGE button on the right). You can subscribe to me feed by Clicking Here.
  4. Add syndication links in the footer of the RSS feed, if you can. Feedburner is great for the this
  5. Some autoresponders can also be configured to automatically notify your subscribers of your posts
  6. User twitterfeed to notify your Twitter followers of your posts.

However, the final decision on whether to Digg an article or not, lies with your Readers…..

I make it a policy that when I read someone elses blog and find their information interesting, I Digg, Mixx, Stumble and Tweet. I have the ShareThistoolbar, the Stumble toolbar and the Mixx link on my bookmarks menu to make this easy.

Other sites that could help the Blog reader is Social Poster, which allows you to sequentially work through your favourite social sites and post the article.

By being an active member of the Social community, you should also receive the same courtesy back.

However, in the long run, making your articles interesting, informative and different and making it easy to read them will go a very long way to getting “syndication”.

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5 Responses to “Should You Digg & Shout Your Own Articles?”

  1. Great Post, I honestly am still learning about this whole digg, stumble and Mixx stuff. Its all so confusing. I Do try to do something when I remember to. Do you have any tips on how to remember to do these things for beginners?

    Tamara Wilson’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday April 23

  2. Hi Tamara, you certainly aren’t alone! I personally use the Stumbleupon Toolbar on my browser and the Share This toolbar.

    These then make it very easy for me to point and click to bookmark my sites.

    Apart from that, it just needs to become a habit, like saying “Hello” to someone! When you see a post you like, think how you can share it and act on it….

    Don’t worry, it will become easier.

  3. Yeah, you pretty much hit it on the head. This has been a test and has been a great ongoing thread on SMC. The advice I have given is well documented and everything you said is true as far as we know right now.

    Don’t submit your own posts.

    Don’t Digg you own posts.

    I made that clear right away in the beginning of the SMC thread.

    The question here is “Does shouting Digg items that are linked to your blog posts become detrimental to your Google ranking?”

    While my blog post got dropped from Google Websearch it is still #1 in Blogsearch for 4 days in a row. That is unheard of for blogs. As a blog post ages it is pushed down the list in Blogsearch.

    It is possible that Google dropped my blog post from Websearch because it aged.

    If Digg did not want us to shout Digg items they would not have the shout feature. If they wanted to quash self promotion they would add NoFollow to the links.

    But I have my shouts set to private. However in your public profiles your shouts are visible to all including Google.

    I am contacting Digg to see if this is a coding error or a anti spam feature.

    The question that remains to be answered is this: Does Google find your shouts to your friends to be a negative indicator when the Digg item is from your site?

    Now my test article “how to get more diggs” was submitted by a Digg power user. Not me, not one of my friends.

    After I found that it had been Dugg I shouted it to my friends list.

    Is that blatant self promotion? Yes. Does Google slap you down for it? We will find out. My next test will be to find my own content when someone else submits it. But I won’t shout it to my list. I will get my personal (not digg) friends to shout it.

    Now if the post shoots up and then gets kicked off, it is just the way blogs rank.

    Also blogs are ranked completely differently by Google than static web sites.

    I want to make sure that you all know that I am not out to spam Digg. If I wanted to do that I would create 50 fake profiles and go totally black hat and I wouldn’t tell anybody about it. That is not for me.

    What I have been trying to do is find a strategy that can get you Dugg, get your original blog posts ranked higher and increase your search engine rankings without being a spammer.

    I actually just added a reply to the SMC thread that, Yeah, if Google only finds you in Digg and not at the same popularity in Stumble, Delicious, ect. then you are going to look like a spammer. It is not a naturally popular item.

    If it takes your own time and effort to get a high popularity ranking on social bookmarking sites you end up spending all your time on it. How can you market yourself, write high end content and make a living if you are spending all your time on bookmarking networks?

    Keep following the thread on SMC and we will see because I am going to delete all the shouts seen in my public profile. If the popularity goes down then shouts found by Google are a positive indicator. If not then don’t shout your own stuff either.

    I have also asked Jack Humphrey and Andy Beard to comment on the thread. I almost don’t want their answers, I would rather figure it out myself and have fun using my brain.

    I welcome your comments on my original blog post or the Digg item found under “how to get more diggs”.

    Cheers = Chris Lang

    Chris Lang’s last blog post..How to Get More Diggs

    P.S. Thanks for the link!

  4. Hi Charly,

    I just published another rockin article on Digg, the privacy breach at Digg and how it effects your search engine rankings.

    I have very detailed documentation but Digg has yet to address it.

    In looking at your content I would like to know what you think either here on your blog, in my comments or feel free to email me. = Chris Lang

    Chris Lang’s last blog post..How to Get More Diggs, Digg Privacy Breach and How Shouts Can Hurt Your Search Engine Rankings

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