The Holy Grail of incoming links for many bloggers is an appearance on the front page of Digg. It has the potential to send tens of thousands of visitors and bring about a lot of secondary links from other sites who see it.
However the downside of a site the power of Digg linking to one of your articles is that it is an authoritative site in the eyes of Google.
Yesterday one of my posts – 15 Stunning Lightning Images – got to the front page of Digg. It was actually an old post that I’d recently updated and moved back onto the front page and it already had done pretty well on social media sites so had some link equity already.
The front page appearance on Digg brought a fresh influx of visitors which was fantastic but here’s what I saw in Google’s search results when I searched for Lightning Images this morning:
Yep – Digg out ranks the post it links to.
I fully expect this to change at some point as Google’s rankings are in constant states of change and even the link to my post above will give it a little extra authority but it is an issue that many bloggers face and should be aware of when submitting their posts to social media sites, or other sites and forums with established authority on Google. update: the DPS article now outranks the Digg one.
I’ve seen this same thing happen again and again on Digg but also when a site gets linked to like a site like Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Engadget etc who link back to the source of their story but use a similar title for their post to the post they’re linking to.
I don’t think this is the problem of the sites linking to posts – it’s probably more an issue for Google to work on – but post this as a little warning for bloggers active in promoting their blog posts on other sites.
It is still a good thing to get on the front page of Digg, just one consequence of doing so to keep in mind.
TIP: One quick tip for those of you who suffer from this problem. If you have any control for how your posts are submitted to Digg, try to get the title to be something different to the title of your blog post. For example, if the title of the Digg submission above had been ‘Lightning Pictures’ or something completely different like ‘Flash, Bang – 15 Images of Storms that Will Rock Your World’ then it wouldn’t rank as high for ‘lightning images’ as my own post.
Of course not everyone has control over how their posts are linked to – but if you do, it’s worth keeping in mind.
Update: OK – some have seen this post as me saying that this is a disaster, that people should avoid Digg, me overacting. Perhaps the way I wrote this conveyed that I thought it was a massive problem – it’s not massive, it’s not a disaster, it’s not the worst thing that could happen to a blogger – it’s simply one downside. I’ve commented on this more deeply below here.
All I attempted to do with this post was to point out one thing that people might be interested in when they have their posts on Digg. It’s not the be all and end all, getting on the front page of Digg is still a good thing, it’s just one of the consequences of it.