Digg announced that it is now applying the no-follow attribute to any links that are deemed untrustworthy, effectively ending the constant stream of SPAM that is posted to Digg daily. While they did state that they are going to continue to allow link juice to flow to “trusted” articles, and they are not adding the no-follow attribute to all links, they did not specify what would constitute a trusted article. Links on user profiles, comments, and not-so-popular posts will get the no-follow tag, meaning it won’t pass along link juice.
From what I can tell initially, any articles that make the front page of Digg avoid the no-follow attribute, therefore allowing the social community to effectively police the articles that are posted to Digg. If an article gets enough votes from the community, it earns the trust needed to garner the link juice that comes from Digg.
Minimal Impact on the SEO Community
This really shouldn’t affect the good SEOs too much. Sure, you lose an easy source of links that can be built with keyword-based anchor text, but Digg seemed to be cracking down on link spam in general, so this just takes it one step further, and does so in an orderly fashion. This will really only affect the spammy SEOs that are simply posting articles for the single Digg link. If you are writing good content, and it includes links to true subject matter experts, you will still earn your link juice, they’ve just made it much harder to game the system.
Secondly, the no-follow attribute doesn’t completely eliminate the passage of link value, it simply dilutes it. How much? No one but the folks at Google really knows, and they’re not going to show their hand. The best you can do is read up on Matt Cutts’s blog post about no-follow and link sculpting and draw your own conclusions. For the purpose of continuing to use Digg for SEO, you should have a quality copywriter that can captivate an audience with a great article (or at least a great title), and you should build your network of friends, thereby increasing your chances of hitting the front page.
Other Social Sites Soon to Follow
It will remain to be seen, but the social media world is a copycat arena. Twitter was strong-armed into adding no-follow to all of their links, and now Digg has gone the same route. Digg has said that ” This work was done in consultation with leading experts from the SEO/SEM and link spam fields” and one can assume that the experts included Google. If other social sites start to get the overflow of Digg spammers, they too may start evaluating their own links and whether or not they should follow links. And you always have the possibility that Google will “help” them figure out how they should handle their links as well. I think there’s a good probability that more social sites will follow suit in the coming months.
If This Hurts You, You Need Better Link Sources This is a good thing for SEO. It will force out some of the spammers that can’t, or won’t put in the effort to find their own natural link sources, and will reward those who have spent the time building their profiles and interacting on the si