Digg makes it harder to get dugg

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Today [Digg](http://www.digg.com) made a major modification to their algorithm. With [thousands of stories](http://www.digg.com/view/all/upcoming/most) being listed on Digg everyday it seemed like too many mediocre ones were making the front page, so it appears that Digg modified their algorithm (or the algorithm automatically modified itself) for stories to require more diggs before they hit the front page.
Required diggs

In the past month or so stories usually needed anywhere from 20 to 40 diggs before they reached the front page, but now it seems that most stories need 60 if not more diggs to reach the front page. Here are some possibilities on why Digg might have made this change:
* Too many stories were being submitted and [reaching the front page](http://digg.com/archive).
* Too many “[friends](http://diggtheblog.blogspot.com/2006/09/digg-friends.html)” were digging each others diggs.
* The quality of stories hitting the front page was decreasing.
Complexity of the algorithm

The good news is not all categories require 60 diggs before the story hits the homepage. It seems that Digg has taken multiple factors into account such as number of submissions in a category, diggs, and time because certain categories do not need as many diggs before the stories hit the front page. The [sports](http://digg.com/view/sports/upcoming/most) and [entertainment](http://digg.com/view/entertainment/upcoming/most) categories are two of the categories that do not require too many diggs because not too many people digg these types of stories and these categories are also low on submissions.
Hopefully this change makes Digg a better community where great stories flourish and junk never gets close to the front page. I guess time will tell and we will just have to wait a few days if not a few weeks to see if the change improves Digg.

Neil Patel
Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions. Neil also blogs about marketing and entrepreneurship at Quick Sprout.
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  • http://5tags.com Sean

    I feel this information is false because in the past there has been stories in the queue that had 60+ diggs. It all depends on the frequency on digging, and some other things. Since that story with 73 digs was submitted 10 hours prior, the story may have been dugg lots in its early life.

  • http://engtech.wordpress.com engtech

    Blah, I’m not a fan of Digg anymore. It doesn’t scale.
    Once the rate of submitted articles is greater than a certain amount, it’s impossible to get something voted up unless a) you have a large user base or b) you’re gaming the system in some way.

  • http://www.pronetadvertising.com Neil Patel

    Sean, a while ago some stories did have 60 diggs and still did not reach the front page, but that was rare. Now most stories need around 60 diggs if not more before they reach the front page. Watch the [que](http://digg.com/view/all/upcoming/most) and you will see what I am talking about.

  • Gareth

    What you’re describing (needing more diggs to reach the front page) is hardly a “major change to the algorithm” – it’s a small change to a constant, which would be better describe as “trivial”.

  • http://www.pronetadvertising.com Neil Patel

    Gareth, thanks for pointing that out. It could be a minor change as you stated, but the change has affected submitters in a major way.

  • captainktainer

    you’re gaming the system in some way.
    Which is exactly what’s happening. Take a look at all the lewrockwell.com submissions by Rhiannon1214. When one guy complained constantly in each article, apparently he got kicked off the site; his profile returns as being invalid now. I’m pretty sure he had a story about how libertarian diggers were coordinating to promote libertarian articles and lewrockwell.com’s “natural medicine” scam; anyone have that link?

  • http://meneame.net/story/digg-cambia-algoritmo-ahora-mas-dificil-llegar-portada meneame.net

    Digg cambia el algoritmo: Ahora es m?ɬ

  • http://www.myruns.com Bryan Green

    Yeah basically I got pretty sick of using digg over the months. I just checked digg and the new interface they have is much improved with most stories in the mid hundreds of votes. I just dugg a story too… stupid “My Dream App”

  • http://www.blosker.com mikkom

    I don’t think the solution is to require more diggs, IMHO the solution should be to allow downvotes.

  • bl

    hmmm, right now the first story has 55 digs

  • http://www.elliotswan.com Elliot Swan

    At the moment the first story only has 43 diggs, and the second only has 47.
    And currently there’s a story in the queue with 73 diggs.
    It’s likely that it has something to do with who’s digging them and how many downvotes they are getting, not just the number.

  • http://www.thedollarfactory.com seo

    If the change is small and only has to do with increasing the minimum number of Diggs before getting a story promoted then it won’t be long before it fails again. People will just get a few more of their friends to Digg their stories and trick the system. Ability to vote down a story is probably the best way to fix the quality problems as other have suggested.

  • http://www.centernetworks.com Allen

    Neil – first a comment – you are missing the word “of” in the second link in your post.
    Can you share where you got this information from?
    The friends thing is what makes digg go round. I hear to get to the home page you really need a power digger to start the post.
    Changing the number of diggs to the home page really does not mean much. Get another few friends and you are there 🙂

  • Allen

    all you have to do is look at the submitted stories by “webtickle” which submitted this story and you will see how the “power digg” works.

  • http://www.pronetadvertising.com Neil Patel

    Allen, before the algorithm change/adjustment it was much easier for top diggers to get stories on the front page. A lot of the top 100 diggers with over 300 friends used to get roughly 20 to 30 diggs from them and if a story needed 40 diggs it was pretty easy to get the rest from non-friends. Now that stories need more diggs, it takes a lot longer to get 30 plus diggs from non-friends which is why a lot of the top digg users are upset. Yes you can add a lot of friends but it won’t help too much because most of the “friends” that digg each others submissions are top 100 users.
    As for this post, it was based on my observations as well as observations from some of the top 100 diggers.
    By the way, thanks for pointing out the error.

  • Allen

    Thanks Neil for the explanation – now explain how you have over 1800 diggs for this story in less than 24 hours 🙂
    (or would you have to harm me first )

  • http://www.pronetadvertising.com Neil Patel

    Digg related stories are pretty popular on Digg, other stories usually do not get as many diggs. This week/next week I should have a few more posts about Digg which will explain a lot more. 😉

  • http://www.quickonlinetips.com/archives/2006/11/want-to-cheat-digg-gaming-digg-not-easy-anymore/ Quick Online Tips

    Want to Cheat Digg? Gaming Digg Not Easy Anymore

    Digg has recently emerged as the best way to drive enormous free targeted traffic to your site. Just post great content, Diggers like it, digg it, it gets on the Digg front page and that starts the cycle of thousands of Diggers headed your way, and man…