Digg recently added the rel=”nofollow” attribute to some links on their site, whose quality and veracity they are not sure of. This move comes hot on the heels of Twitter, who did the same for all their links last week.
Stopping link juice from flowing out from Digg to dubious sites became a necessity, in some ways, due to the spread of spammy material on the site.
The nofollow attribute will be added to all external links, comments, user profiles and story pages whose popularity happens to be below a particular threshold limit set by Digg.
Digg submissions that cross the required threshold will automatically have the nofollow attribute removed from the link pointing to the articles.
This way, spam-based content on the site should be reduced, while still allowing good quality content to benefit the content owners with search engine friendly links to the publisher’s site.
A number of experts from the SEO industry have been involved in the creation and derision of the rel=”nofollow” search engine robot directive. Digg has had a few run-ins with these professionals and the rebots instruction method in the not-too-distant past when they launched the DiggBar.
SEO professionals are mostly in agreement with Digg on this new system, though. It allows the site to give credit where credit is due and not penalise everyone, like Twitter is doing, because of problems created by spammers.
Google uses a similar policy on Knol: Authors who regularly contribute and are thus well-known and trusted get their links freed of nofollow, while those who are new, need to gain the trust required before the nofollow attribute is removed from their links.
Digg’s Nofollow Criteria
Digg has not officially specified, however, what the threshold of reliability is.
As of now, all profile links are nofollowed, even for extremely popular and trusted Digg users, all newly submitted links are also nofollowed, even if they have been submitted by power users and all sponsored links are nofollowed – which was probably done to keep Google happy.
The only links that have nofollow removed from them at present are those that make it to the homepage, category popular pages or sub category popular pages.
Even the most dugg upcoming or ‘Hot In’ category / sub-category stories have the nofollow attribute on them.
The criteria for getting rel=”nofollow” removed from a link, at present, seems to be simply making it reach the ‘Popular’ list, which is the homepage or the individual category / sub-category main pages.