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10 Reasons Digg Could be the New Google, and Suggested Improvements

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 14 years and 180 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

Despite being incredibly sick of always hearing about “the new google”, and not believing it can happen due to the extremely high barrier to entry, I think there *IS* still opportunity for someone to gain significant share of the stagnating search marketplace. The ONE major reason it could happen – is geek mindshare. That’s where search was won by G. I read Rand and Matt’s excellent piece of the digg algorithm, and it got me thinking about why I like the site so well. If the same processes, and level of expertise can migrate to other genres – they have a winner.

  1. Simple, TRANSPARENT – yet effective algorithm
  2. Kevin Rose an Owen Byrne won’t sell out to Google (well – for less than a billion)

    They just need an index – Y and G have both taught us it’s about quality and not quantity

    They have the mindshare from early adopters

    Effective, scalable spam solutions (community moderation)

    It’s not hard to add topical categories

    About 10,000 beta users away from creating the best index ever.

    Strong ontology + decentralized user based quality control + (even a decent) index of pages + advanced search tools = kick ass search engine.

    Digg *is* webmaster central

    Relevance *is* the goal – and not a conflicting interest.

14 Tips to Kevin and Owen to Make Digg Better (go get ‘em!)-

    Develop a payment revenue share model for users

    Weight users votes with topical expertise

    DON’T Alienate your users – solicit feedback – and COMMUNICATE with top users – a forum (public or private) would probably be effective. RETAIN the goodwill you have – don’t abuse it

    Attract more celebrities and mainstream mindshare

    Build an index (even if it’s beta on a subdomain)

    If you can’t build an index – rent (borrow) one and lay your algo on it until you can.

    Get some funding and build the infrastructure (it’s still too damn slooooow)

    Develop a better ad model to pay for those better beefier machines

    Hire the equivalent of netscape anchors – but use a more creative pay model than starving wages for full time work.

    Get Leo Laporte on board – that guy rocks.

    Don’t be afraid of beta stuff on subdomains (look at Google!)

    Get your blog off blogspot – and never do anything like that again unless it’s for reputation management or link pop

    Hire Oilman and Greg for search advice

  1. Improve your advanced search functionality

Anybody else got reasons Digg will or will not be the next 800lb. gorilla? Suggestions for improvement?

More information about Todd Malicoat aka stuntdubl.

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  • Jason

    “12. Get your blog off blogspot – and never do anything like that again unless it’s for reputation management or link pop”

    Digg’s blog is here (looks like since October):

    RE: #10 too… Leo and Kevin are buddies already. I believe they worked together at Tech TV.

    Two down! ;-)

  • Mike

    Great article, Todd, and some great suggestions but I think that Digg will face the same problems as any new player in the search engine industry.

    Search Engine Marketing

    The Big 3 all had years to work on their product before the marketers got into them in a big (and very public) way. Digg would have to totally revolutionise what they’re doing to avoid ending up as a laughing stock as a mainstream search tool.

    Personally I like Digg. However I can’t see it ever making it as mainstream search option. Equally I can’t imagine that any other Digg based model would. The same people who have been gaming the Big 3 for years have been doing the same with Digg and that would only get worse if Digg were considered to be a serious contender. Let’s face it, the credibility behind community moderation can be purchased for a few dollars.

  • Lyndoman

    Don’t think so.

    It’s a niche of a niche.

    Out of the 15 stories presently on the front page 6 are about video game consoles.

    The technology scales, but the concept does not.

    I will still get my news from the BBC and use Digg for Industry news only.

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  • markus941

    I agree they could make a move towards that direction and really innovate. I think Ask’s model of “what did you really want” coupled with a mashup of search results, what’s been dugg, and what blogs say about it would be killer all in one interface.

    Thinking Technorati (but relevent) meets Google (but fresher) integrated with Digg (rank helped by user data + traditional search algos) would be a force to be reckoned with.

  • Hagrin

    I have to say, while your article is well-written and thought out, I think I disagree with almost every premise you listed haha.

    The algo is not effective (the story distribution when presented in a histogram when compared to market share makes no sense – i.e. geek fanboyism), spamming Digg is already rampant, the “group think” phenom is extremely prevelant, the business model pales in comparison with Google’s (Google gets the advetisers, Digg gets user generated clicks on a site where the Digg effect already shows Diggers don’t click on ads) and so much more.

    In fact, basically the opposite of your list is actually true.

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  • Li Evans

    Awesome piece Todd! Very well thought and and presented. It really made me think, and provoked me to write up my thoughts too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us. :)

  • freakitude

    Tip 15 : remove the ban from


    I am with you Jason on this one. :-)

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  • Kirby

    One of the few times I disagree with you Todd.

    “Its a niche of a niche”

    Wholeheartedly agree. It is hard to make front page of DIGG if you are blogging about much other than tech.

    “The ONE major reason it could happen – is geek mindshare.” Not enough geeks in the world, which is why #4, “Attract more celebrities and mainstream mindshare” would be crucial to accomplish this goal, but very hard to do.

    BTW, I really like the new site design.

  • Nick D

    So we have come full circle. Where Yahoo in its early days was a human managed directory, managed only by Yahoo staff, and where Google is hyper efficient AI spidering the net, Digg is again a human managed directory, but anyone can submit sites.

  • Steve K

    I think the fundamental flaw in the argument here is that of the “geek mindshare.” It is true that many successful ventures have been launched due to significant geek mindshare, but that is not the only requirement.

    The success of Google came because of the “public mindshare.” When the phrase “google it!” became a household saying, Google really started to take off. It wasn’t the geeks, it was the regular people who started flocking to Google in droves.

    For Digg to become the next Google, it requires more of this public mindshare, which other readers have pointed out will be difficult to come by, considering the geek-focused nature of Digg at present. Maybe this will happen, but only when non-geeks become comfortable with submitting and moderating on Digg (or the Web in general, for that matter).

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  • Brian Clark

    The type of geeks that made Google prominent are not the same as the type of geeks who control Digg.

    I’ll let you mull that over for a future post. :)

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  • seopravish

    yeah DIGG will be the next google as it will come up with new ideas as all this years they were just experimenting and now its there turn to show some real stuff,,,,,,,,,

    But still google is ready for anything,,,,,,

    It would be great to see competition incoming

    SEO Pravish