Some people who spend their time checking up on these things, noticed that Google removed Digg from its search results, which sounds ominous, but really, the whole thing wasn't that big of a deal. In fact, it's already back up and running, Digg tells The Atlantic Wire.
Despite conspiracy theories, Digg's General Manager Jake Levine has confirmed to The Atlantic Wire that the reason for the ban wasn't all that scandalous. "My guess is that it has something to do with links from the old Digg, " he told us. New Digg inherited old Digg's links and decided to redirect those links to their original source URLs. "And occasionally one of the target webpages (i.e., a target that we don't control) gets infected with malware; when that happens, we can get dinged as a link of redirection to malware." And actually, it turns out Google didn't mean to block the entire Digg site, just the bad links, according to a statement via Marketing Land's Danny Sullivan:
We’re sorry about the inconvenience this morning to people trying to search for Digg. In the process of removing a spammy submitted link on Digg.com, we inadvertently applied the webspam action to the whole site. We’re correcting this, and the fix should be deployed shortly
Digg is already back. The search engine has various reasons for penalizing websites and removing them from search results, some of which include nefarious things like buying links or acting as link-bait. John Rampton at Search Engine Journal even suggested that it might have something to do with Digg announcing it would build an RSS feed just days after Google announced the demise of its own. Other theories include:
- "Shady link building"
- Duplicate content, which could have applied to Digg because it reposts entire articles via its apps without advertising, as pointed out by New York Times developer Matt Langer.
- It might have had something to do Google using Digg as an example to show that its cracking down on SEO and bad links.
But, in the case of the great Digg Google ban of 2013, it was none of those things—just some malware from Digg days of yesteryear. And even if Digg had been banned from Google forever it wouldn't matter much. The majority of their traffic—like over 90 percent!—comes from direct visits to Digg, Levin told us.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.