Sploggers and Marketers Targeting Digg

Spike the VoteThe bigger the social media websites or memediggers like Digg and Reddit get the more spam and cheat tools they attract. News.com reports how fake articles from splogs are being promoted on Digg to drive traffic to the splog.
Some marketers offer "content generation services," where they sell stories to Web sites for the sole purpose of getting them submitted to Digg and other sites. This combination of spam and blogs is called "splogs." The stories often feature topics and keywords in headlines that are likely to appeal to the Digg crowd, such as "geeks" and "Apple."

Lazier but still tricky marketers merely scrape content off legitimate sites to put up on their own sites in a technique called "link jacking." In essence, they are hijacking the links that should go back to the original site, experts say.

In a posting last week titled "The Spam Farms of the Social Web," blogger Niall Kennedy detailed how a suspicious item recently made it among the top five stories on Digg before the community "buried" it. The Digg user submission links to a story entitled "Geek's Guide to Getting in Shape: 13 Surefire Tips" written by "Dental Geek" for the i-Dental Resources blog. The blog site has links to other pages with ads that offer content creation marketing services and which collect money for dental plans sold, Kennedy said.

Digg isn't alone in these problems. News aggregator Reddit and Delicious, where users swap Internet bookmarks, are also susceptible, Kennedy said.
The News.com story also mentions several websites trying to create systems to cheat Digg. A website called UserSubmitter.com claims to pay people to promote stories on Digg. A website called Spike The Vote appears to be a system that lets members trade diggs. Then there is the Friendly Vote Group, which appears to be a site where people team up to promote each others stories. It is unclear what kind of influence these communities out to game Digg have.

Posted on December 4, 2006

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