In the discussion of Made for Digg Sites Knuttz.net kept coming up. Knuttz is one of those entertainment sites catering to the college/teen market consisting mainly of interesting images. A search for Knuttz domain submissions on Digg sorted by the most Diggs gives us the following Top 3.
Incidentally, the aquarium story is the only one that held it’s ground in the overall Top 10 during the iPhone bonanza. Go figure.
Although they’ve been around for 6 months and their stories have been submitted for roughly the same amount of time, their success reaching the front page of Digg is relatively recent and is evidenced by the following Alexa graph:
By narrowly targeting a subclass of Digg users that crave entertaining images, the creators of Knuttz have been able to boost their profile. Alister Cameron has done some excellent detective work which brings us to the question: has Knuttz been cleverly orchestrating a strategy to systematically game Digg?
It seems the creators of Knuttz have cleverly positioned their site over the course of six months to make it easier and easier to get their content on the Digg front page. If you look at the search results, submissions to Digg were made early on. It’s unlikely that a completely unknown site would immediately start getting submissions to Digg unless they’ve executed a clever linking strategy.
Now “gaming” is a loaded word but I don’t mean there’s any ulterior motive other than to get Digg traffic. The nature of the site being amusing images, you can bet that all the low revenue clicks are mostly eaten up by hosting. However, with direct ads they can probably still make a decent profit.
This is exactly the kind of dilemma facing Digg’s policy of banning sites based on arbitrary criteria. Clearly, Digg users love Knuttz and the creators of Knuttz, whether they admit it or not, have cleverly marketed their site (so much that they can just focus on content and let others promote their site).
We need to ask ourselves, is the hard work of creating a site like Knuttz and very clever promotion something worthy of punishment by Digg or its users?
Found this as I was writing the article: