New and Improved Digg: Now with more buries!

Seems like only yesterday that the world rejoiced when Digg unbanned domains that were effectively shut out of the submission queue. Now it seems like we have an even trickier situation where unbanned is the new banned. I haven’t seen any of the so-called unbanned domains ever make any head way on Digg. Only now we have no idea of knowing what a domain’s standing with Digg is, just that stories from a given domain silently drop off never to be seen again.

What’s worse is that there’s even less transparency. So much that some are longing for the days when they were banned.

From my firsthand experience, I’m getting the feeling that Digg is not only weighting domains but also the users that submit them, making it progressively harder for negatively scored domains to make it to the front page and thus pushing it deeper into the banned domain territory but also penalizing the submitter in some way.

I have a hunch that they’re starting to weight submitters themselves regardless of their standing (number of popular stories & friends) in an effort to eradicate “gaming and manipulation by a select few”. This is just a hunch but I think the ratio of popular stories per submission has gone down significantly for top users across the board. I’d love to see any evidence proving me right or wrong. However, if you look at the distribution of submitters on the front page, it’s very rare to have two submissions from the same user on the same page. It’s almost as if they’re rationing out one per day.

Some stories with good velocity and good URLs are not making it either so they may be weighing user accounts as another part of their “stealth” features. Even with all the tweaks to Digg’s algorithms one thing is clear: once you get on their bad side, you’ll rarely get a second chance.

I’ve been submitting some stories from “authority sites” to see if that would affect my account standing. Another peculiar aspect of Digg is that certain sites such as TechCrunch, engadget, gizmodo or even Wired are virtually untouchable despite the fact that lots of people submit most of their stories whether they are good or bad. Sure, these are big blogs with large readerships but for smaller blogs, getting every story submitted spells the kiss of death.

I wonder what’s going on?

References:

Digg Lets Banned Domains Back In

Ramblings from the Marginalized » Digg’s new ‘auto bury’ feature

Has Digg really “unbanned” those banned sites?

Digg the Blog » Blog Archive » On Buries and Blocking

So Much For Being Back On Digg « John Chow dot Com