The Digg Algorithm has Changed

DiggDigg went down today for a short time.  The results may be that many diggers will go down for a long time.  It could be just a glitch as the algo is tweaked.  We’ll know more over the next day or two.

Here are some things that seem to have changed since the site was brought down for maintenance:

  • This time yesteraday, 6 stories were promoted in 20 minutes.  This seems to fall into the norm for a weekday around 4pm PST.  The relative high traffic brings more stories to the front.  As of the time of this post, 12 stories have been promoted in the last 4 hours — an average of 1 every 20 minutes.
  • Normally, stories would go popular in 10 minute intervals with occasional variations.  Now, it seems that stories are promoted in real time, as there is no rhyme or reason to the timing of promotion to the front page.
  • Currently, there are 10 stories that are over 100 that aren’t buried from the upcoming but still haven’t been promoted.  This isn’t brand new, but has been happening for a couple of days now.  The real change lately is that it isn’t just top Diggers…
  • oboy has never had story go over 80 without hitting the homepage and DigiDave hasn’t had anything recently do the same.  Today, both hit over 125, were not buried off of the upcoming list, but didn’t make the front page.  One was from an established website, one was from a new one.
  • The “Hot in All Topics” section has some new names on it.  Actually, almost all are new.  Some are very new, having joined today, submitted something, and left.  No Avatar.  No comments.  1 other Digg.  As of the time of this article, Pizzler is the only recognizeable name on the list.  In fact, the other nine submitters who are on the “Hot in All” section have a combined 7 stories that have hit the front page before.

There is more data, but it will have to be verified tonight.  In the meantime, everything listed above is fact, and clearly points to a change.  I will discuss this with others and do more research, but one thing is clear.

There’s a glitch in the Matrix.

The real question is, why?

(we have some theories on that as well, but we’ll post them tomorrow at soshable)

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Leave a Reply


  1. The reason why there are so many changes is that Digg is becoming desperate in trying to find a way to stop their users from hightailing it over to Mixx ( Look at Digg’s traffic stats from the past three months. Since Mixx came on to the scene, Digg has fallen into a slow and steady down-slide in all measurable categories of user activity.

    One reason that a lot of people were leaving is that Digg voters base their votes more on who submitted a story than on the quality of the content itself. This has disoriented a lot of Digg’s newer users who don’t have hundreds of friends but who nonetheless wish to participate in the system and the community. Digg has not accommodated those users, and Mixx has. It’s as simple as that.

  2. JD Rucker

    Lester, that’s very insightful. “Digg Refugees” are heading in many directions. Another Digg revolt has been speculated about on several blogs recently, and there are those who are leaving.

    Still, I think one of the reasons for the change is to try to combat this, to make it to where newer or less active Digg members can enjoy some front page spotlight. We’ll see if it works.

    I personally use Digg, Reddit, Stumble, Mixx, Propeller, Newsvine, and recently I started trying Tagsum, Plime, and a couple of others. Each has advantages, but I must admit, Mixx has a lot of appeal.

  3. Well said Fatlester that sounds dead on to me !!

  4. Er, people haven’t been leaving Digg in droves.

    Nor have they been disappearing off to ‘Mixx’ in droves. Digg has retained the same traffic it has always had, if anything it’s gone up to almost 50 million hits per month: not bad 🙂

  5. John D.

    Here is the new algorithm:

    if headline.contains(“Ron Paul”)

  6. Chris

    Digg’s popularity hasn’t declined, you dolts.

    as well as Google trends:

  7. CFA

    That’s some algorithm. Right on the button.

  8. Pat

    I think that Digg has gotten worse though but it’s been going on for a while now, having the home page half filled with videos to view really makes it less useful.

  9. Notque

    I’ve noticed suddenly stories I submit take over 150 diggs in 24 hours. It used to be around 60-80. I’ve had multiple stories with a huge number of diggs that won’t go, while I’ve seen articles with 20 diggs hit the frontpage. It’s nuts

  10. Digg is like your favorite sports team. You care about it and feel loyal to it, yet it can give two shits about you.

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  12. I can tell you why I think it is. There has been a growing chorus of people who think the Digg results are decreasing in quality and that a lot of complete rubbish is being Dugg to the top for no real reason. Perhaps the Digg people are losing users and they realise that to retain their credibility they have to improve the quality of their results.

    Or perhaps they want to take the control of the site away from a small number of very well connected super-diggers who are pushing loads of decidedly average links to the front page.

    I have a simple idea that might help. What if the more you digg the less your diggs were worth? That way well networked diggers who pushed each other stories to the top all the time would have less control over the results.

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  14. I don’t understand those denying Digg is losing ground. Sure the charts look flat but that’s what happens when you deal with very large numbers against very small numbers.

    At compete they show a 1.3% decrease against over 7Million Views. That means they lost almost twice the total readership that Mixx has.

    Considering Alexa shows a 6% decline the loss may be worse than that.


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  19. interesting article… was just talking with friends at about very similar subject

  20. Never knew anyone paid any attention to any algorithms other than the major search engines. Interesting news for me.

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