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Pay-Per-Digg Black Market Manipulation?

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Loren Baker at Search Engine Journal has uncovered another pay-per-digg scheme Subvert and Profit that claims that it won't get users banned from popular social network promotion tool Digg. This home page of this “service” notes:

We are a new kind of black market. We allow advertisers to purchase actions on social networks, and we pay social network users to perform those actions.

Clearly admitting that the service it provides is in violation of the Terms of Use of the social network, Subvert and Profit claims that they have an algorithm that selects users to Digg a story based on how unrelated they are in terms of their Digging history and that the traffic they provide is cheaper than ppc.

In commenting on this service, Technical Bliss notes that the two blog posts in the Subvert and Profit blog were written almost undoubtedly under names assumed from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and a famed KGB master strategist. All of this begs the questions – “just how shady is this?”

Would you really want to trust your site's reputation to a firm that answers the question in their faq “who are you?” with: “We are whomever you want us to be. We come from nowhere and we are everywhere?” How soon will it be before they go back where they came from?

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