Digg Says Diggbar is SEO Friendly (But You Can Still Block It If You Want)

When Digg launched the Diggbar last week, it seemed to follow a trend that social media and bookmarking is taking. But for most, there was just one problem: in the URL box in your browser is a tiny URL created by Digg instead of the full URL of the site. Naturally, SEO concerns over PageRank and canonical issues arose.

Digg is responding with this:

Prior to launching the DiggBar, we reached out to Google and SEO experts to ensure we adhered to the leading best practices, as we framed and linked directly to source content via the DiggBar. This process involved gathering feedback from publishers to ensure the execution was as content-provider-friendly as possible. We took several steps to ensure that search engines continue to count the original source, versus registering the DiggBar as new content. We include only links to the source URLs on Digg pages to allow spiders to see the unmodified links to source sites. These links are overwritten to short URLs in JavaScript for users who have this preference.

We launched a few additional updates early this week to address some lingering concerns in the SEO and publishing communities around the infamous (and sometimes mysterious) search engine ‘juice’. We always represent the source URL as the preferred version of the URL to search engines and use the meta noindex tag to keep DiggBar pages out of search indexes. For those of you interested in the technical details, we also include link rel=”canonical” information to indicate that the original URL is the real (canonical) version. Additional URL properties, like PageRank and related signals, are transferred as well. This is recommended by Google, Ask.com, Microsoft and Yahoo!.

There’s also been some discussion about how traditional web analytics and panel based companies like Quantcast, Compete, Nielson and Comscore track shortened URLs. While we don’t claim to represent any specific methodology, we’ve reached out to Comscore and Nielson and they both confirmed that publisher traffic statistics won’t be impacted by the DiggBar implementation. Also, any quantitative tag employed by Quantcast, Compete and Comscore’s new hybrid methodology will also register the source as the page view.

Still, there are those who are not BiggFans of the DiggBar. Take John Gruber over at Daring Fireball, for example. He’s shared a code that blocks the DiggBar.

I’m not a big Digg user myself, but I do use StumbleUpon and, of course, click on links from Twitter, and have been coming across the DiggBar. It comes across as not really wanting to share information and/or network, they just wanted a Digg.

What do you, dear reader, think of the DiggBar? Do you trust Digg or will you go Gruber’s route? Let us know in the comments.

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