How to Abuse the New DiggBar for Fun and Profit

Rule Number one of operating a web 2.0 user generated content website, if you don’t have someone involved in your development process who thinks about how to abuse the system, and put steps in place to prevent it, someone else will publish a handy step by step guide on how to abuse your system …In case you missed the news yesterday Digg announced the new URL shortner/digg bar. What the tool does is frame your website, notice the diggbar at the top in the screen shot below:


In case you weren’t able to figure it out or are a web 2.0 weenie, this was done to artifically inflate user metrics. By framing everyone elses website you never leave digg, so the length of their user visits goes up, and it looks like their site is improving, and they con more clueless VC’s that Digg is actually a valuable website, they want to keep wasting money investing in. However because Gen Y managers seem to feel it’s more important to coddle happy stimulated workers, as opposed to working with people who have a clue what they are doing, there are plenty of holes around for you to abuse and profit from. Here’s a step by step guide on how to do it …

  • Set yourself up with a nice spammy lander page and submit it to digg, like this (
  • It doesn’t matter if it get voted, up, down, sideways, or even gets buried
  • Go get yourself some links, beg, borrow, steal, do whatever it takes
  • Buy links, lots of links, quality is irrelevant, you want massive quantities (you do know that paid crappy links work differently when pointed at trusted sites right?).
  • Sit back and wait for rankings to come, and collect your affiliate checks

Since the digg bar is so small, most people will click what’s in the bottom frame if it’s what they are searching for. But maybe you want to be extra sure … no problem here’s where it gets really cool, put up some frame buster javascript code, this way when someone does hit the page your frame busts out. Want to see it in action check this url out:

So what’s the deal? Why am I publishing a blueprint on how to abuse digg … It’s quite simple really, I hate Kevin Rose, in fact very few things in life would make me happier than to see Digg die in fiery crash and meltdown, with nothing salvageable emerging from the wreckage and ashes. My cranky cynical old heart bursts with joy at the mere thought of Kevin Rose working the drive through window of McDonald’s asking people if they “want fries with that”. In fact I’m full prepared to strip down to a loincloth, dance and chant around a fire, and ritualistically sacrifice a live chicken if I honestly felt it would help … and believe me I’m not the only one.

Coming back to reality, the lesson here is if you are building, designing, developing or deploying websites that rely in any meaningful way on user generated content, you damn well better have a someone on payroll to play fox in the henhouse. It took me 10 minutes last night to find this hole and to come up with a way to abuse it, and while I may be clever, I’m not especially malicious, but there are lots of folks who are cleverer than I am and aren’t afraid to completely abuse a system.

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