How Digg's algorithm works — the 100-word version

You already know how Digg works. Post a funny picture of Kevin Rose or a tribute to Apple's greatness and there you have it — you're on the front page. You're not wrong. But social media maven Muhammad Saleem says there's actually a little science to Digg as well. In a post on Search Engine Land, Saleem explains how Digg's algorithm does and doesn't work. He should know. Most of his recent Digg submissions have garnered several hundred votes. Good stuff, only it runs way too long. Here's our slimmed-down version.

What's it take to get to the home page? It's the algorithm, stupid!
  • Digg's algorithm accounts for recent participation rank of user and followers.
  • Frequent success makes subsequent success more difficult. Take a few days off sometimes.
  • Get a quick succession of diggs from "high-value" users.
  • The number of diggs needed to reach the homepage correlates to the number of diggs being cast at any given time, and how your story compares to the average.
  • Competition in categories Technology, World and Business is fiercer than in Sports or Entertainment. 50 diggs will get a story promoted if it is tops in its category.
  • The faster a story gets votes, the lower the vote count has to be at which it is promoted. But diversity is important. Stories dugg by "voting rings" will sit at the top of the queue for hours.
  • Too many buries and your story will be removed from the queue.
  • Comments can help push a story over the edge. Not fake ones, though.
  • Wrong: An absolute number of votes is required.
  • Wrong: You're doomed if your story isn't submitted by a top user.
  • Wrong: Number of friends is important. Digg looks for is diversity in the Diggs a story receives.
  • Wrong: There is a 24-hour window for success.