A Quick Note on Blocking the Digg Bar

The low-down on the Digg Bar

If you have been on Digg in the last week or so, you have probably noticed that when following a link out of digg that your browser retains a strip at the top of the page you are viewing. This little toolbar, known as the “Digg Bar” contains helpful short cuts to digg functionality. Another “benefit” of the digg bar is that it frames the content on the target site with a shortened, easy to remember digg.com url. The benefit of this url is that as people share the story with one and other, it presents further recipients of the link the opportunity to contribute to the stories standing on digg without having to actually find it on digg (which can be very frustrating). One would think of this as good thing, but many bloggers and authors are up in arms about that fact that this can be viewed as digg framing their content as it’s own. Anybody who knows anything about digg knows that it doesn’t really produce any content of it’s own, so this didn’t really bother me at first. However, once I realized that if you were to follow a link to this blog post from digg that it would obfuscate the fact that you are going to delphicsage.com, I did begin to see what this outrage stems from.  I should note that the digg bar does display the original URL, but since it’s the digg.com url in your address bar that would be most likely be copied and sent to friends on facebook (etc, etc, etc) it’s digg that would reap all of the search engine gold from your hard work.

On Blocking the Digg Bar

Although the Digg Bar does have it drawbacks, I’m not sure if the folks over at digg were trying to be “evil“. Some of the side effects of the digg bar have long been considered no-nos in the the web world, and especially now since SEO competition is so fierce. Many sites are beginning to block the digg bar (engadget included). I recently stumbled accross a PHP script that blocks any user from digg from seeing the sites content via a server side HTTP_REFERER detect. THIS IS A VERY BAD IDEA. Denying users access to your content because you have a grudge against digg is a case of “cutting off your nose to spite your face”. The amount of web traffic that digg produces cannot be ignored, your readers/customers/clients deserve better than to be blocked completely. I would suggest doing what engadget does by simply using a javascript to remove the digg bar if it’s there, leaving your content intact. Here is a good example of how to do this using a simple javascript.

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