Digg grew to a powerhouse site in a very short time. The Popular News Aggregator service continues to be a great place for people to not only read news, but also contribute to what they think is news. Alexa reports that Digg has been fluctuating around the top 100 to 150 sites being viewed. 52.5% of those viewers are in the US.
The rumor mill is stirring up again that Google has put interest in buying Digg. TechCrunch reports that the “Rumor” is Digg will be selling for $200 million although CEO Jay Adelson denies it. Will this be a good deal for Digg, or can they grow and survive on their own?
Digg started in 2004 by Kevin Rose, Own Byrne, Ron Gorodetzky and Jay Adelson. The idea was to aggregate news items and put popularity to it. People would place a “Digg it” icon on their site in which you could easily send the article to Diggs news feed. If another person liked the site, they would Digg it. Others could just as easily Bury it. Some sites get Dugg so much so quickly, the flooding of viewers takes down the web page. It’s a very powerful medium, and definitely something that Google could use.
There are other sites like this. Fark is one of the oldest in which we talked about in a previous article on Geekazine. Yahoo has their “Buzz”, which is awfully similar to Digg. Reddit, Technorati, Del.icio.us and StumbleUpon all have similar popularity systems. However, Digg seems to be more popular in the US. According to Alexa Del.icio.us, for example, actually has a decent popularity in Germany.
Why would Google want Digg?
Two things here. First is the voting system. It’s not only very sound but also comes with a ton of analytical widgets that can spot trends and keywords. Even more, a large number of people actually have the “Digg” widget located on their sites, some of them have multiple widgets just on one page.
Second, it’s the community. Digg has a lot of members that contribute countless numbers of articles. When a new article is submitted, it must first be verified so it’s not a duplicate. After agreeing it’s not and a quick CAPTCHA verification, it gets put into the Queue. Of course that is where the members really shine. They can rise that article up to the top, or drop it like a mobster in Cement shoes off the East River.
What does Google gain in this?
Like I said, Digg has some cool systems in place to view trends and keywords. Their “Digg Labs” shows statistics as they happen in cool little flash pages. Trends and Keywords are big for marketing. Specializing ads, pitching companies with almost picture perfect statistics – All can give Google a better advantage in the market today.
It also can be great to see in search results. Maybe an “Article Trends” chart could be called up to find out when that information was most popular. It could definitely be put to use in their Webmaster Tools, Adsense and DoubleClick ventures.
What would that mean to Digg?
One of two things. The Digg Staff would either be incorporated into operations at Google – basically be called Google Digg or DigGoogle: or Google would let Digg look like a separate being and cross platform with them. I would guess the latter is going to happen. Sometime full incorporation means job exodus and loss of creativity. Not to mention members jumping ship to other competitors.
On another front of this, Microsoft put in 11.3 Million in a 3 year advertising deal to Digg. If this acquisition happens, this contract could be axed overnight. If that happens, hey Microsoft – we at Geekazine have some ad spots you can purchase for considerably less. Give me a call.
Of course it won’t be the end of the world for Microsoft. Like I said before, there are other sites that are very similar. Digg will always have competition via Yahoo, Reddit, Technorati, Del.icio.us or on any of the other sites.
Bottom line, this merge would be great for both. Kevin Rose and the gang would get a boost for all the work put into Digg and maybe a shiny new title. Google would get a ranking system and analytical tools which in turn would also be bestowed upon the community of webmasters for their sites. It looks like a good Win Win situation for everyone.
That is, if it’s true…