Digg Auto-Bury or Ego Out of Control?

Brian Clark of CopyBlogger is claiming that the CopyBlogger site has made it’s way onto a Digg Auto-Bury list.

No longer.

After a scientifically-sound amount of testing, it’s clear that Copyblogger has been placed on the dreaded Digg auto-bury list. Never heard of that? That’s because Digg refuses to acknowledge that auto-bury exists, but it most certainly does.

Well, maybe it does. The link there is to an article by Neil Patel with some pretty damning evidence that points to the possibility of a Digg Auto-Bury function of some sort. Michael “GrayWolf” Gray has done quite a bit of theorizing on the subject of the Digg Auto-Bury as well. And Brian, Neil and Michael may be right. May be.

But is is also entirely possible that what we’re seeing here is bruised blogger egos. Take CopyBlogger for instance (I’m picking on Brian because he’s the most recent and his post is the one that got me thinking). Content from CopyBlogger made the front page of Digg six times in the month of September. Six is a lot. Congratulations Brian. Now, all of a sudden, he can’t seem to get to the front page of Digg at all. He’s done some testing (without revealing exactly what, how, when) and believes that he’s been added to the auto-bury list. But then he goes on to say the following:

Ironically, I was buried by success. In September, my content made the Digg front page six times, with three articles making it in a single week. After that, it became obvious that Kevin Rose and his in-house nerd brigade couldn’t tolerate quality content making the Digg home page that frequently.

After all, what would Ron Paul think?

I have to be honest here. That sounds a lot like something someone with a wounded ego would say. I know, because I’ve made similar rants here before. “I was buried by success” just doesn’t seem like a valid argument.  Somehow, I don’t think that Kevin and Co. are adding quality sites with quality content like CopyBlogger to an auto-bury list. What is possible, however, is that Brian’s success looked a lot like domain spamming and that is what got him on the list.

I won’t dispute that there is a auto-bury list.  I have to admit that if I were running a site like Digg, I’d have one.  You’ve got to have a way to deal with splogs and such.  Would CopyBlogger be on that list?  Should CopyBlogger be on that list?  No.  Brian pumps out some really great content.  My thought is that that content probably only is useful to a small bit of the Digg user base.  Combine that with a user base that numbers in the thousands and what would have hit the front page in September may not a month later.  Regardless of the quality of the content.

Let me throw in a theory of my own.  Let’s say that Brian’s posts mainly appeal to the folks that like to play the more popular video games.  Now, let’s say that two very popular games were released recently.  For the example, we’ll use Halo 3 and Guitar Hero III.  Release dates of September 25 and October 28 respectively.  Now look at the traffic graphs for Digg on Alexa.  See the nice big drop that starts at the end of September?  How bout the one that starts around the end of October.    Let’s take it a little bit further and assume that the same type of user that would have the alexa toolbar installed is the same type of user that CopyBlogger likely attracts on Digg.  See the relation there?  Maybe those drop-offs are the reason that there haven’t been any front pages for CopyBlogger.  Not likely, but possible.

Now, before you go off on a tangent in the comments, let me acknowledge this; If Brian says he’s done some scientific testing and has some proof, he likely did and does.  But what’s the harm in sharing it?  Share with us Brian!  The blogosphere is a pretty powerful place.  If enough of us have the proof of the problem, it is possible that we can force a change.