Google did De-Index Digg, but by Mistake. Digg is back now


Digg is now back in the search results after Google explained what happened. Matt Cutts from Google explains it had to do with a spammer attack:

“We were tackling a spammer and inadvertently took action on the root page of”

He also stresses this has nothing to with Google Reader, which was suggested on Social Media since Digg announced it would build their own version of it.

He also said:

“we’ll be looking into what protections or process improvements would make this less likely to happen in the future.”

The official response from Google is:

“We’re sorry about the inconvenience this morning to people trying to search for Digg. In the process of removing a spammy link on, we inadvertently applied the webspam action to the whole site. We’re correcting this, and the fix should be deployed shortly.”

Original story:

There was a time when was the hottest site on the web. Even hotter than Google, believe it or not. Those times have passed and its founder, Kevin Rose, has actually jumped ship to Google.

But still Digg is a force to reckon with. Quantcast last year estimated Digg’s monthly U.S. unique visits at 3.8 million, and that is US only. And a lot of that traffic still comes through Google.

Today however Digg disappeared from Google from a short time. Matt Sawyer of Datadial tweeted out earlier today that the site seems to have disappeared from Google. And he seems to be right. It had 


A search for Digg doesn’t return any search results from the site itself and neither does a ‘‘ result.




With recent developments in penalties given by Google to Interflora and even warnings being send out to the BBC this off course immediately triggers the thought that something is up and that Digg may have been penalised. So far we don’t know if that is indeed the case, but we are looking into it.

Their robots.txt shows something interesting as well, though this is not necessary related to this situation:


It seems as if Google is tightening their grip on SEO and especially on low quality links. The Penguin updates are directly related to that. The fact that big sites get hit may indicate Google is setting examples. They are becoming stronger and stronger in finding those bad links. And even though they will never be able to catch it all, like the police will never solve all the crime, the latest developments might help in putting fear into the minds of webmasters who are considering going for the ‘quick wins’.

Bas van den Beld

About Bas van den Beld

Bas van den Beld is an award winning Digital Marketing consultant, trainer and speaker. He is the founder of State of Digital and helps companies develop solid marketing strategies.

19 thoughts on “Google did De-Index Digg, but by Mistake. Digg is back now

  1. Oh wow! That’s kind of a big deal! I can’t imagine what Digg could have done to deserve a complete removal. It seems like the big G is getting pretty tight on their quality requirements. :-/

  2. this is very interesting! If Google indeed de-indexed Digg, and has plans on setting more examples with other mega auhority sites… not a prob.

    This makes it much easier for webmasters/real entrepreneurs who use SEO as a traffic source to rank fast, better, and to earn more money. Thanks Google!

    In MOST cases, Google updates such as the recent updates… target the “make money online” wanna entrepreneur who refuses to become a real business builder and INVEST the time to build a sustainable online business the RIGHT WAY.

    Rock on Google!

    Google is a VERY SMALL source of traffic for any business… considering the master-mind behide the business is an intelligent webmaster.

    -Antonio Easter

    1. haha. Google IS NOT “the web”. Google is a mere search engine which just happens to have a large (perhaps the largest) share of the web when it comes to search.
      The key is to play ball by Googles rules. Moves like this, just makes it easier for the not so big guy or gal!
      Me …. justa luuuuuuuuuuuving Google right now! SEO done RIGHT buys BIG HOUSES, BIG TOYS, and HELPS A LOT of less-fortunate people!

  3. Hello Bas,

    Actually, I’ve just learned about this issue. It shows that Google still has a lot to improve. On the other side, it’s still good news for Digg. I can’t imagine this would happen to me that all of a sudden, Google will de-index my site. Anyway, thanks for sharing.

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