During this past week’s Diggnation podcast, Kevin Rose offered up some insight into the Digg algorithm which may or may not be the most eye-opening of revelations. It’s something that I figured out pretty quickly and that is that there is an element of time associated with how likely a submitted story is to be promoted to the homepage. Personally, I think there is a 24 hour window of opportunity as I’ve seen stories make it to the “Hot” list (at the right of this page, for example) and not be promoted to the homepage, yet be removed from this list after a full 24 hours.
What I haven’t been able to confirm is whether or not something older than 24 hours could possibly be promoted with an adequate number of diggs despite its age. Kevin’s comment: “It’s too old. The algo won’t promote it.” (skip ahead to 22:30 to hear it) sort of confirms that any submission beyond an age specified by the algorithm won’t be made popular. The story in question (related to SEO by strange coincidence), SEO Design Rap, only had 122 Diggs as of 4/4/08, when the podcast was taped. As of the time of this blog post, it has 261 diggs, most likely a result of promotion via the podcast. This number of diggs should have been enough to promote it to the homepage, but as per Kevin’s comment, age of the submission hasn’t allowed it to be promoted. It was originally submitted to Digg back on 3/20/08.
Although it’s hard to say what the time limitations are within the algorithm, I’m sticking with the 24 hour limit. This basically does confirm that it’s nearly impossible to get something promoted that’s at least a day old, no matter how many diggs it collects.