Nearly everyone of these sites has been unbanned. There are only 6 sites on this list that remain banned.
The first 4 sites were the ‘temporary ban’ type. Digg is digg and will likely remain banned. In fact, idontlikeyouinthatway is the only site from the original list that was permanently banned. It would seem likely that all the permanent bans were lifted (but not the temporary ones), and that the idontlikeyouinthatway was rebanned (or maybe it was extra banned to begin with)…
Ever wonder which sites are banned by Digg? Who would have thought that 3 of the top 10 Alexa sites and sites like CareerBuilder, DHL and 43Things would be banned? To develop as complete a list as possible, I tested the top 10,000 Alexa domains and top 1,000 Blogshares blogs to see which were banned. Overall, I found 183 banned sites.
The banned sites fell into several categories:
- User Generated Content sites without subdomains. One bad actor on these sites can ruin it for everyone. Popular UGC sites like Myspace, Squidoo, 43Things, Geocities are all banned, whereas sites like Typepad, Blogspot, WordPress do just fine because it is easy to ban one bad actor. If I were Seth Godin, I’d give Squidoo lenses their own subdomains pronto - there is good content on Squidoo that will never see the light of Digg.
- Sites about SEO & Affiliate Marketing. These include TopRankBlog, DigitalPoint, Revenews, John Chow, Paula Mooney, etc. There is some great content that’s been banned … and plenty of poor content as well (theRichJerk).
- International Sites, particularly Asian sites (Baidu, Sohu, Sina, Yandex, etc.). I can’t speak to the quality of these sites, but four of them are in Alexa’s top 20 and others are very popular. Digg and Digg users would certainly benefit from international versions of its site. (Hint, follow the Google model, not the Yahoo model).
- Scummy sites. There are plenty of sites here that I’m not surprised to find banned. Gossip Sites (perezhilton), Adult-themed sites (pornotube), adware/spyware sites (smileycentral), etc.
I’m sure that plenty of sites were banned due to attempts at gaming Digg, but I obviously can’t distinguish those from the sites on the list above.
The big list of banned domains:
- How to test a domain on Digg. Digg performs several validation checks when a URL is submitted. After these checks, Digg takes you to a page to enter the title and description. The checks occur in this order:
- Is the URL valid?
- Has the URL been submitted before?
- Is the domain banned? Digg has three types of banning:
- url is on the banned submit list. This seems to be a permanent ban.
- This URL has been reported by users and cannot be submitted at this time. Perhaps a temporary ban? Sites previously listed with this tag don’t appear to be currently banned.
- Please link directly to the story source.This URL has been reported as a news middle-man, it will remain blocked for 0 days. It looks like the bans start at 300 days or so…
- Getting the top 10,000 domains. I used Ruby to query Amazon’s Alexa Top Sites web service and get the list of the top 10,000 sites. Five minutes later, I was $25 poorer and 10,000 domains richer.
- Constructing queryable URLs. Alexa doesn’t provide subdomain information, so I added a “www” to the front of every domain, and a fake parameter to the back of each domain, thus creating a valid, unique URL for testing. So, 43things.com became www.43things.com?a13=1
- I then tested all 10,000 URLs (in the middle of the night so as to not load Digg’s servers) to see if they passed all three tests. The ones that failed the ‘banned domain’ test are those I included in the list above.
- Digg blocks at the subdomain level. I didn’t have the data to query subdomains. So, I added a www at the front of every domain. I missed all subdomains such as mydiggspamblog.blogspot.com or ww2.myspamsite.com
- Not all websites accepted my fake parameter. These domains failed the valid URL test. 6% of websites didn’t return a valid page when presented with the parameter - most commonly because they perform some redirect when a user types domain root. Check out the diamond retailer: www.tiffany.com for an example.
- Of course, I missed many, many websites that were banned by Digg.
More resources & Related Posts:
- Muhammad Saleem of the Mu Life initially got me thinking about this with his initial 18 site long list of banned sites. He has a good post looking at the stats of several very successful Sites that were banned by Digg.
- Greywolf has a very entertaining post on how to get your competition banned from Digg.
- Which Sites do the Top Diggers Read. I looked at the 50 sites most frequently submitted by the top Diggers.
- A look at site that was Dugg 20 times in 30 days. The alexa profile of 1 site that continuously made the front page of Digg.