Betaworks has launched the Digg v1 release that was promised earlier this week, managing to toss out eight years' worth of history into the bargain.
(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)
And that's the interesting part. Because what you see on the front page seems to be all the content that Digg has.
Now, when you're redesigning a site from the ground up and trying to launch it with a clean slate, it makes sense to do a little "out with the old, in with the new" housekeeping. But, according to SF Weekly, the eradication of Digg's archives has much farther-reaching complications.
What it will hurt is Digg's search-engine optimisation (SEO). Digg has a Google PageRank of eight out of 10, which means that it sees a lot of traffic. Just having a link on Digg means that search engines will flag that story as important, and prop it up in search results.
So all of those websites that had previously been, but are no longer, linked on Digg are now going to take a hit to their SEO.
It seems to be temporary, and we certainly hope so. According to the Digg FAQ:
In August, we're launching an archive website for users of the old Digg to find, browse and share a history of their submissions, diggs and comments.
On the user end, though, the new site has another problem: it seems that you can only sign in with Facebook. For those who don't want to share their Facebook information with the world or their Digg activities with Facebook, you're allowed to browse, but submitting will be out. The comments displayed on the site so far are pulled from tweets that send the link; so, if you find a link and tweet it, your tweet will appear on Digg, whether you have visited the site or not.
We're not entirely thrilled about either of those.
According to Digg's FAQ on the Facebook log-in:
When we asked users which problems cropped up repeatedly on Digg, the most common complaint was about spam cluttering up the home page. Using Facebook for account registration is a short-term solution that will seriously cut down on spam, while we take our time to develop more robust spam-filter technology. We know this isn't ideal, so rest assured: we are working towards a more lasting solution.
We hope that Betaworks is also working on a solution to the Twitter comments, too.
Every website launch is going to experience a few hiccups, but these seem unusually problematic. Should Betaworks have held off on the launch until it could sort these problems out? Sound off in the comments below.