For years, Digg has been the premier web content popularity contest, with millions of users engaging in Digg discovery, Digg voting and Digg discussions.
Google has been mesmerized by the Digg phenomenon. With its extensive user base and well developed social voting program, there has been endless speculation of a Google buy out.
With the last round of Digg acquisition rumors just starting to fade away, Google has released “What’s Popular” – its own Digg style gadget for iGoogle.
What’s Popular offers a mix of content generated by a special algorithm that combines users submissions (know as “pops”) and other hot content trends across other Google services such as Google Reader.
The new What’s Popular program doesn’t really offer anything more innovative than Digg, so it begs the question – does the world need another Digg?
For the sake of another web popularity contest – probably not. And I’d hasten to say that Google’s motives extend beyond the obvious.
I’ve long anticipated the introduction of social voting/rating elements in the ranking algorithm by one of the major search engines. Perhaps bigger picture in this voting application is more to do with content value rather than popularity.
There’s not likely to be any confirmations from Google on that front, but it’s difficult to ignore the idea that these social endeavours have a more generic search related application.
What do you think?
- Is Google’s “What’s Popular” likely to overthrow Digg as the preferred “web popularity contest”?
- Do you think Google’s social engagement/voting systems would be an effective enhancement to their ranking algorithm?