DiggBar, the new shortURL and toolbar service from Digg, is certainly useful. I expect it to become my default short URL service on Twitter since it is so easy to create a short URL by simply adding Digg.com/ in front of any URL. It will redirect to a short Digg URL like digg.com/d1npNz, which is this story rendered with the DiggBar (click that Digg button!).
The Twitter crowd already loves this based on all the chatter I saw on the site today. This will also expose a lot of new people to Digg since anyone that clicks on the link will see the toolbar wrapper with the view count, Digg comments and other information on the top. And it will also increase Digg’s overall traffic substantially – unlike other short URL services, Digg doesn’t simply redirect to the longer URL. It keeps you on Digg and shows the site being pointed to in an iframe wrapper. You can get to the underlying URL by clicking on the X button on the top right.
But Digg didn’t stop there. They’re also using DiggBar for all stories on Digg as well. So all those home page stories that send massive amounts of traffic around the web are now redirecting right back to Digg, too. That keeps all that traffic in the Digg ecosystem, to the detriment of the sites being linked to.
For most purposes those sites won’t care. The page is still rendered and includes the advertising. The way most internal analytics software works means that page views will still be counted. But some services, like Comscore, won’t necessarily see the visit to the site, and will penalize the domain name.
I’d expect Digg to add text advertising to the DiggBar over time, sooner rather than later. It should be a material revenue source for them.
Overall it’s a brilliant move by Digg. I’m surprised no one has complained yet though about Digg home page traffic no longer going to the sites being listed.