How To: Get on Digg If Your Domain Is Banned

Back in December, there was considerable noise in the blogosphere surrounding the growing list of domains banned by Digg. As you all probably know by now my domain is on that list and has been for something like a year now. Digg's efforts to hinder "gaming the system" have proved rather effective, leaving individuals whose domains are banned with no alternatives short of contacting Digg. Until now.

The Redirection

For a while, people were able to submit stories on digg by harnessing the redirection utilities available at certain mainstream sites. However, in the last few months Digg has caught on and voided these routes. However, for those individuals that are purely curious they were as follows:

http://dictionary.reference.com/go/http://BANNEDDOMAIN.com

http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?http://BANNEDDOMAIN.com

These worked back in the day since they did things differently than your standard redirection services such as TinyURL, which make it easy for the server to determine whether the URL has been redirected or not. As I mentioned earlier, these do not work on Digg anymore, but they will help introduce my next, working method of getting banned domains on Digg: htaccess help from a domain-bearing friend.

Htaccess files, commonly seen with a dot in front of it and all lowercase, are Apache server configuration rules on a per-directory basis. Find a friend with an unbanned domain, get him/her to make a random folder for you, such as http://theirdomain.com/bobsfolder, and create a new .htaccess file in that directory with the following code:

<ifmodule mod_rewrite.c> Redirect /bobsfolder http://BANNEDDOMAIN.com/ </ifmodule>

Alternatively you can also go the JS route, particularly handy if you're not working with an Apache server. You can make a new folder on your friend's server and create an index.html file or just create a file in your friend's root directory and link digg to that particular file. I prefer the first way. Assuming you are still using the folder named "bobsfolder", create a blank index.html file and save the following code in it:

<script type="text/javascript"> <!-- window.location = "http://BANNEDDOMAIN.com/"; //--> </script>

These 2 methods work well with digg, however I believe it would be easy for digg to void the JavaScript method by simply getting their code to ignore JavaScript. I'm not sure how they could overcome server-level .htaccess redirection though; my compliments to them if they find a way.

If you find yourself using this often you can use Zach Hale's simple PHP+JS script to expedite the process. Instead of having to edit the code each time you want to get something redirected, just pass it the url in the format of http://domain.com/folder/?go=http://BANNEDDOMAIN.com. <?php if (GET['go']) { fromurl = GET['go']; testing = explode("http://", fromurl);

if (testing[0] == "") {
    location = fromurl;
} else {
    location = 'http://' . fromurl;
}

} else { location = 'http://www.digg.com/'; } ?> <script type="text/javascript"> <!-- window.location = "<?= location ?>"; //--> </script>

There was also the old way of using PHP's header('Location: http://domain.com'); but that does not work with digg anymore.

The New Domain

Digg has made this method rather simple with their cheap deals at GoDaddy. Simply purchase a new domain at GoDaddy, utilizing promo code digg for 10% off your total order or diggnation for a single domain at 6.99 (I think). Now login to your GoDaddy domain settings and give the new domain the same DNS as your current domain. Login to your webhost's control panel and add the new domain to your server. Next, edit the .htaccess file at the root of your server's public directory and add the following code:

<ifmodule mod_rewrite.c> RewriteEngine On RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^NEWDOMAIN.com [NC] RewriteRule ^(.) http://BANNEDDOMAIN.com/1 [R=301,L] RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.NEWDOMAIN.com [NC] RewriteRule ^(.) http://BANNEDDOMAIN.com/1 [R=301,L]

Rest of your htaccess code

</ifmodule>

While it might seem repetitive, this .htaccess code works regardless of whether or not your domain is accessed with a preceding www. This method involves the hassle of purchasing a new domain but in my opinion it's rather foolproof. Yes, Digg will probably ban it after the first time you use it but you can always get another domain for under 10, not bad.

The Meet & Greet

If for some reason Digg establishes a new method of URL verification that is much stricter and voids all of the methods I've listed here (unlikely), you still have one more choice. Contact Digg via email or personally and explain your situation, clarify why you think you were banned and why they should unban you. I have heard several cases where Digg has unbanned people.

Kevin Rose, Me, Alex Albrecht

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"How To: Get on Digg If Your Domain Is Banned" by @Stammy

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