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Links on Digg may not help SEO

Websites looking to increase traffic and search engine optimization (SEO) are often told to get as many links to their content as possible, but it now appears that getting a link from popular social news site Digg may not help SEO.

Earlier this year Digg released its DiggBar, a toolbar and URL shortener that the company insisted was search engine optimization (SEO)-friendly when it was unveiled.

But over the weekend, news outlets reported that the URL-shortened links, which are often used for messages on Twitter, do not actually help a website's traffic and instead redirects traffic to

While Mashable points out that the problem is only for people who are not logged into the DiggBar, it could still potentially affect the reputation of the social news site.

"In short, Digg has broken the trust relationship with its publishers and users," wrote Mashable's Pete Cashmore. "They might not be hurting, however, since the use of Diggbar links significantly increased the amount of traffic to their site. Now that they're driving a bunch more traffic from thousands of hijacked URLs, they'll experience a veritable traffic bonanza at the expense of users and publishers."

It appears that Digg founder Kevin Rose was not aware of the changes as he tweeted over the weekend that he had been on vacation for the last two weeks and would look into the issue today.