There was a time when word count was important for marketing. Depending on who you listened to and what you were going for, particularly from a search engine optimization perspective, the length of your content had a direct correlation to how well your pages would rank. Things have changed.
The idea of the NoFollow attribute on links was to help prevent spam from appearing on user generated content sites, particularly Wikipedia. It was intended as a way to tell Google (and eventually all major search engines) that a link was not supposed to transfer any “link juice” to the recipient of the link. In essence, it was designed to stop SEO spammers from trying to insert their links where they didn’t belong for the sake of improved rankings.
Update 2: The site is back up and back to 20-minute update intervals.
Update: Digg sped back up to its normal pace for a little while, then went down completely. API calls and everything are currently down.
For over 12 hours, the Digg front page has moved at half speed. Instead of the normal 10-minute interval between updates, stories have remained at the top of the front page for 20 minutes.