What is a Social Bookmark?
Bookmarking occurs when you want to remember or save a specific link to a site or blog post and you save it on your computer’s memory. Most of you do this regularly with your browser. If you’re using internet explorer, you’re saving web pages to your ‘favorites’ list, and if you’re firefox fans you have a bookmark list.
Social bookmarking allows you to “share, organize and search through bookmarks of web resources” – to quote Wikipedia’s definition of the term. You’re not sharing entire files, you’re sharing references to them, or links. You can usually add a short description and tags to your bookmark to describe what the bookmark’s content is about. Tags are a method that has been developed on the net to inform users of the subject and content of a specific entry, bookmark, post etc.
For example, if I were to bookmark this post on Digg.com, I’d add the following tags, SEO, Wix, social bookmarks, optimizing Wix websites etc.
Different bookmarking websites provide different features. Most of them let you add comments and many provide RSS feeds to their list of bookmarks drawing attention to the different bookmarks, or links, available on their site. Social bookmarking sites are a great place to come across interesting content and it also a great way to get noticed online and get traffic to your website.
How does it work?
You create an account in a social bookmarking site. There are lots and lots of bookmarking sites out there and I will also provide a short list of ones that have been getting lots of great feedback from users at the end of this post. Don’t try to sign up for all of them but choose a couple you are comfortable with and which you think will be useful for you.
You can browse through the different bookmarks already available, also in categories and subjects that are relevant to you and add comments to it. Usually the bookmarking site will have the option of marking a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Participating in the site is actually important so you distinguish yourself as a legitimate user, as opposed to a spammer.
Posting on your own
Once you’ve got your bearings, it’s time to post your own bookmark. Add a description in the same way you add a description to your Wix website. This is important for both the users and also for the search engine – which will crawl the site and see your link. Add tags to your entry and when adding links, place them in anchored text – if possible. Different social bookmarking websites provide different features and capabilities. Not all of them will allow for anchor texts – but I recommend you use those who do. Why not give yourself a bump.
Will this help my website in the search engine results?
The question actually is: will this improve my page rank (PR)? The answer to this is basically a derivative of the answer to – will these links give me link juice from the mother site? The answer is, depending on the popularity of your bookmark. Digg adds a nofollow tag to each outgoing link until that bookmark surpasses a certain level of popularity – determined by the amount of diggs to that site.
Also, the idea behind this system is that people who like your bookmark will bookmark it themselves on their own pages, doubling, tripling and quadrupling the amount of FREE back links to your site, sometimes in a matter of hours.
Also, because SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) are so closely knit together, you’re benefitting one by improving the other and vice versa. In the worst case scenario you are improving traffic to your site thanks to all the people who are discovering it through the highly digged, voted for and ranked bookmark which you posted. In this case, it’s a win-win situation.
At some point you’ll find the traffic from your bookmark slowing down, but that’s okay too. At this point, this old link will have been cached by Google (and the other search engines, let’s not forget them completely). You can enjoy this link just like any other back link to your website – and in particular from a reputable link-juicy website, which affects your PR, which in turn affects your ranking in the search results.
Social bookmarking isn’t a new toy in the SEO playground and search engines are very aware of the spamming attempts made on them from this direction and have already been acting to minimize the advantages of spamming techniques. So don’t spam –
- Think quality and take the time to create something that will really draw people to your site.
- Adding an endless stream of links will simply diminish the effectiveness of each of the links and will flag you as a possible threat and spammer.
- Don’t bookmark every page of your website but consider the pages that are useful and bookmark them from time to time.
- This shouldn’t be your single strategy to SEO, but rather viewed as another tool in your toolbox.
As promised, a short list of popular bookmarking sites. You can always check their popularity on Alexa and even by reading some feedbacks in different forums that deal with it. A short search in Google on the subject of bookmarking can keep you busy for a while – trust me.
- Digg.com – Google’s own.
- Del.icio.us – one of the very first bookmark sites, launched in 2004.
- Stumbleupon – recommended by many for its stable traffic
Furthermore, you can always take a peek at Wikipedia’s list of social bookmarking sites