What is Social Bookmarking?
August 8, 2013
When talking about SEO and search engine marketing, the term “social bookmarking” gets bandied about a lot. So what exactly is social bookmarking and how can it help your site rank better on Google?
Social bookmarking has been around since the 90s and is an online service that allows users to create, edit and share bookmarks to websites. Social bookmarking allows individuals, businesses and other institutions a way to organize information and disseminate that information easily and efficiently. One popular feature of social bookmarking is tagging, which allows users to organize and categorize bookmarks, much like how tags are used in blogging. An added bonus to a tag-based classification system is that the work is completed by people, as opposed to software which uses algorithms to assess the quality and context of a resource.
Although, you may not be familiar with the term “social bookmarking” you probably use social bookmarking sites every day. Some examples of popular social bookmarking sites include Delicious (who actually coined the term “social bookmarking”), Reddit, Digg, Pinterest, StumbleUpon and even Twitter. The popularity of these sites is a testament to the ease in which they aggregate, display and disseminate information. As you can see, there’s a lot of crossover between social bookmarking and social media.
OK, so how can social bookmarking help your website? For one, it helps users discover your site and offers an alternative route to your site in addition to organic searches and blogging. If you have a site with high quality or unique content, you want to make sure it is findable and social bookmarking offers another channel to reach your audience. As such, social bookmarking can be a great way to generate traffic, especially if your site is featured and shared.
Another benefit to social bookmarking is that it is a good way to build backlinks to your site and boost your sites authority and presence across the web. Contrary to some reports out there, link building is not dead. Google’s own Matt Cutts has even echoed this sentiment. The problem arises when websites obtain these type of links through shady, Black Hat SEO practices or from low-quality or spammy sites. Websites should always be mindful of creating a quality user experience and social bookmarking links that are created naturally and organically are a great way to reinforce these experiences and establish a foundation for SEO success.