What is Social Bookmarking?
In the same way that individuals use bookmarks in a web browser to curate content, social bookmarking is an online service that allows registered users to do the same. In addition, users can also annotate, edit and share web pages; in short, social bookmarking is an interactive, online library service helping to organise links. Not to be confused with file sharing sites, social bookmarking sites do not share data, just links.
Examples of Social Bookmarking Sites
Do Social Bookmarking Links Work for SEO?
In short social bookmarking links do help, yes, although this varies from site to site.
Social bookmarking has an authority of its own that search engines like Google trust. In many ways, social bookmarking sites have been doing the job that the Penguin update is designed to do but far better. Content is ranked within these sites by the people who use them. If something (or someone) isn’t relevant, then their bookmarks and posts very quickly get voted down by a community. Not only do social bookmarking links boost your authority but they are a dynamic link which can ‘grow legs’ and be re-shared quite quickly.
Therefore, ranking highly and consistently on a site like Reddit will result in a far more effective stable of backlinks than an equal number of static ones.
In a ‘Post-Penguin’ World is this Effective SEO?
However, as with anything Google related, the devil is in the detail.
With the introduction of Google’s Penguin update, there is a greater requirement for authenticity in any backlink building strategy in order to build authority.
To gain the best SEO results from social bookmarking, you should bear in mind these golden rules:
- Effective link building is all about the quality of your backlinks and not the quantity. Choose quality social bookmaking sites that are relevant to your target audience.
- Don’t bookmark your content on every social bookmarking site you can and never use automated tools to do this for you. This will result in spamming which should be avoided at all costs.
- Always maintain a complete profile when setting up an account in the same way you would do with any other networking outlet.
- Never simply promote your own content. Apply the 80/20 rule and be active in the community for bringing more than just a sales pitch to the table.
- Engage other users by asking questions, posting comments and re-sharing content. By being active and relevant then you build trust. In return your content is more likely to be shared and voted up by other users.
- Use good quality description and titles to bookmark your URLs, making it easy for users and search engines to follow your links.
What are the Best Sites to Use?
It’s really important to ensure that you use a social bookmarking site that is relevant to your industry and that has a high domain authority of its own. The lower the domain authority ranking, the less likely it is that you will achieve quality backlinks as a result of any bookmarks. You should do your own research into the relevance of any site you intend to use. Ensure that the effort to maintain a profile with that site will be worth the backlink juice you may receive.