In this post I will explore Social Bookmarking for SEO and determine if it’s still effective. With the many hundreds of social bookmarking sites that are out there, it’s important that we are careful how we use these sites.
Not so long ago, the social bookmark was a quick and easy way to get backlinks from sites that were seen to have authority. Problem we now have is that some of the more well known sites are making the links “no follow”. This means that there is no direct link to your website. Google does see the relevance and the link itself, which is a good thing. It doesn’t actually get added to the “live links” that are seen as votes to your site.
In the case of websites like Digg, Stumble Upon, Reddit and other similar kinds of site, they were seen as ideal for advertisers. Even if the link didn’t receive any “up votes” the link was still valid. No matter how deep into the structure it went, the spiders could still crawl and mark the link into the equation. The deeper the link sat, the less people saw it, but the relevance and the “vote” was still valid.
Things have now changed with the no follow connection. The filters set up in these bookmarking sites have been changed. The no follow prevents the huge number of backlinks that could be built up. Google understands completely what social bookmarking is and what the potential capabilities for link building are so they take this into consideration.
Is Social Bookmarking For SEO Dead?
It doesn’t mean that Social Bookmarking has become totally useless for SEO. It’s good for sharing and social proof, but I wouldn’t use it to link directly to your money site (or main blog). I would use this for sharing some content you may put onto web 2.0 properties like Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress.com and sites like that. You use that article to link to your main site and the social bookmark becomes a second tier link. If the bookmarking site is a high authority and has a “follow” link, the link juice and authority will get passed to your main site. This happens via the link in the article on the web 2.0 property. Not only that, the high domain authority web 2.0 will achieve a better page authority and the link becomes even more useful.
Posting a good article to a Blogger site that’s worthy of a social bookmark is key to a better result. A badly spun article that is hard to read can damage your SEO, no matter where it comes from. It’s always good to have at worse reasonable content so that there is some credibility in the bookmark too. The better the article, the more likely it is that it can get shared by other people, adding to the social proof etc.
If you post as a guest blogger to any higher authority site, you may want to get some backlinks to your article. This helps to boost it and the link you place to your own site within that guest post is given more of a “leg up”. I would leave any direct social sharing (outside of Facebook, Twitter etc.) to the readers of the article. Instead, add more relevance via your web 2.0 properties and share those to your bookmarking sites.
Social Bookmarking For SEO And Traffic
When done correctly, it’s possible for you to get a lot of traffic from social bookmarking sites. Remember, SEO is not just about links these days, it’s also about traffic and your content being “sticky”. If your content is engaging, people will want to read more from you, so they are more likely to “click through” to your main blog if they like what they see. Sites like Reddit, for example, can be used to link directly to your site, but you need to know how to do it the right way.
There are strict rules on Reddit to prevent direct “self-promotion” and blatant spamming of links to your site. Relevance and benefits to the user are essential. In fact, keeping relevance is good practice. Think of the people using the site and be able to prove it so that you can show anyone that you’re there for the greater good. Share other stuff too that is relevant to your niche and you will escape the possibility of being banned. Reddit say it’s ok to be a Redditor with a website, but it’s not ok to blatantly advertise.
Delicious is another great bookmarking website that is run by Yahoo. The thing with Delicious is that you really need to be active on there. If you’re not following people and engaging with the crowd, and no one is following you, you will discover that it’s “just another website you have a link from”. Because of the no follow situation, and you may want to use social bookmarking in your SEO plan, it’s a good idea to spend 4-5 hours every week on the main sites that can add value to your website.
So, my conclusion is that Social Bookmarking for SEO is not dead. It can still be effective if used in the right way. With Google “wising up” to the more blatant practices of the past and the sites themselves preventing those practices to stay in business, we need to keep doing what I always profess to be the right thing, which is working with relevance and value foremost in mind.
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