HOW SOCIAL BOOKMARKING CAN HELP PROMOTE YOUR WEBSITE
Social bookmarking sites have been around for quite awhile. A social bookmarking site lets you create an account, and then store any number of bookmarks to sites (or individual site posts) that are of interest to you. Consider such a site a catalog of web pages that are of interest to you. You can use your list of popular web pages privately, or you can make your account public and share you list of interesting web pages with any and all internet users.
Social bookmarking sites such as diigo.com, mix.com and start.me are free, easy to use, and extremely popular.
Social bookmarking sites are useful for simplifying your online life, but they can also be used to promote your website so that others find it.
How Social Bookmarking Works
In short, a social bookmarking site allows you to keep a list of bookmarks to web pages. When you create a social bookmark you're adding a bookmark to a page on a site. In normal circumstances you'll encounter a web page of interest, and decide to make it a social bookmark so that you have an easy way to revisit that page in the future.
Here's an example — it's a partial view of an account on the popular social bookmarking site Diigo. You can see from the bookmarks that the account holder is obviously interested in travel, so he's bookmarked some travel-related websites he might want to revisit in the future.
When you add a bookmark to a social bookmarking account of yours, you enter the URL of the page to bookmark, a title for the bookmark, and a brief description of the page. It's really quite simple — that's all there is to maintaining a social bookmarking account.
The Quality of Backlinks
One of the most valuable SEO techniques is gaining backlinks to your website. In short, a backlink is simply a link to your site, from another site. If a blogger likes an article on your site, she might link to that article from a post on her own site. That's a backlink. If you send a tweet from your Twitter account, and you include a URL to an article on your site (or the URL of your site's home page), that's a backlink.
Sounds easy, right? A person could go wild creating backlinks all over the place: in Twitter and Facebook posts, adding your website to an online business directory, within a comment on posts on blogs, and yes, by adding a bookmark to a social bookmark account. In fact, many years ago, that's exactly what SEO folks did — they created backlink after backlink to a client's site. And, many years ago, that technique often worked to move a website up in search engine rankings in Google searches.
But that was many years ago. Google has come a long way in refining there algorithm that determines what web page ranks where for any given search. A loooong way. Whereas in the past it seemed quantity of backlinks was just about all that mattered, these days it's definitely quality of backlinks that makes the difference.
What determines the quality of a backlink? Several factors, but simplistically, a link from a trusted, authoritative website is worth much, much more than a link that you, or anyone, can create quickly and freely. Which means if a well-established, popular website decides to link to an article on your site, that backlink is worth a whole lot more than the link to your site that you yourself included when you added a comment to someone's blog post.
How Social Bookmarking Helps to Promote Your Site
Knowing what you now do about the quality of a backlink, it might occur to you that a link from a social bookmark you create certainly can't be considered as valuable to Google as a link that a blog owner adds to a post on his blog. In that thought you'd be absolutely correct.
So, is there really any point in creating accounts on various social bookmarking platforms and adding bookmarks to your website and website articles or posts? The answer is Yes. If the answer wasn't in the affirmative, there wouldn't have been much point in this article existing!
As far as the worth of a backlink from a social bookmarking account, is there any value at all? SEO specialists hold a variety of opinions on that. Though very few will say such links have any great power. But they might, just might have a little SEO value. A sort of, "they might not help a whole lot, but they certainly can't hurt" approach.
Even if social bookmarking backlinks have little real SEO power, they do still have value.
Your social bookmarking account can be made public, which means anyone on the internet can access your list of bookmarks and, of course, click on any of the bookmarks to visit the associated site. That's called traffic, and every site owner wants traffic — visitors. If a visitor reaches your site by clicking on a social bookmark link as opposed to seeing your site in a Google search and visiting your site from that Google search results page, that's still a visitor. That's called direct traffic, as opposed to a visitor arriving at your site from a Google search, which is referred to as organic traffic.
You want links to your website pages — it helps (to varying degrees) rank your pages in Google searches, and it helps people find your website by means other than Google searches. Links are a form of branding — you want your website name (and URL) to "be out there" so people stumble across it's name, so people get used to seeing your website name. So it certainly can't hurt to have your website name (and links to your website) from a variety of sources. Social bookmarking is one more source of branding.
Social bookmarks may help in the indexing of your new posts. Every time you add a post (an article) to your website, you're creating a new web page on your site. When you do this, you want Google to index that page. That is, you want Google take note of it so that it has the possibility for ranking somewhere, for some search term, in Google searches. Google doesn't automatically index every new page that's added to the web. There are billions of pages on the web right now, with countless new pages being added every day. Google is under no obligation to index every new web page, and in fact they most certainly don't. What helps to get a new web page indexed? Backlinks. If a new web pages starts accumulating backlinks — even if they aren't the most powerful of links — there's a greater chance that Google will take notice of the new page and feel it has some value to the internet world. And Google is then more likely to add that page to it's huge index of web pages.
Are Social Bookmarks Worth the Effort?
What effort? Social bookmarks aren't very difficult or time-consuming to create. In the end, creating many links to your website pages via social bookmarking sites will not propel your web pages to the top of Google searches. For proper SEO you need much more than a bunch of social bookmarks. But they can help index your new posts, they may help in branding (building awareness), they might bring in a little direct traffic, and they may just play a minor role in helping your site rise in search rankings.
Here at MadBeeTech SEO we include social bookmarks as a part of each SEO plan. But only as a part of a plan. There's much more to proper SEO, as you'll see when you check out our SEO plan features.