Social bookmarking is a way for people to store, organize, search, and manage “bookmarks” of web pages. Users save links to web pages that they like or want to share, using a social bookmarking site to store these links. These bookmarks are usually public and can be viewed by other members of the site where they are stored.
A good social bookmarking definition begins with the history of the concept. It was first thought of in April of 1996, with the launch of the very first social bookmark, itList.com. From that point on, the business began to grow, and social bookmarking became known for building relevant links, bringing in traffic and new customers, and the other benefits of social bookmarking that businesses can take advantage of.
To define social bookmarking is to examine how they work. Basically, links are listed on a network, then whoever has access to that network can search for links that pertain to the keywords that person is searching for. Each link has three keywords associated with it, generally, keywords that are optimized on their WebPages, and when those keywords are searched for, ideally, it is that particular link that comes up.
Social bookmarking is a user-defined taxonomy system for bookmark s. Such a taxonomy is sometimes called a folksonomy and the bookmarks are referred to as tags. Unlike storing bookmarks in a folder on your computer, tagged pages are stored on the Web and can be accessed from any computer. Technorati, a blogging site, describes the system as “The real-time Web, organized by you.” Web sites dedicated to social bookmarking, such as Flickr and del.icio.us, provide users with a place to store, categorize, annotate and share favorite Web pages and files.
What Does Social Bookmarking Do For Businesses?
No social bookmarking definition can be complete without an analysis of what it can do for businesses. Obviously, social bookmarking has some excellent marketing qualities, or nobody would do it. Some of the ways that social bookmarking helps businesses include:
• Being listed on a social bookmarking site can drive quality traffic: Websites like Digg and Del.icio.us represent the opportunity to get a lot of new traffic to your website. In fact, these sites offer the best type of visitors: viral traffic. People who reach your site from a social bookmarking site are generally there because your Web site appeared in a search for topics they were interested in. Beware – some of the social bookmarking sites will mark links out to other sites as “nofollow”. This tells search engines not to follow the link, and so you won’t reap any benefit from additional links!
• Search engines will often list results from bookmarking sites: So if your site is bookmarked, this is an extra opportunity to show up in search results.
• Being featured on one bookmarking site can often lead to people tagging your site on other bookmarking sites: This may sound rather strange, but people who bookmark may use more than one bookmarking site. If you are lucky they may find you through one site and bookmark you on another, which is a great opportunity for web site promotion.
• Increase traffic by adding social bookmarking buttons to your website: Adding social bookmark links to your blog or web site makes it easy for readers to save and share your content, and therefore for others to find it.
So, there is a great benefit to encouraging people to bookmark your Web site.
The type of traffic you will receive will probably be very targeted and engaged in the content on your web site, so social bookmarking can be a great tool in your web site promotion strategy.
There are many websites out there that are known as social bookmarking sites or define social bookmarking. These sites are meant strictly to list these links and make them searchable. Some of these websites are private and you have to pay a fee to search through them, but others are free for anyone to use, obviously looking for regular people to use them. Some of these social bookmarking websites are:
Technorati.com – A blog and business social bookmarking website
Del.icio.us – A popular social bookmarking service that is the most famous
Yahoo Bookmarks – A bookmarking service hosted by Yahoo.com as one of their many services
Google Bookmarks – Another bookmarking service, hosted by Google.com and intended for normal people as well as businesses to use.
How to do social bookmarking:
1. Select a site: Each of the most popular social bookmarking sites offers something a little bit different. You might decide to rely mostly on one site, or on a combination of them. Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Delicious, etc are all good sites to start with.
2. Upload bookmarks and links: The particular methods for doing this will vary from site to site, but you will most likely need to cut and paste the link you want to bookmark into an “upload” forum on your profile on the site.
3. Link to social media: You might find it easier to link your Facebook or Google+ profiles to your social bookmarking site; that way, you will have one central, easy way for logging in and keeping track of your interests.
4. Create useful tags: As you upload bookmarks to any of the above sites, be sure to “tag” the link with some keywords that will help other users find it. What 2-3 words come to mind when you think of this link? What search words did you use to find the link?
5. Download the extension: If you find most of your bookmarks on a desktop browser, then be sure to download the extension that these websites. Whenever you see a page you wish to bookmark, you just click the extension and easily add it to your profile on the site.
6. Use social bookmarking for Search Engine Optimization: Social bookmarking can’t directly increase the Google rank of your business’s web site. However, keywords related to your business can land on Google’s search results when they appear on popular social bookmarking sites which do have high Google rankings, like Reddit, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Few guidelines to always keep in mind while social bookmarking:
1. Don’t spam. Many social bookmarking sites have become fertile ground for digital marketing. While it is fine to promote your own content on most of these sites, be careful not to flood users’ feeds simply to drive traffic to your site.
2. Engage with others. If you are using a social bookmarking platform for marketing, it is especially important that you engage with the content of other users. Pin, retweet, and link to content that you find to be engaging and important.
3. Don’t be a troll. Many bookmarking sites leave less room for hostile flame wars than other social media sites. But you should still be considerate. While you might want to engage in a lively debate with other users of the site, try to keep the tone cordial and respectful.
Social bookmarking is a powerful weapon for SEO, but at the same time, it is more useful if done properly.