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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Social bookmarking as an online marketing tool

A little bit of history to start with!

We know, social bookmarking for personal use is an effective tool to bookmark, and get to know about high quality resources. The purpose behind starting such concept was itself knowledge sharing. But later it came under the attack of spamming :) and as a link building tool. As we discussed previously, thus the concepts like nofollow became more important.
With updates to search algorithms and social media becoming an important factor; social bookmarking are once again becoming an important tool to share resources and also to build traffic. While there could be two opposite schools of thought on whether social bookmarking helps in search engine results; it definitely add value to building traffic (for example you don't get any PageRank benefits for reddit backlinks since they follow nofollow policy)

Ok, now let's get into understand what is social bookmarking? Social bookmarking is nothing but bookmarking something you like and feel useful in public. This enables others to catch on high quality resources easily. For example, I may have a personal copy of a bookmarks folder called Digital Marketing; It may have sub folders like SEO, PPC and so on. And each will have articles, web pages that I have categorized and bookmarked into these. Social bookmarking sites like reddit or stumbleupon allows to follow a similar pattern with the help of tags to categorize each of my bookmarks; and at the same time share it to the world. Others can either up vote or down vote the resources based on how useful they found the resources were.

So you may ask, how does an online marketer make use of social bookmarking site? In my opinion, the main use is only for sharing; it's a channel to promote the resource you are creating. A word of caution though; unless the content is of high value, it may backfire completely. The more important aspect - it gives you an idea of how well your content is received; what's its share-ability quotient. This helps an online marketer from the content marketing perspective. It gives her an idea about which content is clicking and which are being found useful by readers. As we discussed these sites work on the principle of network effect. The bigger and more active the network is; the higher the chance is to reach a wider audience; thus building more traffic. (of course there is a chance that your link may get dropped in the ocean; selection of sites is after-all a judgement call)

So which social bookmarking sites to use? According to Search Engine Journal, there are at least 50 that you can consider. Find the full list here (50+ Social Bookmarking Sites : Importance of User Generated Tags, Votes and Links). I would suggest monitoring few of these to understand the kind of topics getting more traction. Based on the overlap of those topics with your domain area, choose few. It's better to keep sub-themes and focus on one or two sub themes in each social bookmarking site. Another aspect that you may want to look into are the nofollow policies, reach and popularity. I found these two sites useful in making your choice - Social bookmarking sites list and Tranvict blog post on the same.
Three sites that I suggest you consider experimenting with are stumbleupondigg, and reddit

What's your take on social bookmarking? which sites do you suggest?

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