What Is Social Bookmarking?

What Is Social Bookmarking

Social Bookmarking

Remember how you bookmark your favorite links on your browser?  Social bookmarking is a tool which works in a similar fashion.  The difference is that you get to save those links in a website, instead of a browser.  This means that you can access that list of sites wherever you are and whatever gadget you use to get online.

What makes this kind of bookmarking, well, social, is that you can share it with friends – the people in your social bookmarking network, or even just share it with the entire viewing/reading public altogether.  You can even ‘buzz up’ a bookmark, indirectly or directly by giving it a positive rating, or by adding it in your own ‘bookmarked’ list.

You can also submit your own website pages to the social bookmarking site and have it rated by the public.  This way, you get more exposure for that particular article or web page, and consequently, the website itself and the products/services that are featured in it.

Things to Consider When Using Social Bookmarking Websites

Tags — Note that in social bookmarking websites, only the links are bookmarked.  It is a database for bookmarks so the contents are not stored at all, with the exception of the description or tags that you use to let others know what a particular link to a web page has in store.  When you intend to use social bookmarking websites to get targeted traffic for your website, make sure that you choose the right keywords.

You can look around the rankings to find out which keywords work.  This can get tricky because the keywords that work are usually saturated and it can be very difficult to inch your way in, except when you have awesome content that others cannot help but bookmark and link to and a host of other things that people do when they like web pages.

Purpose – Social bookmarking sites may be similar in that they are all hubs for sharing bookmarks; however, these sites vary in features.  Some websites are geared more for the ‘social’ part of social bookmarking while others are geared more for content.  If your intention is to get social there are social bookmarking sites that are geared for that as well.  If you intend to share as much as you want, some sites are great for that.  If you want exposure for your web pages, you can try sharing on Yahoo Buzz and get “buzzed up”

You can buzz up an article through a yahoo email account.  Those with very high buzz ratings make it to the Yahoo’s front page, generating mega traffic.  However, most of the stories that get features are news, celebrities and human interest stories so you have to be very, very creative to work your way around this one.

Digg.com is more social and would need friends to ‘digg your post.  Bloglines and Google Reader are multi-purpose bookmarking sites.  They can help you track news and blogs, save articles for later reading and share them as well.

Advantages of Social Bookmarking Sites

The first major advantage of social bookmarking sites lies in the fact that the links or bookmarks are rated by humans and not by some search engine bot which uses algorithms to come up with a rankings list.  This way,  you are reasonably assured that what you will end up viewing or reading is something worthwhile.  Bookmarks don’t just get high rankings out of nothing.  They don’t get shared if they are not interesting or useful enough.  It’s human nature.

However, it is true that there are unscrupulous people or groups of people who try to manipulate the results by spamming the bookmarking sites with their bookmarks, or by conniving to rate or promote each other’s bookmarks or any other similar schemes.  However, developers are constantly improving or making adjustments to their security systems as protection against these black hat marketing strategies.

Another advantage is that social bookmarking rankings get you free targeted traffic.  Through keywords and tags, a potential site visitor and customer would know what to expect in reading that bookmarked page.  The better rankings you get, the more exposure you get, and the possibility for discussion via the comments block, which would get you more buzzed up and invite more views.

Lastly, social bookmarking can be a powerful search engine optimization tool.  High-ranking social bookmarking pages tend to get noticed by the search engines quickly.  This means that the contents of the said page would get indexed more often.  There are also instances when a page, and not necessarily a high-ranking page can get ‘noticed’ simply because it got submitted to a social bookmarking website or that it got bookmarked.

Social bookmarking has come a long way from and it is now a powerful marketing tool.   After all, anyone with an internet connection can access social bookmarking sites, and you can have your pages submitted to social bookmarking sites for virtually nothing.

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