Social bookmarking is the act of saving useful website links (“bookmarks”) to a public directory and tagging them with relevant and appropriate words or phrases for easy retrieval. Every Web browser has a feature that allows you to save links that you visit often in a folder called “Bookmarks”. The downside of using browser-based bookmarks is that they are only accessible to you when working on that machine. Social bookmarking extends this access to wherever you are by storing your favorite links on a public resource. If you are not yet sure about the advantage of doing this, here are 7 reasons that might change your mind about social bookmarks.
1. Ease of access to content: Even when you are accessing the Internet from a device other than your primary computer, you will be able to find your favorite bookmarks using a social bookmarking service. This also safeguards your resources in the event of a computer crash or virus attack that wipes out your local bookmarks folder.
2. Back-links: On the World Wide Web, a link back to your content is a vote on its popularity as a useful, valuable or entertaining resource. The act of social bookmarking can provide your content with many such one-way back-links (from the bookmarking site to your website). This will boost your content’s perceived value.
3. Traffic: The goal of most webmasters is to get more people to their website to consume their content. Social bookmarking can get your website extra visibility. It will feature your content on categorized lists that will appeal to the right kind of people who are specifically looking for such information.
4. Potential for viral spread: Social bookmarks are visible to everyone using the site (unless you mark it as ‘Private’). So there is a high chance of good content being shared across the network. As bookmarking services rank bookmarks by popularity (the number of people who list a specific resource), this can snowball rapidly and bring your content a huge audience without costing you a penny!
5. Faster search engine indexing: The popular social bookmarking services like Digg, Delicious and Reddit are a favorite of search engines because they are a treasure trove of frequently updated information categorized by topic, and ranked by popularity. So search engines will frequently ‘crawl’ links on these sites. By bookmarking your brand new website, you may get major search engines to “discover” your site very quickly – often within a few hours.
6. Higher ranking: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the set of actions performed to get a website ranked high on search services like Google, Yahoo and Bing for a particular phrase or keyword. Bookmarking helps in this by providing your content with multiple back links from resources that the search engines trust.
7. Personal branding: Social bookmarking services also let you create a Web presence where your favorite bookmarks are listed. This can help in developing and spreading your personal brand as you grow a collection of bookmarks that are relevant to your brand.
With thousands of social bookmarking services around, you are spoiled for choice. Make sure you select wisely. Rely upon sites that are authoritative and also related to your niche. This way you will enjoy all the 7 benefits of social bookmarking without wasting too much time and effort. While you will soon learn the most effective ways to use these services, here are a few tips to get started:
1. Bookmark only useful content: If your bookmarks are of value to the general public, you will soon develop a following within the social bookmarking site. People will explore your links and even add them to their own bookmarks, giving your bookmarks higher popularity within the network.
2. Comment on other bookmarks: If you find a useful bookmark that someone else has added on the network, leave a comment that shows your appreciation. Since social bookmarking is a way to grow online communities, you’ll soon find yourself enjoying an unexpected benefit – a network of friends on your favorite bookmarking sites!
3. Do not spam: Posting links to every page of your website, or each of your blog posts, or a lot of useless resources, is a sure way to lose your authority and respect on these social networks.
4. Categorize your bookmarks: Social bookmarking involves archiving valuable links and also organizing them by using descriptive tags or labels. Submit your bookmarks under the relevant category and include as many tags as needed to help others find the link easily while searching.
When it comes to bookmarking, the important thing is to get started. There is a lot to learn. But you can learn it through practice as you use the social bookmarking sites to share your favorite online resources. With so many advantages to using social bookmarking, you shouldn’t waste another day. Get started right away!