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Social Bookmarking to Build SEO

The emphasis in most discussions about SEO (search engine optimization) now revolves around the need to publish valuable content, because of the latest evolution in search engine indexing algorithms that place greater weight on relevant material. This is a great development for the internet, generally, as it tends to discourage low quality, keyword-stuffed pages of spam which have always clogged up the results pages with websites that aren’t helpful to information-seeking web users. But posting great material on your website is only half of the SEO equation, and for a website to rank well in the SERPs (search engine results pages), there has to be enough links pointing to that great material for the crawlers to recognize that it has genuine value. Creating links can be a difficult and time consuming task but there is one simple method that allows you to create links to your page that the search engines will see quickly and value highly- social bookmarking.

Social bookmarking sites are one of the major features of Web 2.0 and, simply put, they are web pages that allow users to collect links to material that they have found online for their future reference and to share with their friends. It is the human element that gives social bookmark links their value to the search engines because they have been collated manually and they are based on a real person’s comprehension of the value of the content that they point to. The search engines naturally give these sorts of links greater weight than they do to automatically collated lists of links that appear to be valuable only to the spiderbots. Another measure of the value that social bookmark sites can give to links is to rank them by the number of users that have posted the link which is often a better indication of the quality of the content that they point to than the traditional search engine parameter of how many links point to a page.

There are an ever growing number of social bookmarking sites online, but not all of them contribute to improving SEO equally. There are two types of bookmarking sites and the main difference is that some allow ‘do follow links’, and some do not. When the crawlers reach a no follow link, they stop on that bookmarking page; ‘do follow links’ send them directly to the bookmarked content to judge the value of the content. For the purposes of posting links that will improve your page ranking, it is essential to post your links on one of the do follow link sites and most of the popular bookmarking sites like Digg, Stumble Upon, Reddit and Delicious allow users to create links that the crawlers will follow to your page.

Posting links to bookmarking sites isn’t enough of a strategy on its own to have a major impact on your SEO, but used in conjunction with other social media marketing tactics it can have a significant effect. Social bookmarking sites are also evolving, and the rapid growth of Pinterest, which is essentially a bookmarking site for images, shows that a lot of internet users are willing to engage brands on this level. Probably the most popular of all bookmarking sites is Twitter, whose format is perfect for posting links with short comments to entice visitors. The search engines have begun to consider Twitter links, especially if they have been retweeted, as being good indicators of quality content. With 34% of online marketers saying that they have generated sales leads using Twitter in 2011 (All Twitter), if you only bookmark your web pages on one site, you could certainly do worse than Twitter.

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