The last few years have seen many in the SEO community proclaiming that social bookmarking sites are dead. Although not completely accurate, this statement has a pinch of truth to it. Black hat and grey hat techniques that were effective prior to Google’s Hummingbird, Penguin and Panda updates often leant heavily on social bookmarking sites. These employed questionable tactics such as link wheel schemes and other deceptive practices. However, my ethical marketing friend, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater! You can still make great use of social bookmarking sites to supplement your other link building efforts in order to get another little edge on your competition. It shouldn’t be your core focus, but it can help build domain authority (DA) and page authority (PA), and the more popular sites like StumbleUpon and Reddit can also send a lot of referral traffic your way.
How to use social bookmarking sites
Before you dive into the list and start dropping links left, right and centre, it is a good idea to have an overarching strategy. You want to be delicate with social bookmarking and I would recommend that in total, social bookmarking backlinks should comprise no more than 5-10% of your overall link profile. Thus, if your page currently has 90 backlinks, you should only bookmark it on a maximum of 10 sites in the list below. You can bookmark some more once you have more backlinks from other sources! In addition, you should not only view social bookmarking as merely a link building tool. You can use these sites to find great content in your niche, keep your finger on the pulse and participate in dialogue with like-minded individuals. Just keep in mind that you are there for professional reasons, so don’t get lost in the rabbit hole of cat pictures!
When you first enter a party, you don’t immediately wander around telling everyone about yourself. Rather, you ask others about themselves and involve yourself in conversations already taking place. In the same sense, when you become a member of a social bookmarking site, first enter all of your details in your profile. Make it personal. Then take a look around and get a feel for what is popular there. Find and connect with the influential people in your niche and anyone else you know. Make sure they’re relevant – don’t just add everyone that pops up. It’s also a good idea to read the guidelines or terms of service:
Once you’ve got a feel for how the site works, regularly bookmark things that you find interesting, rather than merely promoting your own content. Your goal is to become a valuable member of the community and not just someone spamming their own content. It’s often useful to think about the site like a party. Before posting, ask yourself, “Would I say this to a group of people at a party?”
When you’re posting, it is a good idea to use tags. In the last few years, hashtags have been popularised by social networks like Twitter, although social bookmarking sites implemented them years earlier. Tags let you categorise content and you should select tags that are both relevant and popular. In Reddit, you can also find a relevant category, such as /r/SEO or /r/marketing/. Each of these categories is a bulletin board focussed on a specific topic. It is useful to gravitate toward the categories relevant to your niche, because there is a lot of noise on Reddit. (At the time of writing, current trending topics on the homepage include “Putting on pants without using hands” and “Obama looks like Pharrell’s dad dropping him off for Prom.”)
Add-ons and Browser Extensions
One way to streamline the whole process and save a lot of time is to install browser extensions. These sit at the top of your browser so you can quickly bookmark something without opening a new tab and going to a given social bookmarking site. Here is a list of browser extensions for the more popular social bookmarking sites:
Other useful tools
Shareaholic is a very useful tool that allows you to share on up to 250 social bookmarking sites and social networks in one click. It has extensions for six browsers: Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari, Opera and Songbird.
Quix is an extensible bookmarklet that allows you to easily access all your bookmarks and bookmarklets, across all your browsers, while maintaining them in only one place.
The list of 43 social bookmarking sites
|Site Name||Niche||PageRank||Alexa Rank||DoFollow||URL|
|News & Entertainment||8||58||Yes||http://www.reddit.com/|
|Slashdot||Linux & Open Source||7||1,604||Yes||http://www.slashdot.org/|
|News Me Back||News/General||3||9,003||Yes||http://www.newsmeback.com/|
|Add This Mark||General||2||33,305||Yes||http://addthismark.com/|
|My Top List||General||2||96,983||Yes||http://www.mytoplist.gen.tr/|
|BlogBookMark||News & Gossip||2||36,270||Yes||http://www.blogbookmark.com/|
|1 Look 4||General||1||18031||Yes||http://1look4.com/|
|Blinklist||Technology, Media & Marketing||6||7,274||No||http://www.blinklist.com/|