Social bookmarking sites are tremendously popular, and they provide a nice method for new sites to get exposure to target readers, and to get incoming links to increase your search engine ranking. You really don’t want to rush out and submit a ton of your own links to these sites, however. Here are some tactics for doing some social networking without being a pest or, worse yet, getting blacklisted.
- Submit sparingly, and spread it around to various social bookmarking sites. For instance, you might submit one post to StumbleUpon this week, and another to Digg the week later.
- Make it easy for people to socially bookmark your content. AddThis is a really simple-to-implement tool that makes it easy for people to choose their personal favorite bookmarking site and submit your content. AddThis has a really extensive list of social bookmarking sites, but a few that I like (Babblz, for instance) are missing. Share This (which you can use below to share this post) is a handy plugin for WordPress allowing visitors to bookmark or email your posts.
- Make some bookmarking buddies. Some of the social bookmarking sites have groups you can join, but you can also get a group of blogging friends together to submit and give votes to one another’s site links.
- Use social bookmarking sites that will count as incoming links for your search engine rankings. Some, most notably Del.icio.us and Wikipedia, do not.
- Experiment with social bookmarking sites to see which ones are the best fit. For some sites, such as those on technology and news, Digg might work best. Some people find great success with Reddit. My sites are focused more on travel and parenting, and I’ve gotten much more incoming traffic when someone bookmarks one of my pages on Netscape and StumbleUpon.
- Spread the love around. Don’t just bookmark your own stuff. This is a big no-no, and a good way to get your URL banned so no one can bookmark it. When you see something good online, bookmark it or vote on it.
There are also some other benefits of social bookmarking:
- Get spidered (sort of) sooner. If you have a new site that either hasn’t been spidered by Google yet, or is only spidered infrequently, submit timely content to social bookmarking sites that do get spidered often. There is that extra step for people to visit that site, then yours. But when I had a new site that was getting spidered very slowly, I would just submit content that had a shelf-life to Netscape.com. The Netscape reference to the article would rank very high and within a couple days.
- Find people with similar interests. See who has bookmarked or voted positively on your content, and make friends with them on that particular site.
- Get targeted traffic. If someone finds your link because they looked at the tag “baby strollers,” they are probably highly interested in baby strollers.
- Get ideas for blog posts. It’s fun to just browse around social bookmarking sites to see what’s out there under categories you write on or under tags you use.