Social bookmarking has grown rapidly over the past couple of years and some might say that it is now at its peak. Whilst it was originally designed as a chance for you to bookmark and share your favourite websites with others on the internet, it has become an increasingly popular way to create easy and free links to your own website. There are lots of these sites around, with differences lying not only in their interface but also in the potential link benefit they offer.
How to Use Social Bookmarking to Build Links
There are numerous bookmarking sites out there and whilst we would not recommend that you join every one of them, it is worth joining a few of them if you're creating additional backlinks to your site, as signing up to them is often a short and relatively straight-forward process. One advantage of these sites lies in the ability to create deep-links to your site, that can help to increase the popularity of an internal page, rather than just copy and pasting your homepage timelessly into each bookmarking site. If you submit your content/blogs to these then you can start building up backlinks fairly quickly.
Most social bookmarking sites allow you to setup a profile and in this profile you can often place at least one link with accompanying anchor text to improve the value of your link. Bookmarking sites that allow you more than one link can be good opportunities for building links as they offer you the chance to link to deeper pages on your site. Interlinking your social profiles helps to increase the link benefit (also known as link juice) that they pass to the links on them (ie your site). One thing to be aware of is to ensure that you avoid sites that use a NoFollow tag or other SEO fixes that hide your URL and thus prevent any benefit being passed between the links.
DoFollow Bookmarking Sites
The term "DoFollow" is a relatively new term that has been only been around for a year or two. It is rising in popularity as it is effectively the opposite of "NoFollow" and "DoFollow" terms or "DoFollow sites" are sites that pass link juice. There are plenty of DoFollow social bookmarking sites that can be useful in building links and we would recommend using the following:
Digg.com - Easy to setup and you can add a number of links to your profile with anchor text. Digg is also an opportunity for you to submit your article for other members to read and "Digg" themselves. The more your popularity increases, the more links you gain.
Technorati.com - Adding a code to your website is required as part of the setup, but once you have got past this stage you can add a link to your site. Your blogs also get picked up by Technorati, but they don't have the benefit of anchor text.
Windows Live Profile - Although not technically a social bookmarking site as such, a Windows Live Profile can be used for adding anchor text links that pass benefit. Not only can you get juice from a link in your profile, but also in your blogs.
Google Profile - If you're not on hotmail there's probably a good chance you have a Google mail or 'gmail' account. Google also lets you add a number of links that allow you to build deep links to your site as well as having one to your home page. Dixon Jones wrote an interesting article on how to pass anchor text relevancy through your Google profile which I recommend reading.
Mister-Wong.com - A large social bookmarking site that allows you to add a number of links with anchor text. Obtaining bookmarks from other users can help to increase your ranking in the search engines.
Thinking from an SEO perspective
When you're adding or editing your links to the above, and other non-mentioned social bookmarking sites, it is best to view everything from an SEO perspective. The goal of link building is to improve search engine rankings, meaning that we need to ensure that we're using terms that we would like to rank for in bookmarks and using the appropriate landing page for each link. It is very important to remember that one should not build all too many links in a short period of time. If you're building 2 or 3, you'll be fine but if you're submitting to ten's or hundred's of these sites at once, you're likely to catch the attention of a search engine for all the wrong reasons. Search engines don't like you building hundreds of links in one day and none over the rest of the month as it's not natural and can be detected with dire consequences. It is best practice to spread your link building over a period of days and weeks to avoid any problems with the very search engines you're trying to please.
Automated tools are something to be wary of and can get your site in the search engines bad books. We wouldn't recommend automated tools when it comes to setting up these profiles as they're purely for spam purposes. If you don't have the time, or the knowledge, get someone with experience to help you with your link building needs. If you need help with your Link Building or wish to speak with one of our link building experts contact us today or call our UK office on +44 (0)1525 715520.