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What is Social Bookmarking?

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According to Wikipedia.org; “Social Bookmarking is a method for Internet users to share, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web resources. Unlike file sharing, the resources themselves aren't shared, merely bookmarks that reference them.”

Ok, but what does that really mean? So many clients ask about social bookmarking that I have attempted to come up with a really simple explanation.

There are over 13 billion web pages on the internet. To organize all of our favorite content, we need ways to pick out the best pages and save them for later. You have choices, you can bookmark or add to favorites in our web browser but that can become a huge list (my husband used to laugh at me because I probably had 500 pages “bookmarked”), plus, these bookmarks are only associated with one computer. If you sign in on another computer at work or while you’re away on vacation, you won’t be able to see your bookmarks. This is how “social” bookmarking got its start.

Through social bookmarking, you can share your favorite blog posts or articles with others who may want to read the information you just saved. Think of it as clipping a newspaper article and copying it and passing it around to others. It is the same principle.

For instance, you are a local food blogger and socially bookmark your favorite restaurants and wine stores. Someone who is interested in dining in your area could come across your bookmarked pages and read them. Another example, you are a realtor who used bookmarking to save relevant real estate related articles or you bookmark your listings. You organize things but it is public instead of private on your personal computer.

You may wonder why you would want everyone to see what websites you visit, but as a marketer this is not such a bad thing. Bookmarks are not only public and visible to other surfers; they are also visible to the search engines and are indexed quite frequently by them. Put simply, a website that may have taken weeks to be indexed by the search engines can now be indexed in a matter of days through social bookmarking.

Top social bookmarking websites:

  • del.icio.us: It allows you to easily add sites you like to your personal collection of links and to categorize those sites with keywords. Not to mention that if enough people save your site in a bookmark, it will make their popular page list and send a lot of traffic. Delicious is owned by Yahoo and is a MUST for your social media and bookmarking strategy.
  • StumbleUpon: Owned by eBay, StumbleUpon is an amazing blend of social bookmarking, voting, networking, web surfing, search and blogging. Best of all, StumbleUpon can send major traffic with its userbase of around 3 million users.
  • Digg: Digg is a high power authority and a listing in Digg for a site, even if it only has a couple of votes, will rank highly on Google and other search engines for certain terms. If your site is shared and voted upon on Digg, and makes the Digg homepage, you’ll get a lot of traffic and attention from other bloggers who read Digg.
  • Google: Allows users to save and create bookmarks in their Google toolbar that can be accessed anywhere online.
  • Reddit: Timely and shocking news oriented, Reddit stories are instantly voted upon and if liked by the community as a whole, can drive incredible traffic and users.
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks: This is the MOST POPULAR social bookmarking service on the internet. A great feature of Yahoo Bookmarks is that they let users store bookmarks using their Yahoo Toolbar and access them from any computer.

Take a minute to sign up for some of these and start sharing your favorite content with others. It’s a great way to get links for your site, get attention from the search engines and exposure for you or your company.

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