Some time ago, we had someone send us a lenghty email telling us that we should stop bothering with social bookmarking as an SEO strategy because “social bookmarking is dead”. We couldn’t disagree more. Reddit.com is currently the 52nd most popular website in the USA — it might not be Facebook or Twitter, but it’s far from “dead”.
What makes social bookmarking so special that SEO companies love it even though it’s not the cutting-edge phenom that it was eight years ago? There are four significant reasons why.
Control Over Your Link
Social bookmarking links are entirely within your own control. You get to choose what tags they have, what the LSI text is, what the anchor text looks like, when it gets posted, which IP address it gets logged under, and in most cases what category the site files the link under. That’s more control than you get from most backlinks, and each element of that control allows you to make the link marginally more effective than it would be uncontrolled.
Social Bookmarks Rank Independently
Every social bookmark you create ranks independently from the page it links to. That might not seem like much, but a clever SEO company can engineer one special long-tail keyword for every one of their social bookmarks, and nail some traffic that they would never otherwise have seen.
Social Proof is Powerful
Admittedly, not that many social bookmarks get a huge amount of “+1s” from the crowd on the page — but even twenty or thirty can make a massive difference in how your link in perceived by someone who happens to find it on Google. Coming across a bookmark with 2 or 3 votes is just lame; but ten times that and you gather enough social proof that a click is much more likely.
Social Bookmarks are Nestable
One of the greatest things about social bookmarking is that you can create a ‘web’ of social bookmarks in order to enhance one bookmark’s ranking. If you create a bookmark on Reddit, you can then go to Digg, Delicious, Google Buzz, and the rest and create bookmarks of your bookmark and get that original bookmark more rank juice and more visits (and hopefully votes up).
With everything that social bookmarking offers — along with the fact that it’s quick and mostly brainless, unlike article writing and distribution for example, it’s a wonder any SEO company would buy into the idea of it’s “death”. We’re going to keep using it for the foreseeable future, most certainly.