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If you expect your content to go viral or at least get the traffic you want without doing anything apart from pressing the ‘Publish’ button, you’re wrong. There are many ways to help people find your content – social media is the preferred method, but bookmarking is still useful, if used correctly.
When it comes to content promotion, not only must you use a variety of channels, you need to have a strategy. As part of your strategy, as well as your promotional arsenal, social bookmarking sites should not be overlooked. For sure, you still need to engage on social media, as well as have a rigorous outreach strategy, but social bookmarking sites are still an effective way of putting your content in front of the people who are interested in your industry, products and services. Therefore, these should be implemented into your SEO and content promotion strategy.
Whilst times have changed and bookmarking is no longer considered a link building practice on a massive scale, there are still a lot of benefits this can generate for your website. These can include:
However, given Google’s recent algorithm updates I believe you need to have a strategy when it comes to social bookmarking to avoid any pitfalls, or even worse, receiving a penalty from Google.
According to Google’s latest quality guidelines, links coming from low-quality directories and bookmarking sites can be seen us unnatural and therefore could have a negative effect on your rankings.
Years ago, social bookmarking was pretty much about getting your content bookmarked on every site, no matter the quality, out there in order to generate as many links as possible. Well, these days are gone so if you’re still doing it, STOP now!
The correct way to use social bookmarking and content curation sites is to use them on a regular basis. You need to be active, grow your followers (if possible) and most importantly engage with the audience, otherwise you won’t get the results you want and you can actually put your website at greater risk.
I would highly recommend applying the Pareto 80/20 rule where 80% of the content you bookmark/curate/submit is not from your website, but still relevant to your industry. The rest (20%) of submitted or shared articles should be from your website or blog.
It’s time to take your content beyond the usual social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. I’ve created a list of top social bookmarking sites which I have a good experience with and use on a regular basis.
Pearltrees is one of my favourite bookmarking sites as it’s very powerful and an easy-to-use platform. I use it as my number one personal bookmarking site and have already seen good results in terms of traffic, as well as likes within the platform itself. Below you can see how I structure the content I share.
StumbleUpon is a must-use site not only for those who want to share their articles, but also for people who want to find interesting articles, hence the nickname ‘discovery engine’. It can be a powerful traffic driver for many businesses, big as well as small. With a wide range of categories to choose from, you’ll be able to show your content to a relevant audience.
Delicious is a very effective bookmarking site that enables you to easily bookmark sites you like and create personal collections based on tags/keywords. As a bonus, all of your bookmarks can be shown in a feed allowing others to follow/subscribe to your bookmarks.
Digg together with Delicious are top bookmarking sites with a high authority. If your website/content is shared and voted up and makes the Digg Home page you can expect a lot of traffic.
The main pros and cons are similar to Delicious, so don’t expect much from your first submission.
Flipboard claims to be social magazine which collects news and other content and presents it in magazine-style format. With Flipboard you can create your own magazine on any topic you like. This way you can create visually appealing magazines on topics relevant to your industry and audience.
This SteamFeed article will show you how to use Flipboard to promote your business.
BizSugar is one of my favourite curation sites which I use on a regular basis. As the name suggest, BizSugar is a social bookmarking sites made for small and medium sized business to share useful content. If it’s good users can reward it with ‘sugars’ (votes); the more you get, the better. Plus your submitted content can become ‘hot’ and make the first page. Below is an example of one of my SEO posts that became hot, resulting in a traffic increase as well as additional comments:
Sharebloc is a very similar to BizSugar where you can curate useful content and get votes. It’s a quite new platform, but it has great potential to grow.
Bundlr is another site which is fairly new on the block. I’ve only explored it recently, however it’s a very simple and easy to use platform allowing you to add content about your favourite topics, photos, videos and more.
If done correctly social bookmarking can be still a very effective tactic at driving traffic in today’s post-Penguin world. However, don’t forget that relevancy and regular activity is the key.
How about you?
What experience do you have with social bookmarking? What other social bookmarking and content curation sites do you find useful and effective in the post-penguin era? I would love to hear your suggestions and thoughts.
Social Bookmarking from BigStock Photo