URLs Matter in Social Bookmarking

Although URLs play an important role for search engine optimization, they also play an important role in [social bookmarking](http://neothoughts.com/2006/08/15/urls-matter-in-social-bookmarking/). One of the most important factors to maximizing your exposure on [del.icio.us](http://del.icio.us) and other social bookmarking sites is the URL of a website.
del.icio.us crazy egg
The picture above shows that there are currently 3 main listings on del.icio.us for Crazy Egg. The first listing is for http://www.crazyegg.com which has been bookmarked by 2034 people, the second is for http://crazyegg.com which has been bookmarked by 1202 people, and the third is for https://crazyegg.com which has been bookmarked by 349 people. Although they are all the same exact site del.icio.us treats them as three separate listings because one URL contains “www”, the second does not contain “www”, and the third contains “https”. So how did the URL of Crazy Egg affect its’ success on del.icio.us?
Crazy Egg has done very well on del.icio.us and those three listings have brought in well over 5000 visitors in the past few months. This has been possible because of the sheer number of people that bookmarked it which caused each listing to show up on the del.icio.us [homepage](http://del.icio.us) as well as the del.icio.us [popular page](http://del.icio.us/popular/), but never as the number 1 position on either of those pages. If the bookmarks were combined into 1 listing it would have increased the positioning to the top 1 or 2 spots instead of the top 3 which might have drove a couple thousand more visitors.
So if you want to maximize your traffic from social bookmarking sites such as del.icio.us, combine your URLs into one. Use redirects such as http://yourdomain.com to http://www.yourdomain.com, it will reduce the chance of having multiple listings on del.icio.us and maximize your potential traffic.

Neil Patel
Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions. Neil also blogs about marketing and entrepreneurship at Quick Sprout.

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9 thoughts on “URLs Matter in Social Bookmarking

  1. I agree site owners would do well to use a redirect to either remove the www. or add it in to their URI. However, I must cast a vote in favor of removing the www. from the URI as it seems deprecated to me.

  2. Del.ici.ous should fix this, but it’s something crazyegg should look into as well. If its a problem on one of the largest social bookmarking sites, it must be problematic elsewhere.
    The fact is, coders are lazy, and unless you’ve got an absolutely amazing site, you need to do everything possible to make it succeed.

  3. Mike, I should have known better and fixed this with Crazy Egg before we launched. Hopefully del.icio.us will fix this issue, but for now webmasters may have to fix it on their end.

  4. Some bloggers and site owners just dont have time, or knowledge required to incorporate redirects, but they should work on it, just like del.icio.us should work on having the system recognize such things and file it under one bookmark

  5. Most people *expect* the www and most people even say it when saying a URL to someone.
    So, I think redirecting from url.com to http://www.url.com simply gives folks what they want.
    I think social bookmarking sites would do well to “normalise” URLs a tad too.

  6. The problem is harder than it initially seems. There are a fair number of sites that have http://www.dom.ain and dom.ain be different things. Further, there’s / vs /index.html and /index.php and many other variations and so on. I don’t feel that it is appropriate to just change what people bookmarked. So currently, we save exactly what was bookmarked (adding a slash after the hostname IS modified to contain a trailing slash, since without that slash it is not technically a valid URL, and the browser will rewrite it itself, anyway.)
    At some point in the future there’ll be some normalization, but it’s good practice to have exactly one url point to exactly one document on your site.

  7. speaking strictly about “www” i don’t think the problem is actually with delicious. the way it is now gives users the choice of how to “allow” people to bookmark their link.
    i didn’t realize they considered .com and .com/ different, though. this is something that cannot be prevented by the user, so it’s a problem with delicious.