Editor’s Note: This post was updated in October of 2016.
Is social bookmarking still relevant in 2016? Read this updated post by Anna Crowe to learn more.
The positive effects of social bookmarking for publishers of news sites, blogs, and other websites are outstanding. Social bookmarking can introduce sites to others with relevant tastes and drive traffic and valuable backlinks to your site.
Some social bookmark sites pass on link juice, while some use the NoFollow attribute. But do not let the use of NoFollow fool you, the search engines are looking beyond the incoming links from social bookmarking sites to gauge their value to their search indexes.
The Benefits of Social Bookmarking
The external metadata compiled via user-generated descriptions, tags, titles and categorization is incredibly valuable to search engines, as in the same philosophy as anchored backlinks, descriptive content about a web site defined by the users of that site who are not associated with the marketing or coding of that site, can be extremely powerful in gauging the importance and relevance of the content and tags which are used on that site.
Bookmarks show how a site is perceived, and when these sites allow voting, they also show the engines or whatever classification system which monitors voting, how people feel about the quality of the site. Furthermore, social bookmarking can introduce a site to the search engines, as in some cases, people may find and bookmark a site or a site’s internal pages before a search engine can find those pages via another form of inbound link.
Monitoring social bookmarking services like Delicious and StumbleUpon help search engines in multiple ways by:
- Indexing Sites Faster: Humans bookmark sites launched by their friends or colleagues before a search engine bot can find them.
- Deeper Indexing: Many pages bookmarked are deep into sites and sometimes not as easily linked to by others, found via bad or nonexistent site navigation or linked to from external pages.
- Measuring Quality: Essentially if more users bookmark a page, the more quality, and relevance that site has. A site with multiple bookmarks across multiple bookmarking services by multiple users is much more of an authority than a site with only several bookmarks by the same user.
- External Meta Data: Users who bookmark sites tag them with keywords and descriptions which add an honest and unbiased definition which is created by the public and not the owner of the site.
- Co-Citation: Social bookmarking sites tend to categorize sites and pages based upon the tags used by humans to describe the site; therefore search algorithms can classify these sites with their peers.
- Number of Votes: Similar to the number of bookmarks, the more votes a page receives on Digg or Reddit, the more useful that information usually is. If the same page receives multiple votes across multiple social news voting sites, the higher quality the site.
- Categorization: Like Co-Citation, categorization can help define the subject of a site, therefore better helping the engine address searcher intent.
To help share the wealth of social bookmarking, I’ve put together a list of social bookmarking sites, some of which are very popular and others which are newer or somewhat unheard of. But besides targeting the major social bookmarking sites, you will find some diamonds in the rough which are niche oriented or treated well by Google and other search engines.
(Updated) Social Bookmarking Sites You Should Consider
- BibSonomy :BibSonomy is run by the Knowledge Data Engineering Group of the University of Kassel, Germany. It’s specifically designed for researchers to share bookmarks and bibliographies.
- BizSugar: Similar to Reddit, but designed specifically for sharing business news and tips.
- BlogBookMark: Designed specifically for Blog hunters, BlogBookmark.com claims to have the hottest news, gossip, and blog chatter from around the web. I highly suggest that mainstream bloggers bookmark their entire sites here.
- Blog Engage: Specifically for bloggers who what to share info about blogging and tech.
- Bookmarkee: Single dashboard to keep all of your bookmarks organized.
- Bookmax: You can store your bookmarks and links to your favorite sites online and access them from wherever you are.
- Buddymarks: The online personal, group and social bookmarks manager.
- citeulike: A free service to help academics to share, store, and organise the academic papers they are reading.
- delicious: THE social bookmarking site. 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 and send a lot of traffic. Delicious is owned by Yahoo and is a MUST for your social media and bookmarking strategy.
- Design Bump: Social bookmarking site for graphic designers and photographers.
- Diigo: Social bookmarking on steroids.
- Digg: The social news site that changed the Internet, 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.
- DZone: Social bookmarking for web developers and coders.
- Folkd: Folkd is a social web-service about pages, news, audios, videos, and blogs.
- Freelink: Freelink.org provides free pages of links that you can access anywhere at anytime.
- Flickr: Photo bookmarking site.
- Google: Allows users to save and create bookmarks in their Google toolbar that can be accessed anywhere online. Google is getting more social by the day, so take advantage of their Google bookmarks and citations, because one day they probably will have some kind of influence on external meta data considered by the Google ranking algorithm.
- Ikeepbookmarks: Popup feature allows you to add links while surfing the web
- Iloggo: A simple web-based bookmarking tool you can use for attractively displaying your favorite websites on one page.
- Kinja: Kinja is a blog guide, collecting news and commentary from some of the best sites on the web.
- Linkagogo: Favorites and Social Bookmarking Application, its unique dynamic toolbars automatically adapt themselves.
- Markaboo: MarkaBoo is a tool for saving websites, files, and notes from your browser, email or mobile phone.
- Memotoo: Lets users centralize and share your personal data.
- Murl: My URLs is a free online bookmarks manager, think of it as a bookmarks community.
- MyBookmarks: MyBookmarks – access your bookmarks anytime, anywhere. Free productivity tool for business, student or personal use. Another popular bookmarking site.
- Myhq: Store your bookmarks in one central location. Fast, text-based, banner free!
- mySiteVote: mySiteVote is a community where you can vote your favorite site/s and view how popular a site is.
- Newsvine: The mission of Newsvine is to bring together big and little media in a way which respects established journalism.
- Pinterest: Often seen as the domain of women, this bookmarking site actually has a diverse user base.
- 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.
- Sitebar: A solution for people who use multiple browsers or computers and want to have their bookmarks available from anywhere without need to synchronize them
- Sitejot: Free online bookmark manager. Like every other social bookmarking site, it allows users to manage all of their bookmarks online in one convenient place.
- Slashdot : The godfather of social news, SlashDot bookmarks are still quite powerful. Keep in mind the site has a heavy slant towards Linux and Open Source issues.
- Startaid: This basic bookmarking service allows users to describe, tag and categorize sites.
- Start.me: Your personal start page, with all your bookmarks, favorite social sites, and more. Cloud storage so you can access it anywhere.
- 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.
- Stylehive: The Stylehive is a collection of all the best products, brands, designers and stores discovered and tagged by the Hive community
- Whitelinks: Securely store and quickly access favorite websites whenever connected to the Internet,
- Wirefan: Social bookmarking, news articles submission site.
Do you have any suggestions for other social bookmarking sites? Please feel free to add them in the comments below.
Featured Image: Deposit Photos
In Post Image: Deposit Photos