Social Bookmarking: Is It Still Worth It?

Social bookmarking was once the rage of the SEO community — sites like del.ici.ous, Digg, and Reddit attracted a considerable amount of attention because they combined the three things that linkbuilders love: dofollow links, controllable anchor text, and the ability to share your links with others.

Then, as the social bookmarking sites realized that they were getting abused by internet markers looking to give their own sites some love, the vast majority of them switched to nofollow links, and the party pretty much died off. Or did it?

(For those of you who aren’t following — forgive the pun — the difference between a dofollow link and a nofollow link is that the Google spiders that crawl the web looking at pages won’t acknowledge a nofollow link, meaning that even if you get a link from a PR 8 webpage, if it’s nofollow, the Google spider won’t give your website the credit for that banklink.)

There are three big reasons why social bookmarking is still a critical part of every organic SEO campaign. First of all, the nofollow/dofollow distinction only applies to Google. If you want to rank on Bing, Yahoo, AllTheWeb, Blekko, or other up-and-coming search engines, each and every social bookmark you post has value.

social bookmarkingSecondly, there are still social bookmarking sites that retain their dofollow nature. The two biggest are Digg and, perhaps ironically, Google Buzz — but there are several dozen others that are worth your time. Even if Google is your sole target, social bookmarking on these sites will still have profound SEO benefits.

Finally, there is the simple fact that the third factor that made social bookmarks so amazing in the first place is still firmly in place — perhaps moreso now than ever. Social bookmarking pages have become communities, much like forums, and participating regularly on these community pages will get you the same kind of benefits in terms of readership and authority.

There is an easy way to prove this: grab a PR-checker and go to the profile pages of some of the most profligate posters on Digg and Reddit — and you’ll find that their profile page is often, by itself, a PR 4 or 5 page. That’s huge, and if you can get there, you can easily drop a high-PR backlink on any page you desire at any time. That is worth it.