Is Using Social Bookmarking Sites Worth It?

One of the new styles of web sites in this Web 2.0 era are called social bookmarking sites. Social bookmarking sites give their users a means to store and share web sites they visit that they enjoy. In a typical social bookmarking site, everyone’s bookmarks are made public so that others can continue sharing them or vote for them so that more users will check out the bookmark as well. Some popular examples of bookmarking sites include digg.com, reddit.com and del.icio.us.

Since getting quality backlinks and traffic to a web site is becoming more difficult using social bookmarking sites is a simple way to help. Signing up for these sites is painless and once you are registered you are free to start saving sites. Since there are no rules against bookmarking your own sites it is pretty simple to save your own URLs and have other people discover them. This could lead to not only traffic but also even more backlinks when other users save your site to their own social bookmarking accounts or mention them on other sites they own themselves.

Of course, while it seems easy the results aren’t always what you would expect them to be. This is why relying on social bookmarking sites for traffic and backlinks is not always the best idea.

The traffic from social bookmarking sites is notoriously of low quality. It is not uncommon for a link that makes it to the front page of digg.com to result in a flow of thousands upon thousands of visitors to your site. While that might sound great the truth is that most of those visitors only stay for a few seconds, rarely visit other pages on your site and are essentially wastes of bandwidth. This is why many sites that unexpectedly see rushes of traffic from sites like digg.com end up having server crashes, which then makes their site inaccessible to visitors who are actually of high quality.

The other big flaw with relying on social bookmarking sites comes with backlinks. Many of these sites specifically tag all of the links that are stored and shared with a “nofollow” tag. The “nofollow” tag was developed by the major search engines, like Google, as a means to prevent people from gaming their search results. What that means is that the search engines will not recognize any link tagged as “nofollow” which effectively makes the value of the link zero.

If you are looking for a potential quick fix of traffic then social bookmarking might be useful for you. Just beware of the consequences when taking the time to submit your sites. The traffic might not be what you expected and the backlinks you get might have no value in the eyes of the search engines.

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