Basically, social bookmarking is the process of saving a web page on a sharing platform in order to be able to consult or reread it at a later date. It is also a versatile and “free” marketing tool that allows, in the context of SEO, to obtain no-follow backlinks that can increase, although not significantly, the engagement around a brand.
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Bookmarks and contributors
So-called “social bookmarks”, i.e., pages saved by Internet users, work like the browser’s list of favourites, with the difference that they can be made public and shared. Not only that, it is also possible to apply tags to each bookmark so users who are searching for that particular topic will find it as a “contribution” of others.
And it is precisely the “contributors”, users who collect and share bookmarks on topics of interest for them, which represent the added value of social bookmarking.
The deep meaning of social bookmarking
While search engines use machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to catalogue content, social bookmarking does exactly the opposite: it employs human intelligence; in fact, who better than users can understand and organise content semantically?
In a philosophical sense, social bookmarking is the possibility to make the private component of choice and taste shareable. In other words, people select, collect and annotate what is most congenial to them, save it and share it with most, generating a community of passionate people on a given topic.
Social bookmarking & Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The step from a useful community service, such as archiving, managing and possibly sharing web pages, to digital marketing is very quick. As mentioned above, backlinks produced by saving a bookmark, even though they are no-follow, are a valuable aid in SEO link building strategies. Indeed, it is possible to use their own profile to improve the SERP ranking of their website. Although search engines most often ignore links from social bookmarking platforms, just being there can increase traffic and consequently domain authority.
Being present on a social bookmarking site, moreover, can give authority to its own content as third-party reading and sharing is an indicator of quality and credibility, two levers of viral marketing.
In the context of SEO, therefore, a smart move is to create ad-hoc profiles (on multiple platforms) that collect, via tags, relevantly produced content, with the expectation that others will read, save and re-share it, thus triggering a virtuous circle.
The 5 best social bookmarking platforms
Twitter is not only a microblogging platform or a social networking site (SNS), but also a social bookmarking service. Sharing a news item or article on Twitter, in fact, guarantees considerable notoriety and sharing possibilities.
Actually, Pinterest is considered by many as the social bookmarking site par excellence, more so than Twitter, because it allows users to create huge virtual pinboards where they can “pin” what inspires or interests them most.
3. Mix (ex StumbleUpon)
StumbleUpon was one of the longest-running link-sharing services (16 years in operation). Closed on 30 June 2018 by its founder, Garrett Camp, it was later merged into Mix, a more modern platform that integrates better with SNS.
In addition to being a social sharing platform Dribbble is a community of graphic designers. Membership is free, but a subscription is required to access additional features.
Pocket is like a pocket or, rather, a cloud archive accessible from any device. The peculiarity of Pocket, however, lies in the fact that the app makes an offline copy of the textual part of the saved pages, thus allowing a cleaner UX.
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