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Social Bookmarking for Traffic
Posted by: admin

A while back I wrote an article commenting o­n Yahoo's public declaration (http://www.site-reference.com/articles/ Search-Engines/Following-Yahoo-to-a-Wealth-of-Traffic.html) that
they were effectively conceding to Google in the search market. The point of the article was that Yahoo was not necessarily giving up as a business, but rather focusing its efforts o­n more
modern forms of search. And what are these more modern forms of search? In a word, social networks which includes social bookmarking and variants o­n social bookmarking.



Social Bookmarking for Traffic



By Mark Daoust (c) 2006


A while back I wrote an article commenting o要 Yahoo's public
declaration (http://www.site-reference.com/articles/
Search-Engines/Following-Yahoo-to-a-Wealth-of-Traffic.html) that
they were effectively conceding to Google in the search market.
The point of the article was that Yahoo was not necessarily
giving up as a business, but rather focusing its efforts o要 more
modern forms of search. And what are these more modern forms of
search? In a word, social networks which includes social
bookmarking and variants o要 social bookmarking.

What is Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking is o要e of the flagships of Web 2.0. The basic
concept behind social bookmarking is that when thousands of
people get together, bookmark their favorite pages, and apply
descriptive tags to each page that they bookmark, certain
websites will rise to the top as being more popular. The result
of this is that surfers will be able to see what websites are
currently popular among users.

The idea of social bookmarking seems to have been originated by
Del.icio.us (http://del.icio.us/) back in 2003. Just by visiting
the front page of Del.icio.us you can see the social bookmarking
in practice. o要 the right hand side of the page there is a
column labeled 'Popular'. These are websites that currently are
receiving a lot of attention from users under specific keywords
and phrases. These websites are listed under common 'tags' that
users have given.

Article Tip:
Wikipedia gives a fairly good explanation of social bookmarking.
You can find that explanation here
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_bookmarking). You can also
goto Del.icio.us and try out the service which is a great way to
learn about social bookmarking


Digging for the News

Del.icio.us is not the o要ly Web 2.0 flagship that relies o要 the
power of the collective people. Arguably o要e of the most
successful Web 2.0 enterprises is Digg (http://www.digg.com/).
Digg is a news website which presents headlines from across the
Internet. Unlike practically every other news website to date,
however, Digg does not rely o要 editors to determine which news
stories are worthy of their front page and which news stories
they should ignore. Rather, Digg relies o要 the input of their
users.

The system behind Digg is simple. Registered users can navigate
their way to "Digg for Stories" (http://www.digg.com/diggall).
Here everyone can see all of the stories submitted to Digg. If
a user likes o要e of the stories, they simply click o要 the "Digg
It" link. If they do not like the story they can either ignore
the story or report it as being lame, a duplicate story, or
outright spam. If a story receives enough Diggs in a fast enough
amount of time, it gets promoted to the front page.

The system seems to work fairly well. Digg has been smart enough
to put into place anti-cheating devices which do a fairly good
job of catching manipulators of their system. And if someone
does break through these barriers, Digg users (often referred to
as Diggnation) are usually pretty quick to point out the
offending users.

Why Should I Care About These Services?

This is all fine and interesting, but you might be wondering why
you should spend your precious time reading more of this
article. The answer is simple: websites like Digg and
Del.icio.us represent the opportunity to get a lot of new
traffic as well as quality links to your website.

Digg and Del.icio.us offer the absolute best type of web
traffic: viral traffic. Business owners know that the most
reliable prospects are the prospects that come from the referral
of someone else, and Digg and Del.icio.us offer just that. In
order to get seen o要 a large scale from any of these websites
that rely o要 a community of users, your content must be good
enough to meet the approval of enough people to warrant the
elevation of your site to the front page. This, in effect, is
like o要e great recommendation for your website.

So how much traffic are we talking about? Darren Rowse of
ProBlogger.net noted that when a post of his reached the front
page of Del.icio.us, he saw around 8,000 visitors that day
(http://www.problogger.net/archives/2006/01/06/
7-ways-to-guarantee-getting-to-the-top-of-the-delicious-popular-page/)
from Del.icio.us alone. This does not take into account all the
bloggers and website owners who discovered his site from
Del.icio.us, posted a link to it o要 their site or in a forum,
which would in turn generate more traffic to his site.

Tech-Recipes (http://www.tech-recipes.com/), a relatively common
website o要 the front page of Digg, wrote a great post o要 what
the digg effect is like (http://www.tech-recipes.com/blog217.php).
The traffic numbers they post are quite astounding. From being
featured in Digg, they regularly see 5,000 10,000 visitors per
day. This is not unusual either websites that are featured in
Digg are often subject to what has been dubbed the "Digg
Effect". It is quite common, unfortunately, for a dug website to
receive so much traffic that it brings down the server.

Now both Del.icio.us and Digg users do not tend to be very
active users. This has been pointed out by more than o要e person.
Typically they do not click o要 ads, they do not comment o要
blogs, and they do not register for an account with you. But the
name of the website marketing game is always going to be free
exposure, and social bookmarking services like these are great
ways to get a lot of free exposure for your website. In
addition, these sites will often have secondary and tertiary
effects which you may not be able to link back directly to your
initial exposure o要 them.

I'm Sold Where Do I Sign Up?

So you are now sold o要 just how great it can be to be featured
on sites like Del.icio.us and Digg. The natural question to ask
here is how do you get featured o要 these sites. I am pretty sure
the answer I am about to give is going to be o要e that you do not
like as it is a tired phrase:

You need good, unique content.

Sound familiar? If you follow SEO at all, you undoubtedly have
been told that good, unique content is the best way to get to
the top of the rankings. The same thing holds true, but even
more so, for social bookmarking websites.

In order to be featured o要 these sites, your website does not
have to meet the approval of an automated bot that is scouring
the web for information. Instead, your website needs to meet the
approval of actual human beings who are going to look at your
website, determine whether they like it or not, and then tell
you the honest truth.

In the past, web pages that have been successful in being
featured may have had the following traits:

- They are usually unique
- They often have useful content, such as a tutorial
- They may contain breaking news or an exclusive report
- They are sometimes particularly humorous
- It may be free content for downloading (free wallpapers have
done well with Digg)
- It will rise to the top naturally without manipulation

After I wrote the article o要 Yahoo I received an email asking
how o要e would optimize their site for social bookmarking
services. The response to that would have to be simple: optimize
your site by offering some great, free content that anyone can
access.

A Word to the Wise Don't Cheat

As a quick sidebar, it is important to note that those who try
to cheat the systems usually find themselves worse off than they
were to begin with. It is very tempting when dealing with a
system like Del.icio.us and Digg to try and manipulate the
system to artificially get your website to the top.

The problem with this is simple: if you do succeed in
manipulating the system, but do not have the content to really
deserve a featured placement, you will undoubtedly turn off more
visitors than attract. If your content is deserving of a
featured placement, it should rise there naturally.

Social Bookmarking The Future of Search?

The point of the article which I referenced above was not to
state that Yahoo was washed up, but rather that Yahoo was o要 the
cusp of a new Internet and a new form of search. They recognized
that Google would not be beat in the search market; however,
this does not mean that they can not beat Google by creating a
market more effective than search.

Social bookmarking is already becoming a very effective way for
experienced web surfers to find the latest information o要 a
particular subject. Do you want to see some of the latest
videos to become popular? Just goto
http://del.icio.us/tags/video and you can see what others are
discovering and bookmarking as valuable. Want to find some
rather obscure guide o要 Ruby o要 Rails? Lookup the common tags
for Ruby o要 Rails and search through these resources.

Social bookmarking has the great ability to reach where search
engines cannot: by using viral marketing and popular opinion,
social bookmarking has the ability to discover what is important
before any bot can spider the site and rank it among the
thousands of sites available. Granted, social bookmarking will
never replace search completely, but as it grows in popularity,
web users are quickly discovering a whole new way to discover
web pages that they would never discover otherwise.

So take the time today to examine Digg and Del.icio.us. Take a
little more time to find new social websites like Digg and
Del.icio.us (they are popping up all over the place) and learn
what seems to make users o要 these sites click. Social
technologies are here to stay, and they are o要ly going to grow
in popularity. Right now is a golden opportunity for you to gain
great exposure for your website if you simply learn how to use
these services.
=======================================
Mark Daoust is the owner of Site Reference
(http://www.site-reference.com/).
Feed Blaster !
Feed Blaster takes online Advertising to a new Level! Put your ad right to the screens of millions in 15 minutes!

 
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