Tagging: Social Bookmarking
agging used to refer just to the tags that you placed in your web site’s HTML to indicate certain
types of formatting or commands. Tagging today often refers to something entirely different.
When you hear the terms “tagged” or “tagging” in conversation today, it could very well refer to a
phenomenon called social bookmarking.
Social bookmarking is a way for Internet users to store, share, classify, and search Internet book-
marks. There is some debate over how important social bookmarking is in SEO, but the consensus
seems to be leaning toward the idea that social bookmarking, along with many other social media
optimization (SMO) strategies, is quickly becoming a serious consideration for SEO. SMO is covered
in more detail in Chapter 18, but let’s look at social bookmarking here.
Social bookmarking is provided by services such as
, Digg, Technorati, and
which are taking the Internet by storm. They’re often referred to as Web 2.0 services, because they
involve a high level of social interaction, which is the fastest growing element of the Internet today.
In social bookmarking, people create their own topics and lists for places on the Internet that they
like or dislike. Those people can then give the places they choose a category (or tag) and a rank.
Once they’ve ranked a site, they have the option to send that ranking out to anyone who is sub-
scribed to their RSS feed.
The implications this can have on SEO are dramatic. For example, let’s say that one person visits
your site during a web search and finds that it’s easy to use, and contains all the information they
were looking for. That person could very well tag your site. The tag is then distributed to the people
who are subscribed to his or her RSS feed. It’s word-of-mouth marketing — called viral marketing in
today’s world — at its best.
One person tells 25, who then visit your site. Then maybe 15 of those people (60 percent) tell
another 25 people each. The list keeps growing and growing.
So, the question, “Should you pay any attention to social bookmarking?” becomes “How do I take
advantage of social bookmarking?” And the answer is, make your site worthy of bookmarking.
Bookmarks appear to web crawlers as links to your page, and that makes them very valuable SEO
tools. For some search engines, the more bookmarks that lead back to your site, the more “votes”
you have on their popularity scale.
So, visit some of the social bookmarking sites on the Internet. Learn how they work. And set up your
own account. Then, create your own list of links that includes your web sites, as well as other web
sites that users might find relevant or useful.
On the web-site side, be sure to include the code snippets provided by social bookmarking organi-
zations that allow users to tag your site easily. Then, maintain it all. Don’t just forget your account
completely. If you do, eventually it will disappear and all the advantage of having one will go as
well. Instead, continue using social bookmarking. Over time, the rewards will be increased traffic to
your web site.
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