With sites like Reddit taking over the interwebs, social media bookmarking is all the rage these days. The premise behind these sites is simple. If you’ve found something cool on the net, share it with an online community, and everyone can discuss how great or terrible they think the content you’ve submitted happens to be.
As everyone knows, success in social bookmarking begins and ends with submitting photos of cats. But lets ignore the irresistible appeal of cat memes for a moment. Can this sort of social sharing phenomenon be utilized to improve a website’s rankings? After all, you’re creating backlinks to websites, and everyone, even grandma, knows that links matter when it comes to SEO. You just want to make sure that you’re creating links the right way.
Here are some tips to accomplish just that.
Pay Attention to NoFollow Vs. DoFollow
One thing to keep in mind about social bookmarking is that some sites are setup to automatically add “nofollow” tags to user submitted links. This directs search engines to essentially “look the other way” when crawling through pages and ignore the link. Here’s a handy list of social bookmarking sites that lists whether you’re DoFollow or not. Keep in mind that posting to a nofollow site isn’t by any means a waste of time if you think you can really reach its audience.
Social Bookmarking is NOT Spam
It’s easy to blindly submit your link to every social bookmarking site you can think of to get your backlinks, but surely your efforts will have more impact if you take the time to try and really make a contribution of substance to the community. For instance, if you’re submitting a website for a small business that is located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, you would probably be better off locating a subsection on reddit dedicated to that specific area (look what I found). Perhaps there you can offer a promotion for users of that subsection, encouraging them to call or visit the business by getting 10% off when they mention a secret phase such as “reddit sent me.”
You’re probably going to get more acceptance and engagement by targeting an appropriate audience, as opposed to just submitting your link in some random location and never looking back. You may also want to check in with the moderators for permission prior to your submission, because they can delete your link if they see it as spam.
Stay Away from Bad Neighborhoods
Don’t go all willy-nilly and submit your link to any old social bookmarking site. Do your research and find the ones that people actually use. The reason behind this is two-fold: 1) Low PR sites will always hurt more than help you when it comes to link building. 2) Google specifically states that low quality social bookmarking is against their quality guidelines.
Don’t Sweat the Anchor Text
Generating backlinks to your website is generally a good thing, but if Google thinks you’re gaming its search engine rankings, you’ll eventually get slapped. One of the easiest ways to get Google’s attention is to abuse exact match anchor texts for obvious money keywords. In general, you should avoid utilizing obvious anchor texts such as “nike shoes boston” or “house painting boise,” because these leave a bad mark on a link profile. Simply share your website. Give the URL and don’t worry about the rest. If your website and its content are noteworthy and relevant enough, you will get that traffic you seek.
That’s all the tips we have for today. Have additional comments or suggestions? Leave us a comment below.