10 July 2009

Social Bookmarking and it's compititive advantages

Although the concept of shared online bookmarks dates back to 1996, the term social bookmarking is a relatively new and was first used in 2003 by Delicious web service. The term 'tagging' is also associated with social bookmarking. Using social bookmarking, users can search, save, manage, and organize web pages/websites for sharing or for remembering. With the rising number and growing popularity of online book marking services, social book marking is also called social book marketing. Over time, book marking services have proven to be excellent tools for online marketing. When combined with Search Engine Optimization, social book marking can be the key to success of online marketing campaigns.

Higher rankings by search engines facilitate brand awareness. The primary objective behind search engine optimization is thus, to ensure better rankings, and thus, social book marking has emerged as an effective tool for providing back links and getting higher traffic, which in turn help in securing better Search Engine Rankings. Bookmarks represent links through tagging. Unlike a hierarchical structure, tagging is done through a bottom-up method, which create many broad categories to fit in the links. As a result, the users can assert the metadata adding relevance to the links. This equates the marketing appeal as a 'word of mouth' campaign, in which friends and families validate the quality of the product/service.

Just like keywords tags and the links they are attached to are indexed simultaneously by search engines. As a result, content supplied by you adds the links with the appended keywords. Thus, along with getting links from websites with heavy traffic frequency, you also get links from websites that are relevant. Once you start getting links from big book marking websites, your website will automatically get indexed by the web spiders of all major search engines.

Apart from providing SEO benefits, social book marking can be a very good marketing tool in itself. Viral marketing campaigns can be very successful using these kinds of web services since the ranking of the bookmarked links depends on the ratings by the users. SEO firms tend to count on the well known users in order to get their assertions for the web pages/services included in book marking sites. Sometimes, this might pose some risk if the service/product receives negative reviews from the authoritative users. Moreover, there is a risk of getting branded as a spammer if the users find the submitted links to be irrelevant. All this makes optimization a tricky business!

In spite of some risks, the importance and benefits of online marketing through social book marking has proven to be phenomenal over the years.