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The Viral Spread of Social Media Bookmarking Links and Content

Being able to share your information is one of the main reasons why social networking has become so popular. Combining real-time social sharing with search engine optimization tactics can give websites the indexing or popularity boost that it needs.

However, the big question is, why do some Internet marketers place more emphasis on social bookmarking and promoting rather than working on SEO for organic links from search engines?

It’s no secret that getting highly voted posts on websites like Digg, Delicious, or StumbleUpon leads to more user exposure to their content and can lead to content getting indexed by search engines faster. For example, if an up-and-coming blog isn’t syndicated by Google News, it may not get the exposure that could come with thousands of hits on Digg, which could happen in a single day or even just hours.

While it seems from the start that organic SEO work and creating content to be shared on social media sites are two totally different approaches, both can actually end up helping the other.

Keep Organic Strategy Simple

Depending on how often a search engine crawls your website, the new pages or content you post will get indexed within 24 hours to a couple weeks or more. Higher authority websites will get crawled more often, as well sites that have a highly trafficked blog.

Making sure sitemaps are automatically generated and add new content instantly, along with getting links from high trafficked websites, will increase the likelihood of getting more pages indexed.

The great mystery for SEOs is figuring out how exactly Google and other search engines index and rank pages. The Google blog explains it as the following:

“The most common question I get asked about Google’s ranking is “how do you do it?” Of course, there is a lot that goes into building a state-of-the-art ranking system like ours, and I will delve deeper into the technology behind it in a later post. Today, I would like to briefly share the philosophies behind Google ranking:

  1. Best locally relevant results served globally
  2. Keep it simple
  3. No manual intervention”

Focusing on keywords relevant to the target geographical area, along with maintaining simple practices and integrity, is the best way to make sure pages get indexed. Often times, beginner or black hat SEOs will focus too much on keyword density or if an link is a ‘follow’ or ‘no-follow’ link (which Matt Cutts from Google has said shouldn’t be an SEO specialist’s top focus).

If the social network niche has shown SEO specialists anything, it’s that good content is what will stand out and become popular online if promoted well. Craft good content and the long-term popularity traffic and ranking-wise will likely follow.

Does Longevity Matter?

The main difference between organic search results and achieving high vote numbers on social bookmarking sites or sharing on social networks is their permanence. An organic ranking will usually last indefinitely longer than the number one top story on Digg.

However, just because a blog, website, or page is ranked highly in the search engines, it doesn’t mean that it will attract high traffic or online attention. It depends on your target audience and who would be interested on your online content.

For instance, I doubt many users would enter in the search query of, “Why I believe printers are sent from hell”. However, this is the beginning of an exact title of a very popular comic piece published by The Oatmeal, a designer and web entrepreneur also known as Matthew Inman.

It has the type of raunchy, modern humor that will attract the same audience that also uses Digg, Twitter, and other social sites on a daily basis– his sharing stats prove that this. The printer comic has been shared over 72,000 times on Facebook, tweeted over 10,000 times, and shared on StumbleUpon over 23,000 times. Many of his other comic pieces have the same astounding statistics.

Inman focuses on creating content for a certain niche of people that he knows will link out his content. This marketing strategy is called linkbaiting, which calls for creating pieces of content or media online that is generated with the specific goal of getting more links to a website. Having successful linkbait can create long-term success for a website—if a site is linked to often, its reputation is better with the search engines.

Another positive of crafting linkbait is the ability to embed link sharing widgets into blog posts or pages. Giving users the option to instantly share content makes the probability of instant success often better than a carefully-crafted sitemap ever could.

Where Content is Shared Online Through the Use of AddToAny, a Free Social Sharing Tool

social media bookmarking share report


The bottom line is creating fresh content that is linked to often, either on other blogs or through social bookmarking and networking sites, can in-turn increase organic search ranking. While social bookmarking links on can be fleeting, the traffic boost a website gets from a popular piece of content can last far beyond its social popularity.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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