A Brief History of Social Bookmarking
Hi! Its me again! I’m back with more social media goodness to share. This time round, I’m touching on the brief history of social bookmarking and the advent of the image bookmarking phenomenon, PLUS a list of 10 image bookmarking sites (and 2 more!) and the seo benefits of image bookmarking. Bargain!
UPDATE 17th May: Rand fishkin at SMX London has just confirmed that image ALT tags weigh more than H1 tags.
As SEOs we are very much aware of the benefits of using social bookmarking as part of linkbuilding. Sites like Digg, Reddit and Stumbleupon are considered mandatory: bookmarking your blog posts and websites not only helps increases traffic to your webpage, it helps create a good mix of backlinks in your collection.
From Social To Viral
(The term viral here does not exclusively refer to videos that has generated a considerable number of hits in a short period of time, rather, an umbrella marketing term that refers to the use of existing social networks to produce an increase number of mentions / awareness on a particular topic, brand or trend)
Sites like Digg, especially, has the potential of making your bookmarked link go viral.
Essentially, you’re not just bookmarking a link, you are creating conversations around the topic in the link: Digg allows its users to comment on the link and share it with friends on twitter and facebook. Its no surprise that its popularity has spawned a great many number of digg-clone sites, most of them perusing the pligg tool to create their own social bookmarking sites. Not all of them are great but some of them are getting there: you can check out this massive list of digg-clone social bookmarking sites sorted according to page rank, alexa rank, dofollow and popularity:
Now here’s the thing: like directories, social bookmarking can be useful but also tedious and boring. Going through that list of social bookmarking sites you realize that not all of them have that sense of community, they try hard to emulate Digg and may succeed at its basic function, but the end result is just a mind-numbing collection of spammy looking links. The other problem is that: how many real humans go through these sites to search for information and inspiration?
The Start of Image Bookmarking
Enter image bookmarking.
I love image bookmarking. Everybody loves looking at images. They are colorful, beautiful and they speak louder than a 500-word keyword rich article in an article website nobody reads. Image bookmarking came about after the popularity of design blogs: people don’t just want to rely on the sometimes infrequent updates of design blogs to get their daily dose of inspiration, they want to submit and share their own finds too.
A List of 10 Image Bookmarking Sites + 2 more
At the moment, I can only find 10 image bookmarking sites on the net. I am quite surprised this technique hasn’t caught on yet.
And a few more similar ones:
The SEO Benefits of Image Bookmarking
Image bookmarking has the added benefit of going viral quicker than a simple text link. This is because sites like those mentioned above don’t just display your images, it also saves the link in it as well. We Heart It does not use the nofollow attribute on its links. So does Typeish and Enjoythi.gs. All these sites are a minimum of PR 5, and FFFFound doesn’t just keep your link, its saves the alt tags and title of the post it was submitted from as well.
The plus side is that you don’t need to be an artist, designer or photographer to participate. As long as the image / content is interesting enough, you’ll make the cut. This also inspires and motivates you to create interesting and unique ideas and ways to market your site / brand.
Also, if you are clever enough to replicate these websites, you will see how easy it is to get free content easily, sub-automatic community-driven and daily at that. A great, simple and legit link-baiting technique!
When a member submits an image that has received many hypes, likes or enjoys, they are sure to link back to the post from their own blog to show this off. People like to be popular and people love it when they get good ratings. The backlinks for you will just keep pouring in. If you add a link (like your client’s) with the image and if it gets reblogged and goes viral, all you gotta do is just harvest the links that gets generated. There is also the added bonus that these backlinks are all dofollows.
I have also noticed that sites like these get a high Pagerank quicker than normal blogs. (Some of those sites mentioned above, according to their whois records were only created recently, between late 2007-2008.)
Of course, the age old argument that an image’s alt tag does not weigh as much as anchor text on a text link will surface, but at the end of the day, a link is still a link and spiders can only read images as text if you leave the alt tags in.
How do I know this works? Coz I’v tried it, look:
Why create directories and bookmarking sites when you can create image bookmarking sites? 🙂