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What is Social Bookmarking?

Published on 2/27/2011 by

As the Internet has grown and matured we’ve become increasingly reliant on its strength and availability to help us manage our day to day lives.  We have moved away from creating documents in office software that is installed on our computers in favor of computing in the cloud with services like Google Docs.  We no longer install chat software on each PC we own because we don’t need to.  Instant messaging applications are now available online through a variety of services and websites.  Even photos can be altered and manipulated online, doing away with expensive, bulky photo editing software.  The same can be said for bookmarks.

Defining social bookmarking

Social bookmarking is a means for Internet users to store, organize, search and manage their bookmarks online, making them readily available on any computer they may use and easy to share with others.  This means that if you find a news story particularly interesting, you can save this bookmark on your favorite social bookmarking site, instead of in your browser, and return to it at any time and on any computer or share it with the entire bookmarking community or a close group of friends.

How does social bookmarking work

It’s easy to get started with social bookmarking.

  1. Join a social bookmarking website like Delicious or Google Bookmarks.
  2. Save links to web pages that you wish to remember or want to share with others.
  3. Tagthose bookmarks with descriptive words to help you find them later.

You choose which bookmarks you want to share with the world and which you’d like to keep private.  Your bookmarks will then be available anytime you log on to that website and from any computer you may use.

The benefits of social bookmarking

Though social bookmarking has been around since 1996, it didn’t actually become a widely accepted practice until quite recently.  Social bookmarking provides many benefits to end users, including:

  • Instant access to bookmarks no matter what your location.
  • Social bookmarks are not browser specific.
  • End user organization.
  • The ability to share links and websites with others.

Can social bookmarking be used as a tool to gain backlinks

Backlinks are websites links that link back to your website.  An abundance of quality backlinks can help to improve your search engine rankings.  While social bookmarking is not meant to be used as an SEO tool to gain favorable backlinks, it is perfectly acceptable to bookmark your own website links on many social bookmarking websites.  Read the Terms of Service for whichever bookmarking website you use to determine the specific policy of that website, and just as you would not SPAM a blog with redundant backlinks to your website, don’t do it on social bookmarking websites either.

Social bookmarking websites provide end users with a rich environment to not only share their favorite websites with the world, but also to discover what the rest of the world is bookmarking.