Should You Use Social Bookmarking to Build Backlinks?

As the Internet evolves, web users leave old trends behind. A while back, webmasters used social bookmarking to build backlinks. The practice became popular as they saw improved SERP rankings, and the forums flared up with chatter. Yet, like fads and fashion, the practice is fading into yesterday.

This elicits the question of how relevant is social bookmarking and what role can it play in off-page SEO. How much can these websites contribute to traffic, and is worth the time and effort?

Google’s Input: Based on Google’s response to this issue, it seems social bookmarking no longer plays the same role in building backlinks. According to John Mueller, social bookmarking is a very old SEO tactic that amounts to a variation of forum spamming, and no longer plays a value in its indexing protocols.

The Rest of The Web: However, research across the web seems to highly ignore this note. Here is a general summary of what is recommended. Make your decision in the end. All sources are listed below.

Viastra Pen Content Center: We cannot ignore the important organic traffic that can be gained from these platforms. We recommend that if you plan to use social bookmarking do not implement it as an off-page SEO technique.

History of social bookmarking

Itlist, the very first bookmark management service was launched in 1996 with an emphasis on content curation. It was not until about 2003 that Delicious made the terms “social bookmarking” and “tagging” an integral component of bookmarking.

What Is Social Bookmarking?

Social bookmarks

As you explore the web, you will find many interesting pieces of content that you wish to keep for further usage. You can easily bookmark these pages to your desktop browser.  However, this would limit your access to them.  A more effective way is to use a social platform where you, or anyone else, can share these files.

Social bookmarking is the process of guarding selected content on social sites so that you can share or use them later.

Tagging is an essential aspect of social bookmarking platforms, permitting webmasters to categorize content and implement shared terms known as folksonomies.

There are many added benefits to using a social bookmarking platform instead of your desktop browser. These include:

  • Your stored content does not affect the speed of your browser.
  • You may share these files with your team, friends, or followers.
  • You can access these files from anywhere.
  • Organic traffic to your website.
  • High quality backlinks.

Not all bookmarking platforms are the same. Some are free, others are paid, and some of them do not offer backlink value (do follow). Here is a small list of some do-follow bookmarking platforms.

SOCIAL Bookmark Site









Stumble Upon






Slash Dot



Folk D




Please note that Stumble Upon has a lower Alexa ranking than Dig.  Tumblr is also not completely free, even though it is a good fit.

Social Bookmarking Versus Forums

Some online trends never die. Forum posting is just one of them. Although they have been around for more than five decades, forums are still popular.  You may be surprised at the rate at which new forums are popping up all over the web.

Forums are still as popular as social media, and even give them a run for the money.  There are currently hundreds of thousands of them. Here are the quick comparisons:

  • Number of Websites: There are hundreds of thousands of forums as opposed to less than ten thousand social bookmarking sites.
  • SEO Impact: Most forums do not provide backlinks for SEO, while almost all social bookmarking sites do.
  • Bookmarking: While forums may guard a thread, it is not considered bookmarking.

Social Bookmarking and Social Media

Social Bookmarks

Some social media features aspects of bookmarking.  Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook allow tagging and webpage sharing.  However, there are limitations as to how you may share each file. Here is the major difference.

Social media allows you to share content with selected people that you know. These may include your workers, friends, families, or just followers.

Social bookmarking goes further. It allows you to share content with the world.  People who you may never know will view, rate, or even share your content.

Top 8 Ways to Use Social Bookmarking

  1. Content Curation

Content curation is the process of finding unique content, storing it, and sharing it with specialized groups.  You can get your articles listed on these websites.  Each website has a different niche topic so be sure to keep them relevant.

  1. Organize Information

Save important information in places where you access them on the fly, when you want to, and from any device- desktop or mobile.  As you save and organize content, you can include your pages.  When search engines index your pages they will find you among them.

  1. Share Work Tasks and Guides

You can invite your working team to share their information on these bookmarking websites.  Marketing pieces that you wish to propagate, etc, can best be shared this way. It will generate traffic and potential sales.

  1. Use Content Tagging
  2. Branding

Use social bookmarking to promote website content where your brand is mentioned. Be sure to include other non-competitive brand mentions.  This will disperse your brand throughout search engines.

  1. Off-Page SEO

Social bookmarking is one of the easiest ways to boost off-page SEO tactics. Add direct pages instead of your main domain. For example, instead of adding, add a topic specific:

  1. Google and Bing SERPs

Google and Bing search engines often crawl social bookmark platforms. Finding your website on these pages will improve your reputation. A higher reputation can lead to better index value.

  1. Organic Traffic

Each time someone votes for your information, your website moves up on the social bookmark pages. If you were able to get your article on the main page of any of these websites, your traffic will increase.

Social bookmarking websites remain relevant to our online marketing aspirations. Since they are mostly free, using them can improve your SEO standing.  It is by far one of the most effective off-page techniques.






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