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Social Bookmarking is an Integral Part of Website Promotion

Aug 18, 2007
Web 2.0 is beginning to change the way Internet users and web developers view the World Wide Web. Just five years ago, web pages were much like pages in a book that we viewed at our leisure. Blogs, forums, intranets and community portals like Youtube were primarily for techies and early adopters. Now, almost everyone who has used a computer has participated in one of these interactive environments.

The moral of the story is: The Web is becoming much more interactive. Web surfers from anywhere in the world can often comment on and share material that they have viewed online almost instantly. Internet marketers can capitalize on this growing phenomenon. Studies of consumer behavior have consistently documented that interactive ads convert much better than passive forms of advertising.

The use of social bookmarking widgets such as Addthis and the ubiquitous Digg buttons allow you to convert your website content into promotional content at the click of a button. How does this work? Let's say that you operate a political blog where you comment on important political news in the media. At the end of every blog that you write, an AddThis bookmarking widget is automatically inserted.

Now, when a visitor wants to comment or share this blog, all she has to do is click on the button and choose her favorite bookmarking community such as Delicious, Technorati, Digg, or Squidoo. Depending on the bookmarking service she chooses, she may have to enter a short description or vote for or against the article. This visitor has just promoted your site for you! She has published an active link back to your website from a bookmarking site that is heavily indexed by Google. Not only does this bring targeted human traffic right to your doorstep, it also greatly aids in search engine optimization for your site since it increases your "authority" in the eyes of the search engines.

A couple of months ago, I decided to integrate the AddThis bookmarking widget into one of my newer websites. I added the simple javascript code to one page in my article directory. I then encouraged all the authors who submitted articles to my directory to bookmark their own articles.

The results of these actions were immediate. The pages that were bookmarked had many more page views than the ones that were not. They brought in many visitors from Digg and Delicious. The articles that were the most popular (and naturally had the most page views) were indexed higher in Google's search results. This benefits both the article author and me because his article reaches a greater audience which allows him to further promote himself and his website.

There are now more than 300 social bookmarking communities - although only ten or so will bring you lots of traffic. It is easy and quick to join these sites and start using this free and effective promotional strategy. Bookmarking widgets such as AddThis and other popular buttons from Digg, Technorati, Squidoo, and many others can easily be integrated into almost any website. If you require more information on the benefits of social bookmarking, there are thousands of forums, blogs and article directories you can start searching in.
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