Social Bookmarking Meets Internet Marketing

The history of the Internet has been categorized by exponential change. The growth of the Web has been one of the fastest developments in our history. The companies who lacked adaptation have fizzled into the virtual dust. However, those who are adapting their business to the many new online developments are continuing to thrive.

One of the most recent changes online has been termed Web 2.0. One of the biggest changes to define Web 2.0 is social bookmarking: a system that allows Internet users to bookmark a site without storing it on their local computer. Thousands of people are embracing this new way of finding information. Unlike the big, impersonal search engines that currently dominate the search engine market, social bookmarking sites provide a friendly, interactive community.

Yahoo, for one, expects social bookmarking to be a long-term trend. They just recently launched an interactive community called My Web 2.0. Ebay is expanding their own community with the recent launch of the world’s largest commercial wiki. Digg and Furl have based their entire business around the concept of social bookmarking.

So, what is this new technology that seems to be increasing every day?

Social bookmarking is the process of using a web service to keep track of your personal bookmarks. This bookmark is "tagged" with keywords that the user decides are relevant to the content of the bookmark. Once tagged, it becomes publicly available for others to tag and explore.

The combined effect of the social bookmarking user base is extremely effective. Any time that you are looking for relevant information on a particular topic, you can go to any social bookmarking site and do a search using tags (keywords) to find relevant, human reviewed content.

In fact, tagging results are even showing up in the search engines. If you spend much time at all in the major search engines, you have most likely seen some search results from Technorati.

At the time of this writing, Technorati was the number one result on the MSN search engine for the keyword phrase "tag and ping".

There are a number of ways that you can benefit from this explosive trend taking place online. Online marketers are currently using a technique called "tag and ping" to reap a multitude of benefits from the social bookmarking sites. Unfortunately, much like spam within the search engines, a number of people are abusing this technique.

However, you can still benefit if you know the correct techniques. Just like the search engines, although there are people who abuse the system, there are still huge rewards for those who play the game correctly.

Social Bookmarking Can be Used to:

Obtain one-way backlinks.
Announce new pages on your web site and….
Gain free web traffic.

Time to Do Some Research

Before you begin submitting your sites to the social bookmarking sites, there is some preliminary work that needs to be done. You must first take some time to research popular tags within your target market. Just like optimizing for the regular search engines, the keywords you choose to tag can make a dramatic difference in the amount of traffic you receive. Technorati is one of the best places to do tag (keyword) research to determine what tags you should use with your own content.

To see what tags are popular for your keyword, go to, click on the Tags button and then do a search for your keyword (tag). Technorati will then give you a list of related tags that you could use to categorize your web page under.

You can do some additional research at ClipMarks , which allows you to search the most popular tags in addition to related tags. Simply type your keyword into the search box and you will be given a list of related terms that are being searched for.

The third place that I like to tag research is at Yahoo's My Web 2.0. On the bottom-left hand side of the page you will see a list of the most popular tags. At the bottom of this list you can click on "view more" to see an expanded list.

I like to sort the list by popularity. Once you have done this you can search through hundreds of the top keyword tags.

Setting up Tag and Ping

Once you have completed your keyword research, it is time to start tagging and pinging.
You can set up your blog to tag and ping your blog posts automatically.

Wordpress is the best tool for tagging and pinging. Below I will give an overview on how to use tag and ping within Wordpress.

1. Create your blog post.
2. Add relevant "tags" at the end of your blog post.
3. Publish your blog post.
4. Ping social bookmarking sites.
5. Because many of the social bookmarking sites are heavily spidered, your pages can be quickly spidered simply by being present in the index.
6. Once you have finished the four previous steps, the social bookmarking sites will then crawl your blog post and index it under that tags you have specified.

Now that you have a general overview, let's go into the process in-depth.

Tags are simply links that are formatted in a way that the social bookmarking spiders can recognize them as tags. Whenever the social bookmarking see these tags, they immediately start munching the content to index it on their site. gives complete instructions on how to set up tags. Here is an excerpt from their help file:


The [tagname] can be anything, but it should be descriptive. Please only use tags that are relevant to the post. You do not need to include the brackets, just the descriptive keyword for your post. Just make sure to include rel="tag".

The example above links to Technorati but you can link to any web page that ends in a tag. In fact, if your blog supports categories, you can even link to your own blog.

The social bookmarking sites will pick up and index your blog post even if you don't link back to them. The key is simply knowing how to set this up.

To do this, you will need to create tags for your blog. Here are some examples:

Quick Note : Any tag that is two words or longer should have a "+" symbol in between the words. Never include spaces when creating tags.

In order for this example to work, you must create blog categories for each tag. So, for this example, you would need to set up a category for social bookmarking, tag and ping, and web 2.0.

For each of the categories that you have setup within your blog, you can automatically create a tag for them whenever you create your post simply by assigning that particular post to that category.

Once you have submitted your post, you will see a number of categories at the bottom of the post to indicate which categories your entry has been posted to. These are your "tags" and they will be indexed by any social bookmarking site that you add to your ping list.

Setting up Your Ping List

On that note, let's expound on the idea of the ping list.

To set up your ping list within Wordpress, go to "Options" and then click "Writing". When you scroll to the bottom, you will see a box that will allow you to add your very own ping list. Within this list, you will want to add all of the social bookmark sites that accept and crawl blog posts. For a complete list, go to .

There is no sense in creating all of your tag URLs by hand. If you are using Wordpress, you can set your blog up to do this automatically.

You can do this using SimpleTags. SimpleTags is a WordPress plugin that allows you to easily generate Technorati tags at the bottom of your blog entries.

To be truly successful in the social bookmarking community, you must be an active participant, not just a leacher. Be sure and bookmark other sites as well wherever you decide to employ a tag and ping strategy.

Predictions for the Future

Some people believe that tag and ping will lose it's effectiveness because of people that abuse the system. However, I believe otherwise. While people that abuse the system will certainly start to see diminished returns, I believe that those people who use this system correctly will be able to benefit for many years to come.

Social bookmarking is not a trend that is simply here today and gone tomorrow. With major competitors like Yahoo joining in, you can bet that social bookmarking has a hopeful future.

When used effectively, social bookmarking will bring you one-way backlinks, free traffic, increased exposure, and eventually sales from a long-term effort.

Just like your search engine optimization, you should take a natural approach to social bookmarking. This technique goes way beyond getting traffic. This is a long-term strategy that can help you to acquire quality inbound links and gain high search engine rankings when used appropriately.

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