Social bookmarking refers to the practice of tagging a website and saving it for future reference. The difference is that instead of saving it to your web browser, you are saving it to the web, and since your bookmarks are always online, you can easily share them with your friends.
Besides the opportunity to save your favorite websites and send them to your friends, you can also check out what other people have found interesting enough to tag. All this becomes easier through dedicated social bookmarking sites, which allow people to browse through the different items based on popularity, date, or category.
Moreover, you get the option to search through other people’s bookmarks by typing in what you are looking for in the search tool. From this perspective, social bookmarking sites look more like intelligent, dedicated online search engines.
Social Bookmarking and Social News
Websites like Digg, Propeller, and Reddit focus on social bookmarking news-specific items and feature breaking headlines addressing those respective news items. Social news sites are different from typical social bookmarking sites in the sense that they focus more on specific articles and blog posts rather than websites. This characteristic, however, renders them a great source of current news, and they too allow people to partake in discussions by leaving comments on popular news items.
How to Benefit from Social Bookmarking
Just like social news, social bookmarks offer access to an entire different niche that allows you to target specific information quickly. Unlike with typical search engines, which return generic results for your search terms, with social bookmarking you can easily narrow down the items to what you are looking for.
Besides, since many social bookmarking sites display both user lists and popular links, you can brows relevant information while staying current. For instance, let’s say you wanted to find out more about a specific category like science and technology. You might search for science and technology on one of these sites and stumble across two articles – one with three votes, the other one with three hundred.
The extra votes are clear indicators of quality, so you, just like others, would typically choose to read the latter in detriment of the former. And not to mention that this is a lot easier than typing "science and technology" into a search engine and browsing through countless pages of links to find something useful.
As you can see, social bookmarking is a multifaceted tool that can also act like a social search engine. By visiting a social bookmarking site, choosing the category or tag of your interest and narrowing the search to the most popular websites for that particular keyword or key phrase, you can find what you’re looking for a lot quicker and easier. Lastly, social bookmarking has shown good potential for SEO as well, and many business entrepreneurs have started to use it as a supporting technique to get backlinks and increase web exposure.