Been wondering how to use tags for social bookmarking (of your own posts and pages) to get more targeted traffic to your websites and offers?

Basic Web 2.0 Bookmark and Tagging Principles

Social Bookmarking sites are subscription based websites that allow internet users to save links to their favorite pages. Operating much like your browser Favorites, these lists of favorites are generally more organized, themed, or categorized.

The social aspect plays in when these lists of favorites are made public – viewable and further classified, rated, or organized by other surfers.

The organization quotient, tagging, is the manner in which either the author of the resource or the person bookmarking the resource categorizes or classifies the information. Tags are usually one to five keyword phrases.

If you’ve had a website for very long and your main source of traffic is through the search engines via search engine optimization of your pages you’ll quickly see the beauty and the value of tags. This is keyword relevance ‘proof’ by the masses.

And it hasn’t taken the major search engine players long to catch on. As a matter of fact most have been waiting for this type of voluntary feedback as it allows an engine to offer more relevant results to the masses.

Search Engine History and Basic Theory

Skewing search engine results by keyword stuffing, buying links, reciprocal linking, automated blog commenting, and the like, are all techniques once employed with good results by many webmasters to gain more traffic and higher search engine ranks.

These techniques however do not ensure the major search engines serve results that their users (the people typing the search terms into the search boxes) will be satisfied with as they view and click through to, the top 10-20 results. And let’s get real here for just a moment…the search engines are in the business of serving the surfers first and webmasters second. Better search results = happier searchers = a better, more popular search engine. (This is how google beat out the mighty yahoo as the preferred engine six or more years ago – by serving more relevant results to the user.)

Enter the Social Bookmarking Service

Social bookmarking sites work through social interaction (or public opinion) rather than smart webmaster techniques (keyword research and linking principles). Classification based on public opinion, are the strongest form of social proof for the search engines that search results are the most relevant for the masses.

Proof that the Major Search Engines Took Notice:

  • Yahoo bought del.icio.us and flickr – a social bookmarking site and a photo tagging site.
  • LookSmart bought Furl – a social bookmarking site.
  • and Google bought out YouTube – a video tagging site.

Using Tags and Social Proof to Get Top Results in the Search Engines

There is no dismissing these techniques if you hope to stay in the game with top search engine rankings and enough traffic to justify your site’s existance. Tagging your posts and pages, then using social bookmarking sites is the new and improved search engine optimization.

If you’re not employing these techniques and services, what exactly are you waiting for? Social proof is not going anywhere, anytime soon. People will always enjoy visiting urls marked and saved by other people with like minds and interests. Search engines will always enjoy using results saved by one user to serve up more relevant urls to the next user.

Tagging and bookmarking techniques are sound and long-reaching. The only outstanding issue that remains is how to emply those techniques in a timely fashion.

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