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Social bookmarking — the art that forms the basis of massive power-sites like Digg, Reddit, and similar sites — was (at one point in the late nineties) the very beginning of what is now a completely web-wide phenomenon: social networking. And much like the ancient art of social bookmarking, the modern SEO science of social bookmarking is the pivot point where two completely different realms of SEO meet.
This is what you think of when you think of SEO. People sitting at computers, crafting all manner of clever excuses to get authoritative, relevant websites to link back to yours. Building your search engine rankings by forming an intricate web of backlinks that look natural to Google but all feed traffic directly to your landing page.
Social bookmarking is a crucial part of backlink building, because it’s easy, quick, and social bookmarking pages are inherently relevance-creating and authoritative. The way that these sites are structured naturally makes any page you create on them self-relevant, and their very age and popularity makes them authoritative.
At the same time, in a world ruled by the Like button, where entire dictatorial regimes are toppled with the use of Twitter and Facebook, you cannot afford to ignore the social side of things. Top SEO gurus of every school are struggling to find ways to assimilate social marketing into their SEO repertoires
Social bookmarking doesn’t have the glamour and pizzazz of Twitter or Facebook, but it has just as much power and importance — get a story to take off on Digg or Reddit, and you’ll soon have server-crashing levels of traffic hitting your landing page. Social marketing is a tough gig, but it’s powerful when it works.
Modern SEO balances these two areas of traffic-building against one another, with each company finding the balance that suits them best. One company will offer you 10,000 Twitter followers; another 10,000 PR 3+ backlinks for the same price. Which is more worthwhile? As most things SEO, it depends largely on what you do with it. The one sure thing is that social bookmarking will always play a part in whatever side you participate in, so it’s one art that every SEO company should have down pat.