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There’s a goodly number of SEO techniques from yesteryear that simply aren’t viable methods of accomplishing anything today. For example, the once-honored technique of submitting your website to a long list of hundreds of website directories…is dead. Directory submission is just a massive waste of time nowadays, because Google doesn’t give any cred to website directories anymore. Why would it? It’s the ultimate website directory as far as it’s concerned.
There are some such techniques that aren’t definitively dead, but are standing question marks in the minds of many SEO experts. Article writing and submission, for example, took a huge hit back when Google devalued content portals like EZineArticles and ConstantContent — but it’s hard to call the technique ‘dead’ when it’s essentially the very basis of content marketing, which is huge right now.
One technique that few people seem to have a clear grip on these days is social bookmarking: using sites like Reddit, Delicious, and StumbleUpon to link to your site and then promoting those links and hoping to get upvotes. Social bookmarking used to be viewed the same way that directory submission and article marketing did: it’s a backlink, how can it be wrong?
Today, we know that some backlinks are better than others, some are actually negative, and the vast majority of them — including directory submissions, article backlinks, and yes, social bookmarks — are simply complete wastes of time in terms of link juice.
That doesn’t mean that social bookmarking is a waste of time. It’s just useful for a different, but still SEO-related, purpose: milking that “fresh content” bonus that Google gives. See, for the first few weeks of a piece of content’s lifespan, Google ranks it a little higher than it would normally — and if that content gets mentions and pings on social sites (which include social bookmarking sites!), the ‘fresh content’ bonus gets bigger and lasts longer.
A top SEO practitioner can handily turn a piece of content that scores some solid social media mentions into a piece of content that scores natural backlinks — which means that social bookmarking isn’t dead at all. It’s just a stepping stone to better long-term SEO.