Modern SEO: The end of social bookmarking websites

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social bookmarking is dead

Preparing for the funeral

Four years ago when I just got to know about the whole idea of blogging, how to get backlinks and making money online, it was such a nice experience. My experience with the use of hubpages, Wizzley (briefly) and Xomba opened my eyes to both blackhat practices of building backlinks and also the unpopular white hat approach to getting ethical links. The whole scenario and experience brought to reality the use and importance of social bookmarking websites, and to be honest with you, the so called web savvy marketers used and abused the various bookmarking sites to gain an upper edge by ranking high on Google; must confess, I was one of them. To the newbies who doesn’t know much about social bookmarking or simply naïve, check out Wikipedia’s explanation on what social bookmarking is

As we all know, SEO practices is an ongoing continues practice and development, which is subjected to occasional change in approach and methodology

This post is premised on the aftermath of the Google Hummingbird experience, coupled with recent changes in Google search results. Big G, being the dominant search engines should be commended for thorough purging and sanitization of the whole ranking systems; despite the fact that so many people are not happy with the way their blogs and websites have fallen off the face of Google’s first page, deep down in them they know that Google’s action on their site is well justified. For the past three months and counting, I carried out a statistical research and discovered that social bookmarking does not carry much weight in having positive ranking effects on Google like before, however, some news ones e.g. Bizsugar are already modifying the overall concept of social bookmarking, and you know what, they are winning.

The overall concept of building backlinks has totally been revamped and wasting much precious time with the use of social bookmarking will not help you so much.

My argument is well supported with the demise or rather death of some well popular social bookmarking sites; the owners all agreed that they have plummeted greatly in Google rankings and as such have lost bulk of their revenues. This explains why so many of them are either defunct, out of business or simply being bought over.

Recommend to read: 10 proven steps to get pr9 backlinks to rank high in Google

Lists of Social bookmarking websites that are dead, dormant or bought over

The following are compiled lists of dead social bookmarking sites ( most of them were once vibrant and popular); and not just that, the list also contains dormant or rather ineffective blogs as compared to when they just started.

social bookmarking website is dead

In the coffin already!!

  • Amplify
  • JumpTags
  • Clipmarks
  •  StumbleUpon
  • Mspidy
  • MyLinkVault
  • Faves
  • Linkwad
  • Connotea
  • MyVMarks
  • Mixx
  • My Web
  • Simply
  • Furl
  • Identica
  • Indian Pad
  • Propeller
  • Magnolia ( rebranded as Gnolia), but anyway, both of dead are now dead!
  • Swik

I was reading Jeremy LeSarge blog on a discussion on whether social bookmarking is dead!!, the summary of the argument is that their relevance is fading away; same thing was made mention by Daniel Scocco, where he argued that social bookmarking is actually dying.

Recommended to read: Five proven tips on how to get backlinks from wikipedia

5 reasons social bookmarking is dead and why you should not use them

social bookmarking websites under Google penalty

Under Judgment!!

 

  • Google penalty caused by duplicate content

Social bookmarking website works this way; they allow and enable users to add, edit, and share bookmarks of web documents. Virtually all of these sites are guilty of duplicate content; tell me, having about 100-150 words from the original blog on their own site (is it not duplication of the original content?). This is the difference that BizSugar introduced, and not just BizSugar, but other notable new bookmarking sites e.g. faviki.com. Please note that Google hates duplicate content and it can trigger Google penalty.

  • RSS Syndication

By virtue of abuse by thousands of their users, most of them are unable to moderate excessive inflow of RSS and feeds from various sites. Some users repeat the same RSS over and over again, resulting in mixtures of the same content on their sites. These practices are not good, and hence called for the search engines penalizing most of them.

  • Loss of rankings to social media sites

Leading social media sites e.g. Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest virtually helped killed the influence and popularity of all the bookmarking sites. So, why waste time, when you know you can’t get maximum exposure of your content on them?

  • susceptibility to high spam risk

Spammy content on these sites is not a new thing; infact that is one major disadvantage and a constant daily challenge to the owners of the website. Go to most bookmarking sites, you will be angry and amazed to see unworthy posts and spams flooding their pages.

  • lack of standards for tag structures

To me, the only exception is Faviki.com and BizSugar ( their strategies is quite different). Faviki makes use of standard semantic tagging structure, borrowing their model from the wikipedia concepts as tags. The other social bookmarking sites hardly have a standard tag structure in place.

A must read: 7 proven steps to protect your wordpress website security

Case study:

is social bookmarking dead- i need a clearer view

I’m not sure, I need to see clearly

Technorati, released a 2010 report, and in the report, it was made clear that social bookmarking is dying as most websites receives majority of their traffic from social media sites ( namely Facebook and Twitter); fast forward to 2014, the margin has highly increased with the emergence of Google+, LinkedIn and more improved work on Facebook and twitter led to more assassination  and death of these social bookmarking websites.

Conclusion

I am of the firm believe that social bookmarking is dying, not fully dead; new social bookmarking websites are springing up every year and most of them are integrating social media and SEO into their operations e.g. Faviki, BizSugar and Triberre.t.c.

I recommend : Top 10 best social bookmarking sites with high PR

Feedback and Suggestions

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  • http://inspiretothrive.com Lisa

    James, I would be glad to see these type of sites dead, they take so much of our time to use and it’s mostly repetition. I do love TRIBERR and Biz Sugar. Those I feel are different than most of the others. The ones you mentioned that are dead I never heard of. I think StumbleUpon could be one added there as well. I found such a high bounce rate whenever I used it in the past. Yet many still rave about it. I’d rather write more new content and comment on blogs than do all those bookmarketing sites anyday.

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Hi Lisa,

      I will sure add stumbleupon to the list, though some people still uses it, but honestly, they no longer worth your full attention.

      Its simply better to focus on your blog, write quality content, create an engaging community around your blog through commenting. This is part of the modern SEO strategies.

      Thanks for the trackback, I’m honoured.

      • http://citationgurus.com Sean

        I agree. Creating blogs and posting quality content that the readers want to read and comment on is much better. Blogs with quality content are ranking great and those using old methods are getting penalties for link spamming. Blogs are a much better approach and as long as you create great content that people want to comment on and leave a link you will see far better results for your work.

        • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

          Hi Sean,

          Creating contents that are valuable is the key; that should be the focus of content marketers rather than spending time and money on black hat practises.

          Thanks for the insightful comment.

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  • andy

    Hahahaha i like gooogle+

  • http://www.blogingrace.com/ vijesh

    Hi James,
    Its true that Social Bookmarking is slowly fading away, Facebook sometimes won’t show posts in the timeline of a particular page followers if they post any link. Even Digg a popular social bookmarking site too changed its system by lot which affected many blogs. Few days back Digg used to show any blog in their front page but now they show only articles from some famous blogs. Now Google+ has made its entry and mostly people are switching over to this new site should see how the results will change.
    Thanks for this insightful post…
    Have a blessed year ahead…

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Hi Vijesh,

      i am of the strong opinion that Google+ has come to stay. if you notice very well, Google controls the search engines, and most of these defunct social bookmarking sites are either looking to make money, raise money mostly through outright sales to an investor. and in most cases, the investors dont really care about the so called ‘social thing’, all they want is to recoup back their money and continuing making money which at the end becomes detrimental to the users.

      But Google is already rich, what Google is trying to achieve is to be able to dominate the social circle and expand their online influence.
      I don not think Google+ will go under like other ones.

      Thanks for the visit.

      • http://www.blogingrace.com/ vijesh

        What you said is true James, Google + came to stay. Google has been working a lot on this product just to dominate over facebook and since its already a rich company there is not much to work on Google Plus. Though the results of Google+ were not as expected still Google did not kill this product instead it kept on improvising and it stays good now. So this shows that Google+ has good future…

  • http://www.shermansmithblog.com sherman smith

    Hey James,

    I’ve actually stopped using social media sites like digg and stumbleupon last year and saw a big difference. I believe the Google updates had something to do with the difference. I started blogging in 2010 and using social bookmarking sites was the thing. I’ve also used blackhat practices which didn’t really suffice, even though other blogger were raving over them. But like you said, what google did benefited the blogosphere although there were many that didn’t like it because the lost of traffic. In the end, as a whole, these updates made it much more fair to not only veteran bloggers but also those that’s just getting their feet wet! Thanks for sharing!

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Hi Sherman,

      Matt cuts said it all, he said and I quote ‘ simply focus on good content’. I think Matt was right.

      Google updates, and the hummingbird development is erasing off the importance of those bookmarking sites. Honestly, Google simply wants us to focus on relationship, make use of their own in-house Google+ and publish quality great content.

      Thanks for the comment, well appreciated.

      Do have a prosperous new year.

  • http://www.garrettspecialties.com/blog Arleen

    James- I am not surprised and personally I don’t think these sites will be missed. Trying to set indexed you will try anything that will work. Many got sucked up into the vortex. I guess I am happy I was too busy to get involved.

    SEO has been and always will be good content. I am happy to say that none of the updates of Google have affected me at all. Great article.

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Hi Arleen,

      You are a genius for being able to stay clear of Google’s penalties!!!

      Honesty, we should just concentrate on our blogs and publish quality, well researched contents.

      Thanks for the comment and have a nice day.

  • http://angelamccall.com Angela McCall

    Hi James,

    This is the first time I heard social bookmarking, that even after I read the meaning there in wikipidia 3x I still cannot comprehend what this really means.

    I’m surprised to see Stumbleupon on the list. Will you consider EzineArticles a social bookmarking? I don’t use Stumbleupon neither Digg.

    Anyway, thanks for educating me.

    Goodnight,
    Angela

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Hi Angela,

      its unbelievable to know that you have not heard of social bookmarking!!!, anyway, the same goes with me on online journals, heard it for the first time on your blog.

      EzineArticles is a content farm!!! EzineArticles is not as vibrant as before.

      Thanks for the visit Angela.

  • Reginald

    Hey James,

    This is interesting. Personally, I feel it has its value but it had dropped significantly since a few years ago.

    Oh well, guess all we need is to see how it works out right? If you are doing social bookmarketing manually, I bet it would still be fine.

    Just my 2 cents!

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Hi Reginald,

      All fingers crossed!!….social bookmarking is loosing relevance. However, few of them are still credible like BizSugar, Triberr e.t.c. I’m coming up with a related post shortly.

      Thanks for the visit and the comment.

  • http://blog.qlue.co Rojish

    Nice post James. I used to remember those old blogging days where after hitting the publish button bloggers (including myself) rush to 10 – 15 bookmarking sites to submit the link :)

    Anyway, those years are over and now it is the time for quality over quantity for backlinks.

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Hi Rojish,

      You brought the good old days to my memory; honestly, I used those practices to really make money on hubpages then.

      Thanks for the visit, we must be ready at all times to adapt to Google’s constant changing algorithm and quality measures.

      Thanks for the visit and do have a prosperous new year

  • http://www.NateLeung.com Nate Leung

    Hi James,

    The sad reality is that marketers do ruin everything. Remember, back in the days when e-mail arrived? It was the coolest thing ever. Now, people don’t even want to look at their e-mail. It’s just a bunch of junk and spam.

    It’s a shame that social bookmarking sites are not what they used to be. Everyone is looking for the short cut and success doesn’t happen that way. I prefer to build the right instead of abusing the system. Thanks for the eye opening post!

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Hi nate,

      You rightly said it; Internet marketers are the reasons why Google is constantly devising credible online search metrics.

      I just hope that the present Hummingbird will stay permanently.

      Thanks for the visit and i wish you a prosperous new year.

  • Raviraj

    I am really surprised when I read that social bookmarking site is dead. I am not thinking like that how ever google may less monitored right now but there should be information sharing sites available.

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Don’t be surprised to hear that. Its not a new thing to the web savvy internet marketers who are constantly updating themselves to the ever dynamic nature of SEO.

      Though some social bookmarking sites are still credible as mentioned in the post.

      Thanks for the visit

  • http://www.kingged.com Sunday

    This could be a tricky one for most SEO experts. Personally, I agree some social bookmarking sites are dead and there could be good reasons not to follow some that are existing. However, we still have some powerful social bookmarking websites that are calling the shots for modern SEO.

    This is comment was shared in kingged.com where this post was syndicated
    Sunday – kingged.com contributor

    http://kingged.com/modern-seo-the-end-of-social-bookmarking-websites/

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Hi Sunday,

      You are absolutely right. Some powerful bookmarking sites still exist and they should not be ignored.

      Thanks, and its great seeing a Nigerian doing wonderfully…keep it up sunday.

  • http://www.donnamerrilltribe.com Donna Merrill

    Hi James,

    You have done a great job on this one! I haven’t used social bookmarking in the past. Guess I’m an organic kinda gal.

    I grew my blog organically and have great backlinks because I get great people coming to my blog. All the rest in my back office goes to trash.

    I’m pretty picky who I choose to be on it.

    I belong to a few groups of “tribes” and “blogging alliances” so I do get good bloggers from there. The rest comes from either my comments on other people’s blogs or friends of friends.

    -Donna

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Hi Donna,

      Its always good to be natural, allowing your rankings to grow the natural way. It gives you give result and ROI in the long run.

      Thanks for the contribution.

  • http://www.addictedme.com Sagar Desai

    Hello James,

    I don’t see all social bookmarking sites going to die soon. But yes there is significant drop in the usage of these sites. This might be the effect of Google Hummingbird and although technology and tools are keep changing with the time.

    Thanks again for really nice write up!

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Hi Sagai,

      You are right, as some of them are dying, some new ones are springing up. However, the new ones that are springing up are redefining the general concept of online bookmarking e.g. bizsugar.

      i can only recommend bizsugar and 2 other sites for bookmarking purposes.

      Thanks for sharing, and do have a nice day!!

  • http://sylvianenuccio.com Sylviane Nuccio

    Hi James,

    I remember back in the days I used to use Clipmark. Wow, it took me way back to see it here, and for sure those type of sites are dying. I wonder if Stumbleupon is, though. I still use it.

    I use BizSugar and Triberr, and those are good for traffic and better bookmark sites.

    Over all I think that the best bookmarks are visiting other great blogs such as yours :) and leaving a comment. I am grown my blog commenting more and more, because I want to really expand my online relationships.

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Hi sylviane,

      I concur with you on your declaration, the best bookmarks are visiting other great blogs and leaving insightful comment.

      Thanks for the eulogy, I’m flattered!!!

  • http://adriennesmith.net/ Adrienne

    Hey James,

    I had just read this same information over at Lisa’s blog a while ago and I have to agree with you. I think that most of these sites are just spam fests and with all the millions of blogs that are created each day, even more of them are falling off the face of the earth because no one has kept up with them.

    The duplicate content issue has always been a big deal and over the years with more and more of these sites allowing this it’s definitely caught up with them now.

    Thanks for reporting this so I would hope that the next thing these sites do is either clear out the crap or just close up shop. Either way, I’m not using them anymore and some I haven’t used in years.

    Great share and thanks for reporting this.

    ~Adrienne

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Hi Adrienne,

      You are right, they are completely waste of time!! ,most of them are simply spam haven, and they are really suffering from duplicate content issues.

      The new ones that I recommended can still be used e.g. triberr, bizsugar, faviki.

      Thanks for sharing your views on this.

  • Sanket Patil

    Very informative article James.

    Indeed Google also change its strategy for SEO. It has silently removed author image from SERP of major author. Google implementing to provide good SEO benefits to its authorship program. So Google+ is still beneficial.

    StumbleUpon already lost its popularity due to it is not providing instant traffic as it does earlier. There are many social media to mention but you already done it here above.

    Thanks and keep it yup.

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Hi Sanket,

      I have not heard that Google removed author image from SERP of major author…but why would they?

      Anyway, Google controls the internet search business, and we just have to follow their rules.

      thanks for the update

  • Shan

    Hi James

    You surprise me. I didn’t realise that StumbleUpon is a “hasbeen”. I need to check out other sites.

    Thanks
    Shan

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Hi Shan,

      I surprised you, how? the purpose of this blog is to publish quality content that can help you improve and grow your website and blog traffic.

      Thanks for the visit and the comment.

      Cheers

  • Peter Kanayo

    Can we say social media is dying because Hi 5 is no longer potent or My Space kissed the dust?

    If your answer is no then social bookmarking isn’t dead, it’s only evolving.

    The Question

    *Why*

    The reason being that new one are coming upstream that follows the new humming rule update.

    For example Reddit is one bookmarking site that is hugely legit. But, you need to understand how that community work or you will be booted out.

    Matt Cutt and Neil Patel leverage this site that has a highly intelligent community.

    So bookmarking isn’t dead, its only revolving.

    On a final note use reddit if you are creating an exceptional resource or you use it at your peril.

    Thanks James

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Hi Peter,

      I love the analytical argumentative approach you have given to this post. The term evolving is highly related to what is called ‘improved change’, something that got modified from what it was to what it is now!!

      Scientist believed that humans metamorphosed and got changed from homo sapiens; or better still, geologists believed that a metamorphosed igneous rock changes to a metamorphic rock e.g. gneis to schist, e.g.

      In essence, evolving means you changed to something different and unique and this means, going by the argument of this context that social bookmarking is dead or rather dying. The ones that are evolving are no longer social bookmarking sites, but rather social bookmarking engaging community site. They have moved from being online bookmarkers to a more aggressive social media sites.

      I hope this argumentative is positive!!

      Thanks for sharing.

  • nikhil

    yup i completly agree on this morever recent change in facebook algorithms for pages have killed the reaches only few posts reach people timeline.

  • http://onenaijablog.com Babanature

    Hello James,
    What a nice topic to argue on :). To tell you the truth, i still use social bookmarking sites to drive traffic to my blog and they are still working as far as i can tell.
    The bookmarking site i do spend most of my time on are, stumbleupon, Reddit, topix, formal chime.in, dosplash, blokube and bizsugar. The rest of the social bookmarking site, i did use my rss feed for automation.

    I do feel that they are safe to use (Maybe not all). But the good ones are still there.
    Thanks and do have a good week ahead…

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Hi Babanature,

      Thank you for your honest opinion on this matter, and I’m glad that some of them does work for you.

  • http://kabenlah.com Emmanuel

    Hi James,

    The fact is things are indeed taking new twists and with Google setting such pace, I think it will be prudent to ignore Google all together.

    The relevancy of social bookmarking sites might have being irrelevant but I think they did play their part really well.

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Hi Emmanuel,

      I’m impressed with your analysis on ignoring Google as a whole, but its difficult considering how Google dominates the search market.

      Though some few bookmarking sites are still credible, and I made mention of them in the post.

      Thanks for the comment and the visit.

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  • Wasudeo

    I am really lucky that I got this site. So much grateful to u brother. Please continue it!!!!!!!!!!!