Practical Ecommerce

Social Bookmarking Helps with SEO, Product Sharing

Social sharing and bookmarking have taken a back seat to Facebook and Twitter. For most of us, using sites like Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, or Reddit rarely crosses our minds.

Yet, these and other such services can provide a number of benefits to your ecommerce site, and here’s why. In today’s web economy, content needs to be both “findable” via search engines and “shareable” via social media. In this article, we will look at the benefits, from both perspectives, to using social bookmarking and sharing .

SEO Benefits

Social bookmarking sites provide a way to organize, collate and categorize the web using a classification structure called “tags.”

Tags are little more than labels that are applied to a given, bookmarked resource. Tagging is a bottom-up, user-generated form of categorization that allows people to use whatever vocabulary is helpful to them. While this may seem a bit chaotic and messy, it has become a common method to annotate and classify content on the web.

While tags are useful as a means of classification, they also provide value in search engine optimization, as those tags are also keywords, indexable by the engines.

According to Search Engine Journal, a highly regarded SEO resource, social bookmarking services like Delicious and StumbleUpon can help search engines in a variety of ways:

  • Faster indexing of sites. Humans bookmark sites launched by their friends or colleagues before a search engine can find them.
  • Deeper indexing of sites. Many bookmarked pages reside deep within the framework of a site and is sometimes not as easily linked by others, or as easily crawlable by search engine spiders.
  • Increased quality. If more users bookmark a page, the more authority, quality and relevance the site is perceived to have.
  • External meta data. Users who bookmark sites tag them with keywords and descriptions, which add honest, and unbiased definitions.
  • Number of votes. Similar to the number of bookmarks, the more votes a page receives on Digg or Reddit, the more useful that information usually is. If the same page receives multiple votes across social news voting sites, search engines will perceive it as having higher quality.
  • Categorization. Using tags, categorization can help define the subject of a site, therefore helping the engine address searcher intent and provide more relevant returns.

Social Media Benefits

Not only does social bookmarking and sharing provide SEO benefit, it is also a fast method for social networkers to spread news about your products to their online friends. I like to think of social bookmarking and sharing as serendipity that encourages the viral spread of your site’s content.

For example, let’s say a consumer has landed on the product description page and wishes to share information about the product with his or her friends. One option to do this is the “Email to a Friend” function. But now, social sharing is another option that reaches the consumer’s friends, and more.

A consumer who lands on a product page that does not offer social sharing likely won’t go copy and paste the URL of the page on his or her Facebook Wall or otherwise bother to recommend it to friends. Providing an easy means of social sharing encourages the activity. If it’s easy to do, consumers will likely do it.

Share This

“Share This” is an application that facilitates sharing to many social bookmarking sites. Note that we use it here (see above) at Practical eCommmerce, and we reviewed it in “The PEC Review: Share This Makes Adding Social Media a Breeze.” It was created as a plug-in for WordPress, but has been redeveloped for use by virtually any site.

'Share This' pop-up.

‘Share This’ pop-up.

Share This not only includes links to all the sites mentioned above, but many others as well, including Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz, StumbleUpon and over 50 others.

Share This also enables posting of content to blogs and includes a forward to a friend feature. You simply place the Share This button on any web page that you wish to make sharable. Another similar service is Add This.

Example of a shopping cart using the Add This button:

'Add This' pop-up on shopping page for Maple Syrup Galone Bottle.

‘Add This’ pop-up on shopping page for Maple Syrup Galone Bottle.

Facebook Like Button

A newer form of sharing that has become increasingly popular is the Facebook “Like” button.

The Like button lets users share content with their friends on Facebook. When the user clicks the button on your site, a story appears in the user’s friends’ News Feed with a link back to your website. The user remains on your site throughout the process.

The Like button has become the new way of indexing the web that’s completely based on users’ choices. Given the enormous popularity of Facebook across the globe–500 million users worldwide and 150 million in the U.S. alone–having the Like button on your ecommerce site can be very helpful.

A number of ecommerce cart providers easily enable the use of the Like button on their platforms. This includes Magneto, BigCommerce, 3dcart and Zen Cart, to name a few.

Facebook Recommendations Button

Another option provided by Facebook is the Recommendations plugin, which shows personalized recommendations to your users.

Since Facebook hosts the content, the plugin can display personalized recommendations whether or not the user has logged into your site. For a logged-in Facebook user, the plugin will give preference to and highlight objects her friends have interacted with.

Facebook provides resources to help understand and implement Like and Recommendations buttons, along with an overview of each of its social plugins, at its developer center.

Examples from Online Stores

Here are examples of stores using social bookmarking and sharing:

Sharing with Twitter, Email and "Like" on Layla Grace.

Sharing with Twitter, Email and “Like” on Layla Grace.

Social bookmarking and sharing on California Percussion.

Social bookmarking and sharing on California Percussion.

Note the "Like" button on Present Time Gifts.

Note the “Like” button on Present Time Gifts.


Instead of visitors bookmarking your site via their browsers’ bookmark functions, incorporate social sharing. In most cases it is easy to implement and costs nothing to use. It will benefit your business from both a search engine optimization and social media standpoint, resulting in better search returns, more traffic to your ecommerce site and increased sales.

Paul Chaney

Paul Chaney

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  1. justinrains August 12, 2010 Reply

    Social bookmarking doesn’t do much for SEO. Last time I looked all of my delicious bookmarks were nofollowed. I just checked SU and they’re nofollowed too.

  2. frank65l August 14, 2010 Reply

    Their are several bookmarking sites that are dofollow, but your missing the point, these are not necessarily for search engines, hence the phrase "Social Networking" & "Social Bookmarking".

    "Social bookmarking doesn’t do much for SEO". This is true if you do it incorrectly, If done correctly, this is a great way of gaining links, traffic, ranking and customers.

    If your still having trouble comprehending this, please check the dictionary for the meaning of "Social".

  3. Paul Chaney August 16, 2010 Reply

    I want to reference an "Ask the Expert" article that came directly as a result of the comment regarding nofollow. The URL is: [](

    If I interpret what Jill said, even social bookmarking sites that use "nofollow" have some value where SEO is concerned, even if it’s limited.

  4. datarecovery August 17, 2010 Reply

    Hi, social media is playing an important role in search engine optimization. We also compare it to an umbrella because it includes interactive broadcasts such as blogs and podcasts, as well as social networking Web sites. These Web sites often allow visitors to become users or members, create profiles, and upload and share content through the Web site.

  5. Norb Winslow June 30, 2012 Reply

    Manual social bookmarking really works to improve your site’s ranking. Some of its benefits are:

    1. Social signals from quality social bookmarks. Google LOVES it!
    2. Get your site/url indexed in a short time.
    3. It is Penguin friendly as long as you don’t spam to HUNDREDS of bookmarking sites.

    You can outsource social bookmarking tasks at Fiverr, as there are plenty gigs that will bookmark your URL to 15-25 social bookmarking sites for $5. I would recommend one express gig from a seller named "norbwinslow" who manually bookmarks your URL to 21 PR4-PR8 social bookmarking sites. He also pings your site and share it on Facebook and Twitter (great to index and gain variety of backlinks).

    There are few great sellers too, such as ecnarret and fvchamp, but norbwinslow has provide more extras and bonuses, which makes a difference for me. You can also do it yourself by creating 20 accounts from high PR social bookmarking websites, and bookmark all your sites and backlinks ;)

  6. Darrin Benner April 17, 2016 Reply

    I’m looking for build some good quality backlinks for my blog. That’s why I do directory submission. But I’ve heard that, directory submission is not good for SEO. Now I’m finding some high PR social bookmarking sites list. Finally I will get it from this post. thanks you very very much.

  7. Muhammad amjad November 26, 2016 Reply

    Good article and great list and also good comments of visitors of your sites.