11 MAY 2011 1
Welcome to the third part of our series on good and not-so-good link building methods. If you missed the previous episodes, I suggest you catch up here:
In this article I will discuss the pros and cons of social bookmarking and forum posting as means of obtaining inbound links.
Social bookmarking used to work like a charm back in 2008 when you would have got an instant and major boost in SERPs only from a handful of submissions to sites like Digg, Stumble Upon or Reddit. However, with the increased popularity of open sourced scripts like Pligg, Scuttle or Drigg, everyone can build a social bookmarking profile these days, so their usefulness has faded somewhat. Social bookmarking is still a great way of getting fairly strong backlinks, as well as some targeted traffic.
To have a better chance at getting your link spidered fast, use a custom tag on low popularity social bookmarking sites (something like your company name). If you submit a handful of quality stories, there is a chance that your tag may get featured on the front page, so all your links will be one link away from the site’s index.
A lot of forums allow you to post clickable links in your signature. This method can be extremely tiresome, since you would actually need to get involved in the community and post insightful messages. Don’t do it unless you really enjoy being a member in that forum.
As a final piece of advice: if you consider outsourcing your forum posting tasks, keep in mind that once the job is done and you have paid your freelancer he or she might change the signature to point to another client’s site. That’s one of the reasons why Google doesn't think very high of forum links: they are not permanent, and they are artificial. Google usually looks for links that you did not initiate yourself directly above others.
This concludes our third part. Stay tuned for more tips.