The Internet has been changing rapidly these past few years. Search engines are still a major way to get traffic to your websites, but they aren’t the only way, and in many ways they are not the easiest way, provided you know how to get other kinds of attention to your website.
Social bookmarking is a huge trend. If your site gets popular on a social bookmarking website, you can get huge numbers of visitors in a very short time. This can result in backlinks to your website, giving a boost in the search engines as well.
Of course, this can have disadvantages too. A huge flood of traffic from one or another site can take your server down. Do this too often and you can understand why some people need dedicated servers to host their sites rather than shared.
There are many social bookmarking sites out there. Del.icio.us is a big one. Yahoo’s MyWeb has some popularity too.
Then there are sites such as Digg, Reddit and Netscape. These allow you to bookmark the site, but also let people comment on the page. Sometimes these can get pretty vicious but other times comments are quite useful. Digg is particularly notorious for sending so much traffic to popular pages that it takes the server down.
StumbleUpon is similar, but it works a little differently. You install a toolbar, and give a thumbs up or thumbs down on pages you like. You can review and tag them as appropriate. Users click the Stumble button on the toolbar to visit random pages. Doing this can bring up some fascinating pages.
The catch is that most of these do not send buying, clicking traffic. You may end up using huge amounts of bandwidth and not earn much at all from it. If you’re on shared hosting you may drive your host to insist that you purchase dedicated hosting because you used so much bandwidth.
But on the plus side, you are likely to get some great backlinks to your site, if what gets bookmarked from your site is worth being mentioned on other websites. People do blog about the things they find if they are sufficiently interested.
You should try to make it easy for people to bookmark your pages on their choice of services. If you blog using WordPress, there are plugins that make this very easy. There are simple ways to generate appropriate code for other kinds of websites.
All in all, making it easy for your sites to be bookmarked socially and participating in bookmarking other websites can be well worth your time. The occasional extreme flood of traffic can be painful, but your site can get great exposure to new readers and gain quality backlinks that would be hard to find any other way.
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