Yearly Archives: 2015

The Most Effective Social Bookmarking Strategy in 2015


IMAutomator launched it’s social bookmarking tool in 2009. Now 6 years later, it’s still here but the game has changed. A slew of Google updates over the past few years means that if you want to get the most from your social bookmark backlinks you need to do it right – or risk a penalty!

Domain Authority & Diversity

Blasting thousands of links from a single domain will hurt you rather than help you. Google likes to see backlinks coming from a wide range of domains and is now smarter than ever at detecting domains which are all connected together.

In recent months we had to remove large batches of sites from our system because they were all from a single network and all stopped working at once. Even if the sites hadn’t gone down, having a bunch of links from a network of sites with the same footprint is not good. Google wants diversity.

We are now building out own sites for IMAutomator, and we’re hosting them on IPNetworx which is a company dedicated to eradicating every trace of a footprint from your sites. Every site has:

  • A completely unique A-class IP address
  • It’s own server – no server footprints
  • Unique name servers
  • Unique host company names
  • No SOA records or other similar data

So all of the sites we are building now are from these great diverse domains. In addition, we are being very selective about what domains we build our sites on. We are looking for:

  • High domain authority, at least 15+, we have some as high as 40
  • High page authority on the home page – doesn’t help the bookmark backlink but is a trust signal for the domain as a whole
  • High PR, at least 4+. PR doesn’t really matter now but knowing that the domain had good PR in the past is a good sign

Anchor Text Diversity

Perhaps the biggest impact on SEO in the last few years has been the Penguin updates which have penalised sites for over-optimized anchor text. In the past you could rank a page for a particular term by blasting a ton of links using that term as the anchor text. However, if you try and do that today you will be slapped with a penguin!

It is incredibly important that you diversify your anchor text when building any kinds of links now, and doubly important for those built with automated tools such as IMAutomator. Thankfully, this is made easy with spinning.

It’s good to use spintax on all available data fields – title, description & tags, but it’s especially important to spin the title field very well as on 99% of sites the title becomes the anchor text of your link. If you make sure you have at least one variation for every site you are submitting to then you have guaranteed unique anchor text for every backlink and that is perfect.

If you are stuck for keywords, try using the aptly named Keyword Shitter tool 🙂 Just put in your primary keyword and it will spit out tons of related keywords in seconds.

Here is a nice chart showing a possible breakdown you could use for anchor text in general. Note that your can’t put URL’s in the title field for a bookmark but you can certainly get brand names and generic words in there. Because bookmark title fields can be quite long, you have a great opportunity to insert several spintax clauses to get a ton of diversity. You need never repeat an anchor text for any bookmark.

Diversify your anchor texts as much as you can by using spintax in your titles

Diversify your anchor texts as much as you can by using spintax in your titles

Tier 1 or Tier 2?

Every backlink that points directly at your money site is a tier 1 link. These days you need to be careful what links you send to your money site. Diversity is key once again and if all you do is blast bookmarks at it, you’ll get a penalty almost guaranteed – even if you do mix up your anchor text.

Nowadays it’s important to have a wide range of links coming in at tier 1. Here are a few examples of good links to go direct to your money site:

  • Social links – Facebook, Twitter Profiles etc
  • Videos – YouTube links are wonderful
  • Strong, relevant, contextual links – the types that are hard to find naturally
  • Strong directory links, ideally niche-specific
  • Strong article links

I’ve used the word ‘strong’ here a lot. What I mean by that is links that are from high authoritative domains and are highly relevant to the topic of your money site. As always, anchor text diversity is very important on ALL links you build.

Notice that I didn’t put social bookmarks in this list. These days the only bookmarks I would build direct to my money site are the ones from the super powerful domains; the ones that have been around for years and have thousands of real visitors. Digg, Diigo, Delicious and FolkD are good examples.

The vast majority of bookmarks I use now are tier 2. Here is a diagram showing how tiered link building looks:


How to build tier 2 links correctly

A tier 2 link is a link that points to a page that contains a tier 1 link that points directly to the money site. For example, using the above examples you could send tier 2 links to 4 out of the 5 types listed above. Once you have built social profiles,YouTube videos, articles and other contextual links you can build further backlinks to those links and that is where higher-quantity automated links such as bookmarks are useful.

The idea behind tiered link building this way is that you point your most natural, high authority links right at the money site. These are the links Google loves the most and will fare well, especially on a brand new site that you need to be careful with.

Then you take those links and boost them up even further with a second layer of links. If those tier 1 links are built on high authority domains such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Ezine  Articles etc these domains have such massive trust that they can withstand a hammering of links and not get penalised.

So you blast your mass bookmarks at those tier 1 links to boost them up. Use the spintax functionality again to throw a large number of keywords at these tier 1 properties and that helps to give them relevancy and context which makes them far more powerful than before.

So let me give you some examples of how I would build some titles for IMAutomator to mix up the anchor text right.

Target Keyword: Dallas SEO

{Click here|Click now|Visit this site} for the {best|greatest} {Dallas SEO|ton of keywords here} company {online|on the web}

Target Keyword: best electric guitars

10 of the {best electric guitars|tons of keywords here} for {under|less than|cheaper than} {$100|a hundred bucks|a hundred dollars}

I would make sure that in the spot for the keywords, I would have as many keywords as the number of sites I was submitting to. So if I was going to submit to 20 sites, I’d put 20 unique keywords in there plus the other variations. It doesn’t get more diverse than that.

Tier 3?

Some people build out several tiers but I wouldn’t do that with bookmarks, especially not with IMAutomator. It’s just too expensive 🙂 With each tier the number of links you need to build gets bigger. For example:

  • Money Site – 20 x good tier 1 links (20 links total)
  • Tier 2 – 20 links to each 20 tier 1 link (400 links total)
  • Tier 3 – 20 links to each 400 tier 2 link (8,000 links total)

Plus with each tier you get diminishing returns because only a small percentage of the link juice is actually passed down.

So there is the strategy to use today for doing social bookmarking in 2015!


Our New Sites Are Working Well

After so many public social bookmarking sites over recent months have started to stop working in large numbers, we made a decision to start building our own private network of sites exclusively for our members.

So far we have built 8 sites. They are all PR4, they also have good Domain Authority and other metrics. They are hosted on completely separate IP’s – A/B classes, not just C class, and there is no footprints in any of the server data for the best possible backlink profile diversity. We use a new company called IPNetworx for this; they specify in completely avoiding any SEO footprints.

Plus, they are all performing at a 95-99% success rate.

We’re happy with this so we will be continuing with this plan. Whilst we’ll still occasionally see what new public sites are available we will continue to focus on building our own network. We have 4 more sites to add today and we’ll continue to add a few more each week, continually monitoring performance of course.

More Sites Removed – Changing Our Tactics

A few weeks ago we had to remove a whole bunch of sites because they all went down overnight, obviously owned by the same entity. Now over this past weekend, another bunch of sites has had to be removed leaving us with a small number of live sites again. It wasn’t because the sites went down but because they changed to using a particular type of captcha that we cannot solve.

It’s getting more difficult to find good new bookmarking sites these days and the ones we do find, seem to be owned by just a handful of entities (we don’t know if they are individuals, companies or what). It’s not good to have too many eggs in one basket as the British are fond of saying.

Building Our Own Bookmarking Sites

So, we are going to be changing tactics from now on. Whilst we’ll still keep looking for new sites all the time, we now want to put the control back in our own hands to make sure that we can provide sites that are going to stick around and not just disappear. To do this, we need to build them ourselves.

We tried this a few years ago but the sites lost their power after a month or so but now we have more resources and more knowledge then we did back then. We are able to source high PR domains, that also have good Domain Authority which is also important these days.

We can host them all on separate A-class IP addresses around the world which avoids footprints, and we keep them exclusively for IMAutomator members so the links are not diluted by other people’s spam!

We will be building our sites on domains that are at least PR4. We will begin building our network this week, adding just a few at first and see how they perform and if all goes well then will add a few more each week.

Temporary Disaster!

Almost all of the social bookmarking sites in the system stopped working overnight a day or so ago! At first we assumed something was going on with our server, proxies, submission process or just something our end as it looked like the whole system had stopped working.

However it turns out that is not the case. It would appear that the vast majority of new sites we have added in recent weeks must be owned by the same entity and something has happened to cause them all to shut down at the same time.

This is obviously pretty bad for us! Now I’m hoping that it is a temporary glitch their end – maybe somebody forgot to renew the hosting account or something and they will all come back but unfortunately we can’t keep the sites in the system in this state as it just floods our submission engine with retries (our engine automatically retries failed submissions several times over a 48 hour period) and slows everything down.

Therefore we are going to purge them all and this will leave us with literally less than 10 working sites in the system! However, as always, we will be continuing to work to find new sites to replace them with and can hopefully get back to a decent number soon!

Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Sites Reduced as Temporary Workaround to Submission Problem

Yesterday we encountered a problem where a very large percentage of submissions were failing. We put the site into maintenance mode whilst we investigated the problem in order to prevent new jobs from being submitted.

We have now identified the problem, but unfortunately not yet been able to fix it. A large number of bookmark sites now use a captcha system called SolveMedia and something in their API has changed which has caused our captcha-solving code to stop working. This causes the submission to fail. This is the cause of the issue.

So we have identified it, but we have not yet been able to actually fix it and get a SolveMedia site to work.

As a temporary workaround we have put all sites that use SolveMedia on trial, which of course has drastically reduced the number of live sites. Any jobs that were previously scheduled to go to those sites will continue to be processed and unfortunately will fail until we can fix the code. Of course, you are always refunded for any failed submissions. You only ever pay for a successful submission.

Whilst we work to try and fix the problem, we will also start adding some other bookmark sites that we have ready to go which do not use SolveMedia. That way we can start to build up the sites list again.


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