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!


4 thoughts on “The Most Effective Social Bookmarking Strategy in 2015

  1. Glenn D. Bearsky

    Wow, an _excellently_ written post about Social Bookmarking’s changing role and the importance of Tiered link building.

    Need help finding your already powerful Tier-1 links? > Tools > Keyword & SERP checker can search on your Name, Brand or Domain for the highest ranking instances already ranking well in Google or Yahoo. Some of these (especially the first 30 or so in the list) are good candidates to boost with IMAutomator to drive more juice towards your money site – and closer to Page 1 of results.

  2. Rick Upshaw

    I’d be interested in your thoughts on timing of these links, and I mean the question in two ways:

    1. How long would you suggest waiting between building the links for each tier? For example, the links for Tier 1 would obviously be created ASAP. Would you then wait a few days (or weeks) before building Tier 2, and then another few days or weeks to build the Tier 3 links? If so, would time periods would you suggest?

    2. For the link-building for each Tier, what is the minimum amount of time over which the links should be dripped out without risking some kind of penalty?

    1. Caroline Middlebrook Post author

      Hi Rick,

      I wouldn’t necessarily build out tier 1 then tier 2 then tier 3. What I would prefer to do is build all three tiers at once, but spread out the tier 1 links.

      These are the ones that point directly to your money site and you have to be the most careful with. As you move out of the tiers you can be more aggressive.

      So I’d build a good tier 1 links, then build the tier 2’s and 3’s on top of that before the next tier 1.

      I can’t answer question 2. there is no set time, every site is different. In generally, the newer and less authoritative the site, the slower you should go.

  3. Pingback: Google Pagerank Removed, Credit Scoring To Change - IMAutomator blog

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