A few years back I used to get popular on Delicious with my resources lists for SEOptimise. Delicious has been already neglected by then as their owner at that time, Yahoo didn’t really invest in it. Nonetheless when a post got popular and thus entered the Delicious it still got around 1000 – 5000 visitors but more importantly it got many more Delicious saves which resulted directly in links on websites, often automatically.

Later on, Delicious abandoned the front page concept and moved the popular items to a separate tab. From then on Delicious became obsolete for most publishers and many users turned to Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and Tumblr.

Now that Yahoo has been sold Delicious to the YouTube founders there are new hopes that the almost 10 years old social bookmarking  service can get a meaningful update that would make more apt for today’s Web environment. Until then Delicious works as it did under Yahoo’s reign. It’s not dead but it’s not thriving either. Other modern services have and with them the idea of social bookmarking has evolved, Evernote, Diigo and Trunk.ly are all in some ways better than Delicious.

Despite the lack of features I other services offer and the lack of a traffic-rich frontpage I have been using Delicious for a few years now. I was a very later adopter, I started using Delicious in 2008. By now it’s already three years though. So there seem to be reasons why I still save my bookmarks online with Delicious. As I mostly bookmark SEO, social media and blogging related resources there it must have something to do with my writing habits for three important blogs in the SEO arena: SEOptimise, SEO 2.0 and cognitive here.

Today I will explain why and how to use Delicious for SEO & blogging.

So I don’t mean getting popular on Delicious with Delicious SEO anymore. Of course I also don’t mean low quality “social bookmarking services” some questionable SEO companies offer. It’s basically spamming what they do. They mistake social bookmarking for directory submission. Of course the correct way to use social bookmarking for SEO is still encouraging people to save your site or articles of their own accord.

I also don’t want to cover the basics here like adding Delicious buttons or widgets etc. My focus is on the encouragement. How do you actually encourage Delicious users to bookmark your stuff? Also I want to cover the second use of Delicious, blogging. I use Delicious in a twofold way, to find out what gets bookmarked and thus is a good topic to blog about and at the same time for saving for my own work related bookmarks.

Most people to this day haven’t grasped what social bookmarking is all about.

Even well known SEO practitioners consider sites like Digg or StumbleUpon to be social bookmarking (while they are social news and social discovery). To make proper use of Delicious you have to understand the main use case of the site: Saving  for later. For yourself.

While most other social media sites get used for sharing links, Delicious’ purpose is to save links.

What’s the big deal? Isn’t it technically the same thing on the Web? Not really, on Delicious you can really see what the people deem valuable enough to be reread, reused or returned to later on. They save it without the need to share. In a way the saving is done for selfish reasons. Only combined these bookmarks turn social.

So while other sites are often a place for the “awesome” but short-lived stuff, Delicious bookmarks are often resources archived for future use and reference.

Thus Delicious is like a bookshelf while other social sites are more like newspapers or TV sets. The purpose of SEO is not to insert sales brochures in there. You, as the blog author or website owner attempt to find out what kind of books people prefer and like to read themselves. Once you have found out you can provide such a book or rather website, article or blog post that matches those preferences.

Delicious does not work for all topics, it’s good for

  • technology related sites
  • Web start ups
  • Internet marketers.

These people can find out what the actual demand in their industry is by using Delicious. Also you can see who the people are who would use your product. Last but not least you can see how topics are interrelated by watching your own and other people’s tags. For example my tag SEO is most often combined with tools, Google, issues, howto, SEO2.0.

Three of the five tags are common ones while issues and SEO2.0 are tags I have personally chosen to organize by bookmarks. I have 1506 bookmarks with the tag SEO so it’s best to combine them with the 204 related “tools” tags to recognize trends.

Sadly Delicious doesn’t allow to sort the bookmarks according to the number of saves but nonetheless I can quickly see what the most important SEO tools are I have saved in my Delicious library. Also some tools lists are among these. Now I could make a blog post with the “top 10”,  “most popular” or the best “SEO tools” out there:

  1. Open Site Explorer
  2. blekko | slashtag search
  3. SEMRush
  4. tynt – who’s interested
  5. WooRank
  6. Online SEO Tools – the Ultimate Collection
  7. The Internet Marketing Handbook
  8. Why people abandon your website
  9. 15 Tools for Monitoring a Website’s Popularity

Such a tools list would be probably quite popular by itself. This is the whole secret of using Delicious for SEO and blogging: You find out what’s popular and give it to the people on your blog. Thus you get links from Internet savvy individuals. Delicious is a place for geeks for sure.

* CC image by Hiro Shinohara.

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