When we talk about social bookmarking sites, we think of the big names, like Digg, Reddit, and Delicious. The thing is, there way, way more than just these big names. Most of them aren’t as large, of course. They don’t have the same massive audiences, not by a long shot. In fact, they’re often much more niche, but that’s a good thing! Instead of fighting for 1 part in a million of the traffic of Reddit, you can rake in 100x as much traffic from a smaller site focused on your industry.
One thing I’m not going to do with this post is list whether or not the links provided by these sites are followed, nor will I list the PageRank of these sites. If you’re fighting specifically for followed links, you’re working on an unnatural link profile, and Google will eventually thrash you for doing so. If you care about PageRank, for the love of everything, stop! PR hasn’t been updated in well over a year, and it’s probably never going to be updated again. It’s simply no longer a valid metric.
I’ll give you a link and I’ll try to give you a very brief summary of what the site is about. If I do any more than that, this list will run on for a million words.
Let’s dig in, shall we?
Or should I say “Digg” in? Har har har.
These are the best of the best, but they’re also the social bookmarking sites you probably already know. That makes this part of the list simultaneously the most valuable and the least interesting. Use them, for sure, but don’t get the impression that I’m somehow offering you great unique value with them.
http://www.pinterest.com/ – You know what Pinterest is. With the pinboard aesthetic it’s a lot more like social bookmarking than it is a traditional social network. Pinterest works beautifully if you have some graphical content or, at the very least, a good graphic to use as a headline for your post.
http://slashdot.org/ – One of the original news and social bookmarking sites, Slashdot has a narrow focus on tech news and trends. There’s a very particular audience of techies, nerds and geeks here, so make sure you know who you’re talking to and avoid talking down on them. They won’t like it, and your content will suffer accordingly.
http://www.reddit.com/ – Reddit is Reddit; you should know what it is. If you don’t, well, you probably shouldn’t be looking to use more niche social bookmarking sites. To use Reddit successfully, identify a few subs that are relevant to your niche and, well, start using them. I’m not talking about as a marketer, I’m talking about as a user. Once you’ve established a presence, then you can drop a few of your own links without being downvoted into oblivion.
https://del.icio.us/ – One of the oldest social bookmarking sites, up there with Digg and Slashdot. These days best used with recent news stories. In many ways, this site is the prototype for all other social bookmarking sites to come later. It still holds a lot of influence, so it’s worth using.
http://www.stumbleupon.com/ – Stumble isn’t great for pure traffic generation but it can be useful for sharing certain viral or trending content to boost it to new heights. It’s easy enough to add your content and forget it.
http://www.bizsugar.com/ – A social bookmarking and article aggregation site that focuses entirely on small and medium size businesses and the content they need to succeed.
https://digg.com/ – Despite how old this network is, it’s still one of the best. If you were a Digg user back in the day, you won’t even recognize it through it’s third or fourth redesign. Still, get your content featured and you’ll be among the top posts circulating online for that month, almost guaranteed.
http://www.sitepronews.com/ – A tech news site, this one used to be called Dropjack. They tend to post a lot of tech-based editorials to accompany their news, so if you have any deep cuts about tech, this is the place to go.
http://www.metafilter.com/ – Billing itself as the community weblog for the internet, it really has that feel. Metafilter is very much like a blog, with the caveat that anyone can post an article and they’re sorted by popularity rather than by chronological order.
http://www.fark.com/ – It’s not news, it’s Fark. At least, that’s their tagline. Fark is a news aggregator with a twist. Users post links to news stories, along with custom descriptions. These links become hubs for discussion threads, similar to Reddit without the weird organization. It takes some getting used to, but it can be very entertaining.
http://www.scoop.it/ – This is a combination of social bookmarking and newsletter curation service. It allows you to create a custom feed out of content from various channels, and share your feed in a bookmarking fashion. It’s unique, check it out.
http://hubpages.com/ – Rather than curating links from other sites on this one, Hubpages allows you to write your own content there in your own little hub, which is public and shared amongst the rest of the users of the site. If you can write unique content on your niche – even rehashing existing blog posts – you can carve out a sizable community of your own.
http://segnalo.virgilio.it/ – It looks like it’s in Italian, and that’s because it is. That said, most of the content is in English, so it’s still a decent site to use. Just don’t expect a lot of geographically relevant users.
http://www.diggita.it/ – Another Italian site, this one is actually in Italian for all of you Italian users. Granted, if you only read the Italian web, you probably aren’t reading this site. I guess it’s kind of a moot point either way.
https://dzone.com/ – The developer zone is a social bookmarking site specifically centered around coding, programming, and implementing programs. If an article titled “A New Approach to Function.prototype.bind” sounds right up your alley, this is just the site for you. If you have no idea what that is, you probably won’t get a lot of use out of the network.
The rest of the list are the social bookmarking sites you probably haven’t heard of. That’s because most of them are pretty thin, and are just as likely to be used for shady backlinks as they are for legitimate social use. I’m not convinced they have an audience beyond the marketers using them, but it’s up to you to investigate whether they’re worth the effort of using them.
One thing that is often a red flag for these sorts of social bookmarking sites is the ability to pay to have a preferential position. I don’t like this and have eliminated many of them, because if you don’t pay, you get basically nothing of value from the site. So many other people pay that there’s no room to display non-paid content, making organic submissions valueless.
http://www.newsvine.com/ – A social bookmarking site highly focused on news, often political news. It uses its own comments powered by Open Nation.
http://www.bibsonomy.org/ – A social bookmarking site made for organizing and categorizing scientific publications and research material.
http://blinklist.com/ – A bookmarking and app aggregation site, this one seems to have a lot of stories about discounts, coupons, and software affiliate links.
http://www.blokube.com/ – Another broad site with topics ranging from personal stories to project management. Lots of tech and website-focused content as well.
http://www.bookmark4you.com/ – A post aggregator that includes content from a number of different languages, and has a browser bookmark import tool for personal users.
http://www.airpim.biz/ – Another multi-cultural and multi-lingual bookmarking site without much of a focus, but a lot of users.
http://www.yemle.com/ – A social bookmarking site focused on business, internet issues, science, technology, and other modern topics. Generally focused on a Turkish audience.
http://biolocator.org – An odd name, but not an odd site; it focuses on online gambling and offline betting, as well as lotteries and casinos.
http://www.emolinks.com/ – While you might think this one focuses on emo music and culture, you would be wrong. It’s actually a pretty generic bookmarking site covering basically anything anyone has wanted to submit.
http://openfaves.com/ – Warning with this one, it’s fairly spammy. Be willing to remove your link and/or disavow it if you find it’s hurting your site.
http://bookmarkindonesia.com/ – This site follows a template along with some others, but is unique in that it focuses on an Indonesian audience.
http://coolpot.com/ – A site that covers a lot of tech, travel, auto, and business topics. There’s nothing really unique about it and it doesn’t have a huge audience.
http://bloggalot.com/ – A web 2.0 responsive designed site made for both desktop and mobile, this one seems to focus on an Australian audience.
http://bookmarkbay.com/ – An honorable mention for perhaps the most ironic use of a “spam free zone” badge I’ve ever seen. I wouldn’t recommend using this site, but click it for a laugh.
These sites suddenly stopped working, but were once great sites. Worth checking back to see if they’re back up yet (last checked 01/15/17):
http://freesbmblog.info/ – A template site that takes the base site and changes topics to cover legal, lifestyle, careers, government, and political topics.
http://www.ptquiz.com – A health, fitness, and diet network with a lot of resources and even some content about health insurance. We just tried loading the website and it didn’t load.
http://actweb-sport.com – A small social bookmarking site focusing on sports and active lifestyle topics. Stopped loading last we checked.
http://www.iesa.co – A broad, generic network that covers every conceivable subject, ranging from wedding rings to care packages to tax prep.
http://bookmarkwiki.com – Not a wiki, surprisingly enough. This network shares the previous template but posts content about jewelry, various services, and some French content.
http://registertovotetoday.com – A semi-active network with a bit of an odd name, it’s not actually focused on voting or political issues at all.
http://recoverysong.info – A social bookmarking site more or less made out of a Tumblr account, which makes it relatively unique if not particularly effective.
http://activebookmarks.com – A site that follows much the same template as the previous entry, only the posted articles tend to cover reviews of apps.
http://manchfu.com – This one is an eclectic mixture of animal videos, gaming topics, and clickbait-style lists.
http://www.appssuper.com/ – A relatively new network hosted on WordPress and focused on smart device apps, particularly smart watches.
http://frico-haus.info/ – Not quite a social bookmarking site, this blog just happens to accept more guest posts than it does publish posts of its own.
http://whootymeat.com/ – A network geared towards older people and retirement, with an emphasis on establishing a guiding purpose and savings plan for an early retirement.
http://wenc.info/ – A small bookmarking site that has a lot of posts about mobile software, particularly the homebrew and rooted software scenes.
http://theforce.info/ – This one is part social bookmarking site, part game review site, part blog. It doesn’t have a lot of content, but it does have a semi-unique niche.
http://www.folkd.com/ – A multi-language site that encourages embedded videos in every post.
http://factson37.com/- A somewhat unique social bookmarking site, this one focuses on videos, animations, and motion graphics of various sorts.
http://thetogbox.com/ – This one has a lot of content about extreme living, including sports like wakeboarding, skydiving and scuba diving.
One final note: to compile this list, I went through several other major lists of “top social bookmarking sites for 2015” or 2016 or whatever other set of keywords you want to use. What I found shouldn’t surprise you. Out of numerous lists of 300+ sites, a huge number of them were duplicates, dead sites, or redirects to others on the list. Of many of the remaining sites, a ton of them were nothing more than spam used to rank spam sites for private blog networks. These aren’t the kinds of sites you want your link on, not if you have any intention of ranking legitimately. Heck, some of them even redirected to malware.
Even a list of 50+ social bookmarking sites on Search Engine Journal was plagued with these issues. Something published as recently as three weeks ago had spam sites, template sites, dead sites, and worse. That’s how quickly these lists can change.
The point is, be careful with these sites. I can’t vouch for how they’ll look a month from now. Some may disappear, some may turn shady, and some may get better. There’s simply no way to tell.