It's a sad truth of the search engine marketing world: most of the people trying to talk to you about the Next Big Thing are trying to sell you something. Almost every review of social bookmarking software online is being produced by people who have a financial stake in making you believe that their program is the best social bookmarking software on the market. If you want unbiased information about both paid and free social bookmarking software, you've come to the right place. In this guide, we'll talk about several different types of social bookmarking software. You'll also learn that in many cases, the best social bookmarking software for lawyers is no software at all—something that most other websites will never mention.
What is Social Bookmarking?
Social bookmarking is a new way of sharing content with other internet users. The lines between social bookmark websites and social network sites has become blurred in recent years, but in general, a social bookmarking site exists mostly for users to share links to content. This means that before you use any social bookmarking software, you'll want to have content to link to.
The reason that law firms have recently taken an interest in finding the best social bookmarking software is that these websites can generate inbound links. Inbound links created with paid or free social bookmarking software can then, in turn, make it so that your law firm is more likely to appear on the first page of Google search results (where over 90 percent of searchers find the answer they're looking for).
What is an Automated Submitter?
One of the most common types of social bookmarking software—and probably the most controversial—is the automated submission system. Because there are so many websites dedicated to social bookmarking, an automated submitter gathers them all and allows for mass posting. Often, this is not free social bookmarking software. Some of the best social bookmarking software in this category, like Bookmarking Demon, can cost in excess of $100.
What Are the Advantages of Automated Submitters?
Using automated submission social bookmarking software can save you hundreds of man-hours versus doing your submissions manually. What's more, the best social bookmarking software in this category will be very likely to include listings for many more social bookmarking websites than you even knew existed (and most allow you to add more sites when you want to).
Another advantage that automated submitter social bookmarking software gives you is being able to quickly review your submissions. It can be much harder to do this without downloading any free social bookmarking software, so many marketers are glad to have this part of their jobs fully automated.
What Are the Disadvantages of Automated Submitters?
The biggest disadvantage of using even the best social bookmarking software in the automated submission category is that Google is getting wise to these auto-submitters. Google considers this kind of automation through paid or free social bookmarking software to essentially be a form of cheating, and will penalize websites they believe are using social bookmarking software.
Some of the makers of the best social bookmarking software for automating submissions claim that they have managed to find workarounds so that Google doesn't notice. However, whether you're using paid or free social bookmarking software, loopholes get closed. Workarounds are figured out and cut off at the source. More than once already in 2012, Google has found listings that are being created by free social bookmarking software and taken away their link juice.
Other Types of Social Bookmarking Software
If you want to use the best social bookmarking software for the long term, automated submissions may be the wrong way to go. Instead, you may want to consider using a piece of free social bookmarking software that just assists you with creating manual submissions.
Other social bookmarking software can help you to keep track of whether people are repeatedly commenting on or sharing your links. By using the best social bookmarking software in this category, you'll find who your brand ambassadors are online. There are both paid and free social bookmarking software solutions for tracking friends.
Where Can I Try Out Free Social Bookmarking Software?
There is very little fully functional free social bookmarking software that does submission automation. Even if you were to find some, it would be far from the best social bookmarking software available. If you want to use good social bookmarking software for free, try using Onlywire. This is one of the few pieces of free social bookmarking software that allows you to partially automate your links, while allowing you to maintain a great deal of control.
Keep in mind that the best social bookmarking software tends to cost money because the research into developing Google-proof algorithms takes a great deal of time and effort. Most software producers simply aren't willing to put that kind of work into free social bookmarking software, so freeware is more likely to be identified by Google, especially if it's fully automated.
Alternatives to Social Bookmarking Software
While social bookmarking software has certainly made a big splash in the search engine marketing world, questions remain about its efficacy in driving traffic to websites. As a law firm, you can't afford to have your reputation or your search rankings damaged by using free social bookmarking software that later turns out to have been a bad idea. Use extreme caution when picking your best social bookmarking software solution.
For many law firms, the best social bookmarking software is none at all—manual submissions are more personalized, more interesting, and less “canned” sounding than spamming many different sites with automation tools. If you become a real part of just a few online social bookmarking communities, the people in those communities can do more to promote your website than even the best social bookmarking software on the market today. People won't make spam go viral, but fantastic content combined with real community participation is the ultimate recipe for a campaign that markets itself.