So how about the alternative to SEO – “Social Networks”. Is it for you?

Check this example: A saleswoman at a big tech manufacturer might discover that a co-worker at a different branch office is married to the brother of the information-technology chief at a potential customer. The saleswoman could ask her co-worker for an introduction � leading to a possible sale. Same scenario goes geometric on the web.

One recent change online has been termed “Web 2.0”. One of the biggest changes to define Web 2.0 is social bookmarking: a system that allows Internet users to bookmark a site without storing it on their local computer. Thousands of people are embracing this new way of finding information. Unlike the big, impersonal search engines that currently dominate the search engine market, social bookmarking sites provide a friendly, interactive community.

Yahoo expects social bookmarking to be a long-term trend. They launched an interactive community called My Web 2.0. Ebay is expanding their own community with the recent launch of the world’s largest commercial wiki. Digg and Furl have based their entire business around the concept of social bookmarking.

Social bookmarking is the process of using a web service to keep track of your personal bookmarks. This bookmark is “tagged” with keywords that the user decides are relevant to the content of the bookmark. Once tagged, it becomes publicly available for others to tag and explore.

The combined effect of the social bookmarking user base becomes extremely effective. Any time that you are looking for relevant information on a particular topic, you can go to any social bookmarking site and do a search using tags (keywords) to find relevant, human-reviewed content. (But are they humans looking for content – or looking for incestuous spider libraries?)

In fact, tagged results are even showing up in the search engines. If you spend much time at all in the major search engines, you have most likely seen some search results from Technorati. Technorati was the number one result on the MSN search engine for the keyword phrase “tag and ping”.

There are a number of ways that you can benefit from this trend. Online marketers are currently using a technique called “tag and ping” to reap a multitude of benefits from the social bookmarking sites. Unfortunately, much like spam within the search engines, a number of people are abusing this technique. There are still huge rewards for those who play the game correctly.

Making Your Day,
Arthur Browning


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