In making the Internet an easier place for users to navigate, the concept of bookmarking has become quite the commonly used tool. Whether you surf the Net using Internet Explorer, Firefox, or other selections, storing your preferred website links for future use is easy to accomplish when using "bookmarks" and "favorites." Today, this same concept is being used to drive traffic to websites through a technique called "social bookmarking."

The availability of social bookmarking has increased over the years with sites, such as Digg, Reddit, and With these services, bookmarks are stored online instead of on a computer, making accessibility possible from any computer that connects to the Internet. Instead of using cumbersome folders to store bookmarks, these sites rely upon "tags."

With this shift in traditional bookmarking, a user may assign and place their bookmarks into many different categories. Another advantage in social bookmarking is the innovative methods in which organization is achieved. This includes the many ways people are allowed to view their tags. For instance, "tag clouds" help locate bookmarks by using weighted lists coupled with visual design. The most frequently used tags appear in a larger font or showcase specialized emphasis. Alphabetization is also added to tag clouds, making it easier to locate tags in alphabetical order and by popularity.

When it comes to using social bookmarking as a way to drive website traffic, the ability to share favorite sites with other people aids in the discovery of new sites. When people show tags linked to a particular website, interest is created as visitors with similar interests click. For example, if you utilize social bookmarking and store many site links associated with growing grapes, you can keep an eye out for all of the bookmarks that other people interested in grapes have also saved. In the end, the convenient system allows users to expand their knowledge by clicking on the links (or tags) that mean the most to them.

Website traffic increases for sites when they become part of a bookmarking system comprised of many different people, as services often cater to specific topics and formats, which include feeds, shopping items, videos, and books. The most successful sites have been able to reach a wider audience and increase their chances for enticing a consumer to make a purchase. The key to luring a great deal of visitors is by providing helpful and useful information that encourages others to bookmark. Website owners are also able to track their progress with the public, as they can find out who has bookmarked their site.

Increased website traffic not only helps business and personal websites, but also blogs. Some people set up their blog to link to their favorite tagged sites, permitting visitors to their blog to easily bookmark the site. The increased traffic may also gain a better Google Page Rank for some. Depending on the social bookmarking service you select, you may add your own bookmarks to your blog, which leads to updated tags and links that take place on a daily basis. Traffic increases and users stand to gain a better page rank through suitable backlinks.

The only setbacks social bookmarking poses for some is the lack of standard sets of keywords; lack of standard tag structure; and unclear tags. Sometimes, mistagging occurs because of spelling mistakes. Also, users vary with their use of plurals and capitalization. Unfortunately, some people also abuse the system, which can lead to spamming, but overall, social bookmarking is far more convenient and beneficial for driving traffic than not.

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