Social Bookmarking Meets Search
Social bookmarking web sites have been around for awhile, but are recently gaining in popularity. Social bookmarking sites allow users to interact with other users, become content contributors, and store and share data in a more personal, meaningful way. As well, these sites introduce you to an array of new web sites that you may not otherwise find out about. del.ico.us and ma.gnolia are two of the leaders of the pack of social bookmarking sites. del.ico.us was introduced in 2003 and snapped up by Yahoo in 2005.
But are social media web sites worthwhile? Aside from the fact that both of these web sites have difficult names and URLs to remember, they are currently lacking in the usability department. Both web sites let you "tag" your bookmarks with labels. These tags can also be grouped together into little shiny packages called "tag clouds", which gives you a weighted view of tags. Tags and clouds and tag clouds are all interesting concepts, but they are new concepts and ones users must learn in order to gain value from the web site. Are all users interested in learning new tricks for their web site bookmarks?
One thing is for certain, whether they are useful or not, the concept of integrating social bookmarking sites with search engines is all the rage right now. Bloggers are talking about this everywhere. Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz, a Seattle based search optimization firm, compares del.ico.us to Google and points out examples where he thinks del.ico.us performs better. Later that same day, Andy Beal over at Marketing Pilgrim writes a rebuttal to Rand's story and disagrees with del.ico.us being better than Google. Also that same day, Eric Enge over at Search Engine Watch writes about "What will be the Downfall of Google?" and mentions how impressed he is with Yahoo! and del.ico.us.
Will the next phase of search engine evolution seek to better incorporate components of social bookmarking?