Social bookmarking site del.icio.us released a website widget today that publishes the quantity of bookmarks and highlights most popular tags for a page in your site.
Del.icio.us is much more flexible than web browser favorites or bookmarks as you can store links to favorite websites online, allowing you to access the same bookmarks from any computer. Tagging, an increasingly popular means of organizing content, is employed so you can label your bookmarks with easy to remember terms, names, or keywords. Instead of the folder structure with which you are familiar through Windows or Internet Explorer, you simply click or search for one of your tags to retrieve all the sites you’ve saved about that tag. You might bookmark this blog with tags such as marketing, search, seo, comparison shopping, or online. Flickr uses the same concept allowing you to tag photos so they can be easily recalled or found by others.
The new widget is simple script added to a page as I’ve done to the left. It shows how many people have saved your site on del.icio.us with the most popular tags your audience has associated with the page. So, how is that helpful for SEO??
Keep in mind two basic principles of search engine ranking: relevant keywords found on your site and a measure of popularity determine if and where you appear for any given search. There are dozens of toolbars and websites through which you can gain insight to these qualifications but this widget simplifies that by constantly publishing for you the number of people that have saved your site and the tags they consider relevant. Let me be clear, the quantity of bookmarks does not influence your placement in search; the measure of popularity is merely a helpful guide while the tags listed are relevant, popular keywords you should consider. The del.icio.us widget is not a measure of page rank nor do the terms used to tag your site influence whether or not you show up on Google. Think of it as a quick snapshot of how many people enjoy a page in your site and the terms they use to classify it.
My only criticism that is that it can only be used at the page level; that is, you can only add a widget and get insight about a specific page. As such, bookmarks of our other content are considered separate and are only reported through a widget on its respective page. You can’t get stats about your entire website and I’d love to see how many have bookmarked any part of SEO’Brien with a list of the top tags for the site overall (I hope this blog would appear a little more popular than is suggested by the few bookmarks of this particular page).