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Web Marketing & Search Engine Consultant

How social bookmarking and tagging can be used against you

How social bookmarking and tagging can be used against you

Del.icio.us and other social bookmarking are the voice of the people, having online conversations praising and complaining about things that happen ever day. Social bookmarking and tagging will have the same effect on all businesses in the near future. Tags determine reputation and reputation can make or break your business. People will turn to these services to know more about you and me by reading what others have to say about us.

Tagging can be put to use in many ways as a search tool. As an example let’s say that I’ll be visiting a city I’ve never been to before and need a hotel. I’ll find a location, choose the category and identify a number of suitable candidates. Before booking online I might want to run a quick check and see if anyone has said anything online about that hotel – I can run a query for “hotel XXX” and see what is showing up in the results of a social bookmarking service.

Being the curious person that I am a quick search for “hotel sucks” on del.icio.us was inevitable and …

del.icio.us query for hotel sucks

there it was – You Have a Very Bad Hotel – a 17 page presentation that described the experience of 2 gentlemen. There is some additional information that appears to prove the presentation is authentic – presentation’s down.

In reviewing the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) I found the presentation listed (i.e. mentioned) nearly 20 times before the actual website of the hotel came up for review … in other words there were 20 web sites talking and relaying bad news about the hotel before the hotel itself had a chance to say anything – I leave it up to you to decide whether you would stay in a hotel with this kind of reputation … I wouldn’t