Use Delicious to uncover your brand (and improve your SEO)

Delicious is a social bookmarking tool. It empowers anyone the ability to tag, label, and share with others web pages. For the Web Strategist, it’s a great tool to understand how people think (or don’t think) of your brand. Those who tag your website are more engaged than passive readers, and are sharing your content with others, so pay attention.

How to use?
How do you use it? Go to Delicious, in the search bar, type in the name of your brand, website, or name, and review results. You’ll see some pink highlighed words “Saved by X People”, click on that, and it’ll take you to that page where you can see details of comments, a sorted tag listing, and a history.

Here are the top 5 tags on my index page:

76 tagged the site “blog”
74 tagged the site “strategy”
73 tagged the site “web2.0”
58 tagged the site “marketing”
52 tagged the site “web”

Interesting, I don’t consider myself a Marketing blogger, or a Web 2.0 blogger (I don’t even have a keyword category for that term), to me those are just sub-sets of what Web Strategy is about. It’s amazing the the tags that I use for my own posts are slightly different than readers perceived it. I could even get more granular and look at specific posts that were tagged, try sifting on your own pages.

Digging Deeper
I did a Delicious search on my Facebook Strategy post, and discovered that the post had been tagged 186 times, I could then drill down and find out what they said (such as Peter He), and what else they tagged –that’s intelligence. What’s amazing is there is far more activity in Delicious than in the comments of the same post.

I did the same for Jennifer Jones’s Marketing Voices, Scoble’s blog,

Learn more

If you want to learn more about how to use Folksonomies to build a better website, I wrote this post a while back. You should be using these keywords to help you uncover what people are classifying your content as, and as a result should factor into your SEO strategy.

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  • Tinu

    I was a bit disappointed with my results – until I typed in the names of some articles I have written that were syndicated. That gave me tons of insight. Great tip.

  • I starred and tagged your Facebook Strategy post in Google Reader first, and then bookmarked it on – which makes me wonder about the invisibility of all the metadata that is gathered on Google Reader.

    Apart from emailing, I don’t share my starred or tagged items from Google Reader (at this point I’m a consumer not a publisher). I’d assume that’s the same for most users, but it would be interesting to see if Google releases data on the sharing (or lack of it) on Google Reader. The same goes for subscriptions on

    Another thing – can socialtagging really be called social if no-one sees or subscribes to it?

  • Great post JO. Just learned a lot! Thanks

  • This is a good strategy for market research, both about your own brand, and that of your competition. I’ve actually seen this idea discusses in a few places recently, and have started doing a little bit of digging myself.

    As a way to uncover your brand, it’s great, and it adds further proof to the idea that your brand is not what you say it is, but rather what the public perceives it to be.

  • Adam, right on

    Who controls your brand? Not the brand style guide, that’s for sure!

  • Simon

    Google Reader is a huge gesture engine (quoting the thought leader Steve Gilmor) The amount of info that Google has from searches and the reader will blow your mind.

  • People control the brand. That’s right. Nice post, Jeremiah.


  • Lisa

    It’s so interesting to see how people tagged me differently that I tagged my own posts. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Um, did you do it for Podtech? While interesting, what does this really mean – it’s just another navel gazing exercise.

    And, well, I would have rather read an analysis of your company, and how you are using what you found there for better strategic marketing.

    But, Web 2.0 is more personality driven and not corporate-driven, and a reflection of the current generation’s Me-ism.

  • Jason Schwartz actually did a surprisingly impressive talk on this at SXSW. (My Notes)

  • is cool. I can’t wait to see what they do with the site redesign that they are rumored to be working on.

    Stumbleupon is also a good social bookmarking tool.

  • A good observation on a rather underated tool ,thanks.

  • Jeremy,

    I would think it would be to see how other people classify you, rather than how you classify yourself. I had a client who refurbished industrial furnaces that are used for cooking high-heat materials (steel, ceramics, etc.) Their entire SEO was based around the phrase ‘furnace’. What they found out after a little research was that they should have been targeting the word ‘oven’.

    Using is just a way to see what other phrases people might be searching for you for by seeing how those who have found you have tagged. you. It might open up words and phrases you hadn’t yet considered targeting. Its just a great little extra tool in an SEO tool bag.

    As for me, I was so excited to go to and see who had bookmarked and tagged my site,

    When I got there, though, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I can count the bookmarks on one hand. 😀 🙁 My fault, though. haven’t really started promoting it.

    Good tip, though. Thanks,


  • Jeremy, yeah I did do a search, here’s what folks have tagged the podtech homepage

    o 322podcast
    o 161technology
    o 150podcasting
    o 114blog
    o 110business
    o 95podcasts
    o 92audio
    o 54tech
    o 43news
    o 39media
    o 38blogs
    o 26video
    o 19web2.0
    o 18web
    o 17blogging
    o 16mp3
    o 15marketing
    o 14internet
    o 14podtech
    o 11innovation
    o 11scoble
    o 11vc
    o 9cool
    o 9design
    o 9directory

  • Chris – not sure if you were addressing me, or Jeremiah.

    But, yes, that was my point. It’s not about personal if you work for a firm, it’s about them. How are your actions making them better, etc.

  • Chris Wilson

    Awesome feedback, you’re right it’s great for SEM, SEO, and Content analysis

  • Hey Jeremiah,
    not to toot my own horn, but you should check out this little web app/site i built in december, it gives you a graph of your top10 tags. try it out, its kinda buggy, but it seems to work a fair amount of the time.

    people often dont think of how others are tagging them vs how they want to be searched for. big difference.

  • is pretty cool.

    I noticed the count for my blog at but the podtech one works better.

    Is it displaying all the tags?

    Also, it would be great if you had a unique URL for each query.

    So my blog would be

    and would auto populate that page when I clicked there

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  • Jer


    check out

    this firefox extension on a click of a button tells you how many times the page you’re on has been dugg (and commented on), plus how many times it has been saved on A neat little time saver.

  • Almost forgot…

    You can also use Add This to get folks to bookmark your content.

  • Perfect. Why try to guess all the time what keywords people will use when you can research it? Thanks for the guidance. Very helpful.

    Suzy Miller

  • Be sure to also use – a great site for monitoring tags used over time and how they’ve changed. You have people using over 3 tags on average for your site, which is higher than I’ve seen for most sites. That could mean a lot of different things though, depending on how you interpret it:
    1) People want to easily find you no matter how they later try to get to your site again
    2) People see this blog in a lot of different ways and appreciate the multifaceted nature of it
    3) People don’t know what the blog’s really about so they do the spaghetti on the wall approach with keywords
    4) Add your own interpretation here – I’m just trying to figure all of this out like everyone else here

  • This is a great post with even better comments…on down to David’s “Add your own interpretation here…” I love it! At Intel, we used Delicious to collect and categorize buzz about the new Core 2 Duo processor when it was introduced in last year. We learned A LOT! And we even shared this link, embedding it under an ad Intel had on a tech news Website. Thanks, Jeremiah and everyone here, for the spin up. I’m off to test drive.

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  • Thanks for sharing these tips. This will help me make my bookmarking more organized using Delicious.

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  • I've been using delicious for the last few days and I have to see I'll probably never be without it from now on. The problem is that such tools are beingt seized upon for their marketing, i.e. money making potential.

    It's a really good tool for the reasons stated here and for grouping and identifying link partners from an SEO perspective it could be a very big part of a bigger strategy.

    The problem is always going to be amount of uptake and saturation.

    The presentation of Delicious is far from user-friendly and you have to really make an effort to work out what its for and how to use it.

    It's a great tool for managing your bookmarks, much better than a web browser and it should be properly documented as just that. With a proper home page that tells you how to use it it could have much more mainstream popularity but this would be probably be regarded as dumbing down and “uncool”.

    The reallity is that it is being hyped as all maner of things it might be put probably isn't.

  • Really use of these kind of social bookmarking websites will be helpful to us in improving search engine ranking of our web site.