We have all heard of the Google Penguin updates and what they have done to websites that follow bad SEO practices. It’s been a while since Google threw out a Penguin update so I wouldn’t be surprised if another update was on the cards soon.
The reason more people are aware of the Penguin updated is because it targets poor quality link techniques and punishes people who use these link techniques. In short it was Google’s way of punishing people who were trying to play the system and reward people who were doing things the correctly. Gone are the days where directory links, link farms and hiding text on your website could gain you higher rankings and more traffic, social engagement and great quality content is where the value is these days.
In light of this more and more people are using social media for SEO purposes yet using social media just for this purpose is where they are going wrong. As silly as it sounds using social media for your business with no concern for SEO at all is what is going to reward you. As far as we can tell, these days link dumping into your social accounts doesn’t provide much benefit because people are not talking about or sharing ‘Your Content.’ That being said, you aren’t being penalised at the moment for this technique either. You can never tell what Google are going to do but I wouldn’t be surprised if this changes in the future. If people continue to use poor quality techniques on Google Plus then you could potentially be penalise for it; this makes sense seeing how this is Google’s own social network.
My advice would be to check what you are doing on your social accounts, Google+ in particular, and make sure that anything you are doing doesn’t look spammy to you. If it does then there is a good chance Google could perceive it as a spammy technique as well. Check your link profiles as well, how are you generating links? If you are doing everything naturally then you should have nothing to worry about, but again if anything you are doing seems like it could be bad quality then it may be time for a clean-up on your link profile. Lastly check Webmaster Tools, the only way you can tell if you are being penalised by Google is from a message in Webmaster Tools. If you have this message then you may have to go down the disavow tool route.
Most people are so wary now of the Google Penguin updates that they abandoned using bad quality links ages ago but there are people who still use them, more often than not it’s people who do not realise how in depth SEO really is. In reality the slogan for the upcoming Penguin update is the same as the previous one, use white hat techniques and you should really have nothing to worry about.
There is no way of telling when the Google Penguin update will be released or if there is going to be another one, Google may throw out a new algorithm altogether to counter people using poor quality SEO techniques. Our best advice is to be vigilant and stick with the white hat.