Google Warns About Social Media "Schemes" in SEO Guide

Jan 5, 2009 • 7:52 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Remember a few months back when Google published their internal SEO guide? Well, Michael Gray asked if Social Media links is an easy way to SEO death row.

Michael pointed out that on page twenty of the guide, under the "Good practices for promoting your website" section Google writes you should avoid:

involving your site in schemes where your content is artificially promoted to the top of these services

Michael feels we will soon see a tool in Webmaster Central named "How to report social media spam."

Of course, social media and SEO go very well together. But like anything that works well with SEO, it does get abused. The question is, is Michael right here? Do we have something to worry about?

Forum discussion at Sphinn.

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01/05/2009 02:32 pm

I seriously hope not, but nothing would surprise me from Google anymore. Google is meddling in other people's affairs on this one. I know some very successful website owners who were penalized by Google but have made up for the loss of organic search traffic by heavily promoting their sites via social media. I give kudos to anyone who works hard enough to pull it off.


01/06/2009 01:24 am

I think the key word here is "artificially" - like people that get software and setup a gazillion StumbleUpon or Digg accounts (to name a few) and then plug the heck out of their spam. That should be detected and penalized. But normal, natural growth will not, in my opinion, ever be a real problem.

Jaan Kanellis

01/06/2009 10:29 pm

Until they define "schemes" then no one has to worry. Remember that is the main problem with Google they dont have to define anything, they just act like they do and then do what they want anyways.


01/07/2009 12:37 pm

I love Google for what they offer everyone but sometimes it really does feel as though as soon as a particular vertical gets a little too excited - something changes on their site to pull it down. I can hear ghosts of the past saying rel="nofollow" to curb spam; in my opinion it hasn't made a lick of difference. Surely they'd be better served to just improve their algorithms to identify/tolerate that sort of site?

No Name

01/08/2009 08:40 pm

Unlike with emails, members of Social Media Groups expect some loss of privacy since their conversations and messages can be read by a lot of people (especially if they have a large network). With emails it's different. They are more private and have to be guarded from spam.

Chaunna Brooke

02/06/2009 09:31 am

It always pays to the right thing when adopting and practicing SEO. This may not deliver immediate results but in the long run, this is okay.

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