Are we about to see the next big "Slap" focus on Social Media properties? I believe it’s only a matter of time before those using Social Media platforms incorrectly will start to see negative effects from their attempts to manipulate Search Engine Result Page ("SERP").
Google Slaps - getting blacklisted and/or dropped out of the search engine results - have been plaguing SEO professionals for years. It seems that every time there is a method discovered to artificially rank higher than normal, Google catches it and not only takes away the false credit but punishes the offending domain with a big "Slap".
Over the years there have been many 'Slaps' and Google updates, which are necessary for a variety of reasons. Google's aim is to clean out the "spam" or the junk to keep their search results relevant and clean. They want undistorted search results and want to encourage users to trust them. Social Media practices may well take a hit in upcoming updates as Google flexes some muscle.
The term refers to the digital traces that are left everywhere that we go online (see “Digital Footprints” on Wikipedia). Here is a list of actions that can leave big "footprints":
Even if you don't do any of those things, you may want to look over that list a second time and think of things you may be doing that are similar or could possibly leave a Footprint that will come back to haunt you later. I am seeing more and more "professionals" promoting the use of automated tools and auto-posting techniques that are exactly the wrong direction for long-term results.
Ask yourself this - when you post a question or a comment on a blog or twitter post, are you going to feel engaged in the conversation if the response comes back 5-6 hours later.. the next day.. never? What's the point of firing out random posts in an attempt to start discussions when you aren’t even there to have a conversation? Even worse, the person you're trying to engage is left feeling that they are just talking to a robot and anything you set out to achieve can be immediately lost. Remember, engagement, adding to a discussion and giving value are all part of today's social network. But that's another topic I'll address in another blog.
In my next post, we'll discuss ways you can run a Social Media Marketing campaign successfully – without setting yourself up to get blacklisted.