Keeping ahead of the Google updates
Ok it sounds a bit "stalkery" but a really good way of finding out which types of SEO practices are up for the chop on the next big panda or venice update is to monitor Google staff via their public social media accounts.
Why? Beause they talk to each other, mention types of SEO that we all know are quite black hat - this tells us one thing for sure and was the case for article marketing before the webmaster tools messages starting coming in. If their staff are talking to each other publily about certain shady SEO practises, then they are definately talking about it in their meetings! Keep ahead of the game by piking up threads and common mentions.
Here is a list of all the Google staff members on G+ - hope this helps! http://socialsunil.com/list-of-google-plus-profiles-of-googlers-google-employees/