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SEO Software

December 19, 2007
           

Hi Jill,

 

Hope you can help!

 

I am coming across a lot of offers for software for SEO.  A lot of them are
offering different sorts of analyzers, etc. — which I’m not sure are
helpful.  Is there any sort of software that is real SEO software and
actually does some actual SEO work to your site?

 

I know this is probably the silliest question you’ve ever had, but I am
looking for software that does this, if it exists! If you don’t ask, you
don’t get.

 

Regards,

 

Nadeem

 

++Jill’s Response++

 

Hi Nadeem,

 

Don’t worry, this is certainly not the silliest question I’ve ever had; in
fact, it’s a fairly common one. If such software existed, it would certainly
make all of our lives easier!  But the truth is that it would be impossible
for such software to exist, because of the very nature of SEO — regardless
of what the software vendors try to tell (sell) you!

 

Let me explain.

 

Although one would think that since search engines are using a formula for
determining how to rank websites in the search results, it follows that the
formula could be reverse-engineered.  If that were the case, then yes,
someone could invent some SEO software to do that very thing. In fact, back
in the olden days of SEO — I believe it was sometime in the mid-90s when
Inktomi was being used as the backend for a few search engines — someone
had developed a specific template that could allegedly be filled in with
your keywords of choice and it would basically guarantee you a high ranking!

Back then, search engines weren’t even close to being as sophisticated as
they are today.

 

Today, the formulas (or algorithms) have so many aspects to them, with each
factor possibly affecting other factors, that you can’t just follow any
specific set of rules to gain rankings.

 

Let me be very clear on that — there are no specific rules that will always
provide you with a high ranking in the search engine for your keywords of
choice for any given page.
None. Nada. Zilch.

 

And that includes Google’s webmaster guideline “rules” and all the stuff you
read in SEO articles, as well as the information provided at conferences.
You will never find that quick-fix, automated, magic-bullet list of specific
things that will work for every site/page every time. SEO is simply not
black and white, and what the so-called experts tell you is generally just
their own best guesses based on what they’ve experienced.  It’s exactly that
experience with hundreds of different sites that enables them to fit the
perfect SEO strategy to the site in question.

 

This was illustrated recently in a survey given to some prominent
link-building consultants at Wiep.net. Nearly every aspect of link-building that
was asked about showed disagreement amongst the experts.  Now, if all these
experts who have been link-building for years couldn’t agree on the answers,
and in fact, were even sometimes contradicting each other, how the heck could
there ever be any software that could do SEO?

 

There couldn’t be and there isn’t.

 

We’ve all seen software packages out there that purport to be able to SEO
your pages.  Do not believe them, and do not waste your money on them,
unless you have extra to waste.

 

Along with being a scientific endeavor, SEO is largely a creative endeavor,
and that’s where the software fails.  Most of SEO is done through creative
means. 

First, knowing exactly what the specific site in question needs.

Second, thinking of a unique and interesting strategy that makes sense for
those needs. 

And third, understanding how to implement that strategy.

Every site is different.  That’s the key point to remember.

 

This is not to say that there are no SEO tools out there that can automate
some of the repetitive SEO tasks — because there are plenty of those.  And
there are certainly some that can help evaluate a current site and help with
some advanced research.  But you’d be living in a dream world if you believe
that there could ever be a software program that could be set to SEO a site
without any knowledge or effort on your part.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Jill

 
 
Post Comment

 Ari said:
Jill, thanks for always providing great info and opinions!
You wrote:
>This is not to say that there are no SEO tools out there that can automate
>some of the repetitive SEO tasks — because there are plenty of those. And
>there are certainly some that can help evaluate a current site and help with
>some advanced research.

Could you please share your opinions about the best software choices for “automat[ing] some of the repetitive SEO tasks” and “evaluat[ing] a current site and help[ing] with some advanced research”?
I know that I could benefit from your experience in these areas and I suspect that others could as well.

Thanks again,
Ari
 Ed Shea said:
There are many examples of the application of expert systems to automate the routine tasks involved in optimizing data. In some cases the expert system can be more effective that the human process. When these systems are first introduced they are often meet with skepticism by those engaged in the process. The focus of the skepticism is almost always on the perceived exceptions to the “rules” when in practice the optimizations are well understood. Much of the on page SEO is well suited to a rules based expert system.

One example of an expert system that has parallels to SEO is the application of design rules to CAM (computer aided manufacturing) tools used in printed circuit production.
Design rule tools were first applied as operator assists much like the analysis tolls used in SEO. As each instance of a design rule violation was found the human operator would modify the data and rerun the design rule checks. The modifications made by the operators were found to be predictable and well suited to automation.

The prospect for applying an automated system to “on-page” SEO is promising. Some steps have been made by incorporating analysis told to dynamic page editors. These tools are particularly effective when applied to quality copy. The source data or “content” will still determine the effectiveness of the optimization process in ranking pages in search engines. Applying automated expert systems to on-page SEO whatever the content, can improve the page performance.

I expect to see these tools to become more widely available once the value of SEO pages is accepted by page designers. Many of the tools available today are designed to demonstrate the extent that the pages have been optimized. The next stage is to incorporate the process in the design tools.
 My Mom Calls Me "Trouble" said:
There are a few bits of software I've found it helpful to send newbies towards (especially newbies who picked up books about SEO from the bargain shelf that were written about 10 years ago).

One is the spam detector. It analyses your page and looks for likely culprits that would result in stoning, flogging, or banning by search engines. It's crude, but it will detect most of the no-nos on a single page such as jibberish text, hidden text, keyword stuffing, etc. Of course passing this spam detector doesn't mean you'll pass Google's spam detector (or even that you're not spamming, as dedicated spammers are often more sophisticated), but it will detect rookie mistakes and most bad advice.
 Matt Ridout said:
There is no such tool that can do every part of SEO...period

You can get programs to assist you but thats just about it. To be honest most of these tools are free anywhere. Google Analytics is one of these examples and is completely free.
 Search Engine Marketing said:
No one tools can perform every part of SEO. And the same goes to There is never a single SEO / SEM campaign that can be applied to every websites. Because every website has its own niche and target audiences, it is always best to draw out a well-planned campaign to get things running.

Try using a number of tools to run your SEO campaign. There is always good online SEO tools such as backlink checker, domain age checker, IP Class, Keyword Density and etc, they are FREE.
 Goran Giertz - Website Marketing said:
Hi. This blog is on tools, I have a request that maybe you can help with.

I am looking for a tool to determine which of our clients keywords, phrases are displayed on the first page of Google without having to insert them into a program first. It seems that this type of application would have to search the sites content and then perform multiple searches on Google.

Can you help me. Was hoping for google.co.za

Thank you in advance

Wishing you an exSEOllent 2008
 Jill said:
Your web analytics and log files should be able to provide you with that info, indirectly.
 California Mortgage Loan said:
Having a mortgage website, I'm always looking for SEO tools or software that can help my page rankings. I'm surprised some of you think that there are not tools that help you achieve this.
 Jill said:
That's because there aren't!