Over at my favorite SEO forum, High Rankings, somebody asked for recommendations about SEO software. The consensus response was, “Yes, don’t do it.”
But that response deserves a little more explanation, some of which was also posted at the forum. There are two reasons why SEO software should be avoided.
Avoid SEO software for link-building. What doe Google and company look for in links? They are looking for recommendations. They seek a sign that a web page is considered a good reference on a certain topic. They are looking for natural links, not contrived ones meant to alter their results.
What does automation do? It creates patterns – patterns that are not natural, but contrived. What is the one strength that computers have that mere mortals like you and me and Paulina Rubio do not have? The ability to sort through almost infinite data in almost no time at all and recognize patterns. Using SEO software is like posting a neon sign that reads, “Yoohoo! We’re trying to mess with your results.”
Think your SEO software can fool the Google algorithm? Hmmm.
Avoid SEO software, because this is a sport. I know a lot of web folks are techies who are used to the scientific principle that if you take certain steps, you will get certain results. Repeat the same steps, get the same results. SEO is not like this. If a thousand people all repeat the same steps, there will not be 1000 websites in Google’s top 10 for “Paulina Rubio lyrics”. There will still be just 10 results.
In any competition, the goal is not to duplicate what everybody else is doing. The goal is to do more than everyone else. To do better than everyone else. And, if possible, to do what nobody else though of. It’s OK to study the competition. It’s OK to study others who are not competitors. It’s OK to take the best of what each of them is doing, but then you have to go out and do the very best you can. No me-too software program will do that for you.
All that being said, I do use some software for SEO purposes.
I use Internet Explorer to view websites (Yes, IE is software.)
I use Roboform to prefill forms for directory and article submissions. But note that I manually edit important things like “title” and “description”. Roboform just saves me from having to misspell my own name hundreds of times a day.
I use Keyword Discovery to help research the best search terms for my clients (It’s a web-based application, but it counts as software).
And of course, I use Word to compose articles and news releases, to edit source code and to do plenty of additional tasks.
And let’s not forget WordPress, which I use to blog about SEO.
So software, yes. Software to automate SEO, no.