Why you’ll never be able to automate Search Engine Marketing

Posted by in Search Marketing (SEO) on August 14th, 2007 6 Comments

Another day and another spam email offering to automatically send our sites to the top of the search engines, for less than a fancy sandwich from the shop round the corner cost.

Any [tag]SEO[/tag] knows just how naive and optimistic that kind of pitch is, however a few smaller online players might be deceived. We’ve had plenty of enquries from dis-satisfied customers of automated services like this, whose opinions completely different from the glowing testimonials in the spam email.

147722350 f60ea32ce7 Why you’ll never be able to automate Search Engine Marketing

you need to change your robots.txt file or prepare to be obliterated – via flickr

Hopefully as the industry matures and more companies dabble with search marketing people will come to realise who is trying to rip them off and who could transform their business.

It got me thinking, I’ve heard of a few [tag]automated SEO systems[/tag] which don’t sound like a complete con. But nothing that’s got me worried for my job, there are plenty of good reasons why automated SEO will never take off.

Can’t understand Language – even the most sophisticated software never fully ‘gets’ a language. The grammar check in MS word makes a 7 year old who’s learnt Japanese from the movement of the lips of pokemon look like a native speaker. The best latent semantic analysis will never be able to understand the quirks of language that are second nature to a good search marketer.

Never fully understand Google – it’s almost a full time job keeping up with the latest changes in the Google Algo, the software developers will never be able to sift through the information and theories out there to keep their software up to date. Plenty of black hat SEOs have developed automated scripts to help their sites; but they’ll never be able to carry out the sustainable best practice required by any legitimate company better than a human.

Not as inquisitive – each website requires a different strategy and approach to search marketing, software has a long way to go before it can instinctively decipher and respond to the strengths and weakness of the client and their competitors.

Won’t take risks – there’s some pretty impressive pay per click software out there, we use some here, they’ve got quite good at working out when to be aggressive with your bidding but ultimately they decide how to act based on a sum. One keyword might be the most popular; so the software will optimise your site accordingly, but will it take the risk to chase the low hanging fruit where there is an opportunity for your company or client to dominate, even though it might not make mathematical sense.

Personal Touch – the best websites have a personality, my favourite blogs have characters, the best writers have a style and the best SEO has a personal touch. I’m all for software that helps take the strain out some of SEO’s grunt work but it’ll never beat a hand made campaign.

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