Complete SEO process automation is impossible, that’s for sure. Some people also think that all SEO tools are evil too. We’ve recently had a heated discussion over here if SEOs need to use tools at all. The points are as follows (for the record: I disagree with the first one and let search engines take care of the second one):
- tools lower the quality of SEO performed (as manual labor is always better than any automation);
- tools might be against search engine TOS as they send automatic queries.
So I decided to come completely clear on why and how I use tools and plugins:
- to speed up the SEO process – machines are better and faster at collecting and processing information than we, people, so why not leave that for them? (Example: you can always use Yahoo! to explore your competitors’ links, then open each page and check its PR with Google toolbar and its backlinks with Yahoo – this analysis will take you the whole day to run; with a good backlink checker tool you’ll do that within a few minutes);
- to analyze advantages and drawbacks of the analysis performed by the tool (what would I add? How I would organize the data? – that’s always easier to say if you judge from example);
- to see what can be automated and how the machine works (for example, by analyzing how Spam Karma filters blog Spam, we were able to tell how Spam could be automatically caught by search engines);
- to get information in a more categorized and organized way (a good tool represents the data in a way that enables you to quickly see the most important aspects of the analysis);
- to get inspiration and more ideas (a new tool usually offers a new way to look at the analysis I used to perform for years by providing some additional information or spotting new patterns).
And do you use SEO tools and why?