Natural Search Blog


Yes, you can automate SEO – we’ve done it!

Loren Baker at Search Engine Journal wrote a post highlighting Commerce360′s stated intention to build automatic optimization software, using a lot of venture capital they raised for this purpose. Loren asks, “Can SEO Be Automated?”

Inspired by this thread, Lisa Barone at Bruce Clay, Inc. responds with “You Can’t Automate Search Engine Optimization” (which is just the tiniest bit ironic, since Bruce Clay’s Dynamic Site Mapping tool arguably provides a level of automated search optimization).

While Commerce360 is looking to create search optimization automation, we’ve already been accomplishing it for quite some time here at Netconcepts, as I outlined in an earlier article on Automatic Search Engine Optimization. So, do I think SEO can be automated? Hell, yes!

Now, to be fair, Lisa and others who nay-say the concept of automation are primarily criticizing the concept of doing it 100%. Their contention that humans should be involved in the process is entirely realistic. To achieve quality, humans *do* need to be involved, since we haven’t really developed machines that understand both concepts and language.

But, there’s a couple of big reasons why I think the experts should not be so quick to shout out headlines about how one “can’t” do automatic SEO. The majority of sites I see out in the wild have technical barriers to indexation and other basic optimization factors that can be pretty easily solved through a programmatic approach. This basic, indisputable fact, is coupled with the industry-wide experience that most people who pay for SEO consulting don’t manage to actually implement all the changes recommended to them.

Large corporations frequently have a good deal of inertia which can make it difficult for them to have the focus necessary to perform good optimization for natural search.

In any case, our automated SEO solution isn’t purely automatic, either, although we do a whole lot more optimizations than virtually any other remotely similar solution in the industry. Just as Google has started removing the term “purely algorithmic” from their collateral materials due to the human element they’ve introduced via quality scoring and other rank-influencing interventions, our GravityStream solution also allows our professional optimization staff to hand-tune a client’s pages, and our admin interfaces allow our clients to view and approve changes. We have a solid foundation of purely automated natural search improvements, coupled with the classic, high-quality keyword research and copy writing necessary to run good search marketing programs.

Further, our offering of SEO in a sort of web services format allows us to roll out cool research and development improvements to a large number of clients simultaneously, allowing us to provide numerous cutting-edge improvements to our clients including such things as local search optimization, social media optimization, image search optimization, and more.  This software solution approach allows us to provide a suite of services that many companies would find quite hard to duplicate through purchasing of bespoke consulting and development services, allowing those companies to benefit from a team of experts that they couldn’t hope to build internally.

Not only that, we’re one of the very few companies willing to use a Pay-Per-Click financial model for how much we charge clients (available for certain types of clients).

Our GravityStream program has enabled a number of major corporations to increase their traffic and associated sales, as reported in various news articles like this one.

I’ll be interested in seeing what Commerce36 develops in the way of automation. We’ve been doing this for a long while, and it would take a considerable effort for any company to catch up with what we currently have operational and functioning for a large number of sites.

Will we go even further down the road of automatic optimizations? Undoubtedly. We have a considerable amount of brainpower working at Netconcepts with expertise in computer science, taxonomy, search marketing, usability, and interactive development. We’ll also likely continue to include the human element in our GravityStream product, but we’ll always be pushing for efficient, scalable ways to improve enterprise-wide sites for search.

So, can SEO be automatic? Hell, yes!

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