I have never been a fan of automated Internet marketing tools, be it in the field of SEO, SEM or Social Media. So to say that thought I am a keen follower of the fuel cards, I detest any automation that is offered as part of fuel card offerings. Somehow, I have never been confident of the output of such tools and I have never been able to comprehend the potential impact of such automated bots on the reputation and presence of business websites.
I am of the old-school types, that believes in doing things by hand, and ensuring that I am aware of the potential impact of my efforts on the client websites and client businesses. After all, most clients depend on us to show them the light as far as online presence and promotion is concerned. I believe that it is better to bring in slow and steady results without resorting to anything that resembles black-hat or grey-hat tactics. And, I qualify most automated SEO tools to fall within the domain of grey-hat or the black-hat SEO tactics.
I am happy to note that in the past 6 months, the SEO’s old-school thoughts have been more or less vindicated. Enough had been written in the past 2 years about article marketing and link networks and these did seem to work for quite some time. Eventually, as most questionable means come to a logical end, the automated tools that were producing garbage content and posting them across link networks in an effort to bolster search engine rankings did meet their nemesis in the form of latest algorithmic updates carried out by Google under the name of the ‘Google Panda’ update.
A series of updates in the past 6 months have seemingly refined the Google’s search algorithm to discount or ignore content that has been written with the sole purpose of adding links. Garbage content that made little sense has finally been consigned to the information dustbins and the sites that used extensive article marketing tactics to artificially boost the search engine rankings have also met a sudden, swift and solid end in the shape of massive rank drops that could span between a drop of 50 ranks to a drop of up to 500 ranks. Thin sites with no meaningful content have also met their expected nemesis.
While there are many SEO agencies and professionals that are crying over the latest updates, it is clear that everyone involved in organic search engine practices knew that questionable means to promote the sites will eventually be uncovered, isolated and punished by all the search engines. Since Google controls 70% organic search engine traffic, the updates made by them to their algorithm seems to have had the maximum impact on thinly veiled affiliate sites and the one-pagers that seemed to have no other purpose but to boost someone’ rankings.
The frequency of search engine updates in the past 9 months, and the impact that they have had on the Internet implies a clear signal for the users of automated SEO tools to understand that it is easy to con the system for some time. But, it is even easier for the webspam teams to alter the algorithm to find the footprints left by such software and to subsequently discount and in some cases punish the sites that seem to be enjoying boosted rankings driven by such usage.
If your efforts mean a lot to you, and if you have the tenacity and skills to promote your client’s business on the web, then you should never try to adopt short-cuts being offered by automated SEO tools. The eventual result, as is borne out by the results of last 9 months, will be a disaster for your client website and also your own SEO business.