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Does Promoting SEO Software Hurt an SEO Expert's Reputation?
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A Response to Matthew Foster

by on 12/27/08 at 2:33 am

In a recent Q&A blast to get input on new website (www.seoexpert.tv), I received the following response to the question of “What would you like to see on my new website”:

Matthew Foster wrote:

I would like to see all ads which purport to sell software capable of doing seo removed. This is a scourge on the SEO industry and leads to much consumer confusion. SEO simply cannot be done via an automated software. Your credibility as an “expert” is drawn into serious question when you promote this type of product. Additionally, your claim to know the “Google formula” is misguided, erroneous, and deceptive.

I’m actually thankful to Matthew for providing feedback and felt his response deserved a reply.

Robert questions the ability of software to improve the ability of a Search Engine Marketer (or consumer doing their own SEO) to improve the ranking of any given website within the search results of Google, Yahoo!, MSN and other search engines. The fact is that SEO does not happen without the use of software, and while some applications have been deemed as “SEO Software”, it really takes a combined use of different programs to really make the magic happen.

Here’s what I mean: Before I optimize a website, I must understand what keywords I’m going to optimizing for. There are two tools I recommend the most for doing this and believe it or not, Google ofters them FREE. I’m talking about results from pay-per-click advertising results (such as Google AdWords with Conversion Tracking enabled) and Google’s newest Keyword Tool that helps you choose terms with the highest search volume. Other sources for getting great competitive insight include SpyFu, KeywordSpy, and others.

Secondly, how can you even have an SEO Campaign without creating a benchmark report? Maybe Matthew prefers to guess what keywords are important and where his or his client websites currently rank in Google. Well I don’t. I tactfully use a browser emulator during off-hours to create and schedule monthly reports, which provide as a performance measurement tool to myself and my clients. There is no greater satisfaction then running a recurring report during the 7th month of an aggressive SEO strategy and seeing 1st – 5th positions for competitive terms.

If Matthew has ever used the Adobe Software Dreamweaver, then he is critizing the same tool he and I both use. The difference is how we use it. When I look at a page in Dreamweaver, I absolutely pay attention to the user experience, but unlike most web designers, I and my team also pay attention to attributes that produce higher ranking in the search engines. Structural attributes such as file nominclature, website taxonomy, keyword theming during the structuring of titles, meta tags, headings, images, media and other content.

Video distribution software extends awareness and visibility to video content that educates and/or promotes a product or service. Appropriately tagged with keywords and search engine-crawable titles and descriptions, this additional media becomes a great way to secure higher placement and improve page relevancy.

Matthew says my “claim to know the Google formula is misguided, erroneous, and deceptive”. Tell me then why I rank so high for search term “SEO Expert” or why so many of my clients rank on the 1st page of Google for the terms they ask me to assist them with? Matthew, with all due respect, I’ve spent over a half a decade studying search engine optimization, writing information products and A/B testing tactics that produce results. When I make a recommendation to use software to assist with SEO, it’s because I’ve used the software and believe it can work for others.

If you the reader would like to provide your feedback on my eBooks, best practices, lectures, or other literature, please feel free to use this blog or to contact me. I’d be happy to open a forum to answer your questions.

Thanks again for all the great feedback.

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