In case you aren’t married to a man who constantly refers to you as a Luddite, let me first explain what a Luddite is, all without going into any sort of intricate detail: it’s someone who doesn’t much care for things that make our lives easier, a person opposed to technological progress. That’s me, many times. It took me years to accept the mp3 format, I still don’t like to use remote controls, I never go through a drive-through, and my attempts to use the self-timer on my camera end up leading to shots of my backside as I walk away in order to get into position. It’s not that I hate these things really, it’s that I just don’t fucking care about them. Yes, they make things simpler, but I can’t be arsed usually.
This also applies to how I do SEO, in many instances. You know all of the blog posts where people talk about their favorite Firefox add-ons, or link building tools that they can’t live without? Have you ever seen my name on one of those? Hell no. I don’t use the Adwords API because I’d rather manually make changes, even though it takes me forever and the system crashes half the time on me. I don’t think that I have ever used any sort of coding software that writes even a fraction of the code for me, and I usually come up with new keywords based on nothing more than looking at a site and talking to a client (unless I’m instructed otherwise). So far it’s working out quite well…
I in NO way mean to say that using these types of tools is a bad thing; it’s just not as necessary as it might seem if you only took the sheer amount of online space devoted to SEO helpers into account. If you’re running a giant amount of PPC campaigns, you’d probably be quite stupid not to figure out some way to make things easier, obviously. The same holds true for link building…when you’re working on a massive link building campaign, it might really be nice to not spend all your time manually checking for contact information on each site. However, for a lot of us, the reliance upon things like this could mean that we’re becoming SEO tool operators, not SEO innovators.
Many times when you see a huge push in technology, you soon see the backlash. Can we thus expect to see a return to the old way of doing things, without a plethora of SEO tools that can do all of the grunt work for us? Admittedly, even WITH using these tools, there’s still a ton of grunt work involved in SEO, unless you’re lucky enough to have a masochistic underling who enjoys being whipped. Sadly, I don’t, as the advertisement for that position has not yet been publicly posted. Naturally I’ll be handwriting it and physically delivering it to all of the local papers for publishing…ok I’m off to churn butter and sing gospel songs now.