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SEO Tools -- What do you use?

...are the FREE SEO tools good enough?

8:12 pm on Dec 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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SEO software marketers are good. Real good--at convincing you that you can't live without their software. My wallet doesn't exactly creak when opened, but I hate to spend money friviously.

What is intertesting is that some SEO software reviewers claim that backlink programs aren't worth buying and that the free versions are 'good enough' because backlinks just don't help that much any longer and spending anything to uncover them is wasted money. Agree? Or disagree?

Another SEO software category is keywords and how they are used in relation to adword campaigns. These programs sure promise a plethora of information, but is it really worth the expenditure? Is it worth 'uncovering' keywords so pages promoting those keywords can be built to improve search engine results?

Affiliate marketers please don't post your spads. Only legit users, please.

8:18 am on Dec 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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When I first started out in SEO I used to go out of my way to try lot of different marketing tools, only to find out that by hand for most things is in-fact the better way to proceed, I think in my mind anyway that the more control you have over every aspect the better.

If you would like to try automated programs go for gold I guess from a users point of view the best so to speak would be <snip> for links, however I wouldn’t recommend it from an SEO point of thinking, both have advantages and both lack in qualities.
Keywords are worth anything however I wouldn’t pay for software, however if I should I would more than likely sign up for wordtracker.

If you are serious about marketing look about for a decent company believe it or not there are still good ones about. Or failing that revert to your log files you can learn so much from your logs and with a little reverse engineering you can make anything work.

Sorry if anyone in here has software, this is only from my way of thinking.

[edited by: caveman at 3:16 pm (utc) on Dec. 13, 2006]
[edit reason] Specific product mentions removed, per TOS [/edit]

8:44 am on Dec 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hopefully this thread won't turn into a dropfest because you can't preach to the choir - marketers trying to market to marketers - UGHhhh.

I've found that a combination of the FREE Overture Keyword research tool in combination old-fashioned *thinking* and keeping up with website stats to see what people are searching for and how (even Matt Cutts says to watch stats for keywords) gives me more keywords to build on than I can even keep up with.

The best tool we have sits right between our ears, inside the cranial cavity, and it really isn't hype - thinking of users and what they're looking for and need and focusing sites on their needs and wants really does work.

7:35 pm on Dec 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Marcia & Britnet,

Agree with both of you that the stuff between the ears is what is ultimately needed. The advantage with software, as I see it, is that it presents the data in an easily be manipulated form. With that in mind the only real advantage with software is the element of time.

Can you recommend resources (books, ebooks, forums [in addition to this one], blogs, etc.) that you find valuable. One thing that seems to be a problem with much of what I've read is relevancy. Because search engines change algorithms frequently much of what lingers on the Internet is outdated. I suspect that a fair percentage of these 'marketing gurus' have a relatively short shelf-life. The information they sell might have been of great value when it was developed, but now falls behind the curve and has lost its potency.

Another issue that abounds with these 'marketing gurus' is that their ideas sound good, but they are really only speculations at best. I call it the black box theory. You know the data going in and you know the results, but you don't know how the data is transformed in the black box. To truly understand a black box theory once a scenario is developed the goal becomes to discredit the theory. It is this last step that none of the 'marketing gurus' pursue, which means their data is unproven and unreliable. Until they set out to disprove their own theories and demonstrate that the original theory still holds against an opposing theory they will only be guessing. I guess half a theory is better than no theory at all.

One thing that I've got to give to the 'marketing gurus' is that they are convincing when you listen to their patter. When they're good, they're good. It almost makes you feel like a rat following the Pied Piper.

8:18 pm on Dec 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Reminder: No specific product mentions, titles, etc., per TOS.

Personally, I use software for backlink analysis, because it simplifies and shortens the effort of reporting to clients. The Y llink tool is the default for many SEO's currently, when doing fast link checks. There also some great browser plug-ins for backlink and competitive assessment.

There are several free and numerous paid kw services, some of which I find immensely helpful. That's more true in PPC than organic but some can be very helpful in organic too.

Nothing wrong with using your noodle, AND certain SEO tools, to save time and effort and inspire creative thinking. ;-)

6:04 am on Dec 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I will remember in future not to mention brands whoops.

Anyway back to the matter in hand, I see where your coming from about methods in my mind overlapping so to speak with technology becoming out of date quickly, but from what you have just said about marketing gurus, the same would actually go for software anyway, what once worked six months ago may not be using the correct protocols today. Everything is like this on the internet though you have to remember that, that’s why there are SEO / Marketing experts, the good ones ALWAYS stay on top, they have to.

In this industry everything keeps evolving, that’s what makes it great, this is what makes the real companies and individuals stand out from a crowd.

8:07 pm on Dec 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yahoo/Overture and my brain are my tools.

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