The world of tools is changing. Rapidly. But where is it going to? It is a tough question to answer, if not impossible. Just take a look at tools a few years ago and tools now, some are completely different.
And if you listen to those presenting in our Tools Week, the tools themselves also realise things are changing. Matt Roberts from Linkdex for example said his tool is now compared to different tools than a few years ago. And if you look at Majestic SEO there is much more to it than ‘just data’. Where it’s going is difficult to determine, but maybe the past can help us get a better understanding of how tools are developing. And it will help us choose what tools fit our needs best.
Earlier this week I asked several experts if an SEO would be any good without tools. I also asked them another question:
“What do you think is the major area in how tools have developed in the past years?”
Marcus Tandler, Yousaf Sekander, Alex Moss, Disa Johnson, Debra Mastaler, Dennis Goedegebuure and Julie Joyce shared their answers with me.
“Judging by the recent success of our new tool OnPage.org I see an increasing demand for tools that help you get your onsite SEO right. Tools like XENU and ScreamingFrog have started it, and now it seems the time has come to help not so experienced SEOs with the ever increasing complexity of onsite SEO issues.”
“Most tools are trying to turn into Swiss Army knife, that is not a good thing for the industry. Usually, the tools that concentrate on a limited aspects of SEO are better.”
“Linkbuilding and outreach in general. As the Internet grows with an increased number of websites and pages, data around those new URLs grow over time, making tools that manipulate that data all the more useful.”
“Search engines are busy with Webmaster tools and video information making a lot of third-party SEO tools and services obsolete. They give us API access so we can code our own tools to do our own SEO, completely in-house. Learn to use the plain tools by Google and Bing (Webmaster tools, Analytics and advertising platforms) until they are part of your SEO DNA. These will continue to be important no matter what.”
“Many tools now offer evaluation metrics or their take on algorithmic elements. For example there is the “MozRank” factor in OpenSiteExplorer and “Citation Flow” from Majestic. Both supposedly calculate how influential an URL/page is/is not based on the number and type of links pointing to it. These types of metrics take a tool from being a basic reporting tool to being an evaluation and reporting tool. In the end, where and how a page ranks, it’s involvement with social media and the author behind it should also be part of your decision. Look for tools that can help with these criteria as well as the evaluation and reporting elements. “
“Tools have been able to connect with each other in a way that makes life easier. I see there are more open API’s created, so that platforms are becoming more extendable.
In the past, a tool was a stand alone tool, with walled gardens. You had to pull all the data out, through a download function.
I expect this to continue, as no tool developer is able to keep up with all the needs for all their clients.
Opening up their platform makes it easier to have a custom solution build. “
“I like that many of them are using their own data, and that others use a compilation of data from various sources. The competition in this area seems more fierce these days and I think it’s making each tool better.”
What are your thoughts?