Forrester, the large marketing technology analysis organization, has released two of three of its Forrester Wave reports related to search marketing. I wrote about the first one yesterday in Forrester Rates The Top Large Search Marketing Agencies, which offered an assessment of large, full service (meaning agencies that offer both organic SEO and PPC) and agencies who serve large clients of $1 billion or more in revenue.

Today, a look at the second report, covering what Forrester describes as SEO “platforms” – the relatively new set of tools that has emerged over the past few years to help SEOs automate and bring more efficiency to a broad range of search optimization tasks that previously were a manual chore.

Forrester’s overall assessment is that SEO platforms are useful, but don’t provide the breadth offered by PPC automation tools. This isn’t surprising – even though search marketers have been practicing optimization long before paid search optimization tools emerged, paid search, at least to some extent, is a far less complex process and more suited to automation. Organic search, by contrast, is more difficult, due to inherent differences in how search engines look at each type of marketing. Rather than the essentially “paying for position” option that’s available to paid search advertisers (it’s more complicated than that, but let’s take this as the basic assumption), organic SEOs must have a deep understanding of how results are determined, and to complicate things, must also understand factors that affect rankings such as personalization, authorship, structured markup and more.


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