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One of the promises of machine learning and AI is that mundane tasks can be automated leaving people to do more strategic or creative work. That’s what BrightEdge is saying about its new Autopilot SEO product, which the company likens to a self-driving car. 

The product was announced several weeks ago at the company’s Share19 conference.

Petabytes of data. BrightEdge CEO Jim Yu told me during a call that the product was built over more than a decade and after analysis of billions of webpages and petabytes of data to determine what common SEO tasks were capable of automation. Yu said BrightEdge created Autopilot to address the parts of SEO that are repetitive in order free up marketers’ time and resources.

Yu explained that Autopilot can perform a number of important SEO functions with no human involvement. Among them:

  • Orphan pages are “automatically fixed, optimized and connected.”
  • Mobile pages “are self-optimized.”
  • Duplicate content is automatically fixed.​

Yu also says that no other SEO company can do this currently through automation.  He further explained that the company’s recent acquisition of responsive design platform Trilibis was critical in the development of Autopilot. Autopilot also utilizes other BrightEdge technologies (Data Cube, Data Mind, BrightEdge Instant), to “drive auto-optimization, self-driving SEO with zero touch.”

Better rankings, more engagement. Yu said that over the past six months Autopilot has been deployed across 1,000 BrightEdge customer sites. The company offered some aggregated customer data to show that the solution is improving SEO performance:

  • 60% increase in page views per visits​
  • 21% more keywords on page one rankings​
  • 2X increase in conversions​
  • SEM impact: 28% improvement in Ad Quality score​

The PPC improvement is based on optimized, faster-loading mobile landing pages.

BrightEdge cites customer Campbell’s Soup as a marquee case study. Since adopting Autopilot the company says Campbell’s Soup has seen a “204% traffic lift year-over-year.” It has also seen page speed improvements across 35% of pages and more page one rankings for thousands of keywords.

However, Yu emphasized that the chief benefit of Autopilot is that can help “scale a marketer’s time and impact across the organization.” BrightEdge says it’s not charging separately for Autopilot.

Why we should care. If the claims above are correct then BrightEdge’s new Autopilot may be a significant development. However, just as many paid search marketers argue that automated responsive search ads don’t perform as well as traditional text ads, there’s little danger that automation will put SEOs out of work. But we’re very interested in hearing your thoughts and opinions on whether and how much SEO automation is possible.


About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes about the connections between digital and offline commerce. He previously held leadership roles at LSA, The Kelsey Group and TechTV. Follow him Twitter or find him on LinkedIn.

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