Haven't been on the forum for a while and thought I would check in to see what is happening. What a difference a year (or two) makes. Seems like the activity level here has dropped off? Which begs the query, is it because of lack of interest, or is SEO no longer working.
On my side, as I mentioned months ago, I stopped ALL SEO efforts for my MS. I spent years going up and down in serps, losing momentum every time an index update happened and then having to start all over again. I tried every tool to automate things even if I didn't understand what SEO is all about. I was spending lots of money on proxies, software, equipment, broadband, etc etc. There truly was no sustainable ROI to what I was doing. Then yet another index update and I just had enough. I stopped all automation seo completely and focused on building traffic (real traffic) from platforms like IG, FB, Linkedin, etc etc. Results for last 6 months = no loss of position in serp despite a few more updates. To me, it is pretty clear that I wasted time + money as the seo efforts resulted in a zero net gain.
I do not mention this to disparage seo. In fact, I personally know someone who has made millions of dollars from one KW over the years. He has a staff of 30 in NYC banging out content articles and linkbuilding. He is locked at the top position for the KW. But he told me he has paid out millions to get there. Who has that budget? Not me. I also have a friend who is a CMO at a major insurance company who shared with me the 'favors' that G's ad sales team does for them based on their ad budget. Organic search is a level playing field? I don't think so.
So, my question is simply, is anyone having success with software tools? I mean real success, say top 3 position on KW with 10M++ serps. I am curious where everyone is with things now. I am top 2 pages with all of my KW with zero seo effort and cost. But if a software tool can be referred that can demonstrate its ability to get me solidly on Page 1 then I think it is something to consider.
SER back in the day was an incredible tool. It still is. I am just not sure what to use it for now. Links do not matter in any way for seo. As I mentioned months ago, linkless seo has replaced link creation. G has the AI down to where just content about a site now counts as a link. So what is the point of having the penalty risk with building links?
What is everyone doing for the 2nd half of 2018, and into 2019? Tactics? Strategy? On my side, I will continue to build engagement and referred traffic to targeted pages. I am also slowly dismantling my PBN.
Good luck to all and thanks for any feedback.