Should You Do Programmatic SEO?

Should you do programmatic seo



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George Panayides

Digital Marketing Specialist

Should You Do Programmatic SEO?

Is It The Right Choice For Your Website?

There is such a buzz around programmatic SEO right now. Let’s be honest, it’s a total time saver and allows you to pretty much automate a significant part of your SEO strategy. 

But that’s just it. You should really only be automating parts of your SEO strategy, and not using programmatic SEO and your sole strategy. 

Right now, programmatic SEO is only at the beginning. So it’s good to jump on board early, but it’s important to know the limitations that come with programmatic SEO as well. Like with everything fairly new, there are some teething problems. 

Anyway, I’m going to be breaking down whether or not you should be using programmatic SEO and some areas in your strategy you should avoid using it, and other areas you should definitely be using it. 

By the way, this guide is under the indication that you have a fairly good understanding on what programmatic SEO is. If you do not, I’d advise quickly reading over my guide on what programmatic SEO is here. 

Programmatic SEO Should Be Used Wisely

You should consider programmatic SEO wisely. There are some areas of SEO that it’s great for but then other areas that it’s not going to work well with. 

As we’ve seen AI blow up the last year or so, many people are adopting programmatic SEO. This means that most SEO is now going to be very much the same. Most websites will have the same strategy so there won’t be a way for them to stand out. 

Also, this could actually be seen as duplicate which Google has a very strong policy on, and so do the other search engines as well. Because of the nature of programmatic SEO being to create multiple web pages using 1 single template, Google may crack down on duplicate content more than ever now. 

Actually Google did tweet saying they are working on a way to combat programmatic SEO that has manipulated their algorithms.

You will need to consider what areas of your SEO strategy you can totally automate and use programmatic SEO and which areas are going to require more of a human overseer and optimisation. 

SEO Is a Technical Game, Automating This Might Reduce Your Quality

As most of you probably know, SEO is a very technical game. There are so many factors to SEO and trying to automate them all could just leave you with a bunch of junk. I’m talking from first hand experiences here, as I’ve attempted to automate my strategies and processes as much as possible. 

Most of the time, what I tend to get back from programmatic SEO is low quality. I would never be able to just leave a total programmatic SEO strategy to run itself because likely it would end up producing so much junk my rankings would drop. 

You will definitely need to oversee with a human touch if you are considering setting up your own programmatic SEO strategies and automations. You will likely find the same issues I had as well, low quality outputs. 

That doesn’t mean that it can’t be used though. I believe in the right areas, programmatic SEO can help elevate your game and save you a lot of time. 

Programmatic SEO Will Speed Up Your Processes

The biggest benefit of programmatic SEO is the time saving aspect. You are essentially automating your SEO processes so you only need to oversee it rather than having to do all of the workflow steps and technical work yourself. 

Put it this way, by creating a workflow that triggers on an action to complete a series of events you are getting AI agents to complete these tasks for you instead of spending 1 hour or so doing it yourself. That’s 1 extra hour you have to focus on other tasks. 

This is huge for a lot of freelancers, marketing managers and SEO specialists as that time savings can be the difference in a lot of money or results they can get doing something else and not caught up inside the technical processes. 

However, it also means a lot of junk can be produced as well. Programmatic SEO is being used by businesses to create thousands of pages based on an AI generated workflow, or database and automatically create this within a 1 page template. Think about how much time it saves. 

programmatic seo diagram of automated workflow

Some Areas You Should Use Programmatic SEO In

Here’s a list of areas that I probably would consider using programmatic or automated SEO with to help speed up tasks without reducing the quality too much. 

Internal link building

You can fully automate your internal link building with ease. You can use AI or tools like Link Whisper (if you are using a WordPress site) to automatically create links in your latest articles to internally link back to your important pages. 

If you have a custom developed site you can use an API and connect into a Google Sheet using AI to monitor the new articles, find keywords from your list and add those internal links. This saves me so much time having to go back through old blogs to link to my new ones. 

internal link building automation using programmatic seo

HARO link building

If you are familiar with HARO link building, you can automate your responses quite easily using Chat GPT and Make.com with a workflow to get the emails, filter by keywords, answer the query in GPT and then create a draft email to respond. 

I’ve set this up and it works well. However, the content that it produces is usually very low quality and my results from this are quite low. Sometimes it doesn’t understand the context of the question and will answer something totally wrong as well. 

Meta tags & descriptions

You can use programmatic SEO to automate the creation of your meta tags and descriptions. I’ve found that AI does quite a good job. You may need to oversee it though to make sure it’s not coming across as too spammy or oversalesy. 

If you use the right prompt, you can find that you can set up a workflow and totally automate this process. Every time you create a new page or post, you can automatically use programmatic SEO to generate the meta tags. 

haro link building workflow and automation

Finding keyword gaps

Another hidden gem is using the data from Google search console, exporting it and pushing it through a workflow to find keywords gaps or long tail keywords that are getting good impressions, but not any clicks. You can set a filter and use programmatic SEO to find these words. 

This is using programmatic SEO as data analysis and finding gaps in your keywords where you can answer better questions and create more content around different areas. However, this only works with a decent amount of data so anyone who doesn’t have data in GSC might struggle with this. 

Some Areas You Shouldn’t Use Programmatic SEO In

Now here’s a list of areas which I would recommend to avoid using programmatic SEO or a programmatic approach as you might lose quality or pick up a lot of spam.

Content creation

If you are relying heavily on using programmatic SEO for your content creation, you will likely get very little results. Especially now, with the last few algorithm updates I’ve noticed multiple sites that were using AI to generate their content and post automatically, have since lost a large share of their traffic. 

This is because AI generates a very broad answer to the topic. If 10 people ask the same question to the AI, it’s going to give roughly the same answer to each 10 people. This content then would be classed as duplicate content and only the website with the highest authority domain will rank. 

Keyword research

AI has little to no information on keyword stats. If you are relying on programmatic SEO to find you keywords then you may struggle. You may get some very broad answers but nothing specific or well researched. 

I spend at least a few hours researching keywords and building out topical maps based on the data of multiple 3rd parties like Ahrefs, and also Google Ads keyword planner. This requires me to check the keywords and the intent behind the search. 

Programmatic SEO might pull good keywords for traffic or volume, but it could be the wrong context e.g. your competition, a tool, or something silly.

keyword research using AI which is not accurate

Link building

Most of the time you will end up with spam links. I think a human needs to double check over the link you are about to land and see the link profile of the website. As a specialist, you can then check to see if it’s a quality link or a spam link. 

Programmatic SEO might end up building you too many spam links and again needs to be double checked with a human. You could probably automate a portion of this, but the final landing of the link needs to be overseen by a human to ensure quality is there. 

Healthy Balance Is Required With Programmatic SEO

For me, I find a healthy balance is required with programmatic SEO. You cannot rely on this solely because it will just have a world of its own and generate a lot of junk for you. So instead, you need to get a balance of automating some parts, and overseeing the other parts. 

It’s important that when you do set up your programmatic SEO workflows, they have different human touch points where you can oversee what’s been happening so far then push it through another workflow. 

I don’t think that you can fully automate anything right now, because there will still be the need for you to double check. And if you are trying to fully automate, be careful because your quality might tend to drop.

Google Considers Programmatic SEO As Spam

According to John Muller on X’s platform, he says that programmatic SEO is a fancy banner for spam. This is likely because of the nature of creating so many duplicate pages with minor data changes to rank for hundreds of different keywords. 

Technically, he is right. The way that people are using programmatic SEO right now is to manipulate the search rankings and rank multiple pages for different keywords even though it’s the same page they are ranking. 

That’s why you should go careful and only use programmatic SEO for a small portion of your SEO strategy. I’ve got a more in-depth blog about black hat vs white hat seo here. 

I Don’t Think You Could Ever Achieve Total Programmatic SEO Yet…

Honestly, right now, I don’t actually think you could achieve a 100% programmatic SEO strategy where everything is fully automated and done for you. 

Maybe that will happen in the future, or maybe some technical expert has been able to achieve this without anyone knowing 😆but mostly, I don’t think this can happen. I’ve given some good insights into the future of SEO here

Also when it does happen, (if it does) it is going to make it such an unfair advantage for everyone that it becomes fair again. If everyone is using it, then it just resets back to normal. 

What will become of SEO when everything gets fully automated and programmatic SEO takes over. I guess we just have to find out in a few years… 


There you go, my honest advice on whether or not you should do programmatic SEO. To summarise, yes there are some areas that programmatic SEO is going to be super helpful and time saving. 

But there are other areas that you should probably avoid using because it’s going to reduce your quality and maybe result in spam or junk across your SEO strategies. 

I’m all for programmatic SEO but it should be carefully considered if you want to maintain and use white hat SEO strategies. 

I forecast in the next few years, programmatic SEO will keep getting bigger and bigger. Many people will start using it more and more and it will become a big buzz and hype.

Anyway, share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear if you are using programmatic SEO or not and how much of your strategy you’ve been able to automate.  


About The Author

George Panayides is a digital marketing specialist, focusing on SEO, Google ads, Social media marketing, website development and link building. He’s looking to help other freelancers or business owners become a master in their industry and move towards a better, more successful future.

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Hey, it's George. I'm giving away my marketing secrets (because apparently, I'm just that nice 🙄). You can thank me by linking to my content ha ha.

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