I write a lot of Python “code.” I put “code” in “quotes” because what I write would make any respectable programmer stab their own eyes out with weenie forks. But a few lines of code goes a long way when you’re trying to generate 5,000 description tags or optimize ads, trust me.
So I say to you: Python is neato. It’s helpful. It pumps up your nerd pectorals.
But it doesn’t automatically make you a better SEO. And it’s a trap. For every Python-inspired victory dance, there’s a five-hour coding jag that leaves me curled up with my cats, sobbing uncontrollably.
If you’re considering writing a script to automate some oh-so-dull SEO task, you need to do the math:
Tc = Time to code
Ts = Time saved
Ta = Times you will use this code again
Ta * Ts < Tc
Then you’re not coding for efficiency. You can still code for fun or to learn, but don’t expect a direct payoff.
Learning Python will help you out. You’ll understand:
- The potential power of a few lines of code
- Why developers push back on “simple” requests from the marketing team
- How computers “think” about syntax, types of data, and resources
- The importance of caffeinated beverages and electronica
I highly recommend dabbling. But tools are tools. Before you spend time on that Python script, ask yourself:
- Am I coding for efficiency, or for fun? Either one’s fine, but be honest with yourself
- Can I do the same thing with VLOOKUP? Folks talk about Python’s power as a data consolidator. They’re right – it’s wonderful. But Excel ain’t too shabby, either
- Do I have software that already performs this task for me? Too often, we don’t know the tools we’ve got. Spend ten minutes learning Screaming Frog, for example, and you’ll save yourself a lot of indent-related headaches.
Otherwise, you may spend a lot of time coding and less time marketing. You have been warned.