Have you seen that post on Moz about One Content Metric To Rule Them All? I bet Trevor Klein is a Tolkien fan, but he also is a good communicator of the process Moz went through to combine the various metrics for their blog and create one, easily digested, almost-completely-automated scoring metric.

One. I am impressed.

But the most important takeaway from this very informative explanation (with a One Metric Template, no less) is the caution box he put into it after discussion in the comments. I particularly like this thought:

“As with any metric, knowing what to do with the One Metric takes a keen awareness of why a certain piece of content performed the way it did, and checking any intended actions against your organization’s goals. There’s a reason marketers haven’t been replaced by algorithms: It’s up to you and your brain to turn these metrics into actual insights.”

I want a to say that last part again, just to give it emphasis. “There’s a reason marketers haven’t been replaced by algorithms: It’s up to you and your brain to turn these metrics into actual insights.”

The reason why algorithms can’t really do a good job of marketing is the same reason you’ll see those boxes at the bottom of forms asking you to put in letters or numbers that look goofy. Your brain — the human brain — can see the variables and ignore what is not important because you can recognize a number or letter even when it is wavy or stretched.

If the One Metric really had powers to give us total control, there’d be a consequence. Just like in Tolkien, the little things would slip by unnoticed and destroy the fantasy. Every formula or metric or analysis tool we have depends on a person to see what is actually happening and act appropriately. The One Metric is an excellent tool that many of you will appreciate, but it isn’t magic.