SEO Is Not Rocket Science, It’s Like Baking a Cake

At least that is what Dave Pasternack of Did-it.com is saying. Yes he has stuck his foot in his mouth once again. Are you tired yet of hearing from this guy? I know I am. In this latest DM News article, he answers a series of questions, one of which he compares SEO to baking a cake. Sound foolish? Wait, there’s more.

First the cake example:

The Question: Last week, Danny Sullivan went on record with the statement that “SEO is rocket science.” Would you care to comment on this?

Dave’s Answer: To be fair, Danny Sullivan said that anything is rocket science if you don’t understand it. Well I don’t know how to bake a cake, but I wouldn’t call such a task “rocket science.” If I really wanted to bake one, I’d buy a cookbook (the Google guidelines) and bake away. Can you imagine bake shops trying to convince everybody that baking a cake is so complicated that it shouldn’t be left to mere mortals? Ridiculous. I wonder what percentage of Danny’s show attendees are there to find the “magic SEO elixir.” I would guess a very high percentage. I suppose we all have to cater to our audience.

Please, SEO compared to baking a cake? If only it was that easy. Now, certainly I wouldn’t compare SEO to the technology behind developing rockets that project objects into outer space but even a child can bake a cake. I don’t see many children doing SEO effectively. In fact the majority of people I talk to that are somehow involved with the marketing and/or management of a web site do not know SEO. I suppose that is why there is such a large industry of companies that are providing this as a service, an industry that is continually growing and doing quite well.

How about this one:

The Question: You warn that marketers are growing increasingly wary about “pushing the SEO envelope.” As you point out, contracting with a shady SEO company can result in severe penalties and brand damage. What advice would you give marketers that might help them select an ethical firm?

Dave’s Answer: Reputation. Reputation. Reputation. And then I would do a Google search for the term “search engine optimization” and run away from any company which can’t even get themselves into the top five organic results. Doctor, heal thyself! And don’t believe for a second that these firms are not trying to get themselves to this coveted position. If they did, they’d win every sale. Maybe I would even hire them.

An amusing statement to say the least. Especially from a company that offers paid search marketing services but they themselves cannot be found in “the top five organic results” for phrases related to their business – PPC management, pay per click management, PPC services, pay per click services, paid search marketing, etc. In fact, I don’t even see them in the top 5 paid results at Google for these terms.

And finally, this statement:

Dave Says: SEM and SEO are totally different worlds. In PPC SEM, a marketer is always limited to the strategies and tactics that are supported by the bid technology platform they are using.

Really? Actually now that the major PPC providers are looking more closely at the quality of landing pages, I see PPC becoming a lot more like SEO. Besides that, what about the marketing element? Does PPC management simply rely on automated bidding software as Dave makes reference to or r is there more to it? Actually there is a lot more. How about keyword research? How about marketing objectives? How about common sense? Shall I go? While automated bidding software can help, PPC still needs the human element.

The more Dave chooses to defend himself from his original sin article, the deeper the hole he digs for himself. Can we now expect Kevin Lee to come in behind and help dig Dave out once again?

David Wallace

David Wallace, co-founder and CEO of SearchRank, is a recognized expert in the industry of search and social media marketing. Since 1997, David has been involved in developing successful search engine and social media marketing campaigns for large and small businesses. Follow +David Wallace on Google + as well as Twitter.

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