The whole "SEO is not rocket science" debate has gone on for years, in one form or another, and has been fired up in recent months by one of the founders of Did-it, Dave Pasternack.
Without rehashing the whole debate (see the links below for that), we thought we'd point out the latest from Mr. Pasternack, Is SEO "rocket science"? A Q&A with Dave Pasternack, in case anyone was worried that he was being misinterpreted:
"Q: What's everybody so angry about?
Dave Pasternack: Everybody's not angry: only a small percentage of readers with an inferiority complex who happen to call themselves SEO experts"
"A growing number of companies are realizing that their sites need to be designed in accordance with the basic SEO guidelines described by Google, and that this knowledge should be and is becoming incorporated as a core competence of their internal Web teams. Many SEOs feel that this sudden emergence of rationality is threatening their profession, and so, to hold on, must convince their clients that good SEO presents more complicated issues than the clients' personnel are willing or able to master."
Besides that, Pasternack compares SEO to baking a cake; thinks any SEO company not in the Top 5 results for SEO on Google is worthless (looks like Bruce Clay is going to be even busier, if people follow this advice), and basically accuses Danny Sullivan of defending SEO to further his own agenda of keeping butts in the seats at SES and SMX.
But paid search practitioners need not fear: Pasternack says you're still relevant...as long as you can master complex third-party tools, like...um...Did-it's?
Here's an abridged timeline of the debate:
- Troubled times for SEO firms, DMNews (Oct 24)
- Times Are NOT Troubled For SEO Firms, Search Insider (Nov 10)
- Think Organic, Act Paid, ClickZ (Dec 15 -- which was actually a republished column from May 2006)
- The Lame PPC and SEO Debate, Online Marketing Blog (Dec 19)
- The Half-Truths of Talking Frogs, WebGuerrilla (Dec 20)
- Yes Virginia, SEO Is Rocket Science - Defending Search Engine Optimization Once Again, Search Engine Land (Dec 21)
- SEM and SEO: Rocket Science, or Just Plain Science? Part 1, ClickZ (Dec 29)
- SEM and SEO: Rocket Science or Just Plain Science? Part2, ClickZ (Jan 5)
- The New On Site Optimisation, SEOmoz (Jan 6)
- SEO: Art, Science, Bollocks Or What?, ClickZ (Jan 8)
- The Bigger Question of SEO, SearchDay (Jan 10)
- The SEO Debate Continues, Out of my Gord (Jan 10)
- Shoemoney, A Fish Bowl, and Bullshit, Oilman (Jan 10)
- More Rounds In The "Is SEO Overrated" Debate, Search Engine Land (Jan 11)
- SEO: Rocket Science or Colonoscopy?,Top Rank Blog (Jan 16)
- SEO Is Not Rocket Science, It's Like Baking a Cake, SearchRank (Jan 23)
- Good SEO Humor, Online Marketing Blog (Jan 23) And for historical perspective,
- Worthless Shady Criminals: A Defense Of SEO, Search Engine Watch (Apr 28, 2005)
If that's not enough for you, I'd recommend a Technorati search to find a few hundred more references.