Dave Pasternack, founder of Did-it.com has long been rambling and upsetting the SEO industry by claiming that “SEO is not rocket science.” Unsurprising is the fact that Dave owns a SEM/PPC company that does no SEO. It is not hard to see the self serving lines by discrediting SEO and the SEO industry. By promoting PPC in favor of SEO he has the opportunity to convert some would-be clients that prefer organic routes to PPC.
Needless to say Pasternack is right about one thing, SEO is not rocket science. That does not mean that it isn’t useful or even challenging. While the basic concepts are simple, and in some websites trivial, the mindset and ability to develop content that proves to bring in traffic, links, and high rankings is only mastered by a select group of people in the industry. Look at companies like SEOMoz who can take over publishing content for different websites and bring in shocking amounts of traffic.
Many web design purists claim that a site with good content will get links naturally. Sure, nice in theory… but where does the initial exposure come from? Are directory submissions useless SEO aside? Is titling your pages, writing click worthy descriptions, and naming directories/files semantically of no worth?
Those who are against SEO seem to have a poor understanding of the industry and what it takes to perform SEO. It might not be rocket science, because it is more of an art form. There is no definitive process to what will make a site rank today, or in the future. Every site will take a different strategy and approach.
Pasternack would have you believe that you should simply buy your way to the top and spend money on every click until the end of eternity, even though more users click organic listings and many times an organic listing is cheaper to obtain in the long run.
Now that is not to say that PPC is not useful in many situations (I manage quite a few PPC campaigns that have had excellent results), just to say that an effective online marketing strategy often embodies both methods.
The basics of SEO may be easy to learn, but to master SEO like the industry leaders and talkers takes time, practice, and a specific mindset that not everyone has.