I remember Chris Boggs, Barry Schwartz and Ben Pfeiffer discussing Dave Pasternak's article "Troubled Times for SEO Firms" on the Search Pulse a few weeks ago(I think it was the Halloween episode). All I could think is that this person whom I never heard of until now, must not do a lot of SEO for a living. Turns out he's the CEO of Did-It, that company with the frogs that say "didit" instead of "ribbit", whom as far as I can gather only does paid search.
Well Carsten Cumbrowski over at Search Engine Journal pointed me to the fact that Mr. Pasternack is back with another article about the same thing, this time to the tune of "Answering His Critics." When I read this, I was reminded of the poster for the movie "Chicken Little", the bottom of it says "This Time The Sky Really is Falling." Then I thought 'OK, has Did-It heard of the new "Quality Score" piece of paid advertising that Google has just deployed and Yahoo is about too, or did this slip the man's mind?'
Quality score, at the heart of it is Search Engine Optimization. Ensuring your keywords are relative to the ad and the page you are directing them too. No longer is it about buying a slew of keywords at a time and managing all those keywords to an ROI, you have another key factor to figure in now. To a degree this quality score piece is likely also to be troubling for some automated bid systems, because its another added piece to the puzzle.
I agree with the fact that SEO isn't rocket science, otherwise we'd all need PhD's to be professionals. But SEO is a skill, its a balance of marketing and technology - not being able to "whip out the credit card and pay for an ad."
To be honest, I really have seen the opposite happening in this industry of how Mr. Pasternack makes it seem as if it is "near death." Perhaps, SEO firms are loosing revenue, I'm not a researcher so I can't say one way or the other, but what I do know is that a lot of bigger companies that are serious about their Internet Marketing are now ditching the firms and bringing the SEO/PPC marketing In-House. Heck, SEMPO is even recognizing this growing area by having a mixer in Chicago at the SES Conference just for these professionals.
I know, this gentleman probably is doing these articles for some serious linkbait, however, I just don't agree with 98% of what he's writing, in fact I'd have to say he's treading a dangerous tightrope. A lot of people are going to start thinking this guy just "doesn't get it," if they haven't already.
Carsten is encouraging people to reply to Mr. Pasternack's recent post (his last one only had three comments), I'd like to encourage the Search Marketing Gurus audience to do the same. I'll be commenting later today, just have to craft the reply without the "wow is this guy for real" thoughts affecting my writing, of course the trackbacks could serve as my comment too.