Posted December 18, 2006 4:30 pm by with 5 comments

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Lee Odden has an interview with me posted on his blog. Lee know’s how to ask some interesting questions, and one question in particular got me fired-up…

Competition is increasing in the search marketing industry and despite some questionable analysis (Marketing Sherpa) and characterizations (Dave Pasternack) what are some of the most significant opportunities for companies that still have not yet embraced SEO into their marketing budgets?

Well, I’ve never heard of Dave Pasternack but I see he’s the co-founder of Two things spring to mind. First, it’s no wonder that Kevin Lee is the public face of the company, with comments like this coming from Pasternack! Second, is it any surprise that a paid search company is writing negative things about SEO?

While SEO may not be “rocket science”, as Pasternack puts it, it’s certainly a lot more effort than a paid search campaign. SEO is going to evolve, becoming a mixture of optimization, viral marketing, buzz generation and public relations. Pay-per-click, on the other hand, will become easier to manage, with better tools being provided by the search engines (look at Yahoo’s Panama), so anyone can manage a campaign without the need for outside assistance.

SEO may not be rocket science, but the coming year will see PPC becoming as easy as putting together a child’s Lego set.

The rest of the interview is at Lee’s blog.

UPDATE: It appears that Kevin Lee is on the same page with Dave Pasternack and Greg Boser is pissed!

  • This is linkbait, right? You must be trying to provoke a reaction. You can’t really believe that SEO is hard and PPC is easy. I think you’re a smart guy but this strikes me as a dumb answer. Either that or it’s a very clever answer to provoke conversation. Click on my name to read “Top 7 Reasons Andy Beal’s Answer to Question #8 of Lee Odden’s 10 Questions is Wrong”

  • Hi Richard, this is not linkbait, Pasternack’s comments were linkbait perhaps, but I stand by my comments.

    I’ve implemented SEO and PPC campaigns. PPC is very much like putting together a Lego set – lots of pieces, each needing to be put together in the right order, but easy to master and follow.

    SEO is much more complex, more trial and error and not as easy to master.

    How many contests have their been to get the best performing ad on AdWords, compared to contests to get a specific keyword ranked organically?

    You’re welcome to take my comments and craft your own linkbait (I’m sure calling my response “dumb” was all part of your linkbait plan). I believe that SEM needs ALL elements – including SEO and PPC – but I am entitled to my own opinion as to which is the most difficult.

  • It’s one thing to jab fun (Beal) at a stupid comment (Pasternack) and quite another to perpetuate it (Ball). Pitting SEO and PPC against each other does not serve clients.

  • I agree Lee. Everyone of us is guilty of some sort of sensationalism – Pasternack for trashing SEO, me for trashing Pasternack, Ball for trashing me, and you for publishing my commments. 🙂

    No matter who you are, you’ll defend you stance in any industry.

    SEO and PPC should go hand in hand, but we also need to make room for PR, SMM and WOM.

  • C’mon now, Andy. I’m not trashing you. I said that you’re smart but what you said is dumb. That’s an important distinction. Plus, all you say is that PPC is “becoming as easy as putting together a child’s Lego set.” That might be true of Y!SM, but Google AdWords is becoming more complicated (think Quality Score changes, parked domain issues, click fraud, Starter Edition vs Standard Edition, etc). Sure, you can be of the opinion that PPC is easier than SEO. But, if you’re going to post it on your blog, back it up.

    I think your logic is flawed and I attempted to address that flawed logic with some rational arguments discussing the complexity of PPC advertising. I also tried to do so using humor by poking fun at the proliferation of “Top N” lists.

    I would like know why you think PPC is easy and SEO is hard. What’s so hard about SEO? What’s so easy about PPC? You know what the big difference is, IMHO? SEO is undocumented. PPC does have documentation provided by the search engines. That doesn’t make it any easier.