Is SEO an art or a science?

If you used the reams of scientific data published in esteemed journals like Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal, you’d have to err on the side of science.

Now if you were simply judging by the number of web articles titled, SEO Myths Debunked, you’d have to assume SEO is an art, – in the same the way wizardry is an art.

To say there are lots of SEO myths and urban legends is something of an understatement  but a recent video from Google Webspam chief Matt Cutts titled, What Are Some Myths About SEO?, helps put some of these legends to rest.

>The gist of Cutts comments won’t be too surprising to anyone who follows SEO. Cutts generally suggests towing the Google line – or, “aligning yourself with Google’s goals,” as he puts it.

That doesn’t necessarily mean Google’s looking for cookie cutter content.

Throughout the video he encourages SEOs to think for themselves and produce good content that end-users actually want to read. He also reminds SEOs that there’s no magic pill for finding SEO success, not matter how much that e-book publisher convinces you that easy money is on horizon:

If someone had a foolproof way to make money online, they would probably use that way to make money rather than packaging it up in an ebook and selling it to people.

(It should be noted that these systems do generate revenue – it just goes to the people who wrote the book, not the people who purchase the book.)

After establishing that there’s no such thing as easy money, Cutts turns his attention to more technical matters.

The biggest takeaway from Cutts’ video is that purchasing ads from Google doesn’t really impact your overall page rankings one way or the other.

On the flip side of that coin, Cutts also mentions that not purchasing ads from Google will also not impact your page rankings one way or the the other.

Though he’s certain to find some in the SEO world who disagree with his own personal version Mythbusters, Cutts’ core ideas should not be overlooked. He’s dead serious about the idea of using quality content, and total abstinence from black hat gimmicks.

Whether you love him or hate him, Cutts is a guy you’ve got to listen to if you’re at all interested in SEO success.


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