My SEO Cake

January 25th, 2007
by Dustin Woodard

Dave Pasternack is at it again. I held back in joining in the SEO isn’t rocket science debate because I didn’t want to give Dave or Did-it any more attention then they deserve, but DMNews followed up with him and he not only stuck to his guns, but lashed out once again.

Dave implies that paid search is the only way to go, but it is terribly compicated—so you should just hire his company. He feels SEO, on the other hand is as easy as baking a cake:

“If I really wanted to bake one, I’d buy a cookbook (the Google guidelines) and bake away. Can you imagine bake shops trying to convince everybody that baking a cake is so complicated that it shouldn’t be left to mere mortals? Ridiculous. I wonder what percentage of Danny’s show attendees are there to find the ‘magic SEO elixir.’ ”

Well, Mr. Pasturesnack, I’ve got to agree with you. SEO is like baking a cake. Let me describe the cake I am currently working on.

seo cakeMy SEO Cake:

  • My cake serving size is large. It needs to feed 10 million people a month. And if I continue to bake it properly, it should feed about 15 million people a month by year end.
  • My cake can’t be made from a mix out of a box – it is much too complicated. The cookbook you mention is for beginners and couldn’t possibly replace my 10 years of baking experience.
  • My cake is complicated. It has hundreds of thousand of ingredients, millions of variations and is constantly worked on by 70 blind cooks. Being the only SEO cook, I have to watch the other 70 to make sure they each mix ingredients correctly.
  • Basking Robbins has 31 flavors. My cake has millions and people call them by different names. It is important that I understand and keep up with all possible flavors and names for those flavors to properly cater to their needs.
  • My cake is valuable. One slight error in baking my SEO cake would result in all 70 cooks immediately losing their jobs. The cost of baking this cake is $0 – time is the only cost. To replace my SEO cake with a PPC cake would cost around $84 million a year.
  • Though my cake is white, I need to know how the gray and black cakes are made. Otherwise my white cake might be mistaken for a black cake and could get burned in the oven.

Ovens? We can’t forget to mention the search engines ovens.seo oven

  • The ovens are complicated. The main oven is known to have over 200 dials. Each dial’s importance changes frequently and dials are swapped out over time. Two other problems: the dials are unlabled. And they are invisible.
  • The ovens don’t work properly. Some have been broken for years. Plus, they all come with bad cook deterrents, but good cooks get torched in the process. To make matters worse, there’s no number to call if one of the ovens burns your cake.
  • The ovens change over time. Just when you get used to an oven, they swap it out for a new model. It’s not necessary to keep up with every mechanical modification in the oven, but it is important to know what types of cakes the ovens will favor in the future.

I’ve baked plenty of PPC cakes in my time. There’s no way they are nearly as complex, nor as fruitful as an SEO cake.

Posted in Search | Comments (18)

18 Responses to “My SEO Cake”

  1. SearchLvr Says:

    Effen hiliarious! I agree I primarily use a large SEO cake and small PPC cupcakes from time-to-time until my SEO cake carries the same flavor.

  2. WilliamC Says:

    That is the second cup of coffee I have spit out laughing today. Thanks, i think :P

  3. CrankyDave » Blog Archive » Dave Pasternack Says:

    [...] Speaking of cake, Dustin Woodard’s recipe for SEO Cake is a must read for all you aspiring “rocket scientists” out there. [...]

  4. IncrediBILL Says:

    Very nice cake recipe, loved it ;)

    However, Dave cohort Kevin Lee played the cancer card in their recipe so you better add some chemo to your baking powder.

  5. markus941 Says:

    Friggin hillarious. I think Dave doesn’t understand that some cakes are as big as they are.

  6. Li Evans Says:

    What a great way to point out that he apparently really doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    Sure hope you remembered to add the “no-follow” ‘ingredient’ to the linking on (his articles) this recipe. LOL

    Thanks for posting a link to this on SMG! :)

  7. Silver Says:

    This is nicely satirical!

  8. Darwin Hall Says:

    This poor guy has pissed out the wrong group of people. What a clown. One day, when he finally wakes up from his bliss, he will finally understand what SEO really is about. I’m sure the day will come when he either submits or goes crazy from paranoia.

  9. Who to target for online Advertising « musings Says:

    [...] If SEO is baking a cake, my head has been making cookies for a couple of months now. [...]

  10. crashingflwrgrl Says:

    Friggen hillarious!

    Note to self: Don’t piss off the SEO community!

  11. Friday Favorites 2/02/07 - Stuntdubl - Search Engine Marketing Consultant Says:

    [...] I think Dustin is right – SEO *IS* like baking a cake – and Michael has given the best free advice I’ve seen in a long time [...]

  12. Allen Says:

    You are a fool. Who’s “cake” are you baking? What “secret” ingredients are you using? Most SEOs are scam artists and I include you — if the cake cost $0.00 — why do you charge me monthly when I could hire my own chefs to bake it in MY kitchen?

  13. dustin Says:

    Allen: I am an in-house “head chef” for the cake that I described. The cake is one of the most popular sites on the Internet. My point is not who should be baking the cake, but that the cake is much more complicated then Dave claims.

  14. Dave Pasternack SEO Contest Update « Brent Hodgson, Copywriter Says:

    [...] And before you ask, no – these sites don’t have anything to do with Dave Pasternack’s ability to “bake a cake“. [...]

  15. paisley Says:

    I love it!! great blog!!! kudos!!!

    “SEO.. 3 out of 4 rocket scientist’s don’t get it either, why should Dave Pasternack”

    oh.. maybe because he works for a “search marketing” firm..

    PPC assclowns..

  16. Dave Pasternack Says:

    Congratulations! You can bake a cake. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts you actually proved my point for me. Perhaps you should go back and actually read what I wrote. Just because people don’t know how to bake a cake or do SEO doesn’t mean it’s rocket science. The size of the cake does not make the baking a more intelligent process.

  17. Darwin Hall Says:

    SEO is much like martial arts. The bigger the problem, the more the understanding needed to solve it. The so-called “apparent demystification of the SEO field” from your words is a very subjective opinion. Basic SEO “compliance” is different from competitive SEO. Trust me when I say that there is more going on beneath the surface than keyword research and A/B testing. But I can only lead you to water.

    Honestly, I feel sorry for you.

  18. PG Enterprises SEO Blog » Blog Archive » Dave Pasternack SEO Predictions in 2005 Says:

    [...] Except now he’s selling T-Shirts, baking cakes (no wait, his partner is asking for help with that – hmmm) and playing the cancer card. Sigh. [...]

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