Calacanis Accepts The SEO Challenge

    February 9, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

After he called the SEO industry a bunch of snake oil salesmen and warned people away from smoking the "SEO crack," venture capitalist Jason Calacanis found himself on the receiving end of a call to action.

Calacanis Accepts The SEO Challenge
The Truth About SEO To Be Revealed?

That came from Neil Patel, who thought Jason needed to learn a little more about SEO before being so judgmental. Neil placed a challenge into the blogosphere, right where Jason could see it:

So to you Jason, I offer the following challenge: I can take your blog and increase your daily search traffic by a minimum of 10 to 20% after 30 days of putting my changes into effect. I will NOT be doing anything "shady" or unethical and will even point out all the changes that will be made to your blog. You can even have your own designer/programmer make the changes to your blog; I will even layout everything for them using step-by-step instructions.

As well as increasing your traffic I would like to educate you about SEO and what it is really about. There are tons of great and ethical SEOs that help companies increase their traffic without doing anything against the guidelines of search engines.

Jason later posted a followup comment accepting Neil’s offer, writing, "OK, I’m game… but only if you are 100% transparent about what you’re doing and you do no shady/gaming stuff."

Maybe this would put the whole SEO kerfuffle in abeyance until Neil gets his shot at cleaning up Jason’s site and making it a lot ‘smarter’ in SEO terms. But the video another Pronet blogger, Muhammad Saleem, posted that got things rolling has elicited a compare-and-contrast response from WebGuerilla’s Greg Boser.

He compares the service offered by the video’s speaker, Gary Ruplinger, to those provided by Neil and by CopyBlogger’s Brian Clark. Greg finds that the concept of promoting a site to social bookmarking services for a fee is pretty much the same between all three, but he is careful to make a distinction between Gary and Neil & Brian:

Now please don’t think I’m suggesting that either Brian or Neil are on the same level as our buddy “Video Gary.” I’m not. They are both really smart guys who are very good at what they do.

What I am saying is “Video Gary” is a product of their (Social Media Marketing) industry, not mine. You just can’t have it both ways. Once you get to the point where you have an acronym that describes what you do, you have to take responsibility for those in your acronym who suck.

One of Greg’s commentors, Neil’s co-worker Cameron Olthuis, wrote that Gary really is not a SMM spammer. "I don’t think wonderboy Gary was suggesting the submissions for the traffic, in fact he was suggesting it for the links. So he is, after all, just an SEO spammer."

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