SEO: where is the proof for pr sculpting?

Oh SEOmoz, you continue to force be to have a love-hate relationship with you. You are not alone in your trollish nature of followers, but you seem to be a great example of it.

So the backstory – Yesterday I was catching up on the backlog known as my RSS reader and came across an interesting post from eariler in the week. In this post, Rand at SEOmoz presents an argument for “link consolidation”, or the grouping of pages into a single page sets. While the idea is not entirely bad, and certainly has it’s place, the thread of comments are just sad.

The premise of the disagreement was this: A group of SEO “gurus” have pushed the practice of pr sculpting and the benefit of this practice was recently debunked by Matt Cutts. If this group truly has solid numbers for the sculpting technique, (1) how could they not catch the removal Google’s use of this for over a year, and (2) why can’t anyone show real, factual data to support their claim?

This is the type of activity that makes SEO consultants looks like snake-oil salesmen. They are hurting what should be a respected industry and making my life harder by forcing me to spend massive amounts of time building trust with clients who have been bitten by these fly-by-night people. In both science and in business, you go through analytics to review data. In the case of science, you then go on to formations of theories and peer review. Where is the peer review element here? Why must people get defensive when you ask for solid proof? It’s really just a simple, valid request.

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