ergophobe - 12:27 am on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)
If there was a definitive manual on SEO all sites would tie at #1 in the serps
Ha! If only. Of course, I basically agree with everything you wrote other than this. But I know the excerpted quote is wrong. How do I know? Well, by simple analogy: There are many "definitive" guides to physical fitness that tell you everything you need to be physically fit. One might be better than another, but dozens or hundreds, followed carefully, will give you six-pack abs and rock hard thighs. Yet some astronomical percentage of Americans are obese. How can that be? By your logic, everyone the same plan will have the same percentage body fat. Ah yes, but the gap between knowledge and implementation is huge, especially when implementation involves painful sacrifice.
In fitness and SEO, the same rule applies: a so-so plan faithfully executed will give far better results than an excellent plan that does not get executed.
Of course, there is nothing more harmful than a bad plan assiduously executed. So lookout for fitness plans that include donuts and SEO plans that include link farms.