Why Derek Powazek’s Posts Were Reprehensible

Derek Powazek
Derek Powazek

Since Derek Powazek wouldn’t allow my comment on his blog, I’ll put it on his SideWiki and briefly discuss the issue here.

Derek projected all his darkness on to the SEO community, calling them “cockroaches, bastards, evildoers, spammers, and jerkwads.” Then when they replied he called them touchy. He then played the victim when people criticized him, somehow inhabiting his own moral universe where condemning an entire group of good people is nicer than condemning an individual who takes his anger out on others.

Now, it’s human nature to get angry at others. I do it all the time. But I try to channel my anger at rotten individuals who abuse others. So Derek, please feel free to attack me back, but do it personally, OK?

For more depth, read these excellent spoofs and critiques from

Peter and Ari’s posts ridicule Powazek’s posts. Danny plays it straight. I won’t link to Powazek’s post, but you can get there from the links above.

Anyway, I know I need to control my anger. This post is an attempt to vent. I’m channeling my anger against a man who wrote a reprehensible post slandering good people. I wish Derek would channel his darkside in a more productive manner.

To clarify a few final points:

  • You can’t just say all Politicians are Crooks, All Artists are Drunks, etc. and then say “well if you’re not than you’re not a politician, you’re a public figure, etc.”
  • Some SEOs are bad. So are some politicians, doctors, web designers, bloggers, and puppies. To say the bad ones define the group and the good ones should find another name is ridiculous.
  • Saying “just create a good site and you don’t need SEO” is like saying “just eat well and exercise and you don’t need a doctor” or “just be good and you won’t need PR, marketing, or lawyers.” Sure, everything starts with being good and doing good. But to think it ends there is naive.
  • I don’t know whether Powazek is an idiot, a charlatan, neither, or both. I don’t know whether this post was representative of his other work. It didn’t inspire me to learn more about him. I do know that his SEO posts were written to cast a group of good people as villains, and that he should apologize and stop projecting his darkness onto others.
  • Update: Powazek posted a faux-apology which had 16 paragraphs explaining that even the SEOs know that he’s right. Proof? They were offended by his post. If they didn’t know he was right, they wouldn’t have been offended. It’s a lame argument. By the same pseudo-logic the offense he took to being called an obnoxious jerk proves that he knows he is one. Oh, and Powazek snuck in a paragraph of a weak apology (“I cast too wide a net”) and ended with “Let’s all be friends.” Smarter and nicer people than me accepted his apology. I still have anger management issues, and his use of an apology post to restate his point didn’t help. I made this comment on his blog, but he’s been using his comments section as a testimonial section, so he rejected it.

Image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/gorriti/ / CC BY-SA 2.0