< Note that the Google Forum Charter guidelines [webmasterworld.com]
prohibit the discussion of SEO Tools, so let's keep this discussion to
print books and not online materials. - Thanks.>
For me, beyond the basics SEO changes too fast for anyoneto publish a truly useful book. That's why forums like WebmasterWorld exist. I have a friend who teaches SEO at the college level, and she assigns her students to read WebmasterWorld and discuss it in class, rather than have something in print.
So my answer would be no - there is no print book I would recommend.
If someone is completely new to SEO, I would suggest they read the books to understand how the industry has evolved. There is a little bit of value in looking back to see how SEOs find weaknesses in the ranking algo and exploit them, then seeing how Google responds and closes the exploits. But do not follow the advice in printed books because it is based on very out dated information.
As Ted points out the printed material is out of date. Even the most recent printed book is out of date because there are constant updates. Just a few days ago Google released Penguin 2.0 and by the time a printed book is made that covers Penguin 2.0, Google will likely have released another change.
Personally I read forums and blogs for information but always confirm it with my own tests. Many people claim to be SEO geniuses online yet when you test their claims you often find out they are just filled with hot air.
ps Reading Google patent filings is also interesting to see what they are thinking about, even if they never decide to use the patent
The problem with SEO books, and even online SEO documents, is that they are written by people with a limited view of half of the equation. Most SEO people do not understand search engine development or how a multitude of search algorithms work together. The good ones are limited to testing things and then, if these approaches work, using them or writing about them. However all it takes is for one or two modifications in a search engine's algorithm (or an equally limited search engine employee with a poor understanding of the web) to invalidate years of SEO. With SEO there is one very important rule even for dealing with SEO techniques even from acknowledged SEO experts: Verify before using. But don't just rely on one source or even on books published prior to the last major search engine algorithm update.
Absolutely the most important point to be made.
There is a lot of misinformation to be found about SEO. You have to read with a very, very critical eye, even when reading the best known folks. Nobody gets it right all the time and their interpretations might not be the same as yours. The Internet makes it very easy to track down source documents or quotes and there is no excuse not to verify a statement or fact.
And always keep in mind that folks might have differing agendas than sharing information. They might shade the facts a bit to better market their services or tools.
Just yesterday the president of an Internet marketing company published a post in which he quoted a person as saying such and such. The person never came close to saying such and such, it was just the writer's bit of self-serving interpretation. Verify. Verify. Verify.
That's pretty much confirms my thoughts. There are so many books on SEO the only purpose of which is promote the person or agency behind the book.
I went to twitter and followed assorted SEO types that I'd heard of (plus most of the industry news sites) and watched what they tweeted and read their posts and after a while it became pretty clear who knows what they're talking about and who doesn't. (You don't have to actually tweet in order to read) That's also a good way to find up-and-comers and other people I might not otherwise have come across, because if they're consistently good, they get retweeted and so on.
I find it much more useful than books or other publications, and an efficient way to separate the wheat from the chaff.
|after a while it became pretty clear who knows what they're talking about and who doesn't |
Yah, sure, but-- not to belabor the obvious-- this is your day job. You can tell who knows their stuff. How does an ordinary human tell? Heaven knows there's no relationship between the degree of confidence projected by a speaker, and the reliability of what's being said :(
Oh I know.
When I first started (I kid you not) I went and looked up as many WebmasterWorld people that I thought I could trust and followed them, and then I went to see who THEY were following, and followed them too.
And so on. To some degree, that's all you can do. Locate one person you think you can trust, and kind of radiate out from there.
I think my "Patient Zeroes" were IncrediBILL and Pageoneresults. Oh, and g1smd.
So far, Webmasterworld seems to be the only place on internet where I can get in touch with adequate people and not self-promoting amateurs.
< moved from another location >
I am new to SEO, and have been looking through amazon for books to read, but there a lot to choose from....
Can someone give me their recommendation for the top 5 reads? My main focus for SEO is:
- promoting my own businesses in Google search engines results
- link building
- affiliate marketing and adwords/adsense
Thanks in advance!
[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:43 pm (utc) on Jul 13, 2013]