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How to Learn SEO

Written by David Harry   
Saturday, 24 February 2007 06:04

It's an SEO Learning Link Fest!

(be sure to see the 2008 version of  How to learn SEO)

You know, I have been around many SEO forums in my day and one question that surfaces all of the time is something along the lines “What’s the best way to Learn SEO?”. As U might expect the answer is generally to search and read the forum on which the question is posted. The accompanying suggestions usually are somewhat skewed as forum flies are ‘clique’ type people and have a ‘set’ resource(s) that they all agree on and recommend over and over. If a certain author is not in the good graces of said forum, then regardless of the value of the information, it is likely not mentioned.

So what IS the best way to going about learning SEO? Going onto SEO Forums? Reading books and Blogs? What about Elite Retreats and other SEO Conferences?

Good questions, glad I asked. Each and every one of us learns as we live, differently. So I cannot give a squared away and tidy answer as to the magic formula of learning SEO, but I can give a list of ideas and resources I feel will arm you well in all aspects of SEO and Internet Marketing. This is not a comprehensive undertaking, simply my take on what I would advise…. so read along for the ultimate SEO Learning Guide!

The Journey to Learn SEO

To begin with, I don’t believe there is ONE single source, nor method, that can teach you completely. Nor do I believe simple study and participatory interaction will get U there. There is a certain element of hands-on that is required to get a feel for things and see for yourself what works and what doesn’t.

SEO Books – In my experience a great many people ‘poo -poo’ SEO books as they can get ‘dated’ fast unless updated frequently by the author and that many (if not most?) of them are of a poor quality and often dangerously useless information. For me, (biased author here) it can be the best starting point. It is very difficult to get the most from a forum or even a Blog without a basic foundation and grounding in the ‘Art of SEO’ – there is no point of reference. A quality reference book can give you that foundation from which to build upon.

the SEO Book by Aaron Wall
Mike Grehan Search Marketing Book
Sherpa Store - Buyers Guide to SEO
Internet Marketing for Dummies - make a smart SEO dummy outta' yerself.
Site Point Search Engine Marketing Kit
Web Marketing Today SEO Guide
SEO Tutor - from Tom ( fellow SEO loner CopyScape addict - he he)
The SEO HandBook – my own humble offering into the marketplace.

SEO and Internet Marketing Forums – Despite what the proponents of SEO forums would have you believe, it is not necesarily the best source of information. There is quality information to be found upon forums, it is often hard to find and many of the more experienced posters have tired of the ‘same old’ questions and have low participation levels. This leaves intermediate and novice enthusiasts and professionals to field your questions/thoughts... this can be troublesome. Although the interaction is a healthy part of the learning cycle, take the information with a grain of salt. I would also suggest some elementary SEO reading prior to using the forums thus giving you a better chance of understanding the concepts being discussed on the boards

Digital Point | SEO Chat | SEO Roundtable | Site Reference | Web WorkShop | Google WebMaster Help | Warrior Forum | WebPro World | SEO Guy | Search Guild | SEO Refugee |

Dave’s SEO Forum News – I try to keep a tally of valuable threads I run into –

SEO Blogs – Blogs don’t always have the best in tutorial style learning, but they are great for up-to-date information. A good idea is to add the Blogs into your favorite news reader and simply keep an eye out for stories of interest. Many of the best minds in SEO haven’t written a book and spend very little time on the forums. The SEO blogosphere is another great resources of SEO and Internet marketing learning.

The Mad Hat - Fire Horse approved reading.
Daily SEO News by Rand Fishkin
Search Engine Land from Danny Sullivan 'and Co'
Search Engine Watch Blog - the original
Michael Gray aka Graywolf SEO Blog
SEO Book Blog, by Aaron Wall;
Bill Slawski, wise-man and Patent authority
David Naylor (UK) - uh, well it's Dave.
Top Rank by Lee Odden;
SEO BlackHat by QuadZilla
John Andrews - smart SEO cookie
Grey Hat News - Gurtie and friends
IrishWonder  of Syndk8's Blog
Chris Hooley’s Think Bait
Greg Boser - Web Guerilla
10e20 Search Design and Social
SEO & SEM Training from David Temple

… I shall add to this list as I go along my trail, it’s late at the moment.

Online Resources – As with books there are many sites offering SEO information and tutorials. As with anything we must consider the source. Quality, trusted sources are best as there is still a lot of mis-information in the still young industry of SEO. I would also encourage you to get in the habit of looking for dates on any online information you come across. As with many technology related fields, SEO can change quickly and older information may become invalid. Try to stay current and on reliable sources.

Search Engine Watch | Wikipedia on SEO | SEOMOZ Beginners Guide | Search Engine Roundtable | Search Engine Guide | Reliable SEO Knowledgebase

SEO and Internet Marketing Conferences and Courses – I don’t really recommend these for the very nubile SEO enthusiast, but if you have the basics and a few bucks to spare, they can be a useful experience. I must say I do not formally recommend any of the below, as I do not have first hand knowledge of them. If they send me free copies or invitations, I shall let you know. Until then, I do feel they should at least make the list, just to cover all the bases.

Search Engine Strategies | PubCon from WebMaster World | Search Marketing Expo | Elite Retreat | Search Engine College
SE Academy (Canadian content for my Homies) | SEMPO Training Center | China Search Marketing Tour |

.... and a good friend on the trail, Jordan Kasteler is launching a site that teaches SEO step-by-step via screencast which is a great place to Learn SEO Live.. ( starts Feb.18 2008)

Putting it all together

As I slid by earlier, in my opinion (IMO for the nOObs), starting with at least some rudimentary reading is a wise idea. You will need to get a grip on the basics to be able to fully digest all that comes with forums and Blogs. Of course there is no teacher like experience. Ultimately putting your new found knowledge and skills to use will tell you what works best for your unique site and situation.

Happy Hunting – See you along the Trail.

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