I definitely don’t envy newcomers in today’s SEO arena. Back in the day, there were only a handful of “authorities” on the subject and they were all teaching identical techniques and tactics because it was what worked. Today, the rules have changed and there is now a myriad of blogs, sites, forums, feeds, articles, ebooks and “experts” peddling SEO advice. And with so much information to now weed through, I’m guessing that the problem for newbies has shifted from finding things to read and learn, to deciphering which advice to absorb and which to tune out.
Since Search Engine Optimization can be an overwhelming topic at best, I’ve gathered some – harder to find – tutorials, guides, articles and tools, which I consider to be reputable. There’s enough information here to wet a newbies whistle, but hopefully not so much as to overwhelm and confuse. I’m not saying that after using them all, you’ll be a SEO master (you’ll never master SEO) but I believe they’re an excellent place for an aspiring SEO to at least get their feet wet before they decide to dive in. It may even be useful to the SEO veteran who forgot some of the basics along the way (we’re all guilty of that sometimes).
1. SEO Glossary
The SEO industry uses terms and acronyms, which the beginner will most likely not be familiar with. If you’re new to the industry and you plan on reading a lot of content in order to learn some SEO skills, it is advisable to begin with a glossary. On the other hand if you already know what GYM SERPs are and you’re on a first name basis with 301s or Spiders, then you should probably just skip this and go optimize something (while I SMWC for even suggesting that you read it).
Published by Google in Nov 2008, this handy .pdf is useful for site owners who are new to the topic of SEO and wish to improve their sites’ interaction with search engines. Following the best practices outlined within will make it easier for search engines to both crawl and index your content. It will also give you a better understanding as to what the GOOG is looking for when it comes to your website. Don’t expect any spilled secrets though.
SEOmoz is one of the most respected online authorities for aspiring and beginner SEOs. Although their guide hasn’t been updated since 2006 it’s still full of great information on the basics of SEO and how to implement it. In fact, it provides a complete overview of most of the processes, techniques and strategies used by many search engine optimization specialists. You can also choose from 4 different formats to view the guide in. Use all 4 for maximum benefit (okay no, not really).
A comprehensive SEO “mini” book that covers almost everything related to SEO including; what SEO is, promoting your site to increase traffic, why links are important and everything in between. Although it’s referred to as a “mini”, I’ve seen full-fledged books that have less information than this, so I believe it’s definitely worth a read. Not that size matters or anything.
Since a person can only read so much SEO information (without their heads exploding), I’m glad there are some good alternatives to reading available. Here you can watch videos and learn the ins and outs of title tags, how to check a sites’ backlinks and basic Google operators. If you prefer the “learn by video” approach, you can also search for “SEO” on places such as Youtube.com and IMBroadcast.com.
Bonus: The video narrators voice resembles the little Geico gecko.
Before you do any SEO work yourself, learn about some basic tools that were invented to make your life easier. This article will tell you why no serious SEO should go without Firefox and which SEO related plug-ins to install with it. If you have no idea why you should look into using a Greasemonkey then this article is definitely for you.
A collaboration of information put together from two different forum threads by someone who was new to SEO. Learn about SEO basics, strategies, considerations, execution and starting out on the right path. Be sure and read the entire thread, as there are some insightful comments from SEO veterans within.
Tune in daily to the SEO 101 show on WebMasterRadio and learn Search Engine Optimization from square one. They aim to dish out helpful information for the beginners without overwhelming them with geek speak. Listeners can call in (or tweet) their questions and there are always special guests talking about such topics as keyword selection, SEO techniques and link building as well as social media and search engine marketing which are natural progressions after SEO.
If none of the above works for you or if you’ve plowed through it all and you’re thirsting for more, you could always try searching for your own resources. Ugh, not in the conventional way though. Here’s a custom search engine that searches a variety of only the top blogs and sites for search engine optimization on Google today. Since their goal is to help people find the best sources of search engine optimization information and resources, you’re bound to find something to your liking.
I came across hundreds of resources while researching this article and I found it difficult to choose one last site/tool/guide to add to the list. I’m therefore leaving this one up to you guys.
What beginner SEO resource would you add to the list?