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Experts share SEO updates

Posted by Elena del Valle on June 29, 2012

The Art of SEO book cover
The Art of SEO book cover

Is search engine ranking an art or a science? What is the secret? Opinions vary and the answers are elusive at best. Yet, many continue to seek them because of the power they provide those who find even a fraction of success. In August 2011, people performed 158 billion online searches (comScore) and that same month 1.3 billion souls each relied on a search engine search.

Toward deciphering the ever changing secrets of search engine optimization (SEO) four experts combined years of knowledge and insights in search engine optimization to compile the second edition of The Art of SEO Mastering Search Engine Optimization (O’Reilly, $49.99), a 688-page softcover book published March of this year. Eric Enge, founder and chief executive officer, Stone Temple Consulting; Stephan Spencer, founder, Netconcepts; Jessie Stricchiola, founder, Alchemist Media, Inc.; and Rand Fishkin, chief executive officer and cofounder, SEOmoz, are the authors.

Although they identify anyone involved in the search engine optimization process at any level, especially web developers, development managers and marketers, as the target audience for the book judging by the size and complexity of some of the sections the book is not for the faint of heart or those who lack time to read. The authors promise to address updates on recent changes in search engine behavior like ranking methods requiring user engagement and social media; insights on insider SEO issues; the inner workings of search engines; the role of social media, user data, and links; how to track results and measure success; understanding how changes to a site may confuse search engines; building an SEO team; and future trends.

They point out that online searches, many on Google, reach 88 percent of people in the United States and billions internationally. They go on to outline that the dominant search engines in July 2011 were, in descending order, Google (65 percent), Yahoo (16 percent), Microsoft (14.4 percent), Ask (2.9 percent) and AOL (1.4 percent); and that in August 2011, searches were generally of one (25.8 percent) or two words (22.8 percent). Keeping abreast of search engine changes requires constant monitoring and adaptation and being an early adopter is essential, they point out. At the same time the long delay between adopting search engine optimization strategies and seeing results can be daunting; measuring results is important and can influence future budget decisions, they point out in a later chapter.

The tome is divided into 14 chapters with a very brief conclusion at the end of each: The Search Engines: Reflecting Consciousness and Connecting Commerce; Search Engine Basics; Determining Your SEO Objectives and Defining Your Site’s Audience; First Stages of SEO; Keyword Research; Developing an SEO-Friendly Website; Creating Link-Worthy Content and Link Marketing; How Social Media and User Data Play a Role in Research Results and Rankings; Optimizing for Vertical Search; Tracking Results and Measuring Success; Domain Changes, Post-SEO Redesigns, and Troubleshooting; SEO Research and Study; Build an In-House SEO Team, Outsource It, or Both? and An Evolving Art Form: The Future of SEO.

The Art of SEO book cover
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