Most helpful critical review
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Average to below average SEO tutorial
on June 3, 2011
*** WARNING ***
At least 8 of the five star reviews for this book (as of the date of my review) look like put up jobs. Those eight reviews are almost certainly employees of the publisher or friends of the author, if not the author himself using alternate accounts. This is a tactic which many of us find disgusting, and I won't recommend that you buy this book under ANY circumstances when dishonest tactics such as this are used to market it. My review as written before this discovery stands below. This kind of behavior just underscores what I regard as the sleazy nature of the entire SEO publishing business.
The author has now solicited a self-confessed personal contact, one L. Weatherbottom, to further harass reviewers. Not only has LW stalked others of my reviews with troll comments, he/she also made harassing and insulting comments under both of the 2 star reviews. Their actions now simply speak for themselves. :-( I have made a report of this further harassment to Amazon.
NOTE TO AUTHOR: Every violation of Amazon standards and ethics by you is going to be reported in these updates at the top of this review. It is up to you just how long this list gets. At the very next harassment, I'm going to not only continue filing harassment complaints to Amazon, but will also go straight to Que's legal department. I'm sure they'll be thrilled to find out that they have a jerk out here trying to torpedo his own book after they put their money into it. I guarantee there is language in your contract which prohibits you from engaging in this kind of behavior. :-D Do you really want to let your childish streak endanger your royalties?
I might give this book more stars, but over the years I've become extremely distrustful of SEO books. As an industry they prey on the desperation of small business owners trying to find a way to survive or at least make progress. Most of them are utter dreck. Some are written by out and out liars. At the very best, you can follow all of the advice in an SEO book perfectly, and you won't know for at least months and possibly years if all the work you did based on the book's advice made any difference whatsoever.
However, I do get a different feeling about this book. For one thing, I googled some of the author's sites and they are indeed well placed on Google. That lends credibility to his own SEO skills. Try googling most SEO authors' sites, and you won't find them at all. Obviously you want to avoid buying the trash published by that kind of "SEO expert".
Now the question is: Did Evan accurately transfer his knack for achieving good SEO results to his readers? Again, even if you follow his tactics perfectly, you just won't know for a really long time, a fact he himself warns you about in his book.
Here is another QUESTION: When even the author tells you that it if his advice is correct, it will be months before you can know if following it helped your web site's ranking, HOW DO THESE 5 star reviewers, many of whom have a posted review before or within a week of the book's publication date, have any clue if the advice is correct????
ANSWER: They don't have a clue. (Plus see my warning added at the top of the review).
All of these SEO books get a lot of 5 star ratings dropped on them right after publication. Mostly these 5 star reviews are shams. Some are written by well meaning actual readers who read the book and think the advice sounds great. But there is NO WAY they can KNOW if the advice is correct unless they spend the weeks and months it takes to follow it, and then wait even longer to see if what they did made a difference.
NO favorable review of an SEO book can possibly be valid until at least a year after the reviewer obtained the book and started following its advice. If you are a web site owner desperate for more traffic, please keep that in mind and take all the rave reviews of SEO books with a MAJOR grain of salt.
As far as the SEO techniques in the book are concerned, they are not revolutionary. They are actually very similar to the general course of discussion you'll read anywhere about SEO, either in books that you pay for, or in free blogs on the subject. What Evan does is put a different emphasis on these techniques. He gives you a bit of a different philosophy on backlinks, and given his results, I would tend to trust that his take in this area is correct.
Like many SEO books, there is a section on using Google Adwords to drive traffic to your site. What neither Evan or other SEO authors really stress is that the average Adwords campaign is a waste of money. If you don't have a good profit margin on your product, and an EXCELLENT conversion rate (visitors to sales), you are going to lose money on Adwords, pure and simple. Unless I missed it somehow I didn't find this admonition in Evan's book. And like EVERY SEO book I've ever personally perused, he fails to give the most important tactic in devising a pay per click campaign. And no, I'm not going to give it away in this review, I paid good money years ago to learn it myself. LOL
I think this book is potentially more useful for its list of warnings than its list of positive actions. There are plenty of things you can do to get on Google's bad side, and this book gives you a good overview of what to avoid.
While he gives solid advice on what types of backlinks to try to obtain for your site, knowing what you need and actually finding agreeable sites to give you those backlinks are light years apart. You could potentially work tirelessly for weeks to get the types of links you need and not make much progress at all. It isn't a pursuit I would recommend leaving important daily work undone to pursue, because it really is a gamble with your time.
No matter what you do or who you hire to SEO your site, a good ranking is always going to be a bit of a ride on the roulette wheel. Only ten links can be in the top ten Google organic search results. If 200 web sites have done their job perfectly with immaculate SEO'd site content and wonderful links, 190 will fail to be in the top ten anyway. That's sort of the dirty little unspoken secret of SEO book and services sales. Its not really a secret, its obvious, but if you find an SEO book titled "Get Great Google Placement if you work REALLY hard, but more importantly, are REALLY lucky", please let me know. LOL
If you must buy an SEO book, this one isn't a bad choice. I believe Evan to be honest in what he has to say in the book, and I know he has achieved good results in his own right. That is head and shoulders better than 99% of "SEO experts".
However, my advice won't take you a book to read:
1. Have good keywords in your domain and page names
2. Have good keywords in your meta tags and headings
3. Write good content, again have the keywords in it
4. Advertise your business conventionally, and make sure your URL is on EVERYTHING that your customers and potential customers can see
Getting rich using Google is a bad bet. If that is all you base your marketing on, your business will likely fail long before Google will work you into a good search placement, even if you get lucky. So my three star rating isn't so much for this book as a standalone effort, its for the dreamy but unrealistic expectations that are a part of the entire SEO publishing circle.