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Outstanding guide to common sense search engine promotion!
on February 10, 2003
This book puts search engine optimization in perspective. If you've been looking at the web sites of search engine optimization firms and not been able to figure out what it is they do, this book will clue you in as to what you should expect to hear from a reputable company. It may also be an eye opener if you think attaining top rankings in the main search results on engines like Google is as simple as breaking out the checkbook and paying some company to "do optimization" without making any changes to your website (though there are some companies that can pull this off for surprisingly long periods of time).
Search Engine Visibility is the first book I've ever seen that acknowledges search engine optimization does not exist in a vacuum separate from the business or philanthropic goals of a website. Search engine optimization should be an integral part of the planning and design stages of any website. It's refreshing to see a publication that emphasizes this.
This book will help you understand what you can do to increase search engine referrals and further your business goals without spamming the engines. [Though if you take everything in this book literally you may be scared that if you put a few words in your meta tags that don't appear in the copy of your page Google will ban your site - that's just not going to happen, but you do put your site at risk if you resort to some of the other Spam tactics mentioned in the book]
You'll learn best practices in:
* Keyword research and selection
* Site design and layout
* Designing search engine friendly navigation systems
* Crafting keyword (and user!) focused copy on your pages
* Improving visibility for search engine "challenged" sites
* Preparing for and doing directory submissions
The section on dealing with directories and directory editors is probably the best write up of the directory planning, submission, and listing process I've ever seen. [This comes from one who has been one of those editors since 99'] It gives you very realistic expectations with respect to getting your site listed in the major web directories. Follow the included guidelines and checklists and you can't go wrong. Chances are, however, it will take a fairly long time for your site to get reviewed and listed unless you expressly pay for an express review.
You won't find the minute technical details of how each engine works in this book and you don't need them. All engines look at the link text and visible copy on your site as well as some combination of title, description, keyword, alt, and header tags. Focus on the basics and you'll do just fine. Keep your eye on your customers; a search engine spider will never buy anything from you.
To round out your search engine optimization/marketing library be sure to pick up a copy of "NetWords", "Persuasive Online Copywriting", and a good book on style sheets (CSS) such as "Designing CSS Web Pages" By Christopher Schmitt or "Eric Meyer on CSS"
For more up to the minute info on search engine promotion pay a visit to the WebmasterWorld forums.