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The Truth About Search Engine Optimization Paperback – February 23, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Que Publishing; 1 edition (February 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789738317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789738318
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,152,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rebecca Lieb is a digital content and SEO consultant, as well as a writer, author, and editor. For almost eight years, she was Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of the ClickZ Network, the largest source of interactive marketing and advertising news, opinion, commentary, and resources in the world, online or off. She has held executive marketing and communications positions at strategic e-services consultancies, and worked in the same capacity for global entertainment and media companies, including Universal Television & Networks Group (formerly USA Networks International) and Bertelsmann’s German network, RTL Television. As a journalist, Rebecca has written on media for numerous publications, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and spent five years as Variety’s Berlin-based German/Eastern European bureau chief. Until recently, she was a member of the graduate faculty at New York University’s Center for Publishing, where she also served on the Electronic Publishing Advisory Group. She frequently speaks on interactive marketing, advertising, and search worldwide.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Introduction

Introduction

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art and the science of getting a website to appear prominently in organic search engine results when a search submits a query relevant to that website.

In other words, it’s about standing out from the crowd. It’s being front-and-center when a searcher raises his proverbial hand and says: “Hey! Over here! I’ve got a question and need an answer. Who’s available to help?”

Often, that question relates to “Where can I buy...?” or “Who can I do business with?” A well-optimized website, therefore, is something akin to the Holy Grail of marketing. It provides the right message to the right person at the right time.

And who’s the person in question? Well, everyone. Very close to literally everyone, given that the overwhelmingly majority of people in developed countries are online—and searching. Search long ago became the second-largest online activity (after email). Search has evolved from merely providing answers to stated problems and queries. Today, it’s the way most people navigate the Web. The major search engines are so good and so fast, search has largely replaced even the necessity of bookmarking favorite online destinations. In recent years, we’ve even seen the search bar come close to taking the place of the navigation bar in most major web browsers.

Even the most casual searcher has noticed that search is changing. It’s becoming deeper, more specific, more personalized, and more customized. Now, searchers can search for (and site owners can optimize for) shopping, blogs, video, images, local resources, books, or audio files. There’s almost nothing on the Web that can’t be found by, or optimized for, search engines, from the Big Three (Google, Yahoo!, and MSN) to a clutch of highly specialized search engines.

If marketers didn’t think being found on search engines was critical to their business strategy, the Big Three would hardly be so big. A company like 10-year-old Google rocketed from obscurity to becoming a multibillion market cap company because marketers are confident that investing in search engine advertising is a wise move. That’s why paid search advertising accounted for 41 percent of the $17 billion spent on interactive advertising in 2007. Search is the fastest-growing marketing segment of the Internet, which, in turn, is the fastest-growing channel in the history of media.

The purpose of this book is to introduce you to the basic precepts, principles, strategies, and tactics inherent in search engine optimization. It’s about how to make your website “findable” by the right person at the right time.

It’s not a book for geeks. It will not teach you how to write code, or get you up to your elbows in programming. But whether you’re a small webmaster or a chief marketing officer overseeing a search optimization initiative, you will learn tactics, strategies, and best practices for wrapping your arms around this whole search thing.

If you’ve got a business with a web presence, not being findable on the major search engines is akin to not being listed in the phonebook—only worse, perhaps.

How can you possibly afford to pass up the opportunity to be there when potential customers or clients come looking for you? At the same time, how can you ensure that they find you for the right queries? Your “steel drums” may be musical instruments, or they may be industrial parts. A properly executed SEO strategy helps you be conspicuously “there” for contextually relevant search queries. The goal, after all, isn’t just to attract traffic to a website, but qualified traffic. Both the site owner and the searcher alike benefit from solid SEO.

Finally, a note. Although this book deals with optimizing for all search engines great and small (including some you’ve likely never heard of), you’ll find a preponderance of references to Google, and with good reason. By May 2008, a mind-boggling 71.5 percent of all searches in the United States were conducted on Google (source: Compete). Yahoo! lags far, far behind with 13.3 percent, and the remaining 15 percent or so is splintered between MSN, Ask.com, AOL, and others. If the tactics and practices in this book favor Google as the benchmark of all things search, that’s because it is. Google is bigger than the proverbial 500-pound gorilla. In search, it’s more like Godzilla. I’ve, therefore, made an effort not to favor Google in this book, but to present today’s market realities that will doubtless hold true far into the foreseeable future—and beyond.

Rebecca Lieb
New York City
October 2008


© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.


More About the Author

Rebecca Lieb is an analyst at the Altimeter Group where she covers digital advertising and marketing.

A consultant, author, and sought-after speaker, Rebecca is the former VP of Econsultancy's US operations. She was VP and editor-in-chief of The ClickZ Network for over seven years. For a portion of that time, Rebecca also ran SearchEngineWatch.com.

Earlier, Rebecca held executive marketing and communications positions at strategic e-services consultancies, including Siegel+Gale, and has worked in the same capacity for global entertainment and media companies including Universal Television & Networks Group and Bertelsmann's RTL Television. As a journalist, she's written on media for numerous publications, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. She spent five years as Variety's Berlin-based German/Eastern European bureau chief. Until recently, Rebecca taught at New York University's Center for Publishing, where she also served on the Electronic Publishing Advisory Group.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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It's well written and a very easy read.
Moe Rubenzahl
Simply put this is one of the best SEO books I have read.
Ken Jansen
I highly recommend this book over any other.
bancheromedia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By JustADesigner on June 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
As most people searching for SEO books, I was looking for the most up-to-date book possible. Even though this book claims to be 1st printed Feb 2009 the text references outdated "current events." Refers a few times to the "new" Indiana Jones movie and news about George W. Bush. Also refers to "Macromedia" Flash, but I think that was just a lack of software knowledge.
Don't get me wrong I learned a lot... A LOT!, but I question if some of this content is already outdated. Algorithms are always changing.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Rick Short on April 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Truth About Search Engine Optimization" is both technically accurate and implementable - the perfect storm for any Marketing Communications professional.

I've studied SEM extensively, and have been active in it for a few years. This book has taught me many things, and affirmed others. In fact, I plan to purchase several more copies and use it as a "text" in a class I am designing for my bloggers (product managers and marketers). The bite-sized and actionable chapters make total sense, are easily digestible, and are even inspirational - especially for those in my company who need to achieve more on the net but who don't care to invest tons of time learning all these tools on their own.

I am confident that this book will be a major influence in the transformation that is about to occur in my SEM program.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By H. MOORE on June 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book was a required textbook for a web/e-commerce class that I was taking. I am active in SEO in my current job as well and the text married both the concepts I was learning in class to the work that I was performing on my work website. Easily understood concepts and great techniques shared throughout the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm on May 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm new to the world of SEO, so I wanted to know a little more about it without getting too confused on all the technical stuff. If you haven't read any of the "The Truth About" books, then the first thing you should know is that each chapter isn't very lengthy. Instead, it gets to the heart of the matter without having to go into all the little details. I did enjoy that much about this book.

The reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because doesn't give you examples to look at when you want to add it to your code. That, however, isn't enough to make me not like this book. I'm actually looking forward in getting more of these books.

So, if you want a book that doesn't get into all the technical terms of SEO, then you should pick this one up. It's a quick read, but a good read that will help you achieve some good SEO.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Phillip C. Neal on July 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Rebecca Leib is easy to read. After reading this book, it has become clear that the hard part of SEO is not understanding what to do, it is taking the time to execute it properly.

It is refreshing to read a book with succinct chapters on one aspect of SEO. You are not overwhelmed and lost before she drives home the point of the chapter.

After reading this book, all of the gibberish I had been reading in other SEO texts suddenly made sense. The difference is, I'm not sifting the gibberish to get to the nuggets.

Nothing I learned in this little book was contraindicated in any other reading I have done thus far, nor was it explained any better.

I highly recommend this book as a first book on SEO. You can then review other fatter texts for greater detail and more examples. I doubt you will have missed anything important with this approach.

Phillip C. Neal DDS
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By E. Herrera on September 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just finished reading this, and I have to say I'm a little annoyed. I've been building websites and doing SEO work for several years now, so this isn't the first book I've read. But you need to stay updated, and see what's new...

Apparently nothing is new. If you've read one book on SEO, this book won't help you. I don't really know who this book is for...

If you've read an SEO book before:

You won't find new information here. Just a rehash of everything you've already read and implemented on your own sites. Lots of filler. Pages start to drag on. It's only 208 pages and could be edited down to 120.

If you've never read an SEO book before:

You'll get a thorough overview of what SEO is, BUT you're going to have to buy another book to show you how to do it. This talks about SEO. Tells you what might be a good idea. But it won't show you how to do it. It's not a how-to book as other reviews have mentioned.

So who's this book for? Not for me that's for sure.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Voracious Reader on April 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
This books gives a nice overview of the S.E.O. process.

If you aren't familiar with SEO, this is a great place to start. It's not a technical book, it's more aimed at managers or small business owners that need to figure out what what needs to be done and who they need to hire.

The book doesn't talk about technical details, such as how to change your meta tags, it just tells you that it needs to be done.

An easy, pleasant read that will give you a solid foundation for starting your SEO process.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 2, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I seem to be at odds with the majority of reviews of this book. The book is practically useless with little to no specific information presented. Yes, the author does mention that the META tag keywords is not necessary, and that titles should be no longer than 60 chars to match Google, but for the most part the book is a litany of vague generalities that could be better summarized on a two page White Paper. An index may have helped, but there is none.

The book's Appendix A sounds very helpful, but is available only online. In the book the appendix advertises a "number of free tools" but it doesn't exist. Entering the URL redirects you to a page where you can buy another copy, register, etc. Thinking the Appendix may be avaiable to registered users I tried that. But after filling in all the required fields and clicking the "Just Register" button the site insisted that all 14 marketing questions such as "What is your Gender? be completed" There seems to be no way to simply Register so I simply left.

I recommend avoiding this book if you're serious about SEO.
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