Customer Review

148 of 154 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Necessarily for Dummies, April 20, 2005
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This review is from: Search Engine Optimization For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) (Paperback)
I suppose with an average of 5-Stars my review ranking makes me the curmudgeon since I offer only 3-Stars. Dummies books many times become complicated because they flounder around instead of getting straight to the subject matter, this book is no exception. While offering a plethora of important and valuable information the writings start, stop and go back and forth too often. I was armed with a highlighter and notepad but found myself constantly referencing back and forth, forced to re-read passages to collect all the data important to optimize according to the authors recommendations.

An example is discussing topics, which engage the readers interest only to suddenly stop with, "More on this subject in Chapter X." Ok, so I put my highlighter down until later. This becomes frustrating. Discuss highlights in the book with an introduction and get to the point in one place, not later in several places. The checklist offered on the inside cover is a nice highlight and covering the topics once again in an introduction should be enough and will lead to less confusion.

As with all tech books, without any fault to the author, the subject matter becomes dated quickly. This is the case with SEO for Dummies but the basics offered are valuable as a starting point in optimizing your web site. Although keywords, content and reciprocal linking are stressed heavily, my own inadvertent experiment has shown content to actually be at least as valuable if not more important than incoming links for high-ranking sites. As an example, I have two web-blogs with Google rankings of 2 and 3 respectively which have virtually no incoming links only a lot of content. In these cases content proves extremely valuable. These blogs are relatively young.

The author makes an attempt to explain Googles algorithm but fails miserably to make a point, and serves no purpose in advancing SEO knowledge and very little is mentioned about the Google "Sandbox" which is the initial purgatory new sites are sent to while Google decides a web sites worthiness. Understanding the sandbox in extremely important so the Webmaster pro or amateur realizes page ranking comes with sweat equity and patience.

My largest disappointment came when visiting the authors web site which was not up to date and had several "dead links." At this writing his Google site ranking is 5/10, which is very good but one must practice what they preach and these instances were glaring errors. Another problem is the author spends time discounting the use of "Frames/Frameset" but his site uses frames as viewed in the source code. If they should be avoided why does his site contain them?

I recommend this book if purchased with a deep discount. Next thoroughly read and digest the research information at [...] and incorporate all your information and experience into a business plan using their template. In combination with SEO for Dummies your site will be enhanced for SEO and you'll have a deeper understanding of Google and other methods of SEO to increase site traffic as well as page ranking.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 9, 2008 6:00:56 PM PST
Leslie Estes says:
Old review, refers to an out of edition. Could be the author gleaned some helpful advice form this review. I wish Amazon would "flip" these reviews (older reviews last, newer first) when a new edition comes out to give it a fairer review representation.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 13, 2010 9:12:14 AM PDT
Aristo says:
Thank you, Leslie. Very helpful to know.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 13, 2010 3:25:47 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 13, 2010 3:26:43 PM PDT]

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 3:36:08 PM PST
NicheGuy says:
Don't shoot the messenger - the review was valid when written and you can view reviews in most current reviews first.

Posted on Apr 21, 2011 10:51:44 PM PDT
Thank you so much for recommending www.marketingexperiments.com. This is an enormously helpful site that I never would have heard of if I hadn't read your very insightful review. I also very much appreciate someone that questions "authority".

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2011 11:30:24 AM PST
ASU Stud 1 says:
I agree, thanks so much for your candid review & for posting the link to: www.marketingexperiments.com. It will be quite useful in my endeavors to learn this stuff. Cheers

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2011 3:33:36 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 14, 2011 3:37:10 PM PST
NicheGuy says:
@ ASU Stud 1 etal:

Besides looking into marketing experiments you might visit SEOMOZ (http://www.seomoz.org/) not necessarily to join as a paid member but as a free member so you can glean information that is helpful to you in your learning process.

They also have a book out but this is quite large in size yet useful as a reference. See "The Art of SEO - Mastering Search Engine Optimization" by Enge, Spencer, Fishkin, Stricchiola.

I agree with one reviewer, my original review was on the older book but as I've evolved in SEO my above recommendation is treated as an addendum to my first book review.
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