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Web Traffic Magnet: 55 Free Things You Can Do to Drive Traffic to Your Website Paperback – August 12, 2008
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About the Author
Author of <The 12 Habits of Highly Effective Websites>, <From Paper to Plastic> and <Product Trajectory>, Scanlan has worked for a decade and a half on every facet of Internet commerce. From developing and shipping web traffic analytics products to implementing e-commerce solutions, founding several companies, including Bocada Inc and SiteLeads.net, Scanlan has learned what a website needs to be visible to search engines and what must be in place to drive paying customers to the product and service the website offers.
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I do want to add however, that it's not a magic bullet. Firstly, implementing everything takes quite a bit of time and if you're like me or most busy small business owners you may not get around to it all. Secondly, the tips in this book may be limited in helping your site get to the top spot for more competitive keywords. That takes something else; more like industry trust and/or a big name. Lastly, seeing these changes work takes time and patience; plus, you have to work on them constantly. I think I bought this book at the beginning of last year with hopes that I'd see improvements by the holidays. I did. My problem was that I stopped after some success and like I said, you have to be dedicated, consistent and patient. So I'm starting 2012 with Scanlan's new title.
Anyhow, I question those who criticize this advice as being for newbies. If that were true why don't I see companies much larger than my own implementing these strategies? Presumably, they've hired the best SEO people in the business who should already know this newbie stuff, right?
According to the author: "I crammed as much into as few pages as possible. This allows me to keep the book price reasonable. Adding page breaks to the beginning of chapters would have added about a dollar to the price, so I took them out."
I found it very hard to focus on the author's suggestions due to the above. If this really is Volume 1, it's enough for me. Volume 2 is definitely scratched from my list of "must-haves" -especially if it's typeset in any way like the previous one.
Note to Mr. Scanlan: I'm willing to pay an extra buck for a better produced book. This really is hard on the eyes, even if the information is good.
While many of the tips in this book are genuinely useful to anyone that's new to web marketing, they are noticeably recycled from older guides on internet promotion.
The good news about Web Traffic Magnet is that many of the techniques included definitely work. There are useful tips related to the ideal way to create page title tags, why inbound links to your site are important, and how to avoid being penalized by Google.
The bad news is that most of the book borrows its ideas from a 2005 Guide by Brad Callen titled "Search Engine Optimization Made Easy." Heavily distributed for free amongst designers, Callen's PDF guide broke down all of the basics to SEO that were included in Web Traffic Magnet.
The difference between Callen's guide and Web Traffic Magnet is that the PDF is well-structured, where as the book is an odd mish-mash of tips with no little organization. When the book contains original ideas, there's no research or proof that it actually works.
The most bizarre tip WTM offers is that you post to your blog every day, with a paragraph that begins "This is just a guess." The author erroneously suggests that search engines like Google probably check your site at the same scheduled time every day, so you should space out your blog posts at least 24 hours apart. It's this kind of speculation that makes it noticeable that the author stumbles when he's not providing tips that originate with other professionals.
I've given five stars to books that weren't helpful to me, but were noticeably great primers for newbies. Web Traffic Magnet is simply outdated, and the most quality tips are already available for free online in "Search Engine Optimization Made Easy." Save yourself $12 and just download the free PDF, as that was clearly the source for many of the ideas in this book.