The Art of SEO

Author: Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Rand Fishkin & Jessie C Stricchiola
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2009
Pages: 608
ISBN: 978-0596518868
Aimed at: Website owners and developers
Rating: 3.5
Pros: Brings knowledge of SEO together
Cons: SEO is still guesswork
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

 

There is nothing concrete about search engine optimisation (SEO) and so it has to be a subject for art rather than science.

 

Author: Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Rand Fishkin & Jessie C Stricchiola
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2009
Pages: 608
ISBN: 978-0596518868
Aimed at: Website owners and developers
Rating: 3.5
Pros: Brings knowledge of SEO together
Cons: SEO is still guesswork
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

The problem with SEO - Search Engine Optimisation - is that it has to be an art. It can't really be a science because the secrecy around the way search engines work mean that anyone claiming to know how to do SEO as an exact science has to be, at best, exaggerating. Hence you might well expect good things from a book that starts off with the premise that SEO really is an art.

The book opens with a consideration of how search engines work. which search engines are most important and how users actually user search engines. All fairly basic. From this point on the book goes into the usual material about keywords, meta tags, the importance of link building and so on.It emphasises the need to gather metrics and analyse them which is good advice.

What is missing is any discussion of how to implement any of the techniques. The entire book is platform neutral and there is no discussion of Apache, IIS or content management systems. This is fairly reasonable in that focusing on particular technologies would take the book well outside of its chosen area but readers should note that they will need more Internet knowledge than the book provides. On the other hand if they do have the level of Internet knowledge necessary to achieve some of the results then they very likely are up to the task of working out much of what the book has to say for themselves.

The book has the advantage of gathering much of what is known or believed to be good practice into one place but it suffers from being a bit on the long side and hence it lacks focus. You still have to work quite hard to get the main ideas from it. Of course none of the ideas are quantified in terms of their effectiveness and at the end of the day you have to assume that improving findability, in and out links, and so on have to be good for the ranking you receive on a search engine. But it is all a matter of guess work.

The final part of the book deals with "management" aspects - SEO research and study, building an SEO team and the future of SEO.

This is a fairly down to earth guide to the few basic ideas of SEO. It doesn't extoll dubious practices to gain higher rankings but neither does it present anything that rises to the level of "Art".

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Mastering Search Analytics

Author: Brent Chaters
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2010
Pages:400
ISBN: 978-1449302658
Aimed at: Search specialists, marketers and executives
Rating: 4
Pros: Authoritative and comprehensive
Cons: Not an easy read due to level of detail and wordiness
Reviewed by:Sue Gee

 

An in-depth guide subtitled "Masterin [ ... ]



Beginning jQuery

Author: Jack Franklin
Publisher: Apress, 2013
Pages: 181
ISBN: 978-1430249320
Audience: JavaScript programmers
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Ian Elliot

jQuery is becoming so popular that it is almost the standard library for JavaScript. As such it is important to learn about it as soon as possible. Is this an easy [ ... ]


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