SEO is dead? Balderdash! Judging by the number of high-quality articles and blog posts still devoted to the topic (so many I had to split this category into two posts), SEO remains a critical component of online marketing success. It has certainly evolved; SEO is no longer about using clever "tricks" to manipulate search engine results, but rather about crafting relevant and compelling content, writing for searchers, and using best-practice techniques in content emphasis and meta tagging to help search engines find your content.
Here are (part one of) some of the best posts and stories devoted to SEO in 2007:
20 Hard Core SEO Tips by SEO Theory and Analysis Blog
A compelling mix of indispensable (Learn how to write Who, What, Where, When, and Why in 4 paragraphs or less. Why? Because you should never write a press release that starts out with, “John Shlock Smith the Shmuck proudly announces….”) and questionable (Stop using keywords in your URLs. Why? Because if you don’t know how to optimize a page without slamming keywords into the URLs, you don’t know how to optimize a Web page.) advice. You may not want to follow all of the advice here, but this post certainly provides some interesting ideas.
The Art of SEO by Internet Search Engine Database
Writer Jill Whalen makes an excellent case for not over-SEOing a page, which can actually cause the effort to backfire. She emphasizes using SEO techniques sparingly, with a focus on proper copy writing: "If your copy reads poorly to a human, and does not come across as natural professional copywriting, the search engines won't like it either...If you've done it right, an everyday user should not have any idea that a page has been SEO'd. A trained SEO should be able to spot what your keyword phrases are, but it shouldn't be glaringly obvious."
Top mistakes newbie SEOs make by Jennifer Slegg - Search Engine Marketing Consultant
Solid advice for newbies or SEO pros who need a reminder of mistakes to avoid, though one must be a bit careful with the first item, "My site ranks for `some really obscure multi-keyword phrase`". Specific, obscure keyword phrases can be very valuable IF they lead prospects directly to your product or service. For example, if what you sell is "data privacy encryption software for Oracle HRMS," then it arguably more valuable for site to show up well for that term than simply for a search on "Oracle software." The specific term will have far lower search volume, to be sure, but someone using is far more likely to looking for exactly what you sell than a seacher using a shorter, more generic phrase.
How to Improve Keyword Density on Your Site by SEO Space
Blogger Jody Nimetz advises targeting a keyword density of 6-12%, provides seven techniques to achieve that goal without harming readability (and contradicting some of the advice in "20 Hard Core SEO Tips" above), and explains how keyword density supports SEO as well as how to easily check keyword density on any page.
Back-to-school SEO by CNet News Blog
Stephan Spencer, who also writes the Scatterings blog, provides a helpful reference list of "10 important elements that should always remain top-of-mind with every SEO."
Raising Your Profile: Beyond the Basics by The Wall Street Journal
Journal writer Laura Broder details five basic steps that can improve organic search position for a website. The article is targeted at small businesses, but the suggestions are essential elements for anyone to keep in mind for SEO efforts.
How To Optimize My Site - 10 Best On-Page Search Engine Optimization Tricks by Strategic Site Marketing
Jason Koeppe details the top 10 on-page SEO techniques to improve site ranking, in order of importance., with title tags, headlines, content optimization and meta tags at the top of the list.
Marketing Lens: Today's Top Blog Posts on Internet Marketing by Marketing Lens
If you just can't enough of "best of" type articles, Marketing Lens "identifies the top 15 online marketing stories and blogs of the day," on a daily basis, as measured by SocialRank.
Effective Keyword SEO Research, Part 2 by ClickZ
Writer Julie Batten provides a step-by-step guide to creating a productive keyword list by considering the entire buying cycle, covering keyword research tools, list scrubbing and allocation.
Search Engine College launches Search Engine Wiki by Pandia Search Engine News
This article reports on the creation of the search engine wiki, which "began life as a massive collection of bookmarks, tools and site links...gathered over the past 10 years (by) search engine optimization consultants." The wiki is now open for anyone to create pages, add content, or use as an SEO research tool.
Linking Strategies: The Top 10 Link Love Directories by SEO World
Blogger Jon Rognerud explains how external links impact SEO results, then lists the top 10 generic directories for link-building (though it is curious that Business.com was mentioned as an afterthought rather than one of the top 10, while the once-powerful-but-now-pathetic dmoz.org still makes his "top" list).
Answers to Ten SEO Questions & Some New Questions from Danny Sullivan by SEOmoz
In this outstanding post, SEO rock star Danny Sullivan answers 10 key search optimization questions such as why flat website architectures are better than deep ones, what the "long tail of search" is, and what the three most important elements in the head of an HTML page are.
Interview: Mike Grehan, World Traveler & Global SEO by TopRank Online Marketing Blog
Skipping the standard "How did you get started in this business?" type of questions, this interview on Lee Odden's blog instead gets right to the interesting stuff like "Why do you think so many SEOs get their shorts in a bundle whenever anyone, including yourself, publishes 'SEO as we know it is dead' opinions?" Most entertaining of all is Grehan's view of social networks: "I HATE Facebook! Please God, take it away and let me get some work done. If one more twat invites me to Facebook I’m going round their place with an axe!...Go away and leave me alone. All of you. I have a job to do for crying out loud!...Wal-Mart has a Facebook profile. What a great place to get pilloried by your audience."
Best of 2007: SEO Analysis Tools
Best of 2007: SEO Keyword Research Tools
Best of 2007: News Articles on Social Media Marketing
Best of 2007: Blog Posts on Social Media Marketing
Best of 2007: Articles and Blog Posts on SEM
Best of 2007: Articles and Blog Posts on Google AdWords
Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom