The Truth About Search Engine Optimization (Truth About Series)

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Overview

“Rebecca’s book is chapter-by-chapter gold for anyone who needs to understand how we find information on the Web.”

Kevin M. Ryan, Motivity Marketing, Inc., and Chairman of Search Engine Strategies Advisory Board

In this book, leading search optimization expert Rebecca Lieb brings together more than 50 absolutely crucial facts and insights decision-makers must know to drive more web traffic through better search engine placement. The Truth About Search Engine Optimization doesn't...

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Overview

“Rebecca’s book is chapter-by-chapter gold for anyone who needs to understand how we find information on the Web.”

Kevin M. Ryan, Motivity Marketing, Inc., and Chairman of Search Engine Strategies Advisory Board

In this book, leading search optimization expert Rebecca Lieb brings together more than 50 absolutely crucial facts and insights decision-makers must know to drive more web traffic through better search engine placement. The Truth About Search Engine Optimization doesn't deliver abstract theory: it delivers quick, bite-size, just-the-facts information and plain-English explanations that executives, decision-makers, and even small business owners can actually use, no matter what kind of sites you're running, or what your goals are.

You will learn how to set realistic goals for search optimization... attract qualified traffic, not just "any" site visitors... incorporate search engine optimization into both new sites and redesigns... write for users... implement search-friendly content management... avoid problems with rich content technologies such as Flash and AJAX... create metatags that actually work... use public relations, blogging, and other techniques to drive traffic... budget and manage search optimization projects... and much more.

This book reveals 51 PROVEN SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION TECHNIQUES and bite-size, easy-to-use advice that gets results including

  • The truth about page rankings
  • The truth about best SEO practices and SEO no-no’s
  • The truth about link love, keywords, and tags

Introduction vii

Foreword by Fredrick Marckini ix

Part I: The Basics of Search

Truth 1: Getting noticed by spiders, robots, and crawlers 1

Truth 2: Learn to do the Google dance 5

Truth 3: It's not about traffic—it's about qualified traffic 9

Truth 4: Your reputation is on the line 13

Part II: The Truth About Being Site-Specific

Truth 5: SEO is an ongoing project, not set-it-and-forget-it 17

Truth 6: SEO is not an afterthought 21

Truth 7: SEO results aren't immediate or lasting 25

Truth 8: You don't have a homepage anymore 29

Truth 9: Think like a publisher, even if you're not 33

Truth 10: Site and page design count 37

Truth 11: Write for users and search engines will follow 41

Truth 12: Keywords are key 45

Truth 13: Use analytics and keyword research tools 49

Truth 14: Site stats share the bad news, too 53

Truth 15: Think twice about hot new technologies 57

Truth 16: Content management systems matter—a lot 67

Part III: Tag, You're It!

Truth 17: What's in a title? Everything… 65

Truth 18: The relative importance of meta tags 71

Truth 19: Tag images, audio, video, and other media 75

Part IV: The Truth About Links

Truth 20: Some links are more equal than others 79

Truth 21: Building links through online directories 83

Truth 22: Using SEO PR as a link strategy 87

Truth 23: The jury is out on paid links 91

Truth 24: Share and share alike: Reciprocal linking 95

Truth 25: Ads are links, too 99

Truth 26: Build your site in a good neighborhood 103

Truth 27: Blogs are a terrific link strategy 107

Truth 28: Putting the kibosh on link love with nofollow links 111

Part V: You Call That a Search Engine?

Truth 29: Search is going vertical 115

Truth 30: Everyone is local somewhere 119

Truth 31: Get listed to get vertical 125

Truth 32: Optimize off-site searches 129

Truth 33: Universal search and personalized search 133

Part VI: Get a Social Life

Truth 34: Blogs are built for SEO 137

Truth 35: RSS feeds "feed" SEO efforts 141

Truth 36: Users will create content for you 145

Truth 37: Tag images, video, links, and other media 149

Part VII: Search Ranking

Truth 38: Being #1 ain't what it used to be 153

Truth 39: Don't live and die by PageRank 157

Truth 40: Wag the long tail 161

Part VIII: The Truth About SEO Management

Truth 41: In-house or outsource? 165

Truth 42: Hiring a great search professional 169

Truth 43: Great SEOs sweat the small stuff 173

Part IX: Don't Be Evil

Truth 44: Beware blackhat SEO 177

Truth 45: Search engines frown on keyword stuffing and spam 181

Truth 46: Don't cultivate link farms 185

Truth 47: It's very difficult to get unbanned 189

Truth 48: Moving to a new domain is stressful 193

Part X: Going Beyond

Truth 49: Global SEO 197

Truth 50: Mobile SEO is more important than ever 201

Truth 51: Sometimes you don't want to be found 205

About the Author 208

Note: Appendix A is available for free and located online at www.informit.com/title/9780789738318 within the Downloads tab.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789738318
  • Publisher: Que
  • Publication date: 3/6/2009
  • Series: Truth About Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 940,840
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet 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.

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Read an Excerpt

IntroductionIntroduction

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.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Foreword by Fredrick Marckini ix

Part I: The Basics of Search

Truth 1: Getting noticed by spiders, robots, and crawlers 1

Truth 2: Learn to do the Google dance 5

Truth 3: It's not about traffic–it's about qualified traffic 9

Truth 4: Your reputation is on the line 13

Part II: The Truth About Being Site-Specific

Truth 5: SEO is an ongoing project, not set-it-and-forget-it 17

Truth 6: SEO is not an afterthought 21

Truth 7: SEO results aren't immediate or lasting 25

Truth 8: You don't have a homepage anymore 29

Truth 9: Think like a publisher, even if you're not 33

Truth 10: Site and page design count 37

Truth 11: Write for users and search engines will follow 41

Truth 12: Keywords are key 45

Truth 13: Use analytics and keyword research tools 49

Truth 14: Site stats share the bad news, too 53

Truth 15: Think twice about hot new technologies 57

Truth 16: Content management systems matter–a lot 67

Part III: Tag, You're It!

Truth 17: What's in a title? Everything… 65

Truth 18: The relative importance of meta tags 71

Truth 19: Tag images, audio, video, and other media 75

Part IV: The Truth About Links

Truth 20: Some links are more equal than others 79

Truth 21: Building links through online directories 83

Truth 22: Using SEO PR as a link strategy 87

Truth 23: The jury is out on paid links 91

Truth 24: Share and share alike: Reciprocal linking 95

Truth 25: Ads are links, too 99

Truth 26: Build your site in a good neighborhood 103

Truth 27: Blogs are a terrific link strategy 107

Truth 28: Putting the kibosh on link love with nofollow links 111

Part V: You Call That a Search Engine?

Truth 29: Search is going vertical 115

Truth 30: Everyone is local somewhere 119

Truth 31: Get listed to get vertical 125

Truth 32: Optimize off-site searches 129

Truth 33: Universal search and personalized search 133

Part VI: Get a Social Life

Truth 34: Blogs are built for SEO 137

Truth 35: RSS feeds "feed" SEO efforts 141

Truth 36: Users will create content for you 145

Truth 37: Tag images, video, links, and other media 149

Part VII: Search Ranking

Truth 38: Being #1 ain't what it used to be 153

Truth 39: Don't live and die by PageRank 157

Truth 40: Wag the long tail 161

Part VIII: The Truth About SEO Management

Truth 41: In-house or outsource? 165

Truth 42: Hiring a great search professional 169

Truth 43: Great SEOs sweat the small stuff 173

Part IX: Don't Be Evil

Truth 44: Beware blackhat SEO 177

Truth 45: Search engines frown on keyword stuffing and spam 181

Truth 46: Don't cultivate link farms 185

Truth 47: It's very difficult to get unbanned 189

Truth 48: Moving to a new domain is stressful 193

Part X: Going Beyond

Truth 49: Global SEO 197

Truth 50: Mobile SEO is more important than ever 201

Truth 51: Sometimes you don't want to be found 205

About the Author 208

Note: Appendix A is available for free and located online at www.informit.com/title/9780789738318.

Read More Show Less

Preface

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.

Read More Show Less

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2013

    Highly recommend. A very clear and to the point book. Broken int

    Highly recommend. A very clear and to the point book. Broken into many short chapters, the information is easy to find and make use of. I have purchased this for several people before we embarked on optimizing their online presence, so that I knew we'd be on the same page at the get-go.

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