Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day - review
Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day - a book by Jennifer Grappone and Gradiva Couzin. This is based on the 2006 edition of the book. As I write this I can see that there is a 2008 version due in a couple of months that will probably improve on some of the points that I mention.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a website, typically using natural (non paid) methods.
I acquired this book in the office as part of a pattern of background reading hoping to acquire come cool/new knowledge and to a certain extent I wasn't disappointed.
The book presents a methodology that would allow a time-constrained person to take a poorly performing website and turn it around into something more successful.
I am sure that the general techniques presented could be fitted onto a single side of A4 paper, but the arguments, examples and explanations make each point crystal clear.
Examples of strictly white-hat methods are made throughout, with pointers to common pitfalls that search engines may perceive as black-hat methods that an inexperienced SEO'er may fall into
The introduction to the use of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) as a viable alternative to, or in conjunction with more 'organic'/'natural' methods is important; and while this isn't 'typical' SEO, it's a sensible way to top-up traffic when other methods are under performing.
From a web analytics standpoint, some space was given to Google Analytics, with a few mentions of other products. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - especially when doing analytics 'properly' is pretty-much a full-time job in its own right.
For myself, having most of the methods described to most of the sites that I'm responsible for already in-play the most useful aspect was the methodology. Detailed record keeping, measurements before and after making changes (duh!) as well as 'selling' your efforts within an organization will be of most use.
All in all, this can either be a cheap, quick read, with information that may come as common-sense to many or, when used as a workbook over a course of months, add real value to online efforts.