The Art of SEO is one tree in a billion-tree forest. Gazillions of books have been written about the subject (if online marketing books were oil, your granny would be a Sheikh) and more are guzzling out as you read this, not to mention the tons of information (and multiple tons of misinformation) you find on the net. So, what’s the fruit on this tree? Does it have a USP?
The undoubted fact is that each of the authors is an expert on the subject. They steadfastly stick to the fundamentals and steer clear of the grow-beard-overnight tactics that are prevalent in the SEO industry. The content of your website is of the utmost importance and the book makes it abundantly clear that if you don’t build it, they won’t come. You build your house first and then the book tells you about the nooks and crannies where the search engines look for you; from which windows, which balconies and which verandahs you can call out to them.
There are loads of examples and references which you can stop and check out on the net before proceeding further. Though some of them are outdated or changed in structure as you would expect, you always get the gist of the topic. There is comprehensive information on how search engine algorithms work and change over time, how you can put web analytics to use and how you can convert metrics to ROI on paper. A section at the end that attempts to outline the perceived evolution of the business over the next five years is what is warranted in every book on technology.
On the downside, there is a lot of repetition of the same ideas and elaboration of basics that marketers and project managers have known since time immemorial. There is a technical part involving Apache in the middle which is best skipped. If you read the book cover-to-cover, you increasingly get the uneasy feeling that what the authors took 600 pages to say could have easily been articulated in less than 350 pages.
All in all, a good read if you’re in the process of putting together an online marketing strategy or wondering why yours isn’t working.