As Ian Lurie was mentioning in 2010 in his article on portent.com, the inevitable reference to “write great content”, “put more keywords on every page” or “exchange links with other sites” is redundant and mostly helpless in such SEO evangelization books. I will not be very original and will simply agree with Ian: this statement is not true for “The Art of SEO”.
You might wonder: “why is this marketing kiddo writing something about that book four years after it was released.” Good point. My answer would be: doesn’t an old Tarantino movie make your cinema culture more accurate? YES IT DOES. By reading this book, my second objective was to find out how fast SEO technics have been involving since 2011, which I think has an interest considering the blurry and quick evolution of Google’s SEO criteria since this company was created in 1998. “Much has been learned in SEO, many mistakes have been made, but now an entire industry of professions in search engine optimization and marketing has matured. The sooner you get started, the better you and your business will become.”
“This book can shave years off the learning curve of anyone thinking of delving into the world of search marketing” declares Duane Forrester, and I couldn’t agree more with this.
Some key facts found in “The Art of SEO”
Before I start giving you my humble opinion about this book, I would like to share with you some useful and fun statistics and key information found in this book:
- 25% of the searches on Google contains one word, 25% two words, 20% three words,
- 80% of the searches are informational, and only 10% are navigational or transactional, which should lead the marketing people to focus on content marketing of course,
- 20% of the people don’t find what they are looking for via Search Engines (big improvement perspectives…),
- 30% of online transactions occurs more than 24 hours after the initial search (imagine the same statistic for B2B only…),
- What the authors of the book call “the long tail of search” (e.g. “Chart of Argentinian Market in 1994”) is where 70% of search queries occur,
- in 2007, Google Vice President Udi Mander indicated that 20% to 25% of all search queries that Google receives on a given day are queries that Google was seeing for the first time. “You can think this a the “ultra-long tail”” (page 171),
- Search Engines can determine pixel color and, in many instance, determine whether images have pornographic content by how much flesh tone there is in a JPEG image,
- SERP = Search Engine Result Pages,
- QDF = Query Deserves Freshness. Google uses this to balance its results between fresh qualified content and old content that has stood the test of time,
- Main Search Engines Ranking Factors,
- Not new but important to remind: “Search Engines place the most weight on the words that appear at the start of the title”,
- Negative Ranking Factors: easy access for crawlers, duplicate content, low-quality linking, shady link schemes, duplicate titles/meta tags on many pages,
- I knew nothing about Advanced Google Search Operators, and I should feel ashamed about this,
- Blended Search was implemented in 2007. Blended Search is the notion of integrating images, videos, and results from other vertical search properties directly into the main web search results,
- I have learnt the existence of another B2B search: ThomasNet.
“The Art of SEO”: to concrete to be called a Bible, to smart and complete to be called a refresher course
As you will find out if you read this blog from time to time, I don’t consider myself as a web marketing tech, but my humble experience in the B2B marketing industry enabled me to learn enough to deal pretty efficiently with tech teams and guide them. I guess that is all I am asked as a web & digital marketing manager. Well, at least I hope I didn’t get it wrong…