Book Review: 'The Art of SEO'


Art of SEO Book
One of the newest books in print about search engine optimization is “The Art of SEO,” published by O’Reilly and written by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Rand Fishkin, and Jessie C Stricchiola. So what do you get when you pull in four of the most respected people in the SEO business to write a definitive book on the subject? Pretty much exactly what you’d expect: lots of juicy SEO goodness.

While the authors cover some of the basics of search engine optimization, and definitely lay out a good case for the value of SEO for non-believers, this book is not for SEO newbies. This book is more suited to those who already get SEO and have at least a decent grasp on the technical elements that go into good search engine optimization.

While it’s not a beginner’s guide, this book does cover the entire spectrum of the SEO process from keyword research to implementing on-page optimization, to link building, to measuring the success of your SEO efforts.

“The Art of SEO” also gets into some of the nitty-gritty details that most other normal sized books don’t get into. Examples of what I’m talking about include the following:

  • Canonical link element
  • Search spider control
  • CMS issues
  • Optimizing Flash
  • 301 redirects
  • URL rewrites
  • Hidden content
  • Changing servers
  • KPIs for long-tail SEO

I also really like how they cover various topics on how to evaluate and select an SEO firm and how to best utilize your in-house team for maximum search engine success.

It’s a big ol’ book (600 pages!) and it didn’t flow smoothly from one chapter to the next at times, maybe because it was written by four different authors, so it’s not really the kind of book you’re going to cozy up with to go to sleep. In fact, if you’re a search geek like me, it will get your brain juices flowing and you won’t be able to think at all because of all the new ideas and things you remembered that you should be doing to optimize your site.

Overall, I was very impressed with The Art of SEO and I think it’s the best book on the topic of search engine optimization. You won’t be disappointed with the quality and quantity of content in this book. To be fair, I haven’t yet read most of the other books listed on SEL’s Best SEO Books of 2009 list. It did edge out Kris Jones’ book on Lee Odden’s poll of the best books of 2009.

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  1. Starr says

    Hi, Dave. Sounds like an aweosome book, have you considered making it required reading for all the SEO Specialists? ‘-) I have to read it.

  2. faisal says

    Thanks dave, I will definitely buy this book, and I promise with you people after studying complete book I will share my view.

  3. John says

    Thanks Dave for taking the time to give your two cents on the matter. I always like things that Rand is involved in and I am glad to see what your take was on it as well.

  4. Melissa Gonzalez says

    Thank you for the thorough book review, it seems like a good book to have on your shelf if you are an seo specialist. SEO is not rocket science as they say but there is a lot that goes into it. Its nice to have a good book that you can reference back and forth from.

  5. Martin says

    This looks like a great book. You give it a superb write up, but will most people be able to understand it. I’m going to get a copy Ive got 12 years seo under my belt but I’m always willing to learn something new. Thanks

  6. Dass says

    The content list seems to be very fundamental and yet advanced. After a year of wandering on the topic of SEO , I realized most of us jump to link building right away learning from various sources and now after 1 year I realize that is where problem starts. There should be one place where the so called grey hat alias the advanced fundamentals of SEO are covered.
    I lost precious more than 1 year, so a solid one point resource would surely help. I will go for this for my own good. Thanks

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