I have never been a big fan of books on SEO (search engine optimization) as there can be a very long time lag between when a book is written by the author, the editors do all their work on it and the book gets printed and goes on sale. In an industry like SEO, things move quickly making a book on SEO potentially dated by the time you get your hands on it.
When starting out, it is probably important to read a recent book or good overview, so you do not get into the trap that happens all to often of picking up the wrong snippets of misinformation at the search engine optimization forums from the SEO Kiddies, who also fall into the ‘half truth‘ trap and re-post misinformation.
For that reason, to learn SEO, I have suggested Google’s own PDF guide to SEO and two relatively cheap eBooks on SEO that were good reads (see Learning SEO). However, some of the eBooks do have a lot of marketing hype and claim to have found the secret search engine sauce, but still do have good snippets of information and present good overviews of the field.
Having said all that, I recently came across a book on Amazon.com called The Art of SEO, and thought to myself that it will be another one of those out of date books, then I noticed that two of the four authors were names I knew well: Eric Enge from Stone Temple and Rand Fishkin from SEOMoz. I follow their blogs….this was worth a closer look.
So, I promptly ordered a copy (only $40) and was pleasantly surprised. It was a damn good indepth read and for a textbook was very topical and current, which is a credit to the expertise of the authors. (NOTE: A few of the links in the book are out-of-date, but thats not really an issue). It covers things in more detail than the cheaper eBooks and does not have the marketing hype. I have no hesitation in recommending it as a good read.
If you do not believe me, one of the readers comments at Amazon.com sums it up nicely:
This book should be considered a ‘bible’ on SEO because I cannot think of any other topic that has been left out. I have already used this book for two websites my company has developed and improved its search results by at least 10-20%. SEO is definitely an art form in a way and so many designers and devlopers overlook this when they are creating a website because either of the lack of time or mainly due to the lack of knowledge.
Here are the link to find out more and buy: