This is a paid review. More details at the end of the post.
SEO is a bit of a black art to me.
I mean, I know all about the generalities of search engine optimization, and I think you’ll find a few of them reflected here. URLs of all my pages contain keywords; titles of all post pages have the title first, then the bizhack station ID second; and I try to be a good linking citizen – linking to those who are useful and good and interesting, and hoping to be linked to in turn.
But SEO is one of those topics that you can seemingly delve endlessly into. Everyone has different ideas, everyone has different strategies. Just to make it more interesting, SEO is an ongoing arms race between Google et al and the SEO practitioners … who are always looking for a new way to game the system.
When it comes right down to it, the best SEO strategy is probably to:
- create great content
- that is keyword-rich for subjects you’re focused on
- that people will link to
- for a decent length of time (at least 6-9 months)
- until Google knows you’re one of the good guys
With that as background, I was asked to review the Search Engine Marketing Glossary … a compendium of SEO terms and definitions compiled by Aaron Wall, the author of the SEO book. A little expensive, at $79, but it’s recommended by Seth Godin, which is high praise, and obviously any reasonably proficient SEO optimizer would cost you far more in consulting fees.
In any case, the Glossary is simply that – a list of SEO terms and their definitions. Here’s the funny self-referential point … the glossary of SEO term is actually a major SEO effort to improve the SEO ranking of the SEO book so that more people who search for the term SEO will find it and, perhaps, buy it. Now that’s the essence of SEO!
With that said, I can’t say that I found a huge amount of value in the glossary. Most of the definitions I either know or don’t have a huge interest in. One that was interesting was an actual revealing of the Google PageRank algorithm:
PR(A) = (1-d) + d (PR(T1)/C(T1) + … + PR(Tn)/C(Tn))
d= dampening factor (~0.85)
c = number of links on the page
PR(T1)/C(T1) = PageRank of page 1 divided by the total number of links on page 1, (transferred PageRank)
Of course, that’s the purported PageRank algorithm. The real, current PR process may or may not have a huge impact on Google listings today, and probably bears little relationship to whatever Larry Page and Sergei Brin wrote up in a Stanford paper years ago.
I don’t really understand why PDF is in the glossary, and as far as I know Safari is a Mac web browser, not a “measure of how frequently a keyword appears amongst a collection of documents.” But hey, words have multiple meanings.
Overall, I’m sure there’s plenty of value for newbie SEO optimizers, and even some for those who understand a little more about SEO.
Most of the value, however, is in driving potential clients to the SEO book.
Since I like to keep in touch with all the new forms of blog monetization, I signed up for Review Me‘s paid review service about 2 months ago. I’ve had a few requests to do paid reviews that I’ve turned down; this service seemed to be one that was up my alley of interests enough that I probably would have done it anyways, paid or not.
I haven’t said anything simply because I’m being paid for the review, and frankly, the content of the review is very likely not what a person or organization using paid reviews even cares about. What they’re paying for is the link, primarily. At least, that’s my assumption. (The amount, if you’re interested, is $30.)
In any case, I’ve done this mainly as a test – to see what it feels like, and to see how it works on this blog. If you have any comments, flames, criticisms, or any reaction at all, please let me know!