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And if it's dated, what would a good alternative be? Please don't mention blogs or tutorials, I need a book. :) Thanks a lot.

http://www.artofseobook.com/

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Given that Google updates/modifies it's algorithm over 500 times a year, a book that's published today on SEO could be considered dated tomorrow.

That being said, the core fundamentals to performing well in search engines havent changed significantly over the recent years so this book would be considered as good as any other.

You could also consider The SEO Business Guide as well (Disclaimer: I co-wrote it).

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Great asnswer, thanks a lot Mike. –  Kevin Grace Jun 12 '11 at 17:54
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People just don't seem to understand. SEO ISN'T constantly changing. Everytime you go out and buy an 'up to date' book on SEO, you're just lining the pockets of 'seo' professionals that claim to be experts at playing the SE's, but it's all rubbish. The Art of SEO is still an extremely solid book and probably the only one I've read that holds any truth. It makes sure you know from day one that there is no 'fast way' to work your way up the serps and focuses on core elements of SEO that will always be around.

The key to SEO is to build a site for your visitors, not for the search engines. SEO does NOT change, only the SE's themselves change to give their users a better experience, this means weeding out the over-optimized sites and producing natural/useful results.

I'll tell you what you need to do for SEO in two sentences.

  1. Build a site worth visiting.
  2. Use valid markup, guidelines of which are available on pretty much any 'Pro SEO Blog' (roll-eyes).
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+1 I said the same exact thing –  John Conde Jun 13 '11 at 22:28
    
...only better! Great post. :) –  Anonymous Jun 13 '11 at 22:40
    
Agree in principle - the fundamentals remain the same. However, i'll nit-pick with #2 about validation - while I advocate best coding practices (to the point of extreme), valid markup just does't have any real impact in search performance. –  Mike Hudson Jun 14 '11 at 11:34
    
Does it not? So my images will rank with image SE's without alt tags? (Assuming file names are jargon)? Using title tags, using proper header structures etc all have an effect. –  Anonymous Jun 14 '11 at 12:33
    
@Anon Omitting heading tags does not invalidate markup. And similarly using the wrong doctype or a font tag has zero effect on rankings. I think you mean use semantic markup, since a lot of that does have an effect. –  DisgruntledGoat Oct 30 '11 at 21:24
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It's true, it is a bit dated.
I would say some of the core principles are the same though, so it isn't a total waste.

Here is another book that was written by Danny Dover, an old SEOmoz employee (note: I work for SEOmoz) that just came out in approx January. It is pretty good and more current.

I also think this guide is good:
http://www.seomoz.org/beginners-guide-to-seo

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SEO is doing good copywriting with good titles, headings and good meta-titles. Know your audience, crack out your thesaurus and use your keywords in describing the who, what, where, why, when, and how of why we even want to be on your website. Get other people interested in coming to and linking to your site by providing useful content.

Too many people out there want to do a database import of a manufacturer product feed, sprinkle a little magic on it and pop to the top. I'm getting really tired of going to contentless websites and so are Google, Bing, et.al.

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