Where can you get good information on Search Engine Optimization?

It’s one of my pet peeves that there is so much unreliable information on the internet — regarding online marketing in particular. So people looking for good information may come across a less informed article and take that as the best advice. It doesn’t work for them and so they think that online marketing is rubbish.

Sometimes you just need a bit of common sense to tell you that an article is unreliable – “If it looks too good to be true, then it is too good to be true.” It helps to look for articles that provide facts and collates information from a number of different sources, as opposed to what appears to be just the authors own opinion on a topic — unless that author is considered to be an authority on the topic — but most trusted authorities do provide back-up and other points of view on these topics anyway, or will come out and say ‘in my opinion’.
Deciding which of the information is reliable is even harder if you are completely new to this topic. I advise people to look at a number of resources and in this way can see more clearly what are the tried and trusted techniques and what is just hype — or just plain mis-information!

Debra Mastaler

Debra Mastaler, who can legitimately be called a link building expert and knows a good bit about SEO and SEM has a bit of a rant in her most recent post “If It’s Too Good To Be Fricking Link True…” I agree 100% with her statement:
How people make their living is no concern of mine and I get that our industry has gotten crowded making it necessary for people to be creative in their advertising efforts but – I do raise an eyebrow when I see things being pitched as the ” Ultimate Handbook” or the “Definitive Guide” and some of the information in the so-called guide is blatantly wrong.
She does list 17 sites/blogs/forums where you can get up-to-date information on what’s going on in the SEO/SEM industry:

SEOBook Forum (membership required)
Webmaster World
High Rankings Forum
SEO Refugee
Cre8asite Forum
Search Engine Roundtable
Search Engine Journal
Search Engine Land
Search Engine Watch
Search Engine Guide
SEO DoJo (membership)
UK SEO Forum
V7N Forum
BlackHat Forum ( yep!)
Wicked Fire
Small Business Trends

I’ve followed a number of these sites over the years and I learned much of what I know about SEO via Jill Whalen’s High Ranking Forum. I was really pleased to see Search Engine Journal on the list, since I’ve just started to contribute there (phew).

Don’t forget that Google Webmaster Central provides a lot of information – “straight from the horses mouth” – and it’s presented in an easy to use and understand format.
With even more ‘experts’ popping up all over the place on Twitter and other social networking channels it can be very difficult to choose who to follow and who to pass by. There is a lot of good information out there about search engine optimization and search engine marketing, it’s just that you may have to sift through a bit of rubbish to find the good stuff — but I hope you find my advice and Debra’s list a help to get you started.

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  1. Andy @ FirstFound says:

    Great post Ann.

    I do find that Webmaster Central tends to be clogged up with non-SEOs asking what we'd consider to be obvious questions – so you need to do some digging to get the real gold.

  2. Ann Donnelly says:

    That is true about the forum, Andy, but I'd suggest that newbies start with the regular Google Webmaster help pages, blog and the YouTube channel. If you are checking out the forum check the posters experience level and keep that in mind when looking at the advice given.

  3. Internet Marketing Forum says:


    Thanks for the great list of resources. I have found forums to be one of the best available resources for asking specific questions and receiving intelligent, helpful responses. This has worked for me time and again when dealing with specific SEO related queries. Blogs help as well but generally not as well for specific SEO questions you might have. Thanks!