No matter how many blogs you’ve read, how many social media campaigns you’ve executed, or how many times you’ve explained the term “search engine optimization” to a client or co-worker, there’s something new to learn about SEO everyday. It’s like watching a kaleidoscope: It’s always changing and there’s always something new to marvel at.
Sometimes the breadth of SEO research, theories, and case studies can seem overwhelming; but really, you just need to separate the wheat from the chaff. Specifically, weeding out the experts from the blatherers. If you’re looking for excellent SEO insights, take a look at these 22 expert resources and get ready to learn something new.
1. MOZ Blog
Ten-year-old MOZ sells inbound marketing analytics software and its blog is a can’t-miss for anyone who works with SEO. You won’t find any mundane or low-level advice here. It’s packed with smart guides and interesting case studies. Plus, it’s written with personality, which makes the complex easy to digest. MOZ Pro, the paid service, also provides some great tools.
Don’t miss these essential entries:
- Beginner's Guide to SEO
- Whiteboard Friday (a personal favorite)
- The Most Entertaining Guide to Landing Page Optimization You'll Ever Read
Just as you wouldn’t go to a formal dinner without knowing which fork to use for the salad, you shouldn’t dabble in SEO without knowing how Google wants you to behave. This provides a basic rundown on proper Google search etiquette.
Make sure you learn about:
This site offers a wealth of resources, including competitor analysis, rankings, connections to social networks and keyword research. The desktop software interfaces with Google Analytics, too.
The Advanced Web Ranking blog is a good read as well, offering tips on:
Ahrefs (name derived from the html link call) dubs itself a “site explorer and backlink checker”, which it claims is updated every 15 minutes. It can be hugely helpful for doing research on your own site, a site you want to guest post on or a competitor’s site. While you can use it for free, accessing the more advanced features will cost a monthly fee.
Tools available include:
- SEO reports
- Backlinks reports
- Domain comparison
- Batch analysis
Google Analytics is great, of course, but if you want to get even more granular data, explore RJ Metrics. It analyzes your website and offers suggestions for how to grow based on what it finds. Plus it has a plethora of white papers, webinars, and other research from which you can reference.
Let’s face it, this one’s worth reading for the name alone. This eCommerce advice site has a vast amount of information that’s helpful for SEO personnel, including: features on branding, infographics, resources, and marketing strategy.
Blog posts optimizers will find helpful:
- The 17 Things Every Entrepreneur Needs To Do To Prepare For 2014
- The Ultimate Ecommerce Business Toolbox
- The Role of Recovery Emails In Winning Back Abandoned Shopping Carts
This is one of the oldest forums on the Web for optimizers and webmasters and let’s be honest, its web design confirms its age. However, don’t be fooled by the retro layout; this site has a terrific mix of news, gritty coding and presentation resources, and information for mobile. Don’t neglect their array of forums either.
These forums are particularly useful:
RazorSocial offers advice on social media tools and technology and its blog provides valuable how-to advice for both budding and serial entrepreneurs. It goes beyond entry-level ideas to really explore, in depth, how to use certain sites or products.
Check out these guides:
- 5 Secret Ways to Instantly Become More Effective with Slideshare Presentations
- 32 Hot Social Media Software Tools from Tool Providers
- How to Promote Your Blog Post to Get 1,000 Shares
This curated list of SEO articles was created to foster discussion among marketers about SEO and SEO tactics. Think of it as the marketing and SEO version of Digg or Reddit. You can sort through the list by the latest news, trending topics, most discussed, or all-time most read. No matter how you search, you are always getting a first-hand look at what other search engine optimizers are interested in.
The site has some impressive names behind it, including MOZ’s Rand Fishkin and Dharmesh Shah, co-founder of HubSpot.
Great reads include:
- A Q&A session with Rand Fishkin
- Creative link-building ideas
- Lies about content marketing - sure to spark debate in your office
You will have to sign up to access this site, but that small invasion of privacy is worth it. Here you can ask questions about whatever you want in the SEO world and read the answers that others point you towards. It’s a great way of expanding your thought process and knowledge base, as everyone’s go-to answers and resources are different.
You may also want to try these Quora sections for SEO feedback as well:
This site is one of the best ways to keep up with what’s happening in the ever-changing search engine landscape. It features a nice balance between news (such as developments with AdWords) and analysis (such as an exploration of Google’s spam-busting efforts).
Some regular columns covering a variety of SEO topics include:
12. QuickSprout Blog
Neil Patel, who co-founded Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics, is behind this entertaining blog that explores all manner of SEO tactics. Since Patel has the hands-on experience people are looking for, he can offer detailed case studies that explain which traffic-boosting tactics do and don’t work.
Don’t miss his take on:
- The Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation
- How to Create an SEO Friendly Infinite Scrolling Page
- How to Calculate the ROI of Your SEO Campaign
13. SEO Book
Aaron Wall’s superlative SEO blog offers sharp observations and critiques of SEO tactics and of the industry itself. He combines his strong power of observation with a willingness to engage topics that you won’t find on other SEO blogs, such as a recent post on Google Helpouts.
Get visual advice with SEO Book’s YouTube channel , which is very active and has videos on a variety of topics.
Here are some videos to start with:
- Creating Google and SEO-friendly page titles
- Why Google likes old websites
- Domain names and search engine marketing
Another news-focused site aimed at those who optimize, SiteProNews provides insights into the latest developments in marketing, technology, and search engines. There’s a very, very wide variety of information; you may jump from a story on childproofing a tablet to one about the NSA’s encryption service. Whether you’re building a solid knowledge base or looking for more in-depth research and case studies, all of these articles are valuable.
Be sure to see:
- Sign up for the Site Pro News newsletter
- Glance through the SPN archives for stories you may have missed
- Check out the website authoring tools and applications that can come in handy for SEO
15. Agent Blackhat
No, this is not an endorsement of the techniques explored on this blog, which are the sort of unethical approaches that can land your site at the bottom of Google SERPs if caught. However, it is good to keep up with what’s going on in the world of black hat SEO. It really is simply a matter of professional awareness, and this blog will give you the lowdown on the current illicit trends.
Note: While you’ll want to avoid employing these tactics, you can learn quite a bit about SEO theory, strategy, and creative thinking from posts such as these:
- This Is What Happens When You Bait Matt Cutts Into an Attack
- Is the Fat Lady Singing for Pagerank?
- A Blackhatter’s Manifesto
This SEO company has an extensive number of downloads aimed at helping people increase their Web page traffic and learn more about web marketing. These references are something you can come back to again and again to answer your questions.
Yoast’s WordPress SEO plug-in has a cult-like following of devotees who are enamored with how it continues to evolve and improve with the ever-changing search optimization field. The page is helpful for learning more about how to use the plug-in of course, but it also provides suggestions for how to make it more effective.
Take a look at:
- Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin stats
- Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin FAQs
- Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin support , a consistently updated forum
18. The Short Cutts
Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam, is a legendary figure among those who follow SEO closely. Many look to him for policy setting in the world of search engine optimization. If Cutts says it’s OK, then it’s OK; if he says it’s taboo, better hope you aren’t doing it. It’s important to keep up with Cutts’ thoughts on SEO topics to ensure your site is following Google’s rules; this site compiles brief summaries of every one of Cutts’ videos.
Bonus points for having a sense of humor and filing them by the color shirt he’s wearing.
Must-watch videos include:
- What are myths about SEO?
- What could the Webspam team have done better?
- Will backlinks lose their importance in ranking?
This site blends news and opinion as well as a large number of helpful how-to guides. It also has free, downloadable reports about countless hot SEO topics. SME’s podcasts are interesting and original, and are of a quality that transcends paradigm shifts in the industry.
Three must-listen podcasts:
- Blog Comments: Should Your Blog Shut Down Comments?
- Google Analytics: How to Make Smart Marketing Decisions
- Google+ Marketing Tactics: How to Promote Your Content on Google+
Lisa Irby’s personable, pointed YouTube channel is a great place to find video breakdowns of the latest issues in search engine optimization. She has solid basic information, but also offers more in-depth discussions about Google punishments and other controversies.
Videos worth watching:
- How to Make Money With Google AdSense
- Why Google Penalized "My Blog Guest"
- SEO in 2014 - What Google Won't Say
An expansive site that provides the latest updates on SEO as well as video, mobile, social and other online areas, Search Engine Watch is a great place to get lost for a few hours. You’ll find article after article that you’ll want to save to Evernote for later. Get articles on topics such as maximizing local search success or discussions about “organic” social media.
- A free search engine optimization tool
- An archive of useful whitepapers on sister site ClickZ
- A listing of upcoming SEO events and conferences
Sometimes you just want to talk with someone who has experienced the same problems or came up with the same solutions that you have in your SEO dealings. The forums at SEOChat are a great place to pick other peoples’ brains and perhaps spark brainstorming within your own.
Recent topics include:
- How best to do SEO for a "Yelp" like site?
- Remove low-quality backlinks
- Panda Hit? Loss of rankings