5 SEO-Related Blogs & Resources To Read and Why I Would Recommend Them

I had the opportunity to stop into the monthly meeting for the Cambridge SEO Meetup Group the other night and had an excellent time talking to other search engine marketing professionals, small business owners and folks generally interested in how SEO can become a component of their online marketing strategy. Among the questions and discussions brought up was the question on “what websites do you go to obtain search engine related information and resources?“. We ran out of time last night to really open that question up for discussion, so I thought I would provide my answer through this post.

For people interested in search engine optimization, or working with SEO in their everyday online endeavors, there are 5 SEO-related blogs that I consider “Must Reads” on a regular basis (at least weekly check-ins). The reason I chose these blogs was because of the depth of information that they provide and the influence they have in relation to other blogs and resources in the industry. In addition, Lee Odden’s Big List of Search Marketing Blogs lists nearly 400 search engine related blogs out there that discuss search engine optimization, marketing, technology and other Internet related topics. That is more information than most people would ever need, let alone on a weekly basis (which is one of the requirements for being listed), but aside from the 5 below, that is another excellent option for finding SEO related resources.

Search Engine Land
http://searchengineland.com/

  • Why I Read and Recommend It:
    Danny Sullivan is one of the leaders in the search engine marketing industry and Search Engine Land provides some of the most up to date coverage on events, news and information related to the space. Not only are people like Barry Schwartz, Bill Slawski and Jennifer Slegg regular writers (Barry Schwartz is the News Editor) but the site also features regular contributions from some of the most respected and successful SEO/SEM individuals out there, sharing their own personal knowledge of what is happening in the industry
  • What Else To Consider:
    On any given day there could be 5 to 10 to more articles written, which can be cumbersome to keep up with in a regular RSS feed subscription. At the least, I recommend subscribing to the SearchCap posts, which summarize the daily post information as well as point to articles and information of note on other blogs and websites.

    Aside from the main articles and posts section, there are different “Lands” of information, which provide readers specific resources for search engines, topical discussions and business-specific situations. There are also a ton of tutorials, articles and resources available for review in each section. Finally, Search Engine Land recently released Sphinn, which is an social community designed to showcase and discuss interesting and potentially valuable content found from around the web, related to all things search. This is a nice way to find out what people in the industry like and find of interest as well.

SEOmoz.org
http://www.seomoz.org/

  • Why I Read and Recommend It:
    The key difference I find between SEOmoz and Search Engine Land – as a source for daily information – is that SEOmoz addresses more specific questions that people working in search marketing deal with, whereas Search Engine Land brings you industry news and overarching recommendations (although there are a ton of specific resources available in Search Engine Land in each “Land” section). The team at SEOmoz consistently find a way to identify an issue in search, provide a recommendation and then provide clear detail as it pertains to solving or addressing the issue. The fact that they can do this, with such effectiveness, on a regular basis is what makes this a regular read for me.
  • What Else To Consider:
    Since I’ve been a reader of SEOmoz (which seems like since nearly the inception), they have launched two features that can add significant value, particularly to people new in the industry: A Premium Content Section and YOUmoz. The premium content section offers users access to potentially valuable SEO tools unavailable to non-paying subscribers, as well as 3 eBooks (two more in the works) and exclusive access to ask questions to members of the SEOmoz team*.

    YOUmoz offers registered users (registration is free) the ability to write their own articles and blog posts, which (if approved) are published on the YOUmoz blog. In addition, the most popular posts can be often make their way onto the SEOmoz home page. Having your writing published is a nice way to connect with the growing subscriber base found in the SEOmoz community.

    (*imo, that would seem like something they would end/limit at some point if their premium subscriber base significantly increased, so if you’re on the fence in regards to purchasing a premium membership, now may be the best time to do it).

Matt Cutts’ Blog
http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/

  • Why I Read and Recommend It:
    Aside from the fact that Matt Cutts seems like a generally nice person he’s also the Head of Google’s Webspam Team and therefore gets to deal with those entities looking to impact Google search rankings using “not-so-nice” tactics related to SEO (not that that would ever happen). In addition to providing insight on what technical (and non-technical) issues the webspam team confronts on a regular basis, Matt Cutts has historically been a spokesperson relaying the “how” and “why” Google does this or that with their search algorithm.
  • What To Consider:
    I don’t tend to read as much of Matt Cutts’ blog as I used to, as there seems to be much more material outside of the subject of Google Technology, but failing to check in on a regular basis would be neglecting my responsibility as an effective SEO consultant. That being said, in addition to insight into Google’s search technology – and how they deal with spam, “black hat SEO” and other issues with search – readers can get a glimpse of what’s going on at Google in terms of company culture and information on upcoming releases and beta projects at Google.

The Google Webmaster Central Blog
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/

  • Why I Read and Recommend It:
    There are two reasons I read and recommend Google Webmaster Central:
    1. The Google Webmaster Central Blog is utilized to announce new features, functionality and information related to Google search technology.
    2. Google search represents over 50% of the search engine industry.

    Until one or both of those two factors change for the worse, there is very little reason why you would not want to keep track of what is being said and written over there.

  • What To Consider:
    As with any of the blogs I read regularly, it’s important to consider how something being said may or may not impact your own search engine optimization strategy and (perhaps more importantly) what the motivation is for someone to say it in the first place.

TechCrunch
http://www.techcrunch.com/

  • Why I Read and Recommend It:
    Obviously TechCrunch is not an SEO Blog or SEO Resource, but it is a tremendously valuable source of information on what is “new” in the world of Internet technology – specifically: “Web 2.0” technology. If SEO is really a popularity contest, understanding what is new and important in web technology has to be a critical part of the strategic process, because these are the tools and resources that factor into the growth and development of your website, either outside of the confines of your web pages (social communities, networks, link opportunities) or as a component of your website offerings (functionality like video and website interactivity).
  • What To Consider:
    As with Search Engine Land, the occasional reader can simply get overwhelmed with the amount of new information and content that can pile up in an RSS reader if neglected for a week and unlike Search Engine Land, there is really no way to segment out information that will be delivered (there are no recap posts or posts by categories to organize or highlight). As a result, it’s important to assess how valuable each piece of information is to you and your business, as not all of them will be – at least that is what I would imagine. Fortunately, the site does have a company/product index, which can be helpful if you are looking back in the TechCrunch archives for specific information.

Final Thoughts and Considerations
As I stated above, the main reasons I chose the blogs above was in relation to the depth of information that they provide and the influence they have in relation to other blogs and resources in the industry. Search Engine Land and SEOmoz clearly are related to the SEO/SEM Industry and The Google Webmaster Central Blog and Matt Cutts’ Blog are specific to Google. While TechCrunch is not directly related to SEO, it is related to innovation online, which is a key ingredient to any online business’s success over the long run.

There are well over 100 “other” SEO-related blogs I currently subscribe to, many of those I read regularly and would consider “better” than these 5 above, but that is because of my own personal preferences in writing style, subject matter and relationship. The Cape Cod SEO “Blogs I Read” highlight some of them, and you can also view my Bloglines and del.icio.us accounts to see other blogs and websites I have found of interest. That being said, for webmasters and site owners that want to get a good look at the industry overall, still have access to detailed and well written information, but really cannot invest the time and energy to sift through a diverse range of information, writing styles, points of view and/or complexity, these 5 resources are at the top of my list.


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