As much as I happen to love books (I’ve got a personal library of over 4,000 titles including eBooks), I’ve got to say that I’ve never been enamored of books for the purpose of learning SEO skills.
It’s not that I think that the books don’t have good information – they do. However, there is a big problem with these kinds of books. They tend to have information that was very useful whenever they were written, not now. The world of SEO is such a rapidly changing one that what was true yesterday isn’t going to be true today.
Okay, all caveats aside, there is a great reason to read the following five books: if you don’t understand what terms like SERPs, SEO, LSI, Adwords, MFA, CPA and a whole other alphabet soup worth of names and acronyms mean, then you need to get yourself a basic grounding in SEO. These books can help you to do exactly that.
I’ve always been a fan of the Dummies series, even if I never cared for the concept of calling myself or others a dummy in order to understand something (I prefer the line from the movie Philadelphia: “explain it me like I’m a six year old”). That said, for those who need a crash course on SEO, this is a great choice.
This book is not good however for those who need a serious amount of knowledge and who need to get a better understanding of what it means to optimize a web site for search engines. In other words, if you want to understand the basics, go for Search Engine Optimization for Dummies. If you need something more advanced, read some blogs instead.
This one is probably a better choice than some other books only because it’s better organized. The information is naturally going to be a little dated (hey, they all are – it’s the nature of the beast), but I liked the way they organize things with four sections, making it easier to get a handle on SEO.
Basically, I’d highly recommend the foundation part, but I’d suggest you read the other sections of the book with an eye toward reading more about current knowledge and techniques on various quality blogs (such as this one).
This one is a different book on SEO and I have to say, I was impressed with it only because it doesn’t try to teach you basics. A handful of the ideas they mention are outdated (the book is over a year old already). However, over-all, I do feel like this one is a book to have on your shelf since it’s got some useful information, organized into a list of tips on SEO.
Here’s another one which is great for beginners but not so great for those who are advanced. I’m not sure I liked the hype he offers or the fact that he makes it sound like ranking first on Google is so simple (it can happen, but it takes work), but it’s a good introduction to the basic concept of SEO.
Rounding out my list of best SEO books is the Art of SEO. This one is actually more advanced than the other ones in this roundup and isn’t really intended for the beginner. This makes it, in my opinion, much less useful because, as I’ve said all along, techniques that were useful years ago are not useful today. This book is already two years old, so while you’ll get some really useful information here, it’s not going be the most up to date information.