Book review: The Art of SEO

by on 3rd January 2010

What’s The Art of SEO?

The Art of SEO is a book authored by SEO and Digital Marketing experts, Eric Enge (Stone Temple Consulting), Stephan Spencer (Netconcepts) Rand Fishkin (SEOmoz) and Jessie C. Stricchiola (Alchemist Media).

The Art of SEO

Who is it aimed at?

The book begins with the most fundamental of SEO concepts, required reading for the beginner, a handy refresher for the intermediate and a welcome return to the basics for the seasoned practitioner. I particularly enjoyed the “Market Share of Search Engines” and “Determining Searcher Intent” sections in Chapter one, before being immersed in Chapter two’s “Algorithm based Ranking Systems” and “Using Advanced Search Techniques” pages.

As the book aims to add value to readers from a range of levels of experience, there is something for everyone to read. The in-house SEO Manager would find Chapter three, “Determining your SEO Objectives and Defining Your Site’s Audience” while students looking to gain an introduction to technical, keyword research and link building would enjoy chapters five, six and seven.

What sort of tips are in the book?

I found myself folding the corners of pages over if there was a tip or a bookmark-able resource I’d like to return to. I made almost 40 of these! Sections worthy of a re-read include: “Domain Changes, Post SEO Redesigns and Troubleshooting” and the “Tracking Results and Measuring Success”, a chapter that gives a solid primer in SEO Analytics. I also loved the tip in Chapter Ten around looking for pages not receiving search traffic in a specified time period that do get crawled by search bots, which sounded very much like something Stephan might discuss at a search marketing conference…

Is this book for me?

It can’t be easy writing a book on SEO, especially when the project is group based. Though there are many SEO books available, not all stand the test of time when it comes to the durability of the advice and facts given in the content. That’s not because the books are bad, it’s because our industry has moved and evolved so quickly. This evolution and fast pace of development has created the need to establish and communicate “core” best practice in SEO. This is what the authors of the book have done, and in my opinion, rather successfully. The Art of SEO is an excellent read for SEO’s of many levels and is worth the time invested to read it properly.

Go grab yourself a copy on Amazon here.


  1. smashing review, Richard! i have bought in and I am off to order the book right now. happy new year

  2. It’s also available as an e-book on the Itunes store! Have been reading it for a while, a top book for SEO!

  3. Agreed the Itunes app is usefull for reading in the Gym etc, but the hard copy of this book is permanently chained to my desk at work :) Definately in my top 3 marketing books of 2009.

  4. I have heard lot of positive reviews about the book & would love to have one! Have contributed a tip, fingers crossed.

  5. Really keen to read the book, sounds very interesting!

    I feel my competition entry may be lacking in humour though. And creativity. And the ability to be actioned.

    I should really stop submitting that picture as a competition entry. It’s really not appropriate.

  6. This was my reading material over the xmas. It is an excellent book for a grounding in seo. I wished the link building chapter was fleshed out a bit with possible examples of good link request emails etc. but would recommend it to anyone with an interest in SEO

  7. The tab index here is all up the spout.

    Hardly the most innovative comment I have made, even this year, but I was frustrated by it.

  8. Fingers crossed.. I can feel a free book coming my way!

  9. There have been some brilliant / funny / creative and high quality entries so far. Thanks to everyone who has eneterd – there’s still time to add your entry or enter again. Good luck!

  10. Hi Richard, Nice review. It even convinced me to pick up a copy from Amazon. Anything with Rand Fishkin is involved in is worth a read, surely…

  11. Awesome review, thanks Richard. I was on 2 minds which book to get on Amazon until I followed the link to your site. Your review has defineltly tipped the balance in favour of this book for me as it sounds perfect for what we are trying to achieve.

    Do you have a recommendation for a Google Analytics book :)


  12. What?! Still time to enter. OK then, count me in. God knows I need all the SEO help I can get…

  13. Nice review! Thanks!

  14. I read that book to its marking my begin of the seo theme in a whole. now i am prepared for my work and i know where i can start to go deeper at all.

  15. Hi there I Just released my Ebook aswell It is basically an seo hand book walking you through different traffic getting methods and optimizing your site. It’s only $2.95 and you get free submission to top 50 search engines. And exclusive info on free google promo codes and over 1000 free oneway links.. Check it out for your self.

    Come to my site

  16. I’m wondering if anyone else stopped on the bottom of page 37 like I did, after reading, “Spammers ruined the SEO value of this [meta keywords] tag years ago, so its value is now negligible. Google does not use this tag for ranking at all…”


    WordPress blogging, the All-in-one SEO plugin, Scribe, etc. All make keywording a blog post / page extremely important and Google ignores this information and it has zero effect on ranking?

    Anyone else find this statement in the book weird? I ask, because I am an SEO-rookie and this statement just isn’t what I read from just about every SEO source out there.

  17. ref Joseph. I think the book is referring to meta keywords rather than keywords in a blog. Every single SEO guy I speak to recommends this book. I bought it when it came out and constantly refer to it.

  18. Hi, Has anyone tried out the audio book? I need to listen rather than read for technical reasons..!!!

  19. I’ve just ordered a secondhand copy of this from Amazon for $27+. I hope I will be able to read by next week once it arrives.

  20. I am just starting this now. Eric Enge gave me a free copy at the Pubcon 2012 in Honolulu.

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