Friday, March 30, 2007

SEO information overload anyone?

You know that sensation where your brain feels filled to the brim with information that you haven't even processed all the way yet? And possibly just one more piece will make make your head explode like one of those little confetti popper party favors?

I'm there.

I think this weekend will be for going over the information I've already taken in, the basics of SEO such as link baiting, linking, building content, etc. The easy parts (or at least, easier to understand). Then maybe I can get into the more technical aspects, like getting a basic understanding of search engine spiders and crawlers and how search engines actually work.

For someone raised on a computer, there was a WHOLE lot I didn't know. But hey, now I know that I DON'T know and knowing is half the battle (GI Joe reference anyone?).

At least I've come up with a simple way to explain my new role as an SEO-er for in layman's terms: "the goal of my job is to make our websites pop up near the top of the page in Google's search body." (Can't say organic search - most people have no idea what that means.) There. Even someone who is basically computer illiterate could understand that, right?

The problem I'm fielding right now (besides the possibility of a minor brain embolism due to info overload) is figuring out just WHERE to start with optimizing our websites. Do I start with getting us quality backlinks? Do I start with article/content building? Do I go back over the current pages and make sure they're search engine friendly? Sure, I know on-page optimization with keywords may not count as much for ranking anymore - but just in case, I'd rather not overlook that factor. I think this weekend it's time to come up with a game plan. I need to be a bit more organized than I'm used to.

For anyone else out there trying to learn basic SEO and move on up through the ranks from novice to expert, here are some of the top SEOs of the community - their websites and blogs have been invaluable to me. In no particular order, they are:

Eric Ward (the LinkMoses)
Search Engine Land
Aaron Wall and (the glossary has definitely been a handy reference)
Rand Fishkin and
Andy Hagan
Scoreboard Media Group
Michael Gray

That's about it for now - there's definitely more on my list, but I'll add them at a later date. If anyone has any suggestions at all on what an SEO beginner should be reading up on, feel free to let me know.

One thing I've learned - SEO blogs are an INVALUABLE teaching tool.

Thanks to all you SEO bloggers out there.

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