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Learning Search Engine Marketing takes lots of commitment and a lot of time researching what’s new since our industry moves very rapidly. For those who want a fast jump start in our industry but don’t know where to go, I hope the posts of this thread will point you in the right direction.
What I will post are only my observations and recommendations as a person who has been near the Internet industry for over 10 years. Just remember a few things:
1) The Golden Rule of SEO: DON’T OVER OPTIMIZE, BE NATURAL.As my friend Brett Tabke once said to me, “read, read, read until your eyes hurt” and you will be able to design and execute a great SEM strategy to gaining traffic from the search engines.
2) Don’t SPAM or use techniques that the risks are high enough that you might loose it all one day – perhaps overnight.
3) Think what is best for your users first, the search engines will adapt.
4) Stay up to date, search engines change, users change, businesses can change for the better or worse if not up to date.
First, start yourself with good basic knowledge, here are a few places to learn the basics. Rather than giving you a complete list of resources pages, except for Danny Sullivan’s Intro to Search Optimization article which is IMO the best because it takes you buy the hand step by step when you have no clue what this is all about, I recommend you to check SEOConsultant.com’s SEO Resources, Associations and Organizations page. Pay good attention to the submission tips and the PPC engines. This also includes Danny's Search Engine Report Articles Archive and SEOConsultants' Search Engine Optimzation and Search Engine Marketing Articles Archive.
Then, here are some recommended forums (listed in no particular order):
Want to make it easy for you, just go to Barry Schwartz’(RustyBrick) Search Engine Roundtable and let him and associate editor Benjamin Pfeiffer (Phoenix) take you by the hand to the best posts of their forums watch list. Nick is also doing a good job with Threadwatch.org.
Then subscribe and read these websites:
Pay special attention to these guides:
Hypertext Markup Language - 2.0 - Document Structure by the W3C.org
Adding a touch of style by Dave Raggett from the W3C.org
26 steps to 15k a Day by Brett Tabke
Search Engine Theme Pyramids by Search Engine World
SEO Checklist By André le Roux (except #8, explained why here)
Just in case, follow every single word of these important rules from the search engines:
http://www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html ( and related links on left nav)
Then, get a little more advanced by reading reading some outstanding search engine marketing books from our industry. I speacially recommend Aaron Wall’s SEO Book for lot’s of ground coverage in the SEO topics and Mike Grehan’s Search Engine Marketing: The essential best practice guide for a more in depth expert look at our industry and search engines. I know there are many other great books, I just seem to like these two as recommended reading for someone wanting to really get into SEO.
For Link Building, I recommend the following:
Link Building 101 - This really has it all.
When you get more advanced, you will need to stay up to date with research papers like these (but might be too advanced for you now, take your time):
Keyword Density Analysis Nonsense
Keywords Co-occurrence and Semantic Connectivity
Block-level Link Analysis
I also recommend you go to a Search Engine Strategies Conference at least once a year if you can afford it. Lots of contacts and great new info gets let loose every year. If you want to choose only one, I'd go with San Jose.
Please keep in mind that Search Engine Marketing is not only about SEO and PPC, be creative and go out and find something not every one is doing, for example:
Geographically Targeting with SEO
Marketing Tactics with Shopping Search Engines
How should I go about SEO for an eBay store?
Don’t forget expanding to other languages, opportunities are endless here: Multilingual Search Markets & Non-US Engines . . . and much much more, just don’t be afraid to let your creativity take wings.
One (almost) final link, I recommend you to read and subscribe to this thread “Threats and Opportunities of Search Engine Marketing” as it will get updated more in the future.
I’m sure there are many things missing on my post and anyone is welcome to add on to the list. More important, I sincerely request other more advanced or expert members of SEW Forums to help achieve the goals of this thread:
1) Helping those who don’t know where to start, but need simple direction before jumping to SEM 201 first.
2) Improving The Reputation Of The SEM Industry by pointing them in the right direction.