I’m not sure how many papers I’m going to have to look at to come up with a list of the 100 best SEO documents of all time, but there are plenty of good ones out there. These aren’t really organized in any special order, but I see some categories that I many have to place documents within. So far, those include:
History of search/internet
Here are some more nominees for the 100 best:
Sometimes, as an SEO, you might be called upon to do some paid-click advertising. One of the aspects of such a campaign that can make it successful is where you send people when they click on that ad. Michael Nguyen’s article is filled with some excellent insights on the topic.
Since I took a side turn into the world of Pay-per-click, I would be remiss not to include this article in this list of nominees for the 100 best documents of SEO of all time.
An article about the life and death of Suck.com, one of the first great web sites. What I loved about this article was the insight it gave into the early days of the web, and how people would get the news out about a new web site, before there were search engines. Those ideas are probably ones that still hold some potential today.
For a paper that looks at the political implications of search engines, and how they may influence the way we view the web, this article does a great job of putting some of the technical aspects of how a search engine workds into layman’s terms.
Web Spam Taxonomy (pdf)
A question that often causes a considerable amount of debate in Search Engine Optimization forums is “what is search engine spam?” While I’m not sure that this paper is the ultimate answer on the subject, it’s interesting to see the topic discussed from the perspective of people who have helped influence how search engines address the subject.
It’s probably also useful to look at search engine spam from the perspective of a search engine marketer. This is one of the most popular on the topic online.
How effective might the search engines be at identifying when cloaking happens. Some ideas of how Cloaking and redirection can be identified in this document.
A nice overview of what link spam is, and possible ways to detect it.
One of the many fascinating parts of this document is its look at the evolution of web spam, and the responses to it that have taken place in search engines. The paper looks at trustworthy, and untrustworthy sites, and how pages link together. They tell us that:
Our approach can lead to browser-level web spam filters that work in synergy with the powerful search engines to deliver personalized, trusted web results.
Something that we really haven’t covered in this list of SEO papers is the possible effects of filters that people can use to keep certain pages to show up in search results. It might be something to keep in mind.
A throwback to 1998, and the search engines that were around at that time, this paper looks at how those engines might find some pages more relevant than others. This list of attributes of a page optimized for search engines is one that I see often cited in one form or another:
- Number of times the keyword occurs in the URL.
- Number of times the keyword occurs in the document title.
- Number of words in the document title
- Number of times the keyword occurs in meta fields – typically keyword list and description.
- Number of times keyword occurs in the first heading tag
- Number of words in the first heading tag.
- Total number of times the keyword occurs in the document including title, meta, etc.
- Length of the document.
So, what’s new in the last seven years?