Learning SEO through Books

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A Path through the Batiquitos Lagoon

There are a few books and courses online that are free and really helpful when it comes to learning some of the things that will make you a better SEO. Knowledge can make a difference, and having an idea of how search engines work can possibly give you a competitive advantage over others who haven’t had a chance to learn about such resources. I’ve come across a few books that are online and free, and worth spending time with, and thought it might not be a bad idea to share them.

The first two volumes I found are ones that focus on one of the important ways that search engines understand the content of web pages, rating them based upon information retrieval scores. Having an idea of how a search engine might rank a page, based on more than just something of an understanding of how PageRank works can be really helpful.

Introduction to Information Retrieval by Christopher D. Manning, Prabhakar Raghavan and Hinrich Schรผtze

Modern Information Retrieval by Ricardo Baeza-Yates and Berthier Ribeiro-Neto

In the last couple of years, we have seen significant changes to how search results look at search engines. It doesn’t include knowledge panels or featured snippets or structured snippets or sitelinks, but this book does leave lots to think about when it comes to how search results are organized:

Search User Interfaces by Marti Hearst

Having a sense of how HTML and CSS and java script works can be helpful to anyone involved in SEO. This book covers the latest version of HTML which hasn’t been adopted everywhere on the Web yet, but is still worth digging into:

Dive into HTML5 by Mark Pilgrim

Online Courses and Presentations

Google has been going through a number of transformations in the past 5 years or so, and Andrew Hogue was involved in many of the changes that took place. His presentation on them is insightful:

The Structured Search Engine by Andrew Hogue:

Last September, Jeff Dean introduced us to a Google that was going to be incorporating Machine Learning into what they do – hearing some of the details behind this movement is like peeking behind the curtain:

Jeff Dean Talks Google Brain and Brain Residency:

These tutorials were pointed out to me on Twitter a couple of days ago. I started watching them, and decided quickly that they were worth sharing:

Dan Jurafsky & Chris Manning: Natural Language Processing and Lecture Slides (h/t to Victor Gras)

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41 thoughts on “Learning SEO through Books”

  1. Hey Bill,

    Brilliant job! Thanks for sharing such resources with us. For sure I will try them out.

    Valuable resources are always helpful. This post is good to be listed as best free SEO resource ebooks.

    Kepp sharing resources like this.

    Regards
    ~Alok

  2. You’re welcome, Alok

    I do believe that those are really good resources, and I’m hoping that people get a lot of value out of them. I think they can bring people who study them a competitive advantage. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. wow! excellent job .i enjoyed this article . This post has really many effective information .That is a really great posting .

  4. Hi Bill,

    You are doing an excellent job. The given information is very useful. Online courses and Presentation part is very nice.
    Thanks for sharing such a great blog.

    Regards
    Paulraj

  5. Hi,

    Learning SEO Only through books is not sufficient. Hands on experience is a must to enjoy the features of SEO.
    I’m a fresher who didn’t even heard of what SEO was, but after started working on this, i have learnt how SEO and Digital Marketing is becoming important in today’s world.

  6. Hey Bill,

    How is it helpful learning SEO through some courses or through reading books?
    Practical experience is the most important right?

    Some people have good theoretical knowledge but don’t have immerse practical experience, which is not a good one

  7. Very useful information provided here. I’ll surely use this in my work ๐Ÿ™‚
    Keep Writing!

  8. Hi Daisy,

    Having some idea about questions to ask and ideas to test can make you better at SEO. I’ve been adding tasks to my company Wiki at Go Fish Digital, for people to try different things out and write about their experiences with them. Practical experience can be improved upon if you better understand information retrieval and Structured Data and how Search engines are changing. Use that theory and knowledge to make your practical experience have more value, and it does pay off.

  9. Hi Grant,

    I didn’t say to only learn SEO through books. I appreciate hands on experience, too. But, if you ignore books that have lots of value, and don’t learn information retrieval, you are passing by on opportunities to be a lot better at SEO. When former search engineers such as Andrew Hogue share their insights about how structured data works at Google, it’s worth spending the time listening. Sure, roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty, but doing some research and understanding how search engines work better has a lot of value, too.

  10. Hello Bill,

    Great work done by your side ๐Ÿ™‚

    Resources with deep knowledge are always valuable, and these free SEO books are great to learn and perform with power packed tactics.

    I am looking forward to try these out very soon.

    Thanks for the share ๐Ÿ™‚

    Shantanu.

  11. I’ve been looking for the latest SEO techniques when I stumbled across this page. I’ve watched all the videos and they’re all very useful! Thanks a lot!

  12. Hi Shantanu,

    I consider reading a resource like these to be an investment in yourself of knowledge and ideas that you can use to build and improve a site with. Happy to hear that you are taking advantage of them. I hope using them helps.

    Bill

  13. Hi BurrowX,

    Good hearing that you enjoyed the videos. I will likely be looking for some more to add to another post in that series. There are some I watched over the summer, and it might be wort pointing out those. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Iโ€™ve been looking for the latest SEO techniques when I stumbled across this page. Iโ€™ve watched all the videos and theyโ€™re all very useful! Thanks a lot!

  15. Hi Bill,

    This is something to read, beginers and experinced SEO people.
    Thank you for this valuable information.

    Regards

  16. Hi Noel,

    Since I am the one for my agency who decides what will be included in site audits, I have the flexibility to add material to those audits. If I came across something that I think will be useful and informative reading a book about information retrieval or learning more about natural language processing could be useful and helpful. Reading books and watch courses will have the value that you give them. I find myself trying to learn new things all of the time.

  17. 53 min of Jeff Dean talking about AI and Brain Residency was a very insightful video!

  18. Thank you for sharing excellent information. Your website is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this blog. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject.

  19. Hi Domininic,

    I listed books that are available for free online. There are a couple that I listed which are excellent resources when it comes to information retrieval resources, which have a lot worth spending time with. Take a look, and see what you think.

  20. Had a cursory glance on these and they seem to be a goldmine of excellent information and that too for free! Many thanks for sharing this Bill!

  21. Thanks for this article buddy your blog has always been my favorite in terms of SEO regarding queries.

  22. Great post. Thanks for sharing with us. It is really improve skill for SEO. Great information for any people who belong to IT specially. Above three name are very inspiring for anyone.

  23. i see your two video clip. hmm very good. i feel and teach your talking. i am also follow your post. i am waiting your others post. thank you.

  24. Hey Bill,

    Such nice job!!

    Thanks for sharing a valuable reference resource with us. I am already aware of SEO but this post is most important for new SEO beginners.

  25. Very nice article..you shared productive and valuable information.This post is really good for the new comer of seo.Thanks for sharing.

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