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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Secrets

ISBN: 978-0-470-55418-0
456 pages
March 2011
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Secrets (0470554185) cover image


Tips, tricks, and little-known methods used by professional SEO consultants to rank in some of the most competitive search phrases

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of creating, formatting and promoting web pages in a manner that ensures that they are ranked highly for chosen keyword phrases after a user performs a Web search. This unique book taps the relatively unknown market of advanced SEO knowledge, and reveals secrets used by only the best SEO consultants.

You'll take your Internet marketing skills to the next level as you gain a thorough understanding of standard SEO techniques such as on-page optimization, off-page optimization, and link building. Packed with real-world examples, this essential guide demonstrates how real SEO consultants work with Fortune 500 companies to get the results they desire.

Coverage includes:

  • Understanding Search Engine Optimization
  • Relearning How You See the Web
  • Picking the Right SEO Tools
  • Finding SEO Problems
  • Solving SEO Problems
  • SEO Best Practices
  • The SEO Consulting Process
  • Comprehensive Site Audit (Informational Website)
  • Comprehensive Site Audit (E-Commerce Website)
  • Understanding the SEO Industry
  • Search Engine Verticals
  • Optimizing for Alternative Search Engines
  • Setting Up a Testing Platform
  • SEO Resources
  • Attending SEO Conferences
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 I Understanding Search Engine Optimization 5

The Secrets of Popularity 6

The Secrets of Relevancy 11

Summary 14

Chapter 2 I Relearning How You See the Web 15

The 1,000-Foot View—Understanding the Neighborhood 16

The 100-Foot View—The Website 21

The 10-Foot View—The Webpage 27

The 1-Foot View—Individual Content Pieces 40

Summary 42

Chapter 3 I Picking the Right SEO Tools 43

View Source 44

Useful Search Engine Queries 51

Search Engine–Provided Tools 56

Google Webmaster Tools 59

Relevancy Determining Tools 68

SEO Toolbars 73

HTTP Header Analyzer 76

Firefox User Agent Switcher 78

Firefox Rendering Modifier 81

Summary 83

Chapter 4 I Finding SEO Problems 85

The 15-Minute SEO Audit 86

The 5-Minute Brand Reputation Audit 97

Identifying Search Engine Penalties 103

Summary 106

Chapter 5 I Solving SEO Problems 107

First Things First 108

Fixing Popularity Problems 109

Fixing Relevancy Problems 114

Fixing Penalties 117

Link Building Techniques 122

Summary 127

Chapter 6 I SEO Best Practices 129

Page-Level Information Hierarchy 130

Domain-Level Information Hierarchy 130

URL 131

Title Tag 134

Meta Description 135

HTML Headings (H1 – H6) 136

Images 138

Nofollow 139

Rel Canonical Link Element 140

Meta Keywords 142

JavaScript and Flash 143

301 Redirects 143

Blocking Pages from Search Engines 144

Traffic and Rankings 145

Parameter-Driven URLs 146

Footer Links 147

Summary 148

Chapter 7 I The SEO Consulting Process 149

Answering Hard Questions from Clients 150

Preparing for the First Meeting 159

Paperwork: Setting Expectations 165

Deliverables 169

Establishing Price Points 170

What to Give Away for Free 175

Subsequent Meetings 176

Summary 178

Chapter 8 I Comprehensive Site Audit (Informational Website) 179

How to Read This Chapter 180

Sample Website 181

Sample Report 182
After Completing the Report 199

Summary 200

MusicArtistDatabase.com Sample SEO Site Audit 201

Chapter 9 I Comprehensive Site Audit (E-Commerce Website) 259

How to Read This Chapter 260

Sample Website 260

Sample Report 261

Summary 277

SellTheWidget.com Sample SEO Site Review 279

Chapter 10 I Understanding the SEO Industry 333

A Brief History of SEO 334

Who Are Internet Marketers and Where Can I Find Them? 335

The SEO Pyramid and Wearing Multiple Hats 340

SEO Leaders 343

The People and Technology behind Google and Bing 346

Long-Term Perspective in SEO 351

Summary 353

Chapter 11 I Search Engine Verticals 355

Universal Search 356

Local Search 357

Image Search 362

Video Search 365

Instant Search 368

Summary 370

Chapter 12 I Optimizing for Alternative Search Engines 371

Amazon 372

YouTube 374

Facebook 375

Delicious 376

Flickr 378

Twitter 380

Summary 382

Chapter 13 I Test, Test, Test 383

Setting Up a Testing Platform 384

Running a Test 387

Recording Results 389

The Importance of Sharing Knowledge 391

Summary 393

Chapter 14 I SEO Resources 395

SEO Cheat Sheet Part 1: On-Page Optimization 396

SEO Cheat Sheet Part 2: Canonicalization Errors 397

SEO Cheat Sheet Part 3: Meta Robots and Robots.txt 398

SEO Cheat Sheet Part 4: Sitemaps 400

SEO Cheat Sheet Part 5: User Agents 402

Switching Domains Checklist 403

SEO Quick Hit List 404

Summary 404

Appendix A I Attending SEO Conferences 405

Picking the Right Conference 406

What to Expect 410

Preparing to Go 412

What to Bring 413

What to Do 414

After the Conference 416

Summary 416

Index 417

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Author Information

Danny Dover is a passionate SEO consultant and influential writer. During his tenure at SEOmoz.org (as Lead SEO), he did SEO consulting for many of the world's most popular websites including Facebook, Microsoft, and Comcast. His oft-cited expertise has been translated into Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, German, and Hungarian. He has spoken at numerous SEO conferences and his writings have been accessed online in more than 175 different countries. Erik Dafforn is Executive Vice President and Director of Organic SEO for Intrapromote, LLC, a Cleveland-based Search and Social Marketing firm. He's written over 200 articles on SEO strategy and techniques.

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Related Websites / Extra

Danny Dover's Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Secrets Web siteVisit author Danny Dover's site for more information on SEO Secrets and Danny's onging work.
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Do you think you've discovered an error in this book? Please check the list of errata below to see if we've already addressed the error. If not, please submit the error via our Errata Form. We will attempt to verify your error; if you're right, we will post a correction below.

ChapterPageDetailsDatePrint Run
19 Error in Text
In the blue box on the third line, the last word currently reads:


Should read:

72 Error in Word
Third Paragraph, line six, ?Ranking? should be replaced with ?Linking"
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Press Release

March 14, 2011
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Secrets

     Webmasters and content providers began optimizing sites for search engines in the mid-1990s.  The process was simple. All webmasters needed to do was submit the address of a page, or URL, to the various engines which would send a "spider" to "crawl" that page, extract links to other pages from it, and return information found on the page to be indexed.  In no time, site owners recognized the value of having their sites highly ranked and visible in search engine results, creating an opportunity for specialists.  Today, search engine optimization (SEO) is an art form blending together both technical expertise and content creation.  For the first time, SEO expert, Danny Dover, is pulling back the curtain to the most effective SEO practices in his new book, SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) SECRETS (Wiley;  ISBN: 9780470554180; April 2011, $34.99).  The book was created to be a highly actionable instructional resource, and it comes loaded with real life examples that demonstrate how real SEO Consultants work with Fortune 500 companies.

     SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) SECRETS helps professionals take their Internet marketing skills to the next level as they gain a thorough understanding of standard SEO techniques such as on-page optimization, off-page optimization, and link building. This unique book taps the relatively unknown market of advanced SEO knowledge, and reveals secrets used by only the best SEO consultants.  Some of the important topics that are covered in this book include how to:

  • Perform a professional SEO website audit
  • Manage rank for competitive terms
  • Spy on your competitors ranking techniques
  • Get SEO changes implemented in the complex hierarchies of real businesses

     Additionally, the supplemental website includes SEO code downloads, example websites, interviews, SEO cheat sheets, community building features that can help supplement these resources, and more. 

      As the world's information and businesses move online, search engine rankings become a vital metric of success. Most online marketers already have access to the basic information required to perform SEO through hundreds of websites that discuss the basics. In order to succeed in this increasingly competitive field, SEOs need the skills that currently only the best SEO consultants have. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) SECRETS teaches these internet marketers how to take their skill-set to the next level.  This book reveals the tips, tricks, and little-known methods used by professional SEO consultants to rank in some of the most competitive search phrases.


Danny Dover is a Search Engine Optimization consultant at SEOmoz Inc., a leading Internet Marketing firm. He specializes in enterprise level SEO consulting and has been successful in helping clients rank for some of the internet's most competitive search phrases. Outside of consulting, Danny is known for his many articles and blog posts on how to learn SEO and succeed in Web 2.0. His work has been translated into Chinese, Hebrew, Spanish and has been republished in various formats around the world.

 Erik Dafforn is Executive Vice President and Director of Organic SEO for Intrapromote, LLC, a Cleveland-based Search and Social Marketing firm. At Intrapromote's blog and ClickZ.com, he's written over 200 articles and posts on SEO strategy and techniques, many of which focus on architecture's effects on the crawling and indexing processes. Erik lives in Indianapolis with his wife and three children.

About Wiley

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has been a valued source of information and understanding for more than 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 450 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Peace.

Our core businesses publish scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional/trade books, subscription products, training materials, and online applications and Web sites; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley's global headquarters are located in Hoboken, New Jersey, with operations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia. The Company's Web site can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com. The Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb.

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