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SEO 2017 & Beyond by Andy Williams

The full title of this book by Dr Andy Williams is

SEO 2017 & Beyond: A Complete SEO Strategy – Dominate the Search Engines!“.

In my review on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a Four Star rating. This means I think it is good.

Here is my book review.

Packed with sensible advice on how to improve your SEO in a Google friendly way.

This is a very good book about search engine optimisation and the importance of following Google’s guidelines both to the letter and to their spirit.

The author tells how SEO used to be easy in the good old days before the Panda and Penguin crackdowns because someone in the know could take the steps needed to get onto the first page of Google with relative ease and with effort get into the top spots for all but the most popular phrases.

Things are different now because Google has moved away from focusing so much on optimising around specific keyword phrases and towards optimising around themes. It has tried to understand the intent behind the search and then deliver quality website pages that are consistent with that intent.

Personally from my experience as a searcher, I think Google has gone too far or hasn’t refined its algorithms far enough. I’m making too many searches that leave me wondering why its serving up particular pages that don’t appear relevant because there’s no mention of my search phrase in the title tag or the snippet of text shown. Perhaps I’m just bitter as I did well under the old rules.

Here are the reasons why I haven’t given the book five stars:

1) There is a bias towards information sites in the advice with little consideration for SEO for pages selling products and services.
2) Most small businesses don’t want to rank nationally but do want to rank for local searches and their issues aren’t considered.
3) The book is written for people in the SEO profession or enthusiastic amateurs who have plenty of time on their hands to write content rich information guides for their own website and on others.
4) There is a danger that the book will get out of date very quickly. The author will update in a year’s time.
5) The book adds content to earlier versions although it has added in some meaty contents about SEO checklists on the various topics.
6) The book doesn’t link into the connection between SEO and pay per click with Google Adwords. While I have sympathy with the idea that Google has connected keywords into themes to discover the intent, my Adwords experience suggests it’s not that effective or consistent.

Let me give you an example.

I provide business advice to small businesses and use Adwords to send traffic to a landing page. It ranks the match between keyword and landing page through something called a Quality Score. Strangely when I look at my campaign, my quality score for “business advisor” is better than for “business advice” but “small business advice” scores better than “small business advisor” while “advice for business owners” is significantly better than “advice for small business”. This time Google has two sets of customers (users and advertisers) and it should be even more determined to serve up the best, most appropriate results.

The final reason for not giving the book five stars is the fact that the new reality of Google (for the last four years and counting) is that they don’t want you to be able to manipulate the search results. As anything is revealed to work consistently to boost rankings, the algorithm will be changed to stop it. SEO has become a bit of a fool’s errand unless you’re building a tightly focused, large authority website or you have a purely local business. Even then, there is a danger that a tactic, that looks perfectly legitimate today, will become frowned upon in the future.

It is available to buy from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.


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