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Top 50 Free Online Resources for Learning SEO

Top 50 Free Online Resources for Learning SEO

Emma-Julie Fox writes blogs and guest blogs for Pitstop Media Inc on SEO and online marketing best practices. The company is based in Vancouver and provides SEO services to North American businesses.

As more and more entrepreneurs recognize the importance of having a website these days, you can expect competition for top search rankings to become tougher than ever. And with Google’s regular algorithm updates, it becomes even more important to stay on top of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) trends.

 

Whether you’ve chosen to hire an in-house SEO manager or not and whether or not you choose to outsource your SEO, it pays for you, as a business owner, to learn as much as you can about SEO. Fortunately, there are online resources that can help you learn the basics of SEO and stay on top of your game.

 

For Beginners

SEO for beginners

Learn the rudiments before blasting off into the sunset. This section shows you free resources that are geared toward greenhorns. Flickr photo by bokeh burger

 

If you’re new to SEO and simply want to take in a little of the basics each day, these are the best resources for you to check out:

 

  1. Google’s SEO Guidelines

Since we’re talking about optimizing your web pages for search engines, where else should we start than with the world’s largest search engine? Of course, we’re not saying you should do everything Google tells you to do, but it certainly pays to know what they have to say about the various SEO techniques and strategies you may be thinking about using.

  1. Google Webmaster Guidelines

As you browse through Google’s SEO guidelines, you’ll see a recommendation to familiarize the way search engines work. It would indeed be wise to do so in order for you to gain a better understanding on how you can effectively optimize your web pages. The webmaster guidelines will help you learn how to make it easier for Google to find, index, and rank your pages.

  1. Google Basics

Also known as Google 101, this resource tells you all about the manner in which Google crawls the web, indexes web pages, and serves up results. This will help you design your SEO strategies such that it’s easier for your pages to get indexed and ranked on top of Google search results pages.

  1. The Beginner’s Guide to SEO (SEOMoz)

Our list will never be complete without this resource in it. It is just a small part of the vast library of resources found in SEOMoz, but it can be one of the best ways for you to start learning about SEO. It is comprised of ten chapters, each of which offers comprehensive information that’ll help get you on the road towards becoming adept at SEO.

  1. Google-Friendly Sites (Webmaster Tools)

This may just be a one-page article, but it provides you with vital information as to what Google views as high-quality sites. It tells you what signals Google use to determine the quality of a particular website. When you read the article, therefore, you’ll learn the basics of what you’ll need to do to have your website rank well on Google and perhaps even on other search engines.

  1. Wikipedia Article on PageRank

Gaining a good understanding of PageRank is important for you to understand why some websites rank better than others on Google. This article provides you with a very good background on PageRank (description, history, variations, etc.). It is, in fact, referenced by some of Google’s own employees.

  1. Basic SEO Tips (Buzzfeed Article)

If you’re completely new to SEO, it is sometimes a good idea to take things slow. Otherwise, you could be in danger of suffering information overload. In the interest of taking things slow, you may want to start learning about SEO with this buzzfeed article, which gives you five basic tips on how to begin optimizing your site.

  1. SEO Tips for Bloggers

Blogging is now deemed an important part of both social media marketing (SMM) and content marketing. This is why many business owners have chosen to establish and maintain an official blog. Of course, it is just as important to optimize your blog as it is to optimize your company website. The eight tips provided in this article can give you a head start on getting more people to regularly visit your blog.

  1. Google SEO Starter Guide

If you’re up for some heavy reading, this 32-page guide may be the best starter kit for you. It contains some very useful advice on the basics of SEO, improving the structure and design of your website, optimizing your site content, and even on going mobile. This guide may have been created way back 2010, but it still contains a lot of information that remains relevant to this day.

  1. The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine

This is a paper submitted by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google, when they were working to earn their PhD at Stanford University. This paper serves as a sort of blueprint for how Google works and although Google as we know it is far more vast and complex than what is described in the paper, this is still an excellent resource for understanding the inner workings of today’s search engines.

  1. SEO Fast Start

This free downloadable eBook is written by Dan Thies, whose straightforward writing style makes it very easy for beginners to understand the concept of SEO. Although it’s been a few years since this was first published, it has in no way become outdated. That’s because the author takes the time to update each edition with the latest SEO tips, techniques, and trends.

  1. What is SEO? (Search Engine Land Article)

Aside from getting a clear understanding of how search engines work, you’d also need to understand what SEO is in the first place. This article tells you what SEO is all about in easy to understand terms. It also provides some useful advice to those who are new to SEO. More importantly, it offers a brief guide that should help you get started and suggests other resources you can use when you’re ready to upgrade your knowledge and skills in SEO.

 

Intermediate SEO

If you already have some basic knowledge of SEO and you feel that now is the right time to take your SEO knowledge and skills to the next level, here are some resources you may want to check out:

 

  1. SEOMoz Whiteboard Friday

The contents posted as part of Whiteboard Friday on Moz are some of the most useful bits of information you can find on the site. The sessions are facilitated by some of the best names in the world of SEO, so you can be sure you’re getting good advice. The fact that the posts are updated regularly also gives you the added advantage of being able to keep up with the latest SEO trends, tactics, and strategies.

  1. SEOMoz Blog/SEM Guides

Although SEOMoz requires you to sign up for a PRO membership to get access to their most detailed SEO insights and tips, there’s still a lot of information you can get for free from the blog. The SEM guides regularly posted on the site are sure to help you, whether you’re a beginner or someone whose SEO skills can be deemed intermediate.

  1. Search Engine Land

The founder of this site, Danny Sullivan, is one of the most recognized names in the world of SEO. He is known for his wide network of experienced SEO professionals and web developers as well as for having a huge number of contacts at the major search engines. The site is applauded for always having relevant posts from the world’s best SEO professionals.

  1. Search Engine Guide

This site bills itself as a “small business guide to search marketing.” If you take time to check it out, however, you’ll realize it really isn’t just for small businesses. The posts found on the site are written by SEO professionals with ample experience in helping websites rank well. It’s easy to understand why you should pay attention to their advice.

  1. Search Engine Journal

This blog was started by another big name in the world of SEO, Loren Baker. It has been around for a number of years and you may, in fact, already be in the habit of checking it from time to time. If that’s the case, we certainly encourage you to continue doing so, as the site contains several years’ worth of helpful SEO posts for you to learn from.

  1. Sphinn

Now known as Marketing Land, this is another brainchild of Danny Sullivan. This is one of the best sites for you to visit if you want to check out which SEO-related posts are currently gaining popularity. It is also an excellent resource for finding classic posts that are worth reviewing time and time again. With its new format, it has indeed become an excellent site for getting information about anything to do with online marketing.

  1. The Perfectly Optimized Page

This infographic perfectly illustrates how you can ensure that your web pages are optimized. If you’re still at a stage where you aren’t quite sure whether all of your web pages have been properly optimized, it may be a good idea to print this infographic out and then hang the printout where you always see it. It should give you an idea of where your web pages stand in terms of optimization and show you if any adjustments need to be made.

  1. Patrick McKenzie’s SEO Tricks

There are probably more tips and tricks to be learned from this post than some people get to learn in years. It is a very good resource for those who already learned the basics and are now looking to sink their teeth deeper into the world of SEO. Even if you already have advanced SEO skills, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to check out this post. You just might gain a valuable insight or two.

  1. Creating Memorable Content

High-quality content is still the king of online marketing and is crucial to optimizing your web pages. Rather than focusing your SEO efforts on getting as many Likes and Tweets as you can, you should focus more on having a steady stream of fresh, relevant, high-quality content on your site. After all, it is good content that’s likely to get you those tweets and likes. Furthermore, it has already been established that search engines like Google appreciate quality content, while it still remains unclear how likes and tweets affect rankings.

  1. Quick SEO Wins

In your quest for the best SEO tips and advice, you may have overlooked some easy fixes. This article should solve that oversight for you. A brief discussion of such things as h2 tags and title tags should help you get some quick SEO wins for your website. Perhaps the best thing about this article is that it generally talks about how to optimize your site for users rather than search engines. Sometimes the best way to get high search rankings is to cater to the needs of those who actually use the search engines.

  1. 103 Useful SEO Interview Questions and Answers

Where better to learn the ins and outs of SEO than take advice from hordes of SEO experts in interview questions? This powerful SEO resource, put together by MyTasker, is as powerful as useful for anyone aiming to up their SEO skillset.

  1. The Ultimate Guide to SEO for e-commerce Websites

If you’re running an e-commerce website, then this is the guide for you. This is an 8-part treatise that promises to help you not only rank well on search results pages, but to land on top of those pages.

  1. What Every Programmer Should Know about SEO

If you’re a web developer/programmer by profession, then you certainly know a lot about websites. That doesn’t mean, however, that you know a lot about SEO. Since your work already involves developing websites, it certainly pays to know how to optimize the sites you develop as well.

  1. Google Webmaster Central Blog

Since this is Google’s official blog for anything that has to do with it search, it’s definitely a good idea to pay close attention to the posts on this site. This is especially useful to you if you’re a webmaster because they’re the target audience of this blog.

  1. Alltop SEO

This site contains a collection of top posts from a wide variety of SEO blogs. The collection is constantly updated, so you can be sure of getting up-to-date news from the SEO world all the time.

  1. Inside Search

This is another search blog operated by Google. Unlike the Webmaster blog, this is written for the general public. It may be a better option for you if you’re still familiarizing SEO jargon and learning the ropes in the industry.

  1. SEO Gadget

Another blog worth checking, this site contains articles that not only provide you with helpful information on SEO, but also teaches you how to take advantage of the various SEO tools currently available online.

  1. SEER Interactive

Once again, we present you with a blog that contains a lot of helpful articles on SEO. This blog is rich in updated information and tips you can use for optimizing your website and staying on top of the rankings game.

  1. KISSmetrics

This blog contains an entire collection of useful articles. The SEO posts, in particular, should be of much help to you in your effort to optimize your web pages and upgrade your SEO knowledge and skills at the same time.

 

Advanced SEO

 SEO for Experts

Finally shed off your training wheels? It’s time to do wheelies! This section is dedicated to advanced users. Flickr photo by AntMang

 

Just because you’ve already developed advanced skills in SEO, doesn’t mean you can stop learning about it. You need to stay on top of your game and the following resources can help you do just that:

 

  1. The Advanced Guide to SEO (Quick Sprout)

This 9-chapter guide is meant for those who’ve already learned the basics of SEO and supplemented that basic knowledge with additional information from various sources. It is presented in infographic-style, which makes it very interesting despite its length.

  1. SE Roundtable

This site provides an excellent overview of the latest news and trends in the world of SEO. The articles, video recaps, and forum recaps featured on the site are all prepared by experienced SEO professionals willing to share how things look from the inside.

  1. Open Site Explorer

This Moz creation is also known as the search engine meant for links. It enables you to see which sites link to yours, which links lead to broken pages, and which sites link to your competitors. Note that free use of the tool is limited, as enhanced access requires payment.

  1. Spider View Simulator

This resource allows you to view your website the way a search engine spider views it. This shows you what errors spiders may see on your site that you don’t, thus giving you a chance to immediately fix those errors. The site also has other useful tools that can help you optimize your site.

  1. Google Trends

This is a good tool for you to use if you want to determine how popular a certain keyword is because it shows you the volume of searches conducted for a particular keyword over a specific period of time. As you should know by now, keyword research is a very important part of the SEO process.

  1. Conducting a Competitive SEO Audit

This overview on how you should conduct SEO audit should help you stay competitive. In fact, it may even help you outrank your competitors by following the comprehensive tutorial.

  1. Best SEO Tactics Post-Panda (Quora Thread)

Panda is the latest in the series of algorithm updates implemented by Google in the past few years. A lot of sites were hurt by this update and some of them are still struggling to get back on their feet. The tips you’ll find on this thread should help you stay strong in the Post-Panda world of SEO.

  1. Webmaster Central Forum

This forum, hosted by Google, is a good place to get sound SEO advice and help with any SEO-related issues. SEO professionals who may be more experienced than you are frequent visitors to this forum.

  1. SEO Subreddit

This is another forum where you can get a lot of useful information and advice on SEO and SEO-related issues. Here you’ll find the latest SEO news, case studies, SEO Q&A, and a lot more.

  1. Moz Community

This online community is hosted by Moz, as its name indicates. It features some useful Q&A, webinars facilitated by industry experts, and articles written by some of the big names in SEO.

  1. Inbound

This online discussion board is an excellent place to learn more about inbound marketing issues. Those who participate in the discussions put a lot of emphasis on SEO, so you’ll be sure to find the site very relevant and engaging indeed.

  1. SEO Book Blog

The posts in this blog are written by people who’ve been doing SEO for a long time and the blog owner himself, Aaron Wall, is highly respected in the SEO community. If that’s not enough to convince you never to miss any of their posts, then perhaps the fact that they often focus on the issues that link SEO to the other aspects of online marketing would. This blog helps you understand the big picture, which is essential to survival in the tough arena of online competition.

  1. The Anatomy of Search Technology

This 3-part blog post was created by Greg Lindahl, CTO of the spam-free search engine blekko. It tells you all about search engine crawlers and the search technology in general. It even discusses the future direction of their search engine, which should sufficiently prepare you for possible updates in the future.

  1. SEO Guide to Creating Viral Linkbait and Infographics

This comprehensive guide gives you a wealth of information on creating linkbait and infographics. It is very well-presented and guides you through the process of brainstorming, research and analysis, design and presentation, and publishing and sharing.

  1. Occam’s Razor

This blog’s creator, Avinash Kaushik, believes that simpler explanations are almost always better than complex ones. That’s the reason why this blog is on our list; it explains a lot of complex SEO-related concepts in easy-to-understand terms.

  1. Google Webmaster YouTube Channel

This channel contains a lot of Q&A from Matt Cutts that are regularly updated. This is indeed one of the “must watch” SEO resources out there. It doesn’t contain any speculations, just accurate, relevant, and up-to-date information from one of the top guys on the Google search team.

 

All-in-One

There are a number of sites and resources that prove very useful for all SEO practitioners, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or if you’ve already developed intermediate or even advanced SEO skills. Here are some of those sites and resources:

  1. Hubspot

Other than being an excellent platform for managing online content, this site is also an excellent source of information on SEO. Whether you’re new to SEO or you simply need to upgrade your SEO skills, you’ll be sure to find their eBooks, case studies, and white papers very useful. There are also newsletters from which you can get a lot of link-building information.

  1. PointblankSEO’s Link-building Course

Jon Cooper, a name that’s becoming more and more popular in the SEO industry, showcases his love for link-building in this course, which is very well-presented. Since link-building is deemed an integral part of SEO, you’d do well to sign up for the course. Check out who recommends the course and you’ll understand why it’s on our list.

  1. SEO by the Sea

Bill Slawski took it upon himself to read every single search engine patent he could possibly get his hands on and then translate those patents for us mortals to understand. That’s why this blog is one of the best (if not THE best) resources for you to visit as a beginner in SEO, as someone with intermediate SEO skills, and even as someone whose SEO skills are already deemed advanced. Not only does it keep you updated on what’s going on with search engines these days, but it also gives you a good idea of where they’re headed in the near future.

 

I could go on and on about the useful SEO resources you can find online, but the ones mentioned on this list should be enough to keep you occupied for some time. But you know what the best way to learn the ropes in SEO is? Through experience.

 

Just like any other trade or profession, the best way to learn SEO is to get your hands dirty and experiment a little. You’re most likely going to make a few mistakes here and there, but with the tips, advice, and information you get from the above resources, those mistakes will most likely be minor ones. Good luck!

6 Comments - Leave a Comment
  • Freddy -

    Lynda is the best training website available out there on the web to learn SEO. I started using it a few weeks ago and I can’t help to express my excitement about what it offers.
    It is an all-in-one website that can satisfy your appetite to learn virtually any skills. It has a collection of staggering 2400 + tutorials by world famous experts in the areas of software’s, photography, design, business skills, animation, audio, CAD, developer, education, photography, video, web and many more.
    I had tried many paid and free training websites in the past but none offers such a comprehensive range of courses. The courses are carefully and elegantly designed to make it easy for even beginners to learn a new skills.

    Only con is that it is a paid service. But after using it for more than a month I feel it is worth my hard earned money.
    Explore Lynda website:
    http://www.lynda.com/?utm_medium=ldc-partner&utm_source=SSPRC&utm_content=10919&utm_campaign=CD15925&bid=10919&aid=CD15925
    Free trial: I came to know that Lynda is now offering a limited time 7 day free trial for new members. Visit and register through this link for a free trial :
    http://www.lynda.com/promo/trial/Default.aspx?lpk35=1833&utm_medium=ldc-partner&utm_source=SSPRC&utm_content=655&utm_campaign=CD15925&bid=655&aid=CD15925

    It is entirely free, but they will charge your credit card with $1 during registration and then refund it. I came to know from my friends that it’s to limit the number of free registrations.

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