Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only form of education that exists. Teachers can only open the doors to it, but you must enter by yourself. While others can only assist you in your learning process, ultimately it is you who educates yourself. That means if you are desirous to learn search engine optimization (SEO), you’ll have to work through it and educate your own self.
Classes can be a great a preface to the world digital marketing, but if you wish to learn all those practical skills and not just plain knowledge, get ready to work yourself. If I were to start from the bottom and intended to become a pro at it, or learned enough to know whether the SEO firm I own is doing well or not. This is what I would do-
SEO Level- Beginners
There is no other source I would rather recommend than The Beginner’s Guide to SEO from Moz for someone who is starting from the scratch. It is not only free (it is like charity that this gem for a book is free) but also highly recommended. It also focuses on the most basic questions that may arise in your mind including the very definition of SEO. After one read, you’ll know a tad better than those people that keep murdering your inbox with those SEO spam mails. After two reads, you’re a force enough to give your so-called SEO ‘experts’ a run for their cash. If you lack time and can only read a single SEO guide, then Moz’s is your go-to.
The basic design of search engines and the models of their business is what most SEO educators skip. Most SEO Professional focus on the short-lived growth spurt action over a long haul tactic. They look for tactics that yield instant results. This is not incorrect, but also not the right way. One must study it deep and intense to be ready to adjust into the long run dynamics and modify accordingly.
The three fundamental questions that one must require to answer to make a long-run strategy are as follows-
How do search engines make money?
What objectives do search engine owners have outside of making money?
What is the future of search?
This would require you to learn all about Google which is dependent for two third of the internet’s traffic.
Fortunately, there are some books that would help you learn all about it from its history, to its structure and motives. Some of the best and high suggested ones are-
In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Stephen Levy
The Google Story: For Google’s 10th Birthday by David A. Vise
How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenburg
The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture by John Battelle
I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 by Douglas Edwards
What Would Google Do?: Reverse-Engineering the Fastest Growing Company in the History of the World by Jeff Jarvis
However, these books cover the data only till the time they were published, but they still hold significance to SEO today and the future.
There is only one supplementary book I like to recommend for SEO beginners and it is When Search Meets Web Usability by Shari Thurow and Nick Musica. Although the publishing date of the book goes back in the year 2009, the book still holds relevance and does a stellar job of expounding the basics of search. It is technical and accommodating enough to aid an expert as well but the language used doesn’t go out of the reach of a beginner.
Moving Toward Expert Level SEO
In case you wish to have an insight to the SEO expert Level world, then you would like to know that Optimizing title tags, making sure the site loads quickly, and then writing a lot of blog posts, and in addition asking for some links back to your site the key to it and pretty-much what all experts of SEO perform when they provide you their services. Even when they try to give you the impression that SEO goes way beyond that. By investing some hours of the month on it, you can progress towards being an SEO expert, a true one of that sort. Then you’ll know all that your SEO guys really do, this would also refine your hiring process.
While no book can actually build your SEO knowledge more than getting hands on practical experience but to the best of my knowledge, the aforementioned sources are very lucrative and sure to help.