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Search Engine Marketing Kit 69

John Garrett writes "The Search Engine Marketing Kit is a kit aimed at professional web developers and Search Engine Marketing professionals who are seeking proven strategies and techniques for improving the search performance of websites. In fact anyone who has an interest in how well a website ranks on searches related to the website’s content or target market could benefit from the tips found in this kit." Read the rest of John's review.
The Search Engine Marketing Kit
author Dan Thies
pages 273
publisher SitePoint
rating 8
reviewer John Garrett
ISBN 0-9752402-5-0
summary A kit on how to optimise and market your website for the search engines.


Dan Thies is a successful search marketing expert who shares in this kit from his years of professional experience. The book is primarily about proven yet reputable techniques to maximize a website’s chances of getting high rankings on searches. High rankings can mean the difference between lots of traffic, and no traffic at all, so for a website that needs traffic to generate business, the worth of good search rankings is invaluable.

The kit discusses techniques for both search engine optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and although the book doesn’t presume a prior familiarity with these subjects it does expect some knowledge of website design and development, at least at a basic level. Search engine optimization (SEO) looks at how a website can be designed and developed to maximize its chances of ranking well in searches, whereas Search Engine Marketing (SEM) looks at paid marketing campaigns in search engines like Google to provide advertising for your website. Both techniques are very complimentary and the kit recognizes the need to address both issues for the most effective marketing outcomes.

The kit combines both timeless and timely wisdom in that some concepts could be out-of-date in 12 months due to the rapidly evolving nature of search, whereas others have stood the test of several years and will probably continue to be sound principles for years to come. Unfortunately it is the very nature of the search industry that no book can be completely relevant for too long, however this kit is certainly a great resource for the present climate.

This “kit” is published by SitePoint, who publish quite a lot of very good material aimed at Web Professionals. The price of the kit is quite high yet SitePoint claim that their kits are more comprehensive than their books, and hence justify the higher price. Having read the kit thoroughly I can say that the kit is well worth the outlay. It represents something of a distillation of years of someone’s professional expertise and experience and therefore contains resources and information that might take years to arrive at by any other means. What I’m trying to say here is that my time is valuable and if Dan is willing to share his best secrets and insights in his kit then I think it’s worth the price! There are several other good books around on the same subject, but this would be the best I’ve come across, of what I’ve read already.

The book comes with a CD-ROM with some very useful resources aimed at professional SEM business. These resources are representative of Dan’s professional expertise and could be very helpful if you are in the business of providing SEM or SEO services to paying clients. The book also discusses software and other tools that can be used for providing SEO and SEM services and again Dan can save tears and wasted money by giving you his clear summary of the best available. (There are lots of resources available on the Web for SEO & SEM, and thankfully Dan has cut through all the hype and spelled out the must-haves very clearly.)

I found that the kit also contains numerous references to resources, both free and paid, that can benefit anyone conducting SEO and SEM for a website. These resources are ones that you might not know exist had you not had the opportunity to appreciate the experience shared by Dan, yet they are resources that can make SEO & SEM more effective and efficient. Again this kind of insight is worth paying for.

The kit is very readable and well set out so it’s not a “heavy” read by any means. I’m speaking from the perspective of someone who works in SEO and SEM, so perhaps my understanding is somewhat biased, however I made so many notes, highlights and tags throughout the book on points that I found very helpful, so I think it certainly has much valuable insight to offer everyone. Its very much a resource in the sense that you will want to refer to the content over and over as you put the techniques into practice and particularly for anyone involved in website design and development this kit should become a frequently referred to desktop reference.

As a professional web developer, providing SEO and SEM services to my clients, I have a reasonable understanding of the search industry. I obtained the kit because I wanted to further develop my understanding of this important area and I found it to be an excellent reference and resource. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has the responsibility of getting a website “found” in the search engines. Don’t be discouraged by the relatively high price as the kit still represents very good value for money. My principal advice would be to read it thoroughly, as it contains too many gems to obtain from anything but a careful study. The many tips and techniques are clearly laid out in a logical manner that enables practical application immediately.

John Garrett is a professional web developer based in Sydney Australia. His website is www.softcomweb.biz."


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Search Engine Marketing Kit

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  • by dada21 ( 163177 ) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Friday December 16, 2005 @01:32PM (#14273273) Homepage Journal
    These toolkits are very interesting for the "now" but not very valid for the future.

    Google and Yahoo and others and their search engine mechanics are always working on these manipulations of the results. My big problem with any "buy my hidden secrets" kits is that once a secret is known by the person being manipulated, it is easier to defend against. Do you seriously believe that the top SEO companies would ever tell you anything that they'd want google to find out?

    I have some secrets to great search engine placement:

    1. Create worthy content.

    2. Spell things correctly.

    3. Create worth content.

    4. Update it regularly.

    5. Keep the same domain name as long as you can. I lost some "valuable" second and third positions by letting domain names expire.

    6. Try and figure out what the newest "industry catchphrases" are and make sure you use them, except if you're targeting slashdot readers :)

    7. Create worthy content.

    8. If you find a way to get a higher page rank, don't tell anyone. Be happy until the search engines close that venue off. If you really want to be placed at the top, just pay the piper for an advertisement.

    If you're chasing a niche market, you can hit the top 10 in 2-3 weeks, generally. If you're chasing a broad market, good luck, you're too late.

    When it comes to marketing kits, learn from Taco's posts: don't be duped.

    Oh, as long as this guy is getting slashvertising to his website, might as well click on my link. It is only fair!
    • The way I see it, the best sites and blogs have someone uncovering (or better yet, making [neave.com]) something that's useful or just super cool. People like me see that, vote on it with the Google Toolbar (or any equivalent), and might even link to it when they get the chance, leading to Profit! for the guilty parties.

      The best SEO will always be MAQS®*.

      *Making A Quality Site that really is worth the hits.
    • Regarding #3, please see #2. Worth(y)??

      Your 'site' is already dropping in the ranks...

      No, honestly, you hit the nail on the head. With websites, the whole "If you build it, they will come" philosophy works. People need to build a useful site and people will visit. That's it. Just like developing a product to sell. Who cares what it looks or sounds like if there's no utility.
    • Awwww... now that you gave out your secrets, Google is going to start putting in counter measures to stop sites using your techniques from showing up. Great, there goes all the sites with worthy content. Now all we'll be able to find are marketing sites and /. book reviews.
    • However, people would rather buy books that they think will magically make their site better than actually bothering to write content. How annoying.
      • However, people would rather buy books that they think will magically make their site better than actually bothering to write content.

        That's because writing good content is hard and takes work, so of course people look for easy ways out. And it takes a long time to build up traffic based on good content alone. I do tell people in my book to take the long-term view by writing good content and not expecting riches overnight, but many people look for the quick fix.

        Think back to when you were in high schoo
    • 2. Spell things correctly.

      2a. Also spell things incorrectly. If a keyword gets a thousand hits, its most common misspelling will get at least a dozen. You can get a lot of traffic by including a few well-placed misspellings.

      • 2a. Also spell things incorrectly. If a keyword gets a thousand hits, its most common misspelling will get at least a dozen. You can get a lot of traffic by including a few well-placed misspellings.

        -just proves the adage: There is an exception to every rule, even this one.
    • I wonder... if I hosted some popular humor video on my site (ala jib jab) that generated many crosslinks from pages unrelated to the content of my site, what would that do to page rank. That is, I'd have a lot of links from web sites about humor and such, but little from websites about polycarbonate sprockets (which is what I really want to be the #1 search result for).

      Basically is google smart enough to account for context in page rank? or could I come to the top just by hosting popular content that is u
    • 2. Spell things correctly.

      Actually, one valid SEO strategy is to specifically target misspellings [memwg.com]. Not everyone using a search engine knows how to spell, and you can take advantage of that.

      Eric
      The Invisible Fence Guide [ericgiguere.com]
    • 2. Spell things correctly.

      3. Create worth content.

      Worthy? What was that about spelling? :)
  • by XorNand ( 517466 ) * on Friday December 16, 2005 @01:33PM (#14273277)
    This review is useless. It's paragraph after paragraph of some unknown web weenie exhalting a $200 "marketing kit". No where does the reviewer actually discuss the content of the book. It's an invaluable reasource for web professionals... yeah, yeah... don't be turned off by it's (never actually stated) price.... yeah, yeah... The author is a SEO genius... Ok, we get it! Now tell us something of substance!

    I'm sorry but my astro-turfing, sealth marketing spidey sense is on high alert at the moment. This is neither newsworthy or nerdy. How does a pointless review of unknown book by an unknown publisher get the marquee treatment at one of the most widely read sites on the 'net? And who's this "samzenpus" editor?

    Hey, I run a technology business of my own; I understand the need to get the word out. Hell, I've even plugged it here [slashdot.org] on Slashdot before. But I never try to sneak anything under the radar; if I'm trying to promote something, I'm not ashamed to admit it. Who knows? Maybe some people might actually appreciate being informed about a product or service they'd find valuable. These "Slashvertisements" are getting out of hand.
    • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @01:38PM (#14273313)
      This review is useless. It's paragraph after paragraph of some unknown web weenie exhalting a $200 "marketing kit". No where does the reviewer actually discuss the content of the book. It's an invaluable reasource for web professionals... yeah, yeah... don't be turned off by it's (never actually stated) price.... yeah, yeah... The author is a SEO genius... Ok, we get it! Now tell us something of substance!

      Just like *any* SEO kits, companies, or techniques, it's all horseshit aimed at pwnz0ring unsuspecting business owners, CEOs, and other retards with pull in the company.
      • Only Extra-Sleazy SEO promoters lie to their customers, because they don't care about repeat business. It's a bit hard to get away with, because the customer can check Google and Yahoo to find out ranking, though of course the SEO can still lie about how much extra business that'll bring in.

        Regular SEOs are sleazy too, but they're in the business of helping their customers lie to Google's robots so they tell the search engine to lie to its users about how interesting the customer's web pages are. The ma

    • I try to plug my start-up "under the radar" (and I'm not ashamed of it since I put a lot of honest work into my business) from time-to-time too, since some people are looking to be informed about a (legit, non-adware-spam-useful) product or service.

      But, does this "under the radar" posts work? For me, not really...I'll still plug away though.

      And my spam-adware alert went off when I saw this post too. (Be happy, it's Friday!)

    • Absolute agreement. This is not a review -- it's (bad) marketing. The worst: You see the worthlessness on the very first view. Who was the editor and why could this get published?
    • Another great resource to consider is Aaron Wall's SEO Book [seobook.com]. Aaron is one of the most respected names in the business. Aaron also runs ThreadWatch.org [threadwatch.org], a community website about Internet marketing that would appeal to many /. readers.

      Eric
      William Shatner, nameless cereal box celebrity [ericgiguere.com]
    • I'm puzzled by something. With so many geeks on /. and with slashcode being free why are not more implementations of slashcode on other domains? I tried technocrat for a while but there was no traffic and the users did not select the articles. I've tried digg for a while and I like it but the moderation system is not nearly as robust as slashcode. So can't one of the programming geeks implement a digg-like article promotion scheme with the strength of slashcode moderation and comment handling?

      Article
  • by Xarius ( 691264 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @01:35PM (#14273290) Homepage
    If you want people to visit your site, if you want a good search engine ranking, just have a bloody good website or a great company. Google doesn't (or never used to) advertise. Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful forms of advertising, take Maddox (even though I'm not keen) for example. Zero advertising yet it's one of the most popular sites on the internet. Same with a lot of the top sites on the internet, does Slashdot even advertise itself?
    • take Maddox (even though I'm not keen) for example. Zero advertising yet it's one of the most popular sites on the internet.

      Umm, unless Angelina Jolie's kid has a website, I don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about. WTF is "Maddox", this [xmission.com]? I don't think it's the biggest threat on, say, General Motors' radar.

    • How the hell is that Maddox site popular anyway? If you haven't heard of it, don't check it out.
  • marketing.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by demon411 ( 827680 )
    when is the kit coming out for marketing on slashdot? what's with these adverts?
  • by sulli ( 195030 ) * on Friday December 16, 2005 @01:36PM (#14273302) Journal
    This whole thing sounds like a spam to me.
    • Posted by samzenpus on 12:31 PM December 16th, 2005 would only take a single character move to make it spamzenus. But then again, if they were really trying to spam Slashdot to gain better PR they would have had to include a link.

      I guess we shouldn't even trust the SEO spammers to know what they're talking about ;)
  • Is this...not a Beatles article...but it is about...Search Engine Marketing...my head explode.
  • is posting on slashdot with my website in my sig/next to my name and hoisting some of it's pagerank influence
    • Yeah, can you believe the gall of some people who would embed their webpage links in their sigs? Wow, the nerve of those people...
    • Re:mky favourite (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bogtha ( 906264 )

      If you check the source, you'll find that those links have rel="nofollow" attributes, so you aren't getting any pagerank influence.

    • Neither are indexed by search engines, both because they have rel="nofollow", and sigs aren't shown when you're not logged in.

      Shame it's not the same with the link before the story, that's been abused quite a few times recently.
  • by bogado ( 25959 ) <.ten.odagob. .ta. .odagob.> on Friday December 16, 2005 @01:41PM (#14273331) Homepage Journal
    In other words how to ruin the net making unrelated articles appear at the top every single search.

    It's good to know that at least google try to defeat this kind of scumm. Not because google is "good" or "not evil", but because google knows the value of the site is dependent on how good the results people get. If MSN Search starts to get more good results then google then google would start to loose ground.

    For all i know, google is already struggling to get good results, and many times the resuls are quite poor and full of ghost "search engines" and buy now pages. But other times it still is very usefull.
    • Some kinds of content are really badly poisoned on the search engines. One example is medicines - if you're looking for information about a single drug, you'll typically find a few pointers to popular sites, such as the NIH and the manufacturer, a moderate number of legitimate links to sites selling the drug, and a huge number of obviously bogus links, with strings of drug names in the domain name or the URL, which are probably some specific trick to get search engines to point to some site selling stuff.
  • Relationship? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Stavr0 ( 35032 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @01:47PM (#14273362) Homepage Journal
    Who is John Garrett (the reviewer) and what is his relationship with Dan Thies (the author)?

    Perhaps they are not exactly strangers ... [webpronews.com]

  • SEO "experts" (Score:2, Interesting)

    SEO "experts" repeatedly forget that sites should be made for people, not search engines.

    Following commonly known good practises and having a great product/content is what people need, having every piece of text and code filtered though "keyword density" tools and SEO kits is simply ridiculous.
  • Because http://searchenginewatch.com/ [searchenginewatch.com] can get /.d

    Otherwise, SEW is (a) free and (b) makes its daily bread by continually providing up-to-date relevant information. That's great motivation!

  • ...or advertorial? It just seems unlikely that an editor would link to a page that begins "Search engine marketing is critical to the success of your website marketing." That's not editorial - that's a sales pitch.

    /bye karma

    PS. Here's my free SEO/SEM advice. Visit seochat.com [seochat.com] & webmasterworld.com [webmasterworld.com]. Then do a search for "seo forum" and participate in some discussion. Another added benefit - you will not limit yourself to a book that will likely be outdated within a year.
  • by Guy Smiley ( 9219 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @02:04PM (#14273478)
    This article should just be removed from Slashdot. Like we really need Slashdot to be promoting the abuse of Google.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I second this! Slashdot has historically never removed an article after publication (my guess is because it would break commenting history), but this is just too much of a spamvertisment.
      • Slashdot has historically never removed an article after publication

        Actually, they've done it quite a bit. If they dupe an older article and they find out about it before many people have commented, they pull it. They pulled an article on a web architecture paper published by the W3C just this week, although I'm not sure whether it was a dupe or not.

  • The following are replies last year on SPAM-L regarding the use of the .biz TLD for e-addresses and email URL's:

    "I think it's been poisoned by the spammers, and by general amusement that anyone would think that "biz" is a legitimate TLD. Sounds very hucksterish to me."

    "With only a single exception, every one of the ~120 domains I act as postmaster for blocks all email from .biz, as well as any email referencing a .biz address in the body."

    "As far as I am concerned, .biz == /dev/null, and I think the
  • I mean you probably don't want to do anything in your code that may negatively impact a search rank, but don't spend any more than two seconds thinking about page ranks. Getting and more importantly holding a top-twenty rank is a lesson in futility. It's you against the untold hordes, millions of them, and you are going to lose.

    Everybody wants to take a passive approach to fame and fortune: I know, I'll just drop a few lines of code in here, and the world will beat a path to my site. Sorry, but you'll have
  • It's no secret: money talks. If you drum up 50 grand, you can get all sorts of directed traffic on your website. Add a few more zeros and you can probably get top search engine ranking on whatever you want.
  • SEO Books? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JehCt ( 879940 ) * on Friday December 16, 2005 @03:31PM (#14274151) Homepage Journal

    Before spending any money on an SEO book, people should make use of the free online resources, for instance Highrankings Forums [highrankings.com].

    SEM is hard work. But if you want to do it yourself:

    1. Create useful content targeted at humans. Write clear, clean prose. Read Strunk and White's The Elements of Style online for free [bartleby.com]
    2. Provide something unique and valuable on the site so people will link to it.
    3. Advertise with Pay-Per-Click, even if it's just $50 per month. That will help you understand what keywords work best for your site, and which advertising messages resonate with the public
    4. Validate your code [w3.org]. Program for accessibility using CSS layout. Standards-compliant HTML will load correctly and display useful information on browsers for Linux, Windows, Max OS, Blackberry, and other platforms. If your code is riddled with errors, or inaccessible links (Javascript, Flash), Googlebot won't be able to index your site or read all your content.

    Do the above and you will be better than 99% of all web sites.

  • Spam like this gets marked as spam by enough people and goes. Call this flamebait but why would some hacked up work by some 'industry expert' straight from flipping burgers five years ago be charging 200 for a book when textbooks costs 50?
  • Hi Guys,

    Thanks for all the interesting posts regarding this review.

    For what it's worth, we didn't solicit this review, we didn't submit it to Slashdot.org, and we didn't expect it (was a complete surprise for us).

    In terms of 3rd party validation of this review, HighRankings.com, SearchEngineWatch.com and SEOBook.com (three of the sites recommended by various posters here for SEO-advice) have all reviewed this product and said positive things about it.

    A bit of healthy skepticism is good, but this really is a

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