Well, 2016 is finally here! In fact, February is nearly gone… so 2016 is something like 10% gone (please don’t make me do math). As 2016 matures, we are seeing more and more inquiries about the best (new) books on SEO for 2016. Among other things that we do is maintain a list of the best SEO books, but in this blog post I want to explain some tactics for identifying and evaluating the best books on SEO for 2016.
First, newness matters! SEO is a subject that changes frequently, and although the basics do not change, there are major updates each year such as the recent Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird updates. Another big update has been Google’s preference for mobile-friendly websites. Therefore, when looking for the best SEO books for any given year, be sure to look at the publication date. Books such as SEO for Dummies can be really out-of-date, even though the brand identify of the ‘SEO for Dummies’ series is such that newbies often search first for SEO for Dummies. Check that publication date!
Second, evaluate the author. Amazon is the go-to place for new books on SEO, but the reality is that it isn’t very difficult to publish to Amazon and some of the books on Amazon are little more than hacks put up by SEO consultants who are seeking to either a) bolster their credibility, or b) use Amazon as a source of sales lead. Look to see if the author has published other books on Amazon, or elsewhere. Check out the author’s website, and see if the author ranks for any logical SEO terms. An author who publishes a book on SEO should be pretty visible on SEO, don’t you think? A good search is to search for the author by name on Google. If the author doesn’t show for his or her own name on Google, that’s a sign of pretty week SEO, and a possible indication that her book might not be that good.
Third, read the reviews: critically. There are many reviews on Amazon that – to be kind – are not exactly believable. Check out the reviews of the book, and read them with a critical eye. Do they seem real? Do they seem like the person actually read the book? Click up to the reviewer name and read other reviews by him or her. Do those reviews seem real? Be skeptical. Be critical. But read the reviews as a preponderance of good reviews is an indication that this might be one of the better books on SEO for 2016.
Fourth, check Amazon’s ‘look inside’ feature. This is akin to browsing before buying. Get a sense of the book – what is in the table of contents, what does the author indicate the book is about, does the book seem written for your level.
Buy A Few Books on SEO for 2016: The More, The Merrier
There are many good books out there on search engine optimization for 2016. You are going to invest your money and your time in them, so do a little diligence and you’ll be able to find a good one. Heck, go crazy – buy not just one book but a couple, or three, as different authors bring different perspectives on SEO.