SEO Guide

SEO Introduction
  1. How Search Engines Work
  2. How Search Engines Rank Pages
  3. Back to the Basics
Keyword Research
  1. Keyword Difficulty & Profitability
  2. Long Tail: Brute Force SEO
  3. Keyword Effectiveness Index
Link Popularity & PageRank
  1. Understanding Link Popularity
  2. Understanding Link Popularity Continued
  3. Google & PageRank
  4. Your Overall PageRank Power
  5. Building Link Popularity
  6. Retaining Link Popularity
Link Building
  1. Link Baiting
  2. Directory Submissions
  3. Link Pages, Viral Marketing, and Social Media
  4. Buying Links & Link Exchanges
  5. Building Links with Blogs & Forums
  6. Yahoo Answers & Press Releases
  7. Writing Articles
  8. Link Friendly Affiliate Programs & Why Quality Matters
On-Page Search Engine Optimization
  1. Title & Meta Tags
  2. Creating Search Engine Accessible HTML
  3. Frames, Flash, Javascript, & Forms
  4. Heading Tags, Fonts, & Sizes
  5. Keywords & Writing Effective Content
Site Architecture
  1. Building a Useful Menu
  2. URLs, Sitemaps, & PageRank
  3. Moving Your Weight Around
  4. Cross linking & Laundering

Supplemental Reading
  1. Search Engine Friendly URLS - how to make your dynamic pages look static.
  2. The Three Types of SEO - how SEO changes depending on the type of page.
  3. Hub & Spoke - a tried & true method of cross linking multiple websites.
  4. White, Gray, Black - explanation of the SEO "hat" jargon, and more on why I like white.
  5. Help! My Website is Gone from Google - what to do when things go wrong.
Blog Essays
  1. Is SEO Science or Marketing?
  2. PageRank: An Essay
  3. Doing Link Research
  4. The Human Factor: SEO for People

More SEO articles on more niche topics can be found in our main search engine optimization section.

SEO Guide

When I first launched this site in 2003 a key cornerstone of it was my guide to building a successful website, which I had written in late 2002. This guide contained a section on search engine optimization, but it was merely one portion of it.

One thing that has been evident since that time is that this site is most often recommended as a source for learning SEO and yet there was never any central location on the site that really sat the reader down and provided them with a part of which articles to read.

So, as I rewrite my guide this year, I decided to pull the part about SEO out and make it it's own guide. It will still remain part of my other guide, but will be listed here as well. This guide still though is in the same spirit as my guide to build a successful website. This guide is teaches a fundamental methodology that creates a potentially slow but sure way to success and good rankings. There are no tricks for overnight success, as those often involve black hat techniques that can work quickly, but only temporarily. The ban hammer always falls and as a business man I'm more concerned with long term stable potential rather than making a quick buck and always chasing the next trick.

I've been making websites since 1994, doing SEO since late 1999, and have been writing articles on it for major websites since 2001. Having that experience has given me the perspective necessary to deal with all the misinformation you may find elsewhere. I remember a time when Google didn't exist. I remember meta tag hype in the 90s. I remember dozens of theories people pushed that ended up being shown to be wrong. I've had great success with search engines, gained rankings that were directly the cause of hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue, and I've lost such lucrative rankings in surprise updates (thankfully, there were always more to be had).

So why should you use this guide instead of one of the others out there? Because I have experience, the experience to know when a theory is bogus, or irrelevant. The conservative skepticism to not endorse something that is unsubstantiated. This guide is nothing but rock solid fundamentals, tried & true methods, that I have personally found success with. And oh ya, this guide is free.

I'm a business man, I work for myself. I do maybe one or two jobs a year for other people. This means that I'm not trying to sell you something. You may find others who more readily embrace the theory du jour, because they want to show their clients they're on the cutting edge or they want to sell more books or more tickets. I don't have a big SEO consulting business, I don't have a book to sell you, and I won't try to sign you up to a seminar. I have no motive to scare monger you into an upsell. All I care about is presenting accurate information. If I can't prove it, I don't publish it or I only publish it with a caveat.

I also have a very good track record of being right on such issues. Many of my earliest SEO articles written in 2001, 2002, and earlier 2003 dealt with myths & misconceptions and I often took flak for them at the time, but everything within them was later shown to be accurate and now is accepted as truth by most SEO professionals.

This free guide contains over 20,000 words and would be over 60 pages long if printed, and that just includes the core 6 sections. There are dozens more pages of supplemental reading linked to from here and from within the guide itself.

The only payment I ask for this guide is that if you like it, you recommend it to others. Additionally if it has helped you I would appreciate an email or a forum post testimonial.

You can download a PDF version of this SEO ebook here, but it is only available to registered forum members so you may have to register first.

Chris Beasley
June 2007