61 Things I’m Reading Now

Filed in Conferences/Educ. by Matt McGee on August 21, 2006 2 Comments

There are a handful of Basic Absolutes that make up 75% of what SEO is all about: keyword research, good content, compelling page titles, quality inbound links, and keyword-rich anchor text on those links. But those are the things anyone can learn easily. It’s that other 25% that separates the winners from the losers.

If you’re a small business owner, where are you going to learn about that other 25%? I’d like to think you’re in one good place for it right now, but you’ll never hear me suggest SBS should be your only online reading resource. There are a lot of terrific sources for SEO, SEM, Web development, and general online marketing that I try to read as often as possible. So, in the interest of helping you find additional information sources, I thought I’d share my current reading list in its entirety — plus a couple resources I need to start reading soon.

(If you see (RSS) next to a name, that means the link is to a feed.)


Search Day — the daily newsletter distributed by Search Engine Watch. Search Day hasn’t quite been the same since SEW started its own blog, but it’s still a good resource for expert articles on SEO and SEM topics.

Small Business Ideas Forum — Disclaimer: I moderate here. Reality: It was a great resource long before I started moderating. What’s great about the SBI Forum is that there’s plenty of good discussion and it’s all about small businesses, but it’s not so busy that you can’t keep up. Some forums can be overwhelming. Not this one.

Search Engine Watch Forums — This is one that can be overwhelming at times because it’s so busy. But most of the smartest people in the search marketing industry post here, so it’s worth the effort to keep up as best you can, join in the discussions, and learn.

Search Engine Roundtable (RSS) — Barry and crew have really picked up the torch that I think Threadwatch has dropped (see below) in terms of pointing out and discussing important SEO and SEM news and threads on other forums.

Search Engine Marketing News (SE Guide) — Robert Clough and the Search Engine Guide team offer a weekly newsletter with news and articles geared toward small businesses. I can speak from experience that this is a widely-read newsletter.

High Rankings Advisor — Jill Whalen’s bi-monthly newsletter often includes Q&A with small business owners trying to learn the ins and outs of search marketing. I skip over the personal details of Jill’s life at the end of each newsletter, but hey — the price is right and it’s generally helpful information.

SearchReturn — Detlev Johnson’s newsletter offers news roundup and discussion about current events in the search industry. There hasn’t been as much hands-on, how-to SEO stuff recently, but it’s still a good resource for staying on top of the important developments you should know about.

SEM 2.0 — Andrew Goodman oversees this Google Group / mailing list which recently passed 1,000 members. Anyone can pose questions, and even if you just lurk, you’re bound to learn something new. This one tends to skew more toward the PPC side, but I’ve taken part in my share of organic SEO discussion, too. While you’re at it, you should also bookmark’s Andrew’s Traffick.com (RSS) feed.

Matt Cutts’ blog (RSS) — Good: Get your information straight from Google’s mouth. Bad: Get your information straight from Google’s mouth. 🙂 No, seriously, Matt provides some terrific information (like those SEO videos, for example) and you really should be bookmarking his blog and following along. It’s just that, every once in a while, you’ll see the company line and be reminded he works for Google.

Stuntdubl (RSS) — Todd is not only one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, but he’s also one of the smartest. I wish he’d change the color scheme, but the quality of information is astounding.

SEOmoz.org blog (RSS) — There are some great tools and articles on the web site, but you should read the blog, if for no other reason, than to see Linkbaiting in action. Seriously, there are times when it seems almost every post is an exercise in linkbait. You can learn a lot just by watching. (Kinda like linkbait porn, I suppose.) 🙂

SEO Book.com (RSS) — Not just SEO, but general marketing, blogging, and always plenty of discussion in the comments. Not to mention some cool SEO tools, too.

SEO by the Sea — Bill Slawski often dissects the incredible technical jargon that fills up SEO patent applications, and explains them in terms that mere mortals like myself have a chance at understanding.

Jim Boykin’s Internet Marketing Blog (RSS) — Jim has written some of the smartest posts on link building techniques I’ve ever seen.

Link Building Blog (RSS) — The name says it all. Sure wish Andy and Patrick would post more.

WebGuerrilla – aka Greg Boser (RSS) — Another in the “needs to post more” category.

WebProWorld Newsletter — The daily newsletter is mainly a pointer to various threads and articles being discussed in the WPW forums, but that’s where you’ll find a lot of small business owners asking the same questions you may have.

Also in my RSS reader: Mike Grehan says… (RSS), SearchRank blog, The SEO Coach (RSS), Martinibuster.net, Gord Hotchkiss (RSS), marciahoo (RSS), Sugarrae (RSS), Old Welsh Guy, Tony Hill’s Blog (RSS).

General Search News

Search Engine Watch Blog (RSS) — Probably the No. 1 search news resource on the web at the moment. Great team of writers. Great content. Regular “scoops” of important news.

John Battelle’s Searchblog (RSS) — Not really geared toward hands-on SEO/SEM, but an indispensable resource for industry news and theory.

Threadwatch.org (RSS) — I’m not sure Threadwatch belongs in this category, actually. It’s still high in my RSS reader, but what used to be a repository for interesting discussion about hands-on SEO/SEM and search practices is now a mishmash that occasionally veers off into political commentary and other tangents. And maybe it’s just me, but it seems to be about 95% boys club; where are all the women anymore?

ClickZ News, ClickZ Daily, ClickZ Experts, ClickZ Features — I read all four of those newsletters for general search news, and ClickZ offers several other newsletters, too. The “Experts” newsletter often includes good articles on SEO, SEM, PPC, Local Search, etc.

ResearchBuzz — This one is not really about SEO, SEM, or even marketing. It’s a weekly update on new search sites and places to conduct research online. What makes it valuable to me, and possibly to you, is that author Tara Calishain often writes about new ways to use Google, Yahoo, etc., to get information that could be helpful to your business. Beyond that, it’s also pretty fun to watch Tara write in such a way that the newsletter won’t get zapped by spam filters. 🙂

MediaPost: Online Media Daily — When you register at the web site, MediaPost will automagically subscribe you to what seems like 200 newsletters, but in reality is probably only about 10. Just do what I did: read them all for a couple days, and then click the UNSUBSCRIBE button on the ones that don’t help you market online. There are a couple that often address SEO/SEM, so keep yourself subscribed to those.

Also in my RSS reader: Search Engine Lowdown (RSS), Search Engine Herald (RSS)

General (Online/Offline) Marketing

Online Marketing Blog (RSS) — Lee Odden writes on a variety of topics, but with some emphasis on blogging itself. So keep an eye peeled here if you’re thinking about blogging, or already are, as a business tool.

Performancing.com (RSS) — A community of bloggers helping each other be better at what they do. Also offers a very nice analytics program, too, which I use here on SBS.

SMM Strategic Marketing Montreal Newsletters (RSS) — Barry Welford doesn’t write as often as I wish he would, but when he does, it’s consistently excellent information.

More Clients Ezine, Robert Middleton — I referenced Robert’s weekly newsletter earlier this month, and that excerpt is a good example of the type of material you’ll get when you subscribe to More Clients.

MarketingVOX Daily — This is a great resource, but for some reason, I only seem to get about half of the emails — and, yes, they’re on my spamfilter’s whitelist.

Internet Retailer NewsLink — Internet Retailer is a magazine geared toward online merchants, but there’s often some good SEO- and SEM-related articles for anyone to learn from. Still, it’s especially beneficial to those of you selling products online.

Also in my RSS reader: Seth (Godin)’s Blog (RSS), acleareye.com – Tom Asacker (RSS), Duct Tape Marketing (RSS).

PPC Advertising

JenSense (RSS) — Everything you ever need to know about PPC and contextual advertising, even when you don’t know that you need to know.

eWhisper.net (RSS) — Brad also covers local search and some SEO, but the focus is on PPC, so I’ll list him here.

Local Search / Vertical Search

The Local Onliner (RSS) — Peter K. provides comprehensive coverage of the local search industry, including what’s going on with newspapers, classifieds, yellow pages, and much more.

VerticalSearch.net (RSS) — Brian Smith covers travel search, job search, and more.


Excess Voice, Nick Usborne — If you have any interest whatsoever in the power of using words to persuade (and you should), please sign up for Nick’s weekly newsletter. Thank me later.

Copyblogger (RSS) — One of the newest additions to my RSS reader. Appears to focus on online writing, esp. for blogs and newsletters. Love what I’ve been reading so far.

Karon Thackston – articles (RSS) — Most of Karon’s writing these days seems to be found in Jill Whalen’s newsletter (see above), but Karon’s site has occasional new material and excellent archives.

Web Development & Design

A List Apart (RSS) — Infrequent but excellent articles, often with hands-on techniques you can use.

Cameron Moll – Authentic Boredom (RSS) — He’s one of the best there is, and often posts tutorials / studies of what he’s been doing lately.

Digital Web Magazine — This online magazine sends out a weekly newsletter highlighting a featured article on design.

UIE Tips, User Interface Engineering — Jared Spool is one of the big names in the Usability industry, and some of the best issues of this newsletter include case studies on web site usability. Always good to learn from real world examples.

Also in my RSS reader: Vitamin (RSS), Web Design from Scratch (RSS), KALIBER10000 (RSS), css Zen Garden (RSS), CSS Drive Gallery, CSS Vault Gallery

Things I Need to Start Reading

Cre8asite Forums — I actually have an account already, just don’t have enough time to visit.

Digital Point Forums

Earner’s Forum

So, that’s my list. Love to hear what you’re reading these days.

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. MrPenn says:

    I read…all of those. I also read Ok/Cancel, PostBubble, Cameron Olthius, Usability Views, Duct Tape Marketing, Bruce Clay, Pearsonified, Web Standards with Imagination, Shoemoney, ProBlogger,

  2. Matt McGee says:

    Did you submit before finishing that sentence, MrPenn? I recognize some of the names you’ve added — I’ll have to check ’em out. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *