Weekly Reading Lists

September 22, 2009 – 10:17 am

One of the responsibilities I have in the new company is to organize a weekly list of recommended reading and send it out to everyone. I have been getting good feedback about these lists and since I am already doing them, I thought it would be a good idea to put them up on the blog.

Obviously, not everyone will agree with the importance of the posts i put up here and they will not be new for everyone, but I thought you will enjoy reading the stuff that has kept me interested for the past week (or so).

I will also add a short commentary to each link, sometimes referring to related articles, sometimes arguing the points made in the article, if nothing else then just to make it less of a regurgitation of someone else’s content that we see too often on the web.

So here is the list for the last week:


Another instant classic by Stephen Spencer (I think I should just RSS his stuff into this list every week). Gives all the important attributes that SEOs want in their dream CMS. This list can be used as it is when comparing existing CMS packages, or even better, when creating a CMS from scratch. The items on his list that made me go hmmm: Declared search term, Paraphrasable excerpts and Multi-level categorization structure



Everyone knows that in order to increase the long-tail traffic to your site, you need to add relevant content, but a few people know how to do this process in and educated way. This article explains how to harness Google Adwords new reporting abilities to learn more about long tail queries that bring traffic and conversions to your site and use that information to guide your content creation


This one of those things that a lot of people were saying and that made a lot of sense, until a friendly Googler came out on record and said it is not so. Length of the domain registration period is apparently too noisy to serve as a signal in the quality assignment part of the algorithm


Rand seems to be having quite a bit of time on his hands lately, so he writes these epic posts, summarizing a lot of basic SEO data. This one describes 17 possible ways that search engines look at links. While some of the statements in the article could be argued (like the way search engines treat nofollow), all in all it is a keeper.


This post actually complements above Rand’s post very nicely – if Rand is looking at how search engines evaluate every single link, Bill Slawski provides a “high level overview” on how the search engines may classify links and understand the linking structure of whole websites and groups of websites. And he discusses the search patents related to his observations.


A nice checklist of all the ways to improve an internal linking structure of your site


Linkbuilding is a practice that makes it so easy to fall into worn out patterns, which makes every new and fresh idea very rewarding. This article takes a very nice approach to gaining links by doing small favors to webmasters. It is usually approaches like this that make a difference between a successful and a gray, bland, average linkbuilder, so pay attention to Melanie Nathan


Michael Gray publishes this series of posts on WordPress SEO. Some interesting tidbits in there. This post discusses all the different ways you can configure your URL structure in WordPress


To quote Michael:”While there are hundreds of thousands of posts on maximizing external links for your blog, like a red headed step child no one pays much attention to internal links.” The more successful your blog becomes, the internal links will have more impact on your rankings. You better take care of it early.


How to create posts that get their content updated without using the link love that the original content acquired over time.


This is an issue that gets neglected a lot by the blog owners who usually cringe at the thought of someone scraping their content. Michael shows not only how to encourage them to do so, but also how to make sure you reap the most benefits out of scrapers to score links. Includes mentions of plugins that help you with the job.


Directory submission is largely considered to be an SEO tactic that belongs in history. Debra Mastaler explains why this is an unjust generalization and gives some guidelines how to do directory submission right.


Every once in a while Google comes out with a new feature in Webmaster Tools that makes webmasters’ lives much easier. Whenever that happens, you can bet on Vanessa Fox writing up an extensive review of the new feature on SEL. This time it is about Google enabling webmasters to define which URL parameters Google should disregard. This is something that was usually done through URL rewrites, robots.txt, canonical tag or other options that usually involved a webmaster changing something on their site. It seems like Google wants to enable webmasters to control the ways a website is being crawled and index without making those on-site changes. In addition to presenting the new WMT feature, Vanessa presents all the other options for URL canonicalization and their pros and cons.


OK, this is not an SEO article but I thought it was interesting enough to make the list. This article gives some tips on how to put your LinkedIn profile to better use. Besides having a potential for being an amazing traffic source, LinkedIn should play a very important role in everyone’s personal online identity management. Read this article.


This is an interesting observation: link authority and anchor relevancy outweigh


While the Title of this post suggests that the reader will come out with a clear preference of one over the other, the result is actually quite different: the article explains how those two marketing tactics can feed into and support each other.


Another one of Google revelations on the algorithm, covered by, who else if not, Barry. While being important for a whole lot of other reasons, the fact that your site validates will not give your pages a boost in Google


One of the first signs that tell me that a website has been SEOed is a dissonance between the keywords featured in the metatags and the rest of the content. While being an SEO flag for me, it can be a serious turn-off for your visitors, affecting conversion rates, bounce rates and what not. This article gives some guidelines on how to align between your keywords and your content.


A short post with a great chart explaining all the inns and outs of how the search engine bots crawl and index pages and what are the differences between these two processes.


A great review of all the factors that can influence your geotargeting on search engines. Clears up a lot of terms and reasons why your rankings can vary between different countries.


And finally, a post that gives a list of top 40 SEOs to follow on Twitter. There are three reasons for listing this post:

  1. Following SEOs and engaging them in conversation on Twitter is an invaluable tool. Really. Cannot-put-a-price-on-it kind of tool.
  2. While not everyone on that list is an SEO, I went over it and I have already been following 90% of the people there, meaning that they were already providing real SEO value to the conversation.
  3. I am on that list ๐Ÿ™‚

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  1. 3 Responses to “Weekly Reading Lists”

  2. Excellent list and honoured to be included! I have a lot of reading to do this week ๐Ÿ™‚

    By richardbaxterseo on Sep 28, 2009

  3. This is a fantastic resource, bookmarked, I’m going to read them all! Well I’m sure I have read a good few of them already but it’s always good to refresh the mind! Thx.

    By Stuart Chester on Mar 1, 2011

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  2. Nov 20, 2011: Leslie Wilkins

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