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Outsmarting Google / Fighting Sexism / SEO Distributed

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I was sent a review copy of Evan Bailyn’s book Outsmarting Google. While the book’s subtitle was a bit too optimistic and the content a bit light on technical details for my taste, I did find it a solid introduction to effective SEO tactics.

State of Search: Book Review – Outsmarting Google

Some aspects of technical on-site SEO are mentioned, but not until the chapters that talk about optimising for Bing and Yahoo. Also, the social media chapters are a bit out of date, and some of Bailyn’s predictions about the future of SEO could do with a revision. But at its core this is a book that works. At a bit over 200 pages it reads quickly and easily, and everyone who follows the book’s precepts will get a good start at doing SEO that is, in this day and age, still effective and results-driven.

Fed up with the tales of men behaving like misogynistic morons at digital conferences, I thought it about time I weigh in on the topic and gave some heartfelt advise on State of Search about how to make conferences better for everyone involved:

State of Search: Fighting Sexism at Digital Conferences

As long as there are small-minded men in tech we’ll have sexism in tech, but at the very least we should ensure such behaviour is openly discouraged and frowned upon. You can do your bit to improve the industry’s attitude to women. Doing nothing is not an option – it takes good people to act to make positive change happen.

One of the most common criticisms levied against the SEO craft is that it should be unnecessary, that well-built websites with great content should rank in search engines on their own merits without input from a dedicated SEO person. In this blog post for State of Search I explore the reality of that idea:

State of Search: Can SEO Be Made Obsolete?

None of these other professionals has the mandate – let alone the desire – to take ownership of SEO. Some are even actively opposed to the very idea, seeing SEO as a blight on the digital landscape and a pollution of the web’s purity. The necessity of SEO should be abundantly clear to everyone though. I have yet to see a site thrive in the absence of organic search traffic. But the problem with trying to distribute SEO’s tasks and responsibilities across all these other disciplines is that there will be no one person, no one role, who aligns all these various facets and ensures it all works together.

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