An SEO's essential guide to blogs, tools and very clever people
So you fancy yourself as an SEO do you? Although by no means an exhaustive list, here are some essential green clicky words for you to add to your interweb browsing machine. Please feel encouraged to add to this list in the comments!
Essential official Google blogs for SEOs
Replacing his personal blog, Matt Cutts – head of Google webspam, answers popular SEO related questions. Information about the algorithm, straight from the horses mouth.
Google’s new official search blog. Not much content on here yet, but definitely one to watch for the most up to date innovations in Google search.
The official Google Analytics Blog is definitely one to follow at the moment with the release of the new interface.
Essential reading from the Google Webmaster Tools team. Find out about the latest innovations straight from the source.
Essential search blogs for SEOs
Rand Fishkin‘s SEOmoz has become the definitive place to be for all things search, social and online marketing. Consistently high quality content on a regular basis mixed with equally high quality user input makes this an essential read. Not to mention the huge amount of guides, tools and best practice papers.
UK based Blogstorm writer Patrick Altoft is relentlessly scouring the Google SERPs for developments. If there is a new algorithm update or SERP change, you will hear about it here first.
Great monthly round-ups of everyone’s most challenging part of SEO; link building. Keep up to date and be inspired with the latest techniques.
Out of the box thinking with a tinge of black, GoogleCache will get you thinking about new and innovative ways to go about your campaigns. Strict white hats need not apply!
Forward thinking, creative ideas is the name of the game on SEO Optimise. If you are tired of the same regurgitated information, be sure to subscribe to this blog.
Richard Baxter‘s SEO Gadget is on the forefront of technical SEO, markup and Excel wizardry. If your forte is on-site SEO, this is definitely one for you
The MASTER of WordPress plugins and generally a very clever chappy!
Essential online marketing blogs for SEOs
The industry voice for the UK online world. Econsultancy is packed with consistent quality content ranging from online brands, E-Com, conversion rate optimisation, SEO, social and much more.
Highly respected US based search industry blog run by some of the world’s most knowledgeable SEO’s.
Andy Beal’s Marketing Pilgrim is the definitive source of internet marketing news.
Essential social blogs for SEOs
From the site: “Mashable is the top source for news in social and digital media, technology and web culture. With more than 40 million monthly pageviews, Mashable is the most prolific news site reporting breaking web news, providing analysis of trends, reviewing new Web sites and services, and offering social media resources and guides.”
Experts in all things social, the blog spawned from the #1 Best Selling International Book Socialnomics.
Essential online tools for SEOs
Google Webmaster Tools – If you are not using Google’s suite of Webmaster Tools, you are not a real SEO! Essentially domain information including 404ing pages with backlinks, server errors, HTML errors, site speed and much, much more.
Google keyword tool – Get fairly accurate (depends on what your definition of accurate is!) search traffic estimates for your chosen keyterms. Don’t forget to tick “exact” on the left hand side and take the figures with a pinch of salt!
Google insights – Use Google’s own search data to find seasonality in search terms and compare year on year search volumes. Very useful to visually explain drops or gains in traffic.
Pingdom speed tool – Great tool to test the speed of your website and identify exactly what elements on the page are causing speed issues. Increasingly important, not only for rankings but for usability (especially mobile!).
Copyscape’s Copysentry – A great little automated tool to detect if anyone is copying your content. Stay ahead of the scrapers and your competitors by ensuring your content is unique. Increasingly important under the new Google Panda regime.
Open site explorer – As Yahoo! Site Explorer is on the way out, SEOmoz spotted a gap in the market and used their immense amount of ranking data to create the Open Site Explorer. Very useful, exportable back link information. Spy on your competitors link building!
SEOmoz Linkscape Visualization and Comparison – Another very useful little tool, comparing the “strength” of a domain against another in terms of SEOmoz’s own ranking factors.
Google URL Builder – Easy to use tool to create tracking URLs for Google Analytics for your campaigns such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
http://word2cleanhtml.com – Convert Word documents to clean HTML. Simples!
Essential software for SEOs
Microsoft SEO toolkit – Microsoft’s take on on-site SEO. Use this audit tool to gain some useful insight into your website’s potential issues but be careful not to go overboard as some of the suggestions are a little pedantic.
Screaming Frog SEO spider – A nice little web spider which identifies potential SEO issues on your site including redirects, meta tags and many other factors.
Excellent Analytics – Export your analytics data directly to this powerful Excel plugin and organise in way you never knew was possible!
Xenu Link Sleuth – This simple tool grabs a root webpage and scans it thoroughly in order to test every single link and check they all work correctly.
Essential browser plug-ins for SEOs
SEOmoz bar – Some useful features and data including SEOmoz’s own ranking and trust metrics, nofollow highlighting and SERP and website overlays.
Google personal block list – websites from your personal search using this toolbar.
SEOquake – Probably the best SEO toolbar available, comprising SERP overlays, nofollow highlighting and many other metrics. A must have.
Live HTTP headers – Check the header status codes of pages with this great little plugin.
Flagfox – Very simple plugin that displays a country flag of where a website is hosted in the URL bar.
Web Developer – Great for inspecting elements, CSS and editing HTML live in the browser.
Google Page Speed – Optimize web pages by applying web performance best practices.
SEOs to follow on Twitter
Top SEO’s to follow – This is not a be all and end all list, but is certainly a good place to start.
Thanks for reading! Hopefully this will increase your SEO powerz by at least 10 points. We would love to hear your favorite blogs and tools, so please let us know in the comments!