Lee Odden

Reader Poll: Best Books on SEO

Lee Odden     Online Marketing, Reader Polls, SEO

best seo booksWith all the hubub about personalized and real time search and the potential impact on the SEO work that can influence search visibility, the question about relevance comes to mind when considering books about search engine optimization. Search engines like Google change often (38 new search products in 70 days) so one could argue that a book published in print would become outdated.  For those books that outline very specific tactics and even tricks/loopholes, that indeed is the case.

However, there are many SEO books that focus on strategy and tactics worth considering.  Well understood principles of information retrieval, content optimization & promotion, consumer search behaviors and analytics are timeless.

To that end, I’ve compiled a list of 14 books on SEO below from our list of 100 Search Marketing Resources and setup a poll that provides you the opportunity to pick which 3 are your favorites. Maybe we’ll find the Best SEO Book of 2009 🙂 (according to Online Marketing Blog readers at least).

What are your 3 favorite books on SEO?

  • Art of SEO - Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Rand Fishkin, Jessie C. Stricchiola (16%, 48 Votes)
  • Search Engine Optimization: Your Visual Blueprint for Effective Internet Marketing - Kristopher B. Jones (16%, 47 Votes)
  • Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day - Jennifer Grappone & Gradiva Couzin (14%, 42 Votes)
  • Landing Page Optimization - Tim Ash (13%, 37 Votes)
  • Search Engine Marketing Inc, 2nd Edition - Mike Moran & Bill Hunt (8%, 24 Votes)
  • The Truth about Search Engine Optimization - Rebecca Lieb (7%, 20 Votes)
  • Inbound Marketing - Brian Halligan & Dharmesh Shah (6%, 17 Votes)
  • Search Engine Visibility, 2nd Edition - Shari Thurow (5%, 14 Votes)
  • The Findability Formula: Easy, Non-Technical Approach to SEM - Heather F. Lutze (4%, 12 Votes)
  • Building Findable Websites: Web Standards SEO and Beyond - Aarron Walter (3%, 10 Votes)
  • Website Optimization: Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets - Andrew King (3%, 10 Votes)
  • SEO Warrior - John I. Jerkovic (2%, 7 Votes)
  • SEO: Search Engine Optimization Bible - Jerri L. Ledford (2%, 5 Votes)
  • SEO Made Simple - Michael H. Fleischner (1%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 176

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If you would like to learn more about any of the books on SEO in our poll, here are the links to their pages on Amazon (not affiliate):

Also, here are two new SEO books coming out in 2010: Search Engine Optimization Secrets by Danny Dover and Marketing in the Age of Google by Vanessa Fox.

There is some irony in this poll of course, because Aaron Wall’s “SEO Book” is no longer sold and therefore, not included in the poll. Are there other well written and relevant books on SEO that we missed? Please mention them in the comments and we’ll add them to the 100 SEM Resources post.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Art of SEO is great, but I don't think it's the best book for a newbie SEO wanna be.

    • Thanks John. I have a copy but haven't read it yet. Have you read SEM Inc?

      • No, I'm reading thru SEO Secrets now,, well written easy to understand.. Good place to start then jump to Art of SEO

        I'm more visual, I think an SEO book take salot effort to read,,lol videos would work best for me.

        • Videos are a great idea. I think Aaron Wall's paid community offers quite a few instructional videos at seobook.com

          • I use his SEO FF plugin.. I'm happy with that.. His toolbar was more annoying then useful so I stopped using that.

            But he does have some nice info and vids too.

            For me SEO can be mind numbing lol so anyway I can get the info without being boring I'm all for it.

            I try to stick to the basics, and it seems that those basics account for a big part of your SEO benis.. so I'm happy with just perfecting them. Well perfectign them till Google decides to change what SEO is important .lol

  2. My vote goes to:
    • Inbound Marketing – Brian Halligan & Dharmesh Shah
    Couldn’t put it down! It’s well written and cover a lot of methods that have been proven succesful for many business.

  3. Videos are a great idea.

  4. Yes, videos are somewhat a must nowadays.

  5. Avatar Rennell Garrett says

    SEO has been one hard thing to learn. Once you think that you are becoming good, search engine changes its algorithm and you have to start form the scratch again. This is really frustrating for me.

  6. SEO for dummies hands down best easily understood seo book out there.

  7. I am glad to see the book I am reading, “Search Engine Optimization” by K. Jones, is on the list! Now I just need to finish it because I'm tempted by the other books. Thanks for this vetted list.

  8. Yes that's true many book only focus on strategy and tactic but the most important how to lasser drive quality traffic

  9. Where did you get all the info about these books? And which of them are free?

  10. I have read seo mindest by brad callen it is awesome.If you have flash then Seo for flash is also really help full

  11. This is an outstanding list of resources for anybody looking to get some real SEO work done. Thanks for writing it! P.S. I really enjoy this site.

  12. Thanks for these additional resources. The only book I've read is the first book on the second row.

  13. funny.. i've actually never read a book on SEO.. in almost 15 years.. books on SQL, HTML, CSS, XML.. but nothign on SEO.. lol.. and i just realized it.

  14. Hi Lee. Kris Jones wrote a great book, Visual Blueprint. To have it right in front of you in both print and picture helps not only the learner who reads but the learner who needs to “see”. Its a staple at my company where we design and develop small business websites. Using Visual Basics and the techniques in it we were able to grab some great placement on Google and Yahoo for many of our clients who are are now very happy. I have read the majority of the books you have listed and Visual Blueprint is the best, bar none.

  15. Thanks Lee for this poll you’re making. Am just starting to learn basic SEO and am surprised to know so many books on the subject. The result of your poll will surely be helpful for us beginners.


  16. Avatar hbtadvertisingagencymelbourne says

    Great list. I find that I get more relevent and up to date on the web on sites like this one. I have reading the book on landing page optimisation which is very good. The examples are getting a little dated, however the points on structuring a page to convert highly havent changed much since it has been written.

  17. danny dover writing an seo book? what a joke!. the dude cannot even understand search well enough to provide good advice to their paid subscribers in seomoz forums. lol

  18. I have just started to learn basic SEO and I'm surprised to know there are so many books on the subject. At the present time I am reading Search Engine Marketing Inc. 2nd Edition. I already read the 1st edition. These books have definitly helped me with my SEO on my advertising website. Lee thank you for putting up this poll, this will help me find other books to my interest.

  19. This is a very solid post.

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  22. Thanks for the list … I'd vote for Art of SEO out of those that I've read. A very good book indeed …..

  23. Avatar Paul Salmon says

    There is also 'SEO Help: 20 steps to get your website to Google's #1 page” by David Amerland which has just been released by New Line Publishing in the USA and UK.

  24. A new book by Gary E. Haffer called Online Marketing terms exposed:Understanding the Lingo of the Search Expert. This book has tricks, tips, and guidelines to truly get high rankings and results. SEO is one method that talks about the on-page and off page solutions. Also, Social networks, pay-per-click, Google analytics, and press releases are discussioned and examples given.

  25. There is another book that deserves mention. It is “Online Marketing Terms Exposed:Learn the Online Lingo of the search engine expert distributed by Amazon. This is a “how-to” book for anyone doing business online. It shows how to increase your traffic, reduce bounce rate, gain visibility, write press releases, have social traffic, and overall how to get more value out of your website. Great reference book and online marketing dictionary.

  26. Often we forget the little guy, the SMB, in our discussions of the comings and goings of the Internet marketing industry. Sure there are times like this when a report surfaces talking about their issues and concerns but, for the most part, we like to talk about big brands and how they do the Internet marketing thing well or not so well.


  27. Thanks Dan.

  28. Thanks Dan.