A Reader’s Guide To 30+ Advanced Search Marketing Blogs

Author: Gab Goldenberg

The following is my favoured reading list when it comes to search marketing, especially on the SEO side. It includes PPC and usability/conversion optimization stuff too, because you can’t really become advanced in this field without focusing on the bottom line. Check out my description of each blog to see if it fits your interests.

I’m focusing on those that, while they may have some following (a few thousand RSS readers), are not mega brands in the space. On a related note, my own blog fits the generalist / link building categories, so if that’s your bag, add my rss feed to your reader.

Original & Creative Internet Marketing Generalists

The folks in this category will blog the gamut from analytics to social media.

Dave Davis’ of Red Fly Marketing’s Online Marketing Blog . Dave’s writing features some of the best material on AdWords you can find, as well as its frequent overlap with SEO. What’s great is that the writing is accessible, insofar as it’s not too heavy on tech jargon.

Marty Weintraub @ Aimclear Search Marketing Blog for ad agency, inhouse and PR . Marty’s got to be one of the most creative thinkers and writers in the business, and his writing reflects that. I can’t honestly recall reading a rehashed post here, while the original insights – which just share a fraction of the advanced stuff they do – are abundant.

Wil Reynolds and the gang @ Seer Interactive’s SEO Blog – Again, I enjoy the creative thinking a lot! The case studies and tactics they share often reveal a new approach to skinning the cat, which a tactician like yours truly just can’t get enough of. As with Marty’s blogging, it feels good to get confirmation for your own ideas when you see them show up on Seer’s blog [without having told the idea to the Seer guys], which has happened a few times.

Blogstorm search engine optimiSation blog (that’s UK spelling for ya!) – Pat Altoft runs a wonderful, well read blog that covers a range of internet marketing topics. While it’s generalist in scope, the posts are very much original and useful to your ordinary SEO consultant.

Tom Demers & gang @Wordstream’s Internet Marketing Blog – Out of nowhere, the guys at Wordstream keyword research have quickly emerged on the search marketing scene with a series of excellent interviews with insightful SEOs/PPC marketers. Of course, their own material

SEO Smarty’s SEO Consulting Blog – Ann doesn’t blog regularly, but when she does, you KNOW it’s going to be something valuable. She’s a pleasant woman to work with as well, and an excellent contact to have as she’s a connector in the “Tipping Point” social media sense.

Nick Wilsdon, UK/Russian SEO – Nick is experienced in foreign [SEO affairs] and his blog accordingly touches international SEO issues. You’ll also see him covering social media questions and tech/security stuff. Nick was one of the SEOs I spoke to regarding how SEOs deal with international currency fluctuations.

Stephan Spencer’s SEO & Web Marketing Blog (aka Stephen’s Scatterings, which is an unfortunate name imho, since it sounds kind of like what pigeons do…). Featuring a wide mix of content, Stephan’s frequently got advanced nuggets buried around his blog. It’s worth digging through his archives.

Richard Baxter’s London SEO Blog, SEO Gadget – Richard’s writing tends more towards the technical, covering particular tags, formats, Ubuntu etc. His interests are wide ranging though, and his own link building ideas and tips on the human relationships necessary for successful SEO are quite valuable.

Link Building Devotees

As the name suggests, these are the expert link builders.

Wiep’s Link Building Blog – Wiep’s monthly link roundups are must reads. You can’t really be following the latest in link building unless you pay attention to Wiep’s roundups, which canvas both the popular and the unknown [where lots of goodies are]. And Wiep’s own link bait content is is quality, too. I can’t say enough good things about Wiep’s blog, so to supplement, I’ll say something bad – he doesn’t publish frequently enough! ;)

Debra Mastaler – Alliance Link Building Spiel – What more can I say besides that Debra knows link building inside and out and reading her blog is a great way to get up to speed in the field.

Justilien Gaspard’s Web Site Marketing blog / SEW column is another link building resource. While I’m still new to Justilien’s writing, it’s clear to me that he speaks with authority :).

Local Marketers

Local SEO, search and related internet marketing tips and news get done by these fellows.

Understanding G Maps and Local Search – Mike Blumenthal is the de facto starting point for local SEO. I think many SEOs who ever practiced local SEO learned the trade from Mike’s site (including myself!), and it continues to be a reference today. From tactics to bugs and spam in Google Maps, Mike’s got the scoop.

David Mihm’s SMB Web Design and Local SEO blog – Another reference for anyone involved in local search, David Mihm has made a reputation for himself notably via his annual local search ranking factors linkbait, as well as his informed contributions to Search Engine Land and SMX.

SMB & Local SEO Guide – Andrew Shotland mixes the traditional local search marketing fare (comparisons with the Yellow Pages) with the latest in local tech, like social local search (yeah, I think it’s a mouthful, too).

Greg Sterling’s Screenwerk blog on Local Internet Marketing – Greg has got the lowdown on the Yellow Pages, having worked at one of the largest Yellow Pages publishers around (The Kelsey Group), but he’s also got the latest news coverage of the topic. No kidding – if it’s a story with any local connection, Greg’s on it.

Dev Basu’s Search Marketing Insights – My fellow resident of Soviet Canuckistan (that’s Canada for those of you who don’t know) shares a lot of the same interests with me: building a following, how to sell more effectively, affiliate marketing and local search. The topics range around, but Dev keeps it fresh.

Critical Thinkers

Not only do the folks in this group think critically, they take your hand and get you do so as well.

Michael Martinez’s SEO Theory and Analysis – Michael’s one of the deep thinkers in SEO. He’s one of the few people around who understand what the scientific method is (I’m guessing most SEOs who don’t have a math/programming/science background slept through those classes in high school), and that’s reflected in his critical thinking. I respect and really look up to Mike, but he at times turns others off with what is easily perceived as arguing for its own sake, and/or as nit-picking technicalities.

SEO Scientist – As the name implies, Branko Rihtman is cut from the same cloth as Michael and Marios. While he doesn’t publish regularly, Branko does run experiments to discover how the algorithms work in specific instances, and he also provides a great roundup of advanced SEO posts similar to what Wiep does with link building.

All Things SEM – Marios Alexandrou is one of those who, like Mike Martinez, understands the scientific method and can actually apply a/b split testing to discover ranking factors. When this guy publishes his research results, you are compelled to read… on pain of banning from the index :D. Now if only he’d publish more than once a month…

Tim Nash’s SEO consulting and techie/code blog is another writer in this category of standouts, who got my attention via Sphinn I believe, but also gained a lot of notoriety generally for his Flash indexing studies and tests on PDFs and the like.

Dave Harry’s SEO Blog feat. Search and IM News, at Huomah.com . A self-proclaimed patent and information retrieval (IR) geek, Dave helps make the techie speak accessible to the rest of us, though he’s still a bit heavy on the jargon at times.

Eli’s Blue Hat SEO – The goto man on blackhat techniques, Eli’s tactics have inspired more than one person’s creative thinking. In fact, his desert scraping combined with Slightly Shady SEO’s scrape of expired domains with Yahoo backlinks lead to my idea on resurrecting sites from the dead.

PPC

Easy Tricks For Great PPC by Dan Soha – If you’ve ever thought of a trick to use in AdWords… get over yourself, because Dan thought of it first. Between his background in math and his unbridled creativity, Dan is probably the most advanced PPC guy I know.

BG’s PPC Theory – If you’re looking for AdWords and conversion optimization nuggets, Brad Geddes is your man. I have to admit that I’m not a regular reader, but only because I don’t spend lots of time on PPC. Those times I played around in Brad’s archives, I had a big grin on my face like a kid with a birthday cake.

Conversion Optimization & Usability

All the work we do to get traffic would be useless if it didn’t convert, right? Well, that’s why you need to read these people’s blogs!

Malcolm Coles’ blog on newspapers, SEO, WordPress etc. – Malcolm’s take on things allows me to get a fresh perspective on several issues I wouldn’t think about on my own. For instance, I believe it was his review of various newspapers’ usability that led me to increase font size here.

Enquiro’s B2B Marketing Blog – Similarly mixing SEO and usability, Gord Hotchkiss’ outfit has a penchant for heatmaps and anecdotes. I like that he’s a big reader, too.

Ion Interactive’s Post Click Marketing Blog – I have a love-hate relationship with Ion’s blog. I love that they have great ways of explaining things that I find make more sense than, for example, FutureNow’s Eisenberg brothers. I love when they share new ideas or methods. But I HATE how they repeat themselves so frequently…

CLM’s Thoughts on Usability and Conversion – Closed Loop Marketing’s founders, Sandra Niehaus and Lance Loveday, really got me started on conversion optimization by giving me their classic book, Web Design 4 ROI. Their blog continues to innovate and shares a mix of tips on PPC and conversion optimization.

WiderFunnel’s Marketing Optimization Blog – I forget how I discovered Wider Funnel, but they have a great way of illustrating their posts and sharing case studies that just keeps you hooked. I find their site pretty impressive as well, so it’s nice to see the shoemaker’s kids wearing patent leather booties ;)!

Tim Ash @ SEW – Tim shares a variety of ideas, and lately he’s been on a kick of helping conversion newbs get into optimization. What stands out to me about Tim and his writing – and this is also true of his book – is that he doesn’t accept assumptions easily, but is rather inclined towards critical thinking. And that’s a theme of advanced search marketing in my books… or book rather, as I’m working on an Advanced SEO book…

Usability Post – What’s neat is that this site talks about usability beyond the standard stuff that you hear over and over on other usability blogs. I’ve also found Dimitry’s ads exceptionally useful as I catalog usability tools.

The Conversion Doctor – Eric Graham is particularly focused on writing quality sales copy. And I don’t mean just any keyword stuffed descriptive text. I mean copy that sells. You see so many fluffy copywriter blogs full of posers online… Eric is at the opposite end and kind of goes overboard on the pushy sales technique side of things.

VigorFish – They’ve got case studies, tips and all sorts of goodness. Me likey :).

Web Analysts Web Business and Conversion Optimization Blog -While this site features some great content, it’s really oriented to hardcore web analytics guys and gals. They’re not overly enamored of jargon, but you need to have your thinking cap on to follow. (For more blogs on conversion, check out this preso and the firms who ran these tests.)

Liked this post on advanced SEO blogs? Add my rss feed to your reader for more!

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Comments

  1. Great list of blogs here Gabriel. I have been writing my blog for some years now on online marketing and SEO, but just haven't placed it in a niche.

    Comment by Sean - November 25, 2009 @ 3:57pm
  2. That's quite a list. I would find it a challenge to nitpick this one. Thanks for including me.

    Comment by Michael Martinez - November 26, 2009 @ 7:02pm
  3. This is a really nice list of blogs you have put together. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Jamie Search - November 27, 2009 @ 5:05am
  4. Thanks for including the Link Spiel Gab :)

    Comment by Debra Mastaler - November 27, 2009 @ 10:30pm
  5. Hey Gab, Great list, thanks for including us! I found some new stuff (to me anyway) in the local and usability sections I'll have to check out. Thanks! Tom

    Comment by Tom Demers - November 28, 2009 @ 5:24pm
  6. We keep a ppc blog; I'd be happy to be included on your ppc category.

    Comment by Dan Perach - November 29, 2009 @ 7:31am
  7. Excellent list Gab. One or two I wasn't aware of and one or two I was but hadn't subscribed. Thanks for the inclusion too! Very much appreciated. I really wish Eli would post a little more often on BHSEO.

    Comment by Dave Davis - November 30, 2009 @ 11:06am
  8. I'm actually a subscriber of yours, Sean. I noticed you after you'd left some comments on my site in the past :).

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - November 30, 2009 @ 4:54pm
  9. My pleasure :).

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - December 1, 2009 @ 1:26am
  10. And yeah, it'd be nice if Eli posted more often. I was dissapointed to hear he does the scamboat stuff too though :s.

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - December 1, 2009 @ 1:27am
  11. That's a great list. I think it would be a good idea to drop a link somewhere that adds all (or groups) of the listed blogs to the rss reader. Cheers.

    Comment by Rick - December 1, 2009 @ 8:46am
  12. Hey Gab, I'm honored to be included on this list. I hope my infrequent posting can live up to my inclusion! :)

    Comment by David Mihm - December 1, 2009 @ 1:37pm
  13. Yea, but sure it's still nice to get a different set of eyes to look at things. If you're aware of both sides of the colourful hat and what works for both, you can push the boundaries of grey.

    Comment by Dave Davis - December 1, 2009 @ 2:03pm
  14. Is there a way to do that?

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - December 1, 2009 @ 3:32pm
  15. Haha no doubt it will :)

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - December 1, 2009 @ 3:43pm
  16. Yea, using OPML. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OPML

    Comment by Dave Davis - December 1, 2009 @ 3:43pm
  17. Lol Mike :). My pleasure reading your site!

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - December 1, 2009 @ 3:43pm
  18. Anytime dude! That's what I was aiming for!

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - December 1, 2009 @ 3:43pm
  19. Sure thing Debra!

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - December 1, 2009 @ 3:44pm
  20. Always happy to see you commenting, Jamie :)

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - December 1, 2009 @ 3:44pm
  21. I love pushing the boundaries of grey (at least, pushing up against an algo, not pushing up towards scamminess)!

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - December 1, 2009 @ 3:46pm
  22. I've noticed your name around Dan, and will have to start reading you more. I'll keep you in mind for my next such list.

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - December 1, 2009 @ 3:47pm
  23. Hey Gabs, I guess I am late to this party huh? Whooops... been busy playin' in the Dojo. Anyway, groovy list... I spent countless hours compiling and sorting one myself in a post earlier this year.. helluva a thing ain't it? Seems there's always peeps left out... Oh, and I really thought we'd made inroads as far as keeping things lay-person digestible on the Trail lately...hehe... Have to watch it more it seems... Happy Holidays to ye and yours BTW

    Comment by Dave - December 1, 2009 @ 7:25pm
  24. Thanks for the inclusion buddy. Appreciate the shout out and hoping to thank you in person with a drink sometimes soon ;)

    Comment by Branko - December 2, 2009 @ 4:58pm
  25. Thanks a bunch Dave! Truth be told, that may be a bit of an outdated comment re: The Trail... Have to catch up on my reading :S! Happy holidays :)

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - December 6, 2009 @ 6:42pm
  26. Great collection of critical thinkers and not the mainstream seo rockstars you would expect to see. Nice change of pace. Thanks a lot

    Comment by oliver feakins - December 7, 2009 @ 10:17pm

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