Dan Thies recently launched his new SEO Fast Start book. You can download the PDF here, or sign up for his updates and join his community here. His guide is 100 pages long and aimed mostly at beginners, but it also covers a bit more, and as his community develops he will continue to give away more content in more formats. His book is generally quite straightforward and easy to understand. He wrote it in a way that is big picture oriented such that it won't need to be updated too frequently. His section on dynamic linking is worth a read. It mentions that by creating an internal navigational structure that places more PageRank deeper into a site, typically most sites will get more traffic than a site with a link navigation scheme that is top heavy (I have been reviewing a number of sites recently and this is a large recurring issue). He recommended using GSiteCrawler to generate sitemaps, and OptiSpider to view the internal link structure of larger sites.
You can see how OptiSpider compares a page's topic to what the internal links say the page is about by looking at the below picture.
Probably the only part of Dan's book that I don't agree with is on is his advice on how to use nofollow. Some of the advice, like add nofollow on all of the links that point to other sites, unless you have agreed to a direct link for some reason seems a bit aggressive to me. A web that consisted only of paid or nepotistic links would not be a web worth being on.
I don't like using nofollow on most (or all) outbound links for three major reasons
- If something is worth mentioning then I think it is worth mentioning to both people and search bots.
- I think excessive use of nofollow carves up the web, leaving scars in it and making it more wounded for those who use it.
- What was once white hat became gray then black. There is nothing saying that search engines won't eventually penalize sites for excessive or manipulative use of no follow. Just how nofollow magically made paid links evil one day, so might excessive use of nofollow the day Google realizes how damaging it is to the web.
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