The SEO’s Handbook – 53 Resources For First Time SEOs


I know there are a lot of resources on SEO, but most of them are junk. I have been doing SEO for over nine years now, and I learned most of it from reading and practising it. If you want to learn SEO and actually get good at it, read and use the following resources:


The world of SEO is constantly changing because search engines constantly change their algorithms. These sites offer news, information, and tips about SEO:

  1. Search Engine Land – The most well-respected search engine and SEO news website. [tweet]
  2. Search Engine Guide – It focuses on SEO for small businesses. [tweet]
  3. Search Engine Watch – One of the oldest blogs in the industry. [tweet]
  4. SEOmoz – Not only will you find blog posts from the SEOmoz staff, but you will also find blog posts from other SEOs through YOUmoz. [tweet]
  5. Online Marketing Blog – It has a great mix of SEO, PR, and social media articles. [tweet]
  6. Search Engine Roundtable – This is one of the more unique blogs out there. It literally tries to cover everything in the search space. [tweet]
  7. SEO Book – A blog by one of the best SEOs in the space. [tweet]
  8. Matt Cutts – This is a blog by the head of Google’s Web Spam team. When he talks, you’d better listen. [tweet]
  9. Search Engine Journal – One of the oldest SEO news blogs. [tweet]
  10. Marketing Pilgrim – A blog started by Andy Beal, a guy who knows how to create and grow an SEO company. [tweet]
  11. John Battelle’s Search Blog – John loves to analyze the search space and the growth of different search engines. [tweet]
  12. Google Blog -This is Google’s main blog. It discusses everything related to Google. [tweet]
  13. Traffick – Another good SEO blog. The writers also have a strong knowledge of PPC. [tweet]
  14. SEO by the Sea – It contains very detailed resourceful blog posts. [tweet]
  15. Google Blogoscoped – This blog is also all about Google. This one, however, is written by an outside party instead of by someone at Google. [tweet]
  16. SEO Black Hat – If you want to learn about the dark side of SEO, this blog should do the trick. [tweet]
  17. Wolf Howl – A blog by an SEO who isn’t afraid to speak his mind. [tweet]


Although blogs are going to be your main source of information, they don’t cover everything. Here are a few more websites that provide valuable information on SEO:

  1. Search Engine Comparison Chart – Not all search engines have their own algorithms. You’ll be surprised to see how many search engines get their results from other search providers. [tweet]
  2. Marketing Terms – This dictionary will help you understand all of the marketing terms you run into. [tweet]
  3. Google’s SEO Guidelines – Google’s take on SEO as well as a starter guide. [tweet]
  4. SEO Beginner’s Guide – SEOmoz has a very detailed guide on SEO for beginners. It is a long read, but you can easily split it into several chunks and read it over a few days. [tweet]
  5. SEO Chat – Find weekly SEO videos here. [tweet]
  6. Search Engine Colossus – There are many more search engines than you may know of. This is a place where you can find them all.
  7. Web Pro News – Find video interviews of SEO experts on this site. [tweet]
  8. Simplifying SEO – Eric Enge simplifies SEO. [tweet]
  9. SEO Cheat Sheet – If you are having someone else help you with your SEO, make sure that person follows everything on this sheet. [tweet]
  10. SEO FAQ – When you first get started, you are going to have questions. This FAQ list should answer the majority of them. [tweet]
  11. SEO Pyramid – Make sure you start off with a strong base and build your way up. [tweet]


SEO is a very time consuming process. These tools will not only make your life easier, but they’ll help you understand what you need to do to rank well on search engines:

  1. SEO ToolSet – Tools created by one of the firstΒ SEOs. [tweet]
  2. SpyFu – If you are interested in learning what search terms your competition ranks for or is advertising on, then this will be a great tool for you. [tweet]
  3. SEOmoz’s Tools – Although these tools cost money, they are worth it. [tweet]
  4. Wordtracker – This tool will take the guess work out finding out how popular your keywords and phrases are. [tweet]
  5. Meta Tag Analyzer – Find out your website’s keyword density. [tweet]
  6. Google Toolbar – This toolbar will show you what your Google PageRank number is. The closer you are to 10, the better your ranking usually is. [tweet]
  7. Anchor Text Analyzer – Find out with what anchor text people are linking to you and your competition. [tweet]
  8. Google Webmaster Tools – Get an inside view of how Google looks at your website, and submit an XML sitemap to it. [tweet]
  9. Digital Point SEO Tools – A collection of 17 tools. [tweet]
  10. SEO Chat Tools – The site has a lot of good tools such as a spider simulator. [tweet]
  11. SEO for Firefox – If you want to be an SEO, this plugin will make you want to use Firefox. [tweet]
  12. AdWords Estimator – Although you aren’t looking to pay for traffic, this estimator will give you a good idea of how many clicks you can get from Google. [tweet]
  13. DIYSEO – Keep track of your SEO progress [tweet]
  14. Backlink Checker – See how many people link to your website vs your competition’s. [tweet]
  15. Google Datacenter Search – Your website’s rankings will vary on different datacenters. Check them all here. [tweet]


Sometimes you will be unsure of what to do. When this happens, ask someone for advice. Through forums, you can communicate with other SEOs.

  1. High Rankings Forum – A good community with a lot of friendly SEOs. [tweet]
  2. Webmaster World – One of the oldest and most popular SEO forums out there. [tweet]
  3. SEO Chat Forum – Another popular forum that discusses SEO and other webmaster related topics. [tweet]
  4. Digital Point Forum – The most active forum in the SEO world. [tweet]
  5. Search Engine Watch Forum – Almost 60,000 SEOs discuss search related stuff here. [tweet]
  6. SEO Black Hat Forum – There is a lot of good information here, but you have to pay for it. [tweet]


A good way to learn SEO is in person. Going to conferences won’t just keep you up-to-date on the SEO world, but it will allow you to learn from some of the most successful SEOs.

  1. Search Engine Strategies – They hold conferences every couple months all over the world. They also have workshops before the conference starts. [tweet]
  2. PubCon – This conference started from the Webmaster World forum. Because it is held in Vegas, not only will you learn about SEO, but you’ll also have the most fun time. [tweet]
  3. Blueglass – A new up and coming conference that ties in the web 2.0 world with the SEO world. [tweet]
  4. SMX – They have some of the best panels and speakers that you’ll ever hear at a search conference. [tweet]

Do you know of any other good SEO resources? If so, leave a comment.

P.S. If you need help with SEO and growing your traffic click here.


  1. This is Great everything at one place,all the great seo resource is here, i will suggest everyone to bookmark πŸ˜‰

  2. One of the best link composition. But never thought Neil would link “blackhat” forums. πŸ˜‰ Kudos.

  3. You have the Seobook blog listed, but I’d add the forum too… (for paying members only)

  4. Nice work, Neil. I have a couple of more suggestions for you –
    – Conversation Marketing – Ian Lurie – – Great blog on SEO, social, and internet marketing strategy
    – – Eric Ward, also known as ‘Link Moses,’ is one of those OG SEOs who’s been in the game forever. I think he did Amazon’s first link building campaign – he has a testimonial from Jeff Bezos on his site. His link-building articles are great.

  5. Great list! SEOMoz was the most helpful to me when I was starting out.

  6. I think the best way to learn something is going to different places and getting different perspectives and practicing them. Then get advice and fine tune your skills and do it over again.

  7. Wow ! A really helpful and comprehensive list. I’ll have to take a look and them all. I always move to find more resources that could ease my work πŸ™‚

  8. This is a very great collection of SEO tools. Thanks for this post and for sharing this wonderful piece with us here.

  9. 55 ways to tweet it! And it’s working! Nice list, Neil, but better job with its sharability. Tweeted!

  10. Certainly a very good list here Neil. And I think I’m subscribed to at least 80% of the blogs in the list. πŸ™‚


  11. Was wondering if you could expand a little on how the Google Data Centers work. I’ve been a little bit disturbed to see one of my websites on the 2nd page of Google, yet silently wondered how it would get hits. So, I check out the data center link that you provided and find my site on the first page in a few different situations depending on the IP. How does all of this work?

    • It’s a long and complicated thing to understand, so I suggest you focus on the basics first. Email me neil later on and then I’ll be happy to explain it to you.

  12. Wow, this is a great list. Most of these sites I never heard of. I looked at the first one, search engine land, and was blown away by everything on there. My focus is links! I need links! Have any suggestions Neil?

    • Start looking at the sites one by one and you’ll learn about them slowly but surely… There are many important factors.

  13. This is a really excellent read for me. Must admit that you are one of the best blogger I ever saw. Thanks for posting this useful article.

  14. I use the tools from the seobook site; they are fantastic.

  15. Once again superb post Neil. This is a very great collection of SEO tools. Thanks for this post and for sharing this wonderful piece with us here. Keep on like that..

  16. Speechless information posted by you, you have posted your nine years of experience. Thanks for your excellent information.

    you can also check new add on provided by firefox and very helpful to seo.

  17. Very Good resource given. But do anyone get time to read all?Wondering…I am able to read quite few of them.

  18. I’m surprised you didn’t list cre8asiteforums for the SEO forums. I’m a member there (not a mod or anything) and think its a great forum

  19. Pretty good list. SEOMoz for me is one of the top resources. SEO Book by Aaron Wall was also a big help when I got started.

  20. There’s also the MarketSTL conference in Saint Louis, MO

  21. Thanks for the mention Neil. We compiled a list of 100+ SEM resources here, but not all are for beginners.

  22. Just wanted to thank you for the great resources and emails, I feel like I have a friend that is always helping me in business. As all business owners know its tough spending long hours hammering out the business each day brings us. Its great to have experts in this field to keep us linked in to the latest information.

  23. Ola Neil,
    Thanks for sharing the info but I have to say that more than half of those tools are worthless these days accept GWT and Google tools.
    Wordtracker is a fantastic tool if you need to find out keyphrase/s for US based searches they are still in the process of adding UK data, so this might not be as useful in UK as yet.

  24. Neil,

    Any input you have regarding SEO is worthwhile. Thanks for putting this together.

  25. Hi Neil, awesome collection of SEO links indeed. I PDF’d it infact (just for myself) πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  26. Impressive list. I know a few people I will be forwarding this too. I like how you included the black hat sites as well!

  27. Good list Neil, I too have always been a fan of many of the sites you’ve listed.

    I’ve always found the SEO Book tools useful as well. Its great for quick snapshot looks at ranking/links/competitiveness etc.

  28. Great resources, Neil- you may consider adding Vanessa Fox’s blog as well @ … Basically the opposite of the black hat reference πŸ™‚

  29. I love your recommendation of Digitalpoint as a forum. I just wish more of my competitors will go there to get their SEO information πŸ˜‰

  30. Great list! Your list containing almost all the top blogs.
    I like the SeoMoz most from all. Awesome blog really and help me a lot.

  31. Please don’t forget about Raven Tools – hands down the one resource I could not do my job without.

  32. Web Hosting Chic :

    Wow, this page has all the great SEO resources in one place! Really nice and without a doubt I am going to check out all of them one by one. I think it will take me a long while to do that… πŸ™‚

  33. Hi Neil,

    I would like to thank you for sharing interesting and informative posts about SEO. I was searching to read something new about SEO and you fulfill my requirement. Thanks a lot for that. I will read your blog regularly to keep my knwoledge updated. πŸ™‚

  34. Sourish @ Ipod Touch 4G :

    great list . i seomoz for rank tracking and term target analysis … I didnt know about all these tools existed ..


  35. gr8 and large resource for all users, including beginners too πŸ™‚ , hats off mate πŸ™‚ , this post rocks

  36. Nice article…. You can see its success by how many tweets you get man. Good job!

    Seems like your audience loves SEO articles from you.

  37. james cournoyer :

    How ’bout an opml file to plug these into a feed reader? Thanks!

  38. Andrew @ Blogging Guide :

    A great and comprehensive list indeed! Very useful and I totally agree with everything that’s listed. They are all a great resource. Thanks for sifting through all the crap and presenting us with the real and truthful thing.

  39. Thats a very useful list but I would suggest to stick to a few of these and get active on that site. That ways you build some relations and can also get clarifications if needed. BTW.. I think SEO is getting more and more obsolete now and its more about brand building and PR etc., would you agree Neil?

  40. Checkout for a good SEO forum. The site is hosted by Stack Overflow and has in my opinion the best technical question forum engine out there.

  41. Larry J @ Child Harry Potter Costumes :

    I would like to thank you for providing this informative information about SEO. I have been searching for information about SEO to determine if I am doing it right. Thanks a lot. I was wondering if you have developed a post like this on backlinking?

  42. I admire your writing really. Only a great blogger can do this.
    I love all your blog posts and they provide up to date knowledge..

  43. Neil… Why some users do comment on same name and can give his URL and get credited to Top Commentators. you should choose top commentator by email address. thanks

  44. Hi Neil. Awaiting for your next post. I love to read each and every post on your site. It help to increase my knowledge and make me confident…

  45. I’m working on trying to improve my sites SEO as we speak, and frankly have lost my way amongst all of the sites out there.

    This list is a great one-stop shop for all things SEO.

    Thanks for posting.

  46. Hi Neil.

    I’ve been tasked, after my proposal, to create 3 niche sites for our company and I’ve began using Market Samurai to start selection of the niche topics. What do you think of that tool?


    • It’s a great tool that’ll help you streamline some of the process. Be sure to let us know how it goes though.

  47. Neil, it was great finally meeting you at the Winning Strategies event in Long Beach earlier this week.

    Do you have any tips or resources on how to create the BEST SEO PROPOSALS?

    • I don’t. Just make sure they are detailed and cover every aspect of what you are going to give a client. Also if you want to increase your chances of getting them signed, try to add a case study at the end of each proposal.

    • Kayan,

      Something I’d also recommend in addition to what Neil recommended with the case study is to even before hand offer a competitive analysis so the person who receives your proposal knows that you have honestly and actually taken the time to understand their business and reverse engineered the competition.

      Best wishes!

      • Thank you both for chiming in. As an SEO company bidding for retainer projects, proposals are often a big part of getting the deal or not. Adding case study is a great idea!

        Mark, your recommendation is well taken for those bigger projects where the pay off is worth the hours for the research.

        Great stuff!

      • Yes very true, with the case study, it allows people to feel more comfortable.

  48. Cathrine gabler :

    I started learning SEO only two months back. A Important factor I noticed is that we have to update our knowledge in SEO in order to sustain in this Industry. Very Good resource for people like me.

    • It’s a process so keep learning because it’s always changing.

      • Couldn’t agree more with Neil.

        Always learning is key to success in anything, but particularly in the Internet marketing industry as it is always changing on a day to day basis. What worked yesterday might not work today.

        Be forward thinking.

  49. Hi Neil,

    Great compilation. However too much information for someone new to start. Can you recommend 3 such destinations where I should start to learn SEO.

  50. Gogo | Denver SEO consulting :


    Thanks for taking the time to compile this list of excellent SEO resources.

  51. sell textbooks :

    Thank you so much for putting this together I have just hired someone completely green. I can pass this along to her so she can get a general idea of where she can get help or answers for the many I know will be coming around.

  52. Bill Spetrino :

    Neil great job on this list. After mastering investing on Wall street,Iam now tackling SEO to help teach others how to beat the stock market. Neil or anyone else, Is there any of these suggestions you would do FIRST if you only had limited time

    • Bill,

      What I would do first is do everything you can all websites you own, manage, maintain to SEO optimize to the best of your ability. Before you do that even make sure you have great analytics installed and running to get a baseline. I recommend Google Analytics, KISSmetrics, and Clicky.

      What I would do second is subscribe to these two blogs:

      SEOmoz Blog
      SEO Boy

      Check out the SEOmoz Tools and consider signing up for their Pro account.

      Best wishes.

      • Great ideas, especially teh KISSmetrics part ;). I agree with those blogs, they are great sources.

      • @Mark, thanks for answering this question. I read through all the posts waiting for some one to answer a question similar to “What to do first?”

        I have been doing a lot to build links, but the site keeps getting bumped around on the first page. I see that a lot of people like SEOmoz. I’ve been to their site, but wasn’t sure if subscribing would be worth it.

        @Neil, thanks for having a blog that will email responses back to people. I never remember to go back to a blog to see if some one answered the question I asked.

    • Thanks Bill, looking forward to more of your comments. If you need any help with SEO, let me know.

  53. Vivek Krishnan :

    Some really powerful SEO tools out there. Not only for the first time SEOs becuase I am sure, professionals could also learn something new from the mentioned resources.

  54. purchase structured settlelments :

    Wow what an extensive list. Talk about one he11 of a resource! It can be a bit overwhelming but if you go through I am anyone can find what they need.

  55. i’m impressed now completely ……………………Neil you rock.
    but if i want to learn most advance level of SEO where to get guide plz help.

  56. Wow!! I mean … wow!! “When you wish upon a star …”

    But there’s just one more thing I wish I could wish for: a simple down-and-dirty cheat sheet. No, not “do these five things and rocket to the top of Google!” But seriously, I could spend the next three months reading through all of this and trying most of the tools and suggestions – but that’s not what I went into business to do.

    And right now I’m really the only game in town. Yes, competition is coming, and probably sooner than I anticipate, and I will need the tools to outgun ’em and stay on top. But I’ve also got to have a good product for my customeers. And if I’m spending all my time learning to be a webmater and SEO ninja, who’s minding my store?

    So what’s for the little one-horse-show? It seems getting into business and putting up a web site is something no one should do without a degree in all-things-web or at least the money to hire a guru. But that can’t be totally true.

    I’m willing to learn. But is there a place that serves up bite-size chunks for the CEO/stock boy/janitor that just wants to improve his web presence whilst juggling everything else?


  57. Ohh wow, what an extensive list. I guess just about any question you would have you could find it at one of these sites. Thanks for putting it all together.

  58. Muhammed Awais :

    Thanks Neil for putting such an extensive work for all of us, One thing i am always thinking of and could not understand is that most of SEO experts always recommend for Quality content (i too agree to the same) however i have seen sites or blogs with very good rating but having a low grade stuff. How can you explain that? (sorry for being that detailed in comments section)

  59. Hi There,

    Just stumbled upon this site lookks like a really good set of resources and defnitely wish it was around when I had started looking for blogs early on!

    I’m not sure how often you update this but you left off a few that I think are great for Search Engine News and Updates (much like SEwatch, SEJ and SEL):
    Econsultancy ( and State of Search ( are both great for this!

    Thanks for the list though!

  60. centrophenoxine :

    I know few important things about seo you can also use Google seo guide which are also useful for SEO beginner, And your all tips are also appreciable , Even i get bookmark this page

  61. Before few month, I started learning SEO. I noticed important factor that is we have to update our knowledge in SEO in order to sustain in this Industry.

  62. These are Excellent Resources Neil. I always started learning seo from many years. I can get good results, but main thing, i worry about, is whether i can do sales or not.

  63. Wonderful post Neil..We have recently launched an SEO Tool which improve your SEO keyword rankings to reach to the top positions in search engines using our SEO software.

  64. Hi Neil

    Another wealth of information. Something I also need to build upon. I currently have a SEO company working for my Blog, trying to rank me on the first page of google. Will, thats what they said they would do at no cost to me. Haven’t paid them a cent yet.

    Will see how things develop.

  65. Naser @ Best Tips For Blogging :

    Excellent post Neil, All SEO related websites in one place, its All in one SEO. Bookmarking this page is really a great idea

  66. College textbooks :

    This has been really useful to my step dad its funny how the conversations now go to seo instead of well not much at all.

  67. Thanks for this usefull article. I bookmarked this one.

  68. That is the best list ever…

  69. I know there are a lot of resources on SEO, but most of them are junk. I have been doing SEO for over 9 years now and I learned most of it from reading and practicing it. If you want to learn SEO, and actually get good at it, read and use the following resources:


    The world of SEO is constantly changing because search engines constantly change their algorithms. These sites offer news, information, and tips about SEO.

    • Thanks for the insight. I appreciate your advice, It definitely seems like you have picked up a lot over the years. I do believe that the best way to get good at anything is to study all you can read, that’s what I do.

  70. Great article, which has saved me a lot of time trying to find good information on search engine optimisation.

  71. Very useful page to bookmark. Thanks.

  72. Henry @ :

    Neil, I started reading your blog days ago and I’m getting glued already. This is a great list that is very resourceful. what I admire most is your style of writing and sincerity. Keep it up

  73. I won’t mind taking my time into these different sites you shared Neil. Will find out what’s in there. Thank you, you’re great Neil.

    • Thanks Elna,

      Definitely take your time looking into these different sites. There is a lot of great info to gather from them.

  74. Planning to join some of these SEO conferences. Really hoping. Thanks for the lists again Neil.

  75. shapes for kids :

    Incredible well detailed list for learning all about SEO. I just wanted to add to your list a website that i have been using lately to check some common and simple to solve SEO error. It is very good for beginners πŸ™‚

  76. Susan Furness :

    Fantastic list, Neil! This has to be the most comprehensive and useful resource there is for beginners, and best of all it’s not been flooded or ordered by affiliate links like many SEO blogs are (i.e. the others are biased). Thanks, Susan.

  77. Nice post. Its really nice informative for beginners . All in One SEO Resources. Keep it up. πŸ™‚

  78. Online Mastering :

    the matt cutts blog a certainly a good one to keep watch of. but in the forum part of this list, what about warriorforum?

  79. Marija KrstiÄ‑ :

    Of all these seo tools I have used just seo moz tools, and it’s ok, but you have only a month to use a free version. A while ago I accidentally discovered a free seo tool that is excellent for beginers like I am.

  80. hey neil,
    excellent information you have shared. one must read this for better understanding. it was good to read.



  81. Jessica Kollen :

    IÒ€ℒve been a little bit disturbed to see one of my websites on the 2nd page of Google, yet silently wondered how it would get hits. So, I check out the data center link that you provided and find my site on the first page in a few different situations depending on the IP. How does all of this work?

  82. Got to love search engine land! Nice post

  83. A very nice compendium with 53 worthful links. Thank you, Neil!

  84. Hi Neil,

    This is a helpful article for me, I really appreciate you efforts πŸ™‚

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  91. Yasmine Liborio :

    Thanks for sharing this information. My question is, What standards have Google set for marking a site as good or bad. Can you tell something about that?

    • Yasmine, there are a number of factors that go into play. One being context and the quality of content.

  92. navdeep kumar :

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  93. Aodhan: Waste management :

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