Review: SEOmoz Advanced SEO Training DVD

One of the leading experts in search engine marketing offers another interesting piece for you. Recently, we have reviewed their two-disc video labeled Basics. That was a good starter for their next release. SEOmoz Advanced SEO Training Series DVD is hidden in four discs, asking for almost 12 hours of your time. Eight gentlemen and three ladies will guide you in sixteen different chapters through the world of expert SEO.


Panel discussion linking out strategies

This time there are no introductions, we go straight to the action. I have to say most of the speakers are experienced and know how to tell the message to the audience. Especially Rand and Stephan grab your attention immediately. Unfortunately, two or three speakers will remind you boring hours spent with old professors on college (especially Duncan Morris), some others (Danny Sullivan) are trying to act like on TV show so much that it's on the edge of being annoying.

It's similar with the topics. Everybody is looking for different information. What is without interest to me, might be exciting for you, however, some of the presentations go deeper and some end up just skimming the surface. For me the clear, deep and lucid presentations were about about site architecture, site review process or social networks. The opposite side is represented for example by the legal issues chapter. If it wasn't so brief, it would be very interesting. Unfortunately, the whole message of chapter can be summarized in "Be careful with legal issues, search for more information". Finally, some parts could be cut short (who of the experts needs Yahoo site explorer explained click by click? Can't we read what's on the buttons?).

While the sounds perfect and there are no microphone problems as in the previous DVD, I have to be very critical to the graphical presentation again. This time there are not so many graphs and charts to be displayed, on the other hand, lecturers do a lot of live examples. And that's a big problem – you can hear "look here…when you click there…look at the links…" but all you see is just a speaker pointing somewhere on the wall out of the picture, it's annoying, especially in chapter 6 and 14.

This DVD takes you backstage into the work of top Search engine marketers. If you ever want to be among the best in this business, you will have to do the same what can be seen in these 16 chapters. You can't expect becoming a professional in site architecture after watching 40 minutes of presentation, but you will have the picture what you must learn.

While the Basics DVD is more suitable for "home" optimizers, this pack is more valuable for SEO professionals, who are optimizing various sites for number of clients. It's a good product to have it in company's library and using it as a information crossroad in time when you are hiring tutoring colleagues or widening the field of your SEO activities. Just to be fair – there is nothing you can't find in numerous e-books, newsletters or SEO forums. It's just all packed in one place, chopped off (almost) all ballast and delivered in a user-friendly way…

To give you a basic picture of what each topics is about, here are short snippets from all 16 chapters:

DVD #1

1. Thinking like a search engineer (Rand Fishkin) The right point to begin is to understand how search engineers do their jobs. Are all search engines the same – what qualities can help you to distinguish the good one?

2. Elite site architecture (Rand Fishkin and Stephan Spencer) Perfect site architecture is the first step in SEO. Some rules are universal, but you should understand if your site is elephant or mice in the world of internet. Proper navigation, submitting sitemaps, ideal number of links – these are the main parts of the strategy for full indexation. One of the key thing to beware is duplicate content, Rand will tell you how to avoid it. Possible use of microsites is discussed with some real life examples (legendary "Why to date an unicorn"). Stephan describes another SEO phenomenon, proper use of nofollow.

Curiously enough, nofollow ended up being one of the great red herrings of SEO. Google encouraged it and then changed the algorithm so that you lose the value of nofollow links anyway and getting no value from them. Nofollow is something to get off your website as quickly as possible. This is the danger of the professional SEO - spending a lot of time chasing one's tail or reading signs in the sky, while ending up doing a good website harm.

3. White hat cloaking (Rand Fishkin) Cloaking means showing one content to human visitor and another one to SE. Wait, this is black hat?! Not always – humans are looking for something and SE spiders for something else. And there is legal way how to help them find what they want. And talking about spiders, Rand will help you to distinguish which of the visitors is real and where the spider hides.

4. Spam detection and false positives (Nick Garner). More guests, more opinions. Nick believes is heavily automatically caught, while Rand considers manual reports a necessity. Significant spam growth in recent years (in 2002 7% of all websites was spammy, in 2008 it was 40% of the whole web!), its detection is crucial for any SE. Engines are checking domains, outlinks, inlinks and evaluate them you can choose in what "vote distribution theory" you believe. Do stand out of the crowd, but be careful, don't look like spammer!


Nick garner explains web spam taxonomy

5. Legal issues (Sarah Bird) Short and brief chapter, dealing with ways how to protect your content and tips how to avoid any painful legal issues…Also IT experts have to know something about law.

DVD #2

6. Site reviews (Rebecca Kelley, Rand Fishkin ) You are revealed the standard site review process run by SEOmoz for their clients step by step - crawlability, indexing, sitemaps, hosting issues, title tags, keywords, design, and link quality. You can see professionals in action!

7. Global search (Will Critchlow and Duncan Morris) Two guests from UK are speaking about issues of global search. The main point is simple – global search is losing its importance…

8. Sitemaps and webmaster tools (Rand Fishkin and Stephan Spencer) Short explanation of webmaster tools and yahoo site explorer is followed with more interesting speech about sitemaps and long tail search traffic.

9. Crawlability (Jeff Pollard) JavaScript or flash can be so nice, but how does it work with SEO efforts? And what about iframes? Long discussion followed, proving this topic interests many professionals…

DVD #3

10. Reputation management (Will Critchlow , Duncan Morris) You can be #1 in SERP, but what's the point when people skip your site because you have terrible reputation? Good points how not to fall down and what to do if you finally manage to slip from the edge.


Will Critchlow talks about how to
normalize URLs into ASCII


11. Social networks (Jane Copland) Facebook, Twitter, Digg…hundreds of social networks, with bigger or smaller importance. First step is simple – grab your name at least! Keep up with latest issues, leave the dead networks and join growing ones, build your reputation and circles, carefully spread your mission.

12. Buying links (Seth Besmertnik) Link buying is soaked with spam, but so tempting. Discussed: how to turn link-buying white, how it can be used for deep linking.

13. Enterprise link building (Rand) Large companies have some special abilities they can use in SEO, especially press releases. However, ROI is hidden in long tails – that's the path you should follow.

DVD #4

14.Vertical search (Stephan Spencer) Vertical search is gaining importance and getting into local results is important, but still quite undiscovered process.

15. The future of search (Danny Sullivan) Danny presents the history and future of search - search 1.0 with on-page optimization, search 2.0 – the time of links and the actual one - search 3.0, the vertical search. Future is represented by search 4.0-personalized (or socialized) search, based knowledge on who you are and what you do. Search marketers-good luck!

16. Expert Q&A. The last chapter was panel discussion with 7 previous speakers. Among many questions, the most interesting one was about the quality of SEO services and future possibility of certified SEO standards.

Most useful and most interesting five chapters: 2, 6, 8, 11, 12

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One Response to Review: SEOmoz Advanced SEO Training DVD

  1. Chotrul

    It was really useful reading your review of the SEOmoz DVD’s – so that I could get a real feel for how useful they might be. It’s usually pretty hard to judge just at what sort of level these things are pitched from the ‘manufacturers blurb’. Many thanks for this.

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