I was blown away when Kevin Lee agreed to write the foreword to my book, SEO Like I’m 5: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Search kevin lee sempoEngine Optimization, I recently published on Amazon. Kevin has been one the search marketing industry leaders since the beginning of Google and authored several books. It was a great honor for me.

I wanted to publish Kevin’s foreword on my blog so that his message could reach more people. Kevin accurately demystified the changes that have shaped the new SEO landscape, which presents goldmine opportunities for businesses and Internet entrepreneurs who decide to do marketing like it’s 2014.

Kevin Lee (@Kevin_Lee_QED) is the author of The Eyes Have It: How to Market in an Age of Divergent Consumers, Media Chaos, and Advertising Anarchy, CEO and Exec. Chairman at Didit, Advisory Board at eMarketing Association, Founding Board Member of SEMPO.

Foreword to SEO Like I’m 5 by Kevin Lee

I’ve been working in Search Marketing for almost 20 years now (my firm, Didit.com, launched in 1996). When I look back over the many developments that have affected the search ecosystem over the years, there’s never been more of a need for clear, accurate, actionable information about SEO. Why?

Because in search, things change all the time

Search engines used to employ very simple formulas to determine the merit of a given Web page or site. Today they use hundreds of factors, and their algorithms are continually being tweaked – even on a daily basis.

Because when things change, they become complex

Once upon a time, marketers could perform a few optimization actions, relax, and see the traffic (and orders) roll in. Today, marketers need to master multiple online marketing methods, deploy them instantly, and continually revise them to stay competitive.

Because when things become complex, confusion is in far greater supply than clarity

Search engines are much less willing to disclose the details of their operations than they were several years ago. A lot of information that was once provided freely to 3rd parties is drying up. Details about major algorithmic updates (for example Google’s Hummingbird) aren’t published at all. When the supply of objective data is scarce, conjecture (and sometimes paranoia) quickly fills the knowledge vacuum, fueled by consultants seeking to profit from this confusion.

What’s missing is clarity – and a clear way forward.

clarityphoto credit: Matthew Fang via photopin cc

Which brings me to ‘SEO Like I’m 5.’ Matt Capala wrote this book for people – regular people like you and me – not doctoral research fellows studying Semiotics, Semantics, or Information Theory. While it addresses the important mechanics of how search engines work, how they understand Web content, and the optimization tasks required for better visibility, its main focus is empowering you – using an accessible workshop style – with the tools you’ll need to build real influence on the Internet.
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SEO Like I’m 5‘ is also timely. It takes account of Google’s latest algorithm updates, including Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird (if you’ve never heard of these weirdly-named algorithms, Matt will set you straight) and tells you how they should influence your Web content strategy. And while the book quite properly focuses on the nuts and bolts of SEO you’ll need to get ahead, it doesn’t treat this discipline in isolation. Matt reaches out to experts from SEO, social media, blogging, PR, and monetization communities to understand SEO in its proper context.

Finally – and it’s one of my favorite things about ‘SEO Like I’m 5’ – Matt accomplishes something that is very difficult for any writer to do: to take a complex, jargon-laden subject and communicate its essence in a way that any thinking person will understand and act upon. Because SEO – like any marketing methodology – is really just a means to an end, the end being the achievement of your business, personal, and professional goals.

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If you follow the teachings in this book, I have no doubt that your path to these goals will be measurably advanced.

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