Building Findable Websites: Web Standards, SEO, and Beyond by Aaron Walter is the best web development book I've read in a long time. It is densely packed with actionable advice for improving the "findability" of your site, and in so doing, improve the usability, readability, speed, and manageability of your site. Findability is a broader concept than simply SEO. It is helping people find your site, helping people navigate your site and retrieve the information/action they want from it, and encouraging people to return to your site.
Walter covers a wide range of areas you can work on to improve the findability of your site, from the importance of quality content with strategically placed keywords, using semantic markup with clear hierarchies, server-side strategies such as friendly urls, rss and email subscriptions, etc.
I heartily recommend this book to not just web designers and developers, but also website owners and managers and web content writers.
I'm a graphic designer with a background primarily in print design.
This is one of the first books on SEO I've read, so its hard to compare to others. But I found the book to be very readable, informative and packed full of useful tips that I will be able to apply to my next web project.
It's well-written and well-edited. Obviously, a great deal of thought went into decided what to include and (just as importantly) what to exclude. And though the subject is technical, the language never went over my head.
But what impressed me most about this book was the design. It's rare to find a technical intruction book that puts so much thought into the layout, the information hierarchy, the typography and the other design tools that help the reader navigate through the page, find the information they need, and better understand how one piece of text fits into the larger context.
Great book though is not real linear, more like lots of great ideas to make your website "more findable." Would like a book though that takes you on the initial web design process through going public with it, in order. On whether the book is worth the price? Of course it is, you only need one great tip to add more traffic to your website so it easily justifies the book expense.
I got this book because I'm a web developer by trade, working on the back-end (mostly PHP) and a lot of front-end. This book helped illuminate a lot about the "black art" that is SEO. It dispelled some myths, confirmed some thoughts of mine and all in all was a good book, especially if you're techincal.
That's the "building" part of the title. The author also covers basic and advanced SEO strategies that don't require knowledge of any kind of programming language. That's the "SEO" part of the title. The last bit is the "beyond" and covers a lot about driving and maintaining traffic to your site. I didn't pick up this book for that reason, but I read most of these sections anyway and I'm glad I did because I learned a lot more than I thought I would.
If you're a developer of any kind working on web sites, or are a project manager dealing with clients, this book will help you sound smart and have some ammo to back it up. I'm already under water with a project that is implementing a ton of these tips - I'm curious to see how much the traffic increases.
The big buzz phrase for the past few years has been Search Engine Optimization(SEO). Companies are paying other companies millions of dollars to get, and keep their websites in the front of different keyword searches on the larger search engine sites. Is it worth it? In most cases... probably not. Anyone thinking about paying money to have someone make their site "SEO" friendly should read Building Findable Websites.
Is your website still wrangling a table based layout with messy unreadable code? Before spending thousands on SEO enhancements, read this book. See what the buzz of Web Standards is about(if you have not already) and go from there; you will not be disappointed.
I first downloaded the 5 bonus chapters ([...]) and was hooked on Aarron Walter's clear writing, code, links and organization of his chapters. Since I picked it up, I haven't put it down. It has clarified previously mystifying concepts such as mod_rewrite, 301 redirects, 404 pages, and microformats -- and I'm only on page 80. For anyone interested in improving their current site or creating a new one from scratch, you MUST get this book. If you want people to find your site (finability), use web standards the correct way, and get SEO under your belt, I highly recommend this book. Taylor / [...]
As far as text books go this was quick to get through and easy to digest. There are plenty of practical tips that can be added to any website instantly as well as a good amount of solid general information.
As with most books on the internet some parts are slowly creeping out of date. The good far outweighs the bad so for the money it's a good buy.