This post is going to get a lot of traffic. It's not necessarily because of the stellar quality of the content, although we assure you it's not half bad. The reason this post is going to get a relatively high number of page views is because of three magic letters in the title: S-E-O.
There's something about search engine optimization that yields a lot of attention, no matter what. Part of the reason is that the phrase attracts spambots and auto-followers like ants to a picnic. But much of the attention comes from actual human beings interested in the topic because they've heard all about how SEO can drive traffic to their site and, in theory, increase revenue for their business.
Despite the plethora of junk and spam surrounding this topic, there are plenty of reputable, high-quality sources of information about how to nail SEO the right way. Here is a handful of some of the most indispensable.
Google Webmaster Central Videos
When you're trying to optimize your site for Google, there is no more reliable source of information as the search behemoth itself. Specifically, the head of Google's Webspam team Matt Cutts takes to YouTube a few times a week to answer users' burning questions about SEO best practices. Do tag clouds affect a blog's PageRank? Will auto-feeding tweets onto a site help or hurt SEO? How can an image-heavy photography site get good rankings? These are all great questions, and are among the multitude that Cutts has already answered on the Webmaster Central Channel on YouTube.
With a resource-laden blog, search marketing guidebooks, discussion forums, SEO job listings and a host of free and paid SEO analysis tools, there could hardly be more of a one-stop shop for SEO information than SEOMoz. The "Tools" section of their site alone contains over 20 resources (half of which are free) for site analysis, keyword research, link analysis, ranking information and more. Under "Guides", you'll find a directory of rather robust handbooks and tip sheets, including a few free ones like The Internet Marketing Handbook and The Beginner's Checklist for Small Business SEO".
We recently touted SEO guru Ian Lurie's Conversation Marketing as a great example of a company blog, and we'd be remiss not to mention it here as well. What makes Conversation Marketing such an excellent resource for Internet marketing know-how in general is a vast repository of thoughtful content and Lurie's own personality, which is marked by an often hilarious disdain for BS. He manages to take what can sometimes be a over-hyped and even sleazy topic and present it to readers honestly and with a sense of humor. The blog has an archive of content going back to 2003 that includes posts on just about any Web marketing and SEO-related topic you can think of.
There are hundreds of quality sites out there that cover SEO comprehensively and respectably (no black hat tricks, folks!). Are there any that you would recommend? Leave them in the comments and we'll consider them for a future post.