It’s quite possible that author Jon Rognerud mistitled the second edition to his online marketing book when he named it Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization. A better title might have been An Excellent Guide to both Search Engine Optimization and Online Marketing in General.
As a primer for online marketing, there are few books that have both the breadth and the scope of Rognerund’s latest edition; this makes sense because Rognerud is both the SEO Columnist for Entrepreneur magazine and the founder of the well-respected internet marketing firm, ChaosMap. The only problem, however, arises when the book tries to be all things to all people.
Rather than focus explicitly on SEO alone, the author delves into related items such as market analysis and website platforms—both of which are certainly important to online marketing but not necessarily on-point with readers looking to hone in on just search engine optimization. The argument would no doubt be that it’s vital to understand these elements to have an effective campaign, but for those individuals that have already built a business or already have a strong marketing background, these diversions only detract from the message.
Still, the extent of Rognerud’s knowledge is evident in his well-thought-out and researched book. Moreover, he also manages to exude an earnestness regarding the reader’s success, as if he’s rooting for you to follow his direction and succeed. Consider the sentence he inserts after a discussion on keyword density: “Because this is a sore topic for many, send me a note at email@example.com.”
Whether or not he’ll actually answer is beyond the point, the sense that he wants you to write him seems genuine. Couple that earnestness with Rognerud’s considerable knowledge and you have a compelling book on an admittedly dry but important subject matter.
In the end, the only real complaint is that the author puts too much into his book, perhaps to live up to the Ultimate in its title. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you treat this as either solid grounding in all-things-online marketing related or as a refresher course on the subject. For those individuals, there are few books that are better suited for the task than Jon Rognerud’s book.
As for those that already have a strong background in the subject, those readers could still benefit from Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization as a reference book updated with the latest online tools and information.
It may not be the Ultimate book on SEO, but it comes awfully close.