Learning SEO Online, the Best Places to Get Started

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I always have to chuckle when people ask me what university or school I went to learn SEO. As far as I’m aware, there are still no accredited courses available for learning SEO anywhere. The web itself however is a great place to start, and even though you won’t end up with an official degree in SEO, the hands-on experience you get is priceless, especially when you’re able to deliver results for your company.

Learning SEO online

Some of my favorite places to sharpen SEO skills can be found below:


The SEO geniuses at Distilled started the Distilled U program about six months ago and it has become the go-to tool for every new SEO that we hire at the moment. The online training modules currently span nearly 50 hours and they cover everything from Search Engine basics to On-page optimization to Keyword Research and Link Analysis. All this is just in the 101 section – once you’re finished soaking up all that knowledge, the next level up is “Further SEO” which extensively covers advanced topics such as Linkbait, Content Strategies and Structured Data.


No list would be complete without the essential Beginners Guide to SEO which SEOmoz has been managing and updating for several years now. The guide is only one part of the vast amount of “know-how”that can be found in the Q&A section and the blogs, both the SEOmoz and the Youmoz edition. And, be sure to tune in to the famous Whiteboard Friday sessions when you can.


A relatively new kid on the block, created by an old-school SEO legend, Aaron Wall. The SEOTools.net site aims to provide industry insights and introduction overviews of SEO related topics. Aaron of course also runs one of the most respected SEO communities and and SEO training courses online. This isn’t a free option, but I have been told it’s one of the best ways to spend money if you want to learn how to make money. Also make sure you check out the free toolset that he’s made available for free.

Link Building Course by PointblankSEO

Jon Cooper, an up and comer in the SEO industry, loves building links. Jon’s thrown all his experience into this well presented link building course. I signed up about a month ago and it is hands down one of the most comprehensive courses when it comes to link building, which should be an integral part of any SEO campaign. If you don’t believe me, just have a look at the names that are recommending the course on his signup page.

Inbound Marketing University

Hubspot is a fantastic platform but they also a very rich source of SEO information. The whitepapers, casestudies and ebooks which they put up for free are full of valuable and actionable advice. You can even become a certified inbound marketer if you run through the program which they maintain.

A special mention goes to the LinkMoses  private newsletter by Eric Ward, which is always filled with pearls of link building wisdom and link opportunities. Another subscription I highly recommend comes from Michael Martinez’s Premium Newsletter. He covers a lot of ground with every edition, ranging from technical SEO advice to SEO experiments and insights.

As useful as these resources will prove, at the end of the day it still comes down to getting your hands dirty. Make sure that you won’t turn into a “good on paper” SEO, but that you hone your skills with real world experience.

Finally, I’d love to hear from you guys where you’ve picked up your SEO skills. Share the knowledge and leave a comment.

Photo credit: SEO in the cloud – courtesy © mipan – Fotolia.com

Bob Jones

Bob Jones

Director at Visible
A professional Search Engine Consultant from Perth, Australia, Bob Jones likes to surf (the web) when he's not busy winning COD on his 360. During... Read Full Bio
Bob Jones
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  • Mihaela Lica Butler

    And naturally, SEJ. 🙂

  • Sam

    Absolutely, They are helping a huge number of people to learn seo and social media with latest updates, tools and many more. I’m still learning about improving online marketing following their foot steps.

  • Studiumcirclus

    Is it really possible that no one mentioned the SEO Training Dojo!?


    It’s entirely geared towards learning SEO and there are some great minds in that little community.

  • Scott McKirahan

    Although I follow SEJ and many of the places listed above, I got my initial training from the guys at storecoach.com. It’s free and is really an ecommerce training course. They have a very comprehensive section on SEO and are constantly updating things as the algos change.

  • Joe

    Hi Bob – I’m really beginning to wonder if SEO is just a Trojan Horse to mine your data?


  • mohit

    SEOMOZ is the best place according to me,if you seriously want to learn SEO.

  • Igor Mateski

    id also throw in marketing sherpa, a meclabs site. they arent specific toseo but have invaluable stuff on social and conversion optimizarion

  • Rohit

    a most important thing for every blogger to is learn seo and given list help me lot..i and among all seomoz whitefriday is best..

  • chris

    What about market motive? They’ve got alot of other courses besides SEO

  • Richard

    I first started with SEOMoz and then looked at other alternative sources to enhance my knowledge.

  • Alessandro Giagnoli

    I can also report GtForum http://www.giorgiotave.it/forum/ in Italy? 🙂

  • Agus Demak

    Hi BOB, I use WebCEO formerly, and now use SeoPowerSuite. I don’t know SEO strategy, I just use a tool. It’s effective?

    • Bob Jones

      A tool is just that, a tool. If you don’t use it properly, you might be wasting a lot of time. At the end of the day that tool is to help you get the best out of your strategy and not the other way around.

  • Damien Town

    Great article – there would definitely be merit in having a degree in SEO. The irony is that every time a text book would be published or has been published its shelf life is really about 6 months from print!

  • TheOpenion

    Hi Bob ,

    Nice article , and yes SEJ is also a grate website to learn seo and for the updates new from the seo front. would like to add searchenginewatch.com and searchengineland.com also . One can find lot’s of seo stuff their also.

  • Mike C. Smith (@Mikesdesk)

    Will the learning ever stop, will their ever be enough hours in the day to learn it all, and still be able to get the rest of the work done. It’s an ever changing world out there and trying to keep up with it is hard going. Well I guess will just have to get up earlier and put in more time.

  • denny

    Online is certainly the best place to learn SEO, at the same time practical implementation is more important to learn things faster. For beginners learning offsite activities then going for onsite will certainly work out.

  • Chandler Bryson

    hey Bob, learning SEO Online is the great way to enhance knowledge about SEO. To learn SEO we need to get updated every day and learning it online makes it easy. There are various platforms to learn SEO as you mentioned in this post but I think DistilledU and SEOMoz is the best place to learn SEO online, explanations about various small terms of SEO are there, thus anyone can understand the concept quickly.

  • Cmooki

    I’ll second http://seotrainingdojo.com/ – only been a member for about two weeks & learned loads already…mainly via their chat room. Also loads of article & video resources whatever your level. Bargain.

  • J S Tucker

    Both DistilledU and SEOMoz are excellent resources. Personally, we’ve found that SEOMoz is more newbie-friendly and, like yourselves, we have used DistilledU to train some new starters.


    helpful information, I’ve a question though. What do you consider black hat SEO?

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