Editor’s note: This is a chapter from Search Engine Journal’s guide, SEO 101: Learn the Basics of Search Engine Optimization.
If you want to learn about search engine optimization (SEO), you’re going to have to read.
You’ve got a lot to learn.
In fact, the best and most successful SEO professionals are those who stay up to date with all the latest developments.
You must be a student of the game, constantly learning and educating yourself.
After all, in the fast-moving world of SEO the only constant is change.
While there is no shortage of resources where you can find advice about SEO online, some blogs and publications offer more trustworthy and reliable advice than others.
Unfortunately, the web makes it easy for anyone to create a blog and claim to be an SEO expert.
That’s why, as you read any SEO tips or advice online, you should always remember this:
Don’t trust everything you read.
In fact, that’s why we’ve compiled this list of places where you can learn SEO. We want to make sure you don’t listen to any bad advice that will hurt your SEO efforts.
While these SEO blogs and publications are usually pretty reliable and accurate, again, it’s important to think about and test any strategies, tactics, or ideas you read about.
Every brand, business, and website is unique – there is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution.
Here are the 25 best blogs and resources to learn about SEO in 2018.
1. Google Webmaster Central Blog
Get news straight from Google at the Webmaster Central Blog. Google shares updates about crawling, indexing, and ranking on this blog.
In addition, you’ll discover when new features are coming to the organic search results; get helpful reminders on topics like hacking and following Google’s Webmaster Guidelines; and learn about the latest updates to popular tools like the Search Console.
Some popular posts from the Google Webmaster Central Blog:
- Using page speed in mobile search ranking
- Introducing the new Search Console
- Launching SEO Audit category in Lighthouse Chrome extension
2. Search Engine Journal
Founded in 2003 by Loren Baker, Search Engine Journal – the site you’re on right now – provides industry news, analysis, insights, and guides for search marketers. Our core editorial focus is all things SEO, PPC, social media, and content marketing
Every day, you’ll find a steady stream of stories featuring tips and advice from SEJ staff, as well as a variety of respected and experienced voices from the search community. We also run regular webinars on today’s hottest topics and talk to the top industry authorities, experts, and influencers on our Search Engine Nerds podcast.
In addition, SEJ also hosts SEJ Summit, an intensive one-day conference filled with quality education and networking.
Some popular posts from Search Engine Journal:
- 47 Experts on the Top SEO Trends That Will Matter in 2018
- Google Releases A Website Builder for Small Businesses
- 29 Experts on the Most Important 2018 Social Media Trends
3. Search Engine Land
Launched in 2007 by Danny Sullivan (one of the most influential people in the history of the search industry) after he left Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Land provides daily breaking news and coverage of all aspects of the search industry.
In addition to having an experienced editorial team, SEL features a variety of industry experts who share tips, tactics, and strategies, mainly on the topics of SEO and PPC. SEL’s parent company, Third Door Media, also runs a popular conference series, SMX.
Some popular posts from Search Engine Land:
- Google officially increases length of snippets in search results
- Google has dropped Google Instant Search
- 5 successful B2B AdWords best practices for any company
4. Search Engine Roundtable
Barry Schwartz created Search Engine Roundtable in 2004 as his personal notebook about the SEO industry. This site is all Barry, all day, as he provides brief daily updates and opinions on the latest industry news, events, and forum and social media discussions.
Some popular posts from Search Engine Roundtable:
- Google Fred Update Targets Ad Heavy, Low Value Content Sites
- Hallelujah! Google Search Console Adds A Years Worth Of Data On Beta
- Google Extends Search Results Snippets To Max 320 Characters
5. The SEM Post
Respected industry veteran Jennifer Slegg is editor of The SEM Post, which she founded in June 2014. In addition to providing daily news updates on the latest in SEO, Slegg regularly spots many features Google and Bing are testing and often takes a deep and comprehensive dive into major algorithm updates and changes to Google’s quality rater guidelines.
Some popular posts from The SEM Post:
- Google Drops Regular Organic Result For Pages Shown as Featured Snippet
- How Hackers are Hiding Content & Links via PNG Files
- Google Tackles Fake News, Inaccurate Content & Hate Sites in Rater Guidelines Update
6. Stone Temple Digital Marketing Excellence Blog
The Digital Marketing Excellence Blog is from Stone Temple Consulting, a digital marketing agency founded in 1997 by CEO Eric Enge, one of the most respected people in the search industry. You can expect a new post or two every week from this blog.
You can read about SEO, content marketing, analytics, and social media. In addition to conducting original research, Stone Temple also produces a popular video series called “Here’s Why” featuring Enge and Mark Traphagen, Stone Temple’s senior director of brand evangelism.
Some popular posts from the Digital Marketing Excellence Blog:
- How YouTube Videos Rank in Google
- The Complete Guide to Hreflang
- Semantic Search and SEO: Everything You Need to Know
7. GSQi Blog
Glenn Gabe, president of digital consulting service G-Squared Interactive, writes the GSQi blog. You’ll find posts on digital marketing strategy, PPC and social media advertising, and analytics.
However, Gabe mainly writes on advanced technical SEO topics. He also is constantly watching Google’s algorithm for updates and fluctuations. Whenever a major algorithm update happens, you’ll want to check out Gabe’s analysis.
Some popular posts from the GSQi Blog:
- Should You Remove Low-Quality Or Thin Content Versus Improving It? Seeing The Forest Through The Trees
- Enter The Hornets’ Nest – Exploring The Wild Google Algorithm Updates and Volatility In The Fall of 2017
- From Inbound Links To The Rater Guidelines To AdSense, 7 Important Facts About Google Algorithm Updates As Told By Googlers
8. The Moz Blog
The Moz Blog, published by popular SEO software provider Moz, features tips and advice on the topics of SEO, social media, and content. Typically, you can expect to find four to five posts a week here.
One of their most popular features is Whiteboard Friday, where an expert (usually Moz co-founder Rand Fishkin) will break down a large topic via a whiteboard.
Some popular posts from the Moz Blog:
- How to Rank in 2018: The SEO Checklist – Whiteboard Friday
- What Do Google’s New, Longer Snippets Mean for SEO? – Whiteboard Friday
- Launching a New Website: Your SEO Checklist – Whiteboard Friday
9. SEO Theory
Michael Martinez, president and co-founder of Reflective Dynamics, started SEO Theory in 2006. Here, you’ll find lots of great posts that all aim to explain how SEO and search works. Fair warning: the stuff you’ll read here isn’t aimed at beginners.
Some popular posts from the SEO Theory:
10. Understanding Google My Business & Local Search / LocalU
This has been the go-to place for local businesses since 2006. It’s all local, all the time. Mike Blumenthal’s blog will keep you up to date on all the latest developments in local search.
For even more of Blumenthal, check out his weekly video recaps at Local University.
Some popular posts from Understanding Google My Business & Local Search:
- Google MyBusiness Website Builder Released Worldwide
- Google My Business Now Officially Supports Video
- Google Posts Rolling Out Worldwide
11. State of Digital
Founded in 2010 by Bas van den Beld, State of Digital offers articles on SEO and more digital marketing topics (social, content, etc.). Although this site is more geared toward a European audience, you’ll find lots of great insights here. Plus, the concept of State of Digital is pretty brilliant.
Some popular posts from State of Digital:
- Automating Google Analytics reporting via Google sheets
- Is Google AMP Worth It? Three Real-World Case Studies
12. Search Engine Watch
Launched in 1997 (also by Danny Sullivan), Search Engine Watch is the longest-running publication dedicated to the search industry. Lately, SEW has been publishing about one post a day, mostly on the topics of SEO, social media, and content marketing.
Some popular posts from Search Engine Watch:
- Five quick tips to boost your SEO in 2017
- 10 SEO tips to get your website to the top of Google search
- The social media marketing checklist your business needs in 2017
Portent is a Seattle-based digital marketing agency run by Ian Lurie (one of my personal favorite writers in SEO). On the Portent blog, you’ll find tips, guides, and some unique takes on all things SEO and digital marketing.
- Don’t Panic: Google Site Search Replacements
- 20 Bits of Marketing Jargon, And What They Mean
- Dark Social – The Marketer’s Guide
14. SEMrush Blog
The SEMrush blog comes from the maker of the popular keyword and competitive research tool. Covering SEO, PPC, and content marketing, you’ll find a new article post here every day from members of the SEMrush team and industry experts.
Some popular posts from the SEMrush blog:
- HTTP vs HTTPS: How Security Affects Your SEO
- How Leading e-Commerce Companies Drive Traffic to Their Websites
- Here’s How We Get Featured in the LA Times (and Other Top Tier Publications)
15. Go Fish Digital Blog
You’ll find Bill Slawski (of SEO by the Sea fame) writing here, often about patents, as well as other members of the Go Fish Digital team about once a week on various search and digital marketing topics.
Some popular posts from the Go Fish Digital blog:
- The 5 Best SEO Tools Of 2017
- Click a Panda: High Quality Search Results based on Repeat Clicks and Visit Duration
- Better Organic Search Results at Google Involving Geographic Location Queries
16. Beanstalk Internet Marketing Blog
If you don’t have a lot of time to read the hundreds of posts being published every week on SEO, PPC, and social media, the Beanstalk Internet Marketing blog has you covered. Beanstalk CEO Dave Davies puts together a pretty excellent weekly news recap, This Week in Search & SEO, which rounds up the biggest news and opinions stories of the week from a variety of websites.
17. Yoast SEO Blog
Yoast, founded by Joost de Valk, is best known for its popular (and free) Yoast SEO for WordPress plugin, but they also have a blog that mainly focuses on WordPress SEO, technical SEO, and content. Usually, Yoast publishes two to three posts a week.
Some popular posts from the Yoast SEO blog:
- SEO for a new website: the very first things to do
- What is cornerstone content?
- How to reduce HTTP requests to speed up your WordPress site
This blog comes from online marketing agency Distilled, founded by Will Critchlow. Once or twice a week you’ll find a post from a Distilled team member about SEO, mobile, social, CRO, and other digital marketing topics.
Some popular posts from the Distilled blog:
- Hey E-commerce Managers, Amazon Loses Their 1-Click Patent This Year
- What Executives Need to Know About Google’s Mobile-First Index
WebmasterWorld is one of the longest-running and most trusted forums among SEO professionals and webmasters. You’ll find up to the minute discussion and debate on the latest news as well as questions from webmasters trying to solve problems and improve their SEO.
Other forums worth checking out:
Brian Dean is the founder of Backlinko. Typically, you’ll find one or two new or updated posts per month on the blog, usually featuring actionable tactics and data-backed case studies.
Some popular posts from Backlinko:
- We Analyzed 1.3 Million YouTube Videos. Here’s What We Learned About YouTube SEO
- How to Get 260.7% More Organic Traffic In 14 Days (New Strategy + Case Study)
- Video SEO: The Definitive Guide
This blog from UK-based digital marketing agency Branded3 features insights on SEO, PPC, content marketing, digital PR, and CRO. On average, Branded3 publishes about three posts per week.
Some popular posts from the Branded3 blog:
- How 4 PPC ads at the top affected organic CTR on mobile devices
- Inventory as an SEO ranking factor
- Google doesn’t crawl links in Scalable Vector Graphics
BrightEdge, based out of San Mateo, California, makes a popular SEO and content platform. On their blog, you’ll find posts on SEO, content, and commentary on the latest developments in digital marketing.
Some posts from the BrightEdge blog:
- Best Marketing Books 2017: Titles Every Marketer Should Read
- SEO Best Practices 2017: Seizing Opportunities
23. SEO by the Sea
If you love reading about patents, then you’ll love SEO by the Sea. Created by Bill Slawski, he tracks and interprets all the latest patents from Google so you can learn the potential implications for SEO.
Although Slawski is only publishing a couple times a month right now, when he does, it’s almost always a must-read. Plus there’s a treasure trove of information from past years on SEO by the Sea that will help you understand search engines and SEO today.
Some popular posts from SEO by the Sea:
- 2016 Important SEO Patents from Google
- How Google May Rank Websites Based Upon Their Databases Answering Queries
Will Google Start Giving People Social Media Influencer Scores?
24. Blind Five Year Old
Blind Five Year Old is a blog from A.J. Kohn. Posts are usually few and far between, but when Kohn publishes something, you can be sure it will be high-quality and worth your time.
Some popular posts from Blind Five Year Old:
- Ignoring Link Spam Isn’t Working
- The Future of Mobile Search
- Analyzing Position in Google Search Console
25. Search News Central
SNC is run by Doc Sheldon. You can expect to find about five news posts per month, with a focus on topics including usability, analytics, and technical SEO.
Here are some posts from SNC:
- Tracking Offline Events Using Google Analytics & the Measurement Protocol
- The Evolution of Question-Answering Accuracy at Google
- SEO, Documents and Search Engines
Featured Image Credit: Paulo Bobita