SEO Training Courses & SEO Certifications

A Review of the Good SEO Courses

- by Steve Ollington

Disclaimer: I am not getting paid for anything here, there are no affiliate links and no ulterior motive behind anything said in this review. It is completely and genuinely my own opinions having taken the courses in question.

SEO Books & Courses

Introduction…

A few years ago, I made the decision to pursue a course in SEO, subsequently spending a great deal of time researching thoroughly to find out which course was the best available.  In the process of doing this I discovered what many of you probably already know – that there are many, many courses out there which claim to teach SEO… and that the vast majority of them are pathetic!

From over-priced one day workshops that teach only what META tags are, to online courses written by people who only understand the very basics and even manage to get most of that wrong. And of course, let's not forget the blatant scams by organisations that have declared themselves as some kind of governing body for the SEO industry.

In short, I already knew more than any of these courses could teach me.

To save others from the time and hassle it took me to sort through all of the redundant courses to find the useful ones, I decided to do the decent ones and write a review on each. I also knew that just like reading a few different books on the same subject I would still learn at least something from each one, due to the different experiences, knowledge and perspectives of the course authors. A few more courses have come along since I found the first ones, therefore I've waited to do those so that they can be included here.

*NB: These reviews are non-comparative, which means that I will not be comparing the courses directly with each other as they are aimed at different levels and approach from different perspectives. Suffice to say however that all the courses in here are included because they're of standout quality and will offer something useful and usable. So, if you're going to do a course in SEO, choose one of these ones as the others might not be worth your time or money.

Also, as some of the material within the courses is aimed at beginner SEO's I will be trying to review those parts as if I myself was a beginner, the same goes for more advanced course material.

*Additional:  I've come across some people who do not believe in learning SEO through courses, treating it as if it were different from learning any other subject. I think what these individuals were trying to say was that you may have trouble learning the practical side along with the theory… but I see no reason why it should be a problem to do both, learning the theory from courses as well as learning and practicing the practical too. Here is one such comment along with my response:

Argument against and for SEO courses

Review Sections:


Market Motive

Course Description (from website):

Make sure search engines, and your audience, can find your site by learning today’s most effective SEO best practices from recognized authorities, led by respected speaker and consultant Todd Malicoat.

This online course includes…

  • SEO Fundamentals & Best Practices
  • SEO Design & Architecture
  • Keyword Research & Competitive Analysis
  • SEO Copywriting
  • Link-Building
  • Local SEO Optimization
  • SEO for Mobile Devices
  • SEO Project Management

URL: http://www.marketmotive.com/internet-marketing-training-and-certification-master-signup
Authors:
Todd Malicoat is an author and the Faculty Chair, with other instructors including: Avinash Kaushik, Rand Fishkin, Matt Bailey, Jessica Bowman, David Mihm, Cindy Krum and Ted Ulle.
Plaftorm(s): Online Videos
Coursework: Yes
Exams: Yes
Certification: Yes
Price: $3,500
Time: Three Months

MarketMotive Level

Review

The course is faculty led; meaning webinars and live online conferences are included.

Students can opt solely for the practitioner level course at a fraction of the cost which I know would also be great, but I would strongly advise going for the Master course if at all possible. The reason for this is not only for the access gained to the other courses at practitioner level (which is a huge bonus), or the fact that you are able to take part in online meetings with the faculty, but also for the fact that the coursework is only part of the Master course, and is an integral part of the learning process.

One important piece of advice from the onset would be to take notes. Once the subscription period expires, students will no longer have access to the videos, of which the content you'll want to be able to refer back to. It is advisable to play and pause the videos throughout the course, taking as many notes as possible as there is a significant amount of content and remembering it all would be impossible.

As stated, this review is non-comparative as it's only covering courses that are good in the first place, so there is no bad courses in here. I would have to say though that of all the courses this is the one I learnt the most from. This may not be the case for everybody as I had already been working in SEO and had read, watched, learned, etc… about it before-hand. I believe that I was already at a level where I needed the more advanced stuff which is what this course caters for. Beginners may find it overwhelming and too complicated in parts so they'd be wise to get the foundations covered first via another course, I would suggest either Search Engine College, Quirk, SEMPO or MarketMotive's own fundamentals course before moving on to this one.

Positives

  • The fact that with a Master Course you can also gain access to the other MarketMotive courses at practitioner level is a huge plus point. The ability to go through the video lessons on the other courses is invaluable and I learnt a great deal by doing so. The Web Analytics videos by Avinash Kaushik were particularly excellent, as were the Conversion Optimization videos by Bryan Eisenberg.
  • As long as you pass the course, you also get membership to the OMCP (Online Marketing Certified Professionals) organization and directory, as well as gaining OMCP Certification.
  • Todd Malicoat is behind the course so the content is of very high quality. Some of knowledge shared is quite advanced, especially some of the strategies for managing SEO and link acquisition.
  • Specialization areas are covered by industry leaders such as David Mihm for local search, Cindy Krum for mobile search as well as Rand Fiskin, Matt Baily and others for various specialist modules.
  • Coursework helps with putting the theory into practice, which in turn helps cement what is being learned and makes it easier to remember. Feedback was also given for all coursework submitted.
  • The course is now a registered UK training provider, which means that funding is available through a PCDL to do the Master course if you're UK based. There may be a similar system in place for American based learners.

Negatives

  • You can't download the videos. There's so much information and content to take in that it would be nice to have the option of going back and viewing sections again as and when needed. I do understand this though, as it's valuable content that MarketMotive wouldn't want being uploaded and distributed on P2P sites, etc… Not only that but my understanding is that MarketMotive don't want outdated material out there as the videos are constantly updated.
  • The certificates unfortunately do not reflect the course. The course itself could be described as quite prestigious, yet the certificates look quite low quality. *Note: I am informed that MarketMotive are aware of this and it's being looked at.
  • The final exam was a little on the easy side and didn't necessarily reflect the difficulty of the actual course content itself. It would be better if the exam questions reflected the level of the course content by being made somewhat more challenging.

Customer Service/Support

Online Marketing Certified ProfessionalThere are a number of ways to receive support, whether it's for questions on SEO, or issues regarding logging in and the like. Students can email or use the forums provided, depending on which best suits their needs. Of course, questions can always be directed at individual faculty members (specifically Todd) during the live webinars and lessons. Unfortunately, due to the international time differences I was unable to attend these; I can therefore only imagine how much more value a student could get from utilising this along with everything else. In my opinion, being able to pick Todd Malicoat's brains on SEO issues is probably worth the course fee alone!

Conclusion Market Motive SEO Master Certificate

If at beginner level, MarketMotive does offer a course in SEO fundamentals too. A beginner should either do that or one of the other courses in this review before moving on to this… As the title states, it is a Master course and it's not difficult to see why such a title is appropriate. Whilst there is some beginner level content, much of it is far more advanced than in other courses, as is the highly practical involvement as opposed to exclusively theoretical content. This course is more suitable for people who already have good understanding and experience of SEO.

The ability to access the other courses at practitioner level should definitely be taken advantage of, as there is a vast wealth of knowledge in the videos provided for SEO purposes and more.

It's not exactly inexpensive but I learnt a huge amount from this course (and the other practitioner level ones), so in terms of actual value, it's easily worth the cost as an investment in yourself and your future/on-going career.


Course Description (from website):

This Certification series consists of the following 3 courses:

  1. SEO101 +
  2. SEO201 +
  3. Any other SEC Certification course as an elective (Web Copywriting, PPC Starter & Advanced, Web Usability, PPC Copywriting, Article Marketing, Link Building, Keyword Research).
SEO101 SEO201
Introduction to SEO
Search Engine Basics
SEO Requirements Gathering
Keyword Research
Title and META Tag Creation
SEO Copywriting
SEO Integration
Search Engine and Directory Submission
Search Engine Spam
SEO Reporting and Conversion
Overview of SEO
Site Architecture
Text Content
Dynamic Content
Graphics
Flash and Splash Pages
Frames and Tables
Link Popularity
Pay For Performance
Measuring SEO ROI
Starting Your Own SEO Business

URL: http://www.searchenginecollege.com/certified-search-engine-optimizer/
Authors: Kalena Jordan
Plaftorm(s): Web Pages and downloadable PDFs
Coursework: Yes
Exams: Yes
Certification: Yes
Price: $895
Time: About 60 Hours with 12 months to complete (although it won't take that long).

Search Engine College Level

Review

All in all, the course is very well constructed with a wealth of external resources. Unfortunately, at the time I took the course the link building elective was being updated, so I opted for usability instead. Whilst this elective is still good, I nonetheless believe that the link building option would be the more useful for real-world SEO.

There are aspects of an intermediate nature and a small amount of advanced too. However, what this course is especially good for is covering the basics in full, not just brushing over the essentials but going into real detail of everything that is fundamentally important in SEO, particularly the basic principles that never change.

Positives

  • A really nice hardcopy certificate is sent out, along with digital medallions for email signatures and so on.
  • Good value for money – the price is excellent considering the volume of learning material involved.
  • PDFs are downloadable so can be kept to refer back to at a later date.
  • Coursework is well thought-out and ensures that what has been learned is put into practice, thereby cementing it into memory.
  • Coursework is marked and returned with useful feedback.
  • The fact that the author is Kalena Jordan means you know you're in good hands, plus the electives are put together by renowned experts in their fields as well.

Negatives

  • SEO201 contains a fair amount of the same content as SEO101. There is a notification that this would be the case, but I didn't realise the amount would be quite so much.
  • Not as much of the course covers the link building side of things as I would have expected, which is why it would be worth going for this option as the elective… although as it's a course on SEO, and link building makes up such a large factor of SEO, it would be great to see more link building content in the original course material. *Note: Just before putting this live I discovered that Kalena is in fact adding more advanced content, and in various media forms such as video. So this course will cover much more soon after today's date of October 2011… in other words by the time any of you sign up, the course will be even better than it is already, and it’s excellent right now so that’s great news!

Customer Service/Support

Great in terms of both customer service and support. Kalena herself gets right back to you with a comprehensive and definitive answer very quickly.

There is a forum which does get used by staff and students, which I tried out a few of times and always got fast replies.

Search Engine College SEO CertifiedConclusion

I would recommend anyone who is interested in learning SEO from scratch, or those who have a basic knowledge already to consider this course. Which elective to choose would of course depend on personal preference and current knowledge, but I firmly believe link building would be the best choice. Overall, this course is perfect entry-level SEO program.  Those just starting out are very well catered for in order to learn the important fundamentals thoroughly (and I do mean thoroughly!). Furthermore, those who would prefer to take it slowly can always do the SEO101 first and then progress on to completing the rest of the pathway later. The price is also excellent for how much is gained in return.


Course Description (from website):

The Quirk Certificate Course in SEO will teach students how to optimise a website for search engines. This 6-week course will cover:

  • Introduction to Search and SEO
  • Making Your Site Accessible to Search Engines
  • Keywords and Content
  • Advanced Content Optimisation and Strategies
  • Building Links (Authority and Relevance)
  • Managing SEO

URL: http://www.quirk.biz/courses/seo
Authors: Unknown
Plaftorm(s): LMS & Downloadable PDF's + Short Videos.
Coursework: Yes
Exams: Yes
Certification: Yes
Price: $855 USD (£530 GBP)
Time: Six Weeks

Quirk SEO Course Level

Review

The course is very well planned and organized. It's easy to see that the creators are experts who are willing to go the extra mile when it comes to coursework feedback; commenting on each point in detail and offering up suggestions for improvements, with explanations as to why and how. The course material itself is as solid and up-to-date as can be, covering best practices for all of the most important fundamentals of SEO, along with aspects of some of the more recent developments in search. There are some short videos to accompany the material and Quirk also offers conferencing, affording students the chance to discuss their thoughts directly with the tutors, which of course can be massively beneficial.

Positives

  • Clearly put together by people with high expertise in and passion for SEO.
  • Newly written so content is very up-to-date. It even includes the latest version of Google Analytics.
  • Very well written and formulated content and a well-managed course over-all.
  • Good course content for learning the basics and beyond – great for the necessity of gaining theoretical knowledge.
  • Coursework ensures learning material can be easily remembered, as well as used in practical application.
  • High level of detailed and useful feedback for coursework.
  • A nice, quality looking hardcopy certificate surpises you by post shortly after course completion.

Negatives

  • Not as much in terms of link building as might be hoped. There is a module that contains sound information, but not much in terms of how to measure link value effectively or strategies for use of anchor text.

Customer Service/Support

Emails are replied to by the very friendly and helpful people behind the course, who obviously have great SEO knowledge and experience. There is also a forum where questions receive prompt responses. Had I been fortunate enough to have the time to attend the online webinar/conferences, I suspect there would have been a great deal of support there as well. Much like the MarketMotive course, students are able to speak with the tutors and ask questions related to the module being studied. Though I didn't take advantage of this myself due to time restrictions, I am confident that doing so would add plenty of extra value to the course, as it's clear that the course providers are extremely knowledgeable.

Conclusion
Quirk SEO Badge Overall, an excellent entry level course. This program would be suitable for either beginner-level SEOs or perhaps web designers looking to start offering SEO as an additional service. The fundamentals are covered very well in a way that's easy to digest, while intermediate material is also very clearly explained. The coursework given allows for practical application, while the feedback given is detailed and extensive with plenty of suggestions to offer as much guidance as possible. Personally, I would give the course my full recommendation to beginners for its quality of content and level of service/support.


Course Description (from website):

Advanced SEO will teach you:

  • Use advanced keyword selection systems for organic search
  • Determine Web site technical issues hindering organic search rankings
  • Perform an SEO diagnostic audit or site review
  • Evaluate and correct Web site structure and develop site maps
  • Make technical and editorial corrections to a Web site and how to include SEO into a new Web site or redesign
  • Understand how to edit, optimize and influence Web pages to improve organic search rankings
  • Edit and optimize for specific Web pages and an overall Web site
  • Create powerful inbound link plans through best practice linking techniques
  • Have exposure to the use of advanced SEO tools, techniques and analysis
  • Develop creative and advance copy
  • Develop a comprehensive strategy in reporting, tracking, analytics, performance, competitor tracking and brand reputation monitoring & management
  • And more

URL: http://www.sempoinstitute.com/search-marketing/seo-training.aspx
Authors: Bruce Clay and a collection of other specialists (+ peer reviewed by an independant group).
Plaftorm(s): Online LMS
Coursework: No
Exams: Yes
Certification: Yes
Price: $1,399 (Discount for SEMPO Members, Military & Students)
Time: There are no time restrictions imposed so it depends how much time per day/week is spent studying. I finished the course in a couple of weeks but I already had good knowledge of SEO and had been working in the industry for a couple of years. An outright beginner should probably put at least a couple of months aside for this, if intending to take notes as they go.

Sempo Course Level

Review

Some truly superb content is covered in the course, including a number of strategies that I was previously unaware of, such as a great way to refine keywords to a strong final list. The way the course is put together through its modules, chapters and pages makes it easily digestible in small chunks, following a logical path from the beginner level material to more advanced learning. This being said, despite the title it is certainly not an advanced course. It does contain some advanced material, but mixed with beginner and intermediate content.  I would therefore describe the course as a whole at more of an intermediate level.

Positives

  • Good content overall with interesting, useful and lesser-known strategies.
  • Easily digestible content due to the size of the modules and chapters within them.
  • The author is Bruce Clay, so the content is of a high standard as would be expected.

Negatives

  • A number of typos and grammatical issues in the copy.
  • The quiz questions are very strange. Many do not appear to make sense due to how they're worded and leave the reader confused as to what is actually being asked. Some of the answers conflict slightly with what has just been taught, with some questions having multiple correct answers but only allow for one selection! Some of the questions have you thinking “It depends!” for an answer.
  • Certificate only available via digital medium which must then be printed out.
  • A little expensive for what is offered over-all.
SEMPO CertifiedCustomer Service/Support

Excellent customer service in general. Not really any community support as with some others, but fire off an email to the address provided and a reply can be expected promptly, (even in spite of the time difference) from a very nice lady called Jaimee, who was extremely helpful.

Conclusion

SEMPO Certification I definitely learned some new things from completing this particular course. It was handy to go over some of the basics again to cement existing knowledge and tweak a few misconceptions, along with addressing some bad habits. This course would be suitable for beginners, but may also be worth doing for those at other levels too as there is some great content in it. In short, I'm sure everyone could pick up at least something useful.  I would however say the price should probably be lowered for the course, as whilst it is well worth doing it is rather overpriced for what is actually it offers in terms of content volume (the addition of some coursework would add the extra value to make the price just right though, in case anybody from SEMPO sees this).


Course Description (from website):

The program includes 16 one-hour classes, 10 reading assignments, and optional homework assignments for each class to walk you through each step of inbound marketing. Feel free to complete the classes at your own pace.

  • How to Blog Effectively for Business
  • SEO Crash Course to Get Found
  • Social Media & Building Community
  • Business Uses for Facebook & LinkedIn
  • Viral Marketing & World Wide Raves
  • Advanced SEO Tactics
  • Calls to Action & Landing Page Best Practices
  • Inbound Lead Nurturing
  • Successful Email Marketing
  • PR for Inbound Marketing
  • Twitter for Business
  • Advanced Marketing Analytics
  • Passion-Inspired Video & Other Creative Content
  • Social Media for Big Business
  • Internet Marketing Comprehensive Review
  • Inbound Marketing Exam Review

URL: http://www.inboundmarketing.com/university
Authors: Rand Fishkin, Avinash Kaushik, Lee Odden, Mike Volpe, Brian Carroll, Chris Brogan, and more…
Plaftorm(s): Online Videos and Documents.
Coursework: Yes (unmarked)
Exams: Yes
Certification: Yes
Price: Free
Time: 16 Hours +

Inbound Marketing University Level

Review

There is really very little excuse for not embarking on this course as it's completely free of charge and has no time restrictions. It covers more than SEO alone but as we all know, it's a good idea to have an understanding of other disciplines that are closely related to SEO. Indeed, some people (myself included) would argue that this content still comes under the SEO umbrella in one way or another anyway and is therefore very useful. The majority of the course is quite basic, but there is a video on SEO that does contain fairly advanced material. Aside from watching the videos, students can download a study kit from the website which will help in preparing for the examination at the conclusion.

Positives

  • The module most relevant to SEO, Advanced SEO Tactics, is authored and presented by Rand Fishkin. The Analytics module is authored and presented by Avinash Kaushik.
  • The advanced SEO module itself (a one hour video) does actually contain some quite advanced content, including details of studied correlations of the Google algorithm ranking factors, which are very well explained.
  • It's free!
  • Some excellent content overall, covering more than just SEO; or what is often perceived as SEO.

Negatives

  • The exam questions are a little too easy – many could pass without having watched the videos with just a very basic level of existing knowledge.

Customer Service/Support

None available.

Conclusion

Inbound Marketing University In a nutshell, anything of high quality to this extent that is being offered for free should be taken full advantage of. While 16 hours might not sound a great deal on paper, it's ample when you actually start going through the content included and there's some really great stuff for all levels. Even if you're already an expert SEO, you'll likely pick up some useful ideas and insights from one of the videos regarding the other disciplines. Aside from that, what have you got to lose?! The award might well be devalued and count for very little over time, as it's free and easy to cheat should anyone choose to do so.  I can imagine at some point there will be those using their badges as a sales tool, despite having no knowledge of what they would have learned if they had actually watched the videos. But that being said, it is still an excellent course to undertake for the knowledge you'll gain, regardless of whether or not the badge itself actually counts for anything.


Course Description (from website):

  • Benefits of SEO
  • Short Term Tactics: Spam & Deception
  • Short Term Strategies: Low-Value Sites
  • The Stomper Way: Aggressive White Hat
  • Understanding the SERPs
  • Search Engine Tech – Crawling, Search Engine Tech – SERPS
  • Search Engine Ranking Recipes
  • Keyword Strategy Concepts, Keyword Research & Discovery, Mapping Keywords to Content
  • Competitive Research
  • Tools
  • Site Structure Concepts, Designing for Crawlability
  • Anchor Text & Link Reputation
  • Canonicalization & Duplicate Content
  • Using Redirects
  • On Page SEO Introduction
  • Optimizing Page Structure
  • Creating Unique Content
  • Robots.txt Tutorial
  • Link Building Concepts
  • Assessing Your Position
  • Link Targets & Link Bait, Marketing & Promotion
  • What To Measure, How To Measure
  • Planning & Processes, Review & Resources

URL: N/A, but the new alternative can be found at:  http://www.stompernet.com/products/stomping-the-search-engines-2-0-digital-seo-course-stompernet/
Authors: Brad Fallon, Andy Jenkins
Plaftorm(s): Videos
Coursework: None
Exams: None
Certification: No
Price: $97
Time: N/A

StomperNat Course Level

Review

SMARTS no longer exists, having been replaced by "Stomping the Search Engines 2.0" which I cannot comment on having never taken it. That being said, if it's anything like SMARTS course there will likely be some excellent insight on offer in there. SMARTS had a number of great tips that you wouldn't normally find in the mainstream, certainly not on the usual SEO blogs, etc…

Positives

  • Unorthodox approach
  • Unconventional tactics

Negatives

  • If SMARTS is still available anywhere, much of it would be outdated by now.
  • A little too heavy on the affiliate side of things – lots of promotional type stuff with more enthusiasm than some of it deserved.

Customer Service/Support

Support is offered but I didn't use it and therefore cannot rightly comment on it.

Conclusion

I would say this course was more for affiliates than those looking for a career in SEO. That being said, it certainly covered some excellent SEO elements too; many from a different angle with a good inclusion of advanced topics. I'd be interested to check out “Stomping the Search Engines 2.0″ in the future, which is a good indication of the overall impression made.


Course Description (from website):

  • Best choice for site owners and webmasters serious about SEM and Internet Marketing. The only choice for SEM and Direct Mail professionals, organic search engine optimizers, Web consultants.
  • Incorporates materials of the basic course and greatly develops them.
  • Students who passed the required assessments earn a certificate of Professional Internet Marketer (PIM) available both through this website and as a hard copy. A perfect proof of your expertise and professionalism.
  • With 120 lessons organized into 5 stages and accompanied by 8 video demos and assessments, it is the most complete course for the Internet Marketing subject in the world.
  • Teaches you the “Integrated Approach” – a solid way of executing your search engine marketing or organic optimization campaigns from keyword strategies to link building and conversion rate improvement.
  • Helps build solid search engine marketing processes in your company and use them for internal SEO/SEM campaigns or to deliver professional services to customers.
  • Gives you an actionable insight into site and page structure from search engines’ standpoint and articulates the rules of search engine friendly design.
  • Helps you avoid major problems that can get your site banned from search engines forever.
  • Shows problems with frames, database and Flash-based websites and gives solutions.
  • Goes beyond traffic quantities and teaches you how to improve ROI of your site by analyzing visitors’ behavior, search keywords they use, optimizing landing pages and creatives, i.e. by increasing your conversion rate.

URL: http://www.seo-training-course.com/
Authors: Unknown
Plaftorm(s): Website Learning Centre
Coursework: No
Exams: Yes
Certification: Yes
Price: Now $295 USD (Was $400 at the time)
Time: There are no time restrictions but there's a fair amount of content. I think the time taken to complete the course will differ massively for different people. Basically the more hours you put in each day/week, the quicker you will finish (obviously) but don't rush it just for that.

WebCEO Course Level

Review

A free, if rather limited version of this actually comes with the free version of the software WebCEO. If you pay for the software on the other hand, the full, professional version of the course is included in the cost, which is very much worth doing purely for the amount of course material involved. The course contains a lot of material and covers SEO in a fairly broad sense, which is always a good thing. It does need to be proof-read however and perhaps updated at this stage too, but there was some really excellent content in there when I did it. The course itself covers more than just SEO, going into affiliate marketing and other areas too – hence the course title of Internet Marketing Professional, rather than just SEO Professional. The majority of the course is SEO though, all of which is relevant and worth learning.

Positives

  • Very broad in coverage of all the different aspects of SEO, quite in-depth.
  • Decent content and lots of it!
  • A hard copy certificate is sent through the post, although this did need chasing up via email.

Negatives

  • Some very poor quality copy, of which some is ironically in the modules about how your copy should be perfect! Typos, bad grammar and incorrect spelling in parts, which is off-putting and makes the course appear of a lower quality than it really is.
  • The need to renew your certification each year for a fee, which I really don't like as it is simply profiteering!

Customer Service/Support

I used the email address supplied for a couple of customer service-based questions and received a prompt response. I did not ask any support questions related to the course content itself however, therefore I cannot comment on how that would be handled.

WebCEO University BadgeConclusion

In my opinion, it would be definitely worthwhile for any beginner to undertake this course. It takes a good while to complete due to the amount of course material, but in the end this is nothing other than a positive thing. It's a shame about the poor quality of the copy in parts when it would be very simple to proof read and correct the errors, but looking past that there is certainly plenty of knowledge to be gained from the course as a whole.


Course Description (from website):

“Richard offers essential tips on how to appear at the top of search results in Yahoo!, Google, and other popular search engines. A must-watch video tutorial for experienced website publishers and for those just getting into the Web game” Topics include:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO) vs. search engine marketing (SEM)
  • Getting to know your searchers
  • Crawler-based search engines
  • Keywording to rank high in searches
  • Keyword combinations, variations, and stop words
  • Setting up a site the wrong way: what to avoid
  • Creating a search-friendly site
  • Submitting websites for search engine indexing
  • Building link relationships

URL: http://www.lynda.com/Search-Engines-tutorials/searchengineoptimization2006/209-2.html
Authors: Richard John Jenkins
Plaftorm(s):Videos
Coursework: None – Some Exercise Files Come With the Course
Exams: None
Certification: None
Price: $99 at Time of Writing
Time: 9 hrs (New Course is 2.2 hrs)

Lynda SEO Course Level

Review

This course review dates from 2006 and so is a little on the old side now. Indeed, with the speed of changes in the industry across the board, the course was most likely somewhat outdated when I did it in 2007, just a year after it was written. However, many of the fundamentals remain the same and this course is for absolute beginners, so will still offer a good overview of many of the important factors and elements behind SEO.

It's only really on-page SEO that gets covered and it doesn't go much beyond the basics, but I would say it's still a pretty good starting point. It's video based which I personally prefer to reading (it holds my attention much better), so you can re-watch and pause to take notes. Not only this but there's no time restrictions involved so you can learn at your leisure and any pace you find comfortable… plus you own it once you've bought it so you can watch it as many times as you like and refer back to it whenever you want.

There is in fact a newer version out now written by none other than Jill Whalen, so I'm quite sure it will be worth picking up for those just starting out. This newer version is just 2.2 hours long though so it likely won't cover quite as much as the original.

Positives

  • Inexpensive.
  • Being video based it has no time schedule and so is suitable for those who are limited on time, or those who like to learn at their own pace.
  • Once you've bought it, it's yours forever so you can refer back to it anytime you like.

Negatives

  • Basic content. Certainly a good place to start off with practicing SEO as a hobby, but far from enough to begin working on professional websites with.
  • All on-page/on-site, so hardly anything about links or social signals… which of course are extremely important.

Customer Service/Support

I didn't need to use any support or customer services and subsequently cannot comment. The course covers quite simple concepts that are easy to understand; therefore fairly few questions can really arise from it.

Conclusion

I'd recommend anybody who might be thinking about getting into SEO for the first time to consider this course, but those who already know most of the basics would likely find themselves revisiting areas they already know.


Summary of Reviews

Ticking all the boxes

Ups and downs taken into account, all of the above mentioned courses are very much worth taking in my opinion. If you're a beginner then there's definitely a lot you can learn from them, but even if you're far from an amateur there's certainly no harm in cementing your existing knowledge, reminding yourself of some of the things you may have forgotten over time and perhaps picking up a few different perspectives along the way.

I took something hugely valuable away from each and every course, despite already working in professional SEO.

So for SEO Course Quality choose one of the above, they are far, far superior to the hundreds of other courses on offer out there whether online or offline.

Other Good Courses

Finally, I should mention that there are some courses not reviewed here that I'm sure are of a high standard due to their authors, but I am unable to complete them due to their attendance requirements (they're in America and I'm in the UK) and the fact that they don't offer the ability to attend the course online.

Bruce Clay SEO Training These are:

SEO Book Then of course there is SEObook by Aaron Wall which is awesome, it's not a course in the same sense that these others are, but very much worth going for as there is some incredible content including videos and more for all levels.

There are some other quite extensive courses that I would love to do and maybe will one day, some (but not all) of which are actually quite entwined with the MarketMotive Master SEO course, using it as a module within the course. The following do come highly recommended and look to contain some great content, so should certainly be considered by anybody looking to learn:

  • DMA LogoNew Horizons OMCP Certification
  • DMA Search Marketing Certification
  • Rutgers University Mini MBA Search Engine Optimization
  • Full Sail University: Advanced SEO
  • Rasmussen College Internet Marketing Degree
  • Full Sail UniversityBenedictine University Internet Marketing Degree
  • USF Online: Internet Marketing Certificate

If there are any other courses out there that anybody feels I have neglected, please let me know so I can add them in if they turn out to offer a good standard of learning.

The Art of SEO

Other Learning Resources That Stand Tall!

Books

Videos

Distilled Seminar Videos

Guides

  • SEOmoz Beginners Guide by SEOmoz

Other

  • The Internet Marketing Handbook by Danny Dover
  • The Google SEO Guide by Google
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