O’reilly Press puts out some really good tech books. So I grabbed Andrew B. King’s Website Optimization when I saw it at the library a few days ago. It was pretty good, though not my favorite of their books. I enjoy the ‘Hacks series (PHP Hacks, Podcasting Hacks, etc) more, but they have some other good books too.
Website Optimization is worth a read if you’re trying to get more from your website. The book covers several aspects of optimization. Search engines, loading times, conversion rates, and a little bit on accessibility. There is a heavy emphasis on Search Engine Optimization of course.
It’s a pretty good book, and is very informative, but I have to disagree with some of the SEO advice. The book seems to promote the idea of being stingy when linking to external sites, in an effort to hoard PageRank, linking reciprocally, and making use of the nofollow attribute excessively. Then the book goes and tells you that blogs are a good way to get more inbound links.
I can tell you that an attitude like that regarding links will get you nowere fast. If you want to get links, you must give them first. Link to things that you think will be of interest to your users. The sites you link to will then learn about your site when they find some traffic coming in from your site. Nofollow shouldn’t be used to cripple links you place on your site either. It should be for things like blog commenters’ posted URL’s, which weren’t added by you, and therefore you may not want to recieve PageRank points. As for reciprocal linking, don’t bother. Google thinks reciprocal linking schemes are generally of little interest to the end user, and are therefore discounted when ranking pages.
Other than my minor complaints about some of the linking advice given, it’s a pretty good book.