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Why The Art of SEO Has Changed Since 2009 – Here’s Why #37

Much has changed since the last edition of The Art of SEO was published back in 2009. There is one thing that hasn’t changed however; the complexity of Search Engine Optimization.
In this episode of Here’s Why, Mark asks lead author of the book, Eric Enge, what has changed not only in the world of SEO since 2009, but digital marketing as a whole.

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Full Transcript:

Mark: Hi, I’m Mark Traphagen with Perficient Digital and today I’m with Eric Enge, who is also the principal author of The Art of SEO, now out in its third edition. Today I’m going to ask Eric what has changed since the last edition of this landmark book. Stay tuned!
Mark: Eric, The Art of SEO is now out in its third edition. What’s the biggest change you’ve seen since the last edition?
Eric: Well, there’s the physical change. Here’s actually the first edition, here’s the third edition, and if I were to hold up the second edition, there’s about two hundred extra pages in the book. But of course, that’s not really the question you’re asking me.
I’d say that the biggest change is that we took the link-building chapter, and people don’t like to think about it as link building anymore, and we made it a content marketing chapter. But the scope of what you can get out of our content marketing chapter is so much bigger now because it really gives you a holistic view of how to build your reputation and visibility online. Which by the way is incredibly good for your SEO.
Mark: Absolutely. So what are some other changes you’ve seen since the second edition?
Eric: There are many different things because the second edition published in the spring of 2012, so there’s been a lot of change in the world of SEO. Mobile is a much bigger deal now so that section was completely rewritten. The social media chapter was completely rewritten as well.
At the time of the second edition, it happened to be in that narrow window of time when search engines were experimenting with using social signals as a direct ranking factor which they’ve since stopped. So that was a complete re-write. We have a whole new chapter on Panda, Penguin, and penalties in there. The introductory chapter had a ton of stuff change because a lot has changed in the overall search landscape. Almost everything saw some dramatic level of change in it.
Mark: So I’ve always wanted to ask you this, I’ve always been intrigued by the title, which you’ve kept over all three editions of The Art of SEO. Now a lot of us who’ve worked in SEO would want to think it may be as more of a science, but, why art?
Eric: Well you can bring science to SEO, you really can, you know discipline testing, let’s make a change, let’s say I have two hundred similar pages and I’m going to change a hundred of them in some fashion and I’m going to see how their SEO performance varies with the hundred that I don’t change, and that would be a scientific approach to doing SEO on your site right.
The problem is very few businesses have the time to do that, so that’s one reason why there’s definitely a bit of art because you have to make decisions quickly and you have to know how to make those decisions. But the other part is, really good SEO is about thinking about where things are going and understanding, as Wayne Gretzky would say, skate to where the puck is going is his famous saying about why he was such a great hockey player. If you’re going to be a great SEO you have to anticipate where things are going and really design your site to move in that direction.
Mark: Interesting, so finally, what are your target readers? Who will most benefit from reading this book?
Eric: I’d say anybody who is involved in marketing, certainly digital marketing people, but PR people could benefit from this as well. Marketing communications managers, certainly CMOs. The book has a wide range; almost a thousand pages, that has introductory material and advanced material in the same book. And even a developer, a development manager could benefit from it because there’s a lot of technical stuff in there too.
Mark: Everybody from beginner to advanced, there’s something there for that whole range.
Eric: It was deliberately designed that way. A lot of universities actually use it as a textbook for SEO.
Mark: Terrific, well thank you Eric for joining us today and for talking about The Art of SEO which is now out on Amazon where you can order it, or you can go to to find out not only more information about the book, but a lot of supportive materials that will help you enjoy it and get even more out of it.

Thoughts on “Why The Art of SEO Has Changed Since 2009 – Here’s Why #37”

  1. I still love the green cover more Eric 🙂 but I’ll buy a 3rd Edition – just to have them all…. I Like the Link Building Cut and the name was the reason why I bought the first edition. Loved to see it as art more than as science – which it also is

  2. Yeah the new 3rd Edition sounds really good and I am looking forward to my new copy arriving in the mail to Australia soon. I will be using it myself as college textbook and future reference tool so thank you very much!

  3. SEO art is changing since 2009, I am glad to know every time they are experimenting with new things to enhance search results but some publishers are facing problems with that because they have to learn again to know what works well what not from the beginning.
    I can say from 2011 Google algorithms became very strong and they started penalising so many websites who has practised black hat things, evolution is good for better results, thanks for sharing the information about your 3rd edition, see you soon.

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Eric Enge

Eric Enge is part of the Digital Marketing practice at Perficient. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO.

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