I'm a professional website developer, and have been in this business since 1999. I've always found doing search engine optimization to be distasteful, mostly because of the old black-hat practices of trying to trick search engines into giving one's website better placement in search engine results pages ("SERPS") than it really deserves. I've studied SEO for several years, and have read all sorts of books and articles about SEO that are excessively technical and ultimately useless. I've invested in high-end SEO software to harvest and analyze all sorts of metrics, and found that it's barely worthwhile. The entire practice of trying to game Google's algorithms and cheat one's way to the top of SERPS placement is constantly changing and is a losing game. The best case scenario, where one's website gets top placement using these schemes for a while, almost always ends in the site getting severely penalized by Google once Google catches on to the fact that it's been tricked.
This book offers a simple reality check and sets forth a practical, clear method that anyone can use to make his or her website worthy of an excellent SERPS placement. This book is an essential first step in anyone's SEO campaign. Whether you're a website developer or a business that owns and manages a website, the knowledge simply and clearly outlined in this book is essential before you even shop for an SEO consultant, since in my expert opinion 95% or more of the entire SEO industry is comprised of unsavory tricksters and scam artists. This book can help its reader cut through all the loads of crap out there and either approach SEO as a DIY craft or hire competent, white-hat SEO service providers who can help make a website more truly worthy of excellent SERPS placement by improving the quality and usefulness of the site's content and creating truly useful inbound links to the site from relevant industry peers.
I still don't specialize in SEO, per se, although I do include all the basic SEO-friendly structure and tools in every website I create. When my clients ask me what to do to improve their SERPS placement, or ask me for a referral to an SEO specialist, I invariably send them a link to this book. The modest price of this book can easily save you thousands of dollars or even more that could be lost to scam artists or incompetent SEO services. Most of the actual work in SEO is best done by the business that owns the website, and is not technical at all in terms of website development. Good SEO methods are more akin to traditional marketing and networking than to any arcane coding or secret black website development art, and this book shows the way, a way that anyone with enough dedication can follow.
Doing effective search engine optimization is still generally a lot of work, but it's dangerous to even talk to anyone seriously about it without at least getting familiar with the basic knowledge contained in this book.