My name's Gab Goldenberg, aka Bookworm SEO at SEOmoz.org. I'm passionate about learning search marketing, so I spend roughly 20-30 hours a week, just reading marketing and search marketing books, blogs, training materials and of course, SEOmoz.
I'm also the author of the first book on advanced SEO, a speaker at SMX Advanced and SMX West, Affiliate Summit, Pubcon and SphinnCon/SMX Israel.
I've gotten links from such big sites in the industry as Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, SEOmoz and www.SEOBook.com So I have my peers' recognition.
Thus I'm well qualified to tell you about investing in SEO training because I myself spend so much time reading, learning, and training.
I want to be honest however, so I'll freely tell you that I get commissions when people sign up for SEOmoz Pro membership, after clicking my links. But I'd say the same things regardless, because I'm such a huge fan of SEOmoz and have learned so much from them.
I've been a member for over 5 years, and a Pro member since 2008.
You can find me ranked #11 amongst SEOmoz's 60,000 members. It's made a huge difference in developing my network of friends and connections as well as in what I can do for clients.
Something that I really enjoy about being a SEOmoz pro member is the camaraderie it helps build with other experts in search marketing. This is important because if ever you need some links, or you run into a tough obstacle, your friends can easily help you out with links, advice and referrals.
When I went to SMX West (where I spoke on the local SEO panel), I found myself running into friends from SEOmoz literally from the first panel I attended onwards. I met:
But don't take my word for it, here's a picture of Jeff Pollard (SEOmoz.org's CTO) hanging out with Will, Duncan and Nick Gerner (another SEOmoz staffer). To the right of that is a pic of Tom Critchlow and myself at the SEOmoz party at SMX Advanced, for SEOmoz.org Pro members only. Incidentally, SEOmoz hoodies and SMX Advanced passes are discounted for pro members!
How I used SEOmoz Pro's SEO tools for Clients
On the client side of things, I recently authored an SEO audit/report for a major government organization here in Canada. I frequently found myself using the page strength tool to establish what pages had the best chances to rank for competitive terms.
For another client, I've been using the Competitive Link Finder tool
to spot how competitors motivate high-quality sites to give them links. I've then followed up on those patterns, for example by looking at who linked to a competitors' glossary, since that was a pattern in the niche.
Spotting these patterns allows me to generate a high quality list of link prospects.
I should mention in the interest of fairness, however, that the tool isn't perfect. It sometimes brings up sites that are - upon human inspection - controlled by the competition. Or news articles that linked to competitors, but obviously won't be edited now.
On the personal side of stuff, I've made great use of SEOmoz's Q&A. For example, it's helped my career as an SEO consultant, with SEOmoz's Rebecca Kelley giving me tips on where to focus to attract clients.
Similarly, I've had questions on paid inclusion at Yahoo, finding links to the www. subdomain of a site vs the root URL, as well as tracking URL redirections questions. All of them were superbly answered by the SEOmoz staff. My clients have really benefitted, and are grateful to me for having access to this deep knowledge resource!
Another example was SEOmoz's Jane Copland suggesting that link profile diversity (i.e. having links from many different sources and types of sources e.g. blogs, forums, press mentions etc.) was helpful to breaking out of the Sandbox, a Google filter that limits rankings for long periods of time.
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