2020 Must-Read SEO Posts and Bonus Resources
2020 is ending (yay?). No matter what has happened, there has been a lot of great information in the SEO industry. I decided to keep the tradition of posting the best resources that I did in 2018 and 2019. So welcome the best resources of 2020!
Firstly, I’ll share the articles and videos recommended by other SEOs when I asked them on Twitter.
LARGE SITE OWNER’S GUIDE TO MANAGING YOUR CRAWL BUDGET by @googlesearchc
Recommended by @Aleyda Solis: “The first article that comes to my head that I found to be super useful was a large site guide to manage crawl budget, sharing how this is allocated along useful tips to manage it. Appreciate this type of actionable guides from G directly.”
400 UNSOLICITED SEO TIPS by Mark @thetafferboy
Recommended by Aleyda as well: “Mega SEO tips article! There’s something for everybody”. To be honest, if Mark’s post was not recommended, I’d include it myself as it’s gold!
HOW TO ENSURE ORGANIC TRAFFIC SUSTAINABILITY DURING A MAJOR WEBSITE TECHNOLOGY MIGRATION by Moshe @napo789
This is not a regular post about website migrations. It’s about a switch to JS framework and how to make sure that it won’t ruin SEO.
EXCEL FORMULAS FOR SEOS: EXTRACTING URL STRINGS by @FionaSoum at @Builtvisible
Recommended by Jeff @Bukowsky: “This article from BuiltVisible has been so helpful to my day-to-day that I not only bookmarked it, I changed the UTM codes to help them understand where the traffic is coming from.”
THE INFLUENCER PITCH – HOW TO BUILD E-A-T FOR YOUR CONTENT WEBSITE by @mattdiggityseo
Recommended by Steve @seo_notebook: “I thought this was a wickedly clever post”.
PART II CHAPTER 7 OF WEB ALMANAC by @Aleyda, @iPullRank and @Jammer_Volts for @HTTPArchive
Recommended by @webdesignsteve: “Stumbled across this resource from the other day and found it to be super comprehensive/useful!”
TRILLIONS OF QUESTIONS, NO EASY ANSWERS: A (HOME) MOVIE ABOUT HOW GOOGLE SEARCH WORKS by Google
Recommended by @Optimisey: “That long ‘How Search Works’ video from the Google folks was a bit of a “must watch”.
HOW TO SET A WINNING SEO STRATEGY: CONCEPTS, STEPS, DO’S & DONT’S AND MISTAKES TO AVOID by CrawlingMondays
Recommended by @HofmanLaursen: “…because most SEOs lack strategic understanding and work in silos.”
Ok, now it’s time to share the 2020 posts I personally found valuable. I’ll share those which will be relevant in 2021 as well rather than the ones about some current events. Let’s go!
THE SEO KEYWORD RESEARCH MASTER GUIDE by @CyrusShepard
This is a great guide that teaches the process of keyword research. There are also top tips from such industry experts as Lily Ray, Greg Gifford, Britney Muller and others.
HOW TO IMPROVE PAGE SPEED FROM START TO FINISH by @patrickstox for @ahrefs
Page speed is already a hot topic, and this trend is going to increase. In this guide, Patrick Stox explains how page speed works, and what actions to take to improve your site.
A DOMAIN MIGRATION CHECKLIST AND ULTIMATE GOOGLE DATA STUDIO DASHBOARD by yours truly
This is a post I wrote after one of the domain migrations I’ve helped with this year. I created a Google Data Studio dashboard that will help you track the success of such migration or quickly spot issues if there’re any.
IMAGE MIGRATIONS AND LOST SIGNALS by @glenngabe
Images are far not the first thing you think about when you do migrations. I absolutely loved this post as it shows the importance of handling the images correctly when you migrate a website or switch to a CDN.
THE MECHANICS OF E-A-T: HOW GOOGLE PATENTS CAN HELP EXPLAIN HOW E-A-T WORKS by @lilyraynyc for @sejournal
E-A-T is one of the hardest topics in the SEO industry since there’s no specific score to calculate and optimize for. In this post, Lily covers the patents behind E-A-T making it easier to grasp this topic. I’d definitely recommend looking into this as most core updates wins and losses are correlated with websites’ trust.
SHOPIFY SEO TIPS: PUSH SHOPIFY TO ITS LIMITS by @contentking
Many SEOs are hating on Shopify for their lack SEO-friendliness. In this article ContentKing illustrates how to fix that, and make any Shopify store soar in Google.
THE CANVA BACKLINK EMPIRE: HOW SEO, OUTREACH & CONTENT LED TO A $6B VALUATION by Ross @TheCoolestCool
I love how derailed research posts from Ross are. This is another great post where B2B (and B2C too) SEOs and marketers can find many ideas for their content marketing startegy.
MARKETING RIGHT NOW IS #$%*ING HARD by @randfish
This is not an SEO post per se but it’s important for the whole digital marketing world. It talks about the three waves caused by COVID (and this is the only post about it in this list cause otherwise it would be just a list of COVID posts and I don’t want it to happen).
WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT SEO FROM USING THE 10 MOST USED JS FRAMEWORKS by @jbobbink
This post is a great reminder/checklist for JS-based websites with the tools you can use to debug JS and also useful tips on testing.
PSYCHOLOGY OF SEO & SEARCH INTENT by @phil_drinkwater
Psychology is important in everything that’s connected to or defined by human behaviour. SEO is not an exception. In this post, Phil looks at the user intent from a different angle taking phycology into consideration too.
HOW TO DEVELOP ACTIONABLE AND IMPACTFUL SEO AUDITS by @aleyda
Love this post as it goes way beyond SEO. If you want to improve your SEO audits and increase the probability of your recommendations being implemented, read this post by Aleyda.
SEO NEGOTIATION: HOW TO ACE THE BUSINESS SIDE OF SEO — BEST OF WHITEBOARD FRIDAY by @BritneyMuller
This is another great resource on human interactions behind SEO success. Britney Muller walks us through a bevy of smart tips and considerations that will strengthen your SEO negotiation skills, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie to the practice.
CHANGES TO HOW GOOGLE MIGHT RANK IMAGE SEARCH RESULTS by @bill_slawski
This is a very thorough post (like all posts by Bill!) that explains the patent about an image search system, which includes a training engine. Just think about it: “Images can rank in image search, and can help pages they are on rank higher, making a page more relevant for the query terms it ranks for”.
PROBABILISTIC THINKING IN SEO by @bertiecharlton
This is an absolutely brilliant post about predictions in SEO: which information you can use to predict the impact of your SEO recommendations (…and also how many piano tuners live in Chicago).
HOW I CREATED A TOPIC CLUSTER AND BOOSTED MY WEBSITE TRAFFIC BY 1000% by @samuelschmitt
This is another great read about topic clusters. In this post, Samuel shows how he broke a big content piece into clusters and the results he got from it.
HOW TO MAXIMIZE ‘PEOPLE ALSO ASK’ SEO OPPORTUNITIES [STUDY] by @Olgandrienko for @semrush
Discover how Google‘s ‘People Also Ask‘ feature has changed and how you can optimize for this. The tips are based on the SEMrush analysis of the latest ‘People Also Ask‘ SEO opportunities.
7 EXAMPLE PROJECTS TO GET STARTED WITH PYTHON FOR SEO by Ruth @rvtheverett
This post has received 16K reads! Just wow! Ruth is so generous and open about her Python path that you can’t help enjoying the content she shares. In this post, Ruth gives beginner-friendly ways to use it for automating technical SEO and data analysis work
STATE OF PAGINATION IN ECOMMERCE: CASE STUDY & ANALYSIS OF THE TOP 150 UK FASHION RETAILERS by @OritSiMu for @DeepCrawl
In this post, Orit shares an in-depth eCommerce pagination case study along with an analysis of how the top 150 UK fashion retailers handle pagination on their websites.
DIGITAL & DISINFORMATION: WHAT THE SEO INDUSTRY CAN DO TO FIGHT MANIPULATION by @Jammer_Volts
This is a very deep post about manipulation techniques online and how we as SEOs can do to fight the (or at least not support). Some points in the article were shocking to me, to be honest. I’d advise you to read it 100%.
HOW BIG IS THE GENDER GAP BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN IN SEO? by @nicoleldeleon
This article covers an important topic and thus is worth reading. Here Nicole explores how big the gender gap is in SEO and how it translates to tangible things like pay and job titles.
Since many people mentioned podcasts vs specific episodes when I asked about the 2020 resources, I decided to include the whole podcasts here:
- Search Off the Record by Google with @@JohnMu, Martin @g33konaut and Gary @methode
- The SEO SAS Podcast by @sarahmcduk & @seosashannah
- Search with Candour podcast by Mark @thetafferboy
- Azeem Digital Asks by @AzeemDigital
- The SEO Rant podcast by @MordyOberstein
- Page 2 Podcast by @jacobstoops and @jefflouella
- Make SEO Simple Again by @danielkcheung
There are also great newsletters that I’m subscribed to and love, so I decided to share them with you too
- SEOFOMO by Aleyda – lands into your inbox once a week and covers all important SEO posts, news
- SEONotebook by Steve Toth – a weekly newsletter where Steve gives 1 valuable SEO growth tip
- Tl;dr marketing by @SaijoGeorge – daily updates on all things marketing
- SEO for Google News newsletter by @badams – in-depth posts emailed to you once in a while
- SEO for Lunch by @NickLeRoy – a weekly newsletter with SEO updates
- SEO Shop Up by truly yours – valuable eCommerce SEO tips sent to you irregularly
- Search News You Can Use by @Marie_Haynes – ‘more than just a newsletter, but a weekly guide to improving your site’ as written on the website. I like it.
Help Magic Happen
This has been a hard year for everyone. But recently one of our friends and an indispensable part of the SEO community – Bill Slawski – has had a medical issue. He will need to re-learn to walk again. Barry Schwartz has launched this great initiative where you can share how Bill has helped you. Bill will read a new story every day. Share your kind words to help Bill feel better.
I cook digital marketing dishes. Take 3 tablespoons of on-page SEO, add 2 pinches of backlinks and sprinkle it all with paid advertising. Season to taste with actionable data from Analytics and bake until golden brown. Serve hot.