This year was all about changes and Google updates have truly made a difference in the way that search engine optimization is performed. Here are 20 articles that can truly be called the best of the best, since they contain lots of important and useful information. Make sure you check each one, you won’t regret it!

  1. Link Building Case Study: How I Increased My Search Traffic by 110% in 14 Days

It is great to be familiar with the theory about SEO techniques, but what we all truly need is to hear stories that can back it up. Brian Dean published an inspiring story that describes the technique that helps him get high quality links from every piece of content he produces. The author’s strategy is about finding proven linkable asserts, making something even better and then reaching out to the right people.

  1. How I attracted 2,000 Visitors to a Brand New Blog

Link building requires hard work and patience. No one can expect that they will attract thousands of users overnight, because there are certain stages that a blog needs to go through before it gets to a certain level of popularity. Tom Ewer explains in his article that you can start attracting visitors right after you build a blog. He is speaking out of his own experience, since he did exactly that explaining the way he made it happen.

  1. How I Grew Sales 400% With Just Instagram & SEO

There is an interesting case study in this article that Harris Schachter shared. He shows how he ran a traffic generation campaign with the help of common SEO practices and Instagram. Instagram was chosen because the product was highly visual, so if you want to promote similar types of products, this case study will be very helpful.

  1. Trolled By An IT Company… My First (& Last) Link Request Attempt By Phone

Some SEO experts indicated that links can be obtained by the phone. Steve Morgan wanted to explore this opportunity, but was mistaken for a sales person and got trolled by an IT company. Besides reading about this link building experiment, you will probably get the idea on how to get rid of the unwanted phone calls.

  1. How I Built A Top 100 Blog In 12 Months & How You Can Do It Too!

Matthew Woodward is the name that you will see often if you belong to the SEO world. His blog is the place to search for SEO advices, because he writes content with the readers in mind, which is why it’s so popular. He reveals the way that he creates his strategy, site layout, setting the right tone and more.

  1. Why Do People Share Content?

Content holds a significant place and its importance is stressed by many internet marketers, but what about the factors that make people want to share it? Chris Dyson thinks that we should use all the knowledge we have about psychology, since there are a number of solid industry studies that show that there are six types of sharing personas and five categories of motivations that drive social enthusiast. Pretty useful article!

  1. The New Rules of Big Content Promotion

Digital marketing is at a turning point as the web mature into a fully-fledged mass media platform. In his article at his company blog, Simon nails the point about the importance of shifting from a few bland blog posts and a bit of guest posting to Big Content. The author shares a solid approach to persona development, i.e. creating a distinct character that will be keen on your content.

  1. How To Get Started With Medium (And Why You Need To)

Medium is one of the few content platforms and social networks combined that’s truly a stand-out. Mike Essex recommends Medium as a fantastic opportunity to get a content seen. The author goes through the reasons why Medium is different and the ways that you can promote your brand.

  1. 10 Proven Ways to Build a Website that Customers Will Love

You probably didn’t know this, but design affects the site’s presumed trustworthiness, not the content. This means that before you actually start creating content, you need to think about the design. In his article, Gregory Ciotti explains 10 essential things that are important when it comes to building sites with the goal of providing superior customer experience.

  1. Advanced SEO For Ecommerce: Maximizing Keyword Spread

This article is all about the increasing your keyword opportunities, but lowering the overall risk at the same time. Nick Eubanks explains how this strategy can be successfully applied to site of all types. The author shows how you can lower your risks for negative returns from search by spreading across different purchase intents. The later comes in particularly handy in relation to the recent Hummingbird update.

  1. We Get Intelligent Search With Hummingbird!

Hummingbird has changed so many things in the SEO world and has caused panic attacks of many website owners. The value of content has increased even more. All the changes that have been done are done with the goal of improving the experience of the users. Organiksoft is a young company that tends to become a very powerful one and this article deserves your attention.

  1. 17 SEO Best Practices That Could Double Your E-Commerce Sales

Considering that Trond Lyngbø has a great experience in ecommerce SEO, he shared in this article some very helpful tips that you will definitely find useful. This particular one sums up top tips for SEO commerce and Trond’s replies to most popular concern ecommerce site owners have in terms of SEO.

  1. Keyword Research Tips For Building Niche Websites: Part 1

There are many new looking to build small niche websites. In this article Nick LeRoy explains how you can still rank niche 4-5 page websites if you choose the right keywords. The author shows how exactly which types of keywords fit in.

  1. Keywords Still Matter

The author of this site, AJ Kohn wrote this article to address the growing trend in the SEO and content marketing community to deny the importance of keywords. Even though many would think that the keywords lost their power, AJ Kohn states the opposite. Keywords provide insight into user syntax and intent, thus they’re vital to make sure the content resonates with the readers.

  1. How To Get Links By Writing About Other People

There is an increased number of interviews and round-ups in the blogosphere and according to Julie Joyce of Link Fish Media, linking out to influential people is one of the best link building methods. She shows in her article the best way to put together crowdsourced pieces, from pitching the experts to making interviews and round-ups stand out.

  1. 6 Free Google Docs Every SEO Needs To Have

Internet is a great source of information and many online marketers created free Google docs that can truly help people to learn more about this particular subject. In his post at Search Engine Journal, Benjamin Beck of Local Stampede shares Google Docs by his SEO peers, including Annie Cushing and Gaz Copeland. These Google docs summarize lists of tools for marketers, ready-made templates for analyzing data from different sources, link prospecting means and more.

  1. 7 ways to become a better link builder

This article is absolutely useful for everyone starting link building or people who are in this business for a while. Wiep Knol will show you how creative, rewarding and common-sense routine SEO tasks can be. One of the tips suggests you should get rid of toolbars, since the amount of comments, content quality and thematical relevance cannot be measured by toolbars.

  1. How To Run A Successful Guest Blogging Campaign After Penguin 2.0

Penguin update has brought some changes and warnings including the one concerning the abuse of guest blogging. However, Jayson DeMers thinks that it is a choice. You have to make a choice and that choice can be to use it with the good intention. Jayson provides a detailed roadmap of contributing on other people’s sites the right way. The article would be of great use to site owners, who’re looking to promote sites on their own and feel guest blogging might be one of the options, yet they’re not sure if it’s safe.

  1. Competitive Link Analysis – Outsmarting Your Opponents

The company of James Agate performed a link building survey which shows that 11% of respondents are not sure which links will hurt or help them, hence came up this guide. The article sheds a little light on making the competition research process repeatable, teachable and to a certain degree scalable.

  1. Feature Request for Google Places Reviews

User reviews are essential for local SEO. Since their importance is so great, there are many cases when they get abused with the goal of reaching high rankings. Google’s current ways of detecting fake reviews are not ideal. Dan Petrovic suggests a way out and illustrates three simple elements which would make a world of difference to business owners.  Definitely a useful material to read!