In the fast-paced age of readily available information, staying on top of your game is crucial. And, if your game is SEO, there are many ways to stay on top of news, trends, tips and tricks to keep you sharp and informed.
From free, visual-driven guides and videos on YouTube and other training-specific platforms like Google Skillshop, all the way down to tried-and-true case studies, trial-and-errors, and walk-throughs of what works in the real world (and what doesn’t), abundant free knowledge shapes our industry. It also keeps top brands at the forefront of the digital ecosystem.
Here are my nine top ways to stay on top of news, changes, and transformative ideas that will keep your SEO sharp and your knowledge at its best throughout your career.
1. Read SEO publications and blogs
It seems obvious and is probably the most common (you’re clearly reading one right now), but its value may be unparalleled.
Using the same platforms we research and troubleshoot every day – search engines – we can quickly find articles on diverse topics, aiding our understanding of complex concepts and new ideas. And we can do this anytime from anywhere with an internet connection.
We can also subscribe to newsletters by many of these publications, so the news literally comes to us.
In addition to Search Engine Land, other publications worth your time include Search Engine Roundtable and brand-backed blogs, such as Semrush, Ahrefs and Moz.
One of the highest-regarded online sources for details pertaining to Google Search is the Google Search Central Blog (formerly the Google Webmaster Central Blog).
Subscribing to blogs and using Feedly or similar curation feeds can help you easily access and organize your reading resources for daily updates.
2. Webinars and YouTube
You can pretty much learn anything on YouTube. The most popular video search engine in the world is a trove of potentially life-changing knowledge and guidance.
This includes SEO and digital marketing knowledge and guidance.
Whether it’s to learn about a specific, complex aspect of SEO or to delve into industry news or fresh tactics, YouTube offers a myriad of user-generated content that proves priceless to millions every day.
Some of the most valuable videos on YouTube (at least concerning digital marketing and other specific areas of expertise) are pre-recorded webinars.
These webinars are typically administered by brands and/or thought leaders in their respective niches and recorded when first broadcast, then published on YouTube for consumption by people on-demand. Use them to your advantage.
The growth of podcasts over the last decade has been incredible.
What once seemed limited to obscure interviews on eclectic or controversial topics have evolved into educational content, spanning topics from peanut allergies to murder mysteries and everything in between, including SEO.
Some solid SEO- and digital marketing-focused podcasts include:
- Branded Search (and Beyond) with Jason Barnard.
- The SEO Mindset Podcast.
- Marketing O’Clock.
Do some research and find one or two that you get the most value (and entertainment) from, and stay in tune with news and trends when it’s convenient for you.
4. Follow thought leaders
One of the most powerful entries on this list, SEO thought leaders help shape the digital marketing industry and what we learn and strategize around constantly. Most of these folks are sharing their thoughts and reflections daily, too.
You can see evidence of it anywhere on social media – X and LinkedIn are some of the most potent platforms for real-time SEO tips and tricks.
There are so many high-octane players in the SEO community. Anyone not following at least a handful of these thought leaders is simply doing themselves a disservice.
Some of my favorite people who focus on SEO daily are:
- Lily Ray
- Marie Haynes
- Mike King
- Cyrus Shepard
- Glenn Gabe
- Brodie Clark
Official Googlers tend to be helpful follows as well:
- John Mueller
- Danny Sullivan
- Martin Splitt
These thought leaders can keep you updated and inspire you to do revolutionary things. You can usually follow them in more places than just X.
Many will become industry friends if you engage with them online and whenever you see them at conferences, too.
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5. Online groups and communities
Online forums and communities were once the lifeblood of SEO communication and troubleshooting – and they still have big impacts today.
Classic spaces like WebmasterWorld still drive discussion and engagement, as well as sites like Webmasters Stack Exchange, the SEO Forum, and the longstanding Moz community.
The emergence of social media and other industry communication platforms has crowded the slate of troubleshooting forums, but you can still find nearly any answer you need either way.
Conferences offer a unique chance to listen, learn, and, if you’re interested, speak or present.
Typically a multiple-day affair with many of SEO’s (and other marketing channels’) most popular and insightful subject matter experts, these opportunities aren’t free, but their value is priceless.
You can most definitely find a reputable one relatively close to where you live and work or attend a conference remotely (and usually at a reduced rate) depending on each conference’s options for attending and price point.
Some of the best conferences are:
Conferences are investments your company should always get behind. They’re great for networking with top professionals, and they provide an authentic way to meet your online SEO connections in person.
7. Use SEO tools
Tools help us learn to be faster and more efficient, but they also shape the SEO industry.
Most digital marketing SaaS tools are valuable for:
- Figuring out unique issues for clients’ digital presence.
- Simplifying tasks.
- Discovering new ways to identify and remedy things in our day-to-day.
Their content teams also consistently produce rock-solid content for us to use to our advantage.
8. Use search and its features
We can use all the tools available and read hundreds of articles a week, but if we aren’t working in search in real-time, our knowledge will always remain limited.
We need to use all the tools and tricks to make our job easy, but using, testing, and exploring Google Search and all other relevant search engines will forever remain critical.
Google is always testing new things (so don’t fall in love with any changes you notice), but there’s only one way to know what you think is the best search experience.
Test, experiment, hypothesize – then test some more.
9. Do work!
There’s really only one way to become a good SEO. And that’s being an SEO.
Part of being an SEO is keeping up with news, trends, and innovations.
Learning and growing in the trenches is the most effective and only true way to earn your stripes.
The changes I have seen up to this point over 13 years have been incredible and, at times, even daunting.
And it’s all just beginning.
Do the work. Stay in the know.
And enjoy the ride.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.