Book review: Professional Search Engine Optimization with PHP: A developer's Guide to SEO

Book review: Professional Search Engine Optimization with PHP: A developer's Guide to SEO


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the last process I would think of when making my homepage. However, when fighting for customers or the possibility for an audience and thus advertising revenue through page clicks then understanding SEO and placing it in the center of your website’s design is vital for your personal/professional wealth. Professional Search Engine Optimization with PHP: A Developer’s Guide to SEO by Jaimie Sirovich and Cristian Darie and published by WORX as part of its Programmer to Programmer series details many, many valid tactics.

The book’s coverThe book’s cover

My first impressions were very positive: a potentially theoretical book made alive through the valid use of PHP code examples that permeated the pages with context. A well described book detailing many types of pressures and risks for the budding Search Engine Marketer or website engineer. The book taught me—without pain—a great deal on a complex subject area of which I knew little.

A well described book detailing many types of pressures and risks for the budding Search Engine Marketer

The contents

Spread over sixteen chapters and one thoroughly handy appendix on my favorite subject, regular expressions, Professional Search Engine Optimization with PHP details vigorously the points of interest within a complex landscape of not always obvious techniques.

Chapter one and two, focused and to the point, get you going with an SEO exampled website. Installing XAMPP is explained rapidly and so to the basic process of optimization. I especially liked the use of a simple installer and well-known flag head free software

Zooming in further, the next eleven chapters focus directly on specific issues such as the evil of duplicating content or answering the now obvious question of why site maps are important. I particularly liked the highly relevant points made over Flash and AJAX in chapter four (page 149). I wonder how Google and the like currently generate search rankings of highly popular and dynamic almost pure AJAX web sites and what needs to be changed to preserve meaningful ranking validity in the future.

I wonder how Google and the like currently generate search rankings of highly popular and dynamic pure AJAX web sites

The chapters: copying with technical issues and the case study of building an e-commerce store are icing on the cake, which I eat with great hunger, and the example code was well worth a second glance and a bit of extra typing. I particularly enjoyed the use of an Apache .htaccess file (page 266) with rewrite rules to structure links and help with correctly redirecting.

Who’s this book for?

This book is for anyone that wishes to improve the ranking of their PHP enabled website or who needs to comprehend the great number of little details involved with optimizations.

Relevance to free software

XAMPP is an excellent example of packaging a series of free software tools in an extremely simple setup process. Apache, MySQL, PHP are the flagship, highly recognized free software figureheads. Chapter 16 describes tactics for increasing ranking for WordPress another great free software application that I intend to use myself one rainy day.

Search optimization is, to a decent degree, technologically agnostic; therefore, it comes as no surprise that there is a second similar book in the series based on ASP .Net

Pros

Jaimie Sirovich and Cristian Darie’s book is a well-written, well exampled corpus that applies free software effectively.

Optimizations run the risk of thoroughly changing the structure of an ineffectively designed but in all probability wonderful to view website. This tome clearly labels and addresses a long list of those nagging but necessary issues.

This tome clearly labels and addresses a long list of those nagging but necessary issues

Cons

Search Engine Optimization is of little importance to many small personal websites and will cause extra work if applied. Further, though the list of issues is long, the amount of detail needed for SEO is greater than any one book can contain. Therefore, consider expanding your library by buying a second alternative reference as well.

Title Professional Search Engine Optimization with PHP: A Developer’s Guide to SEO
Author(s) Cristian Darie, Jaimie Sirovich
Publisher WROX
ISBN 0470100923
Year 2007
Pages 360
CD included No
FS Oriented 10
Over all score 9

In short

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Alan Berg's picture

Biography

Alan Berg Bsc. MSc. PGCE, has been a lead developer at the Central Computer Services at the University of Amsterdam since 1998. In his spare time, he writes articles, book reviews and has authored three books. He has a degree, two masters and a teaching qualification. In previous incarnations, he was a technical writer, an Internet/Linux course writer, and a science teacher. He likes to get his hands dirty with the building and gluing of systems. He remains agile by playing computer games with his sons who (sadly) consistently beat him physically, mentally and morally at least twice in any given day.

You may contact him at reply.to.berg At chello.nl