SEO Books & Websites

Japanese SEO Books

I’ve never understood the economics of this, but in Japan the publishing industry cranks out dozens of books and magazines on even the most obscure topic, and SEO is no exception. And the books often have elaborate illustrations and diagrams and a complex layout. The topic of SEO gets the full treatment in book form. Following are a few examples.

Complete Detailed Guide to Google SEO. Takahiro Watanabe of Alpha SEO, one of the oldest Japanese SEO firms, is the first author out with a Google-centric SEO book. While most Japanese SEO books have played it safe by concentrating on Yahoo! Japan or covering both Yahoo! Japan and Google, Mr. Watanabe got out this Google-only book soon after the announcement that Yahoo was moving to using Google for search results. One commenter likes the detailed advice, while another thinks it’s all been said before. I suppose it depends on your knowledge level going in. Update: I got ahold of this book, and it’s a very detailed explanation of how Google works, including all the information Google has posted about SEO, and information about Google’s patents. I suspect for a Japanese reader this book would be invaluable. But for those of us who can read English, all the information can be had on the net. It doesn’t go into Japan-specific nuts-and-bolts advice, like how registering in Yahoo! Categories is good for your Google rankings. The last section of the book is the best, on mobile SEO in Japan, and it covers more than just Google.

Engineering Stronger SEO. Between the two of them, Hiroshi Yasukawa and Otomo Ito have written three other SEO books besides this one. The gimmick here is that they start from the first principles of information retrieval technology and engineering and show how understanding that leads to the most effective SEO techniques. Although I think this approach only takes you so far, I think it’s helpful in dispelling a lot of urban legends about purported magical powers that Google has that in fact are not practically possible given the limits of what computer programs can actually do with data sets the size of the internet, whether in real time or in offline batch processing.

SEO Results in 28 Days. IT consultant Takashi Yoshikawa gets a few knocks in the comments for his book’s “1-month to SEO success” claim (although I suspect this was the publisher’s idea), but nevertheless most readers were impressed by its emphasis on empirical testing of SEO techniques over simply listening to urban legends and secondhand opinions. However some commenters were put off by Yoshikawa’s relentless trashing of SEO conventional wisdom, questioning whether the lessons learned by those working in the trenches for so long were really completely without merit.

Japanese SEO Websites

SearchEngineOptimization.jp. This is a site that aggregates Japanese SEO news, tips and articles. It’s set up like Digg or a Pligg site, with items in ranked order, so the RSS feed might be a better way to keep up with things. The excerpts are long enough that you don’t need to click out of the site unless you’re sure the particular post/article is worth reading in full.

SEM Research. This is a blog covering SEM and SEO news, Google Japan, Yahoo! Japan and Bing Japan, mobile, and analytics. It’s not updated as regularly as you’d like, but when it is, the content is interesting.

SEO Japan – Search Marketing in Japanese. This is a new English language blog from a Japanese guy covering Japanese SEM and SEO. There’s really nothing there yet, but I’m making a note of it here so I won’t forget to check in on it from time to time.