Profile:

Search Engine Journal is produced on the WordPress platform, which makes its layout very similar to that of a blog. The site began in 2003 as a blog written by an SEO consultant, Loren Baker. SEJ has since acquired editorial staff and welcomes contributions from industry insiders.

As with most SEO news sites, the news stories on SEJ appear in reverse chronological order (latest first). The Home page contains all stories from all categories that the site covers. The left two thirds of the page is filled by the news stories and the right-hand final third of the screen contains feature boxes, advertisements and a search facility. Each story in the main page is formatted to show the department the story comes from, the article title, the date posted and the author. A thumbnail of the writer appears at the beginning of the news story. Only the first four or five lines of each item is shown on the main page. Clicking on the title takes you through to a page with the full story followed by a comments section.

The site has two navigation structures to limit the displayed articles by category. A menu bar appears alongside the site’s title and enables access to the categories “SEO,” “Local,” “Social,” “PPC,” “Content Marketing” and “Tools.” There is an alternative navigation structure at the bottom of the main panel of stories. The headings in these shortcuts are “News,” “SEO,” “Social Media,” “Link Building,” “Tools” and “PPC.” The PPC category relates to paid search rankings. “PPC” stands for “pay per click,” which is a standard paid search engine charging structure – the search engine is paid a small amount each time a visitor to the site clicks on the paying list entry’s link in the page.

The level of complexity of the news items on this site varies with the category chosen. An independent lawyer, running his own firm, or a practice manager with no specialist marketing knowledge would not be confounded by the topics in the SEO section of the site. The Tools section requires a degree of technical knowledge to read and the PPC, Local and Social Media sections are more geared towards marketing experts.

Search Engine Journal contains a much stronger social media section than its rivals, Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Land. Those other sites may be justified in leaving the social media field alone because they are not strictly SEO topics. Search Engine Journal has a much stronger focus on events on the Twitter website than any of its websites. However, the grade of information in that section of the site would not enable you to enhance a Twitter presence by learning from examples of other successful implementers because it details Twitter related news stories, rather than giving advice on strategies for building a client base on Twitter.

Search Engine Journal is available at http://www.searchenginejournal.com/ and the SEO section of the site can be accessed directly at http://www.searchenginejournal.com/category/search-engine-optimization/.

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