topher

By Tara Calishain, Rael Dornfest
February 2003
ISBN: 0-596-00447-8
352 pages, $24.95 US, $38.95 CA, £17.50 UK
Book Site
Purchase this book here.

I borrowed this from a friend some months back, read it quickly, and left it on my shelf planning to review it. My friend asked me today if I’d done that yet, and I hadn’t, so here I am.

I sort of look at the book as having two different goals, and only one of them actually being hacking. The first three fourths of the book is the hacking part, with lots of info about scraping, pulling search results directly into scripts, etc. I wasn’t all that interested in that part, since they appeared to be developing web services based on Google acting the same way every time, and not ever blocking them.

The last quarter of the book is very useful to me however. It not only gets very specific about how to optimize your site for Google to find it and like it, but the suggestions it makes are universal to all search engines, and good site development. Most of it I knew, or at least had the concepts of, but this book lays it all out in logical format so that things make sense together.

I’d suggest this book to anyone responsible for making new web sites visible in search engines, regardless of whether they ever plan to “hack” Google.

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