Thies vs West: SEO Guide Comparison

As you know I often recommend SEO Fast Start as the SEO Guide of choice. But I also mentioned in that review that I was reading yet another SEO Guide.

This time it's Google Best Practices by Jerry West. Two SEO Guides, by two of my favorite SEO's. My intention was to do a comparison review, and at first I thought I would basically be reading two guides on pretty much the the same topic.

Both guides are current 2009 editions. Both are written by professional SEO's. The obvious difference is that one is free, the other $97. But here's the interesting twist - just as I sat down to write this review, I got an email from Jerry West:

Through the end of the week I'm knocking off $50.00 and it includes free lifetime upgrades and an update is coming out next month.

Check it out - you won't be disappointed.

Jerry West

Jerry is a Certified Search Engine Consultant, and to quote Jerry: "Google rules the web!". His guide teaches SEO as it relates specifically to Google, with a strong focus on quality traffic and increasing your conversion rate (not just your traffic).

Google Market Share: 71.42% -page 6

Google Best Practices is based 100% on test results. There are no theories, and no regurgitated industry assumptions. In fact, Jerry used 583 test domains and as he says: there are no secrets - only test results.

Chapter One starts by digging right in with a recent case study, complete with screen shots. This study walks through the step-by-step process of going from #8 on Google... to #1 and #2 with a double listing.

He teaches you exactly what it takes to get that coveted double listing - and the biggest mistake you can make trying to achieve it. (page 16)

He dissects on-page factors with detailed explanations and screenshots. Such as a major Title Tag mistake discussed on page 24. As for off-page factors: What you should do when you can't use anchor text, and still need to get that keyword phrase seen by the search engines - discussed on page 17.

Jerry also goes into the entire suite of Google tools, and how you should use them to your advantage. He also talks about the supplemental index - and how to stay out of it, as well as how to get reinclusion.

Section Two is all about Website Development and kicks off with a section on how to set up your site for maximum "Google Love".

Google Best Practices is an excellent guide. I've admitted before to having a bit of a case of 'Google paranoia', but as is often the case - it's ignorance that breeds paranoia. GBP filled in a lot of the gaps for me, and has me testing some new tools and making some SEO changes.

Do you need both SEO Guides?

Without a doubt, you must download and read the free SEO Fast Start guide. Period. After that, if you're ready to take things to the next level, specifically with your Google listings - grab Google Best Practices.

There is so much mis-information about SEO across the web, but you can't go wrong with these two current guides by top well-respected SEO's. I recommend you study both, and ignore pretty much anything else on the web about SEO.

Jerry is offering a $50 off special this week so you can get Google Best Practices for only $47, instead of the usual $97 - and that includes a free copy of the update coming out next month.


p.s. Google Best Practices has just been completely updated in November 2010. Every page of the guide was touched & updated - it was a big update. Jerry covers the MayDay Update, the change to Google Places and a lot of the algorithm changes which have happened this year. See Google Best Practices for all the details - and yes, it's still $50 off! 😉

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»


  1. This looks like an interesting read, I have so many SEO books However they have all worked their magic one way or another.

    Search engine traffic is always the best form of traffic as in the best part its free!!

    Thanks for this Lynn I will see whether I can justify it at the end of the month (SOLD!!!)


  2. Interesting book to read. I always try to take advantage of my little bit SEO techniques, and hoping to see the best results from my new blog. Different pages that you mentioned are forcing me to buy this book. Thanks for this useful post.

  3. Looks interesting , i've read "Brad Callen's" SEO made easy ,it really helped me to understand SEO much better ,
    Will be looking forward to read this new book , thanks.


  4. I should have mentioned that - it IS an instant download, delivered in PDF format immediately after you place your order. I had mine printed & put in a 3 ring binder, but that's optional.

  5. Coronado Cookie says

    As I've often said, I love Dan's SEO Fast Start. But, if as you say, GBP "...filled in a lot of the gaps for me, and has me testing some new tools and making some SEO changes" then it sounds worthwhile. I will definitely go check it out. Thanks Lynn!

  6. Thanks for the post Lynn - I better get ready to add more to my night time reading stack! 🙂

  7. Too bad I didn't know about this 'SEOFastStart' earlier. I sure could have saved some money. But now that I do, I can't wait to DEVOUR it so I won't be so SEO-clueless in the future! Thanks for a great review, Lynn.

  8. Annemarie O'Bea says

    Thanks for distinguishing the difference between the two guides Lynn. I follow both Jerry and Dan, and believe, as Lynn said, that they are two of the best SEO guys out there. I am currently going through GBP for a second time, and using specific areas to update my site. As a non-techie, I find GBP extremely easy to understand and apply. Don't miss out on scooping up this product at a great discount. If you're serious about using SEO to drive your search, you can't live without this!

  9. To those of you that are reading Jerry's guide - I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. I really loved how he jumped right in to a case study in the first chapter, and the step-by-step analysis.

  10. Thanks for the review of the 2 guides Lynn - I'd been curious on the differences for some time. I'm working through SEO Fast Start at the moment so will likely get to Jerry's a little later.

  11. As you said: "I had mine printed & put in a 3 ring binder, but that’s optional." I think it is time I started doing this with the better e-books I have. I have so many that I sometimes find it hard to find THE one that I know has the the information I am looking for at the time.

    • I do love this option. I have a great printer - a locally owned family business - and I email them my PDFs and they print & put them in a binder for me. I like having them accessible on my bookshelf, and I also use the front pockets for small notepads - and sticky notes throughout the guides to mark specific sections.

  12. Randy Cantrell says

    Printing them and putting them in 3-ring binders helps me actually read them. Otherwise, they clutter up my hard drive and I forget about them. I have, however, learned to at least scan through them on my screen first. I got tired of wasting paper on poor eBooks - of which, there are WAY too many!

  13. Hi Lynn! I'm so excited to find YOU. You are supplying us with such great information, and it is much appreciated. I am having a problem downloading this info. It keeps coming out in Japanese, and I can't change it! Can you help? Thanks, Grace

    • Hi Grace,

      What a strange problem! Is that with Dan's guide or Jerry's? I didn't have that issue with either one, so I'm wondering if it's a simple setting in your PDF reader or what. You might contact support where you ordered or downloaded the product for help with that - or do a Google search to see if you can find the fix.

  14. Per your recommendation, will place SEO Fast Start in a three ring binder. Also, will purchase, through your link above, Google Best Practices after finishing this reply and will place its printed pages in three ring binder as well. Your advice and reasoning are first-rate.

  15. Terry Tompkiss says

    Hi Lynn,

    Thanks for the recommendation. I've been struggling with the multitude of opinions and views on what works and what doesn't.

    I run a small business and so learning SEO for myself is the only way forward, until the business grows!

    I plan to purchase this GBP guide and I'll add some comments regarding how I get on with it.

    Thanks again.

  16. james steiner says

    Great Stuff and thank you as always Lynn! We have a website promotion service that oddly enough also offers a free SEO report. I will be doing the A, B & C side by side SEO report comparison to see if we might be better off sending prospective clients to Jerry West prior to sign up. I truly appreciate you providing me an opportunity of finding out how to best serve those in need via Jerry's SEO.

    In addition, I proudly feature your "Leveraging the Competition" report as a free giveaway on our blog! Primarily because I found it to be absolutely awesome and continue to implement ALL the steps you suggest not to mention as a way of letting others know about you & how you CAN/DO help! Most of all I just wanted to say thanks again for wealth of knowledge being shared so freely. It's Beautiful & So Are You Lynn - God Bless

    • Thank you James! I'm glad to hear you're sharing the report, and really appreciate that feedback. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the two SEO guides when you complete your comparative review.

  17. Garage Door Openers says

    Dan and Jerry are the mac daddys! I've learned so much from them but wasn't aware of Jerry's guide. Must have missed that email. Thanks Lynn!

  18. Dedicated Full Time ASP .Net Programmers says

    "SEO Fast Start" is really a very good SEO books as there are very few books are available for SEO it will be good read the other one that is "Google Best Practices" as you suggested. Thanks for sharing this information. Keep sharing information like this.

  19. This looks like an interesting read, though i've read so many SEO books.. and all it seems to do is confuse me more these days! hehe but looks good none the less. i'll probably give it a try.

  20. Lynn, no wonder you had your printer print your copy for you - 190 pages!

    I work with local clients and have had great results with Google Places etc. However, just glancing through the book, I can see there are many gems that are going to help my job immensely.

    Anything SEO from Jerry, Dan Thies or Leslie Rhodes is gold. This book at $47 is a no-brainer.

    Thanks for your review and link.


  21. I think that I must own about a thousand ebooks at this point, I have been collecting them since I began in the SEO industry. My opinion is that Google Best Practices has some great information in and even for those with a lot of SEO knowledge it can reveal a little gem or two. Great share Lynn.

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