I enjoy reading books that are not about SEO but still influence my work in some way. I think that SEO is still a relatively young industry and we have lots to learn from elsewhere. There are lots of things we can learn from other fields if we open up to it a bit.

I randomly thought it would be interesting to find out what books my peers recommended so I emailed them and asked. I thought it would be nice to share it publicly so I’ve created the list below to share with everyone. You will notice a few books are repeated, this is deliberate as I wanted to show the popularity of them.

On a related note, my link building book is starting to take shape so if you’d like to hear about it when it’s released, sign up using that link.

Sam Crocker recommends

Switch: How to change things when change is hard
  E-myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives
  Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions
  Persuasion: The Art of Influencing People

Dr Pete recommends
  Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t
  Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Duncan Morris recommends
  Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t
  First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently
  The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
  Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

Wil Reynolds recommends
  Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing
  The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything
Switch: How to change things when change is hard

Ian Lurie recommends

 

  Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
  The Ultimate Question 2.0: How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World
The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World
  Confessions of an Advertising Man
  My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising

Mackenzie Fogelson recommends
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose; A Round Table Comic
  E-Myth Mastery: The Seven Essential Disciplines for Building a World Class Company
  The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
Rework
  The One Minute Manager

Rand Fishkin recommends
The Billionaire Who Wasn’t: How Chuck Feeney Made and Gave Away a Fortune Without Anyone Knowing
Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
  The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic
Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City
Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain

Joanna Lord recommends
Fire Starter Lessons
Rework
  The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products that Win
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t
The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business
  The Phantom Tollbooth

Will Critchlow recommends
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t
  E-myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently
  The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
  Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way

I’d love to hear your own recommendations in the comments, although I should really hold back on downloading yet more books for my Kindle!

Paddy


Paddy is co-founder of Aira, a digital marketing agency in Milton Keynes.

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17 Comments

  • Reply

    Farky Rafiq

    January 9, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Ironically I’m sitting next to my copy of good to great! (The social sectors) The other favourite of mine is ‘Winning’ by Jack Welch.

  • Reply

    WARREN

    January 9, 2013 at 12:57 am

    Lot’s of good suggestions. The book “Getting To Yes” should be on every SEO managers desk as well!

  • Reply

    Mark Scully

    January 9, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Thanks Paddy, this is a great list :)

  • Reply

    Malcolm Gibb

    January 9, 2013 at 9:14 am

    The Lean Startup is a great book. Saving this for some reading recommendations. Another great one of rationality v. irrationality is The Logic of Life by Tim Harford.

  • Reply

    web development services

    January 9, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Great work Paddy, I am a reading addict and you have added fire to my burning coal, Thanks mate, Kudos for this post

  • Reply

    Jonathan Moore

    January 9, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Thanks Paddy, some great books on this list. One of my favourites not on the list is Tribal Leadership.

  • Reply

    thedavidgross

    January 9, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Thanks Paddy. I am also a big fan of ‘good to great’. Very surprised to not see Stephen R Coveys classic ‘7 habits of highly successful people’ appear on the list. Its a brilliant read.

  • Reply

    Nick Eubanks

    January 9, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    So funny good to great is on this list several times… but rightfully so, I love that book. I am in the first segment of the 4 hour chef and honestly .. most SEO’s could benefit from this book… just it’s tone and approach to being auto-didactic would help a lot of people. Thanks for putting together Paddy!

    • Reply

      Stephanie Chang

      January 10, 2013 at 12:22 am

      Agree! I just finished the 4 hour chef and similarly to all his books, found the meta learning section incredibly valuable.

  • Reply

    Donna Nelson

    January 11, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Wow, great collection of works! I recommend two from Deepak Chopra’s collection, ‘The Book of Secrets’ and ‘The Soul of Leadership’ to tap into true potentiality and massive success. :)

  • Reply

    Marshall Simmonds

    January 11, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Good post – I’d add The Checklist Manifesto to the list as that book has literally saved lives as well as my sanity and lack of appropriate brainpower.

  • Reply

    Ram Babu SEO

    January 12, 2013 at 4:46 am

    thanks paddy, it’s good to know this as well learning some from Non-SEO books !i would also like to select and start reading the one is – “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t”

  • Reply

    Muhammad Talha Imtiaz

    January 12, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Well, all of this is all cool. Though I haven’t read any of them.

    I think we SEOs should read a bit of fiction too – ideas are inspired by reading creative stuff.

    So give a shot to these (if you haven’t already)

    Off Mice and Men

    The Animal Farm

    The Boy With No Shoes

    To Kill a Mocking Bird

    The Eagle Has Landed

    Having said that, I think you guys must certainly have recommended the best reading for SEOs.

    Have fun

  • Reply

    Mark Hannant

    January 12, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is excellent. I recommend The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume. Great for people like me that started their SEO career the wrong way round! *coughs “reciprocal linking” under breath*

  • Reply

    graemefraser

    January 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Great post. Glad to see Re:work mentioned a couple of time. A truly inspirational book. I’d also add Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath, about how some messages and ideas stick and some don’t and how to fix that.

  • Reply

    Austin Geraci

    January 13, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Great list ty- I finally started good to great and can’t put it down. The preface is magic.. Telling your reader you wouldn’t take 100 million dollars NOT TO PUBLISH a book.. sold.

  • Reply

    steve Joyce

    January 20, 2013 at 1:27 am

    great collection of readers and books – have read about 80% of all those
    mentioned and this IS a great set of recommendations Paddy

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