The 2016 Guide to Free SEO/SEM Training Courses Online


According to a LinkedIn survey, the fourth ranked hot skill this year is SEO/SEM. Specialists in this area are also paid more handsomely. Labor-market analysis by Burning Glass Technologies suggest that 78% of well-paying middle-skill positions require basic proficiency with technology.

Having a solid background in the field, I imagined myself in the shoes of all those who are just starting this long journey. The good news is that you already know the secret sauce of success – hard work and persistence. The bad news is that due to a growing popularity of SEO/SEM, we’re inundated with crappy blogs and fake SEO-gurus who usually look like this:

Fake SEO Gurus

Luckily, there are great free online guides and courses that will get your search engine optimization skills growing.

Here’s the list of 8 best places to start learning SEO/SEM:

8 Best Courses to Start Learning SEO/SEM

1. How Search Works

How Search Works

This abecedary scrolling visual story created by Google describes the hypertext search engine at work. You won’t find any recommendation on how to optimize a page here, but the alphabet is an alphabet, and before you fly, you should first learn how to crawl. And how Google crawls too.

2. Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO

Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO

The Beginner’s Guide to SEO by Moz speaks for itself. One of the most reputable SEO company covers all the basic aspects of modern search engine optimization and marketing. The course is divided into 10 chapters and provides ample additional reading from reputable sources.  You will also find Moz’s Advanced SEO: Tactics and Strategy on Udemy particularly interesting as it explains how to use UX and social to help your site. Also there’s a Whiteboard Friday on Moz – a weekly updated vlog covering many relevant subjects on modern day SEO/SEM.

3. Wordstream’s SEO Basics: Complete Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Wordstream’s SEO Basics: Complete Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

This course presented by Worstream – another established name in the world of internet marketing, – is one long article with good examples and tips that you should bookmark. Filled with real

4. Serpstat Academy

Serpstat Academy - Best SEO Courses

Serpstat Academy is where you can learn all about keywords, their role in ranking, and how to perform a keyword research. The downside is that being an all-in-one SEO platform, Serpstat illustrates everything via examples from the tool itself. The plus side is that it won’t be a problem as all SEO tools are quite similar and simple to use and you almost definitely will use some of these.  

5. Hubspot Academy

HubSpot Academy

Hubspot Academy is one of the best free resources to introduce you to the world of the search engine marketing. Video lessons are pinpointed with quizzes and there’s a final test in the end. The plus side is that you’ll get the badge. The downside is that it’s just a badge.

6. Digital Marketing Challenge by Google

Digital Marketing Challenge by Google

This Digital Marketing course offers many valuable business solutions and will help you understand the main points of advertising with Google. Course includes introduction to Google Analytics – the pillar of your SEO/SEM.   

7. Local SEO and Google Analytics with

Local SEO and Google Analytics with is an online resource that offers 4000 different courses in business, technology and creative skills. Among most useful tutorials for those who want to start learning are Local SEO guide, SEO tools fundamentals, and Advanced Google Analytics.

8. Coursera SEO Courses

Coursera SEO Courses is another great place for starting your online learning. The resource has free enrollment to their SEO courses that will show you how to manage your content for search engines, conducting search-focused audits of your website and much more.


And for a light reading you can always have this paper submitted by Google’s founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page during their Ph.D in Stanford. Taken from its title “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Search Engine” you can guess what is it about.

The 2016 Guide to Free SEO/SEM Training Courses Online


  1. Nice list!
    Like many of us, I stumbled upon SEO and lot has changed since then. Those are truly good places to start!

  2. Moz’s guide for SEO is truly best. I have read it like many times. And best part is that it’s free. I love to read moz blog, they offers best SEO topics and blog posts. Thanks for mentioning the others sites.

  3. I hope this does not come off as excessive a newbie question, but I ‘d enjoy to know how you to the point of having such a grasp on the digital marketing market. With a lot details on the topic, I am having a difficult time knowing exactly what to believe and exactly what not to believe. Any suggestions?


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