Although it has been around for nearly two decades, the world of Search Engine Optimizers is always evolving and growing. The industry is brutal but with the right resources, SEO’s can stay on the top of their game by staying current and changing with the trends of the market. Here are five free resources for beginners that will help advance your skill set and keep you current.

1. Google Webmaster Central Blog

The Google Webmaster Central Blog is a key resource as Google is the dominating power in all things internet, including internet marketing. This blog has everything you would expect from Google and more: videos, instructional how-to’s, materials for beginners and the tech-savvy. Best of all, the information is coming from those at Google who are monitoring and even creating the trends and breakthroughs we all try to follow. The Webmaster Central Blog is also a nice resource to have because it showcases various areas of study to make your internet experience well-rounded. Even though it may not focus solely on SEO, it gives anyone in the internet marketing industry a leg up on competition by introducing new areas if interest and covering topics from images to crawl errors.

2. The Daily SEO Blog

From the innovative team at SEOmoz, this blog is something that every SEO should be checking daily. It captures everything relevant from the industry, whether its new policies and penalties or the discussion of black hat SEO’s. They have a great segment called “Whiteboard Friday,” which is an entertaining way to stay informed and keep up on the hot topics in the trade. There are several different SEOmoz bloggers, but perhaps one of the shining qualities to this particular blog is that they pull excellent posts from their user-driven blog, YOUmoz. This is great for two reasons. Firstly, it allows outside voices to have a widespread audience and share their knowledge of SEO and second because it tells the reader that SEOmoz is cultivating the best talent possible for their articles.

3. Klout

While this may seem like just another social media tool, Klout is unique because it measures your influence over others. It tracks the analytics of your social media sites in one convenient spot and best of all, it’s completely free! It converges all of the different areas that you are active in social media-land, and turns it into tangible data. Not only is this a great way to stay on top of your game, but it also shows that you are taking the time and effort to track all of this data.  Klout is user friendly and is a great way for beginning SEO’s to break into the analytical side of the job. It tracks the influences of over 100 million users everyday, which means that you can see your reach and develop better strategies for broadening your brand. While your Klout score may not be the most important thing, try to look at Klout as a tool for configuring algorithmic success within the industry, not to track your popularity.

4. Open Site Explorer

Another great site from SEOmoz, this allows you to track sites and compare different sites to see the effectiveness of their links. This tool is an amazing one to have in your arsenal, as you can compare someone you are working with to their competition. You get more options if you decide to purchase SEOmoz pro, but there is still a lot of information from the free site, although you only get to do 3 reports a day. Between Open Site Explorer and Klout, there is a plethora of information, waiting to take your SEO skills to the next level. Open Site Explorer can show you incredible information about your site from page authority to internal and external links. This is definitely a tool to look into and get familiar with.

5. Pinterest

Pinterest is a newer social media site that allows users to “pin” things they like in a virtual inspiration board. Why is this important to SEO? Pinterest is trending to be the new big thing in social media, falling in the number 3 spot behind Facebook and Twitter. It is especially important because it goes beyond sharing information with followers. Pinterest represents the potential to create different pinboards and utilizing them as a two way communication strategy. The SEO doesn’t determine what gets posted or what is tweeted — the consumer is solely responsible for pinning items that they are interested in. One company that seems to be thriving on Pinterest is Blendtec, who is embracing the possibilities that this new form of social media represents. This is a site to keep in mind in the future as it grows and expands as a marketing tool.