20 SEO Experts You Should Be Following to Stay on Top
If you’re looking to seriously step up your SEO game, you can’t trust just any source you find online that happens to offer SEO advice.
Looking to the most reputable specialists ensures that you’re getting the most accurate, up-to-date, and useful SEO information available. With that in mind, in this article we feature 20 top SEO experts and explain why they’re worth following.
How SEO Specialists Can Help WordPress Users
Before we dive into the list, it’s worth mentioning what exactly makes someone a specialist, versus someone who just happens to be all talk and no action. The people that made it on this list are specialists mainly because of the depth of experience they have in advanced SEO, and how they have leveraged that experience into other complementary areas of online marketing (which is pretty much all of ’em).
While any SEO beginner who’s been able to rank for a long-tail keyword with low competition can write a blog post about how they did it (and then of course never update it), these specialists are far more advanced than that. They’ve dug deeper into SEO and know how to do all the dirty work that comes with ranking for highly competitive keywords, working with advanced tools, tailoring SEO needs for e-commerce purposes, analyzing all sorts of different sets of data, fine-tuning website code for the search engines, and much more.
Many run their own successful businesses online and have successfully helped countless other business sites get more search engine traffic. Some have even been dabbling in SEO since the mid-90s, back when many of us were still wee nippers.
These people are the real deal, and they all have the experience and reputations to back them up. Follow their updates and you’ll never have to worry about getting duped ever again by people who keep circulating outdated or just plain wrong SEO advice online.
Matt Cutts is head of the Webspam team at Google.
If there’s only going to be one individual you’ll follow for SEO news and information, Matt Cutts might as well be the one because he’s got the Google connection. With over 438,000 Twitter followers, he’s one of the most influential “web celebs” to follow and is basically the go-to guy for everything SEO.
Over the years, Matt has been helping business owners and webmasters work on improving their search rankings by releasing hundreds of videos and sharing valuable SEO advice.
Rand Fishkin is the founder of one of the most popular and authoritative websites out there on SEO and online marketing, Moz (formerly SEOmoz).
He was CEO from 2007 to 2014 and now focuses on product and marketing as the “Wizard of Moz” while still contributing regularly to the blog.
Has has given several public speaking presentations at large companies, including Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.
Danny Sullivan is the founding editor of Search Engine Land, another one of the more well-known and authoritative SEO blogs on the web.
He’s also the founder of another popular and related website, Marketing Land. Believe it or not, Danny has actually been writing about how search engines work since 1996, practically back before Google even existed. He’s been referred to as the Godfather of SEO and sold another successful SEO website he founded – Search Engine Watch – back in 2006 for $43 million.
He has helped large companies including Amazon, NBC, HP, and Viacom increase their revenue, and has been named a top influencer on the web by the Wall Street Journal, a top ten online marketer by Forbes, and even a top 100 entrepreneur under 30 years old by Barack Obama.
He’s the author of The Advanced Guide to SEO and regularly writes and comments on SEO in his blog and elsewhere around the web.
Brian Dean is the founder of Backlinko, a traffic generation business that specializes in link building, SEO, content marketing, and conversions. He helps business owners who’ve been beat down by Google so they can get their rankings and search traffic up using specialized strategies you can’t really find anywhere else.
Neil Patel has called him “the best in the business” when it comes to link building. He also offers a free newsletter full of proven SEO and traffic tips that anyone with a website can use.
Bruce Clay has specialized in SEO since the mid-1990s, running a global internet marketing firm that covers SEO, SEO training, SEO tools, social media marketing, PPC, content marketing, and web design in offices all around the world.
He’s the author of the 746-page book Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies and has a talented team of contributors writing for the Bruce Clay blog.
Eric Enge is CEO of Stone Temple Consulting, a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO, social media, and content marketing. He’s also the lead author of The Art of SEO, perhaps the most widely sold book on the topic of SEO, which he collaborated on with several other well-known SEO specialists.
He also regularly contributes his advice on SEO and marketing on sites like Forbes, Moz, Copyblogger, and others, while regularly writing for the Stone Temple blog.
Barry Schwartz is the founder and executive editor of Search Engine Roundtable, yet another popular and trustworthy SEO blog up there with Moz and Search Engine Land.
In fact, he’s actually the news editor at Danny Sullivan’s Search Engine Land and contributes to Marketing Land, too. Barry is always one of the first to break important Google news, explaining what it means and offering practical advice to marketing professionals and small business owners.
Spencer Haws got his claim to fame building niche websites before founding Niche Pursuits, where he writes on SEO and entrepreneurship.
In his initial years of experimentation, he built almost 200 niche websites while learning how to build better quality sites and prevent sliding in Google rankings. He’s also the creator of the keyword tool Long Tail Pro, which has been called the number one keyword research and competitor analysis software.
Larry Kim is the founder of WordStream, a powerful PPC management software business. He’s also a top columnist for both Inc. Magazine as well as Search Engine Land.
His blog receives over a million unique visitors every month. He was named the most influential PPC expert in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and was the number one top columnist on Search Engine Land in 2013.
Vanessa Fox is the CEO of Keylime Toolbox, a software company that specializes in providing SEO tools. She’s also the author of Marketing in the Age of Google, which has been named a must-read for the business owner who’s looking to survive in the 21st century.
Vanessa has been instrumental at Google, Yahoo, and Bing sitemaps.org alliance, and was also the creator of Google’s Webmaster Central.
Eric Ward has been a “linking strategist since the dawn of time,” according to his Twitter bio. He claims to have actually kicked off the web’s first link building services way back in 1994 and has helped enormous sites like Amazon, PBS, and Weather.com execute successful link building campaigns.
He’s been a regular contributor to Search Engine Land and ClickZ as well as a speaker at many major industry events. He publishes a premium newsletter at LinkMoses Private, full of linking strategies, question and answer style tips, client case studies, news, and more.
He is the inventor of specialized software RIO SEO Website Optimizer and has been a contributing columnist to Search Engine Land, The Huffington Post, and Multichannel Merchant. He also offers a free guide on his website covering SEO myths that must die.
Dave Naylor is the head of search marketing and managing director at Bronco, a creative digital marketing agency. He got his start in the digital marketing world back in 1998, founding Bronco in 2003 and working with several international companies since then. He frequently speaks at industry conferences and writes blog posts on his website about all sorts of useful stuff related to SEO and Google news.
Eric Siu is the CEO of Single Grain, a digital marketing agency that has worked with big brands like HostGator, Turbo Tax, and Mint.
He was the former growth team leader at Treehouse and has done consulting work for several Fortune 500 companies and venture-backed startups. Eric is a regular contributor to reputable sites including Search Engine Watch and Entrepreneur, and he runs a blog at Growth Everywhere where he covers business, entrepreneurship, and, of course, SEO.
Bill Slawski is another SEO specialist who has been working with search engine traffic and internet marketing consulting since 1996. He’s helped a variety of authoritative sites with their SEO, including Harvard Business School, Johns Hopkins University, The American Psychological Association, Comcast, and more.
His blog, SEO by the Sea, is an excellent resource for anyone looking to stay on top of relevant SEO news and information.
Lee Oden is the CEO of Top Rank Marketing, a digital marketing agency that specializes in content marketing, SEO, social media, and more. He and his team have helped several Fortune 100 companies and SMBs improve site traffic, increase engagement, attract new customers, and increase online brand visibility.
The Top Rank blog is a great place to look for valuable SEO information as well as more on content marketing, social media, and interviews with other experts.
Aaron Wall is the founder of SEOBook, a leading SEO website that claims to offer the number one SEO training program complete with various tools, videos, a private forum, and additional resources. The site was launched in 2003 and is known as one of the oldest SEO sites that’s still regularly updated for the current state of the web. It focuses on offering users marketing tips, online business tips, search analysis, and more.
Chris Dyson is an experienced SEO consultant who specializes in SEO audits, consulting, competitor analysis, and Google penalty recovery.
His Google penalty services include helping small businesses recover from SEO issues related to the Google Panda or Penguin updates, like unnatural linking and pure spam. He also regularly updates his blog with great posts on SEO and content marketing.
Dennis Seymour is the co-founder of LeapFroggr, a digital marketing and SEO company. He got started with SEO consulting and digital marketing back in 2001 and in 2007 decided to start taking it seriously by bringing together his team. He and his team has since worked together with thousands of companies across the world.
The LeapFroggr blog often features very detailed and in-depth posts on all sorts of great SEO and marketing topics.
Do you already follow any of the above SEO specialists? Would you like to read more SEO-related articles on our blog? What kinds of topics are you interested in? Let us know in the comments below.
Image credits: Thos Ballantyne, Ethan Beute, Wikipedia Commons, Michael Dorausch, PROMichael Dorausch, Michael Dorausch (again), randy stewart, Michael Dorausch (and again), Steven Lilley, Ted Murphy.