Who’s the best SEO expert alive today? That is a tough question to answer. There are so many variables and the criteria for measuring this is broad.
The author of this post, an 11-year veteran of SEO marketing, would like to suggest that the top SEO’s are not necessarily measured by their income, but rather by how much they have been able to help increase the income of their clients. Some of the top SEO minds have retired and now just write and educate others about SEO marketing. So I ask, who in this world really understands how to drive massive organic traffic to a Website through optimization and white hat search engine promotion methods? Who can optimize content in their sleep, and it works? Who can quickly troubleshoot any domain and prescribe a solution the same day, a solution that works? Which SEO’s understand the importance of social media marketing to the SEO industry and how to leverage them together? Which SEO guru’s have paid their dues in the industry and have kept their swords edge as sharp as can be? Which Search Engine Optimizers can sit down at their desk and git er dun!
If you answer these questions, you will find an SEO genius that you should do whatever it takes to get them on board with you. After all, we all want to be successful right, and to expedite our successes? Ok, so we are on the same page so far.
Written by SEO Expert Robert Wright with help from Steve Wiideman, this list is derived from a mix of industry reputation, years of metric-centered writing, and a bit of pure bias.
Not necessarily in order, they’ve just simply made the list for 2009:
SearchEngineLand, Third Door Media, SMX, Daggle
Danny’s expertise about search engines is often sought by the media, and he has been quoted in places like The Wall St. Journal, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Forbes, The New Yorker and Newsweek and ABC’s Nightline.
Danny began covering search engines in late 1995, when he undertook a study of how they indexed web pages. The results were published online as “A Webmaster’s Guide To Search Engines,” a pioneering effort to answer the many questions site designers and Internet publicists had about search engines.
Brad Fallon is the author of Creating Customers Out of Thin Air: Secrets of Online Marketing for Offline Businesses and the co-founder of Smart Marketing, Inc. (a network of wholesale and retail e-commerce businesses) and other endeavors related to internet marketing. Beginning with a $2,000 start-up investment for My Wedding Favors in January, 2004, Brad’s online businesses grew from $1.2 million in first year revenue to $7.8 million in 2005 and $32 million in 2006.
Undeniably one of the biggest rock stars in the Search Engine Optimization field, Rand travels the world doing keynotes for international conferences, creates robust analytical tools for the SEO community and SEOMoz.org members.
Rand Fishkin is the CEO & Co-Founder of SEOmoz, a leader in the field of search engine optimization tools, resources & community. In 2009, he co-authored the Art of SEO from O’Reilly Media and was named among the 30 Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs Under 30 by BusinessWeek. Rand has been written about it in The Seattle Times, Newsweek and the NY Times among others and keynoted conferences on search around the world. He’s particularly passionate about the SEOmoz blog, read by tens of thousands of search professionals each day. In his miniscule spare time, Rand enjoys the company of his amazing wife, Geraldine.
Author, Speaker, Partner
SEOBook, ClientSide SEM
Aaron Wall is the author of SEO Book, a dynamic website offering marketing tips and coverage of the search space, free SEO videos, and free SEO tools. He is a regular conference speaker, partner in Clientside SEM, and publishes dozens of independent websites.
Todd Friesen (“Oilman”)
VP Search, Speaker
A true vet in the SEO industry, the “Oilman” Todd Friesen has worked on projects with Fortune 100 corporations, been an administrator at WebmasterWorld.com, moderated for Search Engine Watch, and is a co-host of SEO Rockstars for WebmasterRadio.fm. You can find Todd at just about any search engine conference either speaking, paneling, or networking with other SEO vets.
Owner, President, Blogger
Atlas Web Service
Michael Gray became involved in web development and website management in 1998. He was Webmaster for a major specialty retailer, helping create their website presence and growing their online sales from less than $10,000 a month to over $25 million in annual web sales. Michael has been involved with affiliate marketing campaigns for several years and does consulting work on a variety of topics such as SEO, Social Media and Blog Management.
Michael has been a speaker at SMX, Search Engine Strategies and PubCon He is moderator at Webmaster World and Sphinn and an editor at ThreadWatch. He has been a guest speaker on SEO RockStars, Good Karma, and The Daily Search Cast. Michael has also been interviewed for SEO articles in CNET and Forbes.com.
Michael is owner and President of Atlas Web Service; a NY based Internet Consulting Firm.
Author, Developer, Owner
Bryxen Software, BradCallen.com
Brad Callen is most known for developing Bryxen software a company that has released some very significant internet marketing tools such as Keyword Elite and SEO Elite. His software pioneered the conquest for backlink data that has helped SEO’s for over half a decade.
Bruce Clay, Inc.
One of the Founding Fathers of SEO, Bruce has operated as an executive with several high-technology businesses, and comes from a long career as a technical executive with leading Silicon Valley firms, and since 1996 in the Internet Business Consulting arena. Bruce holds a BS in Math and Computer Science and also has his MBA from Pepperdine University, has had many articles published, has been a speaker at over 100 sessions including Search Engine Strategies, WebmasterWorld, ad:Tech, Search Marketing Expo, and many more, and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, PC Week, Wired Magazine, Smart Money, several books, and many other publications.
He has also been featured on many podcasts and WebmasterRadio shows, as well as appearing on the NHK 1-hour TV special “Google’s Deep Impact”. He has personally authored many advanced search engine optimization tools that are available from the company Web sites.
Steve Wiideman (“SEO Steve”)
SEO Consultant, eBook Author
Steve Wiideman, SEO Expert, LLC
Wiideman is Fortune 100 corporate SEO/SEM vet who creates information products and consults with a handful of clients. He’s been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, National Journal and several other publications. Wiideman hosts an annual SEO summit in Orange County for those interested in learning search engine optimization. He also shares videos and interacts with fans on his SEOExpert.tv blog.
Robert Wright (“Maharishi”)
SEO Expert, Marketing Strategist, Trusted Advisor
A veteran and pioneer of SEO experimentation, Robert started altering Web content for improved search engine rankings in 1999 while living in Alaska. In 2000, Robert developed Alaska’s first algorithmic search engine and fast fell in love with search technologies. Since 1997, he has helped hundreds of businesses get online and has personally optimized over 100 Websites. He is an 8-year certified “Advanced Search Engine Marketing Strategist” from Search Engine Workshops, and he regularly attends the best search industry conferences, including Webmaster World/PubCon, SMX, SES and others of importance. Robert has been integral in the very successful Internet marketing strategies of many businesses, including Ski.com, Webroot and Ring Central. He has been featured in CNN Money, The Miami Herald and repeatedly interviewed on the “e- Marketing Talk Show.” From the SEO trenches daily, Robert still helps “mom and pops” and “mid-sized businesses” with optimization and solution driven marketing, a distinction amongst SEO experts of his caliber. Mr. Wright prefers the quiet and peaceful setting of the Rocky Mountains, where he lives with his family and works on enlightening his professional and personal life.
Search Engine Workshops, Beyond SEO
Readers, please feel free to leave a comment suggesting other candidates and why you believe they should be on this list. This list will cap at 100 entries. The next 90 SEO experts may not have made this list but none to their discredit. Feel free to introduce yourself or add a brief listing via comment. No resumes please.