Top SEOs on ClubHouse

Brandon Na here.  I founded Seattle Organic SEO over 10 years ago and have been incredibly fortunate to jump on ClubHouse at an ideal time.  It has helped me truly gauge my SEO abilities vs. many of the top search engine marketing professionals in the world.

Recently, I’ve been joined by Rob Bertholf, Shelly Fagin, Jonathan Li and Paige Ford in an effort to lead the biggest SEO dedicated channel on ClubHouse. (down below, I’ll list all the amazing SEOs in the club which may be “the list” frankly). We’ve been graced by many amazing professionals in our industry including (and not limited to):

And frankly, Shelly’s considered one of the Top 140 SEOs in the world***, Jonathan’s the Former SEO Lead @ Critical Mass (Omnicom) & SEO Director at Evans Hunt, Paige is the SEO Lead at Netflix and Rob has the most amazing guide on SEO that beats most books. My agency’s been #1 in Seattle for the past 8 out of 10 years, we’ve helped companies sell for $500 mill USD, and we even rank at the top for phrases like, “Seattle SEO,” “Costco SEO” or “Top Korean American CEOs” and even the top boarding schools (“Andover SSAT Scores,” “Exeter interview questions”, “SSAT percentile chart”).

With that said, after spending almost a month with these amazing SEO experts, I’ve finally finished my thoughts on a question I’ve been struggling with for the past 15+ years:

Who are the best SEOs in the World?**

This must be the MOST controversial topic outside of politics.  Frankly, the answers are completely subjective and based on very unscientific reasons.  It’s basically one big popularity contest where many of the SEOs who have gotten to know each other via one search conference (which by the way are exorbitantly prohibitive for anyone without financial means to attend regularly, but covid may have changed that).  And this “kissing up” to the pioneers or individuals who have had some success frankly makes answering this question incredibly tough.

I’ve decided I’m going to examine this through the criterion I’ve used historically to judge the best Boarding Schools for the elite families who can afford them or the analysis of the top universities in the world.  I always try and examine the many digital sources of information which is become our “source(s) for truth.”  With that said, I’m also using what I’ve heard thus far on the social media platform and will give you my best 2 cents on who I feel “make the grade.”  Beyond that, it’s your job to vet these individuals and see if perhaps there is a fit when it comes to possibly listening to them or hiring them, if you’re as serious as I believe everyone should be when it comes to SEO.

I’ll be using the following criteria to make the call for the “top seos”:

  • Popular SEOs on the web
  • Top SEOs on Twitter
  • Top SEOs by search volume
  • Top Female SEOs
  • Top ClubHouse SEOs
  • Pioneers in the SEO industry
  • Other Resources influencing SEO credibility

Popular SEOs on the Web

Google loves to take some random post to cull together the carousel at the top for queries like “best seos in the world” or “top seos” in the world.

“Best SEOs in the world”

returns the following (in order in the carousel as of 3/13/2021):

  • Barry Schwarz
  • Eric Enge
  • Brian Dean
  • Bill Slawski
  • Rand Fishkin
  • Marie Haynes
  • Aleyda Solis
  • Cindy Krum
  • Greg Gifford
  • Vanessa Fox
  • Ann Smarty
  • Duane Forrestor
  • John Doherty

“Top SEO Experts”

returns the following (in order in the carousel as of 3/15/2021):

  • Barry Schwarz
  • Rand Fishkin (5 -> 2)
  • Aleyda Solis (7->3)
  • Brian Dean (3->4)
  • Eric Enge (2->5)
  • Bill Slawski (4->6)
  • Danny Sullivan (not in the list above)
  • Vanessa Fox (10->8)
  • Matt Cutts (not in the list above; not in the SEO industry for the most part now)
  • Richard Baxter (WTF?)
  • Ann Smarty (same position as above, 11th)
  • AJ Kohn (not in the list above)
  • Heather Lloyd-Martin (not in the list above)
  • Nick Eubanks (not in the list above)
  • Greg Gifford (9->15)
  • Paul Shapiro
  • Larry Kim
  • Duane Forrester
  • John Doherty
  • Joost de VAlk
  • Shane Barker
  • Bruce Clay
  • Marie Haynes
  • Hamlet Batista
  • Cindy Krum
  • Trond Lyngbo
  • Jill Whalen
  • Lee Odden
  • Moz?
  • Adam Audette
  • Gabriel Weinberg
  • Ian Lurie
  • John McTigue
  • Matthew Capala
  • Aaron Wall

Top SEOs on Twitter

Honestly, there are too many lists for the “top SEOs on twitter.”  However, one easy metric to use is simply the number of followers.  For today, let’s list off the:

Top Followed SEOs on Twitter

  1. Larry Kim, 761.3k followers
  2. Danny Sullivan, 535.1k followers (as of 3/15/21)
  3. Rand Fishkin, 442.1k followers
  4. Robert Scoble, 401.3k
  5. Neil Patel, 384.9k followers
  6. Daren Rowse, 226.2k followers
  7. Jeff Bullas, 218.4k followers
  8. Brian Clark, 170.8k followers
  9. Barry Schwartz, 142.6k followers
  10. Brian Dean, 114.3k followers
  11. AJ Ghergich, 102.3k followers
  12. Aleyda Solis, 85.1k followers
  13. Cyrus Shepard, 73.7k followers
  14. Bill Slawski, 54,5k
  15. Michael King, 41.3k

Top 40 SEOs on Twitter by Topic

courtesy of the media captain

Top SEOs by search volume

  • Neil Patel, 165,000 avg mo searches
  • Danny Sullivan, 27,100 avg mo searches
  • Gabriel Weinberg, 12,100 avg mo searches
  • Barry Schwartz, 6600 avg mo searches
  • Rand Fishkin, 5400 avg mo searches
  • Brian Dean, 5400 avg mo searches
  • John Doherty, 5400 avg mo searches
  • Paul Shapiro, 1900 avg mo searches
  • Larry Kim, 1600 avg mo searches
  • Robert Scoble, 1600 avg mo searches
  • Bruce Clay, 1300 avg mo searches
  • Jeff Bullas, 1000 avg mo searches
  • Aleyda Solis, 1000 avg mo searches
  • Hamlet Batista, 990 avg mo searches
  • Jonathan Li, 720 avg mo searches
  • Cindy Krum, 720 avg mo searches
  • Daren Rowse, 590 avg mo searches
  • Bill Slawski, 590 avg mo searches
  • Joost de Valk, 590 avg mo searches
  • Marie Haynes, 590 avg mo searches
  • Aaron Wall, 490 avg mo searches
  • Greg Gifford, 490 avg mo searches
  • Lee Odden, 260 avg mo searches
  • Jill Whalen, 170 avg mo searches
  • Cyrus Shepard, 170 avg mo searches
  • Paige Ford, 110 avg mo searches
  • Trond Lyngbo, 110 avg mo searches
  • Duane Forrester, 110 avg mo searches
  • Ian Lurie, 110 avg mo searches
  • Adam Audette, 90 avg mo searches
  • John McTigue, 70 avg mo searches
  • Brandon Na, 50 avg mo searches
  • Shelly Fagin, 40 avg mo searches
  • Rob Bertholf, 30 avg mo searches
  • Matthew Capala, 20 avg mo searches
  • Brian Clark, n/a
  • AJ Ghergich, n/a
  • Michael King, n/a
  • Shane Barker, n/a

Obviously being “searched” doesn’t necessarily equate to demand or quality.  It can even mean controversy.  Maybe Neil Patel did something odd or funny (in a good or bad way).  Also, note there are many “neil patels” in the world.

With that said, when we add “seo” to the names, we see the top 5 have significantly lower search volume:

Neil still wins.

Our little crew on ClubHouse, however, is growing in search volume.

36% to be exact, whereas the top 5 in this list has lost 2% in the same period.

Pioneers in the SEO industry

  • Rand Fishkin
  • Danny Sullivan
  • Bruce Clay

Other resources on figuring out SEO

Come back to see some other interesting ways we slice and dice this question.  At some point, it would be incredible to have a true awards ceremony for the industry that may be moving the dial more than any other in digital marketing.

Some ideas in the pipeline:

  • Largest base of clients by dollars
  • Highest improvement in visibility by complete client base
  • Best improvement (year over year) of a top brand
  • Best turnaround by an SEO of a company or organization
  • The best achievements by the most difficult verticals

The Top 10 SEOs in the Americas

  1. Rand Fishkin
  2. Jackie Chu
  3. Eric Wu
  4. Britney Muller
  5. Michael King
  6. Aleyda Solis
  7. Bill Slawski
  8. Cindy Krum
  9. Brian Dean
  10. Joy Hawkins

Top Women in SEO

This narrative is being influenced significantly by the following posts:

The Top 10 Women in SEO to follow in 2019 | AUTHORITAS

13 stories of women who are shaping the SEO field

18 smart women in SEO to follow on Twitter

And in another post in the SERP, you’ll see these following women listed in a roundup of the “52 best SEO Experts in 2020: A More Diverse Roundup” by Northstar Inbound

  • Areej AbuAli
  • Aleyda Solis
  • Britney Muller
  • Jamie Alberico
  • Amanda Jordan
  • Ashley Berman Hale
  • Carolyn Lyden
  • Chima Mmeje
  • Cindy Krum
  • Claire Carlile
  • Dawn Anderson
  • Helen Pollitt
  • Izzi Smith
  • Jackie Chu
  • Jenny Halasz
  • Jessica Levenson
  • Joy Hawkins
  • Kim Doughty
  • Lily Ray
  • Marie Haynes
  • Michelle Robbins
  • Miracle Inameti-Archibong
  • Nik Ranger
  • Orit Mutznik
  • Polly Pospelova
  • Ruth Burr Reedy

The Top SEO Agencies

  • Brainlabs (formerly distilled)
  • Ignite Visibility (LA, NY, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix)
  • Seattle Organic SEO (Seattle [local pack])
  • Clarity Online (Seattle [local pack])
  • Actuate Media (LA, NY, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix)
  • WebFX (LA, NY, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix)
  • Straight North (Chicago [local pack])
  • Over The Top SEO (Houston [local pack], Phoenix [local pack])

Controlling the “SEO Experts” Narrative

Frankly, as I’ve developed a career in this industry, I’ve seen so many “professionals” receive a boost to their careers by simply being in the right place at the right time.  Also, many of them had to be complementary to the other SEOs who did have influence.

A significant amount of why one person is considered better than the next is also due to simply being early.  When we look to the top educational institutions, many times it can be the oldest ones like Harvard.  Does being old necessarily mean being better?

Well, here we are in time potentially resetting who are the “thought leaders” in SEO.  Historically, you had to have extra funds to participate in some expensive conference and schmooze with the right people to obtain influence.  You had to also potentially snuggle up with the right “thought leaders” before you and being political garnered you a seat at the table. However, today, I’m realizing there are some relatively fair metrics at play with ClubHouse that truly does give us a chance to see who TRULY are the “best SEOs.”

In the list of the “Top 10,” I have to truly say Jackie Chu, Eric Wu and my co-moderators Shelly, Paige, Jonathan and Rob are absolutely amazing.  They deserve a spot on any “top SEO” list.

p.s. It’s also fascinating how some posts on the internet are almost becoming as powerful as some international awards ceremony like the Academy Awards?  As I mentioned earlier, we are already seeing growth in the search volume for our 5 names.  I wonder if this post will influence even more?  

**Remember that all posts, articles and every written survey are simply an opinion on a subject based on everything from other peoples’ biased perspectives to data that isn’t necessarily 100% scientific

***The list of the “top 140 seos” they listed were:

  • Shelly Fagin SEO / Highly Searched and Community Manager/SEMrush
  • Heather Lloyd-Martin, CEO and Founder, SuccessWorks
  • Eric Wu Head of Product and Growth / BloomNation
  • Dixon Jones Global Brand Ambassador, Majestic and Founder, DHJ Ventures LTD
  • Carolyn Shelby SEO Manager / ESPN
  • Cyrus Shepard Founder / Zyppy
  • Carolyn Lyden Digital Marketing and Demand Generation Lead / Flock Safety
  • Mat Siltala Podcaster / Business of Digital Podcast
  • JR Oakes Director, Technical SEO / Adapt
  • Dave Rohrer Founder / NorthSide Metrics (10)
  • Rob Woods Owner / Rob Woods Consulting
  • Kelsey Jones Founder and Chief Marketing Strategist / Six Stories
  • Ammon Johns Internet Marketing Consultant
  • Mindy Weinstein CEO / Market MindShift
  • Marcus Tandler Co-Founder and Managing Director / RYTE
  • Topher Kohan Senior Product Manager – SEO / Growth at The Weather Company, an IBM Business
  • Robbie Richards Founder / robbierichards.com
  • Nick Eubanks CEO / From The Future
  • Marie Haynes Owner / Marie Haynes Consulting (20)
  • Mike Ramsey Founder / Nifty Marketing
  • Tim Soulo CMO and Product Advisor / Ahrefs
  • Brian Dean Founder / Backlinko
  • JP Sherman Manager of Search & Findability / Red Hat
  • Dan Shure Consultant / Evolving SEO and Podcast Host / Experts on the Wire
  • Eric Enge General Manager / Perficient Digital
  • Kristine Schachinger Consultant and Owner / Site Without Walls
  • Simon Heseltine VP of Audience Growth / Trader Interactive
  • Marcus Tober Founder and CTO / Searchmetrics
  • Hannah Thorpe Business Director / Found (30)
  • Bill Slawski Director of SEO Research / Go Fish Digital
  • Fili Wiese SEO Expert / SearchBrothers.com
  • Dave Davies CEO / Beanstalk Internet Marketing
  • Will Critchlow Founder and CEO / Distilled
  • Dan Petrovic Director / DEJAN Marketing
  • Bastian Grimm Director Organic Search / Peak Ace AG
  • Ann Smarty Brand Manager / Internet Marketing Ninjas
  • Bartosz Goralewicz CEO and Co-founder / Elephate
  • Jon Henshaw Senior SEO Analyst / CBSi and Founder / Coywolf
  • David Mihm VP Product Strategy / ThriveHive and Founder / Tidings (40)
  • Keith Goode Sr. SEO Strategist / IBM
  • Aleyda Solis International SEO Consultant and Founder / Orainti
  • Eli Schwartz Director of Growth and SEO / SurveyMonkey
  • Ashley Ward Founder / Madhouse Marketing
  • Jeremy Knauff CEO and Founder / Spartan Media
  • Gianluca Fiorelli Strategic and International SEO Consultant
  • Laura Lippay SEO Lead / Comcast
  • Ashley Berman Hale Technical SEO Lead / DeepCrawl
  • AJ Kohn Owner / Blind Five Year Old
  • Kristopher Jones Founder and CEO / LSEO.com (50)
  • Jesse McDonald Global SEO Strategist / IBM
  • Paul Shapiro Partner, Director of Strategy and Innovation and SEO Practice Lead / Catalyst
  • Debra Mastaler President / Alliance-Link
  • Alan Bleiweiss Forensic SEO Consultant / Alan Bleiweiss Consulting
  • Aleh Barysevich Founder and CMO / Link-Assistant.Com
  • Rishi Lakhani Digital Marketing Strategist
  • Bill Hartzer CEO / Hartzer Consulting
  • Joe Hall Senior Organic Search Strategist / Perficient Digital
  • Bill Hunt President / Back Azimuth Consulting
  • Roger Montti Owner / Martinibuster.com (60)
  • Greg Gifford Vice President of Search / DealerOn
  • Glen Allsopp Founder / Detailed
  • Barry Schwartz President / RustyBrick
  • Chris Boggs Founder / Web Traffic Advisors
  • Stoney deGeyter Founder and CEO / Pole Position Marketing
  • Tom Anthony VP Product / Distilled
  • Brent Csutoras Digital Marketing Consultant / Brent Csutoras, LLC
  • Stephen Kenwright Marketing Director / Edit
  • Casie Gillette Sr. Director, Digital Marketing / KoMarketing
  • Kelvin Newman Founder / BrightonSEO (70)
  • Patrick Stox Technical SEO / IBM
  • Tony Wright CEO / WrightIMC
  • John Doherty Founder and CEO / Credo
  • Jan-Willem Bobbink Freelance SEO
  • Joel Klettke Conversion Copywriter / Business Casual Copywriting Ltd.
  • Cindy Krum CEO and Founder / MobileMoxie
  • Ruth Burr Reedy Director of Strategy / UpBuild
  • Jason Mun Director of Search & Insights / Overdose
  • Richard Baxter Founder / Builtvisible
  • Duane Forrester VP, Industry Insights / Yext (80)
  • Rand Fishkin Co-founder and CEO / SparkToro
  • Jenny Halasz President / JLH Marketing
  • Dr. Pete Meyers Marketing Scientist / Moz
  • Barry Adams SEO Consultant
  • Motoko Hunt President and International Search Marketing Consultant / AJPR
  • Julie Joyce Owner / Link Fish Media
  • Trond Lyngbø Founder / Search Planet AS
  • Dan Taylor Account Director / SALT.agency
  • Brian Harnish SEO Manager / Site Objective
  • Max Prin Head of Technical SEO / Merkle (90)
  • Jono Alderson Special Ops / Yoast
  • Stephanie Briggs VP / Briggsby
  • Grant Simmons VP of Search Strategy / Homes.com
  • Andy Betts Executive Advisor and Consultant
  • Kate Morris Director of SEO / Bluprint, an NBCU Company
  • Lisa Myers CEO / Verve Search
  • Ryan Jones SEO Director / PublicisSapient
  • Jes Scholz Chief Digital Officer / Ringier
  • Elmer Boutin Director, SEO (Organic Search) / GTB
  • Scott Polk CEO / Marketing Nomads (100)
  • Alexis Sanders SEO Manager / Merkle
  • Ross Tavendale Managing Director / Type A Media
  • Dawn Anderson CEO, Founder and SEO Consultant / Move It Marketing
  • Damon Gochneaur Founder / Aspiro Agency and Director of Search / Southwest Media Group
  • Andrew Shotland CEO / LocalSEOGuide.com
  • Britney Muller Senior SEO Scientist / Moz
  • Annie Cushing Founder / Annielytics
  • Justin Briggs Founder / Briggsby
  • Jamie Alberico Technical SEO Consultant / Not a Robot
  • Andrew Optimisey Founder / Optimisey (110)
  • Martin MacDonald Founder / MOG Media Inc.
  • Arsen Rabinovich Director of SEO and Founder / TopHatRank
  • Melissa Fach Community Manager / Pubcon and U.S. Blog Editor / SEMrush
  • Tom Capper London Consulting Team Lead / Distilled
  • Casey Markee Founder / Media Wyse
  • Andy Drinkwater, Freelance SEO Consultant, iQ SEO Ltd
  • Michael Bonfils Global Managing Director / SEM International
  • Adam Riemer President / Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC.
  • Dana DiTomaso President and Partner / Kick Point
  • Christoph C. Cemper Founder and CEO / LinkResearchTools (120)
  • Brian McDowell Principal Digital Strategist / BloomReach
  • Oliver Mason SEO Consultant
  • Bryson Meunier SEO Director / Vivid Seats
  • Carrie Hill Co-Founder and Technical SEO / Ignitor Digital Marketing
  • Kevin Indig Head of SEO / Atlassian
  • Russ Jones Principal Search Scientist / Moz
  • Glenn Gabe Digital Marketing Consultant / GSQi
  • Loren Baker Founder / Search Engine Journal and Co-Founder / Foundation Digital
  • Rhea Drysdale CEO / Outspoken Media
  • Anna Crowe Assistant Editor / Search Engine Journal and Director of Outreach & PR / Jason Hennessey Consulting (130)
  • Kaspar Szymanski SEO Consultant and Co-Founder / SearchBrothers
  • John Shehata Vice President, Audience Development Strategy / Condé Nast
  • Brett Tabke Founder of Pubcon and WebmasterWorld
  • Paddy Moogan Co-Founder / Aira
  • Jennifer Slegg Founder & Editor / The SEM Post
  • Rob Bucci VP R&D / Moz
  • Jim Boykin CEO & Founder / Internet Marketing Ninjas
  • Ross Hudgens Founder & CEO / Siege Media
  • Ian Lurie CEO / Portent
  • Wil Reynolds Founder / Seer Interactive (140)
  • Michael King Founder / iPullRank

 

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