Asking who the most influential people in the search industry are is something of a loaded question. Naturally, until TIME magazine or a publication with similar influence comes up with a definitive list, then it will be hotly debated by those who work in the industry around the world.
We cast our eyes far and wide to look at the people who are always prominent on social media and in marketing search results, to come up with our own list of the most influential people when it comes to SEO.
Google’s Matt Cutts is arguably the most influential search marketer on the planet. If you want information around what Google are doing right now, such as what updates are coming or the best way to drive organic SEO rankings for your site, then finding one of Cutts’ articles is usually the best way to go about it.
The founder and editor-in-chief of Search Engine Land is undoubtedly one of the biggest SEO influencers outside of the search engine giants themselves. Danny Sullivan was one of the first people to ‘discover’ and get clued up about SEO, starting the authoritative Search Engine Watch website in 1997, when many people were still clueless about how search results came to be.
Sullivan has been hailed as one of the world’s greatest minds when it comes to search by many other influential individuals, including Cutts himself.
Brett Tabke is another heavyweight name that is not linked to Google or another of the large search companies. Such is Tabke’s expertise and foresight when it comes to search, that there are many articles and papers, such as ‘Successful site in 12 months with Google alone: 26 steps to 15k a day’ that are still highly referenced and relevant today.
Given that the article mentioned was first written in 2002, that is a remarkable achievement when one considers how much search has changed in the 11 years since.
Aaron Wall is the founder of the SEO Book website, which provides a number of valuable resources and training tools for anyone who is looking to improve the rankings of their website.
As well as running his existing business, Wall is a respected voice in the industry, and his time is highly sought after for interviews and thought leadership around the present and future trends we can expect to see in search.
Search traditionalists will be screaming at the sheer notion of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg appearing on this list, but it is difficult to argue how influential he is, given the increasingly prominent role of social media when it comes to search.
His critics will probably point to Facebook Graph Search in months to come as a reason he isn’t that influential, but even if that particular service does not take off, he will still be regarded as an important and influential figure.
All of these people can be valuable resources in your quest to achieve a better search ranking. They have seen it and done it when it comes to SEO, which is why they are regarded so highly throughout the industry.
Karl is an online content writer across a number of industries, with a specific interest in search marketing businesses, especially those that use a wide range of Google SEO tools.