A couple of months ago one of the guest speakers in my NYU class presented a slide with a list of 5 SEOs to follow on Twitter. I couldn’t believe how much interest this one slide generated – all the students got on high alert and started jotting down names or taking pictures of the slide.

The Power of Curated Lists

I think a lot of marketers underestimate the power of curated lists, and the fact that users actually love them. Brands want to tell stories and they want the content to be about them. They stay away from lists, so it’s a land-grab for smart, creative entrepreneurs.

The businesses that understand the power of ‘listacles,’ such as Mashable, thrive and grow at rates unheard of in corporate America. Moz 10 Top leads the way on the SEO scene, for example. Successful business models have been built on curated content by companies such as Thrilist or AppSumo that put 99% of their marketing efforts into lead generation and newsletter marketing. Look up the three companies I mentioned here to learn more.

sumo seo photo credit: szeke via photopin cc

Ok, now it’s my turn. A week ago I published my new Kindle book, 99 SEO Tools for 99 Cents, and I thought it would be a cool book marketing strategy to include a bonus chapter with a resource of the top 20 SEO pros to follow on Twitter. The book landed on the Amazon bestseller list in “search engine optimization” category, and I already got some good feedback on the value the list provided, so I decided to share it on my blog.

20 SEO Influencers to Follow on Twitter

Here is a totally subjective list of the top SEOs to follow on Twitter (in no particular order). This is not an SEO seniority list or yet another popularity contest for link building. If you follow the SEO folks listed below, you are in a good company.

Below I shared (almost) all the names included in my 99 SEO Tools for 99 Cents. All but ONE. What’s the name of the most influential SEO sumo on the planet? Drop a note in the comments section if you have any ideas. It’s an easy guess… I hope. Or you can spend 99 cents to find out now by getting the book.

@M______ ← ???????????

@RandFish ← Rand Fishkin, Moz

@iPullRank ← Mike King, iPullRank

@DannySullivan ← Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Land & SMX

@JennyHalasz ← Jenny Halasz, JLH Marketing

@DuaneForrester ← Duane Forrester, Bing

@Fighto ← Paul Shapiro, Catalyst

@Backlinko ← Brian Dean, Backlinko

@DanCristo ← Dan Cristo, Triberr

@Rhea ← Rhea Drysdale, Outspoken Media

@Emcgillivray ← Erica Mcgillivray, Moz

@Dr_Pete ← Dr. Pete Myers, Moz

@StoneTample ← Eric Enge, Stone Temple Consulting

@SankarPonnusamy ← Sankar Ponnusamy, Priceline

@CyrusShepard ← Cyrus Shepard, Moz

@Sonray ← Jason White, DragonSearch

@MarkTraphagen ← Mark Traphagen, Stone Temple

@GregBoser ← Greg Boser, Foundation Digital

@BrentCarnduff ← Brent Carnduff, Echelon SEO

@Btabke ← Brett Tabke, Pubcon & Webmaster World

If you think there are important names that are missing from the list, send me suggestions on Twitter at @SearchDecoder or drop a note in the comments section.

22 replies
  1. Sunday
    Sunday says:

    Hi Mattew,
    What an interesting list you have here. Its cool seeing the names of expert SEOs to follow. I admire Brian Dean of Backlinko a lot. I also consider him the best “Sumo” in the SEO category for now 😉

    I shared this comment in kingged.com where this post was found.

    • Matthew Capala
      Matthew Capala says:

      Thanks for your question Benny, I am glad that there are folks on the list that go outside of the ‘SEO gurus’ you usually see at your next conference. I listed the folks that are in the trenches, and I tried to keep the list balanced.

      Sankar is a bona fide SEO SUMO, he manages SEO at Priceline.com, and he is the only SEO guy there with no agency or budget support, but is absolutely killing it in terms of results (I saw it). Second, I saw Sankar’s talk from SMX and he came in to guest lecture in my NYU class. Follow him or technical SEO and international SEO tips.

      The guy knows his shit and totally deserves to be on the list, I wish he was more active in sharing it on Twitter, I hope he will

  2. David
    David says:

    I’m gutted that I never show up on these lists… can I make my case that I think too many people just get put on these lists everytime… ie often same folks show up…

    Please note I’m not saying anyone listed shouldn’t be but I think these lists are always better when there are one or two people on that list that I go damn I need to follow them. I @Benny made a good point there are often random folks appearing the article would be much better focusing more around why @SankarPonnusamy is potentially the person you need to follow…

    Also consider a lot of people such as myself don’t use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck platforms so I don’t really follow back that many, so maybe having a Twitter list of folks they can click to follow easily might also be a nice option.

    • Matthew Capala
      Matthew Capala says:

      Hey David, sorry mate, it’s always hard with lists, as I mentioned in the post – this list is totally subjective – I listed folks I follow for SEO advice and there are hundreds of others worthy SEOs that should be mentioned.. I may do another list and list a 100 and ask on Quora and Inbound.org for submissions… This list was my own, and I don’t think one person can actively follow hundreds so I think this list perhaps needs to be crowdsourced? Let me know what you think. My intention is to always provide value with community input. Thanks for thoughtful suggestions.

  3. metz
    metz says:

    Hi Matthew,

    This is a short, direct to the point and informative article.

    Why it is important to follow influencers on Twitter?

    It is because they are trusted and have the social proof that lends authority to their online presences. Additionally, there are good outcomes. You will have a greater chance of your content, shares, or brand name going viral.

    I found this post shared on Kingged.com, the Internet marketing social site, and I “kingged” it and left this comment.

    • Matthew Capala
      Matthew Capala says:

      Thanks Metz, I like Kigged and glad you found me there. I think it’s cool to follow influencers on Twitter because it’s open and you can talk to them. Twitter thumbs up, Facbook thumbs down!

  4. Don Purdum
    Don Purdum says:

    Hi Matthew,

    Thank you for creating and sharing this list! I’m working on connecting with each one on Twitter right now!!!!

    Hope you are having a Happy New Year and thank you for sharing with us!!!

    ~ Don Purdum


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