Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog

SEO Leaders and Jim Rambling

Last week I got lucky and was voted fist place in Search Engine Journal’s yearly awards for "Best Link Building Blog 2006".
Thanks Loren for the award, and thank you to those who voted! It was this award program last year that helped both Stuntdubl and me to get much more exposure to our blogs and it was real easy to see the results of that award last year in the Alexa traffic rank spike at that time last year.

Somehow I barely squeeked by Stuntdubl….I think because Todd only blogs 5-10% on link building…where I tend to blog 90% on link building…but as far as blogging goes, in my mind, Todd’s way better than I am. Todd tends to spend time preparing and writing, and editing. I know Todd’s got several posts that he is working on at anytime, all yet unpublished until he’s polished them off….me, well, I don’t prepare, I write something that’s on my mind in about 5 minutes….totally unpolished, unresearched, and just "quick thoughts"…Todd…we’ll he writes blog posts that look like college thesis papers….So I got lucky with the award…if the award were for anything other than the specific item of "Link Building" Todd would crush me (all since that’s my writing focus and not Todd’s full writing focus).

Todd’s stopping by the office this afternoon and I’d tease him about me beating him with this award…but he’s too humble to make doing that fun….so we’ll just compare SEO notes and show off the SEO things we’re doing at the moment (the things we don’t blog about).

The Link Building Blog from Patrick and Andy scored 3rd in the awards.  Andy’s planning on stopping by in March for a visit with Todd and I, so I’m really looking forward to drinking out on the town with Todd and Andy. There’s nothing better than sharing brew and under the radar SEO Talk with fellow SEO’s.

This past week I was also named by Didier Bizimungu as one of the Top 10 SEO Leaders….but Rand quickly told me that I wasn’t one of the top 10 SEO leaders…darn Rand…hehe.

Who are my 10….um….off the top of my head (which means tomorrow I’ll kick myself for forgetting several)…and in no particular order.

These are 10 who have influenced me a lot over the years.

What 10 have influenced you the most or that you feel are the leaders?


14 Responses

  1. I have the same list as you except for Mike.

    One of my big influences right now is Copyblogger. It’s not technically SEO but I believe you need some kind of a hook on your bait or it just doesn’t work as well.

    Another of my new influences is John Chow Dot Com. Again… Not SEO but it seems to me that most people use SEO as a “means to an ends”. Sometimes the real goal that you’re shooting for is to monetize your website and earn more money.

    A website that is not an influence of mine in any way shape or form and has nothing to do with marketing would be Weird Asian News. – In my opinion – The funniest website on the internet.

  2. Curse that Rand, always stealing Jim’s thunder! I hope at the next big conference you guys have an epic throwdown.

    Part of the problem with these lists is that they seem to be more about the potential reach, rather than the actual success at SEO. Unfortunately (?) the SEO track records of these individuals isn’t easily known, so instead we have to guage them in terms of how influential their blog/article communications are. While Matt Cutts is certainly influential and puts a human face on a faceless organization I don’t know if he qualifies as a “leader” of SEO since I don’t believe he engages in any SEO-specific work.

  3. I don’t know who the leading SEOs are – imo that should be determined by performance, not talk or a popularity contest – but I do keep an eye on these guys:

    From wmw:


    I may skip over alot of posters but when I see those nicks, I stop and read.

    Bill Slawski is a constant reminder there’s alot more than we SEOs talk about going on under the hood.

    Jim Westergren got me started on running SEO tests.

    Matt Cutts and Adam Lasnik – not exactly SEOs but I’ve learned a ton from their posts.

    Michael Martinez – I don’t always agree with him but he did point me toward the second PageRank formula which from a rough overview makes way more sense than the original.

  4. Halfdeck – Great Points and mentions.
    All those you mentioned are extremely noteworthy.
    and Tedster should have been on my short list above.

  5. Thanks for the kind comments man – you definitely know more about links than anyone I know (my recent visit confirmed this:)

    Lists and awards are really nice, and certainly I appreciate them – but there’s SOOO many smart folks in SEO that can be learned from, it’s always humbling to be put in their midst.

    Keep up the great work!

  6. Congratulations on the award, Jim! Richly deserved.

    I guess it would be next to impossible to have a top 10 list based upon SEO performance, what with NDAs etc. But, wouldn’t it be neat to see?

    One of the things we love on the We Build Pages site is the list of keywords you are helping clients dominate. It’s really cool. It’s revealing and educational when SEOs make this type of information public. For that same reason, we thought it was great when Rand Fishkin posted his fee scale. A real eye opener. Though today, of course, we are scowling at Rand for taking you off his list…ahem!

    Again, congrats on the award, Jim!

  7. Well seeing how I learned about most of the people you mentioned from your blog I would agree with most of your choices but Matt, come on Jim thats just blatant smoozing. 🙂

    Matts an engineer who has a major influence on the biggest search engine on the planet. I would call him the all great knowing seo :):)

    You forgot Lee over at Top Rank he seems to realize that seo is just part of the total Internet marking mix


  8. Umm. You mean you have learned a lot from Jeremy? Now that’s something. Not that he isn’t a great guy and knows his stuff, but he’s only been around for several years (is that 2?).

    And yeah, I guess the top leaders list are the ones, who the author knows best. I am sure my list would be radically different from yours.

  9. Sam,
    About me putting Matt on my list….it’s not smoozing (matt doesnt’ even like me….you’ll see he’s never posted on my blog..and I know I’ve pissed him off a few time)…so no, it’s not smoozing…it’s real. A lot of what I do I think about “if matt were standing over my shoulder we he axe a site for this”…sometimes it’s a yes, and those items are ones I don’t blog about or do on clients sites….but others that I’m trying to make clean (clients) I’m always thinking “if matt saw this, what would he think” …actually sometimes that face is Doug…scarry at that sounds…perhaps Doug should be on my list too…these 2 people have an influence on what I do (though I don’t care as much what Doug thinks)
    And Yes, Lee Odden is a great mind for the exact reason you mentioned, He looks at the big “internet marketing” picture and has overall talents in many areas.

    Yes, I’ve learned a lot from Jeremy….I’ve learned more from him in the past month than some of the others I’ve listed that I’ve known for years. Shoemoney is one of the true affiliate kings.

    2 others I thought I should mention that have greatly influenced me are Jill Whalen and Bruce Clay.
    For years Jill was my guiding light in learning SEO
    Bruce…we’ll I actually look at Bruce and his company as something I aspire to in many ways…in a sense he’s my main SEO Services competitor and I’m always striving to keep up with his business model.

  10. Top 10 SEO Leaders. I am not sure what that really means. Jim do you mean who have influenced you. If I was to make the list mine would be completely different. I think Danny Sullivan’s status as a leader in the industry is without question. He put the indiustry on the map and indeed through the opportunities for exposure at SES most of the people on that list. Without Danny Sullivan and his shows woulds any of these people be on any list. I mean no disrespect I love your blog and find it very useful but this is the third list I have seen now and there seems to be a common connection that these people all know each other very well.

  11. Jim I was ofcourse just busting chops about Matt, anyone would be crazy not to put him and Jeremy on their list. Doug yeah, I would say if you want squeaky clean no harm in running ideas by him I can tell ya he means well.
    Here is my 10

    You, Aaron, Seth, Jeremy, Todd, Lee, Matt, Brett, and two you might not recognize.
    Willie Crawford
    Jeff Cohen

    I say this based on two criteria each of you has a massive amount of great knowledge, the second you all answered my many questions. SEO is still a unknown science to 85% of the population so the ability to clearly and easily describe the process is critical. As you said a bit back there is no “silver bullet” many people expect that. Thank you for helping over the years.


  12. I was tempted to blog and point to this post as ‘Jim Boykin worries about Doug in the still of the night’ but thought, nah cheap shot. 😉

    Seriously though, just on the point of this whole leader thing..a lot of it is all a bit of a buddy lovefest, the lists aren’t worth that much, at least in the sense of being definitive or bang on target. Just subjective opines, from people having a bit of fun looking to throw around a few ideas and get a little attention. No harm in that of course, but thats all they can possibly ever be, ya know?

    Take Rands list, not a single woman on it, not a married one either for that matter, yet there are 100’s of kick arse booby laden individuals out there who’d put most of us to shame.

    The other point I wanted to make is that there a whole lot of individuals that have affected us all. Overtime, we all learn a little bit from each other and as time goes on the benchmark gets progressively higher as people pick up the baton and run with it.
    NickW for example picked up the link attraction baton with TW and even coined the phrase. Todd malicoat’s recent article IMO, cranked things up a little further.

    There are very few people who for me at least, are still really out there, by virtue of what they say and how they say it, getting regular attention in spades. Of the current runners and riders, and there are a few, I predict quite a few will just fade out as others pick up the mantle . Dont ask me which ones though, that would be just an opine too 😀

  13. Congrats on the award Jim. I think your writing style is fine even though you don’t prep or edit. Sometimes its best to just write what you are thinking at the moment without editing.

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