15 SEO Gurus That You Should Know for 2015

As we now know better than ever before, SEO best practices are constantly changing. Not only are there new algorithm announcements and changes you have to follow, but understanding what you need to do in response or how your strategy needs to be altered can be tough. It’s the SEO gurus who help keep us informed and give us guidance into the vague world of SEO.

For a little recognition as we close out 2014 and begin 2015, below are 15 SEO gurus who have been reporting and analyzing search engine news day in and day out:

1. Matt Cutts.

Affiliations: Head of Google Webspam.

Claim to Fame: Matt Cutts is the go-to guy when it comes to all things SEO, so his list of accomplishments is impressive. However, his claim to fame is probably creating over 500 short videos giving SEO advice ranging from ecommerce tips to SEO tools, to website coding and more. Visit this page to see all his posts.

2. Rand Fishkin.

Affiliations: Co-authored/ co-founded the Art of SEO, Inbound.org, and Moz.

Claim to Fame: Rand created Moz, one of the most well-respected and authoritative SEO blogs on the web, and frequently offers advice through blog posts and forums. He was the CEO from 2007-2013, during which time he has given presentations at Google, Facebook, Microsoft, the United Nations, Stanford University, NPR, and more.

3. Aaron Wall.

Affiliations: Founder of SEOBook.

Claim to Fame: SEOBook is considered one of the oldest SEO websites that is still being updated regularly. Although the website was originally designed to offer DIY SEO tips, Aaron eventually developed one of the top selling SEO Ebooks that ended up selling well over $1,000,000 in volume. SEOBook continues to publish top content, so this guru isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

4. Danny Sullivan.

Affiliations: Founding Editor and current Editor-in-Chief of SearchEngineLand, which also produces the SMX conference series, Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media.

Claim to Fame: SearchEngineLand is one of the most financially successful SEO entities today, and SMX is now one of the leading SEO conference worldwide. Anything big going on in the SEO industry—conferences, publications, new experiments and initiatives—he’s not far.

Fun Fact: Danny actually also founded major SEO website Search Engine Watch, which he then sold to Incisive Media for $43 million in 2006. In other words, this guy is the real deal.

5. Barry Schwartz.

Affiliations: Owner and current President of RustyBrick, Inc., Founder of Search Engine Roundtable, News Editor at Search Engine Land, MarketingLand author.

Claim to Fame: Barry holds quite a few high ranking positions with authoritative SEO companies, but he’s probably most known for he consistent writing on MarketingLand. Barry is always the first one to break news coming from Google and let us know what we need to do to react. If you want to know what’s going on in the industry, his face is oftentimes the first you’ll see. He works closely with Danny Sullivan, so the two together keep us informed.

6. Andy Beal.

Affiliations: Founder and CEO of Trackur, Founding Editor of Marketing Pilgrim. Author of Repped: 30 Days to a Better Online Reputation.

Claim to Fame: Unlike many of the other gurus on this list, Andy specializes in online reputation management. He has worked with some well-known brands such as Motorola, Lowes, NBC, and more on reputation management, and has also created the successful online reputation monitoring tool Trackur. Just like the rest, he also has a long list of features including appearing on ABC News, CNBC, NPR, being featured in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Forbes, and more.

7. Adam Heitzman.

Affiliations: Managing Partner of HigherVisibility.

Claim to Fame: Founded in 2007, Adam is a Managing Partner of one of the fastest growing and most respected SEO companies. When he isn’t setting strategies for HigherVisibility’s enterprise clients, he shares his wisdom about SEO on publications like Inc. Magazine. He is often mentioned in Forbes, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, and more, so I expect to see his name more often in the very near future.

8. Dave Naylor.

Affiliations: Founder of Bronco.

Claim to Fame: Dave started working in the digital marketing industry in 1998 and has continued to work with international brands since he founded Bronco in 2003. He has been an industry speaker for over a decade at major conferences like SES (now re-named ClickZ Live), SMX, iGaming Affiliate conferences, and more. With no sales force or lead generators at Bronco, he’s an honest guru with no tricks up his sleeve.

9. Eric Ward.

Affiliations: President of EricWard.com, columnist at ClickZ, SearchEngineWatch, and SearchEngineLand.

Claim to Fame: According to his biography, Eric actually founded the Web’s first services for announcing, linking, and building buzz for websites back in 1994. He is the person responsible for the successful linking campaigns used for Amazon.com Books, Weather.com, The Link Exchange, the AMA, and PBS.org. As with all of the other gurus, you’ll find Eric speaking at all of the major SEO events and conferences, so he’s someone not to miss.

10. Neil Patel.

Affiliations: Co-founder at Crazy Egg, KISSmetrics and QuickSprout.

Claim to Fame: This is another guru who offers his expertise on a variety of websites and keeps quality content coming. You’ll see his face commenting on all things SEO and blogging, but his accomplishments go beyond just that. According to his biography, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 online marketers, Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world, and he was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 35 by the United Nations. Enough said.

11. Bill Slawski.

Affiliations: President of SEO by the Sea.

Claim to Fame: Bill has been working in SEO since 1996 and has since worked to improve the SEO of several websites and pages including pages for Harvard Business School, Johns Hopkins University, The American Psychological Association, Baltimore.org, and Comcast.

Fun Fact: He was a legal and technical administrator in the highest level trial court in Delaware for 14 years.

12. Bruce Clay.

Affiliations: Founder and President of Bruce Clay, Inc.

Claim to Fame: Bruce Clay has been in the SEO game since 1996, making him one of the first people working in the SEO industry. In fact, he’s been working at Bruce Clay, Inc. for nearly 19 years. They have offices in Switzerland, India, Japan, Brazil, and California, and helped publish the 700 page book Search Engine Optimization All-in-One for Dummies, so he’s a hands-on guru who stays active in the community.

13. Vanessa Fox.

Affiliations: CEO at Keylime Toolbox, author of Marketing in the Age of Google: Your Online Strategy IS Your Business Strategy.

Claim to Fame: Before founding Keylime Toolbox she founded the highly successful a search analytics software and strategic consulting company, Nine By Blue, before selling it. In other words, this guru knows her software. She was also instrumental in the sitemaps.org alliance of Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Fun Fact: Vanessa actually built Google Webmaster Central.

14. Lee Oden.

Affiliations: CEO and Co-founder of Top Rank Blog, Executive editor of Online Marketing Blog.

Claim to Fame: Lee works with numerous Fortune 500 companies helping them with online marketing planning and implementation over the past 13 years when he started TopRank. Not only does he speak at conferences all around the world, but he also stays active in the content creation community, constantly writing analysis pieces about SEO. He’s a guru to learn from, literally.

15. Eric Enge.

Affiliations: CEO at Stone Temple Consulting, author of The Art of SEO.

Claim to Fame: Founded Stone Temple Consulting in 1997 that now has over 50 employees as well as the most widely sold book on SEO in the industry The Art of SEO.

Article originally published in forbes.com

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