Whose writings / comments assist you the most with your SEO work?

July 22nd, 2010 by Richard Zwicky

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I thought it would be interesting to put together lists of people, by discipline, whose writings I have found useful, and ask you: Who are your top 5?

Every time I tell someone what I do, and at every conference I go to, people ask me: what resources should I read to learn more about online marketing?  It’s easy to whip off a few good resources, but what about particular writers?  There’s tons of great content being generated all the time, but who provides the most useful information for putting skills into practice?  Lots of people publish articles, blogs and  tidbits to share knowledge and wisdom with others.  Some will also balance out original contributions by using Twitter to highlight other people’s articles of interest for their readers.  That’s a tougher question.

When I started trying to put together a list recently, I found that it was easier to create lists around themes, not just “search.”  There are some great online marketers whose knowledge spans multiple disciplines, like paid and organic; social marketers v. search marketers; or organic and link-building (yes I consider that separate!). So why not break them down into concept groups accordingly?  Some people are better known than others, but that doesn’t mean their writings are more (or less) helpful. Conversely, some people are incredibly knowledgeable, and while they don’t write a lot, or do so with flair, what they write matters.

If there’s someone you think I’ve missed, send me a comment.  If you’re not on this list, perhaps you’ll be on one for another discipline, or perhaps your knowledge is so broad it’s hard to pin you into any one group!  There are two people I’ve not included on purpose:  Danny Sullivan and Matt Cutts.  I like both of them personally, and enjoy what they write.  But, let’s face it, they’re on everyone’s reading list.  I’ll be running more polls across more of the disciplines in the coming days.

Top 5 Results will be published at a later date.

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31 Responses to “Whose writings / comments assist you the most with your SEO work?”

  1. i would have added Dave Harry and Edward Lewis..

  2. dave says:

    The folks at Lightburn Designs have great advice on their blog. Especially liked the piece about ppc re-targeting.

    Using Lee Odden’s tips almost religiously for the past 3 months, we’ve more than doubled new site visits, but it didn’t happen over night.

    We read eightfoldlogic.com for great info/tips on conversions.

  3. Richard Zwicky says:

    It’s interesting. Had a few nominations for a couple of people whom I really like, are incredibly knowledgeable, I’d recommend for SEO work in a heartbeat, AND consider friends, but they hardly ever write!

    I hated leaving them off, but if they don’t write, how can most people who don’t know them access their information?

    BTW… despite the above, if there’s a heavy write in campaign for someone, I’ll add them.

  4. BenB says:

    …oh, and um Matt Cutts.

  5. [...] Whose writings / comments assist you the most with your SEO work?, Eightfold Logic Blog [...]

  6. Richard Zwicky says:

    Hi Ben - You may have missed it in the post: I think that both Matt & Danny Sullivan should be on everyone’s lists.

  7. Olivier says:

    I think leaving Darren Slatten aka SEOmofo is weird.

    Also Branko Rihtman from http://www.seo-scientist.com is one of the best SEO blogs out there by far. He needs to write more, but when he does write, it’s the best stuff out there. Seriously.

  8. Such lists are dependent on how good some people are at self-promotion and we could be missing a few who don’t care to be discovered. I could name a few more people who post exclusively on Webmasterworld and whose observations I respect immensely.

    While I highly respect Matt Cutts as a person, I don’t read his blog for weeks at a time. His writings are interesting and helpful to some extent, it is impossible for him to appear unbiased.

  9. [...] Zwicky of eightfold logic just released a poll to deterrmine the top writers in the SEO space. We are, of course, excited to be on the list! Take a moment and go vote for your favorite SEO [...]

  10. Penelope says:

    Ian Lurie for the win.

  11. AJ Kohn says:

    I’d second Matt Cutts and Danny Sullivan. Darren Slatten is super smart though some of his best work is in comments.

    Maile Ohye actually has a blog and does some great stuff there (not all SEO mind you.)

    Tad Chef at SEO Optimise (http://www.seoptimise.com/blog) is another good one in my book.

    And Andrew Goodman at Traffick (http://blog.traffick.com/) is a good read.

    Of course, I hope to make a list like this one day.

  12. Plorex says:

    To me that would be Matt Cutts, SEOMOZ’s Rand Fishkin, of course the one and only Bruce Clay and basically the folks at BC such as Susan Esparza and Virginia Nussey are a very trusted source and Danny Sullivan is not bad either.

  13. Mike Wilton says:

    I think all of these folks bring something to the table every now and again. But David Harry, Bill Slawski, and Terry Van Horne tend to top my list on a more consistent basis.

  14. Moosa Hemani says:

    Well to list down is the great idea… its hard to list down all the people put i can see your effort by looking at the list its good!

    i guess Ann Smarty (SEJ) is one of the name you missed. She is good at least in terms of proving usful content to the users…

  15. BenB says:

    Richard - Yes, I missed that… glad to see it there. Thanks!

  16. Amy Miller says:

    I feel I am on information overload with all the wonderful info you provide here.

    Thank you

  17. Joesph says:

    I wonder how you generated this list but I would suggest expanding to some new writers in the space like Mark Robertson (more about video and SEO). Im also surprised that Danny S. wasnt included but again, the whole list (while a good list) seems pretty subjective to me. Thanks for this article

  18. Richard Zwicky says:

    HI Ash - Lists can be dependent on self-promotion, but this is a personal list of people who I find regularly and consistently share useful information for the implementation of SEO work. The poll is a way to get attention to a lot of these great contributors, as opposed to just a few. There’s a ton on of other knowledgeable people out there who I could also list, and some are making my other lists, which you’ll start seeing more of popping up over the next few days. Please feel free to share the lists around, to bring warranted attention to all these contributors.

    Thanks for commenting!

  19. Richard Zwicky says:


    The list is of people I either know and whose writings I can turn to, or don’t know personally but will still read as I’ve found them very useful. As for Danny, read the post…

    Thanks for commenting.

  20. [...] Yesterday, I started a series of posts to answer a question I keep getting asked by people who are entering the industry, attending conferences, or even veterans looking for new sources of information: Whose writings I have found useful, by discipline and ask you: Who are your top 5?  Yesterday’s question was about SEO writers [...]

  21. [...] lists, I’d suggest you look at them now.  For the Search Engine Optimization Experts list: SEO; For the list of PPC Experts, PPC; and for the list of top Social Media Marketers, SMM. View [...]

  22. [...] please read further down the blog for the prior lists of great online marketing contributors across SEO, PPC, SMM, and [...]

  23. Rick Snyder says:

    Why would you say Matt Cutts should be on everyone’s’ list? Haven’t you seen the videos : http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/type/movies/ at his site? I would be real surprised to see him on any real web developers reading list, except maybe for some entertainment.

  24. Richard Zwicky says:

    Thanks Rick - I think anyone who is serious about search marketing in any form would pay attention to anything that Matt Cutts has to say with regards to Google’s organic search initiatives. Considering Google’s market domination, it’s simply not credible for anyone to develop, design, or market a web site which seeks to attract traffic from search engines without paying attention to Google’s webmaster guidelines, or to Matt’s comments. That’s not to say it’s gospel, but rather it should always be considered.

    BTW: your link was broken, so I’ve updated it to post directly to Matt’s blog.

  25. Sean says:

    No Michael Martinez?

  26. Rocco Smith says:

    Awesome post. As the Founder of WV Writing Services I surf the websearching for more helpful information to put to use to better serve our customers. I love your post and will be back for more.

  27. [...] engaged in online marketing. Some people are established, and well known. There were five lists SEO, PPC, SMM, Links, and Cross-Channel (meaning they fit in 2+ [...]

  28. Nikunj says:

    Ann Smarty Should be in the list like the way she explains the concept of seo

  29. Richard Zwicky says:

    She is excellent - and on the list of cross channel contributors, where tons of people supported her.

  30. The guy who comes up in 1st place for “SEO expert” should have a mention, right? Steve Wiideman. He also has a free eBook that is great for helping anyone understand SEO basics.

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