The Best SEO Speakers of 2023

Our team recently conducted a study on the best SEO speakers of 2023 using criteria such as Number of SEO Keynotes and Awards & Distinctions. We incorporated the criteria into an algorithm, weighting each one as shown below, in order to produce a ranked list. Here is an explanation of our criteria: 

  • # of SEO Keynotes (25%): An estimate of how many keynotes each speaker has given over the course of their career. A large number of speeches strongly correlates with speaker skill, though some speakers choose to accept fewer speeches due to other professional commitments.
  • # Years SEO Experience (25%): How long each speaker has worked in the SEO industry. SEO has evolved many times over the past 20 years, and the more experienced speakers on this list are able to use their history to contextualize the current state of Google’s algorithm.
  • Awards & Distinctions (20%): Recognition the speaker has received for their SEO-related communications, spoken or written. Awards tend to correlate with both speaking skill and an original perspective on SEO.
  • Social Media Followers (15%): An estimate of how many followers each speaker has across major social media platforms. A strong social media following indicates that people are interested in what the speaker has to say, and can also draw a larger audience to events. 
  • SEO Books Authored (15%): How many books on SEO each speaker has written. Authoring a book requires synthesizing a great deal of information into a single published volume, and indicates a commitment to sharing knowledge with the general SEO community.

In addition to the above criteria, we also describe each speaker’s specialty within the field of SEO. Below the table, we offer summaries of each speaker’s career. 

The Best SEO Speakers, Ranked

Speaker  # of SEO Keynotes # Years SEO Experience  SEO Books Authored Social Media Followers Awards & Distinctions Specialty
Evan Bailyn ~260 18 3 ~149,000 International Bestseller, Outsmarting Google
Top New Speaker of the Year, Vistage International
Thought Leadership & SEO
Rand Fishkin ~180 18 3 ~465,000 Most Giving Search Blogger, SEJ
30 Under 30, BusinessWeek
Digital Marketing for Startups
Dana DiTomaso ~200 20 0 ~12,000 Nominated for SEO Speaker of the Year, Search Engine Land Audience Research and Brand Uniformity
AJ Ghergich ~15 17 0 ~102,000 N/A Technical SEO
Robert Rose ~300 15 2 ~40,000 N/A Marketing Storytelling
Barry Schwartz ~60 17 0 ~147,000 US Search Personality, US Search Awards Google Algorithm News
Cyrus Shepard ~90 12 0 ~76,500 N/A Site Architecture
Marie Haynes ~30 11 2 ~32,300 N/A Site Quality Assessments
Brian Dean ~25 11 0 ~125,100 Most Successful Bloggers, Problogger Backlinks
Aleyda Solis ~120 12 1 ~95,000 European Search Personality of the Year, European Search Awards International SEO

Evan Bailyn

Evan Bailyn is the CEO of First Page Sage, which holds the distinction of being the largest SEO agency in the US. He has given over 200 speeches discussing SEO, and specializes in discussing the role of combining creative thought leadership content with SEO in order to generate leads. He has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Forbes, and his expertise and ability to engage audiences earned him Vistage International’s Top Performing Speaker Award in 2022.

Blog: First Page Sage Blog

For More Info or to Contact: First Page Sage Website

Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin is founder of Moz, one of the first SEO companies and a major developer of tools for the SEO industry. He now acts as CEO for Sparktoro, another SEO tool developer. While his speaking has spanned a broad range of topics over the years, he has most recently focused on digital marketing for startups.

Blog: SparkToro Blog

For More Info or to Contact: Spark Toro’s Website

Dana DiTomaso

Dana DiTomaso’s career has focused on the importance of market research, and knowing exactly who your customers are. She is the president of the digital marketing Agency Kick Point, as well as a columnist for CBC Edmonton. Her speaking topics are practical, focusing on how to apply audience data to inform marketing decisions in real world contexts.

Blog: Kickpoint Blog

For More Info or to Contact: Dana DiTomaso’s Website

AJ Ghergich

AJ Ghergich is currently the Chief Digital Officer at Brado, a marketing agency which specializes in branding for companies in the healthcare industry. Ghergich himself has worked in SEO for nearly two decades, allowing him to speak on complex topics like data science, ABM, and marketing automation with both clarity and authority.

Blog: Brado Blog

For More Info or to Contact: AJ Ghergich’s LinkedIn

Robert Rose

Robert Rose is the founder of The Content Advisory, which forms the educational and consulting wing of The Content Marketing Institute. He is constantly on the road, delivering between 30-40 speaking engagements a year; these engagements include everything from keynote speeches to workshops and virtual events, all of which explain his unique storytelling approach to SEO and marketing.

Blog: N/A

For More Info or to Contact: Robert Rose’s Website

Barry Schwartz

Barry Shwartz is the CEO of Search Engine Land, a tech news website that specializes in news on the SEO industry, as well as Rusty Brick, an SEO firm that focuses on technical website optimization and development. Having charted the developments of Google SERPs his entire career, Schwartz speaks with great authority on the latest developments to Google’s algorithm and best practices for analytics.

Blog: Search Engine Land Author Page

For More Info or to Contact: Barry Schwartz’ LinkedIn

Cyrus Shepard

Before founding Zyppy, an SEO company working primarily in technical optimization, Cyrus Shepard was the SEO lead at Moz, one of the foundational SEO companies. As a result, his public speaking career is well earned; Shepard is commonly found at various SEO-related events speaking on technical SEO, internal linking, and site architecture.

Blog: Zyppy Blog

For More Info or to Contact: Zyppy Contact Page

Marie Haynes

Marie Haynes

Marie Haynes is a prolific content creator: in addition to her two books, “Unnatural Links: A Guide to Removal” and “Dr. Marie Haynes’ Google’s Quality Raters Guidelines”, she regularly updates an online blog, hosts a podcast discussing the latest updates to Google’s SERPs, and contributes articles to Search Engine Land. Her work, including her public speaking, takes deep dives into more niche topics like traffic drop assessments, website quality, and backlink audits. 

Blog: Marie Hyne’s Blog

For More Info or to Contact: Marie Haynes Website

Brian Dean

Brian Dean is one of the foremost experts in backlinking. He has used this expertise to build his company, Backlinko, into a common name within the SEO industry.  He also regularly updates his Youtube channel with helpful insights for marketers new to the practices of SEO. While Dean’s public speaking career is by no means limited to this practice, it is clearly his greatest passion.

Blog: Backlinko Blog

For More Info or to Contact: Backlinko Website

Aleyda Solis

Aleyda Solis is the founder of Orainti, a marketing agency specializing in the niche field of international SEO and ecommerce. The intersection of these specializations has earned her several notable accolades in her career; most notably, 2018 Personality of the Year at the European Search Awards. She speaks regularly on topics pertaining to international SEO, including cross-border marketing, multilingual SEO, and web migrations.

Blog: Aleyda Solis’s Blog

For More Info or to Contact: Aleyda Solis’ Website

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