30 Most influential people in UK SEO – The Result

by Peter Young on November 2, 2010 · 25 comments

As many regular readers may remember – and many of you who have Twitter accounts may remember we ran a recent poll on the most influential SEO in the UK. I originally was only going to post my own thoughts on this – however the thought of getting the community involved in this not only gave this a bit more personality but was interesting in terms of both the amount of noise this created and the lengths just some of our participants would go to to get near the top.

The vote itself attracted over 5000 votes – however as many people are aware of we had to remove some due to some overzealous scripting (no it wasn’t Paul Madden) for the poll – however we still had around 2000 odd legitimate votes during the lifetime of the poll which ran for just over a week.

30 – Lyndon Antcliff – Cornwall SEO
Twitter: lyndoman
The King of linkbait, Lyndon has been on the circuit for a number of years. Lyndon runs Cornwall SEO and is a regular speaker on the national and international speaking circuits

29 – Kelvin Newman – Site Visibility
Twitter: kelvinnewman
Had the privilege of having Kelvin up for the recent Sascon Manchester SEO mini-conferences, and Kelvin is certainly one of the new generation coming through. Creative Director @ Site Visibility, Kelvin is also one of the founders of the Internet Marketing Podcast which has around 17000 subscribers.

28 – Ben Mckay – MEC Manchester
Twitter: yetanotherben
Ben is one of the SEO directors at Manchester agency MEC Manchester, part of Group M – and runs the justmeandmy search marketing blog. Ben is a prolific blogger and can also be found blogging at Search Engine Journal and SEO Scoop and is also one of the founder members of the Sascon search conference.

27 – Lisa Myers – Verve Search
Twitter: lisadmyers
Lisa is certainly one of the most influential women in UK SEO, and in my opinion one of the best speakers on the circuit at this present moment in time (in my opinion should have been far higher up in this poll). Lisa is one of the founders of the State of Search blog (with Bas van den Beld) and of her search agency Verve Search. Also married to fellow nominee Jon Myers and new mother to Isla.

26 – Jaamit Durrani – OMD
Twitter: jaamit
Jaamit’s come a long way since his days at Fresh Egg, and is now the SEO Director at OMD testament not only to his knowledge but also his time on Twitter (joke – PY). Another one of the new breed of UK SEO’s on the circuit at the moment, and certainly one to watch for the future.

25 – Jon Myers – Yahoo
Twitter: jondmyers
The newly appointed Head of Account Management for Yahoo, Jon is a veteren of the UK search industry. Widely respected within the industry following senior spells at both Mediavest Manchester and Latitude Digital Marketing. Further to that one of the nicest blokes in the industry and the other half of the Myers search dynasty.

24 – Judith Lewis – Beyond
Twitter: judithlewis
Another SEO who has been around the industry since the early days, and reknowned for her love of chocolate. Now Head of Search at Beyond following a spell at I-Level – Judith is also one of the founder members of the SEO-Chicks with Lisa Myers.

23 – Tom Critchlow – Distilled
Twitter: tomcritchlow
One of the two brothers on the nominee list, I had the pleasure of meeting Tom at Sascon last year. Extremely knowledgable within search and analytics, and highly respected within the industry. Tom is Head of Search at Distilled and one of the SEOMoz Alumni.

22 – Andy Heaps – Epiphany Solutions
Twitter: andyheaps
Now Head of Search at Epiphany Solutions following a spell as Head of SEO at Latitude Digital Marketing. Andy is another that appears to have been round the industry for a number

21 – Kevin Gibbons – SEOptimise
Twitter: kevgibbo
Founder and Director of SEOptimise, and prolific blogger for Econsultancy amongst others. Kevin is also a regular speaker on many of the UK conferences.

20 – Peter Young – Holistic Search
Twitter: peteyoung
(You may wonder why my name was on there – but this was purely down to a nomination on the earlier Twitter post). New Head of SEO at Brilliant Media following previous stints at Mediavest Manchester and Amaze. Peter also runs the Manchester SEO Mini Conferences as well as being one of the founder members of Sascon. A prolific blogger, Peter also blogs at State of Search and David Harry’s new search news portal – Search News Central

19 – Nichola Stott – TheMediaFlow
Twitter: nicholastott
Owner of search marketing agency theMediaFlow – a SEO and social media agency based Hampshire. Nichola is a fellow blogger on European search marketing agency State of Search as well as SearchEngineWatch. Nichola is also a regular speaker on the Search marketing conference circuit and and absolute blast on a night out!!!!

18 – Barry Adams – Pierce Communications
Twitter: badams
Ex SEO for the Belfast Telegraph who as a sidenote went as far as writing a story on the website announcing his nomination. Barry blogs across a number of different online publications including Search News Central and State of Search – as well as being a massive advocate that SEO is not dead

17 – Rishi Lakhani
Twitter: rishil
Aparently your average guy interested in SEO – however there is nothing average about Rishil. Well versed marketeer who from a client side perspective brings a different approach to many of the nominees on the list. Highly intelligent, always entertaining – and well worth a place on the list (as a sidenote his blog explicitly.me is well worth a read)

16 – Neil Walker – SEOMad
Twitter: theukseo
Ex Chief Technical Officer for Just Search, and now running his own show. Speaker at the recent Manchester SEO mini-conference – however speakers at a number of events including Traffic and Ad-tech.

15 – James Lowery – Latitude
Twitter: yrewol
Currently Head of SEO at Latitude, following in the footsteps of fellow nominee Andy Heaps. Despite a heavy Latitude vote, a very competent SEO well versed in SEO amongst some of the biggest clients in the UK in some of the most competitive industries.

14 – Dom Hodgson – Think Visibility
Twitter: thehodge
Founder of the hugely successful Think Visibility search marketing conference in Leeds, and hardcore affiliate marketeer – which belies his age. Certainly one to watch in the industry for the future.

13 – Neil Jackson – Tamar
Twitter: neil66
Director of Search Strategy at search marketing agency Tamar, Neil has been on the scene for a number of years. A regular speaker on the search circuit including SMX and Sascon

12 – Julian Sambles – The Telegraph Media Group
Twitter: juliansambles
Julian is the Digital Operations Director at the Telegraph Media Group and as such not your typical SEO. A regular speaker on the circuit as with many of the other nominees

11 – Andrew Girdwood – Bigmouthmedia/LBi
Twitter: andrewgirdwood
Bigmouthmedia through and through, self-confessed geek Andrew Girdwood comes in at 11. In my opinion, one I had expected higher up in the list.

10 – Paul Madden – formally SEOIdiot
Twitter: pauldavidmadden
Everyone’s favourite dark master, Paul has made a fortune out of affiliate marketing and Adsense in particular. The one person I have heard people always look forward to hearing on the speaking circuit (no matter of their hat colour), and a fantastically intelligent bloke to boot. Despite some apparent ‘automation’ in his votes (Couldnt prove due to different ips – spammers learn a lesson there), well worth his place in the Top 10.

9 – Dixon Jones – Receptional/Majestic SEO
Twitter: dixon_jones
Marketing Director of Majestic SEO, Director of Receptional and Moderator at WebmasterWorld, Dixon eats, sleeps, dreams and breaths SEO. His association with leading link analysis tool Majestic SEO has made him one of the must speak to people when it comes to links and link analysis in particular.

8 – Teddy Cowell – Guava
Twitter: guavauk
I had the fortune to meet Teddy at an EConsultancy roundtable a couple of years ago, and was hugely impressed by his knowledge on SEO. The regular collaboration with EConsultancy as regards the SEO industry sector reports, makes Guava and Teddy in particular is one of the reasons I would suggest Teddy is hugely influential in the UK space

7 – Will Critchlow – Distilled
Twitter: willcritchlow
Another on the list who was higher up on my original list, however there is no doubting the influence the Distilled boys have on the UK SEO Industry through their affiliation with SEOMoz and the increasingly popular ProSEO search marketing series.

6 – Richard Baxter – SEOGadget
Twitter: richardbaxter
The increasing success of SEOGadget can only be attributed to the expertise of Richard Baxter. One of the more technical SEO’s on the circuit at present, Richard is a well respected expert within the SEO field – particularly with regards to Microformat markup and information architecture.

5 – Patrick Altoft – Branded3
Twitter: patrickaltoft
Respect both sides of the Atlantic highlights the influence both Patrick and his Blogstorm blog have within the SEO Community as a whole. Increasingly visibible on the search marketing conference circuit and definitely a cert for the Top 5.

4 – Guy Levine – Return on Digital
Twitter: guylevine
Many may be wondering why Guy is in the top 5, however one has to consider the breadth this poll actually went. A well orchestrated campaign saw Guy end in fourth place in the poll, having even run David close at the top for a couple of days. One of the Millionnare Mentors (on search) with James Caan and founder of Return on Digital, Guy is a regular speaker to both client and agency side audiences.

3 – Paul Reilly – StickyEyes
Twitter: paulreilly
Head of Search at StickyEyes, and regular speaker on the Gaming and search marketing conferences – and now heading London-way. Worked across a number of highly competitive verticals including gaming and mobile phones, Paul is well respected by both clients and agencies alike.

2 – David Naylor – Bronco
Twitter: davenaylor
Led the way for the majority of the way, and by the winners own admission the most influential SEO in the UK at this present moment. Dave commands respect – not just for his Yorkshire accent but his expertise within SEO. Known and respected by nearly all SEO’s within the industry, whether new or seasoned veterans, Dave runs the Bronco search agency in Yorkshire as well as speaking at a number of conferences both here in the UK, in Europe and further afield.

1 – Shaun Anderson – HoboWeb
Twitter: hobo_web
Shaun just sneaked home within the closing stages of the competition, thanks in no small part to a fairly significant promotional campaign which included a number of references via the RSS feed of his site. However there is no doubting the respect and influence Shaun has within the SEO community as a whole.

Google+ Comments

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Johnny Laird November 2, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Should I feel bad & wholly out of the loop if the only names I recognise are Jaamit Durrani & Rishi Lakhani? ;-)

ragz November 2, 2010 at 1:12 pm

I only 4-5 of this big list.Congrats Shaun Anderson

Robert November 2, 2010 at 1:51 pm

All well worth a follow and read. Congrats to Shaun, great marketing job on his part, perhaps that alone justifies his victory.

Heck it got him my vote.

CowJam November 2, 2010 at 2:52 pm
Peter Young November 2, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Thanks Cowjam – not sure what the last link was meant to highlight though?

CowJam November 2, 2010 at 3:13 pm

If you google “who is the UK’s most influential SEO?” the first link is the poll, the second link is the results and the third is a link saying I’m the UK’s most influential SEO.

I find it funny that none of the SEOs in the poll thought fit to do a bit of SEO for it.

Peter Young November 2, 2010 at 3:20 pm

I guess no more funny than NHS data people wanting to come first when someone types in ‘UK’s most influential SEO?’ :)

CowJam November 2, 2010 at 3:22 pm


I just wanted to beat Manley ;)

John Thompson November 2, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Paul Reilly doesn’t even work for stickyeyes any more!!!

Hobo November 2, 2010 at 3:28 pm

That’s interesting as I can’t even influence my girlfriend to let me off with not doing the dishes on a week night. :)

These polls are fun (nothing wrong with a clique when you are in it is there lol) , but I think it’s fair to say Dave Naylor is the man in the UK industry, not just because of his length of service and connections around the world, and I voted for him. I also voted for Partrick Altoft, more for his brand building and blogging.

The single biggest influence on me the past year or so has been Paul Madden at http://www.paulmadden.co.uk/ – it’s nice to see how others come at seo from a totally different perspective (especially scaling and automation) and while I dont use the dark arts too much it’s interesting how you can take what the spammers and black hats do and use in a – dare I say it – white-hat way (well, ‘whiter’).

I purposely didn’t tweet or use social media in the broader sense and purposely only used my feed to tell people about the list as I thought they where the people who I have ‘influenced’ so it was a useful test of wether or not a rss feed is of any value up against Twitter etc, as I don’t do conferences except to visit the free bars. :)

Looking at my rss feed I managed to canvas @250 votes I think from 13,500 subscribers so that means I probably have over 13,000 competitors subscribed lol (or folk who think I’m useless :) )

I’ve literally heard of just about everyone on this list and generally read something of theirs (or something they share) every week, and in some ways, many have influenced me, in how they write articles, connect with the community, run their feed, run their blog, build their brand, attract the news hounds to their sites.

I’m surprised Tim Nash wasn’t included to be honest even if he doesn’t want to be known as a seo, and I take it Andy Beard must have been ineligible.

Then again I know for a FACT there’s plenty of seo out there who just aren’t visible because they don’t blog etc – I made a decision to be visible when I started a company as I assumed ‘correctly’ this would get me sales when I was working (though as the years go by I question if such visibility can be a good thing in the long run hence why you dont ‘see’ me everywhere).

I’m surprised this list of UK seo is crammed full of good guys (the ones I have met anyway!) – a distinct lack of knobbers as Dave would call em :)

(Then again, if you can’t see ‘the knobber’ in a room, it might be you lol)

Good times see you at Think Visibility next year, Peter et al :)

Marty November 2, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Congrats to Shaun, have heard him speak a few times :)

H November 2, 2010 at 3:58 pm

yes you should :P

Paul Reilly November 2, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Whoop whoop, get in… #3

He takes bronze


channel5 November 2, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Nice work Shaun.. very interesting to see so many faces I know personaly on the list!

Andy Redfern November 2, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Come on the Paul – who had their personal proxy network on overtime during this vote?

Or maybe that is the next vote?

Kevin John November 2, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Some high profile names on this list! Great work Shaun!

Lisa Myers November 2, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Thanks for the inclusion and votes whoever voted for me :) And thanks for the kind words Pete. Much appreciated, especially as I’m off on maternity leave at the moment so great to feel included in the industry and not forgotten :)

Lisa Myers November 3, 2010 at 9:52 am

thank you muchy for the kind words Pete :) And thanks to anyone that voted for me. It’s nice to see I’m not forgotten although I’m up to my eyeballs in nappies and feeding (maternity)…

Barry Adams November 3, 2010 at 5:10 pm

I did, actually – just a wee bit. :)

Netpaths November 17, 2010 at 4:30 am

Congratulations to the guys and gals who won this seo contest, its always an honor to be featured in a list!

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