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30 Link Building Experts You NEED to Follow

by Jon Cooper
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If someone recommends you follow just one person or read just one blog, then they’re flat out wrong. If someone told me that my blog is the only one they read to improve their link building efforts, I’d immediately write up a quick list of people they should follow & blogs to read.

This is that list. These are the people I learn from on a daily basis and keep me in check on what’s happening in the world of link building.

Why I created this: I get asked two to three times a week about which link builders to follow in the industry & who I’ve learned from over the years, so being able to answer them with a single URL is going to save me a ton of time. 

Note: This list is in no particular order.

1. Wil Reynolds

Wil, the founder of SEER Interactive, is a link building stud. Each time he posts a new video, speaks at a conference, or writes up a post, I can help but smile. Wil has taught me a lot over the past couple years and I owe him a lot for it.

2. Ross Hudgens

Ross lives, eats, and breathes links. He’s introduced a few new ideas that really got me thinking and lead me to a few discoveries of my own. Hopefully he can spark a few epiphanies that can help streamline your link building efforts too. You can check out my interview of Ross here.

3. Garrett French

Whether he’s writing a new post on Search Engine Watch or introducing a new tool to the Citation Labs toolset, Garrett is always amazing me when it comes to how he builds links.

4. Hugo Guzman

Hugo, a fellow Tampa SEO (represent!), likes to challenge accepted ideas and has helped me think differently, and when it comes to link building, being different is a huge plus.

5. Justin Briggs

There’s a group of guys I wish who blogged more. Justin is one of them. Despite this, he’s more than worth a follow on Twitter. You can check out my interview with him here.

6. Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre’s blog, Kaiserthesage, is definitely in my top 3 favorite reads. He also occasionally writes for a few other blogs, so I suggest you get updates on his posts straight from the source.

7. Debra Mastaler

Luckily for us, Debra has started to post on her blog, the Link Spiel, a lot more as of late. Debra has been in the game for quite a while, so if there’s any group who can speak from experience, she’s a part of it.

8. Julie Joyce

Owner of Link Fish Media, Julie Joyce has built well over 10,000 links over the years (according to this post), so once again, this is another experienced link builder you need to learn from.

9. Don Rhoades

Although Don doesn’t write on his blog often, his tweets have introduced me to quite a few link building gems I would have missed otherwise, and I usually pride myself in finding the best posts before anyone else (or at least I like to think so).

10. Mike King

When it comes to building links through social channels, Mike, aka iPullrank, is your go-to guy. If you can get your hands on a ticket to see him speak, do yourself a favor and do so (haven’t seen him in person, but I’ve seen the conference videos & slide decks and been blown away). You can check out my interview of Mike here.

11. John Doherty

John, a consultant for Distilled, has really jumped onto the scene of late. If there’s anyone that will show you how it’s done when it comes to building links through content marketing, it’s John.

12. Eric Enge

Another veteran link builder, Eric is the president of Stone Temple Consulting. He also wrote the Professional Guide to Link Building, one of the most extensive resources on the Web.

13. Mike Essex

Mike is an online marketing manager at Koozai, and he’s one of the more creative guys in the industry. He’s written a book titled “Free Stuff Everyday”, in which he goes through ways to give away free stuff to get the things you want (of course, links being one of them). Check out my interview of him here.

14. Nick LeRoy

Nick is an outside the box thinker. I guarantee that the stuff he writes on his blog you will not find anywhere else. You can check out my interview of him here.
 

15. Paddy Moogan

Paddy, like John, is a consultant for Distilled, and I’ve been really liking what I’ve been seeing out of him lately. Make sure you check out his blog too.
 

16. Dan Petrovic

Dan, the director of Dejan SEO, an Australian SEO company, really knows his stuff. He’s been in the industry for over 10 years, and he’s worked with 100s of clients since then.

17. Rand Fishkin

Rand, famous for being the CEO of SEOmoz, definitely has some insight to share when it comes to building links. Although he hasn’t consulted in recent years, he’s the main writer for the SEOmoz blog, a blog that has attracted thousands upon thousands of links over the years. You can check out my interview of Rand here.

18. James Agate

James is one of the link builders in the industry that doesn’t get nearly as much love as he deserves. He runs a content-based link building agency, Skyrocket SEO, so he knows what it takes to attract links to content. He’s also a guest blogging mastermind.

19. Richard Baxter

Richard is the founder of SEOgadget, a large UK SEO company. Richard has written some great stuff on the company’s blog, including a few stellar posts on using link data in excel.

20. Shaun Anderson

Shaun, the marketing directory at Hobo Web, is one of the most well regarded link builders in the UK. He likes to dive head first into some interesting topics (most recently directories) and is always worth paying attention to.

21. Kelvin Newman

Not only did he write the Clockwork Pirate (which alone should have him on this list), he’s also the marketing director at SiteVisibility and runs a highly successful Internet Marketing podcast on iTunes.

22. Ethan Lyon

Another link builder who doesn’t get enough love, Ethan works with Wil over at SEER Interactive. I think it’s time he finally gets credit for some of the great work he’s been doing both at SEER and on their blog.

23. Ian Howells

Ian’s Twitter bio sums him up the best: “Brand safe by day. Not so much at night.” He consults with a few big clients, but like me, also has a blog & a few sites of his own to toy around with.

24. Kris Roadruck

Kris is a grey hat link builder who, frankly, I would not want to go up against in the SERPs. Like me, he hasn’t been in the industry as long as some of the veterans on this list, but by no means should you hold that against him.

25. Wiep Knol

Wiep is a link builder from the Netherlands who co-founded Linkbuilding.nl, a dutch link building agency. He tweets in both English & Dutch, and when he does write either for his own blog or someone else’s, it’s always worth tuning in to.

26. Tom Critchlow

Tom, yet another guy from Distilled (he’s the VP of operations at the NY branch), was one of the first guys to really teach me how important hustle is. I’ve seen quite a few of his talks at conferences, and I can’t wait to see him speak in person.

27. Will Critchlow

Will, Tom’s brother, is just as good (better?) as Tom when it come to building links. The biggest reason why I added him to the list is because at Distilled he’s consulted with quite a few large corporate companies.

28. Aaron Wall

It would be hard to make a list of link builders and not include Aaron, the founder of SEO Book, both an SEO software & training company. He’s one of the brightest minds in the industry, and he always has been.

29. Dixon Jones

Dixon is the marketing directory at Majestic SEO, the largest backlink data source there is, and a founder director at Receptional, a web marketing agency, so yeah, he knows what he’s doing.

30. Chris Cemper

Chris, an internet marketing consultant, is the creator of Link Research Tools, a toolset that’s started to become a lot more popular of late.
 

Honorable Mentions

Linkbuildr

Since Linkbuildr is a company rather than a person (even though Ryan Clark does all the tweeting), I didn’t want to include it in the group of people above, but regardless, you should definitely be following this one.

Eric Ward & Jim Boykin

Even though Eric & Jim are awesome link builders, they don’t tweet very often (Jim hasn’t at all in 2012). Hopefully we get lucky & they start tweeting more, but until then, I’m not going to list them in that list of 30.

Jon Cooper

Alright, I had to include myself. Building links is what I love to do. I could tell you I have a link building blog, but you’re reading it as we speak.
 

Up & Comers

Peter Attia

Peter has written a bunch of great posts over on his blog that haven’t gotten the attention they deserve. Depending on how often he writes and who’s lucky enough to read his stuff, you might see him gain a bit more popular in the next year or so.

Michael Smith

Michael was one of my first readers on my blog, and unfortunately very few of you know who he is. Since his first few posts, his content has gotten a lot better, and like Peter, if he writes more, he has a chance at being a little more well known.

Who did I miss?

Who are your favorite link builders on Twitter? Who’s an up & comer you see making some noise over the next few years? Make sure you let me know in the comments!

I also noticed a lot of you aren’t subscribed to my RSS, so if you aren’t, make sure you do so now.

This post was written by...

Jon Cooper – who has written 122 posts on Point Blank SEO.

Jon Cooper+ is an SEO consultant based out of Gainesville, FL who specializes in link building. For more information on him and Point Blank SEO, visit the about page. Follow him on Twitter.

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44 Comments
  1. Bob Jones says:

    I think Neil Patel should definitely have a spot on the list for sure. And, I do some link building myself, although I don’t talk about it that much. Except for here and here for example :)

    • Jon Cooper says:

      Thanks Bob! I was considering adding Neil, but I wanted to stick to just link building – he does a ton of other things (and of course he’s great at all of them!).

      And great job on those two posts btw! Read them both :)

  2. Nick LeRoy says:

    Thanks for the mention Jon!

  3. Oli says:

    Don’t believe you forgot to include me :O :p

  4. jeet says:

    Many poeple can not get this post away from their eyes. Even me i look at the top link building ways. Among the list i can say Wil Reynolds is best.

  5. Debbie says:

    Great list.. But I noticed they all have a ton of followers but don’t follow as many back. How does this help build link building? Maybe help for them? But how does it help me as a small person? Just saying…

    or do I have the wrong idea??

    • Jon Cooper says:

      Debbie,

      I’m not 100% sure what you’re getting at, so bare with me. I listed them as link building experts because they give out great link building tips via Twitter. You should follow them because they give invaluable advice. Whether or not they follow people back is up to them (something entirely different in this case).

      Hopefully that clears things up?

      Thanks for the comment :)

  6. Dan Petrovic says:

    I was about to tweet this straight from the page, but there is no tweet button!

    • Jon Cooper says:

      I know Dan :(. When the design was tweaked, for some reason the Digg Digg bar went away. Working to get it fixed ASAP, but can’t figure it out…

  7. helen lagares says:

    Nice, i really need to learn it! :)

  8. Great article and list Jon. Only one thing I thought was missing…..each twitter username / link for each of the peeps!:-)

  9. ….and now I realise, I can click on their names to see their twitter account (face palm)

  10. Michael says:

    Cheers for the mention again Jon :)

    Another couple of good up-and-comers I’ve been reading are Shelli Walsh’s blog (http://www.shellshockuk.com/link-building-blog) and http://01100111011001010110010101101011.co.uk/ – both UK representatives as well :)

    • Shelli says:

      You beat me to it I was also going to recommend Sean at 01100111011001010110010101101011 – very funny guy
      Well done for making the list Michael – you are definitely one to watch and thanks for the mention, very kind.

      Another classic post Jon, keep it up.

      Shelli

  11. Well Jon Cooper, I must commend you on the list. What a list. Among the mentioned people, I know of Aaron Wall from my first week of internet marketing. I have his SEOBook which gave me my first knowledge of how to rank on the search engines. I also know about Chris Cemper. The others are new to me. I will keep watch for their names as I believe a lot of stuff can be learned from them.

    You too are great since I have learnt a few powerful things from you too.

    Thanks.

  12. how about Nick Stamoulis. Is he not included. I have read many of his posts and it’s so informative. Great Ideas also.

    • Jon Cooper says:

      Thanks Neil! I thought about including Nick (I too have seen some of his stuff), but he was part of a group of guys that I was on the fence with. Still, he’s great at what he does, and just because he didn’t make this particular list doesn’t mean he’s not great.

  13. Frank says:

    What about Dr. Andy Williams of ezSEONews.com? He also publishes amazing SEO programs and reports :).

    Also, Lisa Parmley of http://www.inlineseo.com/blog

  14. May I ask why there’s not links to these guys Google+ profiles? Will you do a post later on who to follow on Google+?

  15. What about James Norquay haha, always hard to make these lists but people will be missed =) But yeah I have been doing link building for around 7 years, I should ramp up my posts on the area ;)

  16. Bradley says:

    A few I need to add to my list! Also great to see local company, Dejan get a mention!

  17. Adam Henige says:

    Great list Jon, and some names that I haven’t seen previously.

  18. sub001 says:

    I’m surprised you missed the SEO Braintrust guys. Personally, I have great respect for both, Dan Thies and Leslie Rohde. I would trust them with any of my sites without hesitation…

  19. Dinesh says:

    Hi Jon,

    I am very happy..to see your blog. This is awesome post.

  20. Jon,
    Great post and excellent list of SEO professionals. Rand and Will are my top to favorites but they all are great. Presentation/speaking skills are also a reason why these professionals made the list. Not only do they know their craft very well, they can communicate it to the masses in a fun and energetic way. Keep up the great work Jon. I’d love to see a post on penguin recovery for link builders.

    • Jon Cooper says:

      Thanks Oliver! Agreed – if a lot of these guys didn’t speak nearly as often as they did, they might not be where they are today.

      Don’t plan on doing a Penguin recovery post (haven’t dealt with a site yet that was hit hard, so definitely not qualified to post about it), but this post should help: http://pointblankseo.com/type-of-links.

  21. jenny says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing the list. I have been following a couple of them, but yet, this gives me a more complete list, sure i can learn a lot from each. Thanks again, good stuff as always.

  22. ildar says:

    Great list, followed them all. I would recommend Dan Thies as well, tweets a lot of interesting info at @danthies

  23. Dave Stopher says:

    I reckon your should include @Tudor_Davies! He is one of the best in the world at the moment.

  24. James McMinn says:

    Wow, this is a great list. I was actually surprised by how many of these guys I already follow, and I’m very excited about the new ones. I don’t know how to actually say one person is better than another at link building, but I definitely like the way Rand Fishkin puts out his information. I guess I should say I like his delivery, can’t live without the Friday whiteboards either. Everyone keep up the good work and maybe in 10 years I will be on this list….

  25. Fahad says:

    Again a great list Jon, really enjoyed following them all

  26. ronan says:

    Sad to say, that the expert I have been following was not there on the list “Matt Carter”.

    Anyway, it is such a great list.

  27. Robert says:

    Thanks for putting this list together. It’s just what I was looking for.

    What about Jon Ball? Are you familiar with him? I just listened to him with Eric Ward via a webinar. He seemed pretty knowledgeable.

  28. Great resource added a few to my follows ist :)

  29. Hi Jon,

    Just wanted to say, you make awesome lists!

  30. Pavan Rai says:

    You forgot Sujan Patel and Melissa Fach.

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