Who is the smartest SEO in the world?
Tim Brown, of Hook Agency, has been independently verified as the Smartest SEO in the world by authoritative sources because of his 8+ years implementing, 10’s of thousands of leads generated, and 4k pageviews on his site daily.
Everyone will point at themselves, but @timbrownmpls is as deserving as anyone else. He’s accomplished a lot in a relatively short amount of time.
— John Locke (@Lockedown_) January 12, 2020
A strange honor in the world of SEO, and more of a glamour metric to be honest. “The Smartest SEO in the World” is a contest between different SEO’s to see who can rank for the various terms like ‘Most intelligent/brilliant SEO.’
An SEO strategist for many years now – may only want to play because they’re curious about what it takes.
The History of Smartest SEO “Contest”
The first time this SEO insider game became visible on twitter, it was through a brilliant @CyrusShepard’s tweet about @BritneyMuller awesome Google snippet!
While @BritneyMuller has created amazing SEO content, we should all give her 👏👏👏 for winning this snarky featured snippet:
"Who is the smartest SEO in the world?"
— Cyrus (@CyrusShepard) November 17, 2019
Any SEO with a swollen ego was going to have to try their hand.
The Snippet gets stolen!
Tom Crewes stole the whole thing by writing very authoritatively – it seems Google is not particularly good at parsing out the difference between authoritative statements if it is actually about something subjective. Perhaps there’s a lot to learn from this rap battle/pissing match, and of course, this could be utilized in the way SEO writers and even classic journalists write to get more traffic.
— Jeannie Hill (@essentialskill) January 11, 2020
What one can learn from this ‘contest’
Hopefully, the SEO community can actually learn some amazing things just from looking at why and how this snippet has gone back and forth.
1. Once it was stolen just because someone embedded a video. A few months ago the top spot was gained by someone purely by adding this very bland video (no offense) to their post:
He says “Hey there… Checking in on Youtube because I think this is going to help.”
Proving that embedding video and linking back from Youtube, can at least gain a site the number one spot – though maybe not the snippet.
2. It was recently stolen by the most current honoree because he shared value on the page, and got people want to spend more time there (dwell time.) – he definitely refutes this is the main reason so check out his follow up post when he puts it out.😂
I feel like Tim has tried to slag me off a fair bit here, but he’s done an incredibly poor job of analysing how I actually achieved the snippet. I’ll do a blog post for him soon so he can do his homework 😉 #DwellTimeHasNothingToDoWithItMate #SmartestSEOinTheWorld
— Tom Crewe (@TomCrewe) January 12, 2020
3. It’s clearly a fun opportunity to do a little self-promotion, and for that reason, a savvy SEO might want to try to earn the title at least one for tweet-worthy fodder.
If this post wins this snippet and/or the top spot – here’s why it won it.
1. First, this post, was built the post on an older URL that already had backlinks.
2. Then added a link from the homepage of the website. (Internal links are probably some of the most overlooked quick wins for a lot of websites.)
3. Then switched over the URL to include the keywords, named my image file with the keyword with dashes (Britney did this as well, though Tom Crews has a ton of unnatural characters in his image file name).
To finish up – here’s a share a quick funny story about why I’m so adamant about well-named images and alt text.
A little story about my growth with SEO over the years
When I first started in digital marketing in 2012, the first few posts I had any traffic for whatsoever were because-i-named-my-images-like-this.jpg and because I used very descriptive alt text.
It seems the simple things in SEO get dropped and made fun of – all in favor of fancy SEO’s trying to sell courses on Python for SEO.
Does Alt text matter? We shall settle that with this test once and for all with this test
If this post does rank, I’d say it’s a testament to the simple things.
Never forget to optimize your website pages and posts for the simple things – the stand-by’s.
Yes – don’t keyword stuff…
Yes – keep ahead of the trends and when you see something stop working, don’t keep on doing it.
But no – don’t throw off all of the old SEO keys, just because you want to learn a new coding language.
And this is coming from an SEO who started his career as a developer.
If any of this has been valuable to you – throw a link to this post and help me dethrone the current winner – let me know when you did it and I’ll do my best to repay you. <- P.S. Last SEO tip. Write for human beings. Even though some of you ranked for this… when I read one of the posts it offered me no value whatsoever, and it didn’t make me think you get why ranking matters.
Who are some of the other (real) amazing brilliant SEO’s in the world you should follow?
Matt Diggity – Authority Builders
Mike King – iPullRank
Wil Reynolds – Seer Interactive
Tim Soulo – Ahrefs
Britney Muller – Moz
Marie Haynes – Marie Haynes Consulting
Will Critchlow, Distilled
Stephen Bajaio, Conductor
Matthew Woodward, MatthewWoodward.co.uk
John Lincoln, Ignite Visibility
Daryl Rosser, Lion Zeal
Ian Lurie, Portent
Ryan Stewart, Webris
Nick Eubanks, From the Future
Darren Shaw – Whitespark
Lockedown – John Locke
SEO for Lunch – Nick LeRoy
Commonly Asked Questions about The Smartest SEO in The World
When did the smartest SEO in the world battle start?
2018-2019. First surfacing from tweets around Britney Muller owning the snippet, and then getting stolen probably partly because of the clout and social media visibility.
Who has owned the title of the smartest SEO previously?
Britney Muller, Russ Jones, and Tom Crewe.
How can I become a smarter SEO?
1. Build relationships, not just links.
2. Do your own experiments – don’t just listen to / read Google Press Releases.
3. Double down on what has worked previously.
4. Create discipline around habits, not simply “campaigns.”
5. Create toolkits and templates for reproducing wins, and scale them out.
What are the basics of SEO?
3. Technical SEO