This is a guest post by Jahn Abrena.
SEO is a term that many people still don’t recognize these days. Furthermore, those that do know a bit often think it’s just about backlinks and putting tags all over your site (True story – I know someone who believes this). However, what many don't realize is that SEO goes much further than this.
Now, as time progresses, new faces emerge to form a group of elites. I call them Supernovas; people who just recently got known or shined more, but are considered as professionals on the field. As 2012 approaches, if you are an SEO yourself, wouldn’t it be nice to know who you would want to reference your techniques at and to follow on your social networks?
Here are 12 people who you might just want to know better, since I personally think that they will dominate their fields this coming year.
1. Ross Hudgens
One of the best new generation SEOs I’ve seen, Ross Hudgens is currently based in Seattle, Washington, and works as the SEO Manager of Full Beaker Inc. He is an expert in thinking and administering scalable link building strategies, which he does share on his blog, http://www.rosshudgens.com. Interested in knowing his strategies and how he thinks? Follow him on Twitter @RossHudgens.
2. Jason Acidre
Started blogging about his experience on SEO last 2010, Jason Acidre quickly rose to the ranks of becoming one of the well known new generation SEO specialists in the world. Owner of his personal blog http://kaiserthesage.com, he now runs his own Inbound Marketing agency called Xight Interactive, composed of what he calls “a team of web mercenaries for hire”. Seek him out on Twitter @jasonacidre.
3. Justin Briggs
Justin Briggs is currently working for Big Fish Games as their SEO manager, but seriously, this guy is really advanced. I have read Justin’s blog posts on several known blogs like SEOmoz’s, and his way of thinking about SEO is just so mind blowing that I didn’t even understand some studies he’s saying (since I’m not that advanced). If you are curious about what he talks about, visit his site http://justinbriggs.org. Search him on Twitter @justinbriggs.
4. John Doherty
One of the industry’s new top dogs, John Doherty is quite the expert on SEO and social media. He currently works as a SEO Consultant for Distilled, a top notch SEO Agency who works for brands such as SEOmoz. His personal blog, http://www.johnfdoherty.com, has his own thoughts on SEO and social media. Oh and he also does his own photography stint every now and then, since he likes to visit various places. Travel with him on Twitter @dohertyjf.
5. Cyrus Shepard
Not really new on the business, but I still count him as a 2012 supernova. Cyrus Shepard has been around and known as an SEO for SEOmoz, but he now works as an SEO strategy consultant independently. I love how he describes SEO as “… a complex, slow video game. Except with ideas and money”. Check out his blog http://cyrusshepard.com and follow him on Twitter @CyrusShepard.
6. Ryan Clark
One of my mentor’s buddies, Ryan Clark is an SEO consultant for Linkbuildr, one of the great link building teams I know of. Ryan and his team do great scalable link building strategies for their clients. As they say on their site, “We build brands (not just links)”. Awesome tagline there. Follow him (and their team) on Twitter @linkbuildr.
7. Russ Jones
Currently Virante, Inc.’s Chief Technology Officer, Russ has been in the website design / development for nearly 10 years before he decided to shift into search marketing in 2003. He’s always excited about the latest updates about search marketing, immediately sharing them with his readers and giving perceptive insights along with them. Despite his technical background, he remains very humble which can be seen through his rants and raves over at @rjonesx. He also maintains The Google Cache, a search marketing blog, along with Jeff Staub, CEO of Virante.
8. Michael King
Bringing the cool onto your website has always been his game, and Michael King ain’t gon’stop anytime soon. He curates “SEO Must Reads” articles every Sunday on his website. Also found there are the funny comic strips he makes using Mr. Men characters. He bases the stories from his personal experiences working in the SEO industry. Michael’s Twitter is also packed with his trademark cool: He recently re-Tweeted a playlist of Christmas song mashups. Think Lil Wayne meets the Nutcracker. If that isn’t cool, I don’t know what is. Catch more of his awesomeness at @iPullRank.
9. James Agate
What I like about James is how he simplifies SEO ideas without totally watering them down. Or, to put it more bluntly, he does not dumb down the readers into thinking that SEO is something simple. His website and SEO consultancy firm, Skyrocket SEO, reflects those principles. He values passion and hunger for his career, thus making sure that there is only excellence in his work. But don’t be fooled, @jamesagate is very approachable and he’ll be happy to assist you through the SEO world.
10. Himanshu Sharma
The founder and sole owner of SEO Takeaways, Himanshu Sharma is extremely awesome when writing posts on his blog. I commend him too when it comes to coming up and innovating strategies for link building using link baits and other content driven styles. Better follow him on Twitter @seohimanshu for updates on what things he does in the world of SEO.
11. Jon Cooper
A perpetrator of eye-catching articles, Jon Cooper likes to use attention-grabbing headlines on his website, Point Blank SEO. He’s one of the younger generations of highly promising link builders out there, who provide consultation for various websites. Follow him on Twitter @PointBlankSEO if you want to know link building through a young person’s perspective.
12. Don Rhoades
When he’s not sharing random funnies on his own consulting firm website, Don actively imparts SEO knowledge through his Twitter account at @TheGonzoSEO. This father of three likes to keep things light and breezy, making it very easy for SEO newbies to learn under him.
2012 will be a very interesting time to follow how these people will contribute to the SEO community. Also watch out for other great minds (like Gianluca Fiorelli of I Love SEO and ItaliaSEO) this coming year. More awesome stuff for the community this year!
Make sure to follow Jahn on Twitter! Also, I've got a few more exceptional SEOs you'll want to follow for the coming year:
13. Wil Reynolds
This guy is a beast! Wil is the CEO of SEER Interactive, a Philadelphia based internet marketing and search firm. I recommend subscribing to the blog at SEER and also checking out Wil's Youtube channel – there are some very informative presentations there with actionable information. You can find Wil on Twitter at @wilreynolds.
14. Gab Goldenberg
Gab's been doing SEO for a LONG time and has some awesome insights on his site SEO ROI. You can pick up some advanced tactics and tips from him that you don't find many other places including this very handy usability testing guide. Just be sure to put your thinking cap on before visiting! You can follow Gab on Twitter @gabgoldenberg.
15. Ann Smarty
Ann is an editor at Search Engine Journal and long time SEO. Her blog, SEO Smarty, is a good place to pick up new tips and strategies for your SEO – she seems to have no shortage of cool new stuff! Also, if you haven't used My Blog Guest for your guest blogging, well… I don't know where you've been. Follow Ann on Twitter @seosmarty.