Matthew Keegan
Sep 14, 2022

Study reveals the 20 most influential people in digital marketing

The founder of software company HubSpot tops the list of Rock The Rankings' 20 most iconic people in the SEO and digital marketing industry.

Dharmesh Shah, HubSpot
Dharmesh Shah, HubSpot

Dharmesh Shah, the founder and CTO of HubSpot, was crowned the most influential person in SEO and digital marketing with a staggering 1,036,649 Linkedin followers and over 296,000 Twitter followers.

The list was compiled by SaaS SEO agency, Rock The Rankings, who analysed social media to find the top 20 influencers for 2022.

Rank Influencer Twitter followers LinkedIn followers Number of Tweets Mentions (7 days) Engagement rate (%)
1 Dharmesh Shah  296,500  1,036,649  20,803  178  0.16 
2 John Rampton  1,257,792  45,454  38,277  141 
3 Pam Moore  285,548  348,243  134,776  11  0.72 
4 Danny Sullivan  533,000  261,623  78,888  442  0.02 
5 Rand Fishkin  466,241  128,000  68,857  732  0.3 
6 Neil Patel  437,410  453,000  25,517  348  0.14 
7 Barry Schwartz  184,452  23,067  128,483  1809  0.01 
8 Shama Hyder  45,121  615,959  25,377  45  0.01 
9 Aleyda Solis  125,110  36,465  122,052  717  0.57 
10 John Mueller  139,233  6,175  40,019  2110  0.01 
11 Matt Cutts  508,454  5,757  32,352  20  0.02 
12 Dr. Pete Meyers  73,918  3,734  123,872  675  0.1 
13 Julie Joyce  23,151  2,850  52,520  3.43 
14 Ann Smarty  66,016  13,472  81,794  301 
15 Glenn Gabe  52,610  3,163  76,663  418  0.02 
16 Brian Dean  125,445  68,385  7,167  25  0.87 
17 Shane Barker  29,956  23,995  82,147  46  0.01 
18 Mike Volpe  74,428  1,496  26,295  10  1.26 
19 Wil Reynolds  55,641  20,661  41,697  64  0.35 
20 Cyrus Shepard  95,977  13,610  26,249  248 


In second place comes John Rampton, a serial entrepreneur and founder of the online payments company Due and productivity company Calendar. The study found Rampton had the highest number of Twitter followers, at a staggering 1,257,792.
In third place was Pam Moore, founder of digital marketing agency, Marketing Nutz, who had the highest number of Tweets in the study. Sharing her 25+ years’ experience with the world, Moore has composed 134,776 tweets, giving advice and industry views to her 285,548 followers.
Two more influential females in SEO appear in the top 10, including founder of Zen Media Shama Hyder who comes in ninth place, and International SEO consultant and founder of Orainti, Aleya Solis. Hyder is most popular on Linkedin with an incredible 615,959 followers, while Aleyda Solis has a higher number of Twitter followers (125,110).
Google is one of only two companies to feature twice in the top 20, the other being Moz, the SEO software company. Google’s very own public liason officer, Danny Sullivan, is in the top five thanks to his impressive number of tweets (78,888) and Twitter followers (533,000). In addition, Google’s Search advocate, John Mueller, known in the SEO industry for sharing tips and dropping hints about what to expect next from Google, features in 10th place on the list with the most Twitter mentions; it’s clear his followers are keen to get his advice and opinions on the latest industry trends.
It's no surprise that both Rand Fishkin and Neil Patel also made the list. Fishkin is famously the founder of Moz while Patel is the founder of Kissmetrics. Both figures are extremely popular on social media, especially Twitter, where they both have over 400,000 followers. When it comes to Linkedin Neil Patel has a substantially higher number of followers (453,000) while Rand Fishkin has 128,000.
The study is published at a time when the digital marketing industry is rapidly evolving. The global market is estimated to be worth $786.2 billion by 2026, with the SEO industry worth currently worth $80 billion alone.
And, as the industry grows, so does the interest in careers, as Google Trends data shows a 76% increase in global searches for ‘SEO jobs’ in the last 12 months.
A spokesperson from Rock The Rankings commented on the findings: “Within the SEO industry, there is a lot of conversation on social media, and for those who are new to the industry, it’s vital to connect with the right people. This study aims to help those who want to stay up to date with the latest trends by taking a close look the industry’s most knowledgeable figures who are sharing content on social media.
“There is so much talent in the industry, and as it continues to grow, there will no doubt be new influencers cropping up in the near future, however, we are incredibly lucky to get such incredible insights from our current top 20."


Campaign Asia

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