Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Top Search Marketer?

We’ve done some preliminary analysis of the top-performing entries in our Biggest Search Geek Contest and have compiled some fascinating (though not entirely scientific) results by looking at LinkedIn profiles of the top 10 scorers. By the way, it’s not too late to participate in the contest—it only takes a few minutes and the prize is a free Free Ticket To SMX West in February. Do you recognize yourself in these results?


  • 80% Male / 20% Female
  • Average Age – 30 (range almost entirely from 25-35)
  • Skewed Coastal Urban locations – NYC, Boston, SF, LA, Chicago with 2 outliers in Utah & Idaho

Background & experience:

  • As expected, our top 10 had some online and agency and web design experience in addition to their SEO/SEM background. Some made surprising career switches from law or songwriting and seemingly fell into SEM by accident. About 70% had some type of entrepreneurial background – starting their own company or consulting on the side.
  • Average # of companies/jobs: 4.2
  • Avg. # Years of Online Experience: 6.7
  • Avg. # of Years SEM Experience: 4.7


  • Most graduated with degrees in business, marketing or communications but one in English, one in math
  • Quality of schools ranged from Ivy League (Columbia, Yale) to solid, but less prestigious: (Southern CT State, Northern Illinois U). Oddly 2 of our top 10 graduated from BYU, Idaho.
  • 3 out of 10 had advanced degrees (1 PhD, 1 JD, 1 MA)

Social networking use:

  • Average # of LinkedIn connections: 177
  • Eight out of the top 10 had LinkedIn profiles, so their info was easy to find. One had a Yahoo 360 page and 8 out of the top 10 are on Facebook

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Search Headlines | SEM Industry: Community


About The Author: (@CJSherman) is a Founding Editor of and President of Searchwise LLC, a Boulder Colorado based Web consulting firm. He also programs and co-chairs the Search Marketing Expo - SMX conference series.

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  • seoguy

    This contest is skewed to the paid search side then natural search. As an seo expert I was disappointed. I like to think I got a decent score though.

  • Search Revenues

    “…solid, but less prestigious: (Southern CT State…)” ???

    How about:

    “…solid, but less elitist/highbrow/stuffed shirt: (Southern CT State…)” !


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