#SMX Advanced Speakers Measured! Who Are the Big Kahunas?


Need to know which SMX speaker REALLY knows his or her Google+? We can help with that. Burning to know who runs the Twitter game? Check! How about top-dog bloggers? Whose name generates the most hype? Not to worry, we’ll fill you in. We poured  through numerous data points and created an algorithmic grid to measure SMX Advanced speakers, across a range of channels. Unlike other studies, we’ve included the specific data and math behind the algorithm, for total transparency and a pile of good fun. Now that the big winners are in, keep reading to find out the results of our study, including which speakers top categories in the following order:

Top Blogger, Top Tweeter, Top Social Rank, Most Talked About, Top Google+ User, Top Author, Top Overall

SMX-Speakers final final


Let’s be honest. A lot of the time when we see the criteria used to rank winners in some beauty contests, we’re left scratching our heads and thinking, “Huh? That criteria doesn’t make any sense.”  We want you to clearly understand how winners in each category were determined, so we share a detailed explanation of the algorithm we used, including a downloadable spreadsheet with the data and an explanation of each tab directly below where we announce the winners.

How Scores Were Tallied
To begin, we aggregated multiple first and third party sources to yield curated averages of other services’ rankings, reviews, ratings, scores, etc. Social score data included aggregated sources such as Moz, Kred, PeerIndex and Klout.  We looked at how multiple third party services ranked speakers’ reach for each discipline. Then, we aggregated and weighted them for each category to get our results. We did NOT include speaking engagements because this is about what each speaker brings to the table, not that they’re at the table.

Each score reflects our own rating system from a variety of data sources. If you like our methodology, great. If not, we encourage you to download the data, add new sources and data points, tweak the scores the way you believe to be most accurate and let us know your results.  At the very least, we hope the spreadsheet is useful as a “create-your-own” algorithm example.  Note: Data was pulled one week ago, so exact numbers may have changed. Without further ado, we present to you…

Top SMX Advanced Blogger: Rae Hoffman

sugar-raeRae was the clear winner in this category, with the most Feedly subscribers out of all SMX Advanced speakers. Rae has 1,000 Feedly subscribers, compared to the runner-up, who has 927 subscribers. Rae’s blog can be found at Sugar Rae! Unapologetic, straightforward and always entertaining and informative, Rae is also a runner-up in a few other categories, too.  From the perspective of a seasoned online marketer, Sugar Rae shares the latest in affiliate marketing, SEO, social media, running a business, rants, reviews, and so much more. Additionally, Rae boasts 27 blog mentions as reported via Sysomos Map.

Check out Rae’s session on Day 1 at 11 AM on Next-Gen Ad Creative & Testing Techniques. Runners-up: David Mihm and Jennifer Slegg

Top SMX Advanced Tweeter: Brent Csutoras

brent-csutoras-twitterBrent wins the SMX Advanced hat-tip for Top Tweeter by having the most followers – 29,095, give or take! Owner and Social Media Strategist at Kairay Media, Brent has long been an influencer in the world of social media, especially Twitter. He has tweeted over 18,000 times and also has a pretty significant Google+ following at over 13k. Next time you’re looking for the latest news on anything social, be sure to check out Brent’s Twitter stream as he’s always sharing up-to-date, must-know information for serious online marketers. His article, “How to Create Compelling Social Media Profiles,” was awarded a SEMMY back when Search Engine Land presented the awards.

Brent is a regular on the SMX, PubCon, and ClickZ circuits. If you’re looking for a session at SMX Advanced on how to create a compelling and comprehensive content strategy, don’t miss Brent’s session, Creating Blockbuster Content, on Day 2 at 10:45 AM. Runners-up: Michael King and Rae Hoffman

SMX Advanced Speakers with Top Rank: Larry Kim, Michael King & Rae Hoffman. Because we gave equal weight to each third party “credibility” aggregator (moz, kred, peerindex, klout) and each source provided a different user with Top Rank, we have 3 winners in this category.

larry-kim-smxFirst up is Larry Kim for Top Rank, Does this really come as a shock to anyone? When it comes to online marketing street cred, Larry Kim has it. Larry’s moz score beats out the rest, with a value of 64. Larry has over 13,000 Twitter followers, 792 Blog Mentions (as reported via Sysomos Map), and over 5,000 Google+ followers. Founder and CEO of WordStream, Larry also contributes to Inc. Magazine, Search Engine Land, and is a frequent and well-respected speaker. With a background in software engineering, software product management and product marketing, Larry’s background lends a unique perspective to PPC, AdWords and content marketing.

ipullrankMichael King, widely known as @ipullrank, wins for “Top Rank!” Ha, see what we did there? Michael needs no introduction. A highly energetic, fast-paced speaker, Michael has built a steady following over the years. With a kred score of 883, Michael has a Twitter following of almost 19,000, over 5,000 Google+ followers, and 142 Feedly subscribers. Michael often speaks on advanced search and social marketing tactics and is a contributor to Moz Blog.

sugar-raeLast but certainly not least is Rae Hoffman. With the highest scores in both peerindex (75) and Klout (73), Rae has over 22,000 Twitter followers, 49 Blog Mentions (as reported via Sysomos Map), and over 10,000 Google+ followers. It’s pretty apparent Rae is definitely a top-ranking speaker.


Most Talked About SMX Advanced Speaker: Larry Kim

larry-kim-smxA “Top Rank” winner and the “Most Talked About” SMX Advanced speaker, Larry Kim has accrued 792 Blog Mentions as reported via Sysomos Map, 13 forum mentions, 415 Twitter mentions, and 149 News mentions, making him a tough cookie to beat in this category. With 4 books under his belt, including The Official XMLSPY Handbook, and a nod from Search Engine Land as the number 1 author for the publication in 2013, it certainly makes sense that people are talking about Larry Kim. Runners-up: Maile Ohye and Adam Berke

Top SMX Advanced Google+ User: Mark Traphagen

mark-traphagen-smxIf there’s anyone you should be following to stay ahead of the Google+ game, it’s Mark Traphagen. With 85,470 followers and 20,768,796 profile views in Google+, there’s a reason so many people are flocking to connect with this gentleman on Google’s social channel. Check out his profile to see how a real Google+ power user behaves in his natural habitat every day.  Follow along with the latest Mark has to say about Google+ via the Stone Temple blog, where Mark is a regular contributor.

A recent must-read by Mark is the post, Will Google Plus +Post ads be Effective for Average Brands? While only time will tell how effective Google Plus +Post ads will be for smaller brands, this study provides some valuable insights.

Catch 25 Social Media Ideas For The Advanced Search Marketer on Day 1 at 11 AM for your chance to see what Mark is all about. Runners-up: Mike Blumenthal and Brent Csutoras

Top SMX Advanced Author: Larry Kim (yep, again!)
With FOUR books (count ‘em…4!) published, Larry Kim wins the Top SMX Advanced Author category. Larry has a lot to say about java server programming – just take a look at his author page on Amazon! Runner-up: Marty Weintraub

Top SMX Advanced Overall: Larry Kim

larry-kim-smxLarry Kim wins Top Overall at SMX Advanced this year, with the highest score of 62%! Congratulations, Larry, on being a well-rounded man of many online talents!

Let’s lay all our metrics out on the line for this category. From our data spreadsheet, left to right: Feedly subscribers: 3, moz score: 64, kred score: 795, peerindex score: 68, Twitter followers: 13,324, Twitter (following): 1,339, Tweets: 24,519, Klout score: 69, Blog Mentions: 792, Forum Mentions: 13, Twitter Mentions: 415, News Mentions: 149, Google+ followers: 5,154, Books on Amazon: 4

SMX Advanced attendees looking to remain on the cutting edge of AdWords and Bing PPC, don’t miss the session with Larry Kim on Day 2 at 3 PM, Amazing Paid Search Tactics & Tools. Runners-up: Rae Hoffman, Michael King and Mark Traphagen

Make the Data Your Own
Download the Excel File containing all the raw data our team gathered to bring you this study. For an overview of what data is contained in each tab, keep on reading.

Raw Metrics

  • This is where we placed the data for each category.


Raw Metrics Combined

  • This contains all the data from the “Raw Metrics” tab, but includes all metrics combined into one line for each speaker.



  • This is how we scored everything.  The left section includes data about each metric (like max and average) as well as the total weight in the score.  Blogging received 10%, Klout received 9%, Google+ received 10%, etc.  Feel free to change this weight and it will affect the scores on the next tab.
  • 10 points are awarded to the top performer in each category, and then we multiplied across the range of average performers so that average performers receive approximately 5 points.


Final Metrics + Books

  • These are the final numbers and scores for each speaker.


Final Pretty Tab

  • This is the same data as Final Metrics, but with actual scores removed for better viewing.  A green cell indicates the highest scorer(s) in each category and a yellow cell indicates the 2nd and 3rd highest scorers.  Note that this tab is NOT dynamically updated, so if you change metrics around they will populate to Final Metrics, but not to this tab.


Results Tab

  • These are the results for the top speaker in each category



Did the results of any of our categories come as a surprise to you? As we mentioned earlier, feel free to play around the with data to see what kind of results you get!

AIMCLEAR will be at booth #24 throughout SMX Advanced, so be sure to say hello to our team if you see us! Marty Weintraub, Manny Rivas, Megan Rivas, and Jeremy Mayes will represent the AIMCLEAR team – we hope to see you there!


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