pokemon power

How to Use Twitter Lists + Bonus Top 100 SEOs List

How do you bring order to chaos and complexity? If you’re among a thousands-strong crowd, how do you make sure you hear what everyone has to say? I don’t know about the real world (don’t get around much anymore) but in the Twitter world there’s one perfect solution and it’s called Twitter Lists.

In my opinion the most undervalued feature of Twitter. Not enough talked about and not used often enough. The difference between using Twitter Lists and not using them is just like the difference between having a huge pile of Post-its with obscure phone numbers and having all the important contacts written down in a phone diary.

Twitter Lists can be used both for fun and business and I’ll tell you exactly how. But make sure you scroll down to the bottom of the article for a list of the most useful Twitter accounts of SEOs and social media people. Follow them and add them to a list and you’ll be amazed how much you can actually learn about building your social media presence and executing websites. So, let’s crack on!

Tips for Making the Most of Twitter Lists

20 by 500

Each account can create 20 Lists and add 500 tweeps to each. So, in total your social media directory can have up to 10,000 entries. UPDATE: This is no longer true. You can now create as many lists as you wish, just don’t overdo it 🙂 The purpose of lists is to tidy things up, not to overcomplicate them.


Add or Remove
Add or Remove

The web interface allows you to create and manage lists from two different places. One is Settings -> Lists where you can create/delete and view your own lists. The second one is dynamic and you can access it as you browse somebody’s profile.

Clicking on the user icon and choosing Add or remove from lists, you get a popup that lets you add the tweep to one or more of your existing lists in a tick of the box or create a list on the go.

There are many mobile Twitter apps that let you manage lists effortlessly. For Android I can recommend UberSocial. For BlackBerry 10 you can side-load the same app.

Who added you?

Monitor your interactions to see who have added you to a list. On the Twitter web interface, go to the “@” sign on the top navigation and you’ll see the new “adds.”

Always consider this as a compliment and unless the account seems spammy, return the favour – this person obviously considers yourself an authority and it might be a good idea to keep in touch.

Stalk the competitor

If you’re “stalking” people and don’t want them to know you do, create a private list. Then only you have access to the list and he target won’t even know you’re watching him without officially following him. Sounds sinister? Not at all.

Although businesses in many niches keep good relationships with their competitors (particularly the geeky types of startups), there are industries where following your competitors may look silly. But you still want to keep tabs on what they’re tweeting, right? Then add them to a private list!

Look at the influencers

  • Discover amazing sources of information and inspiration by finding out who adds the industry influencers to Twitter Lists. To do that, create a list of the most influential tweeps in your industry, and construct a list of urls like this:

    You have to be logged in to do that. Now you see all the various users who have added the influencer to their list. The first task is to follow the tweeps who’ve created those lists. They might follow you back and add you to the same list.

  • Secondly, by exploring the lists that the tweeps have created, you will discover other influential/interesting people that you would not have otherwise found.
  • Similarly, you can then check the inluencer’s list to see whom he has added. The url for that will be

    This will show the lists that the influencer himself has created followed by the lists that he’s subscribed to.

  • Find engaged followers by checking who has subscribed to an influencer’s list:

    There won’t be many subscribers mainly because people are not using lists as often as they should. However, the tweeps you’ll find in this subscriber window are what I call Twitter-savvy and they’re more likely to read and share stuff.

Follow the subscribers
Follow the subscribers

Advanced Search Queries

Use advanced search queries to find good lists related to your niche. If you search for this on Google:

journalists inurl:lists site:twitter.com

it will return hundreds of lists that other people have created.

Follow greedy tweeps

You can follow greedy tweeps without… erm… actually following them. With greedy I mean those who are followed by tens of thousands of people and who only follow back their wife and her cat.

I might have a different perception and you don’t have to agree with me (obviously) but I believe that social media is not the place to be greedy. The concept that makes Twitter and social media interesting is that you both talk and listen.

If you’re just talking and not listening to anyone, isn’t that a very lonely place to be? So, if you too feel uncomfortable following somebody who will never follow you back, don’t follow, just add to the list. That way your “friends” count remains the same but you can still read what the celeb tweeps say by visiting your list.

Don’t delay adding

Regardless of whether you’re building your Twitter following manually or using semi-automated tools, in order to keep your Twitter List usage consistent, you need to browse through your “friends” list regularly and sort the people into lists.

Otherwise, once you follow several thousands of people, it will become a nightmare to go through the whole bunch and begin adding them to lists. Start early and be consistent and you’ll make the most of Twitter Lists.

Create and Use Lists

Now that you’ve created the lists and added the users, it’s time to start using the lists to make your life easier, to improve your business, generate leads etc. So, what exactly can you do with the lists?

  • Use it as a phone directory. If you’ve sorted the tweeps by topics/professions (which is probably the most logical thing to do), you can use your Twitter Lists whenever you need to look for a specialist. Of course, you could just go to a search engine and search for what you need but why do that if you have the people you need at your fingertips. AND you have a good opener: “Hi John, thanks for following me on Twitter.”
  • Generate leads. It’s time to take Twitter seriously. When you hear somebody mentioning making money with Twitter, you probably think about spammy tactics like monitoring keywords and trying to peddle affiliate links. On the other hand, they probably mean generating leads through Twitter. Having people sorted in convenient topical lists helps when your goal is to build partnerships.
  • SEO outreach. We all know that the “hey, I want to write a guest post” emails don’t work any more. And there are a few good reasons why they don’t. However, if you put some effort into the whole thing and build the relationship first, then you’ll find that outreach works much better. Because you suddenly stop “cold-calling” people for guest gigs and instead you’re talking to good acquiantances about adding value to their sites. A massive difference!
  • Finally, if you’re simply using Twitter for fun, the Lists help you segment your Twitter feed. Instead of reading the whole lot, you can hop through the lists and read only topics you’re interested in.

Top 100 SEOs on Twitter

Now for the bonus. Here’s a list of 100+ people who are “must-follow” if you’re interested in web stuff, social media and SEO. It reminds of a Pokemon character cast, don’t you think 🙂 everyone’s got a special power and the outsiders don’t quite know how to handle them.

pokemon power
pokemon power – via CC by Rob Brooks

This list is by no means complete. It’s a work in progress and I’ve compiled it manually, looking at the most active Twitter accounts of the SEM people. If you’re not on the list, it doesn’t mean I don’t consider you an expert. Maybe I simply missed you or maybe you weren’t very active when I checked your Twitter account.

Please feel free to nominate yourself or your colleagues by getting in touch. I’ve also included a downloadable list in txt format that you can use with your TweetAdder. The experts in this list are sorted alphabetically by their first name (so that nobody can call me biased).

Aaron Wall
Founder of the SEO book - a leading training program for SEOs. The funny thing about Aaron is that if I go to Wayback Machine and read his really old posts, most of the advice is still valid 8-9 years on.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Adam Melson
Adam is an SEO associate at SEER Interactive, has a degree in Marketing and writes great stuff on SEER's blog.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Adrienne Doss
An SEO specialist from Germany specialising in optimising e-commerce applications.twittergoogle plusgoogle plus
Alex Juel
An SEO nerd from Colorado, works for seOverflow tackling Pandalised and Penguinised sites among other tasks.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Aleyda Solis
An international SEO specialist and conference speaker. Works at SEER Interactive, a MOZ associate and makes SEO stuff sound beautiful in Spanish.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Alysson Fergison
Specialises in small business SEO and builds well-optimised WordPress websites. Also knows stuff about online reputation management and branding.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Andrew Girdwood
Media innovations director at LBi, a digital marketing agency in Edinburgh, does digital marketing both for work and for fun.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Andy Beal
Reputation management guru and CEO of Trackur, an advanced social media effort measurement tool. Also the editor of Marketing Pilgrim.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Anna Moss
3 Door Digital's director of communications, specialising in creative content, social media and WordPress websites.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Annabel Hodges
I consider Annabel a holistic SEOer - she preaches an integrated approach to SEO, PCP, conversion rate optimisation and other important abbreviations.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Annalisa Hilliard
Annalisa is a link acquisition strategist at Pole Position Marketing.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Annie Cushing
AKA Annielytics because she loves big data and analytics. Providing the businesses with actionable strategies to help them make the most of their data.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Anthony Pensabene
A talented content strategist advising brands on editorial direction and public relations.twittergoogle plusgoogle plus
Arnie Kuenn
Vertical Measures CEO, preaches quality content marketing and social media, speaks at SEO events.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Barry Schwartz
Barry is CEO of RustyBrick, a NY-based company building business software and apps to enable companies reach their online business goals. Advisor to both startups and giants like Google and Bing.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Bas Van den Beld
Professional speaker, SEO strategist and coach. The man behind stateofsearch.comtwittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Ben Norman
An ex-SEO consultant. Oh wait, that didn't sound right. A superhero managing director of a leading marketing agency sounds much better!twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Ben Wills
Who says you can't scale quality link acquisition? According to Ben, you can... and his biography would make a great script for a movie!twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Bill Slawski
Professional SEO consultant, founder of SEO by the Sea - a blog that surprises with the in-depth analysis of the search engine patents and processes behind the workings of the popular SEs.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Bob Gladstein
With a background in programming, Bob Gladstein focuses on clean code and site structure. Also an expert of link acquisition and a forum moderator.google plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Bonnie Burns
Director of search engine services at Ecom Buffet, Bonnie takes her career seriously. With 15 years experience, she's a voice of sanity in the increasingly noisy world of SEO.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Brent D Payne
Founder of Loud Interactive - a Chicago-based SEO consulting company specialising in link acquisition and reputation management.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Brett Tabke
Founder of the spam-free and nonsense-free webmaster forum Webmasterworld.com, also founder of PubCon, professional speaker and expert community builder.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Brian Chappell
Brian is a serial webpreneur always on the lookout for the next big thing online. An all-rounder expert in SEO strategies, lead generation and business growth.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Brian Clark
Founder of Copyblogger - teaching people how to create good content since 2006.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Bruce Clay
Founder of Bruce Clay Inc., at the forefront of cutting-edge SEO since 1996, member of the board of directors of SEMPO.twittergoogle plusgoogle plus
Casie Gillette
SEO speaker and Director of online marketing at KoMarketing Associates.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Chris Brogan
Professional speaker and coach helping people with marketing, creative writing, productivity and personal development.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Christine Churchill
Somebody who serves on the Board of Directors of a SEM Association won't give you a bad advice. Christine is the president of KeyRelevance - a relevant and reliable SEM company.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Christoph Cemper
Christoph is a link acquisition specialist, SEO and CEO of LinkResearchTools - the company behind the Link Detox tool among many others.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Dana Lookadoo
Founder of Yo! Yo! SEO, Dana is an SEO consultant with a penchant for audience engagement.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Danny Goodwin
Search Engine Watch editor sharing the best tactics and news on search engine marketing and social media.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Danny Sullivan
Founding editor of Search Engine Land, Danny defines the highest standards of SEO journalistics.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Daron Babin
Daron is a real SEO rockstar. He's been at it since 1996!twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
David Leonhardt
David is a talented copywriter/ghostwriter. He knows his stuff when it comes to making things go viral.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Debra Mastaler
One of the best creative link acquisition experts out there. Teaches people to gain the links the right way - by helping businesses to implement strategies that attract links naturally.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Dennis Goedegebuure
Blogger and photographer, head of SEO for AirBnB. Apparently it's ok to call him DennisG.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Derek Edmond
Partner of KoMarketing Associates, a marketing agency specialising in serving B2B companies.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Derek Halpern
Technically not an SEO but you simply have to check this guy if you're running a website. Derek is an expert in marketing strategy, persuasion and conversion. Ready to be persuaded? Just watch any of his videos!twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Dixon Jones
Dixon is marketing manager of Majestic SEO - the owners of one of the most accurate backlink analysis tools. Stuff Dixon says always makes a lot of sense be it on Twitter or Majestic's blog.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Eric Ward
Eric has been acquiring links the right way since 1994! Today he's a highly revered "white hat" link strategist and publisher of LinkMoses Private newsletter, which you should really subscribe to.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Gab Goldenberg
Gab is an author of advanced SEO books, a blogger and more recently a matchmaker. He is interested in lean startups and investors.twittergoogle plus
Garrett French
Garrett is a builder of advanced SEO tools and the man who proved that broken link acquisition still works. Founder of Citation Labs.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Gerald Weber
Founder of Search Engine Marketing Group and viral guru of the Viral Content Buzz platform.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Gianluca Fiorelli
Moz associate, blogger at State of Search, consulting on SEO and Inbound marketing strategies.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Hannah Smith
Moz associate, an SEO Chick and Principal consultant for Distilled.twittergoogle plusgoogle plus
Heather Lloyd Martin
Cialdini is not the only master of persuasion out there. Heather can be pretty persuasive too, and she's also an expert of copywriting and content marketing.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
James Agate
James is the founder of Skyrocket SEO, a specialist of quality link acquisition campaigns.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Jennifer Horowitz
In business since 1998, specialising in marketing, web design and creative copywriting. Ecom Buffet's director of marketing.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Jill Whalen
Jill has been an SEO consultant since 1995. Yeah, you read it right. Oodles of experience - much of which goes into her free SEO newsletter.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Jim Boykin
Where would we be without Webmasterworld.com - the spam-free SEO community? Jim Boykin is the owner of WMW and the founder of InternetMarketingNinjas.com.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Jim Tobin
President of Ignite Social Media - working with large brands on SocMed campaigns and strategies.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Jo Turnbull
Don't judge Jo by her tongue-in-cheek blog name, she's anything but average! She's the Organiser of Search London and a successful freelancer.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Joanna Lord
An independent consultant with a passion for start-ups. Joanna is an all-rounder with experience in PPC, SEO, social media, content creation etc.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Jon Cooper
Jon is a link acquisition expert, sharing his knowledge through the Pointblankseo.com blog.twittergoogle plusgoogle plus
Joost de Valk
Wordpress plugin guru, it's likely you're using his SEO plugin with your WP installation. Joost optimises websites for speed and conversion.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Judith Lewis
Judith is a natural speaker, SEO and social media expert, also an SEO Chick.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Julie Joyce
Julie is the co-founder of SEO Chicks. Also owns Link Fish Media - a company that fishes for the right kind of links.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Justin Levy
Facebook marketing expert and Head of social media for Citrix Online.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Kelvin Newman
Kelvin is the author of advanced link acquisition book "Becoming a Clockwork Pirate."twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Kim Krause Berg
Kim is officially a ninja. Don't even try to question this. She's also specialising in site usability - an important and largely underrated factor!twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Kristi Hines
Freelance writer and professional blogger. Kristi has written for SEJ, SEW, ProBlogger and other influential publications. Have you heard of the "Fetching Friday". No? Then you must check her blog!twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Laura Lippay
Laura does social and content strategy for large enterprises. She also has got an eye on the mind-machine interfaces to see how this could affect the marketing scene of the not so distant future.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Lee Odden
Lee promotes the idea of integrated search, social media and content marketing. He's the CEO of TopRank agency.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Lisa Barone
Vice President of Strategy for Overit digital agency helping brands to establish their individuality.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Lisa D Myers
A winner of UK Search Awards in 2011, Lisa is a CEO of a successful agency and founder of seo-chicks.com blog.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Loren Baker
Founder and editor-in-chief of SEJ - one of the leading SEO blogs out there.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Lyndon Antcliff
Lyndon is one of the best link acquisition coaches ever. His Linkbait Training teaches how to build content that drives links - a penalty-proof strategy!twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Mark Edmondson
Advanced analytics expert at NetBooster. Google Analytics only advanced.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Martin MacDonald
Professional blogger, speaker and traveller, inbound marketing director for Expedia.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Marty Weintraub
Author, speaker and marketing innovator, sharing advanced marketing and SEO tips through aimClear Blog.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Matt McGee
Editor-in-chief for Search Engine Land - he's got a special writing style!twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Matthew Woodward
Matthew is an affiliate marketer and SEO blogger sharing actionable tips on his popular blog.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Melanie Nathan
Link acquisition with a maple syrup flavour. Melanie is the lumberjack-axe-wielding president of CanadianSEO, one of the most skilled link acquisition experts ever.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Melissa Fach
Melissa is a geek, she's playing with tigers (unlike us - the panda people) and she runs a very successful internet marketing and reputation management consultancy.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Michael Gray
Expert on affiliate marketing, speaker at high-profile events such as PubCon and SMX. Also offering SEO consulting on link baiting and viral marketing.twittergoogle plusgoogle plus
Michael Martinez
Don't believe Michael when he says he's a theorist. So much knowledge can only come from practical experience. Publisher of one of the few paid SEO newsletters that are worth subscribing to.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Michael Streko
Michael is the co-founder of KnowEm - a really clever brand management app.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Mike King
Inbound Marketing director for iAcquire, also offering on-site optimisation and digital branding strategy. Contributor to some of the best SEO blogs.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Mike Volpe
Marketing speaker, startup expert and CMO of HubSpot. Mike specialises on Business to business lead generation and social media.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Monica Wright
Monica gained her audience-building expertise while working as an audience development manager for a large newspaper. You don't want to argue with her, she's got over 10 years marketing experience behind her black belt. Quite literally!twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Nichola Stott
Nichola is the force behind theMediaFlow agency - a successful startup that earned a UK Search Award just 3 years after its establishment.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Paddy Moogan
A Brit-turned-Kiwi, SEO consultant for Distilled and author of a book on link acquisition.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Patrick Altoft
Co-founder and Director of search at Branded3 - an integrated SEO and digital agency.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Patrick Gavin
Patrick is an online investor, CEO of Consumer Media Network.twittergoogle plusgoogle plus
Ralph Tegtmeier
SEO consultant, link acquisition expert, speaker, specialises on SEO software and content generation methods.twittergoogle plusgoogle plus
Rand Fishkin
CEO and founder of MOZ, known for posting actionable and sound advice on SEO, startups and marketing.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Reg Saddler
Reg is a social media expert (if you look at his Twitter follower count, you'll understand what I mean)twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Richard Baxter
SEOgadget's exec, specialises in content marketing, inbound marketing and conversion rate optimisation.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Robert Charlton
Robert is an independent SEO consultant, extremely good at coordinating the various aspects of a successful site. Doing SEO since 1997, he is a highly respected moderator at Webmasterworld forums.twittergoogle plusgoogle plus
Roger Montti
Roger is a link acquisition strategy specialist, publishing a newsletter on advanced link acquisition.twittergoogle plusgoogle plus
Ross Hudgens
Content marketing expert, founder of Siege Media, blogger and believer in scalable marketing.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Russ Jones
A democratic SEO expert (I know I promised not to make a political issue out of this), CTO of Virante, Inc. - a developer of data-driven marketing solutions.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Ruud Hein
An SEO specialist & WordPress guru, also the editor of Search Engine People.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Ryan Clark
Social media and link acquisition done the right way with branding being the main goal.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Samuel Crocker
Samuel is a UK-based SEO, online marketing and advertising expert.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Scott Cowley
Scott researches social media and teaches marketing strategy. Also speaker and SEO.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Shari Thurow
Shari is a website usability guru. She has been an in-demand conference speaker since 1998.twittergoogle plusgoogle plus
Shelli Walsh
Creative content marketer and Director of ShellShock UK.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Todd Malicoat
Todd is an SEO coach teaching his students how to out-smart and out-rank the competitors by employing expert keyword optimization and other advanced methods.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Tom Critchlow
Tom is the man who steered Distilled towards the SEO side of things. Works for Google! Do I have to say more?twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Tom Shivers
Tom is an SEO consultant at Capture Commerce.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Vanessa Fox
Vanessa used to be the main person behind Google Webmaster Central, currently CEO of Nine By Blue - a company providing strategy and tools helping companies make the most of SEO.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Wiep Knol
Wiep is a link acquisition expert from the Netherlands. He runs a consultancy, regular training sessions and speaks at leading SEO industry events.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Will Critchlow
Founder of Distilled agency - a global success story with offices in London, Seattle and New York.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus
Wil Reynolds
While others consider it a chore, Wil admits he loves acquiring links. One of the few true visionaries of the industry.twittergoogle plusgoogle plusgoogle plus

If you liked this post, please consider subscribing to my newsletter (scroll down a little bit) or check me on Twitter and say hello!


Arvid Linde is an independent SEO consultant, award-winning journalist, MSc in engineering, published author and a technology addict. More info on the about page.