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Who Is Brian Dean? Backlinko, Age, and More

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When Brian Dean published his comprehensive list of Google’s 200 Ranking Factors, he became a notable SEO figure.

He saw that no one on the internet had published a complete list of Google’s 200 ranking factors, and he jumped at the chance to create it.

Many know of the skyscraper technique, considered core to modern link building strategies, but some still don’t know who developed the strategy; it was Brian Dean.

The content was original, allowing it to shoot to the top of the skyscraper immediately.

In other words, it became the go-to source for people looking for the answer to this query.

Who is Brian Dean?

Brian Dean is the founder and CEO of Backlinko, a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and marketing strategy provider.

Dean launched Backlinko in 2012 to assist marketers in growing their online presence with his SEO strategies and methods to generate backlinks correctly.

From his features in Forbes Magazine, Inc Magazine, and more, to his clientele history working with Fortune 500 companies, his international recognition as an expert SEO strategist is warranted.

About Brian Dean

As of 2022, Brian Dean is a 34/35-year-old entrepreneur.

He has a seven-figure net worth of over $5 million, according to blogger Anil Agarwal, an SEO blogger.

According to Forbes, Dean studied nutrition as his academic focus, receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island and his master’s degree from Tufts.

From there, he attempted to earn his Ph.D. at Purdue, only to quit the program and find employment as a dietitian.

From 2009 to 2010, Dean says he created 150 websites during the black-hat SEO boom.

Black-hat SEO is an unethical marketing technique used to manipulate search engines to get higher rankings in the search results, a go-to tactic during Google’s easy-to-be tricked search algorithm.

Although Dean didn’t necessarily use black-hat SEO, says Forbes, the 2011 update of Google’s algorithm, Google Panda, halted traffic to his keyword-stuffed niche website.

From there, he learned ethical and workable SEO techniques, prompting the beginnings of Backlinko.

What is Backlinko?

Backlinko is a marketing company sharing working SEO strategies to help businesses enhance their online presence and increase website traffic.

While Backlinko is a company, it’s better construed as an extremely successful SEO-focused online blog.

Dean, the founder of Backlinko, is the sole creator, offering interested parties to sign-up to receive a weekly newsletter and consume SEO tips directly from Backlinko’s blog tab.

According to SEMRush, Backlino receives around 961,585 organic traffic visits a month and a newsletter with 173,674 subscribers, according to Backlinko.

How Did Backlinko Start?

Brian Dean’s successes and failures with SEO led to the start of Backlinko in 2012.

Dean’s involvement in SEO began when he published his first website.

As Dean explains, he followed the basics of SEO:

  • Quality content that is consistently updated,
  • Optimized title and meta tags,
  • Use of keywords on every webpage, and
  • Social media to promote.

Despite using all these SEO tips, they didn’t bring traffic.


Well according to Dean, those neat SEO tips and tricks are for well-established brands, not for someone like Dean.

So, he switched tactics until he found the solution.

From this, he made his own SEO system and put it to the test.

He accomplished the ultimate goal of successful SEO: showing up on the first page of a user’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).

With his successful SEO system, he put it to the test by inviting a few people to test out the step-by-step course themselves.

Evidently, Dean saw positive results from his trial period, or else Backlinko, likely, wouldn’t exist.

What Has Happened Since Backlinko Started?

Since the crafting of Brian Dean’s program, SEO That Works, it’s gone through many changes.

Today, the program appears to be on its fourth transformation, providing versatile, in-depth SEO training for any industry and country with updated material and result-proven approaches.

From struggling for more traffic as a one-man show to becoming an established educational source for a marketer, with thousands of visitors a month, Brian Dean and Backlinko are certainly well-respected in the digital marketing world.

How Did Brain Dean Make Money with Backlinko?

While Dean’s countless blog posts and weekly newsletters are free, his SEO That Works course is not.

SEO That Works costs $497 a month for the full user experience.

In the course, participants learn the proper way to conduct keyword research, optimize content, create links, and other strategies.

The course opens once a year and entails committing about three to four hours a week to learn the material.

SEMRush’s Recent Acquisition of Backlinko

On January 19, 2022, SEMrush, a software as a service (SaaS) company used for keyword research, SEO, marketing, SERP, and other metrics, announced its acquisition of Backlinko.

The Chief Marketer Officer of SEMrush, Andrew Warden, explained that the merger now allows them to “offer one of the most robust digital marketing and SEO training resources on the web.”

Why the Merger Matters

SEMrush’s acquisition of Backlinko is a promising move for the company, as it is a way to unlock a level of SaaS marketing they couldn’t seem to previously crack.

SEMrush generates 1.9 million organic traffic searches a month, and Backlinko adds around 500k monthly traffic.

In addition, before the merger, SEMrush and Backlinko competed for many of the same keywords, essentially making them competitors.

Now, with the acquisition, SEMrush eliminated the competition.

Their competition is now with Ahrefs and Moz, two other SEO marketing leaders.

Tips From Brian Dean

Brian Dean has countless tips for generating attention-grabbing content that the internet can understand.

From Dean’s backlink guides to his copywriting guides, he shares some excellent tips that nearly everyone can benefit from.

After reading a few of his guides, here are ten of Dean’s helpful tips for content writers to generate successful SEO content.

vector graphic showing a header image with Brian Dean on it

1. Specific Headlines

Dean recommends having a headline that is “insanely specific” to make a headline that attracts the right audience.

It’s safe to attract the correct audience, so they don’t leave the page in less than ten seconds.

For example, numbers, a timeline, and emotion.

2. Short Introductions

Introductions should have short sentences.

They are better when written in the second-person point of view and chunks of text less than eight lines.

Dean explains that the first sentence, not the first paragraph, should grab the reader’s attention enough that they want to continue reading.

For example, using an anecdote related to the headline, relating to the audience’s situation, or using stats.

3. Be Clear and Direct

According to Dean, content writers should use the active voice, refer to the audience using the second-person point of view, and use simple, easy-to-read words.

4. Use Lists

Most people don’t read; they skim.

The best strategy is to create content that the audience can easily glaze over.

For example, lists are a great way to provide quick answers or information and keep the reader on the page.

5. Use the “AIDA” formula

“AIDA” stands for Attention Interest Desire Action.

It is a formula for copywriters to attract traffic by:

  • Grabbing the reader’s attention in the first line,
  • Keeping them interested in the second line,
  • Stating the desire of your audience based on the headline in the third line(s), and
  • End with a Call to Action (CTA) that swiftly transitions into the body.

6. The PPP Formula

The Preview, Proof, Preview (PPP) formula is an outline for writing a blog post.

The first preview means letting the audience know “exactly what to expect” from your piece.

Proof: show credibility through personal experience, results, clients, or credentials.

The second preview means getting specific about the contents of the post

7. Use Subheadings

Use subheadings to break content into sections.

Subheadings help writers organize their work and make their content easily readable and skimmable.

8. Use Illustrations

Dean uses many images and illustrations that show statistics to prove his point, examples, and evidence of his success.

9. Promote your Blog

While Dean spends hours generating content and visuals for his SEO content, he spends even more time on promotion.

In fact, without something driving people to your content, chances are, very few will read it.

10. Create Credible Backlinks

According to SEMrush, backlinko.com has around one million backlinks across its website.

Backlinks is the process of link building from high-authority sites that link your website to its page.

The goal is to grab viewers from a high-authority site to your website.

How to Get in Touch with Brian Dean

To get in touch with Brian Dean, contact him directly through his website.

Other ways to reach Dean are through his Twitter account and Instagram account.

Final Thoughts

Brian Dean is an entrepreneur, founder, and CEO of Backlinko.

He is also the co-founder and CEO of Exploding Topics.

Exploding Topics analyzes searches, forums, and the like from the internet to help determine trends before they become trends.

Brian Dean is an SEO expert whose career is often compared and measured to Neil Patel and Moz, two other SEO leaders.

All three SEO marketers found success in the digital marketing industry and choosing “the best” ultimately depends on the client’s goal.

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