The Race Gap in SEO Authorship 2024

Diversity in the SEO industry is crucial because SEO is about connecting with your target audience. If your content reflects only one perspective, you might miss out on many potential customers.


A lack of diversity in SEO means missing out on valuable perspectives.


Last year, we published a report to understand the diversity gap in the SEO industry. Using data from all the articles written for the top SEO publications in 2022, we found that only 18.46% of authors were BIPOC.


In 2023, the percentage of BIPOC authors in top SEO publications increased to 28.7%.


While this is an improvement from last year, it is clear that we still have a long way to go.

The impact of last year’s report

By publishing last year’s report, some folks in the industry have become more intentional about SEO authorship.


For example, Areej Abuali announced that she launched an initiative called WTSKnowledge – an online publication and knowledge hub to amplify the expertise of underrepresented voices across a range of topics in SEO. This resulted from reading both The Gender Gap in SEO 2023 by Lidia Infante and The Race Gap in SEO 2023.

This year, we are presenting new insights from our analysis to understand the current SEO publication landscape and to see if there’s more representation for BIPOC folks in top SEO publications.

Why is this analysis important?

Representation matters. As a woman of color, I can tell you first-hand that seeing the names of other people of color in top publications makes me feel represented and shows the possibility that one day, my name could be on that publication. Seeing someone that looks like you on a big platform fosters a sense of belonging. 


As mentioned earlier, after publishing the first report, some folks in the industry took action to help champion more diversity in the Industry.


We have a community of over 3,000 BIPOC SEOs and content folks who are talented and looking for opportunities to publish on a respected industry platform.


Having their work published on a top SEO blog can open doors to new opportunities such as freelance projects, consulting gigs, or job offers for them.


Research methodology

The dataset for this report was provided by Lidia Infante. It contains information on 1,683 articles written by 401 authors in 2023 from the following top SEO Publications:


The information from the scrapped articles includes:

  • Publication
  • URL
  • Date of articles published
  • Authors name
  • Estimated traffic from the articles
  • Topic
  • Backlink data

Lidia chose the publication list based on how often they were cited as trusted sources within the SEO industry. This year’s list is smaller to reflect changes in content consumption patterns.


With assistance from MJ Cachon, she crawled all selected websites using ScreamingFrog, extracting information such as publish date and author name from each article.


For SEJ and SEL, the SEO category was targeted, extracting every article linked within their pagination to ensure the inclusion of only SEO-focused content.


We analyzed all articles published in 2023, excluding product announcements, pieces without author attribution, and sponsored content.


Data on traffic and backlinks was obtained through the Ahrefs API via ScreamingFrog, while social shares data was provided by the BuzzSumo team.


Using ChatGPT, she classified articles into topics based on headlines, maintaining relevance to the SEO industry.


Then, I manually searched and reviewed each profile on LinkedIn to identify White and BIPOC authors.


Insights per publication

The following insights were obtained from the dataset;


  • Moz

We analysed 146 articles published on Moz’s blog in 2023. 29 BIPOC authors wrote 40 articles and 51 white authors wrote 106 articles.


  • Wix

We analyzed 68 articles published on the Wix blog in 2023. 26 BIPOC authors wrote 34 articles and 27 white authors wrote 34 articles.


  • Semrush

We analyzed 428 articles that were published on the Semrush blog in 2023. 28 BIPOC authors wrote 158 articles and 65 White authors wrote 270 articles.


  • Search Engine Journal (SEJ)

We analyzed 263 articles published on the SEJ Blog in 2023.  21 BIPOC Authors wrote 77 articles and 63 white authors wrote 186 articles.


  • Search Engine Land (SEL)

We analyzed 502 articles published on SEL’s blog in 2023. 14 BIPOC Authors wrote 18 articles and 95 white authors wrote 484 articles.


  • Ahrefs

We analyzed 276 articles published on Ahref’s blog in 2023. 10 BIPOC authors wrote 81 articles and 17 white authors wrote 195 articles.


One notable limitation of our analysis is the aspect of identification. 


Our methodology relied on identifying authors through their LinkedIn or author profile pictures and categorizing them based on how they present (BIPOC/White).


Some profile pictures may not always accurately represent an author’s racial or ethnic identity.

Here’s what you can do to close the diversity gap

Be more intentional about hiring BIPOC writers

It’s one thing to put the same generic DEI statement on your website and say you are passionate about diversity, but what is more admirable is taking action and being intentional about how you hire writers.


Who is in charge of your DEI program at your company? Is the DEI committee diverse enough? 


You can hire a BIPOC content writer or marketer through the FCDC Talent portal. Each BIPOC marketer has been vetted and endorsed by our community.


 Here are communities/directories where you can find BIPOC authors in the SEO industry:

Have a dedicated writers program

Some people tend to blame skills on why they don’t have BIPOC authors on their platform. You can partner with organizations to mentor and train BIPOC folks to perfect their writing skills. 


You can set up an early writer’s program for folks who don’t have a lot of experience or writing samples to contribute to. 


Also, ensure the head of such a program is a person of color or a diverse team making decisions about the program to make it more intentional.


If a pitch is rejected, provide constructive feedback for the author to help them improve.

Give back

Giving back does not only have to be about money, your time can be invaluable to someone. Most of the time, our members say their biggest hurdle in upskilling is finding confidence.

Finding the confidence to pitch for big publications or having doubts that their work is good enough.


If you are an experienced individual in the industry, you can always dedicate an hour of your time weekly, to helping a person of color upskill through our mentoring program. This can help close the skill gap required in writing for key publications.

Here’s what SEO Content writer, Ndidi Nwagboso has to say about how Mentorship helped her as a freelancer.

Here’s a brief summary of our analysis;

  • 27% of the articles on Moz were written by BIPOC Authors and 73% were written by white authors.


  • 50% of the articles on Wix’s SEO blog were written by BIPOC Authors and 50% were written by White authors


  • 37% of the articles on Semrush were written by BIPOC writers and 63% of the articles were written by white writers.


  • 29% of articles published on SEJ were written by BIPOC writers and 71% of the articles were written by white authors.


  • 4% of the articles on Search engine land were written by BIPOC authors and 96% of the articles were written by White writers.


  • 29% of articles published on Ahrefs were written by BIPOC authors and 71% of the articles were written by White Authors 

The numbers are improving but they could be better


The number of BIPOC authors whose articles were published in top SEO publications has improved slightly compared to last year’s analysis. 


Last year, 318 white authors were published in 8 key publications, while just 72 BIPOC authors were published in 2022.


This year, 290 white authors and 111 BIPOC authors were published across 6 major SEO publications in 2023.

There were 61 new BIPOC authors and 150 White authors who were new writers across these publications in 2023.

For the second time in a row, Wix has platformed the highest number of BIPOC authors with 49% of their authors being BIPOC.

George Nguyen, the Director of SEO Editorial has always been intentional about having a diverse SEO publication.

Here are his tips and actionable insights on how to Diversify Your Brand’s Publication and why it is important.

Having people of color publishing for your organization can bring a diverse range of views to your content and can help you reach a more diverse audience as well. 

The purpose of this report is never to shame publications but to bring attention to issues of underrepresentation in the SEO industry and hopefully inspire change. 


I’d like to say a big thank you to Lidia Infante for providing the database, and the analysis, and her continued support.

I’d also like to thank the brilliant MJ Cachón for providing the crawls and custom author and date extractions that were used for the report.

Jadesola Kareem

Passionate about content and diversity, Jadesola is a content writer. In her free time, with a cup of coffee in hand, she binges on reality shows.

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