#317 – The Brian Dean Method

🗒️ Overview

  • How Brian Dean plans and structures content
  • How Brian Dean does on-page SEO and EEAT
  • Brian Dean’s take on Google SGE

Brian Dean did something that less than 0.01% of us will ever achieve. He built his site to a staggering DR 90 on Ahrefs, almost entirely on his own. This week, Gael sat down with the internationally recognized SEO expert to uncover his exact methods to success.

From Backlinko to Exploding Topics

Brian began his journey with Backlinko.com, a small site that ended up soaring to a DR 90 on Ahrefs.

That authority rank got them outperforming known brands, attracting more organic visitors than NBA.com, Lenovo.com, and TheSun.co.uk.

Eventually, Brian sold Backlinko for 7 figures and has begun to invest his energy in a new project, Exploding Topics, which has already drawn over 250,000 organic visitors.

Brian Dean’s Content Style

Brian reviews every single piece of writing before it gets published on his site to make sure it meets his quality standards. His motto? “Same message, fewer words.”

Short sentences are the way to go. Present your content narratively and pair text with images for high readability.

Brian emphasised that images are almost as important as the content itself, and need to make sense on their own.

He feels that a lot of on-page SEO has become outdated and less relevant. For him, the emphasis should be on delivering high-quality, engaging content rather than obsessing over perfect keyword placement or hunting down content gaps.

When it comes to content structuring, he uses templates. He’ll often get these from competitors, and follows them rigidly.

In terms of link building, Brian focuses less on manual outreach, and more on creating valuable assets that naturally draw backlinks. For him, the magic is in finding the keywords that aren’t competitive but work as stats pages.

Google SGE

Brian doesn’t think Google SGE is going to be as big as people think will be.

Because of the how people choose to search for information, he thinks that people will use SGE as a tool for specific information retrieval, rather than as a general search engine. For example, he uses platforms like Reddit specifically to get people’s personal perspectives and reviews, which you can’t get with an AI model.

While he’s focusing on what’s working now, he still thinks it’s important to keep an eye on the future.

Topical Authority

Brian feels topical authority is overrated, and places more importance on links. For him, it’s about how Google sees you in the ecosystem, which is more through the lens of inbound links than on-site content.

In his experience, topical authority is based more on what other authorities say about your site, not on the amount of specialized content it has. He believes in creating concise target-focused content rather than banking on far-reaching content volume.


Once, Brian changed the authorship of a piece on his site, and it led to no noticeable difference in traffic. So he emphasised the need to create an authoritative piece that people want to link back to.

But SEO is as much about credibility and authenticity as it is about quality and relevance. Providing plenty of information about your business and being transparent is crucial to avoid unpredictable behavior during algorithm updates.

Google seems to favor brands that have successfully created a good reputation, and transparency is a major factor in that.

To establish trust, create custom author pages, link back to high-profile authors in your niche from their social profiles to your author page, and integrate all these details using schema markup.