Rand dropped out of the University of Washington in 2000 to work full-time at his mother’s small business marketing firm as a web designer. In 2004, he created the SEOmoz blog, which, over the next decade, became the world’s most popular community and content resource for search marketers. In 2007, Rand became CEO of SEOmoz, Inc (now called Moz), the software company he co-founded with his mom based on the blog’s success. That same year, he proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Geraldine DeRuiter, with a TV commercial that received widespread publicity (and, later, an awkward appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show). The two married in 2008 in a move Rand consistently refers to as the best, luckiest one of his life.
Over 7 years as CEO, Rand grew Moz from 7 employees to 134, revenues from $800K to $29.3mm, and traffic from 1 to 30mm annual visitors. He raised two rounds of funding ($1.1mm in 2007 and $18.1mm in 2012), led three acquisitions, and, in 2013, re-branded the company from SEOmoz to Moz, shifting focus from exclusively SEO tools to broader web marketing software. Rand stepped down as CEO in February of 2014 during a rough bout with depression and left the company 4 years later. He remains chairman of Moz’s board.
Rand is also the co-founder of Inbound.org, a site to dedicated to sharing articles about marketing from across the web, alongside Dharmesh Shah. The site was sold (for no profit) to Hubspot in 2014.
Rand may be best known for his popular blogs and regular Whiteboard Friday series, watched by tens of thousands of marketers each week. Rand is also a frequent keynote speaker at marketing conferences around the world, averaging ~100 days on the road each year and 30-40 speaking appearances. He has, much to his own surprise, amassed a large following on Twitter, Pocket, Facebook, and Slideshare.
In 2018, Rand founded SparkToro (an under-development software company focused on audience and influencer intelligence) and published, with Penguin/Random House, Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World.
Rand previously co-contributed to two books: Art of SEO, and Inbound Marketing & SEO. He’s been profiled in the Seattle Times, featured in Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, named to BusinessWeek’s 30 Under 30, written about in Newsweek, The Next Web, the Inc 500 (to which Moz was named 5 years in a row), and hundreds of other publications. He is, however, most proud of his prominent appearances in Geraldine’s first book, All Over the Place.