In the inbound marketing world, Rand Fishkin and his beard go together like a serving of digital fish and chips. The infamous fuzz can be instantly recognised by two distinct grey streaks found on either side, likely appointed by the wise gods of inbound marketing. The beard, which has played a starring role in many a Whiteboard Friday video, has, until recently, remained fairly innocuous and consistent, save for the occasional tighter shave or of course, the great beard extermination of 2012.
However, in January 2014, like a website's traffic whacked with a Penguin penalty, the beard consistency was completely and utterly shattered. If inbound marketing gossip magazines like 'Hello! SEO' or 'SEO Enquirer' actually existed, this bold facial hair move would certainly be making front pages.
The Fishkin Beard in its current state
How did it get to this? What's the driving force behind this hirsute takeover? As iProspect's leading beard investigator, I threw myself forward and decided to dig deep. Here's the evolution of the beard so far.
It's the beginning of December and Rand is wearing a fairly tight shave. Nice shirt too, Rand!
Fast forward a little over a month later and I thought Rand was starting to look a little dishevelled. I clearly had no idea what was about to come.
One week later and there's still no real cause for concern but what I saw next shook me to my very core.
Just 10 days later and WOAAAH!! This thing is really taking off. Despite a little neatening up around the edges, it's really picked up some speed and Rand is now rocking a serious amount of fuzz.
The beard has now taken on a life of its own and is growing at an ever more rapid rate. The manic look in Rand's eyes betrays his promise to rein in his unruly bristles in his tweet below. At this point we fear the beard could be dictating Rand's own movements. Has the beard taken over? Did Rand really want to step down from his CEO role at Moz? WAS THIS A DECISION TAKEN BY THE BEARD?? What will happen next??
While we are on the topic of Rand Fishkin's beard, why not take a look back at some of Rand's bearded decisions.
During Movember 2012, Rand went full on moustache.
Was this the catalyst for where we are today? Was Rand so appalled by what stared back in the mirror that he vowed never to shave again? So many questions! Perhaps we'll never know the truth. Perhaps we can't handle the truth!
Back in Rand's not so slick haircut days, a goatee seemed to be his facial hair of choice.
Back when Rand got in the festive mood, ditched his own beard and stuck on a full on Santa beard. Who knows, if the beard continues at its current rate of growth, with a little more greying, maybe this will be the real Rand of the future!
So, dear readers, what is Rand to do? To cut or not to cut? Give us a one word answer in the comments below.