Just as a side-note: personally I don't believe such things as "cliques" exist
Few years ago we had one here trying to recruit in the Aff forum..each praising each others posts, no matter what forum they posted in, aff, ecom, foo, search..lots of some of us are earning huge money , fast cars, big houses etc etc ..eventually a few "more info, sticky me type posts".."clique" of a different sort from what I was referring to above, it had an end in sight, sort of "ponzi aff deal"..
But the "sytem" was basically the same..except voting makes it much harder to spot when it happens..for whatever reason..there is already a lot of "trawling for SEO clients" happens .."experts" would make spotting that even harder than today..
Plus , who decides who receives the status of "expert" ? in the last few days I heard from someone something completely crazy,( shows a basic miss-understanding of how site architecture works ) that was suggested to them by an "expert"* here..as a solution to their problem..equivalent to shooting themselves in the foot SERPwise, and their following and implementing of the "expert" advice appears to have done just that..or at least massively exacerbated the problem..and the "expert" missed so much broken code in the site that it astounded me..still does ..
*If names were being put forward or voted upon here, to be designated "experts"..I'm certain that their name/nick would be in any top 20..I feel sorry for their SEO clients..
Be very wary of those whose reputation is built in by their posts or even their position in fora..especially if they have paying clients, many of whom will take such posts and or positions as being evidence of knowledge, understanding and ability..
Some do know what they are talking about and will give good advice..some ( including some of the most technically coherent talkers and prolific posters ) when it comes down to real sites, outside SEO fora and industry boards etc..appear to have only a very flaky grasp of what they post and advise about..and no idea what to look for when diagnosing problems in a site..
Like the guy whose self sewn shirt says "coach"..advising someone about "fitness", not seeing their broken leg, and their open wounds, but telling them, that if they "wash their hair" and "clip their nails" they'll "look healthier" and "have a better chance to beat the competition"..in a marathon..