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August 29, 2006

Danny Sullivan to Leave SEW and SES

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You’re going to be seeing that headline a lot today (and throughout the rest of the year, I’m sure), and there’s a reason for that: it couldn’t be more important.

Danny Sullivan has left the loudmouth SEO community in relative shock with his announcement that contractual disagreements with Incisive Media will cause him to step down from Search Engine Watch and the SES series beginning December 1st.

Danny made the announcement this morning on his personal blog, Daggle, as well as on SEW. Matt Cutts called the news a “nine on the Richter scale” with the potential to shake the entire industry for months, and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. The search industry will be reeling from this long after Danny’s successor is named.

Danny has been covering the search industry for more than a decade and is credited by many as being the driving force responsible for making both SEW and SES the authoritative outlets they have become.

So, what will Danny do next? It’s unsure, but he does say this:

“Aside from SEW and SES, it’s far more likely I’ll be doing writing and conferences elsewhere. This might be for other companies, depending on what happens in the next few weeks. I’ve also entertained the notion of simply expanding my own consulting company and going it on my own with a new site and/or conferences. We’ll see. Somewhere in there, I might even finally do that book I’ve been threatening to do.”

With Danny leaving, suddenly the future of SEW, the most authoritative voice on search, is left in question. Who will take over? Possibly Chris Sherman? I don’t know.

As talented as the rest of the SEW staff is, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would be able to step in and run SEW in the same manner that Danny has done over the past ten years. Danny’s leaving throws a lot of other futures into question, as well. Barry Schwartz commented he had “no idea what will happen” in December and whether he’ll continue to work on the SEW blog.

And what about the conferences? How will they survive without ringleader Danny? I’m sure the brand will help them to remain a success, but a bit of their heart will be gone. Letting Danny go is a very poor decision on Incisive’s part. We have all lost our leader.

If we know anything it’s that 2007 will be a year of change for search engine marketing.
To Danny, we wish you the absolute best in whatever you decide to do next. You’re a true talent, and because of that, we know you will be successful in whatever you decide to do.

To Incisive Media, is there is any way to keep Danny on board, we advise you to do it. The search industry will never have another Danny Sullivan.

As Barry noted over at SER: “The site will suffer, the conferences will suffer, and the industry as a whole will suffer. Try, try, to do whatever you can, to keep Danny – if it is not too late."

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One response to “Danny Sullivan to Leave SEW and SES”

  1. Search Engine Roundtable writes:

    Reaction from the Search Community on Danny Sullivan’s Departure

    This morning I wrote that Danny Sullivan To Leave Search Engine Watch :: Search Industry Shocked (someone dug the story), I promised to let the search community digest this information and then summarizing that buzz. Below you will find a…



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