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Danny Sullivan leaves Search Engine Watch

I rarely post personal entries, but this story is so big that I can’t resist. Danny Sullivan, the leading advocate for the search marketing industry over the last ten years, has announced that he is leaving Incisive Media, the current owner of the Search Engine Watch Web site and the Search Engine Strategies conferences. Reaction from around the industry was immediate—an outpouring of support for Danny, in recognition of all he has done for the industry.


I support Danny as well. I first met him years ago at a Search Engine Strategies conference in Boston, where there were only a couple of hundred attendees. At the time, I was an expert in search technology, but I had a lot to learn about search marketing. That conference began my education, as SES has done for so many in this growing industry.
But Danny has meant a lot more to search marketing than just helping it grow. He has constantly sought to expand the knowledge available, to make connections between experts, and to make sure those experts explain things in a down-to-earth way to newbies, all the while holding the search engines themselves to their responsibilities to searchers and to the industry.
When I began speaking at SES, Danny was always tremendously supportive to me (as has Chris Sherman) and I won’t forget the opportunities presented to me back then. That platform made possible the opportunity (and a lot of the success) of our book, for which I am deeply grateful.
Many people are angry at Incisive Media, because they have not ensured Danny’s continuing association with his Web site and conference. They long for the world to stay as it has been. I wish nothing were changing also.
But cry no sad songs for Danny. He sold his interest in these properties years ago knowing that this day might come. And Danny does not need Incisive Media to continue to be a force in the search marketing industry. Danny has not announced plans for what he will do next, but he can continue to be as successful as he wants to be. Danny has been a big part of the history of the search marketing industry and can continue to be a big part of its future.
Best wishes to you, Danny, in whatever you choose to do next. SEW and SES will miss you, but I suspect that the search marketing industry will not, because you aren’t going anywhere.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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