Posted November 24, 2006 11:03 am by with 13 comments

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Please mark your calendars for December 11th. That is the day we will say a sad farewell to Search Engine Watch as Danny, Chris, Barry (and everyone else) leave to start Search Engine Land.

While I am sure SEW will continue to attract eyeballs, it will clearly see a sharp decline in traffic, once its all-star cast of authors leave. No one goes to SEW because of its looks or interface. They go there because Danny Sullivan is there. Without Danny and his posse, why would you want to continue reading?

Search Engine Land is a success before it has even launched. I predict that within 6 months, it will have more traffic than SEW.

So, what about you? Will you stay loyal to SEW or Danny?


  • I bet the powers that be over at SEW are having a lot of regrets that they couldn’t work things out with Danny;-) I wonder if there is any kind of non-compete agreement?

  • No, he doesn’t have a non-compete, which was Incisive’s first mistake! Danny is going to make them regret being such idiots. 😉

  • Andy … I think the only thing that will keep people coming back to SEW is their forum, hence comes a suggestion to Danny. BE SURE to start a forum. A blog is great, but to create the community I am sure he wants, there will need to be a forum, podcasting, radio show, and this would lead to Search Engine Land conference.

    Dany has many followers and I am sure industry “gurus” will opt in to become moderators for the forum.

  • I’m thinking I’ll be over at searchengineland pretty much as soon as the switch is thrown. What I have always liked about Danny through the podcasts and blogs is how he ties stories together with “historical bailing twine,” thus knowing what might be worth paying attention to.

    I think time will truly tell if SEW holds its own … what is most likely is it will find its own voice.

    In the end whoever stays in touch with those of us in the SEM trenches who will get the attention. Big stories are interesting, but the dirty fingernails day-to-day is where I spend my hours.

  • That’s a good suggestion Igor. Both Danny and Barry have experience starting forums, so they should have no problem creating the most desirable destination.

    Scott, I think SEW is in a catch-22. They need a big name to keep the interest of users, yet most will shy away from the opportunity, lest they be shunned by the rest of the SEM community.

    Anyone have an idea how SEW can live on?

  • This may be a very positive change in the SEO market. It brings more than one third-party “expert” group. It is sad to see that Danny would have to be the one to leave. Danny is SEW, but I agree with you that SEW will have to do something quickly to keep their market share.

    They could approach many people, but I don’t think that they will be able to maintain the clout that they have enjoyed for some time.

    Competition is good.

  • I wonder if their best option is to find the “up and comers” and see if they can discover a diamond in the rough. Many of the well known SEMs will likely be loyal to Danny. But for those yet to brand themselves, they may see the opportunity far outweighs the potential backlash from Danny’s supporters.

  • The best thing SEW could do is recreate itself into something new. Trying to replace or emulate Danny Sullivan would be incredibly foolish and doomed to fail. Look for gaps that aren’t being filled by other search engine forums and search news sites and be the best you can be in those areas.

  • Good point Michael. As long as they don’t start aggregating marketing news, that’s my niche! 😉

  • I don’t think whoever takes over will receive a backlash from Danny’s supporters, they just won’t enjoy his following and success. Just like when Danny leaves SES I’m sure there will still be plenty of speakers and attendees. At this point your poll its running pretty dead even which surprises me. I definitely will go to Search Engine Land on a regular basis and less regularly check in with SEW. Igor’s forum idea is great and I’m sure Danny and posse will have that in the works.

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