Posted January 9, 2007 11:33 am by with 9 comments

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I’ve noticed that I’m visiting Search Engine Watch less and less these days. Don’t get me wrong, I think they’re doing an admirable job in keeping it active, but since the departure of Danny, Chris and Barry, it’s just not been the same.

Without the industry contacts and scoops that Danny Sullivan brings, it looks like traffic levels have dropped off significantly. Here’s the Alexa stats for SEW versus Danny’s new home, Search Engine Land.

Does this mean SEW is doomed to fade into obscurity? Maybe not, they’ll likely just level-out at some point. The question is, how long will it take before Search Engine Land has more traffic than Search Engine Watch. My guess, is that by the end of March, we’ll see that happen.


  • People need to give the new SEW editorial team time to find their voice and stride.

    But they should redesign the site and make it more community friendly.

  • I’m glad you brought this up Andy. Yesterday I noticed that both the SEW and SEL post recaps I received were so similar… even down to the links at the bottom of the pieces. I thought to myself, “Well if this continues I’m going to have to choose one over the other, because I can’t read the same news twice.” I hope that the new editorial team at SEW finds a new way to differentiate themselves from the old editorial team (and possibly a new format for delivering the news), or I fear that the SEL will come out the victor. And this does not need to be a competition.

  • I still read it. It’s seems to focus on smaller, interesting sites after reporting the “news” that every other search oriented blogger posts every single day!
    Danny is a big picture guy and that is his role. I read SEL and always will but SEW will remain on the reading list.

  • This highlights how some blogs are highly influenced by the “people” behind it, whereas some blogs are mainly brand focused.

    THe danger of a “person” focused blog is the same situation you just depicted – traffic leaves as the person leaves.

  • SEL having a stronger team will be more popular, not much you can do about that. However, the SEW is not “doomed to fade into obscurity.” They have a strong community base and a great forum. If they want to emerge from the shadow of Danny Sullivan, they will have to stop posting Danny’s style (news recaps) and start coming up with the voice of their own.

    I agree with Natasha; it’s time to redesign the site. SEW design is stuck in the 90s. They still have links to pages that explain how to use search engines.

    SEW, it’s time to move on.

  • The busy design of Search Engine Watch has always turned me off, but I felt like I “had” to read it to feel informed. Search Engine Land is much nicer to look at and more readable, so it’s like SEW with a good design. My SEW days are pretty much over.

  • Nope,

    I removed it from my FeedReader as part of my new years cleaning house.

  • I still visit SEW’s forums but, like Andrey, have been reading Search Engine Land more often.

  • Look at the daily posting volume of sel via technorati

    now for sew

    notice any differences? For the experimental go to this url, grab the link for the image in the lower right strip out the hits parameter and add size=l and you’re good to go