Danny Sullivan’s Contributions to SEO

Leave it to Danny Sullivan. While the SEO world is abuzz with the news of his leaving Search Engine Watch (SEW), and Search Engine Strategies (SES) as well, Danny focuses on the issue of losing Pluto as a planet. As someone who has been at 6 or so SES shows, I can tell you that this is typical of Danny’s character.

SEW and SES may have led the way in popularizing SEO, but Danny played a key role in humanizing it. He has brought humor, humility, and dignity to our profession, and I know I am not alone in celebrating his contributions. We should all join together in a hearty thanks to Danny for what he has accomplished.

I remember one SES where he was chairing a “Meet the Search Engines Panel”. While the presence of folks like Matt Cutts, Rahul Lahiri, and Tim Mayer, Eytan Seidman is already good stuff, Danny added so much to the session. For example, his challenges to the search engines to get together and agree on new standards such as the “nofollow” tag, the “robots” tags, and so forth.

The search engines already had the idea that discussion of common issues made sense. But Danny put forth the idea that the webmaster and SEO community could place demands on the search engines. The idea being that we could say “We need you to …”. SEW and SES became major vehicles for this type of communication between webmasters and search engines. The communication channel got opened and the rest is history unfolding.

Danny is by no means done, unless he chooses to be. The SEO world has recognized his leadership, as every single major blog I know of has written about this event. Now we all need to wait and see what he does next. We will all be paying close attention. I wish you the best of luck Danny, but I don’t think you will need it.

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