What the Future Holds for Search Engine Watch

With the news of Danny Sullivan’s soon to be departure from Search Engine Watch, many of us in the industry are now beginning to ponder what the future may hold for the Search Engine Watch site as well as its conferences – Search Engine Strategies. Will it all continue to grow as it has for so many years now or will it die a slow death?

Barry Schwartz is one of the first to post his views at Search Engine Roundtable.

On what will happen to Danny – “We know Danny won’t leave the industry, he has had a huge impact on creating this industry – and I can’t see Danny just getting up and walking away from it.”

On what will happen to Search Engine Watch – “The site should remain an authority, but you can expect those close to the industry, those at the forefront will have some inward resentment towards Incisive and whomever takes Danny’s role.”

On who may take over SWE – “The next man in line is Chris Sherman. But Chris and Danny have been working together for five plus years. I doubt Chris needs SEW to be successful. I honestly have not spoken to Chris about it. But I am sure that if he wanted to take over, he would be able to. But for some reason, I think he may not. Just a feeling.”

On how this will affect the industry – “The industry, the community, will probably see less activity around the SEW brand and more around Danny and other names in the industry.”

Barry’s advice to Incisive – “If there is any way to keep Danny, do it. All in all, I believe the next year will be very rough. 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.”

My own views are that SEW and SES will not be the same without Danny. However, Danny will still be Danny. Incisive is going to be the big loser here but this is certainly not the first time I have seen one company acquire another only to eventually destroy it. The last instance of this I can recall was when Interland bought Communitech, a high end hosting company that provided superb service, only to completely destroy the brand some months later. Something good did come out of that however – a new hosting company called Blue Virtual which was started by some former employees of Communitech.

Will the same thing happen to Search Engine Watch? It is hard to predict at this point. I guess it will really depend on who Incisive decides to put in Danny’s place. No doubt the resources that Danny and others have worked to create over the last decade will continue to be an authority but will SEW continue to grow or will it now begin its demise? Only time will tell.

David Wallace

David Wallace, co-founder and CEO of SearchRank, is a recognized expert in the industry of search and social media marketing. Since 1997, David has been involved in developing successful search engine and social media marketing campaigns for large and small businesses. Follow +David Wallace on Google + as well as Twitter.

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