We just learned the shocking news that SEO expert, trainer and pioneer Bill Slawski has died.
Slawski was the director of SEO research at Go Fish Digital, a digital marketing agency. His company just shared the news of his death on Twitter a moment ago.
We are amazed to share that our colleague and dear friend @bill_slawski is dead. Words simply cannot express our sadness. We are forever grateful for the opportunity to work with Bill. We will share much more information and orders as it becomes available to us. pic.twitter.com/5mD6jqw7XR
We do not know much about his death. He was last active on Twitter on May 16 and died on May 17.
We know he is leaving an incredible gap in our industry. Slawski was a source of knowledge. Because of his coaching, understanding and knowledge, countless SEOs are better – both directly and indirectly.
About Bill Slawski
Slawski did SEO before Google’s existence. This may interest you : Local SEO Tools and Software Market Share 2022-2029 | Top Players – Semrush, Se Ranking, Birdeye, Moz Local, Reputation.com – Queen Anne and Mangolia News. Hell, he did SEO before SEO was called SEO.
It started in 1996 when all this online stuff was simply called internet marketing and online advertising. He provided consulting services to make websites easier to find on the web, to facilitate their use, and to increase customer conversions and revenue.
Throughout his career, Slawski worked on all types of sites – nonprofits, Fortune 500, educational institutions, e-commerce, professional services, consumer goods, B2B and more.
Prior to his career in search marketing, Slawski earned a doctorate in law and was a legal and technical administrator at the Delaware Supreme Court for 14 years. Slawski lived in Carlsbad, California.
SEO by the Sea
For many in our industry, Slawski was probably best known at SEO by the Sea for researching, analyzing, interpreting, and writing Google and search-related patents and algorithms. To see also : R.A.C.E to success: A winning strategic framework in SEO. He started the SEO by the Sea blog in June 2005.
On the topic of SEO by the Sea, Slawski covered everything from the classics (PageRank, TrustRank, information retrieval) to the present day (machine learning, knowledge graph, units).
Contributions to the search community
In addition to writing for his blog, Slawski wrote articles for Go Fish Digital’s blog and other search marketing publications. Slawski was a co-author of Search Engine Land from December 2006 to July 2008. On the same subject : How SEO Can Help You Grow Your Business | On The Spot (OTS) News Southport. You can read Slawski’s articles here.
Slawski was also a popular speaker at several search conferences, including several SMX events. He also made several webinar presentations and was a required guest for several SEO podcasts.
Slawski had been active in SEO forums, including being a moderator of Cre8asite forums.
In addition, he was extremely active on Twitter, sharing his own and others’ insights and content. He was particularly vocal in dispelling SEO myths and misinformation.
‘Our teacher, our professor, our mentor’
This is how Search Engine Land’s own Barry Schwartz described Slawski in 2020.
After Slawski had a stroke, Schwartz created a tribute site: billslawski.com. Schwartz asked SEOs for stories about how Slawski had helped them in their careers. And they definitely delivered.
The site is full of hundreds of stories and memories that will be published almost daily from December 15, 2020 to May 10, 2021.
One of those stories from Slawski himself who updated the community about his status:
Thanks to everyone who took a moment to write or send me something while I was in the hospital. I had a small brain clot and I am now taking aspirin as a blood thinner. The thrombus caused a stroke that pushed me to my balance, made it harder to walk, and I worried about falling over. I was in the hospital for 2 months and underwent 3 hours of rehabilitation treatment a day. Much of it was learning to ride a bike and then a stick to help me get around. By the time I was discharged, I had been walking without help. At home, I spent a lot more time walking without a stroller and stick. I’m a little cumbersome than before, but I can walk quite well. I ride a stationary bike for 40 minutes a day and also follow my steps while walking. The stroke did not affect my ability to think, speak or do SEO. The speech therapists checked me out, giving me logic puzzles to make sure I could. These were riddles that could fit in spreadsheets, and it wasn’t easy for anyone who was used to site audits – they kept telling them they needed improved books.
A shout out to my Go Fish Digital team who sent me to see the plants and to a number of local SEOs who sent me succulents and a couple of Doordash gifts so I could order breakfast directly from them. During this time, I managed to keep in touch with Twitter, and a few local people helped me get home and took care of some DMV-related problems and paying bills during my hospital stay. . After 2 months away from the computer, it took me a few times to write and send emails. I have already written about some patents and now I talk about SEO every week. This week, 9 years after Penguin, I agreed to talk about the future of SEO on Twitter Spaces. First you need to learn how to use it. I hope to talk to everyone soon. Thank you for creating this website, Barry. It has been really nice to see a new post about it every day as I continue to retrain for walking.
We are all still in shock and dealing with this devastating loss.
News of Slawski’s death spread quickly on Twitter and word of mouth. Here’s just a small sample of the search community’s reactions to Slawski’s death.
Bill was a bright beacon for anyone who wanted to understand the often complex search patents. And SEO in general. I knew and appreciated his kindness and thought. This is a terrible loss. Thoughts for your family, friends and co-workers. You’re missing out, Bill. https://t.co/yXRzVQEAvj
So, so sad. He was such a smart and generous man. A real legend in SEO. We all miss him immensely.
RIP the bill. He made a huge impact on me, and I am grateful he came to talk to me when I wrote much of my presentation as a tribute to the ways of thinking he learned. So sorry to hear that.
So sad. I’ve known Bill for more than 20 years. He just sent me a letter when he found out that my new headquarters are in San Diego and I’m going there in a few weeks. I really appreciated our long-term friendship and such a great contribution to the industry. RIP the bill.
I told him just a few weeks ago that we would meet here in San Diego. He seemed healthy and in a good mood.
I had the honor of inviting Bill as a friend. Incredible loss personally and professionally. My deepest condolences.
Condolences to him, the whole family and our whole industry. Bill had such a unique attitude towards SEO that it made everyone stop and rethink what we thought we knew. He will be missed.
Few people have had as much of an impact on the SEO industry as @bill_slawski. The place does not feel the same without him.
I’m speechless … without words! My dear friend, mon ami, my confident SEO, patents, algae, flowers, sunsets, sunrise, my conversation friend is missing ?! You miss Bill, R.I.P.❤️
Bill gave the SEO community so much knowledge and love. Your kind spirit and generosity will be greatly missed.
This is very sad news, thoughts for his family. And our industry is losing a very valuable person who gave so much knowledge to our large SEO community around the world. Bill leaves a very big gap. Thank you for your generosity!
This story is evolving. Check out more updates soon.
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About The Author
Danny Goodwin is a senior editor at Search Engine Land. In addition to writing about Search Engine Land SEO, PPC and more, Goodwin also maintains a list of Search Engine Land subject matter experts. He also helps to program our conference series SMX – Search Marketing Expo. Prior to joining Search Engine Land, he was an executive editor of Goodwin Search Engine Journal, where he led brand editing initiatives. He was also the editor of Search Engine Watch. He has spoken at many major search conferences and virtual events, and has gained experience in a number of publications and podcasts.