Who Is The Godfather Of Search

Godfather Of Search

I was doing some taping with a national radio show this week and I forget how it came up but I asked him if he knew who Danny Sullivan was and of course he did and I said well you know he is the God Father Of Search. Then the host paused for a minute and he said “you know you are the 5th person I have interviewed for this spot and they all say someone different is the God Father Of Search”. I asked him who else had been named and he said Bruce Clay and Brett Tabke. I was kind of suprised by this I just always thought of Danny as the “God Father Of Search”. But I am a newb when it comes to SEO and so I thought I would take a poll among my friends who have been around longer then I-

Simple question I asked them: Who is the GodFather of Search?

Michael Gray AKA Graywolf

I’d have to go with Greg Boser. For me the godfather has a “pulling the strings in unseen ways behind the scenes” meaning to it. Some of the best SEO’s I know work in stealth behind the scenes and under the radar. They have a network of tools, and people who get things done and do the job, without worrying about getting in the spot light and being a celebrity.

Andy Beal AKA Marketingpilgram

I’d have to say Larry Page. Assuming “godfather” means the person that controls a specific industry and has all the power, you’d have a hard time finding anyone with more power than Page (and sidekick Sergey Brin). Without PageRank, we’d have no Google, and without Google, search would not be what it is today. Google controls search, Page and Brin control Google.

Aaron Wall

Danny Sullivan. He has tracked every major change and put it in historical context (both online and off) since just about the dawn of search.

Marcus tandler AKA Mediadonis AKA Crazy German who runs around Las Vegas in lederhosen to win a 100$ Bet –

I´d clearly say Danny Sullivan…

Neil Patel

I see Danny Sullivan as the godfather of search. He has spread so much knowledge and helped thousands if not millions of people through his conference series, Search Engine Strategies and his search resource website, Search Engine Watch. Over the past few years he has really helped demystify search and SEO for both the search engines and marketers alike.

Kris Jones – Ceo of Pepperjamsearch (largest SEM agency in the world) –

It’s not even close – Danny Sullivan.

Danny founded Search-Engine Strategies (SES), which has been the meeting place for search-engine marketing (SEM) professionals and business leaders for nearly 10-years. However, it isn’t SES that makes Danny the godfather of search, it’s the fact that Danny’s inclusive, respectful, and non-corporate style has resulted in the creation of a large, active community of SEM experts with a level of respect for one another that is unparalleled in traditional business.

Patrick Gavin

When I think of “Godfather of Search? I think more along the lines of “Godfather of Search Marketing? and for me that would have to be Brett Tabke. Webmasterworld was my original learning grounds. I still vividly remember refreshing the page every five seconds hanging on the words of the next post to carry the answer to why my sites got wiped out with the Florida update! 😉

Rand Fishkin

There should be no debate on this issue, Danny Sullivan is the leader of this industry and has been since before there was a Google. There are other “leaders,” but to my mind, this is not an issue one must wonder about. It’s like asking who was the greatest mind of the 20th century is – sure, Sagan & Hawking have done extraordinary things, but Einstein stands in a class all his own. Such is the case with Danny.

Todd Malicoat

Well – I’m sure it won’t stop you, but I don’t think you can nominate a SINGLE Godfather of search – for one main reason. In the “beginning” of SEO – there were a handful of guys that sent each other in the right direction, and all learned from each other that are ALL godfathers to us in the later generations. If forced, however, I would name co-godfathers Danny Sullivan and Brett Tabke. Maybe you should go the route of having seven families;)

Danny Sullivan

do we have only one?

I’d give nods to…

Fredrick Marckini
Brett Tabke
Jim Wilson
Jill Whalen
Detlev Johnson
Shari Thurow
John Heard
Stephen Mahaney

All of them did a lot of talking and promotion of search very early on, on mailing lists or forming communities.

Thanks to all who participated I appreciate you all taking the time!

So you have heard from the experts now I want to hear from you? What comes to your mind when you think of “The Godfather Of Search”?


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