Search Engine Land launched on this day in 2006. Today, we look back on a successful 2022 and look forward to an even greater 2023.

Search Engine Land celebrates its Sweet 16 today.

While most of the original team from 2006 has moved on, the mission of Search Engine Land remains nearly the same as it has been since day 1.

As explained by founding editor Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Land was created to be:

  • A place where you can keep up with what’s happening in the search space.
  • A community.
  • An entire new world revolving around the important tools of search engines, a world that continues to grow and be shaped, with such a huge impact on society and our daily lives.

There’s a lot to look forward to in 2023.

But first, let’s take a look back on the past year of Search Engine Land, give some thanks to those who have helped make this year a success, and tease a few things you can expect from us over the next year.

Thank you for reading!

If you’re still reading this, thank you! Yes, you!

Every day, our mission is to bring you the latest news and information as it happens, as well as useful guides and insights to help you thrive and advance in your career, navigate the ever-changing search landscape and understand what’s coming next.

Hopefully, you found our news coverage and articles helpful over the past year.

And just as a reminder: if you’d like all the latest search news, analysis and intelligence in your inbox, make sure to subscribe to Search Engine Land’s newsletter.

Thanks to the Search Engine Land team

Search Engine Land has a small team. But as the late Steve Jobs once said, “A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.”

And I truly we believe we have those A+ players here.

  • Barry Schwartz. Barry is a legend – he’s been writing on Search Engine Land since the beginning and covering search for an astounding 19 years. He’s written a ridiculous number of news articles (somewhere around 40,000), documenting all the latest updates and developments in our space. His work ethic is beyond impressive and it’s been an honor to work with him this year. 
  • Nicole Farley: Nicole has been a great addition to the team. I was impressed by her when we first met a couple of years ago. Since joining the team, Nicole has well far exceeded my expectations and does a fantastic job staying on top of all the latest developments in the world of PPC.
  • Angel Niñofranco: I was beyond excited to have Angel join the team and to work with her for a second time. Fun fact: Angel now has been my first hire at two different companies. Angel is a truly excellent editor and helps make sure our SME content is worthy of your time and attention.
  • Kathy Bushman: It’s been great working with Kathy on the SMX events. Her focus never wavers from what’s most important: making sure we deliver top-level content (and experience to match) to everyone who attends our events. I’m already looking forward to thinking about the agendas for SMX Advanced and Next in 2023 – both will be here much sooner than we think!
  • Sarah Slifko-Camarra & Karen DeWeese: I can’t thank them enough for all their help in getting our SME program established and organized. Plus, Sarah and Karen do some great work behind the scenes with SMX.
  • Marc Sirkin: Marc has been a huge ally and sounding board for starting to make some big and much-needed changes to our website and SEO strategy. 
  • Chris Elwell: I truly appreciate Chris for his leadership, for always challenging us to be better, and for the thoughtfulness in how he approaches business decisions and processes. He has truly created a great team and company. (And, in case you didn’t know, he has been a key figure in the development of our entire industry. Watch this video interview he did with Barry in 2020 to learn more.)

There are so many other fantastic humans who are part of the Third Door Media team who I haven’t mentioned. Just know, even if I didn’t mention you, I appreciate you and all you do to help make our company successful.

Gone, but not forgotten

It has undoubtedly been a year of change for Search Engine Land. I joined Search Engine Land in January. And Nicole and Angel joined around halfway through 2022.

We also bid farewell to some team members. So cue the “In Memoriam” theme for:

  • Henry Powderly, former vice president of content for Third Door Media, the publisher of Search Engine Land and MarTech (August 2018 – June 2022)
  • George Nguyen, former editor (June 2020 – March 2022)
  • Corey Patterson, former editor (November 2021 – June 2022)

Top 3 highlights of 2022

Despite some challenges, I’d say it’s safe to call 2022 an overall success for Search Engine Land.  

SMX Advanced and SMX Next

Both shows had the highest audience ratings in the history of Third Door Media. More than 8,500 search marketers signed up for both events.

While those numbers are great, what really mattered to me was the feedback we received from people who invested their time in our events. It was overwhelmingly positive for the speakers, content and experience.

It was also great to have Google back at SMX, with keynotes featuring Hyung-Jin Kim and Ginny Marvin.

Plus, the 2022 Search Engine Land Awards revealed some of the truly great work going on in our industry. I can’t wait to see what successes y’all have over the next several months – so make sure to enter next year.

SME program relaunch

One of my top priorities was launching our Subject Matter Expert (SME) program.

A huge thank you to all of our excellent SMEs for all the great content and insights you shared in 2022. We’ll be highlighting the top 10 most popular SEO and PPC columns of the year – so check back Dec. 29-30, when those will be revealed. I look forward to reading even more great advice and insights from you in 2023!

Speaking of 2023 – I’ll be looking for new contributors very soon. More details to come. But if you’re interested in becoming a contributor on Search Engine Land, 2023 may just be your year.

Traffic and audience growth

I won’t lie – not that it’s any secret – Search Engine Land has its share of SEO messes to clean up, including a fairly disastrous “consolidation” of categories that was handled with a blowtorch instead of a scalpel.

Despite our long SEO to-do list, traffic and audience growth are trending in the right direction:

  • Sessions – up 30%
  • Pageviews – up 25%
  • Users – up 16%
  • Organic search traffic – up 22%
  • Direct traffic – up 34%

What’s next for Search Engine Land?

We’re already looking ahead to 2023. You can expect us to continue providing breaking news coverage and insights on all things search.

Plus, we’ll be debuting a couple of new regular features we hope you’ll like.

Also on our to-do list: some long overdue updates to our popular SEO and PPC periodic tables, and accompanying guides.

And save the dates for our SMX events:

  • SMX Advanced: June 13-14.
  • SMX Next: Nov. 15-16.

And there’s plenty more to come.

On behalf of everyone at Search Engine Land and Third Door Media, I wish you a great rest of 2022 and a successful and healthy 2023.

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search engine land celebrates its 16th birthday 

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