Search Engine Land celebrates its 17th birthday 


Search Engine Land officially celebrated its 17th birthday yesterday.

This past year was unlike any we’ve seen in the world of search – 2023 was a year of seismic changes in SEO and PPC thanks largely to generative AI. Plus, we can’t forget Google Analytics 4.

But the mission of Search Engine Land remains the same as it has since Day 1 – to keep you updated on the latest changes in SEO and PPC via news, analysis and guides.

As for what’s coming over the next year in search? Many questions remain. Hopefully, we’ll get some answers sooner rather than later.

As I did last year, I want to reflect on the past year of Search Engine Land, thank those who helped make this year successful, and let you know what you can expect from us over the next year.

Thank you for reading!

Thank you! Yes, you!

Every day, we always think about the needs of our audience first and your perspective. We always:

  • Try to cover only the most relevant stories we think you will care about – because we care about them.
  • Aim for brevity with news – we want to quickly give you the necessary information.
  • Provide you with unbiased information that you can trust, adding necessary context and expertise.
  • Hope you can rely on Search Engine Land as you navigate the ever-changing search marketing landscape and understand where it’s heading next.

Want a daily wrap-up of all the latest search news, analysis and intelligence in your inbox? Then 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 a small team can achieve great things – yes, even working 100% virtually.

Thanks to:

  • Barry Schwartz. Barry is an unbelievably fast talker and a prolific writer. Well, that’s how some tech rag described him earlier this year. And it’s true – he is an incredibly fast talker. And he has been writing on Search Engine Land since the beginning, covering search for an astounding 20 years. It’s been amazing working with Barry these last two years and I look forward to (hopefully) many more!
  • Nicola Agius: Nicola joined the team in June and has done a great job helping readers navigate the forced march to Google Analytics 4, as well as all the day-to-day changes in paid search, paid social and retail media.
  • Angel Niñofranco: Angel has been instrumental in editing our SME content – and was eager to take on an expansion of the program that saw us our calendar go from two to three contributors per day. Thank you Angel for all the ruthless editing, bio updates, scheduling, topic/deadline reminders and all the countless other things you do.
  • Kathy Bushman: Kathy continues to be a big reason why our SMX events (Advanced and Next) continue to be successful and highly rated by attendees. There are so many moving parts when it comes to putting these shows together, but we continue to deliver top-level content, speakers and networking opportunities for attendees. And 2024 planning isn’t too far away.
  • Marc Sirkin: I was super excited to see Marc’s creation – SearchBot – come to life this year and then get a big upgrade. He’s also been busy improving our site search, making SMX a subfolder on the Search Engine Land site, where it belongs, and much more.
  • Chris Elwell: Chris is fond of a Chuck Noll quote, “Champions don’t do extraordinary things, they do the ordinary things better than anybody else.” And that’s very much who Chris is – he expects us to be better storytellers and reporters – all to better serve our readers/audience. Thanks, Chris, for your leadership and all you do to make Third Door Media a great company!

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 us successful.  

Gone, but not forgotten

It’ll be brief this year, but we must start the “In Memoriam” theme for one team member we bid farewell to this year:

Top 3 highlights of 2023

Search Engine Land had a great year in 2023.

SMX Advanced and SMX Next

Both shows had the highest audience ratings in the history of Third Door Media – even topping our NPS scores from 2022, which were both records at the time.

The feedback we received from the 7,500+ search marketers who invested their time in our events is what really mattered to me. It was overwhelmingly positive for the speakers, content and experience.

Plus, the 2023 Search Engine Land Awards once again showcase some excellent work – including our new AI category. I look forward to seeing more innovation and success – so make sure to enter next year.

SME program expansion

One of my top priorities this year was expanding our Subject Matter Expert (SME) program, which we relaunched last year. We added several new contributors and now are typically publishing three per day.

A huge thank you to all of our excellent SMEs for all the great content and insights you shared in 2023. I look forward to reading even more great advice and insights from you in 2024! 

We’ll be highlighting the top 10 most popular SEO and PPC columns of the year – so check back the week of Dec. 25, when those will be revealed.

Traffic and audience growth

It’s been an exciting year. Traffic and audience growth are trending in the right direction and our traffic is at its highest level since September 2019:

  • Sessions – up 25%
  • Pageviews – up 44%
  • Users – up 25%
  • Organic search sessions – up 40%
  • Direct traffic – up 34%

What’s next for Search Engine Land? 

We’re already looking ahead to 2024. You can expect us to continue providing breaking news coverage and insights on all things search. 

Still 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 11-12.
  • SMX Next: Nov. 13-14.

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 2023 and a successful and healthy 2024.



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