editors note: for anyone reading this, I want it to be well known that this is our way of keeping the memory of Bill Slawski alive, and will continue to do so in our blog, social media, thoughts and prayers for him and his family. 

It’s a bitter pill for the SEO community to swallow. Bill Slawski, an SEO expert, educator, and pioneer, has passed away. Bill Slawski was the Director of SEO Research at Go Fish Digital, a digital marketing agency. We aren’t familiar with the specifics of his passing, but what we do know is that he leaves behind an incredible void in our booming industry. Slawski was a wealth of knowledge. Countless SEOs are better off, because of his mentorship and proficiency with all things search. To best commemorate his imprint in this world, we are going to be discussing everything Bill was able to accomplish in his lifetime and why it was and will continue to be profound. 


Slawski was truly one of a kind. He did SEO before Google even existed! He was even working on SEO before SEO was even called SEO. During his early years, a lot of the online stuff as we know it today, was simply known as internet marketing and web promotion. In 1996, he provided consulting services to make it easier for finding websites online, make them easier to use, and increase conversions and revenue for clients. Throughout the course of his career, Slawski worked on a wide range of sites. These included nonprofits, Fortune 500, educational institutions, e-commerce, professional services, consumer goods, B2B, and much more. Before commencing his search marketing career, Slawski had received a Juris Doctor degree and was a legal and technical administrator at the highest level court in Delaware, for 14 years. He resided in Carlsbad, California.

SEO by the Sea

For so many in our industry, Slawski was probably best-known for conducting research, analyzing, interpreting, and writing about Google and search-related patents and algorithms at SEO by the Sea. Bill started the SEO by the Sea blog in June 2005. On SEO by the Sea, Slawski covered a myriad of topics. From PageRank, TrustRank, Information Retrieval, machine learning, Knowledge Graphs, the list goes on!

Contributions To The SEO Community

In case you couldn’t already tell, Slawski’s contributions to the SEO community were countless. Apart from curating content on his own blog, he also contributed articles to the Go Fish Digital Blog and other search marketing publications. Interested in reading some of Slawski’s articles? Click here. Bill frequently spoke at a variety of search conferences, including many SMX events. He also hosted many webinar presentations and was an in-demand guest for several SEO podcasts. He had been active in SEO forums, even serving as a co-administrator on Cre8asite Forums. In addition to all of these contributions, he was also very active on Twitter, often sharing his own insights and insight from colleagues. Slawski was at the forefront of dispelling SEO myths and misinformation. 

How Others Viewed Bill Slawski

Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land, described Slawski as “Our teacher, our professor, our mentor.” When Slawski suffered a stroke, Schwartz created a tribute site: billslawski.com. On this site, you can find contributions from fellow SEOs on how Slawski helped them in their career. The outpouring of support was certainly felt. The site is inundated with hundreds of stories and memories, published on a near-daily basis, from Dec. 15. 2020 until May 10, 2021.

A Legacy That Will Live On

Slawski’s legacy will never wane. The SEO community will not allow his memory to die, we will all do our part to keep it alive! Bills’ impact on the industry will live on, and it’s up to us as SEOS, to make the most of his teachings.