Lee Odden

Kevin Ryan to Direct Content at Search Engine Strategies and SEW

Incisive Media announced this morning that Kevin Ryan, formerly CEO of Kinetic Results and one of my favorite columnists at iMedia Connection, will be joining Incisive Media as VP, Global Content Director, Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Strategies. Kevin also made a post on the Search Engine Watch blog.

In essence, Kevin is filling the giant shoes that Danny Sullivan left and that’s a very, very tall order. Danny has made nothing less than groundbreaking progress in a very short amount of time with Search Engine Land and from all accounts, the SMX conference.

I would be curious to hear from Kevin how he’ll address the inevitable comparisons and also what his plans are. How will he approach content strategy for the SES conferences and the SEW site? Whatever the answers, many eyes will be on him both internally at Incisive as well as the search marketing industry.


Update: Although he’s traveling today, Kevin was kind enough to answer a few questions:

In essence, you’re filling Danny Sullivan’s shoes in your new position at Incisive and that’s a tall order. How do you plan on addressing the inevitable comparisons between Danny and the work in front of you?

I am a big admirer of Danny and have tremendous respect for the work that he has done. Fortunately for me, I wore my own shoes to work. The most popular question I get is, “Do I want to be the next Danny Sullivan?” My answer is pretty simple; it’s too late, I am already Kevin Ryan.

What’s the low hanging fruit you’ll be tackling in your new role specifically related to SES and also Search Engine Watch?

In the short term, I’ll be working with the team here at Incisive to sort out what’s working and what is not. I plan to spend a great deal of time listening to our audience on both the show and editorial sides of the business.

Will you be setting a new strategic direction for SES and SEW and if so what are your plans?

Yes. It’s a bit early on to be defining strategy for the show, but if I were to assign a theme to the strategic direction (and I elaborated on this on the SES blog) “it takes a village.”

Do you see the SMX series as a direct competitor or can they coexist?

It’s a big industry. There are a lot of shows competing for precious audience time. Overall, I don’t dedicate much time to looking over my shoulder—I’d rather focus on moving forward—full speed ahead.

What does success look like for Kevin Ryan after a year in this new role?

Ask me that question again in six months.

Thanks Kevin!


Update #2. I pinged contacts at Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask for their opinion on this news and here are the replies I received:
(Matt and Tim are busy?) 🙂

Mel Carson from Microsoft: “We’re very happy for Kevin in his new role and look forward to seeing his plans unfold. We also think Danny’s done a great job with his new endeavour in such a short amount of time. Having multiple channels educating and evangelising about search engine marketing can only be a good thing for the industry.”

Sean X. Cummings from Ask.com: “I think Kevin is one of the most influential people writing on search, especially to marketers. I am interested to how that experience would translate to the roles at SES & SEW as a content company from what he is doing now. I believe the industry has grown so much that there are places for both SES/SEW and SMX to co-exist. They’ll each concentrate on what they will do best. iMedia did that with AdTech for years as separate companies, focusing their efforts for different purposes and levels of audience; to great success.”

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. “Overall, I don’t dedicate much time to looking over my shoulder—I’d rather focus on moving forward—full speed ahead.”

    Good answer…

  2. You should have asked him if there is any truth to the rumor that SES will ban any speaker that speaks at SMX. 😉

  3. Nah, I don’t need perpetuate other agendas, thanks. 🙂


  1. The Way The Internet Should Be! » Blog Archive » The News in Brief, June 7 says:

    […] The torch is passed: Kevin Ryan joins Incisive Media as VP and Global Content Director of Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Strategies. Lee Odden asks Kevin whether he thinks he’ll fill Danny Sullivan’s shoes and other questions. […]