July 5 2022

Meg Geddes   @netmeg

Obviously I never met Bill. (I never met anybody) But way back when, I think he recognized my handle from WebmasterWorld and whenever I was on the Twitter ranting about this that or the other Google thing (which used to be a lot), he'd almost always offer some words of advice or encouragement. I was always hella flattered; Bill is the OG's OG after all. (It's very difficult to refer to him in the past tense. So I won't.) More recently, we both seemed to hit a bad patch of bad health issues around the same time, and we would occasionally commiserate about that. Even knowing that, it was still shocking to hear he's passed. I'd like to think that wherever he is, he's still by the sea.

July 4 2022

Kyle Sutton   @KyleW_Sutton

I always held Bill in the highest regard of SEO experts. He truly seemed to posses a data science-level expertise of search patents and I always looked forward to his takes on these concepts (even if some were above my head!). From interviews and webinars I watched over the years, he always seemed like a gentle, down-to-earth man. Heck, he even liked and re-tweeted me once, and for me that was a big deal.

R.I.P. Bill. Thank you for all you did.

July 3 2022

When I came across the word "SEO" back in 2011, Bill was the first person that I knew as a "PROFESSIONAL" SEO guy. I've been a reader of his blog SEO by the sea since then.

He always stands out from the crowd with his in-depth and value-added research papers and information about the various SEO patents.

The SEO industry lost a gem. May God bless his family _/\_

July 2 2022

I was just getting started in Local SEO (2007-8) and was exploring the many questions about local ranking, etc and Bill was one of the few that seemed to be writing anything at all about local seriously. He would post on my blog and I would often post on his. Our relationship developed and for many winter weekends he, Matt McGee and I would send each other long emails about search results that we were seeing, trying to understand what was driving what.

He and I decided to emulate an early SNL skit "Point/Counterpoint," with Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin where we would take strong opposing positions on a topic to see if we could generate blog comments and interaction. On the question "Could Local ever get its data issues together and present reliable lists of issues" he took the con position and noted that he didn't think that Google was good enough at data aggregation to ever resolve their data quality issues. It took Google totally revamping their architecture to prove him wrong.

He made me aware of the Google Local Search Ranking patent which provided the basis of the whole industry's understanding of citations, reviews, links, mentions etc as ranking factors. It was that patent that ultimately provided the cored ranking in the Knowledge Graph and provided me with a global understanding of how Google local's ranking algo actually worked.

He was an instrumental partipant and mentor to my career. He will be missed

July 1 2022

I consider myself a student in the SEO industry. And I greatly appreciate the insights and knowledge Bill provides through his blog posts. He has lots of experience and a simple way of explaining things. I consider him one of the few industry experts that help me shape my understanding of digital marketing. I hope to learn a lot more from him.