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.

June 30 2022

Even though I never got the chance to talk to him personally, he has inspired me deeply. I learned a lot through his tweets and blogs. If it wasn't for him, maybe I still would have considered LSI keywords as a legit thing in SEO.

He introduced all these terms like Entities, Knowledge Graph, Semantic SEO, TF-IDF, etc. to me, and has really changed the way I look at SEO. Bill had always been there to stop myths from spreading and helping newbies like me think from a different perspective rather than what we get from other courses and blog posts.

Rest in peace, Bill ♥️! You have helped thousands of SEOs to move forward in their career and your contribution will never be forgotten.

June 29 2022

Dan Thies   @danthies

My first encounter with Bill was an argument/debate. He was wrong. He finally figured it out and said so.

The last time I saw Bill we ended up debating, again. He was right. When Bill was right, he could convince anyone.

More than twenty years in between, and a whole lot of debates, he was always ready to go. I’m pretty sure this explains why he went to law school.

How could you not love this guy?

June 28 2022

Got to know Bill a few years ago and it was fun as he lived (hate to use the past tense for that) so close to me. It was easy to become good friends as we are generally the same age and shared a passion for SEO. But sometimes we would just hang out and eat a meal together.

As many of you know Bill suffered a stroke some time ago and was in the hospital in rehab a long time. I was the one he reached out to and was happy to help, visiting him, taking care of some personal things, going in his house to pay his bills and water plants, things like that.

Then we ended up going to the DMV 3X so he could re-take his driver's test to prove it was ok for him to drive, which he eventually did.

The last time I saw him wasn't even that long ago, not more than some weeks and we met at a place he loves close to the beach.
Bill was just a great guy, a really close personal friend and if you were talking SEO with him, his light was shining. Really miss my friend.