Back in the late 1990s there were only 2 people who caught my attention in the world of SEO and they were Danny Sullivan and Eric Ward.
95% of SEO to me is getting links and putting together great content. I never had an interest in writing content, it just kind of happened – “creative” writers write better than I ever will but writing for the Internet is something I learned because I HAD to. I learned how to convert on eBay and how to write for search as a (very) hungry entrepreneur.
Anyways, I am not a very visible person in the SEO world nor do I want to be. I do not give speeches or teach classes but in the rare event I do quietly lurk, Eric Ward’s YouTube channel or email list is where I’d start. His clients were quite a bit different than my own so it was great to hear his link acquisition strategies and success stories which you just couldn’t hear anywhere else.
I recently, quietly and anonymously sat in on one of Eric’s hangouts where he spoke of a guy who rode with him to the airport after a speech and asked lots of questions and that guy turned out to be Rand Fishkin, a now very visible person in the world of SEO who works w/ MOZ. In the video Eric was in his shop with his dog. I watched from my shop with my dog and thought “Gee I should meet this guy sometime”. I never did and I’m an idiot for not reaching out. I’m in North Carolina and Eric was in Tennessee, just over the mountains which I frequently explore.
Eric Ward touched the lives of many people and there is no doubt in my mind his work influenced everyone on the planet! It is a bit of a deep thought but if you think about it, it’s true.
In Eric’s honor I purchased and listened to a book called The 5 second rule in an effort to stop delaying decisions.
This is the “hangout” (interactive YouTube video) That I was referring to above:
I was not a friend
On this blog I cover SEO news which interests me, and I think that Eric Ward’s passing is one of the biggest stories of 2017 in the world of SEO. That is why I am writing this article. That and to point out how people can help (below).
I have a handful of best friends I’ve known since I was 4 years old and we know literally everything about each other. I only “know” Eric from his online presence. But I can tell by the way that he conducted business online for so long that he was very likely a man of integrity, an honest guy and probably a great friend to have in real life.
I was not a friend of his and he probably never even heard of me. Due to that I hesitated before writing this. I try not to ever “define” someone on their professional life. When I close up my laptop I am with my friends and family and most of them have never even heard of “SEO”, content creation or link building, but, I just wanted to say to the handful of regular readers here that one of the originals has passed away; one of the few “good guys” out there is gone. And if you’d like to help, a few ways to do so are below.
Helping Eric’s Family
Immediately, you can visit YouCaring and make a donation.
If you’re a link builder you can subscribe to Eric’s newsletter which is $8/month. It is being continued by someone with 100% of the profit going to Eric’s family. (I’ll update this link if it changes).
I will miss hearing from Eric Ward, one of the first good link builders on the web. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.