Wikipedia Might Not Consider Danny Sullivan Notable In The Search Industry

Jul 6, 2015 - 7:55 am 21 by
Filed Under Search News

Danny Sullivan

About a month ago, Andy Dingley put up Danny Sullivan's Wikipedia page as up for deletion.

The reason it was posted? Andy wrote, "a web SEO salesman, not surprisingly, has acquired a WP article. Yet the article fails to clearly demonstrate WP:BLPN notability, mostly due to the quality of the sources used. A Google footprint is not the same thing as a notable career, of encyclopedic merit."

Anyone who spent two minutes researching the SEO industry would know that (1) Danny doesn't sell SEO services and (2) without him, the SEO industry would not be where it is today - he basically invented the industry.

Reading through the talk page about his second nomination for deletion is pretty funny. But also shows how oblivious Wikipedia can be about specific topics.

Even Matt Cutts from Google chimed in, in Danny's defense:

Hi, I'm a novice at Wikipedia, so I apologize if I make mistakes on the decision criteria or markup. But I am a Distinguished Engineer at Google, and I would definitely classify Danny Sullivan as notable in the field of search. I'm happy to attest that people within Google take Danny's journalistic coverage quite seriously. I would think the USA Today and New York Times articles would both count toward notability, in that both pieces contain significant coverage of Danny, not just quotes from him. Likewise, the page on notability calls out author/journalist criteria such as "The person is regarded as an important figure or is widely cited by peers or successors." Danny is widely regarded as an important figure and expert source by both fellow journalists (in terms of the number of different journalists who quote him, such as John Markoff or Ken Auletta) and by search engineers as well. When I talk to Google founder Larry Page and say "Danny Sullivan wrote X," Larry might agree or disagree, but Larry knows who Danny is and his expertise. But it sounds like Wikipedia prefers published material, so I'd point back to the USA Today and New York Times articles. Or see Chapter 7 ("The Danny Sullivan Show") of the book The Google Story, by David Vise.

If Danny is not notable when referencing the SEO/SEM or even search industry, then who is?

Truth is, I doubt Danny cares one way if he has a Wikipedia entry or not, but this just seems a bit insane.

Oh, I wouldn't recommend a flood of SEOs going there and defending Danny. It might have a reverse impact and bug them.

Forum discussion at Wikipedia.


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