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It has been quite a month in the Search Industry. Two of the best known personalities in the UK Search Industry have announced that they are leaving the companies they represent.
It began early in August with Mike Grehan publicly announcing his resignation from his Directorship at MarketSmart Interactive Inc. Formerly known as WebSourced, MarketSmart Interactive had purchased Mike's own company the year before.
However, the biggest sea-change came yesterday with the announcement that Danny Sullivan was not renewing his contract with Incisive. Danny is founder of the foremost industry journal, Search Engine Watch , and the Search Engine Strategies conference events. He has been widely regarded as the foremost spokesman and ambasador for the Search Marketing industry for ten years.
That these two iconic individuals of the search engine marketing industry are both "available" or at least "not assigned" at the moment will naturally spark as much speculation as it does interest.
Will Mike Grehan be approached by Incisive as the most qualified individual to take over being 'the face' of the Search Engine Strategies events?
Will some other company seize the huge opportunity to take the lead in hosting the leading conferences and events in the search marketing space by taking Danny's leading reputation to instantly capture much of the market share?
It is certainly incredible that these two are both potentially 'on the market' at the same time, and so presents equally incredible opportunities to anyone with the vision, (and bank balance) to capitalise.
What do such changes mean?
Well, just as with Andy Beal leaving Fortune Interactive (around the exact same time that Mike Grehan quit MarketSmart Interactive, formerly WebSourced, which Andy had quit a year earlier... sound like a soap opera plot yet?), these are signs of growth.
The Search Engine Marketing industry is experiencing many "growing pains" as it strives to grow from being primarily a cottage industry to become more industrial and corporate. The industry is maturing, and there are bound to be mishaps and mis-steps along the way.
This creates some natural conflicts betwen the 'celebrities' of the industry, and the companies and brands that seek to be far bigger than the names of even the most prominent individual workers. After all, individuals don't scale as well.