Search community mourns loss of veteran link builder Eric Ward

Eric Ward, also known as “Link Moses,” passed away on Monday, October 16, 2017. He was 58 years young.

Eric was the first person in the industry that I met who identified himself as a ‘link builder’ and he gave the first comprehensive presentation I ever saw on the topic – at a Search Engine Strategies conference all the way back in 2000. His work shaping the field and the contributions he made to the discipline of link building – not just at our publication and conferences, but throughout the search marketing industry – cannot be overstated. I’m stricken at the loss of such a thoughtful, knowledgeable, and generous friend and colleague.

I reached out to other search industry veterans to share their thoughts and memories of Eric:

I’ll never forget that when I first asked for voluntary subscriptions from those reading my search site when I started in 1996, Eric was the first one to send a check. Such was the person he was, always supporting others. He was a pioneer in the digital marketing space who taught many. He knew how to build links the right way, from great resources, and shared his knowledge widely and with kindness. We’ll all miss him deeply. ~ Danny Sullivan

When I started in the search industry in 2000, Eric and I started emailing almost immediately but we didn’t meet in person until 2003 when we were on a link building panel together. Over the years, Eric and I did many link building sessions together but that first panel is the one I remember most since it started a conversation we kept going all these years. Every so often one of us would call the other with a question, float an idea or simply say hello. More often than not, our conversation would go from links to kids; if there is one thing Eric loved more than his children, it was talking about them! He was definitely a proud papa. I’m going to miss our Skype chats old friend, peace. ~ Debra Mastaler

I have zero memories of being involved with link building and not knowing who Eric Ward was. He was there from the beginning, and even though the way we approached links differed, I had great respect for him as a pioneer for the work I do. If you are building links and you don’t know his name, you haven’t been paying attention. He will be greatly missed by everyone in our industry. ~ Julie Joyce

I’m stunned and saddened. The first time I ever met Eric was when I spoke on a panel with him at PubCon. I was still new to the speaking circuit and Eric was a veteran. We slightly disagreed on something in the QA, and I remember going up to him afterwards to make sure we were cool. He told me he liked my fire and to continue challenging myself and other people. I don’t know why, but that always stuck with me. Over the years he was a participant in my ‘Link Building with the Experts’ series. He gave some of the longest and most in-depth answers as he was always hoping to give others something they could take action on. He was a pioneer in this industry, and we were lucky to have had him. He will be missed. ~ Rae (Hoffman) Dolan

More information, and how you can share your memories of Eric with his family can be found here.

About The Author

Michelle Robbins, SVP Content Marketing Technology, oversees editorial direction as Editor in Chief for Third Door Media’s digital publications, Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today, directing a full-time staff of reporters and editors managing contributed content. She is responsible for developing the content strategy across all properties and aligning those initiatives with the programming and audience goals for Third Door Media’s two leading marketing conference series, Search Marketing Expo and The MarTech Conference. In addition, Michelle oversees information technology operations, directing the marketing technology department.

An experienced domestic and international keynote and featured speaker, she enjoys connecting with the community at SMX, MarTech and other industry events. Connect online with Michelle on Twitter @MichelleRobbins, and Linkedin.

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