Natural Search Blog

Top 10 Reasons Vanessa Left Google

Well, the search marketing industry was mildly rocked this week by the news that the much-beloved Vanessa Fox will be leaving Google where she was something of a maven, spokesperson, and technical evangelista for some years. The news has left me rather verklempt! I can’t help but suppose that we’ll now all get to see her less or not at all in her new role working for the real estate website, Zillow.

I’ll be missing her Sandman t-shirts and Buffy references at the conferences, and I fear the subject matter will end up being a lot drier overall for her lack.

Though I don’t know that she’d need any SEO help, I must say that I happen to know a thing or two about local search optimization, if she would like to call me in for advice at Zillow! 😉

In appreciation for Vanessa, with warmest regards, here’s a little list I composed of the Top Ten Reasons Vanessa Left Google:

10. Vanessa got tired of being stalked by all the odd SEO geeks out there, like the strange man in the long black coat who starts hovering around behind her three-quarters of the way through this video interview between her and Rand.

9. Vanessa began to realize that Google is actually The Borg, and she decided to go through the painful surgeries necessary to divest herself from the hive-mind.

8. Vanessa resigned after the Google Image Search team refused to give her top ranking for her blog‘s keywords “Vanessa Fox Nude“. (WARNING: link into Google Image Search for “vanessa fox nude” is NOT work-safe unless you have Strict SafeSearch enabled in your Google preference settings!)

7. Though generally a secret, Vanessa’s moonlighting job kicking the butt of Black-Hat SEO Vampires was leaving her way too tired for the day job on Webmaster Central. Those Black-Hat SEO Vampires really suck the link-juice outta stuff! (Vanessa, was this why you didn’t make it to our morning panel session on Images & Search at the NYC SES this Spring?!? Also, btw – don’t we have Dave Naylor to thank for the name of Vanessa’s blog? Starting to think Dave may’ve played “Xander” to Vanessa’s “Buffy”… or maybe Dave as “Spike” would be more apt?)

6. A technically-challenged administrator within Google leapt to the incorrect conclusion that Vanessa was secretly assisting spammers when they came across her blog entry on “7 steps to writing better spam email (or what to do if you’ve got an overstock of viagra)“. That dorky bureaucrat within Google secretly campaigned to boot Vanessa out of the company. Some percentage of people are always misunderstanding satire.

5. Amanda Camp was refusing to play “Willow” to Vanessa’s “Buffy”. Sets of twins, separated at birth? Compare:

Amanda and Vanessa
Amanda Camp and Vanessa Fox


Buffy and WIllow
Buffy and Willow

4. Despite moving to England, Danny Sullivan could never master the British accent sufficiently to play “Giles” to Vanessa’s “Buffy”. Vanessa’s angst at the failure drove her on to new pastures.

Danny Sullivan & Vanessa Fox
(photo by Lee Odden)

3. Google’s free food for employees obsession was ruining Vanessa’s new starvation diet.

2. Despite ernestly trying, Vanessa was unable to get the rest of the Webmaster Central team to start referring to her as “Vanessa, the SEO Black Hat Vampire Killer”.

And… last but not least:


1. When invited to work elsewhere, Vanessa misunderstood and thought they offered for her to “work with Willow” instead of “Zillow“.

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