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An SEO’s Letter to Santa: All I Want for Christmas This Year

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An SEO’s Letter to Santa: All I Want for Christmas This Year

Dear Santa,

I’ve been a good boy this year.

I haven’t cloaked one page or bought one link.

I have followed Google and Bing’s terms of service the best I can.

Well, there was that one program where we gave to charities to get some links, but if giving to charity puts me on the naughty list, then sign me up.

But I’ve been pretty good. So can you help me out by bringing all the items on my list?

Not like that year you brought all those “(not provided)” referrals to Google Analytics. I’m still not sure what I did in 2011 to deserve the proverbial lump of coal.

But I digress.

My SEO Santa List

1. Can you talk to Google about the “merge and purge” issues in the local listings?

You could save me so much time if you could just get them to stop changing addresses and phone numbers randomly.

2. My stocking is waiting ready for as many “position 0” listings as you can find, Santa.

My clients want to appear in all of the knowledge boxes. All of them!

3. Maybe I’m asking too much, but could you get Google Analytics to stop counting organic search traffic as direct traffic?

I know that everyone is big on stripping their referrer data out of their browser – but it really messes with me when I can’t see the real source that is driving traffic to a website.

4. Santa, could you talk to Google and make sure that any algorithmic update is favorable to my clients?

Some of the updates this year were like coal in a stocking.

5. I know this may not be an SEO request, but it would really help me out if you could talk to Facebook about getting some of our targeting options back.

I get privacy, but Santa, if you could get Facebook to give us back some of the demographic targeting options we lost, I’d be a happy boy on Christmas morning.

6. I ask for this every year, but I know it’s a challenging request…

I don’t know if you have elves that specialize in education or behavior change, but if you do, please get them to educate those that need SEO services on proper expectations.

There are some folks, no matter what you tell them, who think they should experience overnight success, even if their site is a trainwreck to start out.

Could you help me set expectations with these folks, Santa?

7. The talent pool of qualified SEO pros and digital marketers is getting real thin, Santa.

It’s hard to find folks that are both knowledgeable and good workers. We need more good digital marketing folks.

Maybe you could swing by some of the universities and give some deserving college students the means and desire to at least get Google Analytics certified.

8. There are a few folks out there that I think deserve coal in their stockings.

I even wrote about them here.

Can you convince other agencies to not hold data and website’s hostage as long as the client has paid for it?

Can you help agencies understand that the lifecycle of a client means that they will all leave at some point, and as long as they have fulfilled their contractual obligations, clients deserve to have help transitioning out of an agency?

It would be better for all of us.

You see, every single one of us is always either losing a client or gaining a client from another agency. This affects us all. If you could get the bad actors to straighten up, the whole world would be better.

9. Santa, I think it’s time for you to talk to Google about how they talk to us.

I really appreciate the fact that Google has increased their communication to the SEO community.

But I want more.

I am tired of seeing responses from Google that side-step direct questions or give us no insight into what we can do.

I applaud the guys at Google for taking on a hard job, and I realize there are limitations to what can be communicated.

But maybe if they just stop answering the dumb questions and give us insight into by answering the better questions, we’ll actually learn how to make Google’s results better.

10. Could you help me stop the spammers and scammers?

The emails offer paid links, the emails to our clients with boilerplate promises to “fix” their SEO.

These make the entire industry look bad.

Maybe you have an enforcer elf that can go rough up some of these spammers or something.

11. I know that I’ve asked for this before, particularly in 2014. But could you help the SEO industry come up with some kind of code of ethics?

Obviously, I’m not smart enough to come up with a feasible solution on my own – been there, tried that, have the scars to prove it.

But a code of ethics for the industry is needed now more than ever. Could you bring us a way to make this happen?

I’m not sure what kind of elf could help you with this, but he’s going to need to be tough. It’s not an issue that has an easy fix. It’s harder than getting the star to stay straight on the Christmas tree.

12. It’s pretty obvious to me that our elected officials really don’t understand how SEO works.

Maybe you could get the elves to leave a “Google for Dummies” book in the stocking of every member of the House and the Senate?

You might need to make a special version for the president. These folks make the laws that govern our industry.

It’s scary the lack of understanding they have about how it all works.

I know that Google, Facebook, and others are spending a ton of money lobbying, but those folks don’t necessarily have our best interests in mind when they take a senator out for a three-martini lunch.

Could you help us get some effective lobbying for the SEO community?

I know this is a hard ask, as there isn’t anyone looking to do this now, but it would make me sleep better at night knowing that someone out there was working to keep bad laws from killing our industry.

13. I would like it if you could help Bing, Santa.

I love Google (even if I hate them sometimes), but their dominance isn’t good for my agency or my clients.

Bing continues to convert better than Google across almost every vertical for us. But there isn’t enough traffic to make Bing a real player in our campaigns.

Could you help Bing take some of the market share from Google?

I’m also fine if you can help other search engines catch up to Google. We need more options.

I hope that you can help.

14. I know that I asked for “position 0” rankings for all of my clients, but I would give that up if Google would stop trying to keep visitors from websites.

Santa, if you could get Google to stop with the Knowledge panels and go back to being a search engine instead of an instant answer machine, I would be grateful.

I love you Santa, but I don’t pretend to think that even you have the power to make this happen.

But if you can try…please do.

15. This is my most important request. This last year our industry lost some amazing people. I don’t want to lose anymore, Santa.

Our industry is like a big, dysfunctional family. We love each other while we fight with each other.

Every single person who does SEO is special.

Please keep everyone healthy.

Help those struggling with mental health issues, addictions, and disease have peace.

Help us to not lose any more members of our family.

I’m going to talk to God about this one as well, Santa. I’m sure you don’t mind.

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Image Credits

Featured Image: Created by author, December 2018

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Tony Wright

CEO at WrightIMC

I am a 19-year veteran of the digital marketing world with previous experience in journalism, public relations and advertising. I've ... [Read full bio]

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