Well, it’s that time of the year. We look back on what happened over the last 12 months and try to predict what the future holds for the industry. Half of the time, these are just pure guesses, some are based on probability or statistics. None of it is certain of course. But what about the stuff SEOs really would want to happen? Coupled with that though I set off to find out what would be the SEOs top 3 marketing / SEO related wishes for 2014. Here’s are their answers.
Who took part
( mouse over their photos to land on their wishes straight away )
- Jason Acidre – Kaiserthesage
- Harsh Agarwal – ShoutMeLoud
- Geoff Kenyon – Geoff Kenyon
- Peter Attia – Cucumber Nebula
- Jacob King – JacobKing.com
- Samuel A King – SEOSamuel
- Adam Connell – Blogging Wizard
- Debra Mastaler – Alliance Ink
- Mauro D’Andrea – Blog Growth
- Matt McGee – Search Engine Land
- Marcela de Vivo – Gryffin
- Phil Nottingham – Distilled
- Sujan Patel – Single Grain
- Amanda di Silvestro – Higher Visibility
- Simon Penson – Zazzle Media
- Harris Schachter – Optimize Prime
- Bill Sebald – Greenlane SEO
- Dan Sharp – Screaming Frog
- Gianluca Fiorelli – I Love SEO
- Charles Floate – GodofSEO
- Aleyda Solis – Aleydasolis.com
- Dmitry Gerasimenko –Ahrefs.com
- Dan Stelter – Dan Stelter
- Ross Hudgens – SiegeMedia
- Andrew Youderian – Ecommerce Fuel
And here are their wishes:
My first wish is for all the people who’ve been affected by Typhoon Haiyan here in the Philippines. For them to have more opportunities to rebuild the hopes and lives they’ve lost this year. I wish them a better 2014.
For our team/company to become a lot better and smarter next year, so we can help our clients’ businesses grow as well, and for us to be able to provide more opportunities to those who’re seeking for work – and lastly, to somehow help put our country in a better position in SEO’s international scene.
A better year for the industry as a whole – especially in getting more brands, small/medium-sized businesses and people to realize how valuable online marketing is.
A usable SEO tool for bloggers: Most of the SEO tools out there are build for SMB’s and Enterprise, but few are for bloggers. A usable SEO tool for WordPress blogs which will help us to quickly diagnose and fix SEO issues on our blog. Something that integrates with WordPress seamlessly, and makes work easier for millions of WordPress users out there. For example, you scan your blog using my dream SEO tool, and it will not only let you know what all are missing (Ex: Schema, Authorship), but also help bloggers to quickly integrate latest SEO techniques on their blog.
A New Blogging platform: WordPress is undoubtedly current winner of blogging platform, but it has evolved at a great speed, and no more just a simple blogging tool. Gho.st which comes out as a good initiative, will take years to work as a perfect blogging platform. How about a simple blogging tool, which anyone without technical knowledge can use. Since I promote professional blogging in my country, this one blogging platform will be very handy for any beginner. A platform, which not only provides the best place to blog, but also takes care of all SEO needs @backend. So that a blogger can focus on what he is best at i.e.: writing.
Simplified Google: Undoubtedly Google have made great change in their Algo, and now Search is cleaner and more useful, but it comes with a big price of many bloggers and freelancers getting out of business. With Google killing Keyword tool, “Not provided” data, and unclear or unset guidelines for SEO is stopping thousands of bright minds across the globe to come out from the closet. With Google approach of encouraging big brand, and leaving small or new players behind, is more upsetting than before. How about Google building an eco-system which provides enough information for small publishers to grow and shine.
First and foremost, I hope companies start looking at SEO as more than just rankings and links. A lot of the “SEOs” are great marketers, period. It can be difficult to break out of the ranking world and into something else, because that’s what you end up being known for. However, most people in the search environment know and do a hell of a lot more than just “attain a link”. I hope this becomes more apparent with the changes happening to the digital marketing industry.
I hope more companies start revamping their traditional thoughts about office environments and culture. Take marketing agencies for example. for an office full of creative, right brained thinking people, they have some of the lamest offices and culture I’ve ever seen. It’s like an incredible painting in an ugly frame. I think employee happiness is severely underrated and every company should allot time every month to brainstorm on how to make internal structures better, more enjoyable, and more comfortable.
I hope there’s a drastic and unforeseeable shift in the marketing world. Something that would shake things up to an astonishing extent and revolutionize our industry. This would get rid of some of the less savvy businesses that repeat spammy tactics, but for the most part, I just think it would be fun. We’d all be forced into adaptation and learning something new, which would be exciting.
1. I wish you a happy new search engine in 2014! Blekko and DuckDuckGo haven’t delivered yet despite promising starts. Yandex.com was beta without saying so. So I wish everybody to see an overhauled search engine that will challenge Google for real!
2. I wish free Bitcoin for everybody! Let it rain money on bloggers, webmasters and publishers with tools like TidBit! Give us more of it!
3. I wish you that by the end of 2014 the “SEO is dead” meme finally gets replaced by something like Grumpy Cat.
1. Personally I want my Google back from 2005. Please show real search results above the fold again, remove the clutter and stop penalizing webmasters for Google optimization.
2. I wish people would stop telling me that SEO is just marketing. It isn’t!
3. Please tell Matt Cutts to change with the time and embrace new formats. Instead of doing videos he should do animated gifs. “Just create great content” would fit perfectly for example.
Google to start delivering search results that make more sense (when I want to search for packaging, I don’t want to read an article on Guardian.com about mushrooms and plastic).
Google employee’s to get their stories straight. Either agree on a position or keep your mouths shut – when 3-4 people in key positions at Google contradict each other consistently, it gets pretty annoying.
All those people still operating ‘churn and burn’ SEO services and telling people that black/grey hat tactics still work to just stop. Seriously, stop it. Wikilinks aren’t cool ok.
As a first wish, I’d take a nicer Google With my latest site it has been very stingy in terms of organic traffic…considering the magnitude of my work I was expecting something more.
My second wish is to find some good assistants. I have increased a lot the number of my online businesses, so it would be great to find someone who can help me to better manage my online stuff.
My third wish is about sending some love to all the people who contacted me for interviews, questions, partnerships, etc…I’d love to see them get an extra traffic boost!
Marcela de Vivo
KEYWORD: Provided! I wish one of the SEO tool companies would create a system that would correlate keyword rankings, page traffic, and keyword traffic predictions to create a model similar to the data we used to have with Google Analytics.
A Content Marketing Dashboard: An integrated dashboard where I can check my emails, social streams, tasks, and projects. From this dashboard I can schedule messages, reply to people, and check for social media mentions and sentiment.
The end of Penguin Penalties: A girl can dream, right
I wish to average over 30,000 unique visitors per month on my blog over the course of the year.
I wish to have a list of over 15,000 email subscribers by the end of 2014.
I wish that everyone in the SEO community keeps sharing their insights like they have been. I’ve learned SO MUCH over this last year from the great people that are heavily involved in the SEO community.
Amanda di Silvestro
I think authorship still needs some work. As someone who writes a lot of content on the web, I want to be able to click my name and be taken to a SERP that has nothing but my content. This would make it easy for people to find my other writings and be able to see them listed in a fashion that they’re comfortable with. Currently if you see my photo and name associated with an article, you click that photo or name and are taken to my Google+ profile. I do like this feature, but I wish we had the option of both features. Even if authors were somehow allowed to have a website with all of their content so that it’s all in one place (of course duplicate content is the issue here).
A personal rant: I’m tired of seeing pages on websites that say they allow guest posts, and then they completely don’t accept guest posts–at least not from someone they don’t know. I follow the directions and create great articles often for some really authoritative sites, but I’m 90% positive they’re not getting read and I’m not being taken seriously (I feel this way because I’m often ignored despite the “we’ll get back to you in 2 weeks” promise). As an editor I know how much spam these huge sites must get, but I think that people who really give it a great try and are not trying to spam deserve a response. Create some sort of process where everyone at least gets an email telling them why they were not accepted. Moral of this story: Give up-and-coming writers a chance. I shouldn’t have to think about paying $3000 to someone to get my content onto a news site using their name just because they know someone–I wrote it!
Companies still aren’t embracing local SEO. Hopefully in 2014 this will be the big thing. I think it makes it easier for consumers and helps keep the playing field fair when it comes to search.
Make it through to May without reading yet another crappy SEO is Dead article and therefore keeping my blood pressure in check.
Improve on my command of the English language and by that I mean stop swearing like a navvy.
Speak at at least one SEO/Internet Marketing related conference in 2014. I am used to presenting but have never really dived into the world of SEO conferences, mainly sticking to business events instead. So this year I’d love the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone.
Not provided dies a horrible painful death.
Google provided accurate, localized rank tracking in Webmaster Tools.
I had the option to fully disable personalized search – or a way of filtering search results to see SERP’s that are most common for the largest user audience.
For agencies to focus on better metrics – It astounds me that agencies still see keyword rankings as a measure of success. Even traffic has no impact on a business’ bottom line on its own. Instead, we should be measuring progress against the goals of a website such as sales, enquiries and downloads, looking at year-on-year data.
For clients become more involved – When you’re trying to add knowledge and expertise to a site to create linkable assets, access to your client’s time is obviously key. While some clients are excited about this, most would prefer to run their business with minimal involvement in SEO. This is really something for agencies to tackle through good account management – sell the idea in terms of the benefit to the business instead of talking about how much it will help SEO. No business owner will ignore a request if you tell them it will double turnover!
For Google to leave Analytics alone – I just don’t have the time to keep up with Google’s tinkering. I get that they’re improving the product, but in the real world clients want reports and when can’t provide them right away, it makes me look bad. It’s like when Tesco move the vegetables over where wines and spirits used to be, I just can’t keep up. Chill out on the changes in 2014, Google.
That us SEOs don’t screw up things as many times we SEOs did in the past. Infographics, guest blogging but even the same press releases, all the tactics for promoting a site per se aren’t bad, but we SEOs – the dwarves for the gold – can be greedy for “links”, hence we have ruined those tactics for the sake of the “give-me-the-links” objective. And it’s pharisaic to protest if Google then shuts down the link juice’s well. So, my first wish is that SEOs will start assuming their own faults and not just blame the evil Google
Please stop talking about great content, start creating great content. The 80% of the supposed great content actually it isn’t. If we want to create something meaningful for our audience, that our audience will love to share and link to, we must be serious and learn from our real competitors (the media agencies, not other SEOs) and start working with professionals who really know their stuff: journalists, video marketers, web designers, devs, real experts… and not trying to be all those figures and an SEO at the same time. My second wish is that so many great content ideas I saw in 2013 will not be ruined by their pitiful execution.
That SEO industry won’t be seen as the poor nerd sister of all the Digital Marketing disciplines and that the efforts of so many great SEO agencies and people working as independent consultants and in-house professionals. But for this – my fourth wish – we should start being the first denouncing the bad use of SEO and not staying silent for a myopic sense of corporatism.
That Google will stop bullsh$%ing people, their webmaster videos, more specifically the Cutts videos don’t actually tell you anything and often completely lie about the effectiveness of strategies. An example would be that Cutts said press releases now don’t give any value, then I and others did case studies which proved the complete opposite.
People would stop being Mozombies, this just refers to people being so wrapped up in their own “content marketing” based strategies which often don’t work for agencies with 100s of $250/month clients and are completely pointless at times. If you’re providing an SEO service to a business for that $250 per month, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to garner but links with that kind of a budget using white hat methods.
At the same time though, I don’t want you going and spamming their link profiles with 10,000 comment links from Fiverr – Just be careful and use some of the grey hat techniques I’ve been talking about.
My final wish is that I wish SEO wouldn’t exist, I much prefer doing content marketing and writing about stuff I enjoy rather than buying some articles and a couple domains to build a private blog network, but unfortunately that’s the best way to actually do SEO right now… I’d much rather spend my time writing blog posts on some new creative methods to build up your business. Though SEO is my passion and I love it, I just wish it wouldn’t be so mixed up in the thinkings and that we could have 1 community, rather than all these split pockets of people claiming to be experts yet they’ve never ranked a site in their life.
My first wish is about Search Engine. I hope AI ( Artificial Intelligence) will not be born in Google and we’ll be able to witness a battle between old school search engine and a newly emerging AI supported search engine. Everyone unhappy with Google’s algorithm updates will stop criticising them for their periodic whims and start creating alternative spotless search engines instead.
My 2nd wish is Bitcoin will become the world’s currency. The world will move to justice for deeds, not for needs. And everyone will be coping well with the rapid changes the world is facing.
And my 3rd wish goes to my team at Ahrefs and everyone who has supported us unconditionally in the past year. I wish my team members and everyone a fantastic 2014.
That digital marketing teams across silos will come together and work synergistically better in 2014 than they did in 2013. 2013 was a step forward, but in 2014 there should be no excuses. Content marketers can get PR teams content to work with that help with SEO, content teams can help social media by providing content that performs well on their channels, and the PR/social teams can properly craft/work with those teams to best accelerate their success.
That the overall “SEO” talk will die down and we will see more specific digital marketing references in all that we do. That our conversations will evolve to cross-channel KPIs more often rather than SEO driven ones, so that (ironically) our SEO goals may better be obtained.
That there will be less drama and more action. Many people are doing a lot of negative talking through social media channels and not much doing – or at least that’s my outside perception. It’s distracting, it’s not positive, and it’s not a healthy way for us to be spending our days in any form.
I would love for Google to bring back the keyword data. Obviously this isn’t going to happen and we can live without it, but it’s one of those things where you never knew what you were missing out on until it was gone.
I wish people would stop thinking about SEO as “shortcuts” to rank quicker. As most of us know there’s a lot of work involved in creating and executing an online marketing strategy and the general perception of “easy quick wins” doesn’t do our industry justice.
I wish Google would step up their game and stop making liars out of the good guys. Ancient spam tactics that still seem to work are making it hard for us to convince the client not to go down that path and it ends up being a vicious circle in which we’ll never be able to improve the web as a whole. And world peace!
Organic Keyword Data Come Back – I would love to get our organic keyword data back to be able to better understand what keywords are driving revenue and acquisition.
Shady Link Building Efforts Die Out – It is really frustrating to see people doing really bad link building; it hurts our industry as other marketers are evaluating us, as an industry, based on the lowest common denominator rather than some of the great campaigns that we are running.
Improved Tracking – I love analytics but many people that I work with rarely utilize it to its full extent. We need to go beyond the high level visits, visitors, and high level conversions and start tracking all the micro conversions and interactions that are taking place on our sites.
Wish #1 – Build Bad Ass Private Networks – Focus more on network building, the people with badass networks are winning the day and I don’t see it changing when executed correctly. The concept of network linking itself is almost impossible to defeat with a heavily link based algorithm, the process of creating one, managing, and utilizing it is where Google can attempt to algorithmically detect and devalue it. But if they can’t, rank rank all day baby.
Wish #2 – Resist the Infectious Propaganda – People should test more, myself included. Challenge the convention, it’s crazy how something could be debunked by the public but still be working when implemented correctly. Such as comment spam, it’s amazing how many SEOs will refer to comment spam as an outdated tactic, since really, they have no idea what they’re talking about and haven’t tested sh*t. Comment spamming when used correctly can be extremely effective for grey hat linking, yet you’ll find it referred to almost daily as a silly thing to do. Never take advice from any SEO blog, mine, this one, or any without actually testing yourself.
Wish #3 – Implement More and Implement Less – Usually I have what seem to be several “good” ideas every day. They feel good, I get excited about them, but I can never do them all. Use more analysis and patience with big ventures and ALWAYS see them through, just like painting a house, I always leave parts unfinished, but I gotta close things out to achieve their true glory. At the same time if something is awesome and easy to implement, bang it out. If I get a cool idea for some sneaky redirects, I want to implement more and not overthink. So implement more and implement less, quite possibly the most confusing thing you’ve ever read, if you do understand it though, I commend you.
Samuel A King
Can I please have my keywords reporting back?
Truth be told, it will be a lot easier if we all had access to this data back. Yes, there are ways to segment reporting and track your conversions via landing pages, webmaster tools, funnel reporting etc but it will make my job a whole lot easier when I can run one simple report and pull out data that is needed in one place.
Some PR9 and PR10 instant links will be nice
I know many SEOs still turn up their noses when pagerank is mentioned but I firmly believe they still play a very important role in link building. This is obviously down to my own internal tests and some publicly available tests by other SEOs. Anyway, having this high PR ammunition at my disposal to launch will make me very happy next year.
An All in One SEO Tool bar for chrome browser.
The title says it all.
I wish Google Plus would give you options to change the way your content is displayed. Right now I find it cumbersome and overwhelming. If you’re going to strong-arm me into using it, make it easy to use.
I wish another search engine would offer the freebies and options Google does so the public would embrace them as well. Hey Microsoft, if you made Word, Excel and PP free to anyone who set-up a MSN email account, you’d rock the search world. At the very least, rebrand Hotmail to Bing mail and help passively market your engine.
I wish people would get off their cell phones as they cross the street or walk in parking lots. Outside of having a death wish, it sets a bad example for our children.
I want my keyword data back without having to buy AdWords. And I want Google to stop pretending that [not provided] has anything to do with protecting user privacy. We all know better.
I want blog comment spammers to try harder, because they haven’t come up with any new tricks in years. It’s boring having to deal with them.
I want more of the brilliant females in the internet marketing industry to step up and pitch to speak at our SMX conferences, and at other conferences, too. We need to get more new faces at the podium, particularly females since they’re often under-represented in the groups of pitches that I see before every show we do.
More transparency from the search engines. There have are many changes happening in the search space in the last few years. Overall the changes are great as they’re improve the quality of the SERPs but as marketers we’re somewhat running blind. Google has gotten better but with communication and providing feedback through webmaster tools but I’d love to see much more transparency.
A solution for “Not Provided” I understand their reasoning but I want the keywords back!! It helps us as marketers understand what is and isn’t working.
Google Plus Adoption. This one is for us marketers and all gmail users. G+ isn’t going anywhere so let’s start using it.
Google continues its ‘carrot approach’, rewarding the right kind of behaviours around investment in quality content and great website UX, as opposed to battering web masters with penalties. The best way of creating the right behaviours is more stuff like In Depth Articles as opposed to Penguin iterations.
Google comes out and is clear on the indisputable fact that social signals play a part in ranking, especially fresh content.
We stop talking about search as a silo and take a more integrated approach to driving targeted audiences to brands online.
I wish there were more talent in the SEO and inbound marketing industry. I hope it becomes easier to find and hire qualified individuals, with the experience and knowledge necessary for the role. The best strategy at the moment is to hire people who are intelligent, inquisitive, and willing to be trained. Unfortunately this training takes a TON of time. I hope to find some unemployed but experienced SEOs under the Xmas tree this year (like a puppy, but better).
I wish the snake-oil salesman of the industry would find something else to do. Although this has been a wish for many since the dawn of search engines, I am confident this year will be different. Algorithm updates and semantic search will make it difficult or impossible to game search engines, so practitioners our there who soil our names will either have to go legit or quit.
I wish I had keywords back. Sure, I could sit here and tell you I don’t need them, because indeed I don’t need them to be an effective organic search strategist. But hey, a guy can wish, right?
I wish Google would start providing useful webmaster notifications. I’m happy they’re always expanding their form letters, but if they can now add manual editors and more human elements to the search results, I wish they’d do the same with their notifications. Those things are as fuzzy as the webmaster guidelines! Google, some of us SEOs want to help you make your results better too!
I wish Google would open up their social reach, even if it costs some money and pride. The data mining and custom results they’re doing with Google+ is great in theory, but it’s too small a sample.
Put some natural search listings above the fold once in a while!
Our organic keyword data back? It won’t happen, so how about more than 90 days of search query data & a greater % of queries in Google WMT. A UI download option would also be nice, rather than the python script or saving it manually as well.
I wish Google just discounted links they don’t trust & removed the whole disavow process. As the above won’t happen, I’d like Google to provide the full list of links they deem as unnatural, rather than a miniscule sample. I can’t see this happening either, so as a minimum I’d like them to do a better job at providing ALL inbound links in Google WMT, whether they are followed and with anchor text. It can be really difficult nailing down every link, even when combining WMT link data with every external link provider.
Here are a few other quick fire wishes for 2014:
A real competitor to Google.
Someone (Google!) provide *accurate* and deeper keyword research data please.
Improvements in geo-targeting, perhaps with multiple selection of countries in WMT. rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x” can be clunky. More granular location targeting (City etc) might be rather nice too.
Greater domain diversity. The balance still isn’t right yet, in my humble opinion.
The death of mobile sub domains.
I wish Google reps just stopped talking about SEO Ok, I may be ungrateful here but their “collaboration” with website owners seems to be more geared towards scaring and controlling rather than helping. For the majority of cases their advice is either (1) not helpful at all (“build content, don’t build links, etc”) or (2) which is worse, misinterpreted – which results in lots of FUD and the flood of yet another “Death of XXX” blog posts. Website owners are lost to the point that they are now afraid of linking to anyone!
I wish Google Authorship gets smarter. We’ve all been waiting for good authors to enjoy better search visibility but cases like this still leave me puzzled.
I wish Bing finally started making the difference! Google desperately needs a worthy competitor; we are all cheering up for Bing!
Google rolls back “not provided” and give us the old Keyword Tool back, where we could segment keyword search volume for mobile and tablets.
A new disruptive search engine enters the market that will compete with Google and we won’t rely on only one main huge search engine to earn the desired organic search visibility for our Websites.
I can make all the SEO related wishes I want during the year and they’re going to be granted 😀
That the SEO/internet marketing community would understand the experience, skill, and hard work it takes to create engaging content/copy.
That I can be of greater service to others and people in general both personally and professionally.
I hope the Packers draft wisely, reload, and dominate next year after a disappointing season this year.
I wish cost per click prices on AdWords and other advertising mediums were as cheap as they were back in the early 2000s! It’s be a lot of fun (and very profitable) to be able to buy clicks for pennies on the dollar in today’s environment.