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Dear Santa: An SEO Wish List
'Twas the day before Christmas, and here on the site, Patrick Stox reveals what SEOs want from Santa tonight!
My name is Patrick Stox, and I’ve been a good SEO this year. I want to ask for a few things — not just for me, but on behalf of all of the SEOs out there.
- We want our keyword data back. Google gives it to us in Google Search Console, so why not make it easy and provide it in Google Analytics, as well? We also want the results we had years ago in the AdWords Keyword Planner, before things were hidden and mainly commercial terms were returned.
- Give us a longer history in Google Search Console. Seriously, three months is not enough.
- We want the paid creep to stop. Four ads, and now paid local? It’s bad enough that social is becoming pay-to-play.
- We need a keyword tool that provides grouping functions and semantically related terms, not just spits out long-tail terms from a seed list. Why has this not been made yet?
- We want Google to kill off referral spam. If that means shutting down the Measurement Protocol, so be it. At least have some kind of reporting system in Google Analytics so that these sites can be stripped from reports faster. For more than a year now, this has been a serious problem, and it needs to be addressed.
- Bring the Twitter share count back, or kill off Twitter. Either way, it’s annoying to have to make changes to social sharing on websites because of one platform.
- Give us a tool that provides link research by industry. Looking at a few competitors is not enough. Give us the big data! If I’m doing link research for a law firm, I want to see a link intersect for every law firm in the country. Then, we’ll know the relevant niche websites and what sites Google is likely weighting higher when ranking sites in a given niche.
- Show us algorithmic penalties in Google Search Console. We know that a real-time Penguin is coming, and diagnosing a Penguin algorithmic penalty is already difficult. It relies heavily on looking at the date of a drop and how it corresponds to algorithmic changes or looking at differences in local rank compared to organic — and it looks like both might be taken away.
- We want everyone to switch to HTTP/2. Seriously, a faster web in general is amazing. I don’t think people realize how slow the internet can be sometimes outside the US and on mobile networks.
- Make relevance a greater factor than strength of a site. I’m tired of seeing websites in search results that are aggregators or news sites that have written about a topic once and have no credibility in an industry. Show me the experts with hundreds of great articles, with links from others in the industry, and not a reporter with one crappy article.
- Please make every piece of software we install stop asking if we want our default search engine to be Yahoo.
- We want to penalize citation sites. I mean, really, are these any better than the general directories that were penalized in the past? Some charge for advertising and have terrible practices such as duplicating content for another website they control, and even using that website to propagate other listings on the web, usually with their own call tracking number, as well. These sites are bad for businesses and bad for the SEO world in general.
- We want to be able to add to a disavow file — not have to download the file, add to it and upload the file again. The process takes too long and is ripe for mistakes. Better yet, how about a simple way to disavow a link or domain in Google Search Console?
- We want negative SEO to not work. Sure, Google says not to worry, but anyone in the field dealing with penalties has seen over and over again that negative SEO works all too well.
- We want the exploits to really be handled. Private blog networks (PBNs) have been too strong for too long, despite Google’s efforts. Parasite pages only exist because Google is more reluctant to punish bigger sites, so they can get away with the spam techniques that would get a small business owner penalized in a heartbeat: spamming of keywords in the name of a business to get a branded result or rank higher in the maps; alternate name stuffing in Google My Business; pointing a Google My Business listing to an authoritative and well-ranking website rather than your own to rank in the local pack.
- We want a strong Google competitor, perhaps something that uses machine learning to provide even greater personalization and determines ranking factors based on how users respond to the search results provided.
Maybe I’m being greedy with my SEO wish list, but Santa, this is what I want.
So readers, use your favorite social platform to let me know what’s on your SEO wish list!
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.