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6 Things On An SEO's Holiday Wish List

Dear Santa,

I’ve been a very good SEO this year focusing on nice and skipping most of the naughty. I know the elves have been very busy building iPads and Kinects for the other SEOs, but please carefully consider my more selfless wish list below.

1. Widely Accepted Cost Accounting Metrics For SEO

Now I’m sure we are far from getting to GAAP level accounting for online marketing, but one of the recurring themes among SEOs and at conferences is the inability to get high level buy in. A universally adopted cost accounting metric for SEO would go far in removing frustration among SEOs across industries and help us spend less time validating our efforts internally.

While it is fairly easy to do simple ROI analysis at a micro level (linkbuild for X dollars for these Y terms which we can monetize at Z dollars per user. . . ), it’s much more difficult to develop a company-wide cost accounting system for a comprehensive SEO effort that spans both departments and time. I fully recognize that this is not a trivial request and recall that I’m still waiting for my instant Philly Cheesesteak & India Pale Ale Machine.

2. Resurrection Of The Old Adwords Keyword Research Data

I didn’t see you in the room at SMX East when Google Group Product Manager, Baris Gultekin informed a gobsmacked (and quickly hostile) audience that Google Keyword Research Tool only provides research on terms it considers “commercial”. We want our research back. I know I’m starting to sound like a spoiled brat here. I know it’s really “their” research and we’ve taken our free access to it for granted for so long. We promise not to do so again if you’ll only bring it back.

3. Some Links From PR 9+ Sites

The hardest part of SEO remains high level linkbuilding. Yes, I know PageRank is a fuzzy metric, but internally its looked at all the time.  Additionally, most of those business development deals start with a cursory review of PageRank. By the way, I note that northpole.com is a paltry PR 7, not to mention you have some serious canonical issues: northpole.com AND www.northpole.com – you might want to fix that big guy.  Also, if you are unaware, some domainer is sitting on Santa.com.

4. A Social Media Rockstar

It seems like everyone is jumping on the Social Media bandwagon these days and recruiting a rockstar is a nightmare. As I’ve talked to self-proclaimed social media experts, gurus, mavens, and yes, even ninjas, I’m colossally underwhelmed by the misperception that social media strategy is setting up a Facebook fan page and ghost tweeting for a CEO. The people who really get it are few and far between and comfortably installed billing exorbitant hourly rates to big name brands. It’s déjà vu all over again – reminds me of SEO about 4 years ago.

5. Google Webmaster Tools UI Overhaul

I sift through data from tons of places, including Google Webmaster Tools and this year had the privilege of sitting down with some Googlers to show them how we use it.  There were a few too many moments with an awkward “I do not think that means what you think it means” pause. (Speaking of which, thanks for my DVD of the Princess Bride from last year.)  While you’re at it, historical link data would be a very nice addition here.

6. A Good SMALL Smartphone

Count me out from the hoards of people clamoring for an iPhone 4 or Android behemoth in their stocking. All the new smarthphones with their massive touchscreens are so big I can barely fit them in my pocket. And they are so delicate that they require military grade protective cases which make them even bigger. What I really want is to replace my trusty, durable, ancient Blackberry Pearl with something of the same size (are you reading this HTC?), on a strong reliable network (are you reading this AT&T?), with a sliding, physical, usable QWERTY keyboard (are you reading this Droid 2?), a small touchscreen (are you reading this Dell Streak?), and plenty of apps (are you reading this Blackberry?). Smaller is better.

Milk and Cookies are waiting for you. Remember you need to disclose that these were a present from me if you want to blog about them.

Disclaimer:  they are NOT a wink-wink-nudge-nudge request for a link in your blog post, but thanks for that link from last year. A link would be nice, but it has NOTHING to do with the milk and cookies.

I look forward to a mutually profitable year in 2011.



Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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