My Wish List for a Happy 2014, and All That Jazz

Yes, I hate seeing posts like this but they’re just so damned fun to write…

I just finished a 2013 wrap-up post for a site and after having to relive some of the horrors that were visited upon this industry, and there were many, I can safely say that 2014 is probably going to suck, too. Google’s going to continue to attempt to remove all of the loopholes that allow so many of us to thrive online, and they’ll continue to accidentally punish people who didn’t know what they were doing was a bad idea, or, God forbid, didn’t actually do anything that was wrong at the time. I’m sure some of you will be muttering about how that never happens, but you’re utterly and completely out of touch if you don’t think that there are accidental casualties whenever they start making changes.

But I’m not here to rant about Google, because I freaking love Gmail, even though the tabs thing annoys me to this day. And I love Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools and I do enjoy a good doodle. When I search, it’s usually in Google. I don’t advise people to go Dogpile something, do I? Do I?? Hell no!

dandylion wishSo what will I wish for in 2014, other than some previously unreleased Clash albums to magically appear alongside a year’s supply of Marmite that Judi Dench and Steve Coogan personally spread on toast for me every morning, whilst also whipping up a lovely cappuccino?

My 2014 Wish List

Wish #1. People who don’t know what they’re talking about will talk less. Whether it’s giving advice on Twitter, writing for Search Engine Journal or just emailing some completely stupid nonsense plan to someone, please stop it. If you have never built a link in your life, don’t talk about how to build links. If you have only run some PPC ads, I don’t really care about your plan for a technical overhaul of a site. If you’ve been doing SEO for less than 6 months, while I respect that we all have to start somewhere, I really don’t want to read about your success with your clients because you know what? Thinking you’ve done something successful in 6 months is the mark of a child in this industry. You’ve just thrown 1000 links at your client’s site in the past week and the rankings are up? Call me the next time the algorithm changes.

Wish #2. People will stop retitling themselves with the currently acceptable buzzwords. If I stop building links and start programming again, then I’ll have the right to call myself a programmer. Otherwise, I’m a link builder. Yes, still. I’m not an inbound marketing specialist or a relationship facilitator or a branding agent. You may be, but if you’re just renaming yourself so you look like you’re doing something magical when you’re still doing the same boring link building work you always did, you just look like a jerk.

Wish #3. People who enjoy seeing sites get hit will stop crowing about it when it happens and stop fussing so damned loudly when they get “unfairly” hit themselves. My God, the whining that happens when some whitehat who has never ever ever done anything wrong in his whole life sees his rankings fall a bit!! Speaking of whitehats…

Wish #4. SEOs who publicly blast anything that violates Google’s webmaster guidelines will own up to the fact that they actually do use these tactics occasionally and, if approached with enough cash, will totally sell you a link. I know many of them can withstand scrutiny but there are quite a few of them who would run for the hills if you started digging. Do you have any idea how many SEOs we’ve bought links from for our clients? It’s astounding. Did they nofollow them or put in the sponsored disclaimer? I wish you could see me scoffing.

Wish #5. Everyone will realize that you really can’t tell whether a well-done paid link is actually not an editorially given one.

Wish #6. Clients will stop sending me articles by Eric Ward. If you’re asking me to buy links, then don’t send me articles by Eric Ward. He doesn’t really write about how to do that, does he? NO.

Wish #7. Shady SEO companies will pay attention to the fact that I am a freaking SEO and they will stop emailing me every damn day. If you’re an SEO and you want to help me make my crappy site better, then kudos to you but reword the damn email so it doesn’t seek to educate me about this thing we call Google. Please don’t say that you just need 15 minutes for a quick phone call because I hate the phone and you saying you want to chat on this horrific device just makes me want to print out your email and have my dog take a giant poo on it, which I will then set on fire and throw into someone’s car. Someone could die, all because you can’t take the time to personalize an email.

Wish #8. Google will form a professional cheerleading team so those of you who want to marry them can be on it and entertain us with pom poms, pyramids and chants.

Wish #9. No one with a cold fusion site will contact me for a quote. However anyone with a cold fusion site will immediately sell me a link when I ask. Some of those things are GOLD.

Wish #10. No female in my Twitter feed will change her avatar and make sly references about it so that you can all tell her she looks even more amazing, and then she can say OH GOD I DO NOT!! Then you say yes you do, how can you think you don’t? And so on.

Wish #11. More people will give me free access to, and trials of, their SEO tools. Yes, I fully realize this is a crap thing to wish for but I’m going with it anyway.

Wish #12. Courtney Seiter will write more. That is one funny, smart lady.

Wish #13. Google will stop trying so hard to keep people from getting information. Did they really have to do the whole not provided crap? I mean it hasn’t been a thorn in my side or anything but really? Really??

Wish #14. Next time I ask a client if he uses Bing Webmaster Tools he will say yes.

Wish #15. The next time a webmaster quotes FTC guidelines at us and we say fine, just give us the damn link for free and then you’re cool, he’ll do it.

Wish #16. Everyone will realize that this is just marketing, not genocide or anything like that. It’s awesome to be passionate but wow, if you feel that strongly about marketing, you should go become a lawyer or an activist or a politician.

Wish #17. Clients will stop abruptly changing how they do things every time Matt Cutts makes a statement or some article goes up on Moz. Do you not realize that the easiest way for them to make you act right is to say you’ll get in trouble if you do something bad? They don’t even need to follow through on it. If they say you’ll get deindexed if you use the word “golly” more than three times in one paragraph, they’ll most likely reduce the instances of “golly” appearing in one paragraph. Rightly so, I might add.

Wish #18. Anyone who knowingly does something risky will just freaking admit to it and won’t swear they had no clue what would happen or that they were targeted by terrorists who are out to sink their beloved doggy daycare business. If I know the speed limit is 55mph and I’m driving 95, when I get stopped by the thug police who ask “ma’am, why were you driving so fast?” will I be able to get out of it by saying I thought the speed limit was actually 95? Or will I just say “because I had my foot firmly crammed down on the accelerator?” and then just accept my beatdown? Luckily I am Caucasian, so in the South, I should be ok there. Seriously though, stop lying and throwing someone else under a bus when you intentionally break the rules. Man the hell up!

Wish #19. Everyone will realize that Google guidelines are not ethical or legal ones. If you comment spam it doesn’t mean you’re also going to beat your wife. It might mean you’re stupid but it doesn’t equate to becoming a butcher of a nation or a person who speeds in school zones. But don’t speed in school zones. That seriously pisses me off. Don’t butcher a nation either, naturally.

Wish #20. When something big does happen in the industry, some of you will actually take the time to read about what other people are already writing before you add to the noise. This is especially important if you plan to write something that is 100% incorrect.

So happy 2014, and all that jazz.

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