TV series are one of my greatest passions, so I’ve used my imagination to figure out what some of the protagonists of my favorite shows would be like as colleagues. Specifically, I’m referring to the SEO area that has many facets and is populated by very different professionals.
Which of these characters do you recognize yourself in? Have you spotted any colleagues among them? And which ones would you like to have or avoid in your Seo team?
Don Draper (Mad Men): the genius of marketing
Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm) is the marketing and advertising genius on Mad Men. In a SEO group, its approach is the most sales-related: its KPI is not the traffic, but the volume of conversions. He also often deals with affiliation, an area in which he stands out, thanks to his persuasive language.
The starting point is a careful analysis of buyer personas, interests and search intents. From conversions, he broadens to brand awareness. If “Lucky Strike is toasted” is not yet a high-volume search query, Don Draper is able to make it so.
The Professor (Money Heist): the perfectionist
The Professor (played by Alvaro Morte) on Money Heist is the master mind behind the plan of the robbery at the Royal Mint of Madrid. He has carefully studied every detail of the operation, all the variables and he knows everything about the background context.
In a Seo team, he is the mind that analyzes all the reports from Google Analytics and Google Search Console, downloads endless Excel files from SEMrush, Screaming Frog and dozens of other tools. The Professor make a rational decision and then moves his pawns:the editors, the link builders, the technicians. The plan is precise and well articulated, then suddenly, like the crazy Gandia, here it comes a new Google algorithm that questions everything.
Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory): the guidelines maniac
Sheldon Cooper (played by Jim Parsons) is the number one nerd on The Big Bang Theory. For him, everything must follow the rules and must be regulated: he even has a long contract that defines the rules of cohabitation with his flatmate Leonard.
In a SEO team, Sheldon is the one who knows by heart all Google guidelines from 1997 to the present days and details of new algorithm updates. For him, everything must be perfect and according to the rules: he can not stand those who sit on his spot on the sofa or those who make a title too long.
Jack Shepard and John Locke (Lost): SEO of science and SEO of faith
Jack Shepard (played by Matthew Fox) and John Locke (played by Jeremy Bentham) are the man of science and the man of faith on Lost. The first one – doctor – seeks for causes and explanations, he is very materialistic; the second one lets himself be carried away by fate and by a higher entity, he is more spiritual.
Often they fight and in a SEO team they represent the opposite approaches of the technician and the semantic. One is more focused on structure and code; the other one on words and content. As in Lost, in real life you need both to get good results.
Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock): the Seo who seeks connections
Sherlock Holmes (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) is the English detective who can find connections between things that are often ignored by ordinary people.
In the SEO world, he is the detective of the Knowledge Graph, the one who seeks for the deepest connections between entities to quickly climb into the Google Serp, then go and occupy all kinds of positions and snippets. In the TV series, we can see Sherlock’s reasoning and the maps full of links that often resemble those of the great Bill Slawski when he describes the science behind semantic SEO.
Rick Grimes (The Walking Dead): the PBN builder
Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln) is the leader of the group of survivors we see on The Walking Dead. It builds, dismantles and rebuilds. For him, the most important thing is his community, he would like to create connections, but he is afraid of what may be outside.
As a Seo manager, he builds the PBN (Private Blog Network) – a closed set of websites that link and give strength to each other. He is afraid of the outside because lurking there could always be a malicious site like Negan, but even isolating himself too much could be a bad choice both during a zombie apocalypse and on the web.
Ragnar Lothbrok (Vikings): the link-builder
Ragnar Lothbrok (played by Travis Fimmel) is the legendary leader on Vikings. From the first raids on the surrounding lands, he has managed to build a dense network of connections to England that has allowed his little Kattegat to grow and him to become one of the greatest leaders of Scandinavia.
Unlike other Vikings, Ragnar is open to the outside and wants to build solid and lasting connections. No doubt, in a Seo team he is the link-builder who goes outside the boundaries of his website to get and maintain links that bring authority and wealth.
Walter White (Breaking Bad): the black hat Seo
There is a line between right and wrong and Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston), aka Heisenberg, crosses it repeatedly on Breaking Bad. He is the terminally ill chemistry professor who decides to produce and sell methamphetamine to leave an inheritance to his family before he dies. Iintent is noble, but methods are illegal, selfish and very questionable.
In digital marketing, Walter White is the black hat Seo who uses irregular techniques to overcome or harm competitors: “I am not in danger, I am the danger”. Like himself or his business, many of his sites are also short-lived, always hunted by Google (instead of the Dea) or other ruthless competitors. Walter is crossed by many internal contradictions, he is not proud of what he does and his irregular activities often harm himself and the people close to him.
Saul Goodman (Better Call Saul): the one who seeks for shortcuts
We see Saul Goodman (played by Bob Odenkirk), or James Morgan “Jimmy” McGill, both on Breaking Bad as Walter White’s lawyer and on the prequel Better Call Saul. He’s the brilliant, creative, and somehow wheeler-deale attorney that, like Walter, sits along the line between right and wrong. He always seeks for the quickest and easiest solution to achieve his goals.
Unlike the black hat Seo, he doesn’t have a well-constructed illicit design, but every now and then he allows himself some tear to the rule. For example, he buys or sells links without even reporting them as sponsored, or he repeats keywords a few times too much on the page.
Lucifer Morningstar (Lucifer): the rebel who breaks the mold
Lucifer Morningstar (played by Tom Ellis) is the devil himself who comes down to Earth to spend a vacation in Los Angeles. Indeed the biblical character was a rebel, sent to hell due to divine punishment. In the TV series the devil has been shown as a positive character who wants to break the mold, questioning and challenging his father’s divine plan.
In a SEO team, Lucifer is the innovator who wants to go beyond the usual schemes used by other SEO specialists. He finds new and original ways to dialogue with search engine or to conquer valuable snippets. He knows His Divinity Google very well, but he doesn’t completely play along and he rises up. Sometimes he may seem mad, but he is the real innovator in a world ruled by an impenetrable entity.
Angus MacGyver (MacGyver): the problem solver
Angus MacGyver (played by Richard Dean Anderson) is the main character of the homonymous 80s TV series. He is the agent who manages to get by in every situation and fix advanced mechanisms with simple tweezers. He is the man of solutions.
In the SEO field he is the problem solver,capable of solving complicated indexing problems by identifying a very small error in the middle of infinite strings of code. MacGyver is the colleague we all would like in emergency situations.
Michael Scott (The Office): the messy boss
Michael Scott (played by Steve Carrell) on The Office is the area manager of Dunder Mifflin in Scranton. He is the funny and incompetent boss who causes problems when he wants to enter lands out of his reach.
In a marketing team he is the boss who is good at talking and cultivating relationships, but doesn’t know technical matters. He can be a useful resource when he agrees to delegate certain aspects and listens to his team, less so when he wants to do everything by himself.
Jen Barber (The IT Crowd): the Seo influencer
Jen Barber (played by Katherine Parkinson) on The IT Crowd is the head of the IT department at Reynholm Industries, and works in an environment where she is completely inappropriate. She is beautiful, easy-going and she loves to be in the spotlight, but she often makes sensational gaffes, such as when she explains what happens if you type Google into Google.
In the digital field she is the SEO influencer or guru who participate everywhere on social media and also has a good following. Or, more simply, she wants to have a say even when she has nothing to say. It’s more the time she spends talking about SEO than working on SEO. We have all met Jen at least once in some meeting; otherwise, we are Jen.
Ross Geller (Friends): the hesitant
Ross Geller (played by David Schwimmer) is the eternal hesitant one on Friends. He is the insecure boy of the missed decisions. He doesn’t know exactly what he wants from Rachel and often finds himself out of time, missing opportunities to be happy.
In the SEO field he can be both a team member and a boss and he is the one who does not have clear goals and is afraid when he has to make a decision. Even in this field, he risks losing many opportunities and then finding himself behind in a world that runs very fast.
Jon Snow (Game of Thrones): the one who knows nothing
Jon Snow (played by Kit Harington) is one of the main characters of Game of Thrones. Raised as a bastard in Winterfell, under the watch of Eddard Stark, he travels to dangerous and distant places, until he gets beyond the Wall. Here he meets and falls in love with the brute Ygritte who summarizes with “Jon Snow, you know nothing” the fact that he is moving into a context that is not his own. But, despite everything, he manages to become Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch and then the King of the North.
In a SEO team, Jon Snow is the guy who comes from other kingdoms (usually a journalist, web editor, social media manager, Sem specialist, or e-commerce manager) and begins to approach SEO just because of the importance it has for every digital marketing strategy. Some then decide to return to the safe castle of the Starks; others choose to challenge the cold and dangerous lands beyond the Wall, becoming the reference points for both the wildings and the Night’s Watch. Every Seo specialist has been a Jon Snow at a stage in his career.
Fox Mulder (played by David Duchovny) is the FBI special agent who investigates unsolved cases on The X-Files. He is sure that there is something mysterious hidden by governments and he wants to find out what it is.
In the SEO world, Fox Mulder wants to understand what is the hidden truth behind Google’s algorithm because he is sure that somebody from Mountain View is working to collect humanity’s data and use it for some dark commercial purpose – and in part he may also be right. He is constantly looking for some hidden message behind the tweets of John Mueller or Martin Splitt, who are the connoisseurs of the truth just like the Cigarette Smoking Man.
Jacob (Lost): John Mueller
Jacob (played by Mark Pellegrino) on Lost is the timeless guardian of the island. He controls men and is aware of the most mysterious secrets.
There is no doubt: on the Seo Island, Jacob is John Mueller, that mysterious and timeless entity who knows all the secrets of Google and with a simple answer on Twitter is able to condition SEOs all around the whole world. Jacob/John show us the way.