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EPISODE 24: SEO Success Stories with Will Waggoner from Apple

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What is the #1 biggest challenge SEOs face in 2023?                                                                

“I don’t know if this is the true number one, but one thing I’ve been thinking about recently is just how much information is out there now compared to 10 years ago for SEO for those who want to learn SEO and advance their career. I think as budgets get tighter, a lot of people might be in for a little bit of a rude awakening if they’ve been a little bit stagnant in their learning. I think if you’re a specialist in one area, you should really start to expand your knowledge and make sure you can keep bringing as much value as you can to these companies. As more remote roles open up, I think the SEO industry is gonna grow and get more competitive, and it’ll be a little harder to get those in-house roles like it once was 5 or 10 years ago when there weren’t really SEO people, all things considered, compared to now. So I just think that’s a big thing people should be thinking about moving forward.”  

Will Waggoner is an SEO strategist who has experience in leading teams to success. From his time at Intuit as an SEO manager, growing and improving their team irrespectively, to his impressive feats at one of the global powerhouse brands Apple, Will brings expertise and leading qualities to everything he does to implement SEO changes for the better. With a love for user experience, Will will do whatever it takes to create a smooth and engaging experience for all users. 


“One of the biggest things in my role was to convince them (Apple) that we actually should do things in a different way, which was difficult, but I was able to be pretty successful with it over my time there. I started small and worked my way up.” Will Waggoner on his influence at Apple. 

The conversation covers:

  • Will’s initial journey into SEO (2:46)
  • Does agency experience help or hinder career growth? (7:56)
  • Intuit (11:15)
  • Apple (16:30)
  • Building relationships in Will’s first 90 days at Apple (20:17)
  • Similarity in Will’s experience between both companies (25:50)
  • Will’s proudest moments from Apple (27:28)
  • Will’s SEO gains (28:28)
  • Vox Pop (30:40)

“It was just funny knowing that I had influenced such a big company that had only done things a certain way for so long.” Will Waggoner.

In this episode, we’re thrilled to have Will Waggoner, a dynamic and inspiring SEO expert from Apple, share his incredible journey to SEO success. From humble beginnings in SEO at Intuit to leading impactful changes at Apple, Will has created a dynamic change in every one of his positions along his current career. This episode will touch on the importance of relationships in the process of making brand change and just how Will was able to change the mind of one of the most significant leading figures in history (Steve Jobs). 

Quickfire Vox Pop Q&A

Which previous Google algorithm change still keeps you up at night?

None of them. 

Favorite non-obvious software tool that you use every day to research or execute?

There’s one I use; it’s a chrome extension called twemex. It’s for Twitter. I learn a lot from people on Twitter, but there’s a lot of people that haven’t really posted in a long time or maybe a few years that used to post a lot of good information. It (twemex) basically up levels all of these top posts from forever, so I can see all of the case studies that they’re posting so I can learn the most important information about them. It’s really helpful for me when I’m trying to find new people on Twitter or look for specific information in other industries that aren’t SEO related. That’s the number one tool I use daily and in my personal life. 

Gun to your head… which do you prefer: content or links?

Content, for sure. 

What’s the most effective link-building technique you have used?

It’s actually something I did in my internship .. links doing this. You can’t do this anymore, or else things will get in trouble, but we basically reached out to intramural college sports teams that had their own website on the college’s domain, and we’d sponsor them and put a widget which would have about two backlinks coming back to our site, so we could get up to three links for each sports team. 

Is the skyscraper technique still relevant today?

Not really as much anymore. 

What do you love most about SEO?

I think I like the detective work of figuring out what’s not obvious and really digging into things. That’s kind of what helps me get by some of the days that feel a little bit slower. 

How do you apply SEO principles to your daily life?

Not everything is black and white; I’ve learnt that a lot in SEO. The more I apply that to my daily life and outlook and working with people I think it helps a lot. There’s always a lot of gray areas, and nothing is truly as it usually seems. 

WFH life or Office life or Hybrid life?

My preference is hybrid, leaning more toward work from home, but the more I think about it, I definitely do miss the in-person relationships that I built in Into it and my previous roles, which I didn’t get at Apple cause I was remote the whole time. 

SEMrush or Ahrefs?

Ahrefs only because that’s what I primarily use, but they’re both good tools. 

Agency or In-house or Combo?

I think if you do it right, the combination is perfect. I also think it’s the perfect combination for an employee having experience in both too.  

We hope you enjoyed this episode of our podcast! Please tune in for more SEO success stories by hitting “subscribe.”

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