A Guide To SEO and Online Marketing Jargon

Keep up with the very latest developments in the digital marketing world

By Jade Hark
on 7/2/14

We are all guilty of using jargon and abbreviations during phone calls and meetings whilst presuming clients know the 'slang' of our industry. Assuming they don't, I've translated this SEO jargon in a quick reference guide to help clients, colleagues and overly nosy family members.

When a site is not found in the top 10 pages / 100 positions of Google search results.

301 Redirect
This code tells the Google bots that a page has been permanently moved to another address.

A code that indicates a webpage cannot be found and a  404 page (if one exists) will be displayed instead.

The (top secret) formula a search engine used to work out what results should be displayed. Similar to Willy Wonka’s everlasting gob stopper recipe, kind of.

Anchor Text
The text on a page that will link through to the relevant site.

A link on a specific external site which links back to your website. Used by Google as a vote of confidence when assessing a site's authority.

Black Hat
Methods used to get a site ranking that are firmly against Google’s guidelines and can result in a penalty or penalisation if caught.

An expression shouted out aloud when an SEO'er has achieved a positive result.

CMS = Content Management System
The system used to amend any content on a website. These come in a variety of out-of-the-box to bespoke versions and from the simple-to-use to the impossible.

CRO = Conversion Rate Optimisation
A process of implementing various changes onsite to improve the number of conversions per number of visits.

EMD = Exact Match Domain
A method used to gain higher ranking positions for specific keywords. Google’s algorithm is becoming increasingly aware of these EMD’s and weakening their influence.

FTP = File Transfer Protocol
You will often hear online marketers request “FTP Access” when the developers are being particularly difficult.

GWMT= Google Webmaster Tools
A free-of-charge web service used by webmasters and SEO'ers to view errors and information that Google associates with a specific website.

A term no professional online marketer should place after their area of expertise.

When the pages of a site have been logged and displayed within Google’s search results.

Keyword Density
Worked out by the total number of keywords in an article divided by the number of times the keyword is used in the article. This gives an idea of whether a page has been “keyword stuffed”.

Keyword Stuffing
An old-school method where as many instances of one keyword is stuffed into the page content to make that page rank highly for that keyword.

Long Tail Keyword
A specific search phrase with intent usually made up of several words.

Matt Cutts
The man behind the Google Algorithm team striking fear into SEO’ers worldwide. Behind the playful smile and Lego man hair is a Do No Evil genius.

Information placed in the code to appear in the search engine results letting Google and your users know what a page is all about.

Negative SEO
The online equivalent of putting a “Kick Me” sign on the back of your competitor. Something frowned upon and not offered by most discerning agencies.

PPC  = Pay Per Click 
Also known as “Paid Search” these are the adverts which appear at the top and right hand side of Google search results charging the advertiser every time the ad is clicked.

SEO = Search Engine Optimisation
The process of increasing the number of visits and rankings for a website by using various onsite and offsite activities.

Those in digital agencies tend to say “SEO” forgetting that most people don’t know what it means. Let’s also not forget that SEO can also has other ‘common’ uses including:

  • Synchronous Equatorial Orbiter
  • Sociedad Española de Ornitología (Spanish Bird Society)
  • Survivability Enhancement Options
  • Special Equipment Operator

SERPs = Search Engine Results Pages

UX = User Experience

SEO Text Speak (FTW!)

Any SEO'er with a phone and a sense of humour will  (probably) regularly use the following text speak:

YOLO      You Only Link Once

LOL         Lots of Links

OMG       Oh My Google

ROFL      Rolling On The Floor Linking

LMAO     Linking My Arse Off

FTW        For The Web

TBH        Too Black Hat

BRB         Build Relevant Backlinks

BTW       By The Way-backtime Machine

ASL         Always Share LOLcano

Feel free to share your favourite abbreviations, terminology or SEO text speak in the comments section below.