SEO Jargon

Some Of The More Colorful Terms From SEO Jargon

In perusing SEO literature (by gumbo, there’s a lot of you pecking away out there!), we like to stop and ponder a meme, phrase, or bit of jargon we encounter within the context of the SEO world. Search Engine Optimization has actually started to gain a culture now, and this is going to be the part where everybody looks back on “the golden age” fondly in 20 years.

  • astroturfing – Pretending to be a regular member of the audience while secretly being paid to push an agenda for a commercial or political group. Astroturf (TM) is fake, plastic grass, and regular people supporting a group is a “grassroots” movement.
  • bread crumbs – The little trail of links in a horizontal navigation setup, so uses can find their way back to the home page.
  • cloaking – Showing one version of content to search engines, and a different version to visitors. Instant black death when Google finds out!
  • Google bowling – An attempt to lower a website’s ranking by linking to it from dirty sites. May be an SEO urban legend.

  • keyword cannibalization – What happens when a webmaster goes keyword-happy and lets the keywords eat the content, so that no one page is any more of an authority that any other.
  • link condom – A measure used to prevent endorsing a bad site, such as putting ‘no follow’ tags on links submitted in the comments section.
  • regional long tail – The whole “long tail” theory applied to phrases with city names or other local names in them. What, after all, has a longer tail than a place name? Even 100 years from now, somebody is going to be Googling that place for some reason.
  • sandbox – Where Google supposedly puts a new website on probation until it sorts out how to rank it. Some say it’s a myth, but have you noticed your Adsense units showing public service announcements for the first 48 hours?
  • sock puppet – A fake account created to ‘agree’ with the main account.
  • walled garden – A self-contained website, difficult to leave once you’re in. Often a portal destination such as Yahoo.