SEO Jargon


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If you are just getting started with search engine optimization there are probably many terms that make you scratch your head. Thinking about this problem the guys over SEOMoz decided to publish the “Complete Glossary of Essential SEO Jargon.” Some of the mentions are straight forward, others are not. Below you will find my favorite ones:

Cloak: The practice of delivering different content to the search engine spider than that seen by the human users. This Black Hat tactic is frowned upon by the search engines and caries a virtual death penalty of the site/domain being banned from the search engine results.

Doorway (gateway): A web page that is designed to attract traffic from a search engine and then redirect it to another site or page. A doorway page is not exactly the same as cloaking but the effect is the same in that users and search engines are served different content.

Google bomb: The combined effort of multiple webmasters to change the Google search results usually for humorous effect. The “miserable failure” – George Bush, and “greatest living American” – Steven Colbert Google bombs are famous examples.

Google bowling: Maliciously trying to lower a sites rank by sending it links from the “bad neighborhood” – Kind of like yelling “Good luck with that infection!” to your buddy as you get off the school bus – there is some controversy as to if this works or is just an SEO urban myth.

Google dance: The change in SERPs caused by an update of the Google database or algorithm. The cause of great angst and consternation for webmasters who slip in the SERPs. Or, the period of time during a Google index update when different data centers have different data.

Hub: (expert page) a trusted page with high quality content that links out to related pages.

Keyword Cannibalization:
The excessive reuse of the same keyword on too many web pages within the same site. This practice makes it difficult for the users and the search engines to determine which page is most relevant for the keyword.

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI):
This mouthful just means that the search engines index commonly associated groups of words in a document. SEOs refer to these same groups of words as “Long Tail Searches”. The majority of searches consist of three or more words strung together. See also “long tail”. The significance is that it might be almost impossible to rank well for “mortgage”, but fairly easy to rank for “second mortgage to finance monster truck team”. Go figure.

Link Condom: Any of several methods used to avoid passing link love to another page, or to avoid possible detrimental results of indorsing a bad site by way of an outgoing link, or to discourage link spam in user generated content.

Sandbox: There has been debate and speculation that Google puts all new sites into a “sandbox,” preventing them from ranking well for anything until a set period of time has passed. The existence or exact behavior of the sandbox is not universally accepted among SEOs.

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12 Responses to “SEO Jargon”

  • Monker

    Your definitions are good, plus theres some suprizes, I would link to it from my site if it was just a little bigger.

    Link Building Specialists

  • Marketing Effect

    first time I ever heard of link condom …

  • SEO Genius

    They are some great definitions some which i did not know 🙂 (link condom in particular)


  • matt

    Great Article! Here is something more about google bowling

  • Burak

    These tips are really useful !!!
    You got a new reader 🙂
    Continue Writing…

  • GermWorks

    Thanks for that post, have included it in some my SEO posts as it is nice to have them explained in a simple way like this.

  • Daniel

    ezams, if I am not wrong Google never confirmed publicly its existence.

  • ezams

    Daniel, did you ask Matt Cutts about the “sandbox” existence? If you did, what the answer? Thanks.

  • Transcriber

    Good compilation of new terminologies, haven’t yet come across any of these terms until now.

  • Dave

    Had not heard about the link condom one before.

  • Daniel

    Google bombs are the funnier ones :).

  • – $100,000 online in one year

    Nope, never thought any of these things

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