Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Defining Your Terms - Part II: SEO Dictionary

Following on from our post about defining the terms used in web design, we’re back with another slice of dictionary.

We’ve all been there. That meeting where the proposal is discussed. Everyone’s giving it the full alpha business gorilla. The low hanging fruit’s been picked. The roadmap is drawn up, and the thought leadership is flowing thick and fast.  In these meetings everyone’s out-jargoning each other, but no one wants to be the one to admit they don’t understand what’s being said.

Defining your terms for SEO

To help you through such difficult times, we’ve decided it’s time to clarify some of the sneaky terms that get bandied about when the talk turns to SEO.

Let us know if we’ve missed any terms you’ve had hurled at you and remember if you don’t understand the word being used………..ask the person using it to explain themselves. Or to paraphrase Obi-Wan,  ‘Who’s more foolish? The fool, or the fool who swallows the unnecessary blather?’


As in ‘Dave, just remind me what our SEO strategy is?’

Search engine results: Orang-utan

Search Engine Optimisation. And what’s that when it’s at home? When someone types ‘orang-utan trainer’ into Google (other search engines are available), they get a list of search results. In fact they get pages and pages of them. Most of us don’t look beyond the first few pages of results. So search engine optimisation covers the many methods that can be used to try and get your orang-utan training business onto the first pages of the results, and get all the lovely traffic from the searches.


As in ‘SERP clickthrough rates have made a great impact this month’

Search Engine Results Pages.  The pages that you see as a result of a search, made on a search engine. Like a list of orang-utan training businesses.

Organic Search

As in ‘what was the impact on revenue from the organic results?’

Back to the orang-utan search. The results which appear are either organic or paid. On the SERPs you will see paid for ads at the very top of the page. They say ‘ads related to orang-utans’. Underneath these you get ten organic links, where Google has algorithmically selected the most relevant sites to your search.  On the right hand side you have another selection of ads. Appearing in the organic results is exactly where you want to be, as it’s likely you’ll get lots of clicks, which will then turn into lots of business for you.


As in 'could those backlinks have a negative effect?'

A backlink is a link coming into your site from another place on the internet. It could be from another site that you’ve done business with or an advert placed in an online magazine. It could be from a great article about you and your diversification into chimpanzee work. It could be from a blog, or a business directory listing or relevant forum. The number of backlinks to your site has played an important part in SEO campaigns, as Google looked upon them as a measure of your site’s relevance to any particular search. But things at Google have been changing, and the most important thing about backlinks to current SEO is that they come from quality sites which have genuine relevance to your market niche. Quality, not quantity, people.

Nofollow links

As in ‘so Dave, is Pinterest totally nofollow then?’

Nofollow links are not indexed by Google in the same way as ordinary (or dofollow) links. Some sites will have a nofollow warning, especially forums or communities. The idea of a forum is that like-minded people will discuss things, and add genuine value to the forum by participating in the community. Sadly, many forums have been hijacked by online marketers trying to get their backlinks wherever they can, without actually contributing more than ‘great post, want free orang-utan training? Click here’, even though the forum is about the wedding hairstyles. So nofollow links are put in place on the site, in the hope that folks will use it for what it was actually intended.


As in ‘what was the keyword focus for this month?’

A keyword or keyphrase is what someone might type into Google. So in our case, it might be ‘orang-utan training’. Then problem is that what with the explosion in monkey presents this Christmas, that might be a very competitive phrase, with loads of trainers working it for organic traffic. So it might be useful to explore other related keyphrases, such as ‘orang-utan training Croydon’, or ‘orang-utan training services’, and do a little research into which ones could get you where you want to be in the SERPs. Keywords relevant to you should be in the copy and metadata on your website, describing the products and services you provide. This will help make sure that you get found for them.

That’s the end of part two of our SEO dictionary. We’re bound to have missed a few things though, so do let us know in the comments. And if you think you could benefit from some SEO advice, then contact us at ArtDivision.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles and papaija2008 at

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