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Digital Marketing Jargon: What Would You Get Rid Of?

Stephen Logan

by Stephen Logan on 30th April 2012

Jumble of lettersThe digital/online marketing fraternity aren’t shy when it comes to using and creating jargon. The industry is awash, and whilst some terms are perfectly acceptable, others can be a little jarring – depending on who you speak to of course. So what words or acronyms would you change if you had the chance?

The inspiration for this post came when I stumbled across the following blog post on Econsultancy, which nicely defines ‘linkbait’ as a digital marketing swearword. The author, Michael Wilkins, explains (in some detail) how the term manages to miss the mark. I agree entirely too, it’s an awful word, but yet I’ve used it and almost become blinded by its baffling lack of meaning.

Others would argue that the acronym SEO, and the phrase it represents, have lost all meaning too. Now that the practice incorporates more disciplines beyond the traditional content creation, link building and technical trickery, Search Engine Optimisation appears, to many, to be something of an outmoded term. Fundamentally though, whether you call it Inbound Marketing or any of the touted terms on offer, it all means the same thing.

But that’s the trouble, once a term has been coined and popularised, it’s difficult to shake off. SEO or linkbait may be imperfect, but what’s the alternative?

Personally speaking, there are plenty of words that I would happily do away with from the digital marketing lexicon. There’s so much jargon spinning around that it’s difficult to read a single post, Tweet, or page of content without bumping into any of the following:

Black/White/Grey Hat
Long/Short Tail
CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation)
…in fact, anything to do with ‘Optimisation’
Click-through rate

Effectively, at some stage somebody bolts a word on to another to create a term that basically describes a process. How can you explain away long and short tail keywords (another poor excuse for a word) to somebody who has never heard them? What about white/grey/black hat. Assuming this comes from some form of strange Western reference, then there should be far more gun fights at dawn and moustaches evident. Plus, if memory serves me correctly, most cowboys, including the purported good guys, tended to have a murky side – wandering loaners, making amends for past misdeeds, chronic gamblers, alcoholics and womanisers. Anyway, that’s beside the point.

Marketing in any guise tends to be a breeding ground for punchy words or phrases that make enough sense to survive. It’s a jargon-fest, some bearable, some less so. However, if you could get rid of or perhaps replace one word, acronym or phrase, what would it be? There are so many, some mentioned above. Maybe you hate linkbait, perhaps keywords should be left to locksmiths, or SEO should be put out to pasture. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Image Source

Jumble Of Letters And Numbers via BigStock

Stephen Logan

Stephen Logan

Stephen Logan is our Senior Content Marketer at Koozai. With four years experience writing exclusively for the search engine marketing industry, he has amassed a wealth of industry related knowledge. He will be breaking news stories and contributing compelling SEO related stories.


  • Mike Essex

    Mike Essex 30th April 2012

    Linkjuice is one that Mike King (@ipullrank) called to be destroyed at Linklove. Seems like a good one to ditch.

    Reply to this comment

  • Russell McAthy 30th April 2012

    CRO if its pronounced ‘crow’ … *slap forehead*

    Reply to this comment

  • Paul 1st May 2012

    Would love to never hear anyone say ‘SERP’ again – I really dislike this acronym!

    Reply to this comment

  • Rob 1st May 2012

    I heard the term “Consolivation” once. Used by digital agency and perfectly highlighting your point about ramming two words together to Buzz up perfectly good language.

    Reply to this comment

  • Stephen Logan

    Stephen Logan 1st May 2012

    I couldn’t agree more with all the suggestions above.

    Mike, can’t believe I forgot about good old link juice. It conjures such lovely images.

    Russell, I have never heard the CRO one, but would happily perforate my own eardrum if it was ever used in conversation.

    Paul, SERP is painful, whilst serving a clear purpose, it’s still a nuisance.

    Rob, that is horrible, just horrible. Samuel Johnson must be rolling in his grave at the thought of that abomination.

    Some good blue sky thinking there people.

    Reply to this comment

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