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by Stephen Logan on 30th April 2012
The 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:
CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation)
…in fact, anything to do with ‘Optimisation’
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.