Just like with any industry, the Internet marketing realm has its own jargon that you might hear from time to time. Before you hear one of these buzzwords and rush through the process of “Googling” those terms, save yourself time and effort by taking a brief gander at this list of Internet marketing lingo.
1. Blam – n. blog spam. Though this can take on different meanings, blam refers to spammy commenting on blogs, forums, discussion boards and guestbooks that are aimed at placing links to irrelevant sites on other blogs. Hormel isn’t the only company try to make money off of generating spam. Two ways that can deter some of the blamming is to restrict comments so that hyperlinks are not allowed, or to embed a nofollow attribute to blog comments. In my opinion, blam sounds more like something out of an old school Batman TV series fight.
2. Splog – n. a spam blog. Splogs are just another tactic employed by spammers that have no interest in providing quality content that has value to readers. They are basically blogs that contain lots of spammy, useless content with the intent to increase a site’s PageRank through link building.
3. Sping – n. spam ping. In connection with Splogs and Blam, Sping is another way for spammy bloggers to send out pings from Splogs, or just ping the same Splog post repeatedly to try to trick the search engines into believing that new content is being updated.
4. Spamdexing – v. search engine spam. Though spam targeting search engines can take on many different forms, the effect is simple: overwhelm the search engines with spam to improve rankings.
5. Spambot – n. spam robot. Just think of Austin Powers’ femmebot wife, but with spam…sort of. Spambots are programs that are created to spread spam and are used to harvest email address from the internet which is used to create mailing lists for spam to be sent to. Other spambots are created to leave spammy comments and/or links in forums, blogs and guestbooks.
6. Cloaking – v. black hat SEO tactic which displays different content between search engine robots and human viewers. Much akin to the invisibility cloak that Harry Potter had, in the past, spammers would hide keyword-rich content on their site by cloaking it (e.g. white text on a white background). Though the viewers couldn’t see the keywords, it was intended to help improve rankings. The good news is that Google has been penalizing this tactic for a while, so any spammer willing to bother with cloaking is just running a fool’s errand.
7. Botnet – n. a network of robots that run automatically, often with malicious purposes. Botnets have been used for email spamming and spamdexing tactics.
8. Zombie Networks – n. hacked computers that form a network of computers that are used for malicious activities. Zombie computers are essentially compromised computers that have been hacked into (thanks to Botnets) and are being used as vessels for malicious activities, like email spamming or click fraud or denial-of-service attacks. Just like with zombies in the movies, your best resource is prevention – don’t get bitten; instead set up a good firewall and antivirus software for your computer.
9. Parasite Hosting – v. using an authoritative domain to host content that will in turn, be used to promote another site against the host domain’s permission. In the Internet marketing world, is not quite the symbiosis that you learned in high school biology but shares the similar theme of parasitism. Parasite hosting is a spamdexing tactic that relies on the exploitation of an authoritative hosting domain to boost off-site search engine optimization efforts. Authoritative domains like educational sites (.edu) are a target for this, though older trusted sites can also become victims as well.
1. Link Farming – link farms are often collection of websites that all link to each other with the intent to increase link popularity of a site. In recent news, JC Penney’s was busted for black-hat SEO tactics involving the use of link farms. Since Google doesn’t like this tactic, it will penalize the rankings of those that are found to have participated in link farming.
2. Content Farms – there has been a lot of talk on the net about Content Farms and how content directories have been getting away with search engine optimization without providing quality, valuable content. Recently, Google updated their algorithms (the [in]famous Panda update) to reduce the manipulation of search results from content farms that duplicate content.
3. Keyword Stuffing – no, not that yummy side dish for Thanksgiving. In the past, the repetition of keywords across pages (without regard to readability to human viewers) was utilized to help improve rankings, but Google no longer rewards sites that employ this technique. This explains why Google no longer pays much heed to the keywords meta tag, which was often used to stuff keywords for pages. In the end, you can’t beat good SEO content writing that not only targets the keywords you are hoping to rank for, but that also gains interest (by humans) and in the long run, leads to better conversions.
Have some Internet marketing jargon of your own? Did I leave any good ones out? Let me know! Feel free to post a comment to add to the list.