organic search

A dictionary of SEO words, terms and phrases

Jargon sucks

But there’s so much of it about, especially in our industry.

Whether it’s a buzzword, an abbreviation, a portmanteau, a re-appropriated term stolen from another industry or a good old-fashioned acronym, sometimes even a rudimentary search on Google can’t help cut through the crap.

Within the world of digital marketing, there are few areas with as many complicated and obscure terms as SEO.

Here I’ll be presenting a dictionary of as many SEO terms as I feel are relevant and important to a digital marketers’ understanding of this most vital of skills.

I originally wrote this guide last year and it has become somewhat out of date now, so this is a revised and updated version of that previously published post. 

Consumer electronics SEO: Amazon comes top for organic and paid visibility

Consumer electronics shoppers usually spend a lot of time researching products before they eventually make a decision, which typically involves looking at upwards of 14 sources of information.

This includes searching for advice from consumer publications such as Which, comparison sites and customer reviews.

Organic and paid search is therefore an extremely important tactic for gaining brand exposure during the purchase journey.

There is a mix of competition within this sector as manufacturers, specialist suppliers, ecommerce brands and multichannel retailers attempt to improve market share.

A new report examining which brands achieve the highest visibility for consumer electronics has found that comes top for both organic and paid search, which probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

What kind of user experience ranking signals does Google take notice of?

There has been a lot of talk lately about responsive web design, and a number of questions have arisen about how Google perceives sites that go down this route.

Matt Cutts said responsive design “won’t harm rankings”. Given that Matt isn’t in the habit of telling everyone how to win at SEO, I think this is as close to an endorsement as we’re going to get. 

‘Responsive’ is pretty much used as a byword for ‘mobile optimisation’, which is the science of crafting a better user experience for smartphone users. The key part of that sentence isn’t ‘responsive’, nor ‘mobile’, but ‘user experience’.

This is becoming a bigger deal, as far as SEO is concerned, and I suspect that we have only just begun to scratch the surface of what’s going on.

10 blue links: are they dead or alive in search?

It’s a provocative question and heaven knows we all love one of those.

There are a lot of contradictory opinions out there surrounding the term ‘blue links’ and how many are to be found on your average search engine results pages (SERPs). 

While many proclaim the death of ’10 blue links’, other experts suggest their own research confirms otherwise.

Search is an ever evolving, constantly tinkered with playground that is almost impossible to ‘game’ in the long-term and second-guess in the short-term. 

As a producer of content myself, I’ve always believed that SEO best practice lies in the quality of the content itself. Creating entertaining, useful, relevant or engaging content is the number one approach and any ‘wins’ your content may achieve in appearing in organic search listings are a well earned result.

Of course I sound naïve here and I’m fully aware that good SEO involves more than just that, especially if organic search listings on the first SERP are becoming less visible. 

Let’s take a look at the current state of play for organic search and ’10 blue links’.

Time to say a last goodbye to organic keyword data?

There are lots of reports around the web right now that Google is redirecting all traffic to the HTTPs (secure) version of its site. 

Search Engine Land explains that this may be an attempt to block NSA spying, or perhaps to increase ad sales. Who knows?

What does seem certain is that the amount of organic traffic which is encrypted has leapt up over the past month, and more so over the last day or so. 

What does it really take to rank well on Google News?

If you could get your website content syndicated and ranking well on
Google News, it would be an awesome way to generate traffic, but how difficult is this?

We decided to explore what it takes to perform well in Google News by starting our own general news site from scratch (it’s a German site at and it helped us learn a whole lot.