It's Time to Use SEO Terms Correctly (or Maybe to Learn SEO and Stop Claiming You Do!)

Sep 15, 2008 • 9:49 am | comments (3) by twitter | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

There's a big problem in the SEO industry and that's the fact that people are not using SEO terms correctly. Jill Whalen has written a great post on Search Engine Land to this effect -- she says that due to there being no industry definitions, lack of knowledge (or laziness), and "old wives tales" (where people misinterpret something happening due to something else), SEO terms are not really understood at all times. She closes her great wirteup with a powerful statement: "After all, if the very people who make up our industry can't get it right, how will others?"

Would you disagree that this is a problem? Most Sphinners think that Jill is spot on the money. Here's a great response to the article from SEOAly:

Part of this problem comes from a combination of ignorance and being cheap on the part of site owners and designers opting for SEO consultation, rather than hiring an SEO to do the work. Some aspects of SEO can't be dumbed down into a bullet point list of tasks for those who will actually be making the changes. Hence the common reference to ALT tags, headers, title META tags, etc. - they don't understand enough about the concept of SEO as a whole to know what the terms actually refer to.

Aly also makes a rational follow-up "argument" that I personally identify with -- a lot. A lot of people, she says, claim that they know SEO when they don't. Those who know SEO don't usually say "hey, I know SEO!" There are a lot of charlatans out there.

Forum discussion continues at Sphinn.

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09/15/2008 03:11 pm

Like many others, I generally agree with what Jill was saying, but in reference to her picking at folks that say "getting a website ranked" is not using the term correctly, well, let's be honest, it's along the lines of saying "I'm getting my car fixed". It's just one of those generic terms that I would bet is pretty well understood.

No Name

09/16/2008 07:05 am

Lol, I Completely agree with this article. Seo is not just about " knowing SEO " .. its more about actually " Doing SEO ". And i agree, SEO terms are being misinterpreted; its high time, they were used right.


09/16/2008 05:47 pm

It tends to be those who DO refer to "ALT attributes" by the proper term (rather than ALT tags") that tend to get annoyed and irritated by those using incorrect terms whilst claiming to be an "SEO Expert". While someone calling an "ALT attribute" and "ALT tag" may not mean they are a charlatan, it is a pretty good indication of that individual's lack of history or longevity in the industry.

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