11 SEO Terms You Didn’t Know Existed


As you know, the SEO industry is filled with jargon. Most people know the basic dictionary terms, but there are words out there that are just plain… well, weird. In my never-ending quest to expand my knowledge of this industry, I recently went on a wild goose chase through various SEO glossaries for the weirdest, most unusual SEO terms I could find. The following is the result!

(Note: Several of these terms are no longer used—or people wish they were no longer used—but they still represent historical points within the industry’s evolution and are therefore relevant.)


  • astroturfing – sort of like being an SEO/marketing spy, but in a non-James Bond kind of way. Deliberately posing as an innocent user of a forum (or community, group, etc.) with the sole intention of furthering your marketing campaign via branding, recruitment, and other various tactics.
  • bread crumbs – the navigation bar above content on a page that shows you where you are in the scheme of the site. Ex: Home > Services > Plumbing > Pipe Repair
  • Garbitrage – literally, garbage content, or low-quality and cheap content created solely to entice people to click on advertising.
  • Google bomb – the act of changing Google search results for various queries (usually to the tune of a political issue or controversy) to match humorous keywords. See Mashable’s gallery for examples.
  • Google bowling – a term that’s been around since 2005, referring to a negative SEO practice in which a site’s ranking is maliciously and intentionally lowered by sending it “bad” links.
  • Google dance – referring to when Google updates its algorithms (think Panda) and the “great angst and consternation” that ensues when sites slip in rankings and webmasters must scramble to regroup and re-strategize.
  • Idiot Threshold – the point at which a document is said (through links) to be an authority on a certain topic that has absolutely no relevance to the original topic of the document.
  • Mushblog – literally, a blog of mush. Content is generally automated and randomized, but made to look like a real blog with citations (which are not real or fair use).
  • link condom – a highly mature phrase (read: sarcasm) that indicates any method used to stop link spam leading to a bad site via an outgoing link.
  • linkerati – referring to content creators who are most likely to be targeted for link baiting. (Think glitterati, but replace the fancy clothes and money with really cool graphics/content and lots of online followers.)
  • spamdexing – literally, index + spamming. Refers to adding (a lot of) superfluous keywords within a website in order to rank the site for those keywords, regardless of the site’s main purpose. Also known as a form of keyword stuffing.

So there you have it, 11 weird words you can now incorporate into your daily SEO conversations (because you have those all the time).

Special thanks to Search Engine Partner, SEO Moz, and SEO Theory for their comprehensive SEO/SEM glossaries, which I used as reference points.

Know a weird word I missed? Tell me!

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