Maybe I’m reading the Harry Potter series about 10 years behind the rest of the world, and maybe I shouldn’t be referring to clients as Muggles, but it can be tough to explain search marketing terminology to the uneducated. Of course, there are different levels of client knowledge, from Muggles, who know next to nothing (only that they want their site to rank), to Squibs, who have an understanding of SEO but are unable to do it themselves. Alright, I’ll stop with the Harry Potter and switch to terminology that non-SEOs and non Harry Potter fans will understand.
- Search Engine – A search engine is like a magazine that sends out picture-crazed photojournalists who snap photos of absolutely everything they see and then return home, only to unveil those photos any time someone mentions a phrase that is loosely relevant to the place they visited.
- Spider – A spider is said picture-crazed photojournalist, only it is more like Neo in The Matrix because it sees all the numbers that go into making the world of the internet.
- Title Tag – A title tag is like the hat you are wearing, it says a lot about who you are and people will assume it represents what you’re all about.
- META Tags – META tags are kind of like your underwear, in that people cannot see them when they look at you (or your site) but spiders, much like Neo in The Matrix, can see with their super x-ray vision.
- Content – Content is like the T-shirt you are wearing. You want it to catch passing people’s attention and want people to be able to read it easily and understand it without too much thought.
- Redirect – A redirect is like a guy with orange flags at a concert waving you from one parking spot to another one.
- Analytics – Analytics are like your website’s accountant–they keep track of every little detail.
- Link – If you’re in the mafia, a link is when another guy vouches for you. A voucher from the Godfather carries a lot more weight than one from a nickle-and-dime shoplifter.
- Reciprocal Link – That’s like when one mafia guy says, “eyy, you’re alright,” and you respond, “eyy, you’re not so bad yourself.” (Maybe I’m confusing mafiosi with Fonzy?)
- Bing – A community organizer
- Yahoo – A state senator
- Google – Emperor of the known universe
- Aol – The guy on the corner handing out flyers
Feel free to use any of these analogies at your next client meeting or in your next conversation with a non-SEO. While I can’t guarantee these terms will become any clearer to them, I can guarantee that whomever you are speaking with will think you are a strange, strange person, possibly with an unhealthy obsession for Harry Potter, and possibly a member of the Church of the Fonz…May the Fonz be with you.
Geoff Hoesch is the owner of Dragonfly SEO and is Muggle-born.