What Stuff Means: a quick guide to understanding Web 2.0 terminology

by | Jun 7, 2009 | Book Marketing Basics

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Have you ever wondered what all of this Internet jargon means? SEO, SEM, black hat SEO? It seems a bit like Greek, doesn’t it? Well I’ve broken down some terminology for you to help you navigate the Internet marketing sphere like a web 2.0 pro!

SEM: Search Engine Marketing. This is a term that refers to organic (non-paid) online marketing. This type of marketing will optimize results as well as your site the way no pay-per-click advertising campaign can.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization. This term refers to the back end stuff your web designer might do to optimize your web site for better search ranking.

Black Hat Marketing: also referred to as Black Hat SEO, this type of marketing is unethical and should be avoided at all costs. If you’re looking to hire a company to do an Internet campaign for you ask them point blank if they do any Black Hat marketing. They’ll no doubt deny it but it will put them on notice that you’re not a novice. You should only work with companies that do White Hat marketing. Examples of Black Hat are link farms that gather thousands of incoming links to a web site from irrelevant and inappropriate sites just to gather links.

Organic Online Marketing (also referred to Organic SEO): This is a term (much like SEM) that refers to organic marketing efforts online. If you’re hiring someone ask them if their work is organic. That’s important. Why? Because organic marketing leverages better results and better (read: ready to buy) customers.

Keyword stuffing: using keywords over and over again in an attempt to artificially inflate your search engine ranking (hint: once Google is on to you your site will drop in ranking like a ton of bricks)

Buzz Monitoring: used mostly by pr firms that specialize in Internet marketing, this term means to track conversations online, monitoring “buzz” as it were

Avatars: these are images, pictures, logos or whatever you chose that represent you in the virtual world. You’ll use avatars on everything from Facebook to Squidoo, Twitter, and even Second Life.

Link Baiting: a way in which web sites, blogs, podcasts, etc encourage incoming links from other sites. You “bait” the user, asking them to link to you for a special offer to their consumer base.

Consumer-generated media (CGM): any and all media generated by a consumer. This isn’t just on Web 2.0 properties like Facebook, Squidoo, and Twitter but also in forums and on message boards, even blog commenting is considered CGM

Pass-along factor: also referred to as the pass-along rate, this term is associated with viral marketing and means how often something is passed-on to another likeminded consumer.

Ping: we’ll often refer to as “pinging” a search engine, but what does it mean really? Well Ping is an acronym that stands for “packed Internet gopher” which essentially is an automatic notification sent to search engines when a blog or web site has been updated. Also, often your site/blog designer can incorporate various ping notifications to not only hit up the bigger search engines but some of the smaller ones as well!

Feeds (also called RSS Feeds): this refers to syndication from blogs, podcasts, even WordPress powered web sites. It’s important to have a feed attached to your blog so if you don’t, you might want to ask your web person about this.

Narrowcasting: as opposed to “broadcasting” this term refers to the ‘Nets ability to reach a very narrow, focused market. Narrowcasting is often the best way to promote yourself and your book/product/service.

RSS: stands for really simple syndication and refers to the syndication feeds on blogs, podcasts, web sites and social media sites.

Social Bookmarking: this is a way of storing your favorite sites (or pages within a site) on a public system like DIGG, Delicious, or Stumbled Upon. You can use this to both notify the world about great sites (including your own) but it’s also a great way to build traffic and incoming links!

Social Media: is an umbrella term used to describe Web 2.0 properties like Facebook, Squidoo, Twitter, YouTube, and Linkedin.

Tagging: this involves using keywords to catagorize online content (such as blog posts). These tags are often descriptors that help consumers find your content based on tag words

Wiki: much like Wikipedia, this describes an online workspace that multiple users can access, add to and update.

Mashups: this is a way of combining several services into one. In music mashups are referred to several songs that are brought together to create a new one. Online you can see mashups created by techies to combine the best elements of a web site into one. Mozilla (since it’s open-sourced code) has a number of mashups.


  1. agnes

    Very very useful information provided.Thanks for sharing the nice one.

  2. Web 2.0 Marketing

    It was really nice to go through your article. Thanks for sharing your views and opinions on Web 2.0.

  3. Market umbrella

    There are many term of seo which refers to the back end stuff,web designer might do to optimize the web site for better search ranking.specialize in Internet marketing the web sites,blogs,podcasts,etc encourage incoming links from other sites and created by techies to combine the best elements of a web site into one Mozilla.

  4. AliceK

    Great list, Penny! I’ve never heard of “link baiting” before. Is it a black hat technique or is it good? Do you have more info or examples of how to use it with good results?





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