Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on November 5th, 2009

Nine SEO Acronyms You Need To Know

It seems like every day human communication evolves. I had to ask my co-workers what 'LMAO' meant. I'm not even going to talk about 'OMG'. There seems to be an acronym for every statement that involves more than one word these days. I used acronyms in school to learn the planets of our solar system and other important facts that I use everyday in my job. Texting seemed to be revolutionized 'Shorthand', which is a class I failed to see the importance in during school. Boy, do I feel sheepish.

Most industries have their own acronyms, lingo, or codes. In fact, search engine optimization is a science defined by code and acronyms. If there is a new saying or concept introduced into the SEO industry, there is a good chance there will be an acronym created for it by the end of the next networking happy hour. And it can get especially confusing for the noobs to SEO. Here is a list of common acronyms in the world of SEO that will help you better understand your SEO expert:

1. SEO - Search Engine Optimization. The purpose of SEO is to increase a website’s traffic and conversion rates by getting the site ranked high for specific keywords in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

2. SERPs - Search Engine Results Pages. These are the result pages in the search engines that pop up when you query a keyword.

3. SEM - Search Engine Marketing. SEM aims to increase the visibility of a business or brand through PPC or Paid Search on web pages.

4. PPC - Pay-Per-Click or Paid Search. The purpose of PPC is to pay to have your advertisement show up in the sponsored listings on the right-hand column of search pages when certain keywords or phrases are searched for.

5. SMO- Social Media Optimization. The purpose of SMO is to leverage SEO tactics through social media websites to gain traffic and conversions.

6. URL - Uniform Resource Locator. Most people understand what this is, but don’t know what it stands for. This is the address of a website. A URL can be made up of alphabetical words and numbers, as well as some symbols. But any SEO expert will tell you that dynamic URLs usually aren’t good for optimization. URLs can contain keywords that will make your web pages more relevant to your SEO.

7. RSS - Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. This is a web feed format that is used by most sites that publish frequent content. An RSS feed allows subscribers to be given content without having to constantly click back to a site they like.

8. HTTPs - Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. HTTPs pages are commonly used by e-commerce systems and sites to provide a secure page for sensitive information. HTTPs are not strictly for e-commerce, but are utilized by them often. They get mentioned in SEO circles quite often because they tend to create potential duplicate content issues.

9. FFA - Free For All. If you hear your SEO expert suggest this for your campaign, it may be a good idea to end that relationship. FFA is a term referring to link farms, which feature a large number of links and are used to boost a site’s back links. This is against all things Google and can get your site banished beyond the fringes of the e-verse very quickly.

As culture becomes more digitally-centered, these acronyms will become more common-place. The nerd-o-meter is becoming quite numb to most of, if not all nine of these acronyms. Get to know them so that when you are talking to anyone in the Apple store or computer technology industry, you will, at the least, sound like you know what your talking about. I know I do!