How do you spell canonicalization? We were sitting in the office and someone asked “is backlink one word or two?” This raised the eyebrows of quite a few SEO’s in the office. Well technically it is two words, however in our industry, it is perfectly acceptable to keep it as one.
Much like this office’s Internet vs. internet debate, it got us thinking that there are quite a few keywords in our industry that are often seen as misspellings, yet we find the spelling perfectly acceptable.
Here at Inflow, we developed a standardized editorial guideline book to help with consistency on these terms and words. When these guidelines were developed, we scoured the web for usage. Basically, we used many of the same principles of local optimization to determine which iterations we’d adopt.
With that in mind we thought, what the hell, let’s try to get some of these words in the dictionary. How cool would it be to get some of the words we use every day added to the dictionary? Who’s with us? First things first, let’s identify some of the words, or should we say, KEYWORDS!
This is definitely not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start. We’ve curated entries from all over to serve as examples and help us define these terms.
Here are our key words:
-Canonicalization – verb. URL canonicalization deals with web content that has more than one possible URL. Having multiple URLs for the same web content can cause problems for search engines—specifically in determining which URL should be shown in search results. Canonicalization is the process of identifying the origin of content. For this word, we turn to distinguished engineer, Matt Cutts.
-Crawlability –adj. a site’s ability to be successfully crawled by spiders and bots and ultimately be properly indexed. Eric Enge wrote a great two-part series on the ins and out of this term.
–Losslessly – adverb. without loss. At this time, no good examples of this word appear in expert text.
-Site-wide/Sitewide –adj./adverb. throughout an entire site. Oddly enough, this word has a terrible identity crisis.
–Link building – verb. the action of building links to enhance a site’s value in search engine algorithms. There seems to be a pretty solid consensus for this term being two words. One great example can be found at Moz.
-Nofollow – noun. implying nofollow tag, which is a tag used in HTML that prevents bots from indexing a link. Search Engine Land has a bang up explanation. And an infographic! Killer job, Danny Sullivan.
-Spammy – adj. Google’s got it:
-Keyphrase –noun. pertaining to targeted keywords. Heather Lloyd-Martin established it as one word, much like “keywords.”
-Sitemap/site map – noun. a way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. Sitemaps.org has it as one word. Wikipedia has it as both one and two words.
-Backlink –noun. external links that point to a designated website. Brian Dean at Backlinko establishes it as one word.
-Linkbait – noun. content created with the intention of going viral and attracting influencers that will share the content on social channels. Distilled’s team published a linkbait guide that has it consistently listed as one word throughout. In contrast, Wordstream published a case study on their blog that illustrates exactly how critical it is for our industry to get these words in the dictionary. The Wordstream post even has it used differently in the same heading. We’re definitely not picking on them. We’ve been/we’re guilty of the same with certain words. We couldn’t figure out for the longest time how we were going to use “eCommerce.”
–EgoScraper – noun. content marketing technique that combines egobait with skyscraper wherein the content creator solicits influencers for contributions. Coined by our own Chris Hickey.
-Remarketing – noun. Google offered up this definition as part of an online SERP result:
Mmmm. I get where you’re going, Google, but that definition is not quite right…. Let’s try again.
Yeah, that looks better. Oh, hey! It came from AdWords. Imagine that.
-Retargeting – verb. pertaining to how remarketing is done.
That’s our start. Again, not a comprehensive list, but a good foundation.
Industry jargon & how it enters the mainstream lexicon and sometimes the dictionary
Industry jargon defines a special vocabulary held by any particular industry. As that industry (like SEO in this case) becomes more relevant and/or accessible, their vocabulary becomes part of a bigger lexicon and eventually makes its way to the mainstream.
For example, in November 2013, some words that had been relegated to tech industries were officially added to the Oxford Dictionary because they were relevant to enough people that they warranted entries. Some of those words included: iOS, resubscribe, hackable and refollow.
And, unrelated, but still a good example, in May of 2014, a staple for foodies was added: white pizza.
So clearly it takes time and momentum (and some lobbying) for terms to enter the dictionary as an accepted and relevant part of mainstream vocabulary. There are words that aren’t even grammatically words now in dictionaries. Words like “grrrrl” (not sure if we got the right number of r’s in there), “OMG” and “obvs.” So, to us, it makes sense to have real and standardized usage and rules for search industry words.
For the purpose of this post, we narrowed down our list of targeted dictionaries:
We’ve already started submitting words and encourage you to do the same. Here’s the where you go to add words at each source*:
Sound off. Did we miss any critical words? What needs refined? Tell us in the comments.