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Conversational SEO: Listen. Respond. Engage.

Internet Marketing Geek Speak

Online marketers have a code, culture and vocabulary that is a foreign language to people who don’t live and breath Internet marketing geek speak.

A search marketer’s daily lexicon includes words about tactics and actions for sharing and virally spreading messages, building brands and helping rank websites on the front pages of search engines. Geek speak represents daily life online, our Internet marketing jargon and lingo used while participating in online communities.

Internet Marketing Geek Speak

Geek Speak for Tactics

Geek Speak relating to methods, or tactics,  for marketing and positioning a company’s products and services include some of the following:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Blogging, User Generated Content (UGC), Social Media Marketing (SMM), Social Media Optimization (SMO), Email Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Social Networking, Reputation Management

Does online marketing have more acronyms than government work?

Translate and learn some of this lingo at MarketingTerms.com, an Internet marketing terms reference.

Geek Speak for Actions

Internet marketers, as well as customers and non-marketing types who surf the Web and/or buy products online, are all part of the process. Our actions become part of the marketing message. You may not know the word or term for what you are doing when you’re online, but when you are speaking about a product or service, your language becomes part of that company’s brand.

Geek speak for daily actions through which we share include:

Tweet, Stumble, Thumb, Sphinn, Digg, Post, Tag

  • Tweet - a message less than or equal to 140 characters posted on Twitter
  • Thumb - the act of giving a thumbs up or thumbs down to cast your vote on a website post, article, photo on StumbleUpon. People who look through StumbleUpon then Stumble upon sites for which others have voted.
  • Sphinn - voting approval or disapproval (desphinning) submissions made on Sphinn, the site where many in search marketing hang out to share stories
  • Digg - another “vote” of approval to say you like an article
  • Post - creating an article for a blog, a blog post
  • Tag - adding a keyword to posts or inserting words into a tweet or bookmarking a site with tags (Delicious)

These terms relate to participation on social networks, also known as “socnets.”


Socnets are networks where people socialize and hang out. They represent the interconnection of people through a network. There are hundreds of socnets. Primary social networks for online marketers are Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Sphinn, Digg, LinkedIn, and a few more.

Socnets connect you with other people and their interests. You can see your friends and who your friends know and what they are doing, bookmarking, sharing, thinking, purchasing.

Social networking has grown into one THE biggest and most essential aspects of Internet marketing.

Microsoft announced that 70% of it’s ad spend in 2009 is going to be on Facebook?


This is where people are hanging out!

Socnets are growing faster than the rate of change in Google’s search algorithms. And that’s pretty darn fast! People like to hang out with other people, which is one of the key reasons for their phenomenal growth. Some people just like to watch other people – another reason.

Watch the CommonCraft video that explains Social Networking in Plain English.

Social networking and the way people share and vote for articles and blog posts about products and services has molded our daily words and actions.

Learn the Lingo!

Even if it all sounds like geek speak, once you join networks, you learn the culture and how to communicate with those who live there.

Learn the lingo of Internet marketers!

What new words do you need to start speaking? You, too, can learn geek speak! Who knows. Maybe the next brand that gets talked about is yours!

Share / Bookmark Conversation:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Print
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • NewsVine
  • Mixx
  • Reddit

Category: Social Media

Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

10 Responses

  1. Wild Dingo says:

    Hey you! It’s about time you wrote something. I love your articles about being geeky. I have to admit, my socnet action is LAME. i tried to twitter, but I just can’t make the time to manage it. I have on my list to get my linked in account more active. ugh. I NEED to do this. I love it when people use Socnet’s the way you use them, very informationally. There’s so much useless crud on the Socnets these days, its really refreshing to see them used intelligently. The thing about Socnets for me is managing them all… i barely can manage my blog (i’m converting all my individual content blogs into my biz site under specific content categories (passions outside of web dev) just so i have one site to maintain, vs so many individual blogs). And the plethora of other “accounts” one needs today to do business: merchant accounts, shopping accounts, forum accounts, evite accounts, the list goes ON. And no one company manages accounts the same way. Usernames are sometimes emails or they’re usernames. some have spaces in usernames, others do not. then there’s passwords… some make you change them, some do not. so none of my account username/passwords are ever even similar…so it’s a real treat managing all my accounts. You have to admit, there’s no real trick to streamline and simplify, regardless of the shortcuts available (databases, using same un or pw, using a junk email box like on gmail or yahoo). I try a socnet and if i don’t really click with it for my form of communication, (like twitter), i’m outta there. its one less “account” i have to manage! but i have to admit, there are some socnets i do want to join and build upon! Besides, i just love that term, Socnet. Socnet. Socnet. Socnet. I like saying it and writing it! :)

    Oh, It’s On!:

  2. I can’t help but laugh! I also struggle with the sludge that invades social networks and recently ranted about people using them only to sell their goods. But the value far outweighs the negatives.

    Yes, managing Social Media requires more time out of each day to build connections and relationships. It takes a lot of time to be part of the conversation, which is why I refer to the combination of SEO and Social Media as “Conversational SEO.” Internet Marketers have to be part of the conversation. Many people are challenged and still figuring out how to play the rules of this fairly new “game” as it changes.

    Social Networks are where people hang out, and businesses of all sizes have to hang out with them. Few are going to read their brochures or even visit their websites unless they have built trust in the communities. Companies “getting on board” with Twitter are growing exponentially each day – from airlines to auto makers to Baskin & Robbins. Socnets are the way to market online. This is why companies now have Social Community Managers.

    Job seekers are are flocking to Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn, and television shows are now interacting with viewers on these venues.

    Okay, I’m not trying to convince you – just sharing the value.

    Getting used to Twitter takes some time. A good place to start is with Warren Whitlock’s Twitter Handbook.

    Keeping track of all those passwords? I’ll be reviewing a tool later this week that does it for you! And maybe I’ll even start writing more often! :-)

  3. Wild Dingo says:

    oh please…hope that tool isn’t a “google” tool. LOL! ;) hope it’s something you can install on your c drive. so sick of having my data on someone else’s server! :)

    re: convicing me for socnets, you don’t need to! i agree that socnets are places people gather. and i really “should” be a part of one or two of them. probably the best advice is to find one that works for your needs. like does one REALLY need facebook and myspace? or how about facebook and twitter? since facebook has similar app to twitter. i think its important to find out if YOUR audience is on the same socnet and then to choose the one or two that work and use it to provide valuable info with your audience.

    also, i know what you mean about using socnets to sell goods, but isn’t that essentially what and why business who are using them are doing too? even if it is in a round about way under the guise of providing valuable information? don’t get me wrong… i LOVE the info you share, for example. It’s “REAL” info, not some washed up fact that’s now a page in Wikipedia. And lots of biz’s do provide REAL value info freely… but in the end, that free sharing is a marketing tool. it is annoying that the “others” use it w/o providing the value and just hock their goods without any veil at all. but bottom line is biz’s use socnets to make more money. nothing wrong with that. i’m just sayin…

    socnets=just another place to hang your billboard! ;) LOL!

    Oh, It’s On!:

  4. The goal of this post was to help the small business owner or someone entering the realm of Internet marketing to learn the basic lingo of how to participate and converse on various socnets. I didn’t delve too much into the additional values of reputation management, link building, viral marketing, SEO, etc.

    Each social network has a unique demographic, purpose and varying value to helping one’s site rank in the search engines.

    Yes, socnets are the ideal place to hang one’s billboard – nice metaphor! In addition, they are primarily a place to build relationship, loyalty, as well as open up the lines of communication for complaints. Those who just push their stuff are easily snuffed out by savvy consumers, thankfully.

    You bring up a good point regarding MySpace. Many companies are not putting effort into this socnet, but it is a good place if someone has a band to promote, for example.

    For one who participates on socnets as a user and not a company, the lingo is the same. But the participation is very different. If one were starting and interested in connecting with friends, Facebook would be the place to start.

    You identified the KEY to all participation. Determine your needs. I usually suggest one start by joining and listening to what others are saying and watching what they are doing. Ah… opportunity to give props to my motto:

    Listen. Respond. Engage.

    Thanks, Julie, for the conversation! Always enjoy it!

  5. I personally do pretty well keeping up with jargon..

    But I work very hard to avoid using it.

    In a world with abbreviations, short phone text messages and tribal language of all sorts, using full sentences, easy to follow language, and explanations for new users stands out

  6. Warren, you identify an area we should all consider regarding Internet marketing and social networking lingo. The jargon is not universally spoken.

    Yesterday I saw a company truck for a company called, “Thumbs Up Plumbing.” I’m sure it had nothing to do with StumbeUpon or SEOmoz or any other network where users vote a Thumbs Up to cast their votes for websites, articles or stories. I realized that socnets are not necessarily inventing their own language but modifying jargon used in other aspects of life.

    Thumbs up to you for your book and your insight about your 3 Stages of Twitter acceptance. I imagine this is universal, so I’ll copy an excerpt for readers:

    Most people go through 3 stages getting into Twitter.

    1. It looks like a complete waste of time and “why would anyone want to know what people had for breakfast.”

    2. Friends say “use Twitter” and you get an account to secure your name while you can and still think it’s a waste of time.

    3. You get into a conversation with someone, pick up a new recruit, learn about some news and start saying “how did I live without this?”

  7. [...] Social Media participation began in 2007 to the need to stay current with rapid changes in Internet Marketing vocabulary and how Social Media ties into SEO. People in this industry were many of the first to gravitate to [...]

  8. wikipedia social networking…

    Your topic Roaring Mouse ” Blog Archive ” Social Media in Small Business … was interesting when I found it on Friday searching for wikipedia social networking…

  9. [...] Internet Marketing Geek Speak – Pixel Position [...]

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