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25 SEO Experts Reveal the most Clichéd Industry Phrases

25 SEO experts reveal the most clichéd industry phrases that you should avoid at all costs and you’ll never guess what happened next…

We made it into a blog.

Oh you did guess that?

I’m sorry. I apologise for the clickbait headline, and I know it’s more hyperbole than cliché, but these Buzzfeed-esque titles have almost become a marketing cliché in themselves.

However, today is Cliché Day!

That’s right. This Monday (3rd November) is the official, world cliché day!

In case you needed reminding, World Cliché Day is the day when literally some people celebrate the usage of overused and unoriginal phrases.

Are you not excited?

The business world is littered with clichés, whether it be arguments, processes or simply words and phrases, and the SEO industry is no different.

We got in touch with 25 experts in the digital marketing field and asked them what they thought were the biggest SEO cliché crimes.

Click on the faces to see what they had to say:

Adam-Audette-pic

Adam-Audette-pic
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Adam-Audette-logo1Adam Audette, Chief Knowledge Officer at RKG
Adam has a wealth of experience in all aspects of online marketing including organic search, social media, content strategy, and marketing promotion. He has previously worked as an SEO Consultant for Zappos.com and as CEO of his own boutique agency, Audette Media.
Alan-Bleiweiss-pic

Alan-Bleiweiss-pic
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Alan Bleiweiss logoAlan Bleiweiss, Alan Bleiweiss, Forensic SEO Consultant
Formerly of SearchEngineJournal.com, Alan is now a Forensic SEO Consultant, Author, Trainer and Speaker. He has provided professional Internet marketing services to various clients for over 20 years; from sole proprietors to the Fortune 500.
Andrew-Shotland-pic

Andrew-Shotland-pic
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Andrew Shotland, Local SEO Consultant at LocalSEOGuide
Andrew has over 15 years’ experience in TV and Internet. He specialises in SEO, Local Search, fund raising and business development. Andrew’s clients include major media bosses as well as social networks, start-up companies and ecommerce sites.
Bill-Sebald

Bill-Sebald
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bill sebald logoBill Sebald, Founder and Owner of Greenlane Search Marketing
Bill is a former SEO director for big brands with GSI/eBay and he has 13 years online experience (developing entertainment websites, E-commerce websites, small business sites), both B2C and B2B. He is also a blogger, designer, and occasional speaker.
Brian-Carter

Brian-Carter
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Brian Carter, Digital Marketing Consultant with Carter Group
Brian is a Keynote Speaker, Advertising Consultant and author of The Like Economy, Facebook Marketing and LinkedIn For Business.
David-Wallace--pic

David-Wallace--pic
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David Wallace logoDavid Wallace, Founder & CEO of SearchRank
David’s company, SearchRank, are a boutique Digital Marketing firm based in Phoenix, Arizona. David also serves as an editor and writer for several blogs. He is a regular conference speaker at events such as PubCon, Search Marketing Expo and Search Engine Strategies.
Derek-Edmond

Derek-Edmond
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Derek Edmond logoDerek Edmond, Managing Partner at KoMarketing
Derek manages online B2B marketing strategies with a focus in search, social and content marketing. Over the past 10 years, Derek has worked with many prestigious companies such as John Deere, Hallmark, Kaspersky, Covidien, and Hewlett Packard.
Dixon-Jones-pic

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Dixon Jones logoDixon Jones, Marketing Director at Majestic and Receptional Founding Director
Dixon currently balances his time as a Director of an independent marketing consultancy, Receptional, and as a Marketing Director of the world's largest link intelligence database, Majestic SEO. He also frequently participates as a public speaker at top global internet conferences including SES, SMX and Pubcon.
Geof-Kenyon

Geof-Kenyon
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Geoff Kenyon logoGeof Kenyon, Senior Consultant at Distilled Seattle and Global Associate at Moz
Geoff specialises in technical SEO, eCommerce and Link Building. He has a wealth of experience in leading teams to create, grow and fulfil digital marketing strategies that drive revenue and build brands.
Jon-Cooper

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Jon Cooper logoJon Cooper, Consultant at Point Blank SEO
Whilst still an undergrad student at the University of Florida, Jon is also the founder of digital marketing agency, Hyperlynx Media. He’s been in the digital marketing business for just over 4 years.
Jordan-Kasteler

Jordan-Kasteler
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Jordan K logoJordan Kasteler, Sr. SEO Manager for RedDoor
Jordan is an Internet & Social Media Marketer, Author of A to Z: Social Media Marketing, International Conference Speaker, Activist, Blogger and Senior SEO manager at Red Door Interactive.
Laura-Lippay

Laura-Lippay
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Laura Lippay, Marketing Consultant
Laura is an entrepreneur, conference organiser, speaker, moderator and master of ceremonies who has founded and managed several boutique agencies. She is also a former Director of Technical Marketing at Yahoo! and a former professional athlete. Not a bad CV!
Lee-Olden

Lee-Olden
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top-rankLee Odden, CEO at TopRank Online Marketing
Lee is a Speaker, Author & Consultant for B2B Content Marketing, Social Media, PR & Search. He has given presentations on integrated online marketing and public relations across the globe including New York, London, Hong Kong, Moscow, Sydney, San Francisco and Barcelona.
Lisa-Barone

Lisa-Barone
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Lisa Barone logoLisa Barone, VP of Strategy at Overit
Lisa is an accomplished writer, columnist, content marketer and social strategist. Her opinions on subjects related to small business, social and search marketing have been featured in leading publications such as Inc. Magazine, Business Week, Forbes, New York Times, PBS, Fox News, Entprepreneur.com, Mashable, TechCrunch and more.
Lyndon-Antcliff

Lyndon-Antcliff
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Lyndon Antcliff, Publisher of Magnetic Web Content
Lyndon is a content marketing specialist. His work has been seen in The Sunday Times, Time Magazine, Wired, the Sun newspaper, Fox News, the BBC, Wall Street Journal, Forbes and has been heard on Simon Mayo’s radio show. He is also a regular conference speaker.
Marketing-Charts-logo

Marketing-Charts-logo
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Marketing charts, Marketing website and newsletter
MarketingCharts is published daily to serve marketing professionals who are looking for the latest data trends. They have been covering both online and offline marketing and media trends since 2007.
Marshall-Simmonds

Marshall-Simmonds
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Marshall Simmonds logoMarshall Simmonds, Founder of Define Media Group Inc.
Marshall is a Digital Strategist, search marketer and former Chief Search Strategist for the NYTimes. He has over 15 years of digital marketing experience with leading global brands.
Matt-Siltala

Matt-Siltala
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Matt Siltala logoMatt Siltala, President at Avalaunch Media
Matt is a search industry leader and his list of clients include companies such as Webttrends and the Home Depot. He is often invited to speak at top search conferences and universities across the U.S.
Pedro-Dias

Pedro-Dias
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Pedro Dias logoPedro Dias, Managing Partner at apis3fellows
Pedro is the Co-Founder of engeeno and has previously worked for Google’s Search Quality/Webspam team. He has extensive knowledge in Google Search, Online Marketing strategy and of the Online Industry across South America and Europe.
Rishi-Lakhani

Rishi-Lakhani
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Rishi Lakhani, Consultant Search Strategist
Rishi has worked in a range of industries over the last 8 years which has helped him to build a unique skillset that includes SEO, PPC, Social Media, Affiliate Marketing, Search Strategy and Analytics.
Sam-Hurley-pic

Sam-Hurley-pic
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Sam-Hurley-logoSam Hurley, Head of Search at Midas Media
Sam heads up the Search department here at Midas Media; a creative online marketing agency in Leicestershire, UK. A keen and contemporary digital enthusiast, Sam has 4+ years industry experience and a positive outlook on life.
SEOwoman-pic

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Alexandra Lindner, SEO at A-Agency
Alexandra has been in Search since 2007 and her company, A-Agency, has won a variety of industry awards in Germany and Europe.
Julie-Joyce-pic

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response

Julie-Joyce-pic
  • 1. All you need is great content. You can do well without it if you are willing to engage in riskier tactics to promote a site, but even with great content you still need promotion.
  • 2. Links don't matter anymore. This one annoys me the most because no one has confirmed that links don't matter. You might just not want them to matter because you can't build good ones yourself.
  • 3. You can Panda-proof or Penguin-proof your site. Nothing is safe and all this talk about preventing problems is helpful in that it might give you ideas on how to stay as safe as possible, but you can't guarantee that someone won't be penalized by something even if it's not logical. There are loads of examples of unfair penalties and a lot of them are on sites that are very whitehat, so thinking you can 100% prevent something bad from happening is crazy.
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Julie Joyce logoJulie Joyce, Owner of Link Fish Media and co-founder of SEO Chicks.
Julie’s experience consists of 12 years in IT. She has expertise in a variety of areas such as: programming, technical writing, quality assurance testing, search marketing, pay per click management, SEO project management and more.
Martin-Scheijbeler

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Martin-Scheijbeler
Recently I’ve seen some new clichés coming up that could stick around for a while. They’re not all bad and in the end they could all potentially lead to better innovation. Although at this point, I don’t tend to see a lot of actions being taken on them, just comments.
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Martijn Scheijbeler logoMartijn Scheijbeler, Lead SEO/ Analytics at The Next Web
Martijn is responsible for all SEO & Analytics activities across all projects related to The Next Web, Pr.co, Twitter Counter, Twitaholic & Push.co. His interests include Big Site SEO, Web Analytics and Bing Ads, amongst others. He joined The Next Web after a successful period as the Online Marketing Manager at Springest.
Tad-Chef

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response

Tad-Chef
"Just create great content", "Submit to social bookmarking sites" both misguided advice taken out of context.
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Tadeusz Szewczyk, Blog, Social Media and Search Specialist
Tadeusz is an independent specialist from Berlin, Germany. He deals with a variety of international clients in succeeding online.

@Martijn was very kind as to email us in length about the SEO clichés he and his colleagues often come across. Here he expands on his tweet:

Good content doesn’t need promotion.

In recent years we have seen the rise of ‘content marketing’ as we know it today. Creating content of value for readers and potential customers will eventually lead to building a brand and retrieving more customer data through email signups, phone numbers, etc.
Martin-Scheijbeler-logo-pic

However, I think that the actual promotion of content is still underrated. It should play the biggest part in a content marketing strategy, even for the biggest publishers in the world. At The Next Web we see a huge difference in posts we’re not promoting, posts with some promotion and posts with huge promotion. We’re in a different position than most of the other companies talking about content marketing as it is arguably our core business. Nevertheless, even one of the biggest publishers worldwide, the New York Times, stated in their leaked innovation report that they should do more with promotion and audience engagement than they’re doing now.

Correlation implies causation

We’ve seen companies do more correlation research around SEO topics, which is a good thing! However, people sometimes jump to conclusions when they see certain results and interpret them incorrectly. For example, some people believe that a 0.11 correlation is a huge correlation, when really, a high correlation is often due to other ones being even lower. We should be more aware of this so we’re not getting the wrong quotes out in the open.

…And here’s a few more of our ‘favourites’:

1. ‘Matt Cutts once said…’

mat-cutts

As he is the head of the webspam team at Google, King of SEO and the second coming of Christ, quoting Matt Cutts has become rather popular. Despite his enormous power to make or break a business in a single click, for some reason he often divides opinion on SEO forums, comment threads and on social media. More often than not, he is widely misquoted.

2. ‘Roll out’

roll-out

What happened to merely ‘introducing’, ‘releasing’ or even ‘bringing out’ a new product or service? Since when did everything get ‘rolled out’ as if it was a sumo wrestler who had overdone their bulking phase and had to be physically pushed down to the ring? Unless the next algorithm update takes a drastic change of direction and is in fact a spaceship, I don’t won’t to hear the phrase ‘roll-out’

roll-out-def

3. Low Hanging Fruit

A.K.A. quick wins. Low hanging fruits are objectives (fruit) that are easy to achieve (pick). Clever metaphor right? By that same logic, high hanging fruits are the harder tasks, bad tasting fruits are the ones you don’t want to complete and rotten fruits are… well I’ll let you think of one for that.

low-hanging-fruit
This picture by Dutch Golden Age painter, Gerard van Honthorst, (1590-1656) depicts a child plucking some low hanging fruit. Mr Van Honthorst is believed to have invented the term whilst working for a boutique digital agency in Slough, Berkshire *
* Probably not true.

And Finally

I would like to give a special thanks to all the SEO experts who threw their hat into the ring and gave their two pennies worth. I’ve had a whale of a time. Hopefully we’ll all be singing from the same hymn sheet soon and we can push the envelope with some blue sky thinking going forward.
I hate myself.

Are there any other SEO or general marketing clichés that weren’t mentioned here? Why do you think they have become so popular? Is it necessarily a bad thing?

Let me know in the comments below or drop us a tweet @Midas_UK

George Bates

Author: George Bates

George is a Digital Marketer at Midas Media with expertise in a variety of online marketing methods. He specialises in technical SEO as well as creative content writing.

  • rjonesx

    How about the phrase “Link Juice”. Seriously, can we come up with something better? Anything better?

    • Ed Leake

      Okay, how about some probably [not] better suggestions:

      1) Link extract, or even ‘liquor’ perhaps?

      2) How about “Link Milk” for an udderly dairy twist?

      3) Link oil – a finite resource, the web’s gold!

      4) Link sauce or syrup, mind the sticky stuff.

      5) Link essence – provided by internet fairies.

      6) Link fluid … doesn’t sound too family friendly.

      7) Link nectar, from the lap of the gods.

      8) Link serum or spirit, not to be taken orally.

      • http://midasmedia.co.uk/ Midas Media

        Very good Ed… or very bad! :)

    • http://uk.linkedin.com/in/hurleysam/ Sam Hurley

      Agreed Russ! Although I’m guilty of using this…(sorry).

      Link love!?

  • Sam Carr

    Great post! And we really need to make that #SEOClichéDay happen… :)

    • http://uk.linkedin.com/in/hurleysam/ Sam Hurley

      We’ll have to do another piece where all the influencers put the case forward for a date Sam! Then we can analyse and measure the results…as we love to 😉

  • http://www.midasmedia.co.uk George Bates

    Thanks for the comments guys!

  • Rebecca McLean

    the phrase “SEO best practices”. It’s so vague and annoying, most SEOs who want to mislead use this phrase.

    • http://www.midasmedia.co.uk George Bates

      There are so many that this article could have been twice as long! Thanks for your input Rebecca

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