Coming up on a new year inevitably motivates bloggers to write posts reflecting on the past, or pontificating on the future. This post squarely fits in the pontification category. Add a little ranting to it, and you have a recipe for a 2013 wish list of 10 Internet marketing phrases that should disappear forever.

  1. No More Jargon!Return on Influence – This is a wishy-washy “metric” that social media marketers use to avoid reporting return on investment. Executives don’t care about influence — they care about the bottom line. This phrase would not be missed if it disappeared next year.
  2. Link Building – Google’s Penguin update has made link building for the sake of link building a relic of the past. Writing great content, guest blogging on relevant websites and digital PR are the only forms of “link building” accepted by Google today. Guess what? That’s not link building – It’s content marketing, guest blogging and digital PR. Let’s call it what it is.
  3. Splash Page – What the heck is a splash page? OK, everyone knows what it is, but why do Internet marketers call it a splash page? There’s nothing splashy about it. It sounds like visitors to a splash page will be presented with the Internet’s version of jazz hands. It’s either an under construction page or a segmentation page.
  4. Mobile SEO – There’s no such thing as mobile SEO. According to Jesse Laffen, mobile search results are some of the least personalized. Mobile SEO is just simply SEO. Mobile websites sit on the same Internet as non-mobile websites.
  5. Reciprocal Linking – Penguin has successfully extinguished this tactic. In 2013, it should exit stage left and leave the Internet marketing lexicon forever.
  6. Comment Spam – This used to be the scourge of the Internet. In fact, it’s caused many webmasters to moderate their blog comments. Since Penguin was released comment spam has diminished substantially. Next year should see the official demise of comment spam.
  7. Conversation – This is what some social media marketers believe is good marketing. Social media conversation doesn’t drive ROI. It’s neither scalable nor predictable. Landing pages, conversions and lead nurturing, on the other hand, are scalable and predictable. As a result, driving social media traffic to a landing page for conversion can drive ROI. This is achieved by using social media as a content broadcast channel while others organically evangelize said content – not social media conversations.
  8. Transparency – This is just a fancy way of referring to honesty and openness in social channels. So, was it ever a good idea to lie and obfuscate in marketing? Telling marketers to be transparent is like reminding human beings to breathe. It’s not necessary.
  9. #FF or #FollowFriday – In its prime #FollowFriday was a popular weekly tradition on Twitter. Today, it certainly sits on the downward slope of the curve with the laggards. It’s dying a slow death and probably won’t make it past 2013.
  10. Bounce Rate – Marketers worry about this number too much. Bounce rates vary greatly across industries and channels driving traffic. Besides, what’s a good bounce rate? It’s a rate better than the competition which can’t be tracked. The rate Google reports is a dirty number that can be skewed for a variety of reasons – to include bots, RSS and bookmarking sites (especially A more meaningful rate to track is visit to conversion.

The above pontification — with a hint of rant — only represents 10 phrases of industry jargon that should disappear in 2013. This leaves plenty of room for others. You’re HIGHLY encouraged to add your most hated jargon below. Don’t be shy. . . let ‘em fly.

Chad Pollitt

Chad Pollitt

Director of Marketing at digitalrelevance
Chad is a decorated veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and former Army Commander; member of a Forbes Top 100 List and the VP of Marketing at DigitalRelevance. He authored "51 Things Your Mother Taught You About Inbound Marketing" in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and LinkedIn Pulse.
Chad Pollitt
Chad Pollitt

Content, Inbound Marketing | 6 Comments

6 thoughts on “Internet Marketing Jargon that Should Die in 2013

  1. With you on almost all of this… but I had to comment on number 8. “So, was it ever a good idea to lie and obfuscate in marketing” Really? I think you meant something other than how it sounded, but the answer to this question is “YES!”. Marketing, is in some ways, primarily a practice of artful obfuscation. If they showed us what a Whopper really looked like, we would never order one.

  2. Jarrod:

    In the context you describe you’re right. I didn’t do a very good job with that one. I didn’t mean all of marketing, but rather social media marketing. That’s where fibbing and obfuscation gets really risky because it can be called out quickly and publicly. Hope that makes more sense :)


  3. All for ridding the world of internet marketing buzzwords, and I do generally enjoy this blog’s content, but I think you forgot some of the most annoying (e.g. RCS, TAGFEE, inbound marketing), and you’re way off on mobile SEO. True, mobile SEO is SEO, but as I explained in Search Engine Land this month (, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t new challenges for optimizing mobile sites that traditional SEOs have no knowledge of. The fact is, there are a lot of differences between mobile and desktop in search behavior, search results, SEO tactics et al that people have referred to as mobile SEO. Don’t know Jesse Laffen, I’m afraid, but I think he’s off base on this one.

  4. What’s up? Your website is interesting to read, especially with this topic you shared. I’m glad to share this to my friends who’ve been looking for interesting topics we could share on the week ahead. Thanks and keep it up!

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