I grew up in the Northeast, where a request for a "hoagie" elicits a number of sandwich choices. If you make a similar request in parts of the American-west hemisphere, people stop for a moment, allowing their brains to pump fists for a few seconds, then ultimately admitting they have no idea what that is. "You mean a submarine sandwich?" When in Rome…
How do you, as a current or potential online marketing /SEO client, search for needs? Do you believe SEO properly represents online needs? When desiring social media optimization, do you search for SEO services? Online marketing? SMO?
Recently, the online marketing industry has gone through evolutions; yet, has it gotten to the point of introducing new terms? Rand Fishkin introduced a debate last week regarding the term, "SEO." In short, I believe Rand notices the industry evolution, yet how SEO still represents same, former actions; he observes industry tacticians addressing "SEO" as well as other client needs, believing the process warrants new terms which properly represent (new) actions (beyond traditional SEO) taking place (inbound marketing is one term he uses to describe some modern-day actions).
I think the debate is important; in-industry language dictates how online marketing practitioners, and (current) and new clients, refer to needs. A recent WSJ article discusses the birth and death of language. A new field of study, "Culturomics," dissects language within cultures, tracking how it is used, its popularity, and ultimately, its decline and death. Culture and language definitely influence marketing; view Ryan Buddehagen's video on culture and ISEO.
Some interesting insights extracted from WSJ article:
- Guesstimate of available English words is more than one million though the 2002 edition of Webster's only included 348,000
- In English and across other cultures, the death rate of words has increased while the coinage of new terms has slowed down
- It's estimated, 8,500 new words are introduced into the English language per year
- New words get more popular (because they likely describe something actually new rather than a deviated meaning of an older term)
- Death rates of words are related to similar spellings (ex: Sioux/Sieoux)
More interesting is the notion of editors (bloggers?), spell-check systems, and those who celebrate particular words over others, have a hand in word evolution. How a respected source or community identifies and relates concepts or actions, influences the language of those with less rich experience (influencing the evolution and 'natural selection' of words, acronyms, and phrases).
Consider the word, "Roentgenogram." Have you ever used the term in your life? I haven't. I've used "X-ray" hundreds of times; I was born after 1960, when the shift took place. Are any clients out there trying to rank for the term, "loanmoneys"? If so, I would dismiss the client as a foreigner who doesn't understand their target market; yet, the term, dying around the 1950's, regularly represented what we now have come to recognize as "loans."
In conclusion, I side with Rand. New actions and client-related concerns are arising from the evolution of the Web and digital information. New actions and services need proper lexical representation, especially considering SEO, the practice of leveraging 'keywords and phrases,' which represent offered goods and services.
SEO service seekers, are you having difficulty properly describing your needs to service suppliers? Are you having trouble with industry acronyms, unable to wrap your understanding around physical representation? Please provide concerns and comments below.
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