Talking Like a Google Insider

May 21, 2009   //   by Stephan Spencer   //   Search Engines  //  2 Comments

Using Google engineers’ terminology will help you look like a search industry insider. For example, talk about “signals” rather than SEO “factors”. Describe weak, undifferentiated content as “thin” (as in a “thin affiliate”). Work “canonicalization” into a sentence at least once every 5 minutes. Share your enthusiasm for “shingles” (yeah, NOT the disease). Speak in TLAs (three letter acronyms) like QDD (query deserves diversity) and QDF (query deserves freshness). And so on.

At Google’s Searchology conference this month, some new buzzwords were bandied about. Here are a few pulled from this post and this post by Matt Cutts:

  • Chameleon = internal Google codename for the algo that does mid-page suggestions (like search for “labor” and get in the middle of the SERPs “See results for labor and delivery“)
  • Spellmeleon = internal Google codename for the algo that preempts the first natural result with 2 results from what Google believes is the correct spelling of your query (like search for “ipodd” and get “Did you mean: ipod Top 2 results shown”
  • Google Squared = a not yet launched Google Labs project that returns search results in a structured format (i.e. as a spreadsheet). Search for “small dogs” and get a matrix with breeds, descriptions, sizes, weights, origins, etc.
  • Rich snippets = search listings with addition info in the snippet, such as star rating and number of reviews. Google gets this extra data hReview and hCard microformats – simply put, it’s semantic, agreed-upon markup in your HTML pages. Kinda reminiscent of Yahoo’s SearchMonkey. More about it here. (Incidentally, Dries – of Drupal fame – has an interesting take on what this could mean for SEO.)


  • Came across snippets lately

    Must confess when I read Smellmeleon I thought of a smelly melon :)

  • absolutely cool! anyway google is hard to spy. but i will check it out.

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