Top Internet Marketing Acronyms You Should Know

When I first started learning about online marketing I often came across abbreviations that left me wondering. Today I’ve decided to compile a list of Internet Marketing related acronyms.

Online Marketing Acronyms

There are a bunch of blogs offering you “the list” of online marketing acronyms and I’ve spent the last two hours looking through these lists. I am very disappointed that most of them are pretty much “copy-paste” and most abbreviations they put on those lists are not used online. Some of them are probably not used anywhere at all. I am not here to tell you what B2B is or B2C. I could talk about ISP (internet service provider) or RFP (request of proposal) but these terms are not common when it comes to the world of Internet Marketing.

I’ve compiled a list of online marketing acronyms that I personally see and use on daily basis (or almost).


AM – Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a performance based marketing. In short, you (the affiliate) act as a middleman between a seller and a buyer. You receive a commission from the seller for every new sale (or customer) that you generate. More details on AM here. Affiliate marketing has been my preferred method of earning money online since 2007. Please do not confuse it with referral marketing or MLM.

BH stands for Black Hat

Most commonly used as BHW when referring to Black Hat World, an SEO Forum and BH SEO when referring to “Black Hat Search Engine Optimization”. Black Hat usually means “unethical” and/or “against the rules”. For instance BH SEO is usually an aggressive SEO strategy that goes against Google’s rules and regulations. Black Hat methods can produce very quick results, however these methods will usually get your website penalized rather fast. People who use back hat strategies to earn money claim they are well aware of the risk of getting their sites banned and the risk is irrelevant to them. RapGenius used some black hat techniques and the whole story went viral.

Besides the BlackHat there is also WhiteHat which means ethical, GrayHat which is a bit of bad and good (similar to gray area) and apparently Microsoft has been using the term BlueHat. Well, this corporation… let’s just not talk about them in here.


CB – Clickbank is an online marketplace for digital information products. Lots of software and e-books are sold through this site. CB is one of the biggest and most known affiliate marketplaces. You can publish your own products for sales or you can become an affiliate and promote products from the marketplace. Commissions are as high as 75% for most products. It seems like Clickbank has lost a bit of its popularity however thousands of people are still happily working with this company.


CJ – Commission Junction

CJ is another very popular marketplace and affiliate system. Unlike Clickbank, CJ works with a lot of physical products and services. If you ever wanted to be an affiliate for such brands as Adobe, Air France, At&T, Best Western, GAP, H&R Block, Motorola, New Balance and many other popular companies – then CJ is for you. Just like CB, CJ is free to join for affiliates. Commission Junction has been re-branded as CJ Affiliate by Conversant however most people still refer to it as “CJ”.


CPA – Cost Per Action

In online marketing CPA doesn’t stand for Chartered Professional Accountant. It stands for Cost Per Action and sometimes Cost Per Acquisition which is pretty much the same thing. There are tons of CPA marketplaces which offer their affiliate a commission when a customer performs a certain task: signs up for a trial, applies for a credit card, fills out a form, etc. This model of marketing is very similar to Affiliate Marketing although usually CPA is driven by small action and not sales. CPA networks are free to join (for affiliates).


CTR – Click Through Rate

CTR is a way of measuring the success of an online marketing campaign. Click-through Rate measures the ratio of clicks to impressions. For instance if 100 people viewed your ad and only 1 person clicked on that ad – your CTR is 1% (or 1 to 100). You can use CTR when testing 2 (or more) different ads. An ad with better CTR will be kept as it produces results and all ads with low CTR will be removed or edited.


DA & PA – Domain Authority & Page Authority

DA and PA are relatively new terms created by MOZ. Domain Authority and Page Authority metrics were created by MOZ to measure the ranking potential of a specific website or a page. Without going into all the details, the higher your DA and PA – the better. 5 Years ago everyone cared about Google’s page rank. Now everyone seems to care about DA and PA and you will hear these terms quite often if you’re active in an online marketing community. If you want more details, check out The Moz Blog post that explains how, what and why.


EMD – Exact Match Domain

Exact match domain is a domain name that matches your targeted keyword phrase. For instance if you want to sell cups that are dark red, an EMD for it would be A few years ago simply registering a proper EMD would give you a big boost in the search engine rankings, but not anymore. It’s still a good idea to register a domain name that’s relevant to you business, however an exact-match domain would not guarantee good rankings just because it’s an EMD.


GA – Google Analytics

If you own a website or just planning on it – you must start thinking about how you’re going to track your traffic. Who comes to your site, how they find your site, what they read, what they buy and where do they go. All that and much more can be seen when using a proper analytics program. Google Analytics often is at the top of the list because it’s free and reliable. GA offers more options that I could ever describe. GA looks complicated and isn’t all that easy to use so I highly suggest taking a look at Google’s free training.


GWT – Google Webmaster Tools

GWT is a free web service created by Google. This service is useful to website owners. GWT allows you to submit sitemaps, verify if all your links are working, monitor your site for all kinds of errors and a lot more. Many claim that simply adding your website to this wembaster service will help you get indexed faster. I can’t tell if it’s true or not but I can assure you there is no harm in using Google Webmaster Tools unless you’re running a PBN (more on that later).


IM – Internet Marketing

Internet Marketing, also often referred to as Online Marketing is the process of promoting a product, service, brand, cause and many other things over the internet. A business that owns a website is using that website to get more sales or leads from the web, hence they are doing Internet Marketing. This practice grows every year since more and more people prefer to shop online rather than in their local brick and mortar shops.


LP – Landing Page

Landing page, aka lead capture page, aka lander is usually a page with a single purpose of making a sale or collecting an e-mail address from a visitor. Landing pages are often linked to from Social media channels and e-mails. Until 2008 or so many online marketers used free and paid advertizing to display their pages in Google results. However Google has decided that such pages bring no value to users and most of these pages have lost their rankings and were banned from Google Adwords (paid advertising). A proper landing page is a great way to get results so it’s something you must learn.


MLM – Multi-level Marketing

Multi-Level Marketing also known as network marketing, referral marketing and pyramid selling is a marketing strategy where the promoters (sponsors) earn most of their money by referring other paying members to the same program. Most MLMs try to offer some kind of product simply because making money by recruiting new members is considered as a pyramid scheme and is illegal in most countries including Canada and USA. MLM is a practice that’s usually frowned upon and most MLM companies have been sued or penalized by FTC. Many ex-members of Amway, ACN, Primerica, Empower Network and other MLMs discover Internet Marketing and finally star earning money. Most internet marketers also disapprove MLMs because such companies often take advantage of naive people by promising them instant riches without any effort. In the end MLMs suck thousands of dollars from their customers in exchange of some foggy promises.


MMO – Make Money Online

The term MMO is often used to simply describe the industry of “Making Money Online”. One could say that he sells MMO courses or runs an MMO blog. This very blog is somewhat of an MMO Blog as it often shares ideas about making money online.


OSE – Open Site Explorer

Open Site Explorer is a tool created by MOZ that helps you track your website’s backlinks profile. What’s even more interesting, you can “Spy” on your competitors by tracking their backlinks. Paid version of OSE also offers a “link opportunity” function. The tool analyzes your competitors backlinks and whenever it detects that 2 different sites have a backlink from the same place it assumes that you could get a backlink from there as well. To compete with OSE there are SEO Spyglass, Ahrefs, Majestic SEO and many other tools that offer similar features. 5 (or more?) years ago we were all using Yahoo Site Explorer for backlink tracking, unfortunately Yahoo has shut down its tool. All the alternatives I’ve mentioned above are paid, although some offer free trials or free limited usage.


PBN – Private Blog Network

This is all I hear these days on many SEO related blogs and Internet Marketing forums: PBN, PBN, PBN… Private Blog Network is basically a network of blogs that one builds with the only purpose of using these blogs for backlinks. Building a proper PBN is expensive and of course it’s against Google’s rules. So If you’ve never heard of PBNs – no big deal, at least now you know the meaning of this abbreviation.


PPC – Pay Per Click

PPC is one of the most popular method of paid online advertizing. You pay a platform for every single click made by a platform’s user. For instance Google Adwords is a PPC program and you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Google is not the only player in the PPC world. Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn and many others can offer you some sort of PPC advertizing.


PR – PageRank

Google’s used the “PR” factor in order to explain website rankings (to an extent). Higher PR (on a scale from N/A to 10) usually meant better rankings and more authority. Google has stopped updating the PR, however some web admins missed the news and still can’t figure out why their PR doesn’t change. Google hasn’t updated the PR since December 2013 (almost a year now) and I doubt they’d ever update it again. As I mentioned previously a lot of people are now obsessed with Moz Page Authority and Domain Authority. A fun fact, “Page” in “PageRank” is actually named after Larry Page, one of Google’s founders and not after the word page.


ROI – Return On Investment

ROI is a typical business term so it’s often used in the world of Internet Marketing as well. ROI is usually calculated as follows:

Return on investment (%) = (Net profit / Investment) × 100.

As example: We make a net profit of $500 on a specific PPC ad. We’ve spent 125$ as our PPC budget for this ad, so (500/125) x 100 = 400%. ROI could be difficult or impossible to calculate if we don’t do enough tracking and analytics. For instance if you pay a freelancer to write 10 articles for you and these articles help you get better rankings – you won’t know how much profit was produced directly by these articles. However, running paid campaigns usually offers you a way to track every single click and count everything down to a penny.


SEM – Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing means paying for marketing through the search engines (pretty straightforward, right?). On Google we can use Google Adwords which will show our ads on the very top of content or on the right-side bar. Most search engine have an SEM program that will allow you to place your ads within the “sponsored search results”.


SEO – Search Engine Optimization

Just like SEM, SEO concentrates on marketing within the search engines. The biggest difference between the two is that with SEO there is no direct payment to the search engine. SEO concentrates on placing your website within the “organic search results”. There are a lot of factors that you should consider when building a website and trying to rank it organically. There are also a lot of speculation and guesses on what really matters, however Google will never reveal it’s ranking algorithm. Some of the SEO ranking factors include backlinks,site speed, image optimization, bounce rate, server uptime, social signals and a lot more.


SERP – Search Engine Results Page

Online marketers use the term SERP simply because they are too lazy to spell out the whole thing. Often used as “I finally got to the top 5 in SERPs” – meaning that a site is finally ranked in the top 5 of the first page of search engine results for a given (targeted) keyword phrase. It is very important for a site to be in the top ten (10) search results as the combined average CTR (remember what that is?) is over 91%! This means that more than 91% of Google searches will end on the very first page of search engine results. If your site is ranked beyond the first page of Google it might as well not exist (or almost). Learn SEO if you want a good spot in SERPs.


SMM – Social Media Marketing

Social Media is very important nowadays and many companies sell their souls in order to get some traffic from the social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine and many others. Some website owners manage to make millions of dollars by re-posting other people’s content and getting most of the traffic from Social platforms. Many large companies are willing to pay a lot of money and hire an SMM specialist. Note that SM is often referred to Social Media.


WA – Wealthy Affiliate

Wealthy Affiliate (also known as Wealthy Affiliate University) is one of the oldest and most known online marketing training centers. Over 100,000 people went through their training and many became successful internet marketers and/or online business owners. I’ve discovered WA in 2007 and I’m still a member, mostly because of their community.


WF – Warrior Forum

Warrior Forum is one of the most known forums in the Internet Marketing industry and I am pretty sure it’s the oldest forum out there (started in 1997). The forum offers some amazing information however you might have to dig through piles of crap in order to find a few gems. Since most of the forum is completely free it attracts many spammers and people that don’t know what they’re talking about. Of course, some of the most knowledgeable online marketers offer their advice on that forum from time to time. When reading their information you’ll have to use your judgement and patience.


WP – WordPress

WordPress is world’s most popular blogging platforms. In fact this very blog runs on WordPress. There are two (2) ways that you could use WP. 1) Simply create a free account on and start blogging. 2) Download a copy of WordPress from and install it on your own hosting account (or your server). I prefer the latter because I get full control of my blog, while people using might see their blog shut down at any second because WP didn’t like something about it. There are many 3rd party programs that also run on WP. For instance SiteRubix helps you setup a free website or a blog within seconds. The blog will already come pre-loaded with some of the most important plugins.


I think this might be the longer article I’ve ever written… over 2,700 words. I tried to include all of the Internet Marketing acronyms that I see and use the most often. However, I am sure that I forgot so many others. Although I did forget some, you will now be able to understand a phrase such as: My typical ROI with an LP is about 300% if I go through SM PPC and the average CTR is about 20%.

If you would like to add some abbreviations to this list or if you are curious about some online marketing acronyms please do comment below!

– Alex

2 thoughts on “Top Internet Marketing Acronyms You Should Know”

  1. Hi Alex,
    You have made a great list here and a very helpful list.
    I know how I had to keep looking things up and making a list when I was first becoming familiar with the internet. So I am sure there are many who will find this helpful.
    Christa 🙂

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