All hands on deck

"All hands on deck" is a nautical term traditionally used on ships to indicate the need for all crew members to aid in a task. In the context of our SEO services, it signifies our comprehensive approach to improving your SEO. We bring together a complement of SEO specialists, content writers, web developers, and strategists, ensuring all hands are on deck to enhance your website's search engine rankings. This collective endeavor guarantees that every aspect of your SEO is addressed, providing a well-rounded solution to your digital marketing needs.

Bilge Rat

In SEO terms, a "bilge rat" is considered the lowest and most unethical type of "cyber pirate". They use deceptive and harmful tactics to manipulate search engine rankings or trick unsuspecting victims through the internet. Often targeting the elderly who are less tech-savvy.

Bitter end

"Bitter End" in SEO terminology refers to the unfortunate situation a domain can face if it falls into the hands of SEO pirates and cyberterrorists. These unscrupulous actors may exploit the domain's reputation by installing malicious software to trick and exploit unaware visitors. The damage caused by such actions can lead to a significant decline in the domain's trustworthiness and ranking in search engine results, and in some cases ending up blacklisted.


In the SEO field, "Booty" refers to the process of discovering and recovering dead links from abandoned websites. Just like privateers who seize treasures from victim ships, SEO professionals search the vast online sea for these 'treasures' - broken or dead links. When these are found, they can replace them with their own domain's link, effectively 'plundering' the lost link value. This process is beneficial to both parties; the hosting website improves their user experience by having functioning, relevant links, and the SEO professional gains increased exposure and potential traffic, making it a mutually profitable venture.


"Complement" in the context of SEO and digital marketing refers to the complete team of experts, including strategists, content writers, web developers, and data analysts, who collaboratively work to enhance a website's search engine rankings.

  • complement, (not to be confused with "compliment") is the number of persons in a shipโ€ฒs crew, including officers.
  • a collective term for all of the persons in a shipโ€ฒs crew, including officers.


  • the helmsman or crew member in command of a vessel.


  • all members on a vessel, excluding the captain, officers or helmsmen.


  • the term used when obtaining something outside of official channels or payment, usually by trading or bartering.

Dressed to the nines

When a maritime victory was celebrated, a ship would return to her home port "dressed" in bunting and flags. The crew would also be dressed in their best and out on the nine yards of a tall ship to greet their country. Today the phrase is used to describe a person who is very elaborately dressed.

Fits the bill

A Bill of Lading was signed by the shipโ€™s master acknowledging receipt of specified goods and the promise to deliver them to their destination in the same condition. Upon delivery, the goods were checked against the bill to see if all was in order. If so, they fit the bill.

Full speed ahead!

A Bill of Lading was signed by the shipโ€™s master acknowledging receipt of specified goods and the promise to deliver them to their destination in the same condition. Upon delivery, the goods were checked against the bill to see if all was in order. If so, they fit the bill.


In the Brand SEO field, "Emblem" refers to a brand's logo or symbol that identifies and represents the brand on various online platforms. It plays a crucial role in gaining visibility in search engine results, as a unique and easily recognizable emblem can significantly enhance brand recognition and recall among users.

  • the flag for a vessel.
  • a brand's logo.

Gimme some slack!

An expression that originated during the docking of a ship. One would alternately tension the line in your hands and then release. The call would be to "give me some slack" when it was your turn to "haul". Today, it still means much the same thing as when used in referenced to the boating world. The term is also now used synonymous with "give me a break".


  • to direct; to steer; to regulate the course or motion of a ship. The helm or the helmsman governs the ship.

High and dry

In the SEO industry, "High and Dry" refers to the situation where a domain, due to misguided SEO strategies or poor marketing decisions, finds itself not ranking for any relevant keywords or phrases in its industry. Much like a beached ship that's out of the water for an extended period, a website 'high and dry' in SEO terms is disconnected from the flow of online traffic and visibility.

  • This term originally referred to ships that were beached. The โ€˜dryโ€™ implies that not only were they out of the water, but had been for some time and could be expected to remain so.


In the SEO industry, "Hornswaggle" (or "Hornswoggle") is a term used to describe the actions of cyber-pirates who attempt to extort money from victims with threats of SEO attacks, identity theft, or slander. Often, these cyber-pirates employ unethical and harmful tactics such as hacking, spamming, brand name theft and abuse, or deploying malware to manipulate the victim's online presence or reputation. In response to these threats, SEO privateers โ€“ legitimate SEO experts โ€“ use a range of strategies to counteract and reverse the effects of the hornswoggle. These strategies include doxxing (the practice of researching and revealing private information about the cyber-pirate, usually for public shaming), and takedowns (legal requests to remove abuse and illicit content) against the cyber-pirate's hosting platforms and social media accounts.

  • To swindle something, usually money, out of someone else
  • Cyber-pirates often attempt to blackmail victims to swindle (extort) money from them with threats of SEO attacks or identity theft.


"Hull" in nautical terms refers to the main body of a ship. Similarly, in SEO terms, "Hull" is used as a metaphor to describe the framework or core upon which a website is built. It includes the essential coding, design elements, and structural features that shape the website's functionality and user experience, which affect the websiteโ€™s overall performance in search engine rankings.

  • the ship's hull.
  • a metaphor for a the framework used to build a website.

Know the ropes

This is pretty obvious if youโ€™ve ever seen a tall ship. It was such an important skill on sailing vessels that an honorable discharge from service was marked, at one time, with the term โ€˜knows the ropesโ€™. Land-side it still means a person with experience and skill. Also, learn the ropes and show them the ropes.

Long haul

  • operation on ship requiring the hauling of a lot of line. Also seen in short haul, an operation requiring little line.


Your home page is your domain's landing page. This is your ultimate-masthead. This page, and all pages also have what we call "ATF" (Above the Fold) the first thing visible when someone lands on your website. Wether it be a blog article, or your home page, the first thing they should see is a headline, a logo, possibly a featured image, and the beginning of a paragraph.

  • the head or top of a mast.
  • the title of a newspaper or magazine; usually printed on the front page and on the editorial page.
  • a listing printed in all issues of a newspaper or magazine (usually on the editorial page) that gives the name of the publication and the names of the editorial staff, etc.

Mother Lode

Nord SEO offers the mother lode with their International SEO plan. This includes all aspects of SEO service, including internationalization of your website and marketing content.

  • a principal source or supply.


A "Privateer" in SEO terms refers to a legitimate SEO expert who, akin to the licensed privateers of maritime law, uses ethical and approved strategies to improve a website's search engine rankings. SEO Privateers are often hired to wage war against SEO pirates and cyberterrorists who perpetrate illegal attacks against the client, using their expertise to neutralize harmful tactics and secure the client's digital presence.

  • a licensed sailor, authorized by a country's government to attack and seize cargo from any ship from a warring country.


"Overhaul" in the context of SEO refers to a comprehensive process of making significant changes to a website to improve its performance in search engine rankings. This process might involve modifying the website's design, improving its loading speed, optimizing its content for relevant keywords, improving interlinking, fixing broken links, and ensuring that it's mobile-friendly. Just like the nautical term where crew were sent aloft to prevent chafing of the sails, an SEO overhaul involves meticulous scrutiny and modifications to ensure the website sails smoothly towards improved visibility and ranking on search engines.

  • to prevent the buntline ropes from chaffing the sails, crew were sent aloft to haul them over the sails. This was called overhauling.


This is what we at Nord SEO refer to as black hat SEO noobs, such as those who sell "bulk contextual SEO backlinks." This is known as "spamdexing," or "link schemes," and it hasn't been working out too well since 2012 after Google's Penguin update.

  • a kidding type of word that a superior pirate might call one of the rookie pirates.


"Scuttlebutt" originally refers to sailor gossip, news, or rumors. In the context of the SEO industry, "Scuttlebutt" refers to the latest trends, algorithm changes, or industry chatter about effective strategies. It underscores the importance of staying updated in a rapidly evolving field like SEO, where the 'gossip' or shared knowledge can significantly sway the course of a domain's future.

  • Sailor gossip; news; rumors.


In SEO terms, a "Shellback" refers to an experienced or veteran SEO expert who has navigated the challenges of the digital marketing world. A shellback has 'crossed the equator' of their field by mastering significant SEO strategies and being initiated through successfully improving clients' search rankings.

  • an old or veteran sailor.
  • a person who has crossed the equator and been initiated in the traditional ceremony.


The term "skyscraper" in SEO describes a technique for content writing. This involves researching a topic or keyword for the top-ranking web pages, taking notes, and composing new content that is more comprehensive, rich, and up-to-date.

  • a small triangular sail set above the skysail in order to maximize effect in a light wind.


"SOS" is a distress signal in Morse code, originally used in maritime contexts, where it stands for "Save Our Ship". This signal was a cry for help from sailors when their ship was in danger. In the digital age, this term has been repurposed in the field of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), where "SOS" now means "Save Our Site". It's used as a metaphorical distress signal sent by websites that are struggling to achieve visibility in search engine results, buried under competition or affected by algorithm changes. When a website sends out an "SOS", it's calling for SEO experts to step in and improve the site's visibility and ranking.

For urgent "SOS" calls for help, do not hesitate to fill out our ๐Ÿ›Ÿ support form. Our team of SEO shellbacks are on standby to throw you a line.

Three sheets to the wind

"Three sheets to the wind" refers to a situation where a website owner and staff are unsure about why their website is not ranking and drawing free traffic. The term evokes the image of a ship whose sails are loose and flutter in the wind. In this context, it signifies a website drifting in the digital sea without a clear direction or strategy. This underscores the need for an experienced SEO crew of SEO shellbacks who know the ropes and can steer the website back on course.

Whole nine yards

"The whole nine yards" signifies "the whole lot"โ€”a complete range of SEO services that Nord SEO's experts provide, akin to a fully rigged sailing vessel with all its sails hoisted. Much like a ship utilizing every sail to harness the wind's power, we optimize every aspect of your domain, ensuring it sails smoothly with maximum potential in the digital ocean. Keyword rankings act as the sails of your ship, capturing the winds of free traffic.

  • This term is now used to mean โ€œthe whole lotโ€ or โ€œeverythingโ€. Itโ€™s thought that this expression comes from square-rigged sailing vessels that had three masts with three sails hung from yard arms on each.ย  The whole nine yards meant all sails were up.