Is SEO Becoming a Dirty Word? Majestic Drops the ‘SEO’

Share on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUponShare on Facebook

It’s not really a word (it’s an acronym), but the term ‘SEO’ has been getting a pretty bad press in the last couple of years. Given that it started out as a way to effectively manipulate search results, it’s been pretty tough at times for those within the industry to convince people – especially burned clients – that SEO isn’t a bad thing.

I’ve written so many times before about how the SEO landscape is constantly changing; I’ve noticed that the term ‘Search Engine Marketing‘ (SEM) is becoming more and more prevalent these days. We should have gathered something might be a little amiss when SEOMoz changed to Moz. Although the company asserted that the main reasons for the name change was thanks to the evolution of the company, Rand Fishkin did state in the blog post update:

“For many folks outside of our community, the acronym SEO has (unfair) associations with spam or manipulation. To quote an all-too-frequent comment we see when our site is mentioned around the web, “Don’t trust any domain with SEO in the name.”  “

And now, MajesticSEO has followed suit.



I use MajesticSEO all the time, and was pretty confused yesterday when I went to look at some backlink profiles and was redirected to It turns out, it’s been part of quite a long process; Dixon Jones, Majestic’s Marketing Director, told Marketing Pilgrim all about it.

Apparently, buying the domain name itself took three years, and was a bit of a mess when it was finally secured. Apparently it included a bunch of indexed subdomains and external affiliate links. I was really interested to see what the site used, to be, and checked it out on Wayback Machine.


It looks like an affiliate search engine, whatever it is, although prior to that I think it was an actual company website.

So why did Majestic want to work so hard just to kick ‘SEO’ out of their domain name?

Jones did note that he is expecting some ‘nay sayers’ to express their disapproval at Majestic stepping away from its SEO roots; but says that ‘most people get that it makes sense’.

Okay…aside from the rebranding, what is it about that acronym that is turning people off? Shouldn’t companies with a solid grounding in SEO help to change the negative image of it?

In the comments section of their blog, a Majestic representative did address this.


It is interesting that so far, I haven’t seen anything from Majestic mentioning the bad connotations that SEO has – maybe it is literally just about re-branding.

Also, this post isn’t intentionally keyword-stuffed.

Written by Sarah Chalk

Sarah Chalk

Sarah is an SEO Account Manager at 360i and has a keen interest in all things SEO. She has also written for a number of sites, including Vue cinema’s film blog and a number of tech websites.

One thought on “Is SEO Becoming a Dirty Word? Majestic Drops the ‘SEO’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>