A B C D E F G H I J K L M O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Absolute Link

Example: www.localmecca.com It specifies a transfer protocol, domain name and often a file name.

Accessibility

Accessibility is the practice of making websites usable by disabled people; especially blind people. Because search engines are essentially blind (ie they can’t see pictures or use Flash) accessible websites tend to have better search engine rankings than inaccessible websites.

AdSense

Google AdSense is a fast and easy way for website publishers of all sizes to display relevant Google ads on their website’s content pages and earn money. Because the ads are related to what your visitors are looking for on your site – or matched to the characteristics and interests of the visitors your content attracts – you’ll finally have a way to both monetize and enhance your content pages. It’s also a way for website publishers to provide Google web and site search to their visitors, and to earn money by displaying Google ads on the search results pages.

AdWords

Google’s CPC (Cost Per Click) based text advertising. AdWords takes clickthrough rate into consideration in addition to advertiser’s bid to determine the ad?s relative position within the paid search results. Google applies such a weighting factor in order to feature those paid search results that more popular and thus presumably more relevant and useful. Google has also started taking into account the quality of the landing page and applying a quality score to the landing pages.

Agent Name

This is the name of the Crawler/spider that is currently visiting a page. Spider is a robot sent out by search engines to catalogue websites on the internet. When a spider indexes a particular website, this is known as ‘being spidered’.

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML)

Allows you to create a more user-friendly web application by working behind the scenes (inside a web browser) by making web pages feel more responsive. In short, it allows JavaScript scripts to send data requests and receive responses without having to reload the entire page.

Algorithm

An algorithm is an operational programming rule that determine how a search engine indexes content and displays the results to its users.

AllTheWeb

“AllTheWeb” is a search engine owned by Yahoo and using its database.

Alt Attribute

The ALT attribute is designed to be an alternative text description (provide a text equivalent) for images.

Alt tags

Alt tags alternate text associated with a web page graphic that gets displayed when the Internet user hovers the mouse over the graphic. Alt tags should convey what the graphic is for or about and contain good relevant keywords. Alt tags also make web pages more accessible to the disabled. For example, a vision-impaired user may have a web browser that reads aloud the text and alt tags on a page. (For those familiar with HTML, “alt” isn’t actually a tag by itself but an attribute to the “img” tag.). Note that the value of Alt tags for SEO have been discounted over time by the search engines to the point that now it is of minimal value.

Anchor text

Anchor text is the actual text part of a link (usually underlined). Used by search engines as an important ranking factor. Google pays particular attention to the text used in a hyperlink and associates the keywords contained in the anchor text to the page being linked to. Also see “Google bombing.”

Animated Ad

An ad with movement, often an interactive Java applet or Shockwave or GIF89a file.

Announce site to search engines

“Announce” a website to the engines by adding a link to it from another site; that is, one that’s already indexed (by the search engines). Beware! Search engine submission services which promise higher visibility in the SERPS are total a rip-off.

Announcing

See Submitting Definition.

API

Abbreviation for Application Program Interface. An API is a set of routines, protocols and tools for building software applications; it determines how a service is invoked through the application.

ASP

An acronym for Active Server Pages, a Microsoft-invented, proprietary programming language for building dynamic web sites. ASP is also an acronym for Application Service Provider, a hosted service available via the Internet.

Automated Submitting

Automated Submitting is using automated software such as WebPosition Gold or an Application Service Provider (ASP) such as Microsoft b-central’s Submit-It service to submit your web pages to the search engines. This tactic is frowned upon by the search engines. Indeed, some search engines such as AltaVista have completely automated submissions by requiring the user to re-key in a one-time use submission code that is displayed on the submission page as a graphic..


Back links

Back links are inbound links pointing to a web page. See: Inbound Links Definition.

Bait and Switch

Bait and switch is considered as a spam technique when used in SEO. It provides one page for a search engine or directory and a different page for other user agents at the same URL. Sometimes it creates an optimized page and submits to search engines or directory, but replaces with the regular page as soon as the optimized page has been indexed.

Banned

When a search engine blocks your site from appearing in its search results.

Banner Ad

A graphic image, usually a GIF or JPEG, that can be placed anywhere on a web page, most frequently centered across the top. The tile ad is a smaller counterpart, typically grouped with other tile ads along a side margin. The standard banner ad is 468 x 60 pixels; the most common size for tile ads is 125 x 125 pixels.

Beacon

A line of code placed in an ad or on a web page that helps track the visitor’s actions, such as registrations or purchases. A web beacon is often invisible because it’s only 1 x 1 pixel in size and has no color. Also known as web bug, 1 by 1 GIF, invisible GIF or tracker GIF.

Beyond The Banner

Any advertisement that is not a banner, such as an interstitial or a pop-up ad.

Bid management tool

Software or an ASP service used to manage bids on pay-per-click search engines such as Yahoo Search Marketing (formerly Overture) and Google AdWords.

Bidding

Bidding means placing a bid price that you are willing to pay as an advertiser on a pay-per-click search engine. The highest bid for a given keyword achieves the top spot in the PPC search results. In Overture, the top three bids are “featured” on Overture’s partners’ sites, including AOL, Altavista, Infospace, and others. The minimum bid amount on Overture is 5 cents per clickthrough. Also see Pay Per Click / PPC Definition.

Black Hat SEO

Black Hat SEO is sometimes called spamdexing (the opposite of White Hat SEO). Black Hat SEO can be any optimization tactics that cause a site to rank more highly than its content would otherwise justify or any changes made specifically for search engines that don’t improve the user’s experience of the site. In other words, Black Hat SEO is optimizations that are against search engine guidelines. If you step too far over the mark, your site may be penalized or even removed from the index.

For example, adding product reviews to e-commerce site is encouraged, because it adds useful content to the site. However, using bait-and-switch techniques to create a doorway page that hooks people querying for information on soccer, it then leads to information about health products will be unacceptable.

The following Black Hat SEO tactics should be avoided to keep your site away from penalties:

  • Keyword, anchor text and domain name stuffing
  • Using hidden text or links
  • Using techniques to artificially increase the number of links to your pages, such as link farms
  • Excessively cross-linking sites to increase link popularity
  • Cloaking, delivering different pages depending on the IP address and/or agent who is requesting it
  • Doorway / Gateway / Jump Pages
  • Duplicate content taken from other sites
  • Auto-generated content of no value to the end user
  • Spamming forums or blogs
  • Excessive outbound links to websites that use high risk techniques or spam

Blacklist

Lists that either search engines or vigilante users compile of search engine spammers, which may be used to ban those spammers from search engines or to boycott them.

Blog

Also known as a “weblog”. An online diary with entries made on a regular if not daily basis. Some blogs are maintained by an anonymous author who uses a nickname or handle instead of his or her real name.

Body copy

The ‘meaty’ textual content of a web page. Body copy refers to text visible to users, doesn’t include graphical content, navigation, or information hidden in the HTML source code.

Bot

Short for robot. See “spider”.

Bridge page

See “doorway page”.

Broad Match

Broad Match is a form of “keyword matching” and refers to the matching of a search listing or advertisement to selected keywords in any order. This means if selected keywords are “running shoes”, then ads or a search listing may be displayed if the users searches upon the following example keywords:

Any Order: “shoes running”

Synonym: “running sneakers”

Plural, Singular: “running shoe”

Bulk submission services

An ASP that submits many URLs to the search engines on your behalf. For example: SubmitWolf. Search engines don’t like these. See “automated submitting”.

Button

A clickable graphic that takes the user to another page or executes a program, such as a software demo or a video player.


Cache

Copies of web pages stored locally on an Internet user’s hard drive or within a search engine’s database. A cache is the reason why web pages load so quickly when a user hits the Back button in their web browser, since the page is not being redownloaded off of the Internet. Google is unusual among search engines in that it allows Internet users to view the cached version of web pages in its index. Simply click on the word “Cache” next to the search result of interest and you will be taken to a copy of the page as Googlebot discovered and indexed it. This feature of Google makes it easy to spot cloaking…

Call To Action

A call to action is copy used in advertising to encourage a person to complete an action as defined by the advertiser. Call to action words are “doing words” such as “Click here”, “Buy Now”, “Enter Now” or “Click to download”.

Cgi-bin

A “virtual” directory contained in URLs indicates a CGI (Common Gateway Interface) script is in use. A sure tip-off to the spider that your page is dynamic.

Click-down Ad or Click-within Ad

An ad that allows the user to stay on the same web page, while viewing requested advertising content. Click-downs display another file on the user’s screen, normally below or above the initial ad. Click-withins allow the user to drill down for more information within the ad.

Clickthrough

The action of clicking an ad element and causing a redirect to another web page.

Clickthrough rate

The rate at which people click on a link such as a search engine listing or a banner ad. Studies show that clickthrough rates are six times higher for search engine listings than banner ads.

Cloaking

Serving different content to search engine spiders than to human visitors. Cloaking is basically a “bait and switch” tactic, where the web server feeds visiting spiders content that is keyword-rich, thus fooling the search engine into placing that page higher in the search results. Yet when the visitor clicks on the link they are given different content, which may be totally unrelated. Search engines frown upon this practice and some will penalize or ban sites that they catch doing it.

Cold Fusion

A powerful web scripting language with centered around database access. ColdFusion program files are saved on the web server with a .CFM file extension.

Content Integration

Advertising woven into editorial content or placed in a special context on the page, typically appearing on portals and large destination sites. Also known as web advertorial or sponsored content.

Conversion

The act of converting a web site visitor into a customer or at least taking that visitor a step closer to customer acquisition (such as convincing them to sign up for your e-mail newsletter).

Conversion rate

The rate at which visitors get converted to customers or are moved a step closer to customer acquisition.

Cookie

Information placed on a visitor’s computer by a web server. While the web site is being accessed, data in the visitor’s cookie file can be stored or retrieved. Mostly cookies are used as unique identifiers (i.e. user IDs or session IDs) to isolate a visitor’s movements from others’ during that visit and subsequent visits. Other data that may get stored in a cookie include an order number, email address, referring advertiser, etc.

Cost Per Action (CPA)

The cost incurred or price paid for a specific action, such as signing up for an email newsletter, entering a contest, registering on the site, completing a survey, downloading trial software, printing a coupon, etc.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

The cost incurred or price paid for a clickthrough to your landing page.

Cost Per Lead (CPL)

Pricing based on the number of new leads generated.

For example, people who click from an ad and then complete an inquiry form is considered to be a lead. The advertiser would pay based on the number leads received.

Cost Per Order (CPO)

Pricing based on the number of orders received as a result of your ad placement. Also known as cost-per-transaction.

Cost Per Sale (CPS)

Pricing based on the number of sales transactions your ad generates. Since users may visit your site several times before making a purchase, you can use cookies to track their visits from your landing page to the actual online sale. Also known as cost-per-acquisition or pay-per-sale.

Cost Per Thousand (CPM)

The cost incurred or price paid for a thousand impressions

Counter

A simple program which tracks the total number of webpage impressions.

Crawler

See “spider”.

CSS

Cascading Style Sheet – used to control the design of website.

CTR – Click Through Rate

Click Through Rate is a measure of the number of clicks received from the number of ad impressions delivered. The formula to calculate CTR is: “number of clicks” / “number of ad impressions” x 100.

Custom error page

You can customize the content and the look-and-feel of the default page that is displayed on your web server when a 404 File Not Found error occurs. A good 404 error page has a friendly message explaining that the page they requested doesn’t exist at the location, a site map to encourage the user to continue exploring the site, a search box so the user can conduct a search, and a look-and-feel that matches the rest of the site, including navigation of course. Creating a custom 404 error page not only helps keep visitors in your site, it is also an important part of the search engine optimization process. Inevitably pages on your site will get moved and removed over time. When a search engine spider returns to your site to reindex those now non-existent pages, they will have a set of links to explore in the form of the site map on the custom 404 page. You can test for whether a site has a custom 404 error page by trying to access a web page with a nonsense filename after the domain name in the web site address. For example: www.yourcompany.com/blah


Database-driven

As in “database-driven web site.” Means that the website is connected to a database and web page content is based in part on information extracted from those databases.

Database-generated

As in “database-generated web page.” Means that a web page is created dynamically ‘on-the-fly’ from a database, in contrast with a static HTML page.

Daughter Window

An ad that runs in a separate window associated with a concurrently displayed banner. In normal practice, the content and banner are rendered first and the daughter window appears a moment later.

Deep submitting

Submitting URLs of pages deep in your site to the search engines. For example, if a webmaster of 200-page website submits each of those 200 pages. This tactic is frowned upon by some search engines because it unnecessarily clogs up their submission database when the search engine spider could find those pages on its own by exploring links starting at the home page.

Directory

Human editors group websites into categories and provide site descriptions or edit descriptions that are submitted to them. With a directory, picking the right category and composing a description rich in key phrases will ensure maximum visibility. Contrast this with a search engine, which is unedited and concerned primarily with the HTML of a site’s constituent pages.

Doorway page

Also known as a “bridge page” or a “gateway page”. A doorway page is a web page full of keyword-rich copy that doesn’t deliver any useful information on it other than a link into the site, and whose sole purpose is to be fed to the search engines.

Dynamic

Generated ‘on-the-fly’ from a database. Also see “database-driven.”

Dynamic Rotation

Delivery of ads on a rotating, random basis. Dynamic rotation allows ads to be served on different pages of the site and exposes users to a variety of ads.


Error page

A web page stating an error message such as “File Not Found”.

Exact Match

Exact Match is a form of keyword matching where the search query must be exactly the same as the advertisement keyword. This means that the term “running shoes” will only match ads or search listings that contain the exact words “running shoes”.

Exclusive Advertising

A contract that allows advertisers to purchase all inventory on a given page or for chosen keywords.

Expandable Banner

A banner ad that can expand to as large as 468 x 240 pixels after a user clicks on it or after a user moves the cursor over the banner.


Findability

How easily found your site is using search engines.

Firefox

See Mozilla Firefox.

Flash

A technology developed by MacroMedia Corp. that allows a web designer to embed interactive multimedia into web pages. Often used for Flash intros, games, and animating navigation. If you visit a web page and see letters and numbers flying around with a fun.

Flash intro

An animated ‘short’ created using Flash that Internet users are made to sit through upon entry to a home page. Flash intros annoy users. They also typically take the place of text content on a home page, and since search engines can’t ‘read’ content embedded in Flash, the rankings of a home page that’s just a Flash intro will suffer.

Floating Ads

An ad that appears within the main browser window on top of the page’s normal content, appearing to “float” over the top of the page.

Flux

Shuffling of search engine positions in between major search engine updates.

Forums

A virtual community. Also known as discussion forums. Used by search engine optimizers and webmasters for information exchange. Users can post messages in different forums, either to the group at large or to certain users. However, all postings can be seen by anyone else who has access to that forum, so save sensitive materials for private email. Forums are also threaded, which means a reply to a particular posting becomes part of the “thread” of that posting that can be followed to provide a cohesive progression through a particular topic.

Frames

When separate web pages are combined into one, each potentially with its own scrollbar. You know you’re on a framed website when part of the page scrolls while the rest of the page stays in place. Frames frustrate people because much of the time when the person tries to bookmark a specific page, it doesn’t actually work but instead bookmarks the “frameset” page which is typically the home page. Search engines don’t like frames. A framed web site is at a severe disadvantage compared to non-framed sites in terms of search engine marketing. Most search engines support frames, but only, as Google says in its FAQ section, “to the extent that [we] can.” Searchers clicking through to a framed page from search results sometimes end up on an orphaned page. You can use <noframes> in HTML to make the page indexed normally by the crawler.

Frameset

A web page that is made up of frames. A useful analogy: if the individual frames that make up the frameset are the ‘children,’ then the frameset is the ‘parent.’

Frequency

The number of times an ad is delivered to the same browser in a single sessions or time period.

Fresh

The term that Google uses to refer to frequently changing home pages. When Googlebot ascertains that a given home page is changing frequently, Googlebot will revisit and reindex this page daily.


GAP – Google Advertising Professional

Google Advertising Professional is a free program, offered by Google, for professionals wishing to manage multiple Google Adwords clients.

Gateway page

Also called a “doorway page” or a “bridge page”. A gateway page is a low quality web page that contains very little content and exists solely for the purpose of driving traffic to another page. This is done through spamdexing, spamming the index of a search engine. Gateway pages are often easy to identify in that they have been designed primarily for search engines, not for human beings.

Geo-Targeting

Advertising that is distributed based on geographic location. Online advertising allows for targeting of countries, states, cities and suburbs (in some markets).

Google

Google is the world’s number one search engine with a 50.8% market share, ahead of Yahoo! 23.6% and Live Search 8.4% (Dec 2006).

Google was founded by Stanford University students Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998. At the time of the company’s initial public offering in August 2004 $1.67 billion was raised, making Google worth $23 billion.

Google’s success should be attributed to its unique algorithmic ranking system PageRank – a system that assigns a score to a web page based on the number of links to that page.

Based in Mountain View, California the company now employs 13,748 people. The company has a relaxed corporate atmosphere that is illustrated in the companies philosophy “Don’t be evil”.

Central to Google’s profitability is Google Adwords launched in 2000. Google Adwords are text-based contextual ads relevant to keyword searches. In 2006 the company earned $10.492 billion in total advertising revenues about 90 times the revenue from other Google ventures.

Current Google applications include: Web search, Image Search, Google News,Google Product Search, Google Groups, Google Maps, Gmail, AdWords, Google Video, Google Checkout and Google Earth.

Google AdSense

Paid ads webmasters may place on their websites.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is web analytics tool offering detailed visitor statistics. The tool can be used to track all the usual site activities: visits, page views, pages per visit, bounce rates and average time on site etc.

But it can also be used to specifically track Adsense traffic – therefore helping webmasters to optimize Adwords adverts based on where visitors come from, time on site, click path and geographic location.

Modeled on Urchin’s analytics tool, after Google purchased Urchin Software Group in 2005, Google Analytics was first rolled out in late 2005. The response was overwhelming and Google had to suspend sign ups only a few days later. After a short period using a lottery type of invitation system – the tool made generally available in August 2006.

Features Include:

  • Updates in less than one hour
  • Users can add up to 50 websites
  • Integration with Google Adwords
  • User friendly interface – Dashboard format

Google bombing

Google Bombing is when a group of sites such as blogs join forces to link to an unflattering page about a company such that this page rises to the top of the search results in Google. Google bombing takes advantage of the power of hyperlink text and of PageRank. For example, if a group of sites with high PageRank all link to a page about XYZ Company’s inappropriate behavior with hyperlink text of “XYZ Company sucks” then the linked page can shoot to the top of Google’s search results for the term “XYZ Company.”

Google Bowling

Google Bowling is a black hat SEO technique used to knock competitors down or out of search engine results. It is a form of SEO sabotage that is conducted by pointing hundreds of questionable links from low quality sites at a competitor’s site so they end up banned or penalized by Google. Generally newer sites are more susceptible to Google Bowling as older sites are better established with a range of existing high quality links.

Google cache

See “Cache”.

Google Checkout

Google’s online payment processing service, Google Checkout, was designed to simplify the online purchase/payment process.

It works by allowing users to store their credit card and shipping details on their Google Account. Therefore minimizing the amount of information they need to input at the point of purchase. Purchases can be made at the click of a button.

Features include:

  • Fraud protection
  • The ability to track purchases
  • Easy transactions

Google Dance

The Google Dance refers to when Google indexes are updated. This period of time often results in fluctuations in the index size and some noticeable changes in search engine result positions. The term Google Dance was adopted as while an update is being processed the position of a website in Google seems to “dance” as it fluctuates. The fluctuation is due to each of Google’s nine datacenters being updated out of sync – meaning for a time the results are different.

Google Juice

Internet slang to refer to the substance which flows between web pages via their hyperlinks. Pages with lots of links pointing to them acquire much ‘Google Juice’ and pages which link to highly ‘juicy’ pages acquire some reflected ‘Google Juice’.

Google Labs

Google Labs is the home to Google’s latest innovations and beta products. It is a testing ground for new services in development.

A number of popular products are graduates of Google Labs including: Google Reader, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Google Video, Personalized Search, Google Desktop and iGoogle.

Current Google Labs products include:

  • Google Code Search
  • Google Transit
  • Google Music Trends
  • Accessible Search
  • Google Extensions for Firefox
  • Google Trends
  • Google Mars
  • Google Page Creator
  • Google Dashboard Widgets for Mac
  • Google Web Accelerator
  • Google Ride Finder
  • Google Suggest
  • Product Search for Mobile
  • Google Sets

Google Pack

Free software specifically selected by Google.

Currently includes:

  • Google Earth
  • Spyware Doctor
  • Google Photos Screensaver
  • Star Office
  • Norton Security Scan
  • Google Desktop
  • Google Talk
  • Picasa
  • Adobe Reader
  • Firefox with Google Toolbar
  • Skype
  • Real Player

Google Supplemental Index

Google’s Supplemental Index, is a secondary database containing Supplemental Results – pages deemed to be of less importance by Google’s algorithm or are less trusted.

The primary measure of a pages importance is the number and quality of links pointing to that page. Pages in the Supplemental Index can still rank in search results, but this will depend on the number of pages in the main index relevant to the search.

Some reasons pages may be in the Google Supplemental Index:

  • Duplicate content
  • Low PageRank
  • Lack of trust
  • A site with a large number of pages
  • Page freshness
  • Excessively long URLs

Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer

Google Toolbar is Internet browser add on available for both Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.

Features for Internet Explorer Google Toolbar include:

  • Search Settings Notifier
  • Pop-up blocker
  • Address bar browse by name
  • Google search box
  • Google Suggest
  • A SpellCheck
  • AutoLink & AutoFill
  • PageRank display
  • Google Account sign-in
  • Google Bookmarks

Google Toolbar for Mozilla Firefox

Google Toolbar is Internet browser add on available for both Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Features for Mozilla Firefox Google Toolbar include:

  • Access to Google Docs & Spreadsheets
  • Customize the layout options
  • Handle mailto: links with Gmail
  • Google search box
  • Google Suggest
  • A SpellCheck
  • AutoLink & AutoFill
  • PageRank display
  • Google Account sign-in
  • Google Bookmarks

Google Traffic Estimator

Google Traffic Estimator is a tool that indicates the number of clicks to expect on Google Adwords ads for particular keywords. The tool can be used to indicate search volume, average cost per click, estimated ad positions, estimated clicks per day and estimated cost per day. Google Traffic Estimator does not provide a numeric estimate of the number of search queries, instead it offers only a visual estimation of search volume in a small graphic.

Google Trends

Google Trends is a tool from Google Labs. It allows you to see how Google search volumes for a particular keyword have changed over a period of time. It shows the popularity of search terms from the beginning of 2004 onwards. Google Trends data is presented in a line graph. The horizontal axis represents time and the vertical axis shows how often a term is searched for. Data can be broken down further by region, city and language. You can also compare multiple search terms.

Google XML Sitemap

Google Sitemaps are XML files that list the URLs available on a site. The aim is to help site owners notify search engines about the URLs on a website that are available for indexing. Webmasters can include information about each URL, such as when it was last updated and its importance in the context of the site.

Googlebot

Googlebot is a search bot used by Google. It collects documents from the web to build a searchable index for the Google search engine.

Googleware

The assortment of tools produced by google that can be used to search, report, play, and research.

Research includes (but is not limited to):

  • Blogsearch
  • Google Analytics
  • Adwords
  • Adsense
  • Google Video
  • Google Scholar
  • Google News
  • Google search
  • Froogle
  • Google Maps
  • Google Images
  • Google Earth

Googlewhack

A Google search query consisting of two words, that returns a single result.

Grey Hat SEO

SEO using both Black Hat and White Hat techniques.

Seth Godin

Seth Godin is a author, blogger and internet entrepreneur. Godin founded Yoyodyne, one of the first online marketing companies in 1995, the company was sold to Yahoo! in 1998.


Hallway page

A page that serves as an index to a group of pages that you would like the search engine spiders to find. Once a search engine spider indexes the hallway page, it should also follow all the links on that hallway page and in turn index those pages as well.

Heading tag

An HTML tag that is often used to denote a page or section heading on a web page. Search engines pay special attention to text that is marked with a heading tag, as such text is set off from the rest of the page content as being more important.

Hidden keywords

Keywords that are placed in the HTML source in such a way that these words are not viewable by human visitors looking at the rendered web page.

Hidden Text – SEO Spam Tactic

Hidden Text is a SEO spam tactic to hide contextual html text from human visitors to a webpage, however making it available to search engines to spider the text. The theory is that if you place more relevant html text content on the page rich with targeted keywords, then it will assist the page gaining ranking within search engine results. Some website owners do like text content on their page because they believe it negatively affects their brand and user web experience. So, they hide the text in the hope that the page will still rank for targeted keywords. Hidden Text is an illegal technique as search engines consider it search engine spam. By undertaking this practice, it will eventually harm natural search performance of a website.

Hijacking of Websites

Hijacking of websites is a practice that makes search engines believe that a specific website resides at another URL. It is a form of search engine spam and cloaking. The reason why this method is undertaken by spammers is to increase rankings in search engine result pages. Webpage Hijacking is an illegal spam tactic.

When spiders crawl websites and they discover two pages with the same content, the search engine will decide which is the main url while the other is not indexed. Spammers will use tactics to ensure that their page is the one that is chosen by the search engine.

An example of website hijacking is where there are two pages with exactly the same content but at different addresses – company.com (the real site) and company.net (the rogue site). Spammers use tactics to ensure their site ranks above the real site.

Hits

A download of a file from a web server. Hits do not correlate with web page visits. Every graphic on a web page counts as a hit. Thus, a single access of a web page with 20 unique graphics on it register as 21 hits – 20 for the graphics and 1 for the HTML page. Web metrics guru Jim Sterne says hits “stand for How Idiots Track Success.” People who talk in terms of hits are usually either ignorant or are trying to snow their boss into thinking the website is doing better than it really is.

Homepage

A homepage is the main page of a website. Like a cover of a book or the front of a store, its function is to welcome people and to inform them of the overall purpose of the website. The homepage offers an index of navigation that organizes content and leads to other parts of the website.

HTML

Stands for HyperText Markup Language. The programming language used to mark up web content and display it in a formatted manner. It’s up to the web browser software, e.g. Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape, to render HTML source.

HTML Source

The raw, unrendered programming code. It can be accessed in Internet Explorer by going to the “View” menu then selecting “Source”.

HTTP 301 – Status Code Definition

The 301 status code means the URI requested has “Moved Permanently” and has been assigned a new URI. Any future requests should use one of the returned URIs.

It is best practice to use 301 Redirects when multiple copies of the same document reside on different URIs. This will ensure that duplicate content is removed from the site and each and every unique page will only have one URL.

HTTP 302 – Status Code Definition

The 302 status code means that the document requested is “Found” however temporarily resides under a different URL. Since a permanent redirect has not been used, the client should continue to use the original requested URL for future requests.

HTTP 400 – Status Code Definition

The 400 status code means a “Bad Request” stating that the server is not able to understand the document request due to a malformed syntax. The user is required to modify its request prior to repeating it.

HTTP 401 – Status Code Definition

The 401 status code means “Unauthorized”. This server requests user authentication prior to fulfilling the document request.

HTTP 403 – Status Code Definition

The 403 status code means “Forbidden”. The server understood the request, however is refusing to fulfill it. The webmaster may wish to alert the user why their request has been denied. If the organization does not wish to provide this reason then a 404 (Not Found) status code can be displayed instead.

HTTP 404 – Status Code Definition

The response error message “404” represents a document “Not Found”. This means that the client was able to communicate with the server, however could not find the requested document. Alternatively, the server could be configured to not fulfill the request and not provide a reason why.

HTTP 410 – Status Code Definition

Similar to a 404 Not Found error message, the 410 status code states that the requested document is “intentionally gone”, is no longer available and there is no forwarding address. The 410 status code is usually used for limited display documents such as promotional information. It is up to the discretion of the web master to determine at what point to remove the 410 status message.

HTTP 500 – Status Code Definition

The 500 status code error message states that there was an internal server error which has prevented the document from being fulfilled.

HTTP 501 – Status Code Definition

The 501 status code message is displayed when the server does not recognize the document request method. The server is not capable of fulfilling this request and states the request was “Not Implemented”.

HTTP – Hypertext Markup Language

HTTP stands for hypertext markup language and is the main markup language for creation of web pages. It defines how data is structured and informs the web browser how the page is to be displayed with the use of formatting text and images.

Some of the page elements that can be coded with HTML include Page Titles, Text (paragraphs, lines and phrases), Lists (unordered, ordered and definition lists), Tables, Forms, Basic HTML Data Types (character data, colors, lengths, content types, etc) and much more.

The source html code of any webpage is available by simply clicking “Page Source” in a web browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer.

HTML is not a programming language and therefore is quite static in nature. It is considered to be a subset of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language).

Hubs

Hubs are a range of centralized websites linking to many related topical Authority websites.

Characteristics of a hub are:

  • Many outbound links to sites (typically Authority sites) that contain relevant content
  • The content on the hub site is highly focused

Impression

The number of times your search ad is served to users by search engines.

Inbound links (IBL)

Links that point to your site from sites other than your own. Inbound links are an important asset that will improve your site’s PageRank (PR).

Index

A search engine’s database in which it stores textual content from every web page that its spider visits.

Inktomi

First introduced in September 1995, Inktomi Corporation from California was a key player in the search engine market where it pioneered online search technologies. It initially provided software to ISPs (Internet Service Providers) but then went onto power other well-known web search tools such as HotBot, Looksmart, MSN, regional search engines and others.

It ultimately displaced Alta Vista when Inktomi started using a distributed network technology (instead of operating everything on one machine) that enabled them to index more than 1.3 million documents on the web at that time.

Inlinks

A synonym for back links. Popularized by Yahoo!

Insertion Order (I/O)

A contract that specifies the details of your search advertising campaign, including placements options, keywords, ad creative, landing page, pricing, geo-targeting, and language options.

Internal Links

An Internal Link is a hypertext link that points to another page within the same website. Internal links can be used as a form of navigation for people, directing them to pages within the website. Links assist with creating good information architecture within the site. Search engines also use internal text links to crawl pages within a website. The way internal links are structured will impact the way in which search engine bots spider and subsequently index pages.

Internet

Sometimes called “The Net”, the Internet is a publicly accessible worldwide system of computer networks that enable people to send and receive information from other computers. The Internet uses the TCP/IP network protocols to facilitate data transmission.

There are three levels of hierarchy including backbone networks, mid-level networks and stub networks. These include commercial (.com or .co), university (.ac or .edu) and other research networks (.org, .net).

Internet Explorer

Introduced in 1995, Internet Explorer is a web browser produced by Microsoft. It is also known as Explorer, IE, Microsoft Internet Explorer or MSIE. Internet Explorer is the most widely used browser in the world to view information on the World Wide Web (WWW).

Interstitial Ad

An ad page that appears for a short period of time before the user-requested page is displayed. Also known as a transition ad, splash page, or Flash page.

Inventory

Advertising space available for purchase on a website. Based on projections, inventory may be specified as number of impressions or as a share of voice. Also known as ad avail.

Invisible Web

A term that refers to the vast amount of information on the web that is not indexed by the search engines.

IP Address

IP Address stands for “Internet Protocol Address” and is sometimes referred to as “IP” or “Internet Address”. It is expressed as a four-part series of numbers separated by periods that identifies every sender and receiver of network data. The numbers represent the domain, the network, the subnetwork and the host computer. For example: 127.0.0.10 with each number ranging from 0 through to 255. Each server or device connected to the Internet is assigned a unique permanent (static) or temporary (dynamic) IP address. The IP Address sometimes translates into a specific domain name.

ISP – Internet Service Provider

ISP is an abbreviation for Internet Service Provider. An ISP provides a range of Internet related services to customers including Internet connectivity, email, website hosting, domain name registration and hosting.


Java applets

Small programs written in the Java programming language that can be embedded into web pages. Applet programs run on the Internet user’s computer rather than the web server’s computer. Search engines can not run Java applets. Consequently, if navigation or content is embedded in a Java applet, it will be invisible to the search engines and will not get indexed. Java source code gets compiled into executable code called “bytecode.”

JavaScripts

Programs written in the JavaScript programming language. JavaScripts run on the Internet user’s computer rather than the web server’s computer. Search engines can not run JavaScripts.

Jump Page Ad

A microsite reached by clicking a button or banner. The jump page itself can list several topics, which can link to your site.

Junk Pages

Meaningless documents that serve no purpose other than to spam the search engines with keyword stuffed pages in hopes a visitor might click on an adsense.


Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

KPIs help organizations achieve organizational goals through the definition and measurement of progress. The key indicators are agreed upon by an organization and are indicators which can be measured that will reflect success factors. The KPIs selected must reflect the organization’s goals, they must be key to its success, and they must be measurable. Key performance indicators usually are long-term considerations for an organization.”

Key Phrase (or keyword phrase)

A search phrase made up of keywords. See “keyword.”

Keyword

A word that a search engine user might use to find relevant web page(s). If a keyword doesn’t appear anywhere in the text of your web page, it’s highly unlikely your page will appear in the search results (unless of course you have bid on that keyword in a pay-per-click search engine).

Keyword density

The number of occurrences that a given keyword appears on a web page. The more times that a given word appears on your page (within reason), the more weight that word is assigned by the search engine when that word matches a keyword search done by a search.

Keyword Matching

Keyword matching is the process of selecting and providing advertising or information that match the user’s search query.

There are four types of keyword matching including:

  • Broad Match
  • Exact Match
  • Phrase Match
  • Negative Keyword

Keyword popularity

The number of occurrences of searches done by Internet users of a given keyword during a period of time. Both WordTracker.com and Overture’s Keyword Selector Tool (http://inventory.overture.com) provide keyword popularity numbers.

Keyword prominence

The location (i.e. placement) of a given keyword in the HTML source code of a web page. The higher up in the page a particular word is, the more prominent it is and thus the more weight that word is assigned by the search engine when that word matches a keyword search done by a search engine user. Consequently, it’s best to have your first paragraph be chock full of important keywords rather than superfluous marketingspeak. This concept also applies to the location of important keywords within individual HTML tags, such as heading tags, title tags, or hyperlink text. So get in the habit of starting off your title tags with a good keyword rather than “Welcome to.”

Keyword research

Determining the words and phrases that people use to find something, then compiling them into a list for use on web pages, etc.

Keyword stuffing

Placing excessive amounts of keywords into the page copy and the HTML in such a way that it detracts from the readability and usability of a given page for the purpose of boosting the page’s rankings in the search engines. This includes hiding keywords on the page by making the text the same color as the background, hiding keywords in comment tags, overfilling alt tags with long strings of keywords, etc. Keyword stuffing is just another shady way of gaming the search engines and, as such, its use should be strongly discouraged.

Keyword-rich

When a given page or bit of text is chock full of good keywords rather than a bunch of meaningless words (e.g. “welcome”, “click here”) or irrelevant words (e.g. “solution”).


Landing Page

The landing page is a web page where people go to once they click on an online advertisement or natural search listing. Example uses of landing pages are newsletter sign up forms, download demonstration trial software and purchasing of a product or service.

Link bait

Useful or entertaining web content which compels users to link to it.

Link building

Requesting links from webmasters of other sites for the purpose of increasing your “link popularity” and/or “PageRank.”

Link farm

A link farm is a group of highly interlinked websites with the purposes of inflating link popularity (or PR). A link farm is a form of spamdexing, spamming the index of a search engine.

Link popularity

When other web sites link to your site, your site will rank better in certain search engines. The more web pages that link to you, the better your link popularity.

Link spam

Links between pages that are specifically set up to take advantage of link-based ranking algorithms such as Google’s PageRank (PR).

Links

Text or graphics that, when clicked on, take the Internet user to another web page location. Links are expressed as URLs.

Log file

All accesses to a web site can be logged by the web server. Data that is usually logged includes date and time, filename accessed, user’s IP address, referring web page, user’s browser software and version, and cookie data.


Machine-generated

Don’t use software tools that purport to auto-generate doorway pages. These pages are usually devoid of meaningful content. Google, in particular, is working on ways to identify and exclude machine-generated doorway pages.

Manual submitting

Submitting by hand to an individual search engine, rather than using an automated submission tool or service. Manual submitting is the more polite way to submit, and as such is less likely to land you in trouble with the search engines. But the best approach is not to submit at all and let the search engine spiders find your site through links from other sites to your site.

Meta description

A meta tag hidden in the HTML that describes the page’s content. Should be relatively short; around 12 to 20 words is suggested. The meta description provides an opportunity to influence how your Web page is described in the search results, but it will not improve your search rankings. Make sure your meta description reflects the page content or you may be accused of spamming.

Meta keywords

A meta tag hidden in the HTML that lists keywords relevant to the page’s content. Because search engine spammers have abused this tag so much, this tag provides little to no benefit to your search rankings. Of the major search engines, only Yahoo! still pays any attention to the meta keywords tag.

Meta Search

Search results derived from several sources and consolidated into a single SERP.

Meta tag stuffing

Repeating keywords in the meta tags and using meta keywords that are unrelated to the site’s content.

Meta tags

Meta-information (information about information) that is associated with a web page and placed in the HTML but not displayed on the page for the user to see. There are a range of meta tags, only a few of which are relevant to search engine spiders. Two of the most well-known meta tags are the meta description and meta keywords; unfortunately these are ignored by most major search engines, including Google.

Mirror

See “replica”.

Miserable Failure

A well known example of “Google bombing”, it poignantly illustrates how inbound text links can affect SERPs. In this instance, hyperlinks containing the keyword phrase miserable failure seem to reflect America’s & the world’s opinion of George W. Bush’s performance, while positioning his White House bio in the #1 position for that search term.

Mod_rewrite

A module or plugin for Apache web servers that can be used to rewrite requested URLs on the fly. It supports an unlimited number of rules and an unlimited number of attached rule conditions for each rule to provide a flexible and powerful URL manipulation mechanism. Which can be used to offer both search engine friendly URLs, thus increasing indexing chances for a dynamic database driven website.

Mouseover

Where hovering the mouse over a text or graphic link without clicking displays something new on the page. For example, a horizontal navigation bar may display further sub-section choices underneath the section hovered over.

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is a web browser that has steadily grown in popularity over the last few years. It’s currently used by about 15% of the world’s Web browsers. This cross-platform browser, provides support for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.


Navigation bar (nav bar)

A web site’s navigation icons, usually arranged in a row down the left hand side or along the top that plays crucial roles in directing spiders to the site’s most important content and in getting site visitors to go deeper in the site.

Negative Keyword

Negative Keyword is a term referenced by Google AdWords and is a form of keyword matching. This means that an advertiser can specify search terms that they do not want their ad to be associated with. For example, if you add the negative keyword “-nike” to the keyword “running shoes”, the ad will not be displayed if a person searches upon the term “nike running shoes”. Negative keyword matching ensures that only qualified traffic is clicking upon advertising.

Negative SEO

The act of demoting a page or site from the SERPS. Most often used against a competitor that is above your site in the SERPS but can be used purely for fun.

Noframes tag

Alternative non-framed HTML on a frameset page for very old, non-frames capable web browsers and search engine spiders. Placing good keyword-rich text in noframes tags is a good idea if your site is framed, but a much better idea is to ditch frames altogether and rebuild the site properly. A framed web site is not search engine friendly as long as it uses no frames tags.


On-theme

Refers to content specific to a particular topic.

Outbound links

Links that direct “off-site” to another website.


Page title

See “title tag”.

Pagejacking

Stealing high-ranking web page content from another site and placing it on your site in the hopes of increasing your own site’s search engine rankings. Pagejacking is yet another shady way of gaming the search engines and, as such, its use should be strongly discouraged.

PageRank (PR)

Google uses a weighted form of link popularity called PageRank┢. Not all links are created equal. Google differentiates a link from an important site (such as CNN.com) as being better than a link from Jim-Bob’s personal home page. The Google Toolbar (which is a free download from http://toolbar.google.com) has a PageRank meter built into it, to see which web pages are considered important by Google and which aren’t. PageRank scoring ranges from 0 to 10, 10 being the best. PageRank scores get exponentially harder to achieve the closer to 10 they are. For example, increasing your own homepage’s PageRank from a 2 to 3 is easy with not a lot of additional links, jumping from a 7 to an 8 is very difficult to achieve. The higher the PageRank of the page that’s linking to you, the more your site’s PageRank will benefit. The better your PageRank, the better you’ll do in Google, all else being equal.

Pageviews

See “Impression”.

Paid inclusion

Paying a search engine to have your web pages included in that search engine’s index.

Paid placement

Paying a search engine to have your listing show up prominently. These listings are usually denoted as “sponsored listings.”

Pay-for-performance

A pricing model based on delivering sales or something else that can be directly attributed to the bottom line. Contrast this with traditional banner advertising which is based on impressions, a chunk of which come from people you have no desire or ability to do business with.

Pay-per-click (PPC)

A pay-for-performance pricing model where advertising (such as banners or paid search engine listings) is priced based on number of clickthroughs rather than impressions or other criteria. Overture is an example of a search engine which charges advertisers on a pay-per-click basis.

Pay-per-post (PPP)

A website designed to help content creators such as bloggers find advertisers willing to sponsor specific content.

PDF

Adobe’s Portable Document Format, a file format that renders the page exactly as intended regardless of the computer used. Typically used for creating documents that will be printed. PDF is used instead of HTML when the content creator wants absolute control over the display of the document. In contrast, the display of an HTML document depends on the computer and web browser software used.

PHP

An “open source” programming language for building dynamic web sites. PHP can be used to write server-side programs that access databases. PHP is the most popular web programming language – more popular than Microsoft’s ASP (Active Server Pages), JSP (Java Server Pages), and Macromedia’s Cold Fusion. PHP is especially well-suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML. PHP is secure, easy to learn, efficient, fast to code and fast to deploy. PHP is being used by over nine million web sites (over 24% of the sites on the Internet), due largely to benefits such as quicker response time, improved security, and transparency to the end user.

Phrase Match

Phrase Match is a form of keyword matching where an ad will be displayed if the user’s search query includes the exact phrase, even if their query contains additional words. For example if the terms “running shoes” are associated with an ad and the user searches upon the term “blue running shoes”, the ad will be displayed.

Pop-under

A pop-up that appears underneath the currently active web browser window. An annoying, if not shady, tactic used by some web advertisers.

Pop-up

A web page that displays within a new, typically smaller, web browser window, rather than the currently active browser window. Search engine spiders don’t typically follow pop-up (or pop-under) links. Pop-ups are often times used for promotions, ads, email newsletter invitations, survey invitations, and the like.

Portal

A site that functions as a point of access to information on the web. Portals are either authoritative hubs for a given subject or popular content driven sites.

Pull-down list

On a web form, where the user chooses from a list of items. For example, if you are asked to identify which country you are from, this will typically be done using a pull-down list. A pull-down list is usually displayed with the first item within a box and a down arrow immediately to the right. Clicking on the down arrow will display the full list to choose from. Search engine spiders can’t fill out forms or pull down on lists, so content that is only accessible through pull-down lists will not be indexed and will be part of the “Invisible Web.”


Query

A keyword, or phrase inquiry entered into a search engine or database. A person types in words and the search engine database returns results that matches the user’s query.


Reach

Sometimes expressed as the percentage of the universe of a target audience, however it is measured by the total number of unique users who will see the ad over a specific period of time.

Reciprocal linking

The practice of trading links between websites.

Redirect

Where the Internet user is automatically taken to another web page address without him/her clicking on anything. Redirects are generally not good for search engine rankings, as they dilute PageRank. There is also the risk that the search engine spider will not follow your redirect.

Referral Fees

Fees paid in exchange for delivering a qualified sales lead or purchase inquiry. For example, an affiliate drives traffic to other companies’ sites, typically in exchange for a percentage of sales or a flat referral fee.

Referrer

A web page, containing a link to your web page, that delivered your visitor to your web page.

Relevance

The likelihood that a given web page will be of interest or useful to a search engine user for a keyword search.

Remnant Inventory

Low-cost advertising space that is relatively undesirable or otherwise unsold.

Render

Format and stylize HTML source code into the final format for the visitor’s screen. For example, text within <strong> tags will be made bold.

Repeat Visitor

A repeat visitor is a single individual or browser who accesses a website or webpage more than once over a specified period of time.

Replica

A copy of a dynamic web site or a group of web pages from a dynamic site, saved as static HTML files.

Resubmitting

Submitting your web page address(es) to search engines after you’ve already submitted those addresses previously or after the search engine has already included your site in its index. Search engines don’t like it when you resubmit as it simply clutters their queue with duplicate requests.

Results

Can refer to SERPs.

Rewrite

As in “URL rewriting”.

Robot

See “spider”.

Robots.txt

Text file placed in a websites root directory and linked in the html code.

ROI – Return On Investment

The benefit gained in return for the cost of investing budget into advertising or project. ROI can be measured by the following calculation: “Total Revenues (generated from campaign or project) minus Total Costs”

Run of Site (ROS)

The scheduling of ads across an entire site, often at a lower cost than the purchase of specific pages or sub-sections of the site. A run-of-site ad campaign is rotated on all general, non-featured ad spaces on a site.


Scraper sites

Designed to ‘scrape’ search-engine results pages or other sources of content (often without permission) to create content for a website. Scraper sites are generally full of advertising or redirect the user to other sites.

Search engine

A web site that offers its visitors the ability to search the content of numerous web pages on the Internet. Search engines periodically explore all the pages of a website and add the text on those pages into a large database that users can then search. With a search engine, publishing web pages that incorporate relevant key phrases, prominently positioned in particular ways, is critical. Contrast this with directories, which don’t siphon content out of the HTML of a site’s constituent pages, but instead are comprised solely of site names and descriptions written or edited by human reviewers.

Search engine marketing (SEM)

Strategies and tactics undertaken to increase the amount and quality of leads generated by the search engines.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Strategies and tactics undertaken to influence the rankings of web pages in the search engines. Search Engine Optimization involves the 3 steps of SEO including technical optimization, content optimization and link building.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

A page of search results delivered by a search engine.

Search term

A keyword, or phrase used to conduct a search engine query.

Search term popularity

See “keyword popularity”.

Select list

See “pull-down list”.

SEM

Acronym for Search Engine Marketing.

SEO

Acronym for “search engine optimization” and/or “search engine optimizer.”

SERP

An acronym for Search Engine Results Page.

SERPs

Plural for SERP (search engine results pages).

Session

See “user session”.

Share of Voice

Refers to the relative portion of exposure of an advertiser within a defined market sector over a period of time. Share of Voice can refer to the portion of exposure in advertising, the blogosphere, etc.

Shoskeles

An animated ad that moves across the browser, usually with sound effects. It animates only long enough to play a message before settling into a stationary ad on the page.

Skyscraper

A tall, thin ad unit that runs down the side of a web page. A skyscraper can be 120 x 600 pixels or 160 x 600 pixels.

Sniffer script

A small program or script that detects which web browser software an Internet user is using and then serves up the particular browser-specific cascading style sheet to match. Sniffer scripts are also used to detect whether a user has the Macromedia Flash plug-in installed, and if so, a Flash version of the page is displayed.

Spam

Manipulation techniques that violate search engines.

Spamdexing

See “spamming”.

Spamglish

Keyword-rich gibberish used as search engine fodder instead of thoughtfully written, interesting content. Spamglish often includes meaningless sentences and keyword repetition.

Spamming

As in “spamming the search engines”. Spamming is most commonly associated with the act of sending unsolicited commercial email, but in the context of search engine optimization, spamming refers to using disreputable tactics to achieve high search engine rankings. Such spamming tactics include bulk submitting spamglish-containing doorway pages.

Spider

Also known as a bot, robot, or crawler. Spiders are programs used by a search engine to explore the World Wide Web in an automated manner and download the HTML content (not including graphics) from web sites, strip out whatever it considers superfluous and redundant out of the HTML, and store the rest in a database (i.e. its index).

Web crawlers are mainly used to create a copy of all the visited pages for later processing by a search engine, that will index the downloaded pages to provide fast searches. Crawlers can also be used for automating maintenance tasks on a web site, such as checking links or validating HTML code. Also, crawlers can be used to gather specific types of information from Web pages, such as harvesting e-mail addresses (usually for spam).

A web crawler is one type of bot, or software agent. In general, it starts with a list of URLs to visit. As it visits these URLs, it identifies all the hyperlinks in the page and adds them to the list of URLs to visit, recursively browsing the Web according to a set of policies.

A spider is a robot sent out by search engines to catalog websites on the internet. When a spider indexes a particular website, this is known as ‘being spidered’.

Spider trap

An infinite loop that a spider may get caught in if it explores a dynamic site where the URLs of pages keep changing. For example, a home page may have a different URL and the search engine may not be able to ascertain that it is the home page that it has already indexed but under another URL. If search engines were to completely index dynamic web sites, they would inevitably have large amounts of redundant content and download millions of pages.

Splash page

A home page that is, for the most part, devoid of content. Often times created in Flash. Splash pages usually say something to the effect of “Enter Here” or “Choose our Flash-enabled site or the HTML version”. Splash pages are an annoyance to Internet users as they introduce an extra hoop that the user has to jump through before they get to any meaningful content. Splash pages are also damaging to search engine rankings. Consider that your home page is typically considered by search engines as the most important page of your site. If your home page is a content-less splash page, then it’s a wasted opportunity.

Standards compliant

Sites that use valid XHTML and CSS, separate the content layer from the presentation layer. Because standards compliant sites are accessible and usable to both humans and spiders alike, they tend to rank better in search engines than non-compliant sites.

Static

As in “static web page.” Means that the web page was not created dynamically from a database, but instead previously created and saved as a HTML file.

Stemming

Search engines such as Google use a process called stemming to deliver results based on a word’s root spelling. An example would be similar search results returned for clothes as for the word clothing.

Stop character

Certain characters, such as ampersand (&), equals sign (=), and question mark (?), when in a web page’s URL, tip off a search engine that the page in question is dynamic. Search engines are cautious of indexing dynamic pages for fear of spider traps, thus pages that contain stop characters in their URL run the risk of not getting indexed and becoming part of the “Invisible Web.” Google won’t crawl more than one dynamic level deep. So dynamic pages with stop characters in its URL should get indexed if a static page links to it. Eliminating stop characters from all URLs on your site will go a long way in ensuring that your entire site gets indexed by Google.

Stop word

Certain words, such as “the,” “a”, “an,” “of,” and “with,” are so common and meaningless that a search engine won’t bother including them in their index, or database, of web page content. So in effect, the stop words on your web pages are ignored as if those words weren’t on your pages in the first place. Including a lot of stop words in your title tag waters down the title tag’s keyword density.

Streaming media

Audio-visual content that is played as it is being downloaded. Thus, an Internet user could begin watching a video clip as the footage downloads rather than having to wait for the clip to download in its entirety beforehand.

Submitting

Submitting a web page address to a search engine in the hopes that it will index it. Submitting your pages using an automated tool (see “automated submitting”), submitting multiple pages of the same web site (see “deep submitting”), or submitting multiple times (see “resubmitting”), particularly if those pages are already indexed, are techniques typically frowned upon by search engines. It is suspected that some search engines apply a penalty factor to pages that were submitted versus those that the search engine spiders found on their own. Indeed, Inktomi was engaging in this practice before they discontinued accepting free submissions altogether.

Supplemental Pages

Pages which are indexed in Google but do not exist at this time. But during searching for a particular thing they are shown in the search result pages. These pages provides additional information about the particular search.

Syndication

An option that allows you to extend your reach by distributing ads to additional partner sites.


Tagging, tags (see Bookmarks)

Word descriptions.

Target Audience

The target audience is the market in which advertisers wish to sell their product or service to. Target markets are defined in terms of demographics, psychographics, purchase behavior, media or product usage.

Taxonomy

Classification system of controlled vocabulary used to organize topical subjects, usually hierarchical in nature.

Technorati

Search engine for blogs.

Telnet

Is a user command and an underlying TCP/IP protocol for accessing remote computers.

Teoma

An internet search engine.

Term Frequency

The number of times a term occurs in a document.

Term Vector Database

A database using relative vectors (or relevancy) for different search phrases and pages.

Text Ad

A text ad is a concise, action-oriented copy describing the product or service that is being advertised. The text ad appears alongside natural search results and links to a specified web page.

Text Link Ads

An advert in the format of a text link.

The Tragedy of the Commons

A conflict between individual interests and the common good.

Theme

The main keyword focus of a web page

Thesaurus

Similar to a dictionary but contains a lists of synonyms rather than definitions.

Title Attribute

Is intended to provide supplementary information about an element.

Title tag

The text displayed in the blue bar at the very top of the browser window, above “Back,” “Forward,” “Refresh,” “Print,” etc. Although inconspicuous to the user, the title tag is the most important bit of text on a web page as far as the search engines are concerned. Search engines not only assign the words in the title tag more weight, they also typically display the title tag in the search results, making the title tag an important potential call-to-action as well. Thus, the wording of each page’s title tag should be thought through carefully. Also see “keyword prominence.”

Token

A tracer or tag attached by the receiving server to the address (URL) of a page requested by a user. A token lasts only through a continuous series of requests by a user, regardless of the length of the interval between requests. Tokens can be used to count unique users.

Toolbar

Is a browser add on usually including a search box.

Topic-Sensitive PageRank

A context sensitive ranking algorithm for web search.

Trackback

A notification that someone has linked to a document on your site. This enables authors to keep track of who is linking to, or referring to their articles.

Tracking

Online advertising opens the opportunity to track audience response throughout the life of a campaign. Tracking and reporting tools can help you learn as you go, so you can refine your ad creative, placement options, and spending levels if you’re not seeing the results you expect. The publisher of your ads typically will provide reports on ad impressions and clickthrough. For additional analysis of your traffic and actual customer conversion rates, you’ll need to build tracking mechanisms into your website.

Trademark

A trademark is a word, phrase, logo or symbol that identifies and distinguishes a product or service from others in the marketplace.

Traffic

The amount of users that surf to a site.

Traffic Estimator

Google’s AdWords Traffic Estimator is a tool that provides search volume, average cost-per-click, and position estimates for search advertising in Google’s search results and content network. It can be used to predict advertising performance before starting a campaign.

TrustRank

Passes trust scores from well trusted sources through to other sites throughout the web.

Typepad

A blogging service that hosts blogs and small business web sites.


Unethical SEO

Unethical search engine optimization techniques that are considered unscrupulous and can result in getting sites banned from the search engines. Examples of this include Keyword stuffing, where the site consists of a long list of keywords. Hidden text is when the text on the page is the same color as the background and often consists of lists of keywords that are put there in hope of tricking search engine spiders. Doorway pages that are designed for search engines and spiders in an attempt to trick them into indexing the web site into a higher position.

Unique visitors

Unique visitors are a count of individual users who have accessed your web site. It should be noted that the “user session” metric does not yield an accurate unique visitor count, as multiple user sessions can be generated by one unique visitor.

Universe

The term “universe” in the world of advertising means the total population of the target audience.

URL

Used interchangeably with web address. Acronym stands for Uniform Resource Locator. URLs can specify the location of a web page, an email address, or a file on an FTP server, among other things.

URL Rewrite

A technique used to help make web site URLs more user and search engine friendly.

Usability

How user friendly a web site is. The ease of use that a user can perform an action or task through the user interface.

Usenet

Bulletin board network featuring thousands of newsgroups.

User agent

The name of the browser/spider that is currently visiting a page.

User Generated Content

User-generated-content (USG) is content created and published by the end-users online. USG is comprised of videos, podcasts and posts on discussion groups, blogs, wiki’s and social media sites. USG allows for a wider content provider base and the chance for all users to share their opinions online. Criticism of USG includes credibility and quality issues.

User session

An instance of an Internet user accessing your web site for a length of time, then leaving. During a user session any number of pages may be accessed. A user session is considered finished once an arbitrarily chosen period of inactivity – typically 30 minutes – is exceeded.


Visibility

How well-placed your web site is in the search engines for relevant keyword searches. Also see “Invisible Web.”

Visit

See “user session”.


Web browser

Software installed on the Internet user’s computer that allows him or her to view web pages. Popular web browsers include Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

Web Crawler

Also known as a ‘web robot’ or ‘web spider’, it is a program or automated script which browses the World Wide Web in a methodical, automated manner.

Web standards

Web standards are widely adopted guidelines for CSS, XHTML etc. Web standards help ensure that web sites are accessible on a wide variety of platforms and to a wide range of users including users with disabilities.

Web2.0

Web2.0 refers to the new generation of web based services and communities characterized by participation, collaboration and sharing of information among users online.

Weblog

A weblog, or blog is an online journal. Weblogs are something of a phenomenon and have become increasing mainstream. Weblog authors choose whether to blog openly or anonymously. Weblog entries are made regularly and chronologically but are displayed in reverse chronological order. The range of topics covered is endless. Some weblogs focus on a particular subject like travel, fashion, or astrology while others are personal online diaries. Weblogs typically are made up of posts, images, videos, comments and links.

White Hat SEO

Ethical SEO approved by the search engines.

Wikipedia

Launched in January 2001, by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, Wikipedia is now the largest and fastest growing encyclopedia online. In fact it is one of the world’s ten most visited websites. The site has more than 100 servers set up to deal with the 10,000 – 35,000 page requests every second. Wikipedia is multilingual and is currently available in 253 languages. Operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization, it is a collaboratively written by volunteers around the world.

Contributing to Wikipedia:

  • Is a peer-reviewed publication
  • Does not require contributors legal names
  • Requires contributions are supported by published and verifiable sources

Wikipedia uses MediaWiki as its software platform, MediaWiki is free open source software built on a MySQl database.

WordPress

WordPress is an excellent open-source web publishing system or content management system. Created primarily as blogging software, WordPress is written in PHP and backed by a MySQL database, it is ideal for managing content that is frequently updated. Distributed under the GNU General Public License the latest version, WordPress 2.2.3, was released on Sept 8, 2007. WordPress is described as a “state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability” by its creators.

Features include:

  • Integrated link management
  • Plugin support
  • Search friendly permalink structure
  • Static Pages
  • Trackbacks
  • Pingbacks
  • Typographic filters
  • WYSIWYG
  • Nested categories
  • Multiple authors

Wordtracker

Wordtracker is a popular keyword research tool established by Andy Mindel and Mike Mindel in 1997. It is designed to assist search marketing professionals and webmasters in identifying important keywords and phrases relevant to their website. It provides detailed information on the number of searches, predicted number of daily searches, competing pages and KEI data. Information can be broken down by search engine.


Xenu

A software tool to check broken links.

XML

XML stands for Extensible Markup Language (filename.xml) – a scripting language that allows the programmer to define the properties of the document.


Yahoo!

One of the oldest and most established directories; also one of the top 3 search engines.


Zeal – Volunteer Built Web Directory

First launched in 1999, Zeal was a volunteer-built web directory which was bought by LookSmart for $20 million in October 2000. Combining the work from Looksmart’s paid editors with that of volunteers, they wrote profiles of websites and submitted them in relevant subcategories of the Zeal database.

The directory content was downloaded and used by Looksmart and its partners including MSN, Lycos and Altavista.

To become a Zeal volunteer, one needed to pass an introductory level test prior to submitting website profiles and being able to edit other people’s work. As one gained more experience and kudos, an editor was able to create and maintain special categories of interests. The more experienced editors called Zealots and Expert Zealots were responsible for developing community and assist those people called “Community Members”.

Zeal had volunteer members from all over the world including USA, United Kingdom, Australia, India, Spain, Switzerland, Japan and New Zealand. When MSN pulled from the relationship, Zeal’s traffic had declined considerably which lead to its closure on 28th March 2006.


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