Algorithm
An algorithm is a set of finite, ordered steps for solving a mathematical problem. Each Search Engine uses a proprietary algorithm set to calculate the relevance of its indexed web pages to your particular Query. The result of this process is a list of sites ranked in the order that the search engine deemed most relevant. Search engine algorithms are closely guarded in order to prevent exploitation of algorithmic results. Search algorithms are also changed frequently to incorporate new data and improve relevancy.

Algorithmic Results
Algorithmic results are the ranked listings search engines provide in response to a Query. They are often referred to as Organic Listings in contrast to Paid Listings because their rank is based on relevancy rather than advertising revenue paid to the search engine. However, paid listings do appear alongside algorithmic results in many search engines, provided they are relevant. Improving a website’s unpaid algorithmic results is known as Natural Search Engine Optimization.

Alt Tag/Alt Text
An alt tag is the HTML text that appears while an image is loading or when a cursor is positioned over an image. Alt text is useful in Search Engine Optimization because it can include keywords that a search engine looks for in response to a query.

Analytics
Analytics refers to all the technology, programming, and data used in Search Engine Marketing to analyze a website’s performance or the success of an Internet marketing campaign.

Anchor Text
Also known as link text, anchor text is the visible, clickable text between the HTML anchor and tags. Clicking on anchor text activates a Hyperlink to another web site. Anchor text is very important in Search Engine Optimization because search engine algorithms consider the Hyperlink keywords as relevant to the Landing Page.

Backlinks
Also known as back link, backward link, or inbound links, backlinks are all of the links on other websites that direct the users who click on them to your site. Backlinks can significantly improve your site’s search rankings, particularly if they contain Anchor Text keywords relevant to your site and are located on sites with high Page Rank.

Banned
Also known as delisted or blacklisted, a banned site is a URL that has been removed from a search engine’s Index, typically for engaging in Black Hat SEO. Banned sites are ignored by search engines.

Banner Ad
A banner ad is a rectangular graphic advertisement. Banner ads are one of the commonest forms of online advertising. Their sizes vary, but most measure 468 pixels wide by 60 pixels high. Clicking on a banner ad will direct you to the advertiser’s website or a designated Landing Page.

Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEO is the term used for unethical or deceptive optimization techniques. This includes Spam, Cloaking, or violating search engine rules in any way. If a search engine discovers a site engaging in black hat SEO it will remove that site from its Index.

Blacklisted
Also known as banned or delisted, a blacklisted site is a URL that has been removed from a search engine’s Index, typically for engaging in Black Hat SEO. Blacklisted sites are ignored by search engines.

Broken Link
Also known as a dead link, a broken link is a link that no longer points to an active destination or Landing Page. Search engines dislike broken links. Keeping all of your site’s links active is an important part of ongoing optimization.

Click Fraud
Click Fraud is the illegal practice of manipulating Cost-Per-Click (CPC) or Pay-Per-Click (PPC) revenue sharing agreements. There are numerous types of click fraud, but in a typical scenario the webmaster of a site that earns money from each click of the advertising links it publishes pays individuals a small fee to click those links. Companies thus pay for advertising to clients who had no intention of buying from them. Some companies have filed class action lawsuits alleging that ad publishers such as Google and Yahoo! have failed to aggressively confront click fraud because they benefit from increased CPC revenue.

Click-Through
Click-through refers to a single instance of a user clicking on an advertising link or site listing and moving to a Landing Page. A higher Click-Through Rate (CTR) is one of the primary goals of Search Engine Optimization.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Click-through rate is the percentage of users who click on an advertising link or search engine site listing out of the total number of people who see it, i.e. four click-throughs out of ten views is a 40% CTR.

Cloaking
Cloaking is the presentation of alternative pages to a search engine Spider so that it will record different content for a URL than what a human browser would see. Cloaking is typically done to achieve a higher search engine position or to trick users into visiting a site. In such cases cloaking is considered to be Black Hat SEO and the offending URL could be Blacklisted. However, cloaking is sometimes used to deliver personalized content based on a browser’s IP address and/or user-agent HTTP header. Such cloaking should only be practiced with a search engine’s knowledge or it could be construed as black hat cloaking.

Contextual Link Inventory (CLI)
Search engines/advertising networks use their contextual link inventory to match keyword-relevant text-link advertising with site content. CLI is generated based on listings of website pages with content that the ad-server deems a relevant keyword match. Ad networks further refine CLI relevancy by monitoring the Click-Through Rate of the displayed ads.

Conversion
Conversion is the term used for any significant action a user takes while visiting a site, i.e. making a purchase, requesting information, or registering for an account.

Conversion Analytics
Conversion analytics is a branch of Analytics concerned specifically with conversion-related information from organic and paid search engine traffic, such as the keywords converts used in their queries, the type of conversion that resulted, landing page paths, search engine used, etc.

Conversion Rate
Conversion rate is the next step up from Click-Through Rate. It’s the percentage of all site visitors who “convert” (make a purchase, register, request information, etc.). If three users buy products and one user requests a catalogue out of ten daily visitors, a site’s conversion rate is 40%.

Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA)
Cost-per-acquisition (CPA) is a return on investment model in which return is measured by dividing total click/marketing costs by the number of Conversions achieved. Total acquisition costs / number of conversions = CPA. CPA is also used as a synonym for Cost-Per-Action.

Cost-Per-Action (CPA)
In a cost-per-action advertising revenue system, advertisers are charged a Conversion-based fee, i.e. each time a user buys a product, opens an account, or requests a free trial. CPA is also known as cost-per-acquisition, though the term cost-per-acquisition can be confusing because it also refers to a return on investment model.

Cost-Per-Click (CPC)
Also known as pay-per-click or pay-for-performance, cost-per-click is an advertising revenue system used by search engines and ad networks in which advertising companies pay an agreed amount for each click of their ads. This Click-Through Rate-based payment structure is considered by some advertisers to be more cost-effective than the Cost-Per-Thousand payment structure, but it can at times lead to Click Fraud.

Cost-Per-Thousand (CPM)
Also known as cost-per-impression or CPM for cost-per-mille (mille is the Latin word for thousand), cost-per-thousand is an advertising revenue system used by search engines and ad networks in which advertising companies pay an agreed amount for every 1,000 users who see their ads, regardless of whether a click-through or conversion is achieved. CPM is typically used for Banner Ad sales, while Cost-Per-Click is typically used for text link advertising.

Crawler
Also known as Spider or Robot, a crawler is a search engine program that “crawls” the web, collecting data, following links, making copies of new and updated sites, and storing URLs in the search engine’s Index. This allows search engines to provide faster and more up-to-date listings.

Delisted
Also known as banned or blacklisted, a delisted site is a URL that has been removed from a search engine’s Index, typically for engaging in Black Hat SEO. Delisted sites are ignored by search engines.

Description Tag
Also known as a meta description tag, a description tag is a short HTML paragraph that provides search engines with a description of a page’s content for search engine Index purposes. The description tag is not displayed on the website itself, and may or may not be displayed in the search engine’s listing for that site. Search engines are now giving less importance to description tags in lieu of actual page content.

Directory
A directory is an Index of websites compiled by people rather than a Crawler. Directories can be general or divided into specific categories and subcategories. A directory’s servers provide relevant lists of registered sites in response to user queries. Directory Registration is thus an important method for building inbound links and improving SEO performance. However, the decision to include a site and its directory rank or categorization is determined by directory editors rather than an Algorithm. Some directories accept free submissions while others require payment for listing. The most popular directories include Yahoo!, The Open Directory Project, and LookSmart.

Doorway Page
Also known as a gateway page or jump page, a doorway page is a URL with minimal content designed to rank highly for a specific keyword and redirect visitors to a homepage or designated Landing Page. Some search engines frown on doorway pages as a softer form of Cloaking or Spam. However, doorway pages may be legitimate landing pages designed to measure the success of a promotional campaign, and they are commonly allowed in Paid Listings.

Dynamic Content
Dynamic content is web content such as Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) that are generated or changed based on database information or user activity. Web pages that remain the same for all visitors in every context contain “static content.” Many e-commerce sites create dynamic content based on purchase history and other factors. Search engines have a difficult time indexing dynamic content if the page includes a session ID number, and will typically ignore URLs that contain the variable “?”.Search engines will punish sites that use deceptive or invasive means to create dynamic content.

Flash Optimization
Flash is a vector graphics-based animation program developed by Macromedia. Most corporate sites feature Flash movies/animation, yet because search engine Crawlers were designed to index HTML text, sites that favor Flash over text are difficult or even impossible for crawlers to read. Flash Optimization is the process of reworking the Flash movie and surrounding HTML code to be more “crawlable” for Search Engines.

Gateway Page
Also known as a doorway page or jump page, a gateway page is a URL with minimal content designed to rank highly for a specific keyword and redirect visitors to a homepage or designated Landing Page. Some search engines frown on gateway pages as a softer form of Cloaking or Spam. However, gateway pages may be legitimate landing pages designed to measure the success of a promotional campaign, and they are commonly allowed in Paid Listings.

Geographical Targeting
Geographical targeting is the focusing of Search Engine Marketing on states, counties, cities and neighborhoods that are important to a company’s business. One basic aspect of geographical targeting is adding the names of relevant cities or streets to a site’s keywords, i.e. Hyde Street Chicago apartments. Another important element of geo-targeting is increasing your site’s presence on Local Search engines.

Geographic Segmentation
Geographic segmentation is the use of Analytics to categorize a site’s web traffic by the physical locations from which it originated.

Google AdSense
Google AdSense is an ad-serving program operated by Google that provides relevant text, image, and video-based advertisements to enrolled site owners. Advertisers register via Google AdWords and pay for ads on a Pay-Per-Click, Cost-Per-Thousand or Cost-Per-Action basis. This revenue is shared with Google AdSense host sites, typically on a PPC basis (which sometimes leads to Click Fraud). Google uses its search Algorithms and Contextual Link Inventory to display the most appropriate ads based on site content, Query relevancy, ad “quality scores,” and other factors.

Google AdWords
Google AdWords is the Keyword Submission program that determines the advertising rates and keywords used in the Google AdSense program. Advertisers bid on the keywords that are relevant to their businesses. Ranked ads then appear as sponsored links on Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) and Google AdSense host sites.

Graphical Search Inventory (GSI)
Graphical Search Inventory is the visual equivalent of Contextual Link Inventory. GSI is non-text-based advertising such as Banner Ads, pop-up ads, browser toolbars, animation, sound, video and other media that is synchronized to relevant Keyword queries.

Gray Hat SEO
Gray hat SEO refers to Search Engine Optimization strategies that fall in between Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO. Gray hat SEO techniques can be legitimate in some cases and illegitimate in others. Such techniques include Doorway Pages, Gateway Pages, Cloaking and duplicate content.

Hidden Text
Hidden text is a generally obsolete form of Black Hat SEO in which pages are filled with a large amount of text that is the same color as the background, rendering keywords invisible to the human eye but detectable to a search engine Crawler. Multiple Title Tags or HTML comments are alternative hidden text techniques. Hidden text is easily detectable by search engines and will result in Blacklisting or reduced Rank.

Hit
Hit is a somewhat misleading measure of traffic to a web site. One hit is recorded for each file request in a web server’s access log. If a user visits a page with four images, one hit will be recorded for each graphic image file plus another for the page’s HTML file. A better measure of traffic volume is the number of pages/HTML files accessed.

HTML
The acronym HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, the authoring language used to create pages on the World Wide Web. HTML is a set of codes or HTML tags that provide a web browser with directions on how to structure a web page’s information and features.

Hyperlink
Also known as link or HTML link, a hyperlink is an image or portion of text that when clicked on by a user opens another web page or jumps the browser to a different portion of the current page. Inbound Links with keyword-relevant Link Text are an important part of Search Engine Optimization Strategy.

Index
An index is a Search Engine’s database. It contains all of the information that a Crawler has identified, particularly copies of World Wide Web pages. When a user performs a Query, the search engine uses its indexed pages and Algorithm set to provide a ranked list of the most relevant pages. In the case of a Directory, the index consists of titles and summaries of registered sites that have been categorized by the directory’s editors.

Inbound Links
Also known as back link, backward link, or backlinks, inbound links are all of the links on other websites that direct the users who click on them to your site. Inbound links can significantly improve your site’s search rankings, particularly if they contain Anchor Text keywords relevant to your site and are located on sites with high Page Rank.

Impression
Also known as a page view, an impression is a single instance of an online advertisement being displayed. Search engines and ad networks use impression statistics to charge advertisers on a Cost-Per-Thousand (CPM) basis.

Internet Marketing
On a fundamental level, Internet marketing is using the Internet to advertise, communicate and sell goods and services. On an advanced level, Internet marketing is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is the use of targeted keywords, crawler-friendly site architecture, Search Engine Submissions and a well-developed link network to improve a site’s Position, Page Rank and Click-Through Rate.

Internet Marketing Consultant
Also known as SEO professionals or SEO specialists, Internet marketing consultants use their knowledge of Search Engine Optimization Strategy to improve their clients’ Position and Page Rank.

Internet Promotion
Also known as search engine promotion, website marketing or website promotion, Internet promotion refers to all methods employed by a company or individual to promote a website and increase its Position and Page Rank.

Keyword
Also known as search terms or query terms, keywords are the word(s) or phrase(s) a user enters into a search engine’s Query box. A Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ranks indexed sites according to how relevant the Search Engine deems them to the searched keywords. One of the most important SEO Strategies companies can employ is to optimize their site pages with content that contains targeted keywords relevant to their products or industry.

Keyword Marketing
Keyword marketing is the use of keyword-optimized content and keyword-specific Link Text to emphasize a site’s relevancy to those terms and thereby increase Rank for related web queries. Keyword marketing can also be done through keyword-based ad programs such as Google AdSense. Keyword marketing is an essential component of Search Engine Optimization.

Keyword Submission
Keyword submission is an all-inclusive term for the keyword research/selection, bid cost assessment and budgeting that companies undertake to begin Pay-Per-Click keyword campaigns with advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Yahoo! Sponsored Search and Microsoft AdCenter.

Landing Page
The landing page is the page on which a visitor “lands” after clicking a search engine listing, email link, Banner Ad, Cost-Per-Click ad, or other ad/link. The landing page can be a site’s homepage, but is usually a page designed to appeal to users who Click-Through a specific ad or link. Landing pages are also used to monitor site traffic and measure an advertising campaign’s success. Well-designed landing pages that are relevant to a user’s keyword query will improve Conversion Rates and play a critical role in Search Engine Marketing.

Link
Also known as hyperlink or HTML link, a link is an image or portion of text that when clicked on by a user opens another web page or jumps the browser to a different portion of the current page. Inbound Links with keyword-relevant Link Text are an important part of Search Engine Optimization Strategy.

Link Baiting
Link baiting is the creation of content that incites users to link to your page from another website. The types of link bait vary tremendously, but they include highly informative articles or news stories, useful resources and sometimes controversial or sensationalistic content. Link baiting is a White Hat SEO technique used to help a site improve its Link Popularity and Page Rank. Some sites use link baiting as the centerpiece of a Website Marketing campaign.

Link Exchange
A link exchange is a quid pro quo arrangement or reciprocal link exchange between two sites. Reciprocal links usually lead to the home page of the associate site.

Link Farm
A link farm is a webpage or group of webpages that exist solely to increase the number of Backlinks in a site’s link network. A link farm is meant to increase a site’s PageRank or popularity and thus improve its search engine Position. However, link farms are considered a form of Spam and sites that rely on them are penalized by search engines.

Link Popularity
Link popularity is the measure of how popular a webpage is by the number of Backlinks it has. However, link popularity is not solely a matter of quantity. Page Rank is achieved when Backlinks are located on reputable, relevant sites rather than so-called Link Farms. Most search engines use link popularity as a factor in their Algorithmic Results.

Link Text
Also known as anchor text, link text is the visible, clickable text between the HTML anchor andtags. Clicking on link text activates a Hyperlink to another web site. Link text is very important in Search Engine Optimization because search engine algorithms consider the hyperlink keywords as relevant to the Landing Page.

Listings
Listings are the indexed sites that appear in ranked order on a Search Engine Results Page in response to a user Query.

Local Search
Local search refers to both the addition of geographical keywords (cities, streets, etc.) to Search Terms and the use of Yellow Pages-type Search Engines such as Google Maps, Yahoo! Local and AskCity to find business services in a particular zip code. Search Engine Placement Services use local SEO to help traditional “brick and mortar businesses” connect with customers in their community.

Marketing Analytics
Marketing analytics is a branch of Analytics concerned specifically with marketing-related information from organic and paid search engine traffic, such as Unique Visitors, keyword-generated sales, Cost-Per-Click advertising, Click Fraud, Search Engine Marketing, etc.

Meta Description Tag
Also known as a description Tag, a meta description tag is a short HTML paragraph that provides search engines with a description of a page’s content for search engine Index purposes. The meta description tag is not displayed on the website itself, and may or may not be displayed in the search engine’s listing for that site. Search engines are now giving less importance to meta description tags in lieu of actual page content.

Meta Keywords Tag
A meta keywords tag provides search engines with a list of keywords that are relevant to a webpage. This can improve search engine Rank for a page by ensuring it’s properly indexed. However, search engines are now giving less importance to meta keywords tags in lieu of actual page content.

Meta Robots Tag
A meta robots tag (named for a search engine Crawler or Robot) lets page authors prevent their webpages from being added to a search engine’s Index. Alternatives to a meta robots tag are Robots.txt files and password protection.

Meta Search Engine
A meta search engine derives its listings by running user queries through multiple other search engines and then summarizing the results. A meta search engine does not maintain its own Index. Listings are displayed by meta search engines either in aggregate or categorized by search engine source. An example of a meta search engine is Dogpile.com.

Meta Tags
Meta tags are HTML tags placed in a webpage that contain information for Crawlers and web browsers. Types of meta tag information include page descriptions (Description Tag), page-relevant keywords (Meta Keywords Tag), whether a page can be indexed (Meta Robots Tag), copyright, page refresh dates and redirection instructions.

Natural Listings (or Natural Optimization)
Also known as organic listings, natural listings are webpage listings that appear on a Search Engine Results Page solely because the search engine Algorithm deems them relevant to the Query. Natural listings can contain Paid Listings, but only if they fulfill the same requirements as natural listings. The best way to improve a site’s natural listing Position is through Natural Search Engine Optimization.

Natural Search Engine Optimization
Also known as natural optimization, organic search engine optimization or white hat SEO, natural search engine optimization is the use of keyword-focused copy and tags, Crawler-friendly site architecture, Search Engine Submissions and a quality Backlinks network to improve a site’s Position, Page Rank and Click-Through Rate. Because about 80% of web users look at Natural Listings first, natural SEO offers a much greater chance of long-term business success than Paid Listings or Pay-Per-Click ad campaigns.

Optimization Services
Also known as Internet promotion, site optimization, or search engine placement service, optimization services are all of the methods a Search Engine Optimization Company uses to improve a site’s Position and Page Rank and increase its Click-Through Rate and Conversion Rate.

Organic Listings (or Organic Optimization)
Also known as natural listings, organic listings are webpage listings that appear on a Search Engine Results Page solely because the search engine Algorithm deems them relevant to the Query. Organic listings can contain Paid Listings, but only if they fulfill the same requirements as organic listings. The best way to improve a site’s organic listing Position is through Natural Search Engine Optimization.

Outbound Links
Outbound links are all links from a particular webpage that lead to other pages, including pages in the same domain. An excessive number of outbound links can damage a site’s Search Engine Positioning because a Spider may perceive it as a Link Farm.

Page Rank (or PR)
PageRank is a link analysis algorithm developed by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. A number from one (lowest) to ten (highest) is assigned to a webpage as a measure of its importance, specifically the likelihood that a user will arrive at that page by randomly clicking Links. PageRank is not the same thing as Rank.

Paid Inclusion
Paid inclusion is an advertising program offered by some search engines in which a page is guaranteed inclusion in the Index in exchange for a fee. Unlike Paid Placement, the rank of paid inclusion pages is determined solely by the search engine Algorithm. Paid inclusion sites may or may not be labeled as advertisements depending on Search Engine policy.

Paid Listings
Paid Listings, as opposed to Natural Listings or Organic Listings, are sites that appear on a Results Page because money was paid to the search engine for inclusion and/or position. Paid listings is used as an all-inclusive term for the practices of Paid Inclusion and Paid Placement.

Paid Placement
Paid placement is a program in which advertisers’ listings are guaranteed to appear on a Results Page when particular Keywords are searched. The ranking of paid placement listings is determined by competitive bidding. Unlike Paid Inclusion listings, paid placement listings are usually displayed separately from Natural Listings and are labeled as advertisements or sponsored links. Google and Yahoo! Search Marketing (formerly Overture) are two of the largest paid placement search networks.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
Also known as cost-per-click or pay-for-performance, pay-per-click is an advertising revenue system used by search engines and ad networks in which advertising companies pay an agreed amount for each click of their ads. This Click-Through Rate-based payment structure is considered by some advertisers to be more cost-effective than the Cost-Per-Thousand payment structure, but it has at times led to Click Fraud.

Position
Also known as rank, position is the place a website occupies relative to the first listing on an Algorithmic Results page in response to a Keyword query. The first page displays Listings in the one through ten positions, the second page eleven through twenty, etc. Businesses trying to get their site into a top ten position will often employ a Professional Search Engine Optimization company. Consumer studies have shown that most search engine users click only on sites that occupy the top ten positions.

Position Reporting
Position reporting is the monitoring of daily changes in search engine Position for indexed URLs that have been optimized for specific keywords by a Search Engine Optimization Company. Position reporting is also used to generate a Search Engine Ranking Report.

Professional Search Engine Optimization
Professional search engine optimization is the modification of a website by an SEO company in order to increase its Position and Page Rank and improve its Click-Through Rate and Conversion Rate.

Query
A query is a question or instance of questioning. A search engine query is a user’s request for the information (i.e. webpages) in a search engine’s Index that is most relevant to a Keyword or set of Search Terms. Query is sometimes used to mean the actual keywords a user enters in a search box.

Rank
Also known as position, rank is the place a website occupies relative to the first listing on an Algorithmic Results page in response to a Keyword query. The first page displays Listings in the one through ten positions, the second page eleven through twenty, etc. Businesses trying to get their site into a top-ten rank will often employ a Professional Search Engine Optimization company. Consumer studies have shown that most search engine users click only on sites that occupy a top-ten rank.

Reciprocal Link Exchange
A reciprocal link exchange is a quid pro quo arrangement or link exchange between two sites. Reciprocal links usually lead to the home page of the associate site.

Registration
Also known as search engine registration or search engine submission, registration is the submission of a URL to a Directory or Search Engine for inclusion in its Index. Registration is usually free but can also require payment. Registration is a basic but important part of Search Engine Optimization.

Results Page
Also known as search engine results page, the results page is the collection of ranked Listings displayed in response to a search engine Query.

Robot
Also known as Crawler or Spider, a robot is a search engine program that “crawls” the web, collecting data, following links, making copies of new and updated sites, and storing URLs in the search engine’s Index. This allows search engines to provide faster and more up-to-date listings.

Robots.txt
Also known as robots exclusion protocol, Robots.txt is a text file stored in a site’s root directory that tells a search engine Crawler which site pages and sub-folders should not be included in the search engine Index. However, there is no guarantee that a Crawler will comply with this request. Robots.txt is an alternative to a Meta Robots Tag or password protection.

SEO Professional
Also known as Internet marketing consultant or SEO specialist, SEO professionals use their knowledge of Search Engine Optimization Strategy to improve their clients’ Position and Page Rank.

SEO Services
SEO services are all of the tools used by a Professional Search Engine Optimization company, including Analytics and Keyword Marketing.

SEO Specialist
Also known as Internet marketing consultant or SEO professional, SEO specialists use their knowledge of Search Engine Optimization Strategy to improve their clients’ Position and Page Rank.

SEO Strategies
SEO strategies are the techniques used in Search Engine Optimization to improve a site’s Position and Page Rank and increase its Click-Through Rate. A few SEO strategies are keyword research and content writing, optimized HTML code, and improved Geographical Targeting.

Search Engine
A search engine is a website that enables users to Query an Index of stored webpages gathered by a Crawler for information relevant to specific criteria expressed via a Keyword or Search Terms. The Rank of information/websites on the corresponding Search Engine Results Pages is determined by relevancy as measured by the search engine’s Algorithm and/or payment made to the search engine by indexed sites. Sites ranked solely by relevancy are known as Natural Listings or Organic Listings in contrast to Paid Listings.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search engine marketing is an inclusive term for all techniques used to market a website via search engines, including Pay-Per-Click advertising and Natural Search Engine Optimization.

Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO)
The Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) is a non-profit professional association founded in 2003 to increase awareness of the benefits of search engine marketing and provide educational resources to members and consumers.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is the modification of a website for the purpose of improving its natural Rank on Search Engine Results Pages. This is done through a combination of SEO strategies such as directory and search engine Submission, website optimization, content writing and improved Link quality. Please see our SEO services for details.

Search Engine Optimization Company (SEO Company)
A search engine optimization company employs SEO Strategies to improve a website’s Search Engine Placement.

Search Engine Optimization Consultants
Also known as SEO professionals or SEO specialists, search engine optimization consultants analyze a website’s Position and Keyword strength and offer solutions for improvement.

Search Engine Optimization Software Systems
Search engine optimization software systems enable marketers to generate site data and automatically customize Submission schedules. However, automated submissions should generally be avoided in favor of submissions catered to each search engine’s rules.

Search Engine Optimization Strategy
Search engine optimization strategy refers to the specific optimization plan an SEO company employs for the site promotion of an individual client.

Search Engine Placement
Search engine placement means the tactics used by Site Optimization firms to improve their clients’ Rank. The term search engine placement is sometimes used to mean the Position of a website on a Results Page.

Search Engine Placement Services
Also known as Internet promotion, optimization services or site optimization, search engine placement services are all of the methods a Search Engine Optimization Company uses to improve a site’s Position and Page Rank and increase its Click-Through Rate and Conversion Rate.

Search Engine Positioning
The term search engine positioning can be used in two different ways. The first is to describe the ordering process of indexed websites being ranked by a search engine Algorithm in response to a Query. The second refers to the use of Search Engine Optimization to achieve a higher search engine Position.

Search Engine Promotion
Also known as Internet promotion, website marketing or website promotion, Internet promotion refers to all methods employed by a company or individual to promote a website and increase its Position and PageRank.

Search Engine Ranking Report
A search engine ranking report is a monthly, weekly or daily report of the Position of a company’s website Listing in relation to their top Keywords. Position Reporting enables companies to monitor the success of an SEO strategy or Cost-Per-Click advertising campaign.

Search Engine Registration
Also known as search engine submission or web submission, search engine registration is the submission of a URL to a Directory or Search Engine for inclusion in its Index. Registration is usually free but can also require payment. Search engine registration is a basic but important part of Search Engine Optimization.

Search Engine Results Page (SERPs)
Also known as a results page, the search engine results page is the collection of ranked Listings displayed in response to a search engine Query.

Search Engine Submission
Also known as search engine registration or web submission, search engine submission is the submission of a URL to a Directory or Search Engine for inclusion in its Index. Registration is usually free but can also require payment. Search engine submission is a basic but important part of Search Engine Optimization.

Search Terms
Also known as keywords or query terms, search terms are the word(s) or phrase(s) a user enters into a search engine’s Query box. A Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ranks indexed sites according to how relevant the Search Engine deems them to the search terms that were queried. One of the most important SEO Strategies companies can employ is to optimize their site pages with content that contains targeted search terms relevant to their products or industry.

Shopping Search
Shopping search engines or search engines with a shopping feature (such as Google Product Search, formerly known as Froogle) allow users to comparison shop by providing lists of sellers and prices in response to a product Query. Some shopping search sites require Paid Inclusion or offer Paid Placement.

Site Optimization
Also known as Internet promotion, optimization services or search engine placement service, site optimization refers to all of the methods a Search Engine Optimization Company uses to improve a site’s Position and Page Rank and increase its Click-Through Rate and Conversion Rate.

Spam
Spam refers to any and all Search Engine Marketing techniques that violate search engine guidelines or attempt to gain increased Rank for a site using content that is irrelevant, deceptive or of little value to users. Types of spam include Hidden Text, content that contains nonsensical Keyword repetition, deceptive Cloaking or numerous Doorway Pages that redirect users to the same Landing Page. If a search engine detects spamming the offending site will be Blacklisted or lose Position. Spam is a Black Hat SEO technique.

Spider
Also known as Crawler or Robot, a spider is a search engine program that “crawls” the web, collecting data, following links, making copies of new and updated sites, and storing URLs in the search engine’s Index. This allows search engines to provide faster and more up-to-date listings.

Submission
Also known as search engine registration or search engine submission, submission is the providing of a URL to a Directory or Search Engine for inclusion in its Index. Submission is usually free but can also require payment. Submission is a basic but important part of Search Engine Optimization.

Title Tags
A title tag is an HTML tag which contains a sentence of text describing the contents of its associated webpage. Title tags are a very important part of Search Engine Optimization because they are frequently used as the text links that lead to sites from a search engine’s Results Page. The best title tags contain strategic keywords that will help a site be indexed properly and appeal to human search engine users.

Three-Way Link Exchange
A three-way link exchange is a Reciprocal Link Exchange established between three domains. However, unlike a two-way link exchange, not all three sites link to each other. Page A links to Page B and Page B links to Page C and Page C links to Page A. Page B does not post a reciprocal link to Page A and Page C does not post a reciprocal link to Page B. Three-way link exchanges are used by owners of multiple websites to increase the Link Popularity and Page Rank of new or smaller sites.

Unique Visitor
Unique visitor is a web traffic measuring term which means the registering of at least one hit on one page of a web site from a unique IP address during a specified report period (typically anywhere from twenty-four hours to a month). A subsequent hit(s) by the same IP address is not counted as a unique visitor during that report period. Unique visitor count can be an effective way of measuring the success of an SEO strategy.

Web Analytics
Web analytics is a branch of Analytics that uses web traffic records to study the behavior of website visitors. Data such as Unique Visitors, Hits, page views, and the connection between Landing Pages and Conversion Rates are used to improve a website or marketing campaign.

Website Marketing
Also known as Internet marketing, website marketing is using the Internet to advertise, communicate and sell goods and services. On an advanced level, website marketing is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is the use of targeted keywords, crawler-friendly site architecture, Search Engine Submissions and a well-developed link network to improve a site’s Position, Page Rank and Click-Through Rate.

Website Optimization
Also known as search engine optimization, website optimization is the modification of a website for the purpose of improving its natural Rank on Search Engine Results Pages. This is done through a combination of optimization strategies such as directory and search engine Submission, Keyword Marketing and improved Link quality.

Website Promotion
Website promotion refers to the marketing aspects of Search Engine Optimization, such as Keyword Submission, Paid Inclusion, and other techniques to increase a site’s exposure.

Website Promotion Services
Also known as search engine marketing, website promotion services is an inclusive term for all techniques used to market a website via search engines, including Pay-Per-Click advertising and Natural Search Engine Optimization.

Website Submission
Also known as search engine registration or search engine submission, website submission is the submission of a URL to a Directory or Search Engine for inclusion in its Index. Registration is usually free but can also require payment. Website submission is a basic but important part of Search Engine Optimization.

White Hat SEO
Also known as natural search engine optimization or organic search engine optimization, white hat SEO is the legitimate use of keyword-focused copy and tags, Crawler-friendly site architecture, Search Engine Submissions and a quality Backlinks network to improve a site’s Position, Page Rank and Click-Through Rate. White hat SEO does not involve the use of Cloaking, Spam or any other Black Hat SEO techniques.

XML
XML is an acronym for Extensible Markup Language, a simple and flexible text-based programming language used in conjunction with HTML. XML is useful for data exchange and the creation of customized tags.

XML Feed
An XML feed is a form of Paid Inclusion or Search Engine Submission in which an XML document is used to provide a search engine with information about multiple web pages. An XML feed is particularly useful for multimedia sites or database sites that draw a variety of relevant search queries.

 

 

The Search Engine Marketing Glossary

Navigation:

Feedback Why 0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Other Glossaries

All of the definitions on this page are an internal anchor that link to themselves, thus if you wanted to link at the PageRank definition on this page you would scroll down to PageRank and click on it. Then in the address bar you would see http://www.seobook.com/glossary/#pagerank which links directly to that definition.

Why?

We are often asked what does this mean? and we received many comments requesting an SEO glossary. So we decided to create this page. :)

Personal experiences make everyone biased, but the bias in any of the following definitions in one which aims to skew toward blunt & honest (rather than wrapping things in a coat of political correctness and circular cross-referenced obscurity. There was no group think hidden agenda applied to this page, and any bias in it should be a known bias – mine. :) Here is a list of some of my known flaws and biases in my world view.

This page is licensed under a Creative Commons license. You can modify it, distribute it, sell it, and keep the rights to whatever you make. It is up to you however you want to use any of the content from this page.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License

Glossary:

0 – 9

200Status OK- The file request was successful. For example, a page or image was found and loaded properly in a browser. 

Some poorly developed content management systems return 200 status codes even when a file does not exist. The proper response for file not found is a 404.

See also:

301Moved Permanently- The file has been moved permanently to a new location.This is the preferred method of redirecting for most pages or websites. If you are going to move an entire site to a new location you may want to test moving a file or folder first, and then if that ranks well you may want to proceed with moving the entire site. Depending on your site authority and crawl frequency it may take anywhere from a few days to a month or so for the 301 redirect to be picked up.

See also:

302Found- The file has been found, but is temporarily located at another URI.Generally, as it relates to SEO, it is typically best to avoid using 302 redirects. Some search engines struggle with redirect handling. Due to poor processing of 302 redirects some search engines have allowed competing businesses to hijack the listings of competitors.

See also:

404Not Found - The server was unable to locate the URL.Some content management systems send 404 status codes when documents do exist. Ensure files that exist do give a 200 status code and requests for files that do not exist give a 404 status code. You may also want to check with your host to see if you can set up a custom 404 error page which makes it easy for site visitors to

  • view your most popular and / or most relevant navigational options
  • report navigational problems within your site

Search engines request a robots.txt file to see what portions of your site they are allowed to crawl. Many browsers request a favicon.ico file when loading your site. While neither of these files are necessary, creating them will help keep your log files clean so you can focus on whatever other errors your site might have.

See also:

A

Above the FoldA term traditionally used to describe the top portion of a newspaper. In email or web marketing it means the area of content viewable prior to scrolling. Some people also define above the fold as an ad location at the very top of the screen, but due to banner blindnesstypical ad locations do not perform as well as ads that are well integrated into content. If ads look like content they typically perform much better.See also:

Absolute LinkA link which shows the full URL of the page being linked at. Some links only show relative link paths instead of having the entire reference URL within the a href tag. Due to canonicalization and hijackingrelated issues it is typically preferred to use absolute links over relative links.Example absolute link

<a href=”http://seobook.com/folder/filename.html“>Cool Stuff</a>

Example relative link

<a href=”../folder/filename.html“>Cool Stuff</a>

 

AdCenterMicrosoft’s cost per click ad network.While it has a few cool features (including dayparting and demographic based bidding) it is still quite nascent in nature compared to Google AdWords. Due to Microsoft’s limited marketshare and program newness many terms are vastly underpriced and present a great arbitrage opportunity.

See also:

  • AdCenter – sign up for an account
  • Microsoft AdLabs – view many of the free search marketing tools Microsoft offers.

AdSenseGoogle’s contextual advertisingnetwork. Publishers large and small may automatically publish relevant advertisements near their content and share the profits from those ad clicks with Google.AdSense offers a highly scalable automated ad revenue stream which will help some publishers establish a baseline for the value of their ad inventory. In many cases AdSense will be underpriced, but that is the trade off for automating ad sales.

AdSense ad auction formats include

  • cost per click – advertisers are only charged when ads are clicked on
  • CPM – advertisers are charged a certain amount per ad impression. Advertisers can target sites based on keyword, category, or demographic information.

AdSense ad formats include

  • text
  • graphic
  • animated graphics
  • videos

In some cases I have seen ads which got a 2 or 3% click through rate (CTR), while sites that are optimized for maximum CTR (through aggressive ad integration) can obtain as high as a 50 or 60% CTR depending on

  • how niche their site is
  • how commercially oriented their site is
  • the relevancy and depth of advertisers in their vertical

It is also worth pointing out that if you are too aggressive in monetizing your site before it has built up adequate authority your site may never gain enough authority to become highly profitable.

Depending on your vertical your most efficient monetization model may be any of the following

  • AdSense
  • affiliate marketing
  • direct ad sales
  • selling your own products and services
  • a mixture of the above

See also:

AdWordsGoogle’s advertisement and link auction network. Most of Google’s ads are keyword targeted and sold on a cost per click basis in an auction which factors in ad clickthrough rate as well as max bid. Google is looking into expanding their ad network to include video ads, demographic targeting, affiliate ads, radio ads, and traditional print ads.AdWords is an increasingly complex marketplace. One could write a 300 page book just covering AdWords. Rather than doing that here I thought it would be useful to link to many relevant resources.

See also:

Affiliate MarketingAffiliate marketing programs allows merchants to expand their market reach and mindshare by paying independent agents on a cost per action (CPA) basis. Affiliates only get paid if visitors complete an action.Most affiliates make next to nothing because they are not aggressive marketers, have no real focus, fall for wasting money on instant wealth programs that lead them to buying a bunch of unneeded garbage via other’s affiliate links, and do not attempt to create any real value.

Some power affiliates make hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars per year because they are heavily focused on automation and/or tap large traffic streams. Typically niche affiliate sites make more per unit effort than overtly broad ones because they are easier to focus (and thus have a higher conversion rate).

Selling a conversion is typically harder than selling a click (like AdSense does, for instance). Search engines are increasingly looking to remove the noise low quality thin affiliate sites ad to the search results through the use of

See also:

AgeSome social networks or search systems may take site age, page age, user account age, and related historical data into account when determining how much to trust that person, website, or document. Some specialty search engines, like blog search engines, may also boost the relevancy of new documents.Fresh content which is also cited on many other channels (like related blogs) will temporarily rank better than you might expect because many of the other channels which cite the content will cite it off their home page or a well trusted high PageRank page. After those sites publish more content and the reference page falls into their archives those links are typically from pages which do not have as much link authority as their home pages.

Some search engines may also try to classify sites to understand what type of sites they are, as in news sites or reference sites that do not need updated that often. They may also look at individual pages and try to classify them based on how frequently they change.

See also:

AJAXAsynchronous JavaScript and XML is a technique which allows a web page to request additional data from a server without requiring a new page to load.AlexaAmazon.comowned search service which measures website traffic.Alexa is heavily biased toward sites that focus on marketing and webmaster communities. While not being highly accurate it is free.

See also

AllTheWebSearch engine which was created by Fast, then bought by Overture, which was bought by Yahoo. Yahoo may use AllTheWeb as a test bed for new search technologies and features.See also:

Alt AttributeBlind people and most major search engines are not able to easily distinguish what is in an image. Using an image alt attribute allows you to help screen readers and search engines understand the function of an image by providing a text equivalent for the object.Example usage

<img src=”http://www.seobook.com/images/whammy.gif” height=”140″ width=”120″ alt=”Press Your Luck Whammy.” />

See also

AltaVistaSearch engine bought out by Overture prior to Overture being bought by Yahoo. AltaVista was an early powerhouse in search, but on October 25, 1999 they did a major algorithmic update which caused them to dump many websites. Ultimately that update and brand mismanagement drove themselves toward irrelevancy and a loss of mindshare and marketshare.See also:

Amazon.comThe largest internet retailing website. Amazon.com is rich in consumer generated media. Amazon also owns a number of other popular websites, including IMDB and Alexa.See also:

AnalyticsSoftware which allows you to track your page views, user paths, and conversion statistics based upon interpreting your log files or through including a JavaScript tracking code on your site.Ad networks are a game of margins. Marketers who track user action will have a distinct advantage over those who do not.

See also:

Anchor TextThe text that a user would click on to follow a link. In the case the link is an image the image alt attributemay act in the place of anchor text.Search engines assume that your page is authoritative for the words that people include in links pointing at your site. When links occur naturally they typically have a wide array of anchor text combinations. Too much similar anchor text may be a considered a sign of manipulation, and thus discounted or filtered. Make sure when you are building links that you control that you try to mix up your anchor text.

Example of anchor text:

<a href=”http://www.seobook.com/”>Search Engine Optimization Blog</a>

Outside of your core brand terms if you are targeting Google you probably do not want any more than 10% to 20% of your anchor text to be the same. You can use Backlink Analyzer to compare the anchor text profile of other top ranked competing sites.

See also:

AOLPopular web portal which merged with Time Warner.APIApplication Program Interface – a series of conventions or routines used to access software functions. Most major search products have an API program.ArbitrageExploiting market inefficiencies by buying and reselling a commodity for a profit. As it relates to the search market, many thin content sites laced with an Overture feed or AdSenseads buy traffic from the major search engines and hope to send some percent of that traffic clicking out on a higher priced ad. Shopping search engines generally draw most of their traffic through arbitrage.See also:

ASPActive Server Pages- a dynamic Microsoft programming language.See also:

AskAsk is a search engine owned by InterActive Corp. They were originally named Ask Jeeves, but they dumped Jeeves in early 2006. Their search engine is powered by the Teoma search technology, which is largely reliant upon Kleinberg‘s concept of hubs and authorities.See also:

AuthorityThe ability of a page or domain to rank well in search engines. Five large factors associated with site and page authority are link equity, site age, traffic trends, site history, and publishing unique original quality content.Search engines constantly tweak their algorithms to try to balance relevancy algorithms based on topical authority and overall authority across the entire web. Sites may be considered topical authorities or general authorities. For example, Wikipedia and DMOZ are considered broad general authority sites. This site is a topical authority on SEO, but not a broad general authority.

AuthoritiesTopical authorities are sites which are well trusted and well cited by experts within their topical community. A topical authority is a page which is referenced from many topical experts and hub sites. A topical hub is page which references many authorities.Example potential topical authorities:

  • the largest brands in your field
  • the top blogger talking about your subject
  • the Wikipedia or DMOZ page about your topic

See also:

Automated Bid Management SoftwarePay per click search engines are growing increasingly complex in their offerings. To help large advertisers cope with the increasing sophistication and complexity of these offerings some search engines and third party software developers have created software which makes it easier to control your ad spend. Some of the more advanced tools can integrate with your analytics programs and help you focus on conversion, ROI, and earnings elasticityinstead of just looking at cost per click.See also:

If you want to program internal bid management software you can get a developer token to use the Google AdWords API.

A few popular bid management tools are

B

Backlink (see Inbound Link)

Bait and SwitchMarketing technique where you make something look overtly pure or as though it has another purpose to get people to believe in it or vote for it (by linking at it or sharing it with friends), then switch the intent or purpose of the website after you gain authority.It is generally easier to get links to informational websites than commercial sites. Some new sites might gain authority much quicker if they tried looking noncommercial and gaining influence before trying to monetize their market position.

During the first web boom many businesses were based on eyeballs more than actually building real value. Many ads were typically quite irrelevant and web users learned to ignore the most common ad types.In many ways text ads are successful because they are more relevant and look more like content, but with the recent surge in the popularity of text ads some have speculated that in time people may eventually become text ad blind as well.

Nick Denton stated:

Imagine a web in which Google and Overture text ads are everywhere . Not only beside search results, but next to every article and weblog post. Ubiquity breeds contempt. Text ads, coupled with content targeting, are more effective than graphic ads for many advertisers; but they too, like banners, will suffer reader burnout.

Battelle, JohnPopular search and media blogger who co-founded The Industry Standard and Wired, and authored a popular book on search called The Search.See also:

Behavioral TargetingAd targeting based on past recent experience and/or implied intent. For example, if I recently searched for mortgages then am later reading a book review the page may still show me mortgage ads.BiasA prejudice based on experiences or a particular worldview.Any media channel, publishing format, organization, or person is biased by

  • how and why they were created and their own experiences
  • the current set of social standards in which they exist
  • other markets they operate in
  • the need for self preservation
  • how they interface with the world around them
  • their capital, knowledge, status, or technological advantages and limitations

Search engines aim to be relevant to users, but they also need to be profitable. Since search engines sell commercial ads some of the largest search engines may bias their organic search results toward informational (ie: non-commercial) websites. Some search engines are also biased toward information which has been published online for a great deal of time and is heavily cited.

Search personalization biases our search results based on our own media consumption and searching habits.

Large news organizations tend to aim for widely acceptable neutrality rather than objectivity. Some of the most popular individual web authors / publishers tend to be quite biased in nature. Rather than bias hurting one’s exposure

  • The known / learned bias of a specific author may make their news more appealing than news from an organization that aimed to seem arbitrarily neutral.
  • I believe biased channels most likely typically have a larger readership than unbiased channels.
  • Most people prefer to subscribe to media which matches their own biases worldview.
  • If more people read what you write and passionately agree with it then they are more likely to link at it.
  • Things which are biased in nature are typically easier to be cited than things which are unbiased.

See also:

Bid Management Software (see Automated Bid Management Software)

Black Hat SEOSearch engines set up guidelines that help them extract billions of dollars of ad revenue from the work of publishers and the attention of searchers. Within that highly profitable framework search engines consider certain marketing techniques deceptive in nature, and label them as black hat SEO. Those which are considered within their guidelines are called white hat SEO techniques. The search guidelines are not a static set of rules, and things that may be considered legitimate one day may be considered deceptive the next.Search engines are not without flaws in their business models, but there is nothing immoral or illegal about testing search algorithms to understand how search engines work.

People who have extensively tested search algorithms are probably more competent and more knowledgeable search marketers than those who give themselves the arbitrary label of white hat SEOs while calling others black hat SEOs.

When making large investments in processes that are not entirely clear trust is important. Rather than looking for reasons to not work with an SEO it is best to look for signs of trust in a person you would like to work with.

See also:

Block Level AnalysisA method used to break a page down into multiple points on the web graph by breaking its pages down into smaller blocks.Block level link analysis can be used to help determine if content is page specific or part of a navigational system. It also can help determine if a link is a natural editorial link, what other links that link should be associated with, and/or if it is an advertisement. Search engines generally do not want to count advertisements as votes.

See also

BlogA periodically updated journal, typically formatted in reverse chronological order. Many blogs not only archive and categorize information, but also provide a feedand allow simple user interaction like leaving comments on the posts.Most blogs tend to be personal in nature. Blogs are generally quite authoritative with heavy link equity because they give people a reason to frequently come back to their site, read their content, and link to whatever they think is interesting.

The most popular blogging platforms are WordPress, Blogger, Movable Type, and Typepad.

Blog Comment SpamEither manually or automatically (via a software program) adding low value or no value comments to other sites.Automated blog spam:

Nice post!
by
Discreat Overnight Viagra Online Canadian Pharmacy Free Shipping

Manual blog spam:

I just wrote about this on my site. I don’t know you, but I thought I would add no value to your site other than linking through to mine. Check it out!!!!!
by
cluebag manual spammer (usually with keywords as my name)

As time passes both manual and automated blog comment spam systems are evolving to look more like legitimate comments. I have seen some automated blog comment spam systems that have multiple fake personas that converse with one another.

BloggerBlogger is a free blog platform owned by Google.It allows you to publish sites on a subdomain off of Blogspot.com, or to FTP content to your own domain. If you are serious about building a brand or making money online you should publish your content to your own domain because it can be hard to reclaim a website’s link equity and age related trust if you have built years of link equity into a subdomain on someone else’s website.

Blogger is probably the easiest blogging software tool to use, but it lacks many some features present in other blog platforms.

See also:

BlogrollLink list on a blog, usually linking to other blogs owned by the same company or friends of that blogger.BoldA way to make words appear in a bolder font. Words that appear in a bolder font are more likely to be read by humans that are scanning a page. A search engine may also place slightly greater weighting on these words than regular text, but if you write natural page copy and a word or phrase appears on a page many times it probably does not make sense or look natural if you bold ever occurrence.Example use:

  • <b>words</b>
  • <strong>words</strong>

Either would appear as words.

BookmarksMost browserscome with the ability to bookmark your favorite pages. Many web based services have also been created to allow you to bookmark and share your favorite resources. The popularity of a document (as measured in terms of link equity, number of bookmarks, or usage data) is a signal for the quality of the information. Some search engines may eventually use bookmarks to help aid their search relevancy.Social bookmarking sites are often called tagging sites. Del.icio.us is the most popular social bookmarking site. Yahoo! MyWeb also allows you to tag results. Google allows you to share feeds and / or tag pages. They also have a program called Google Notebook which allows you to write mini guides of related links and information.

There are also a couple meta news sites that allow you to tag interesting pages. If enough people vote for your story then your story gets featured on the homepage. Slashdot is a tech news site primarily driven by central editors. Digg created a site covering the same type of news, but is a bottoms up news site which allows readers to vote for what they think is interesting. Netscape cloned the Digg business model and content model. Sites like Digg and Netscape are easy sources of links if you can create content that would appeal to those audiences.

Many forms of vertical search, like Google Video or YouTube, allow you to tag content.

See also:

  • Del.icio.us – Yahoo! owned social bookmarking site
  • Yahoo! MyWeb – similar to Del.icio.us, but more integrated into Yahoo!
  • Google Notebook – allows you to note documents
  • Slashdot – tech news site where stories are approved by central editors
  • Digg – decentralized news site
  • Netscape – Digg clone
  • Google Video – Google’s video hosting, tagging, and search site
  • YouTube – popular decentralized video site

Boolean SearchMany search engines allow you to perform searches that contain mathematical formulas such as AND, OR, or NOT. By default most search engines include AND with your query, requiring results to be relevant for all the words in your query.Examples:

  • A Google search for SEO Book will return results for SEO AND Book.
  • A Google search for “SEO Book” will return results for the phrase SEO Book.
  • A Google search for SEO Book -Jorge will return results containing SEO AND Book but NOT Jorge.
  • A Google search for ~SEO -SEO will find results with words related to SEO that do not contain SEO.

Some search engines also allow you to search for other unique patterns or filtering ideas. Examples:

See also:

BrandThe emotional response associated with your company and/or products.A brand is built through controlling customer expectations and the social interactions between customers. Building a brand is what allows you to move away from commodity based pricing and move toward higher margin value based pricing.

See also:

Branded KeywordsKeywords or keyword phrases associated with a brand. Typically branded keywords occur late in the buying cycle, and are some of the highest value and highest converting keywords.Some affiliate marketing programs prevent affiliates from bidding on the core brand related keywords, while others actively encourage it. Either way can work depending on your business model and marketing savvy, but it is important to ensure there is synergy between internal marketing and affiliate marketing programs.

Breadcrumb NavigationNavigational technique used to help search engines and website users understand the relationship between pages.Example breadcrumb navigation:

Home > SEO Tools > SEO for Firefox

Whatever page the user is on is unlinked, but the pages above it within the site structure are linked to, and organized starting with the home page, right on down through the site structure.

Brin, SergeyCo-founder of Google.See also:

Broken LinkA hyperlink which is not functioning. A link which does not lead to the desired location.Links may broken for a number of reason, but four of the most common reasons are

  • a website going offline
  • linking to content which is temporary in nature (due to licensing structures or other reasons)
  • moving a page’s location
  • changing a domain’s content management system

Most large websites have some broken links, but if too many of a site’s links are broken it may be an indication of outdated content, and it may provide website users with a poor user experience. Both of which may cause search engines to rank a page as being less relevant.

Xenu Link Sleuth is a free software program which crawls websites to find broken links.

BrowserClient used to view the world wide web.The most popular browsers are Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Mozilla’s Firefox, Safari, and Opera.

Bush, VannevarWWII scientist who wrote a seminal research paper on the concepts of hypertext and a memory extension device titled As We May Think.Business.comA well trusted directory of business websites and information. Business.com is also a large pay per click arbitrageplayer.See also:

Buying CycleBefore making large purchases consumers typically research what brands and products fit their needs and wants. Keyword based search marketing allows you to reach consumers at any point in the buying cycle. In many markets branded keywordstend to have high search volumes and high conversion rates.The buying cycle may consist of the following stages

  • Problem Discovery: prospect discovers a need or want.
  • Search: after discovering a problem look for ways to solve the need or want. These searches may contain words which revolve around the core problem the prospect is trying to solve or words associated with their identity.
  • Evaluate: may do comparison searches to compare different models, and also search for negative information like product sucks, etc.
  • Decide: look for information which reinforces your view of product or service you decided upon
  • Purchase: may search for shipping related information or other price related searches. purchases may also occur offline
  • Reevaluate: some people leave feedback on their purchases . If a person is enthusiastic about your brand they may cut your marketing costs by providing free highly trusted word of mouth marketing.

See also:

Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? – book by Brian & Jeffrey Eisenberg about the buying cycle and Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing.

C

CacheCopy of a web page stored by a search engine. When you search the web you are not actively searching the whole web, but are searching files in the search engine index.Some search engines provide links to cached versions of pages in their search results, and allow you to strip some of the formatting from cached copies of pages.

Calacanis, JasonFounder of Weblogs, Inc. Also pushed AOL to turn Netscape into a Diggclone.See also:

Canonical URLMany content management systems are configured with errors which cause duplicate or exceptionally similar content to get indexed under multiple URLs. Many webmasters use inconsistent link structures throughout their site that cause the exact same content to get indexed under multiple URLs. The canonical version of any URL is the single most authoritative version indexed by major search engines. Search engines typically use PageRankor a similar measure to determine which version of a URL is the canonical URL.Webmasters should use consistent linking structures throughout their sites to ensure that they funnel the maximum amount of PageRank at the URLs they want indexed. When linking to the root level of a site or a folder index it is best to end the link location at a / instead of placing the index.html or default.asp filename in the URL.

Examples of URLs which may contain the same information in spite of being at different web addresses:

  • http://www.seobook.com/
  • http://www.seobook.com/index.shtml
  • http://seobook.com/
  • http://seobook.com/index.shtml
  • http://www.seobook.com/?tracking-code

Catalog (see Index)

Catch All ListingA listing used by pay per click search engines to monetize long tail terms that are not yet targeted by marketers. This technique may be valuable if you have very competitive key words, but is not ideal since most major search engines have editorial guidelines that prevent bulk untargeted advertising, and most of the places that allow catch all listings have low traffic quality. Catch all listings may be an attractive idea on theme specific search engines and directories though, as they are already pre qualified clicks.CGICommon Gateway Interface - interface software between a web server and other machines or software running on that server. Many cgi programs are used to add interactivity to a web site.ClientA program, computer, or process which makes information requests to another computer, process, or program.CloakingDisplaying different content to search engines and searchers. Depending on the intent of the display discrepancy and the strength of the brand of the person / company cloaking it may be considered reasonable or it may get a site banned from a search engine.Cloaking has many legitimate uses which are within search guidelines. For example, changing user experience based on location is common on many popular websites.

See also:

Cluetrain Manifesto, TheBook about how the web is a marketplace, and how it is different from traditional offline business.See also:

ClusteringIn search results the listings from any individual site are typically limited to a certain number and grouped together to make the search results appear neat and organized and to ensure diversity amongst the top ranked results. Clustering can also refer to a technique which allows search engines to group hubs and authoritieson a specific topic together to further enhance their value by showing their relationships.See also

  • Google Touchgraph – interesting web application that shows the relationship between sites Google returns as being related to a site you enter.

CMSContent Management System.Tool used to help make it easy to update and add information to a website.Blog software programs are some of the most popular content management systems currently used on the web. Many content management systems have errors associated with them which make it hard for search engines to index content due to issues such as duplicate content.

Co-citationIn topical authority based search algorithms links which appear near one another on a page may be deemed to be related to one another. In algorithms like latent semantic indexing words which appear near one another often are frequently deemed to be related.CommentsMany blogs and other content management systems allow readers to leave user feedback.Leaving enlightening and thoughtful comments on someone else’s related website is one way to help get them to notice you.

See also:

  • blog comment spam – the addition of low value or no value comments to other’s websites

Comments TagSome web developers also place comments in the source code of their work to help make it easy for people to understand the code.HTML comments in the source code of a document appear as <!– your comment here –>. They can be viewed if someone types views the source code of a document, but do not appear in the regular formatted HTML rendered version of a document.

In the past some SEOs would stuff keywords in comment tags to help increase the page keyword density, but search has evolved beyond that stage, and at this point using comments to stuff keywords into a page adds to your risk profile and presents little ranking upside potential.

Compacted InformationInformation which is generally and widely associated with a product. For example, most published books have an ISBN.As the number of product databases online increases and duplicate content filters are forced to get more aggressive the keys to getting your information indexed are to have a site with enough authority to be considered the most important document on that topic, or to have enough non compacted information (for example, user reviews) on your product level pages to make them be seen as unique documents.

Conceptual LinksLinks which search engines attempt to understand beyond just the words in them. Some rather advanced search engines are attempting to find out the concept links versus just matching the words of the text to that specific word set. Some search algorithms may even look at co-citation and words near the link instead of just focusing on anchor text.Concept SearchA search which attempts to conceptually match results with the query, not necessarily with those words, rather their concept.For example, if a search engine understands a phrase to be related to another word or phrase it may return results relevant to that other word or phrase even if the words you searched for are not directly associated with a result. In addition, some search engines will place various types of vertical search results at the top of the search results based on implied query related intent or prior search patterns by you or other searchers.

Contextual AdvertisingAdvertising programs which generate relevant advertisements based on the content of a webpage.See also:

ConversionMany forms of online advertising are easy to track. A conversion is reached when a desired goal is completed.Most offline ads have generally been much harder to track than online ads. Some marketers use custom phone numbers or coupon codes to tie offline activity to online marketing.

Here are a few common example desired goals

  • a product sale
  • completing a lead form
  • a phone call
  • capturing an email
  • filling out a survey
  • getting a person to pay attention to you
  • getting feedback
  • having a site visitor share your website with a friend
  • having a site visitor link at your site

Bid management, affiliate tracking, and analytics programs make it easy to track conversion sources.

See also:

CopyrightThe legal rights to publish and reproduce a particular piece of work.See also:

CookieSmall data file written to a user’s local machine to track them. Cookies are used to help websites customize your user experience and help affiliate program managers track conversions.CPACost per action. The effectiveness of many other forms of online advertising have their effectiveness measured on a cost per action basis. Many affiliate marketing programs and contextual ads are structured on a cost per action basis. An action may be anything from an ad click, to filling out a lead form, to buying a product.CPCCost per click.Many search ads and contextually targeted ads are sold in auctions where the advertiser is charged a certain price per click.See also:

CPMCost per thousand ad impressions.Many people use CPM as a measure of how profitable a website is or has the potential of becoming.

Crawl DepthHow deeply a website is crawled and indexed.Since searches which are longer in nature tend to be more targeted in nature it is important to try to get most or all of a site indexed such that the deeper pages have the ability to rank for relevant long tail keywords. A large site needs adequate link equity to get deeply indexed. Another thing which may prevent a site from being fully indexed is duplicate content issues.

Crawl FrequencyHow frequently a website is crawled.Sites which are well trusted or frequently updated may be crawled more frequently than sites with low trust scores and limited link authority. Sites with highly artificial link authority scores (ie: mostly low quality spammy links) or sites which are heavy in duplicate content or near duplicate content (such as affiliate feed sites) may be crawled less frequently than sites with unique content which are well integrated into the web.

See also:

CSSCascading Style Sheetsis a method for adding styles to web documents.Note: Using external CSS files makes it easy to change the design of many pages by editing a single file. You can link to an external CSS file using code similar to the following in the head of your HTML documents

<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”http://www.seobook.com/style.css” type=”text/css” />

See also

  • W3C: CSS – official guidelines for CSS
  • CSS Zen Garden – examples of various CSS layouts
  • Glish.com – examples of various CSS layouts, links to other CSS resources

CTRClickthrough rate – the percentage of people who view click on an advertisement they viewed, which is a way to measure how relevant a traffic source or keyword is. Search ads typically have a higher clickthrough rate than traditional banner ads due to being highly relevant to implied searcher demand.Cutts, MattGoogle’s head of search quality.See also:

CybersquattingRegistering domains related to other trademarks or brands in an attempt to cash in on the value created by said trademark or brand.

D

DaypartingTurning ad campaigns on or off, changing ad bid price, or budget constraints based on bidding more when your target audience is available and less when they are less likely to be available.Dead LinkA link which is no longer functional.Most large high quality websites have at least a few dead links in them, but the ratio of good links to dead links can be seen as a sign of information quality.

Deep LinkA link which points to an internal page within a website.When links grow naturally typically most high quality websites have many links pointing at interior pages. When you request links from other websites it makes sense to request a link from their most targeted relevant page to your most targeted relevant page. Some webmasters even create content based on easy linking opportunities they think up.

Dedicated ServerServer which is limited to serving one website or a small collection of websites owned by a single person.Dedicated servers tend to be more reliable than shared (or virtual) servers. Dedicated servers usually run from $100 to $500 a month. Virtual servers typically run from $5 to $50 per month.

Deep Link RatioThe ratio of links pointing to internal pages to overall links pointing at a website.A high deep link ratio is typically a sign of a legitimate natural link profile.

De-ListingTemporarily or permanently becoming de-indexed from a directory or search engine.De-indexing may be due to any of the following:

  • Pages on new websites (or sites with limited link authority relative to their size) may be temporarily de-indexed until the search engine does a deep spidering and re-cache of the web.
  • During some updates search engines readjust crawl priorities.
    • You need a significant number of high quality links to get a large website well indexed and keep it well indexed.
    • Duplicate content filters, inbound and outbound link quality, or other information quality related issues may also relate to re-adjusted crawl priorities.
  • Pages which have changed location and are not properly redirected, or pages which are down when a search engine tries to crawl them may be temporarily de-indexed.
  • Search Spam:
    • If a website tripped an automatic spam filter it may return to the search index anywhere from a few days to a few months after the problem has been fixed.
    • If a website is editorially removed by a human you may need to contact the search engine directly to request reinclusion.

Del.icio.usPopular social bookmarking website.See also:

DemographicsStatistical data or characteristics which define segments of a population.Some internet marketing platforms, such as AdCenter and AdWords, allow you to target ads at websites or searchers who fit amongst a specific demographic. Some common demographic data points are gender, age, income, education, location, etc.

Denton, NickPublisher of Gawker, a popular ring of topical weblogs, which are typically focused on controversy.See also:

  • Nick Denton.org – official blog, where Nick often talks about business and his various blogs.

DescriptionDirectories and search engines provide a short description near each listing which aims to add context to the title.High quality directories typically prefer the description describes what the site is about rather than something that is overtly promotional in nature. Search engines typically

  • use a description from a trusted directory (such as DMOZ or the Yahoo! Directory) for homepages of sites listed in those directories
  • use the page meta description (especially if it is relevant to the search query and has the words from the search query in it)
  • attempt to extract a description from the page content which is relevant for the particular search query and ranking page (this is called a snippet)
  • or some combination of the above

DiggSocial news site where users vote on which stories get the most exposure and become the most popular.See also:

DirectoryA categorized catalog of websites, typically manually organized by topical editorial experts.Some directories cater to specific niche topics, while others are more comprehensive in nature. Major search engines likely place significant weight on links from DMOZ and the Yahoo! Directory. Smaller and less established general directories likely pull less weight. If a directory does not exercise editorial control over listings search engines will not be likely to trust their links at all.

DMOZThe Open Directory Projectis the largest human edited directory of websites. DMOZ is owned by AOL, and is primarily ran by volunteer editors.See also:

DNSDomain Name Server or Domain Name System. A naming scheme mechanism used to help resolve a domain name / host name to a specific TCP/IP Address.DomainScheme used for logical or location organization of the web. Many people also use the word domain to refer to a specific website.Doorway PagesPages designed to rank for highly targeted search queries, typically designed to redirect searchers to a page with other advertisements.Some webmasters cloak thousands of doorway pages on trusted domains, and rake in a boatload of cash until they are caught and de-listed. If the page would have a unique purpose outside of search then search engines are generally fine with it, but if the page only exists because search engines exist then search engines are more likely to frown on the behavior.

DreamweaverPopular web development and editing software offering a what you see is what you get interface.See also:

Duplicate ContentContent which is duplicate or near duplicate in nature.Search engines do not want to index multiple versions of similar content. For example, printer friendly pages may be search engine unfriendly duplicates. Also, many automated content generation techniques rely on recycling content, so some search engines are somewhat strict in filtering out content they deem to be similar or nearly duplicate in nature.

See also:

Dynamic ContentContent which changes over time or uses a dynamic language such as PHPto help render the page.In the past search engines were less aggressive at indexing dynamic content than they currently are. While they have greatly improved their ability to index dynamic content it is still preferable to use URL rewriting to help make dynamic content look static in nature.

Dynamic LanguagesProgramming languages such as PHP or ASPwhich build web pages on the fly upon request.

E

Earnings Per ClickMany contextual advertising publishers estimate their potential earnings based on how much they make from each click.Editorial LinkSearch engines count links as votes of quality. They primarily want to count editorial links that were earned over links that were bought or bartered.Many paid links, such as those from quality directories, still count as signs of votes as long as they are also associated with editorial quality standards. If they are from sites without editorial control, like link farms, they are not likely to help you rank well. Using an algorithm similar to TrustRank, some search engines may place more trust on well known sites with strong editorial guidelines.

EmphasisAn HTML tag used to emphasize text.Please note that it is more important that copy reads well to humans than any boost you may think you will get by tweaking it for bots. If every occurrence of a keyword on a page is in emphasis that will make the page hard to read, convert poorly, and may look weird to search engines and users alike.

<em>emphasis</em> would appear as emphasis

Entry PageThe page which a user enters your site.If you are buying pay per click ads it is important to send visitors to the most appropriate and targeted page associated with the keyword they searched for. If you are doing link building it is important to point links at your most appropriate page when possible such that

  • if anyone clicks the link they are sent to the most appropriate and relevant page
  • you help search engines understand what the pages on your site are associated with

Ethical SEOSearch engines like to paint SEO services which manipulate their relevancy algorithms as being unethical. Any particular technique is generally not typically associated with ethics, but is either effective or ineffective.Some search marketers lacking in creativity tend to describe services sold by others as being unethical while their own services are ethical. Any particular technique is generally not typically associated with ethics, but is either effective or ineffective.

The only ethics issues associated with SEO are generally business ethics related issues. Two of the bigger frauds are

  • Not disclosing risks: Some SEOs may use high risk techniques when they are not needed. Some may make that situation even worse by not disclosing potential risks to clients.
  • Taking money & doing nothing: Since selling SEO services has almost no start up costs many of the people selling services may not actually know how to competently provide them. Some shady people claim to be SEOs and bilk money out of unsuspecting small businesses.

As long as the client is aware of potential risks there is nothing unethical about being aggressive.

EverfluxMajor search indexes are constantly updating. Google refers to this continuous refresh as everflux.In the past Google updated their index roughly once a month. Those updates were named Google Dances, but since Google shifted to a constantly updating index Google no longer does what was traditionally called a Google Dance.

See also:

Expert DocumentQuality page which links to many non-affiliated topical resources.See also:

External LinkLink which references another domain.Some people believe in link hoarding, but linking out to other related resources is a good way to help search engines understand what your site is about. If you link out to lots of low quality sites or primarily rely on low quality reciprocal links some search engines may not rank your site very well. Search engines are more likely to trust high quality editorial links (both to and from your site).

F

Fair UseThe stated exceptions of allowed usage of work under copyrightwithout requiring permission of the original copyright holder. Fair use is covered in section 107 of the Copyright code.See also:

FaviconFavorites Iconis a small icon which appears next to URLs in a web browser.Upload an image named favicon.ico in the root of your site to have your site associated with a favicon.

See also:

  • HTML Kit – generate a favicon from a picture
  • Favicon.co.uk – create a favicon online painting one pixel at a time.

Favorites (see bookmarks)

FeedMany content management, systems such as blogs, allow readers to subscribe to content update notifications via RSS or XML feeds. Feeds can also refer to pay per click syndicated feeds, or merchant product feeds. Merchant product feeds have become less effective as a means of content generation due to improving duplicate content filters.Feed ReaderSoftware or website used to subscribe to feed update notifications.See also:

FFAFree for all pages are pages which allow anyone to add a link to them. Generally these links do not pull much weight in search relevancy algorithms because many automated programs fill these pages with links pointing at low quality websites.FilterCertain activities or signatures which make a page or site appear unnatural might make search engines inclined to filter / remove them out of the search results.For example, if a site publishes significant duplicate content it may get a reduced crawl priority and get filtered out of the search results. Some search engines also have filters based on link quality, link growth rate, and anchor text. Some pages are also penalized for spamming.

FirefoxPopular extensible open source web browser.See also:

FlashVector graphics-based animation software which makes it easier to make websites look rich and interactive in nature.Search engines tend to struggle indexing and ranking flash websites because flash typically contains so little relevant content. If you use flash ensure:

  • you embed flash files within HTML pages
  • you use a noembed element to describe what is in the flash
  • you publish your flash content in multiple separate files such that you can embed appropriate flash files in relevant pages

Forward Links (see Outbound Links)

FramesA technique created by Netscapeused to display multiple smaller pages on a single display. This web design technique allows for consistent site navigation, but makes it hard to deep link at relevant content.Given the popularity of server side includes, content management systems, and dynamic languages there really is no legitimate reason to use frames to build a content site today.

Fresh ContentContent which is dynamic in nature and gives people a reason to keep paying attention to your website.Many SEOs talk up fresh content, but fresh content does not generally mean re-editing old content. It more often refers to creating new content. The primary advantages to fresh content are:

  • Maintain and grow mindshare: If you keep giving people a reason to pay attention to you more and more people will pay attention to you, and link to your site.
  • Faster idea spreading: If many people pay attention to your site, when you come out with good ideas they will spread quickly.
  • Growing archives: If you are a content producer then owning more content means you have more chances to rank. If you keep building additional fresh content eventually that gives you a large catalog of relevant content.
  • Frequent crawling: Frequently updated websites are more likely to be crawled frequently.

FTPFile Transfer Protocolis a protocol for transferring data between computers.Many content management systems (such as blogging platforms) include FTP capabilities. Web development software such as Dreamweaver also comes with FTP capabilities. There are also a number of free or cheap FTP programs such as Cute FTP, Core FTP, and Leech FTP.

Fuzzy SearchSearch which will find matching terms when terms are misspelled (or fuzzy). 

Fuzzy search technology is similar to stemming technology, with the exception that fuzzy search corrects the misspellings at the users end and stemming searches for other versions of the same core word within the index.

G

GAPGoogle Advertising Professional is a program which qualifies marketers as being proficient AdWordsmarketers.See also:

Gladwell, MalcolmPopular author who wrote the book titled The Tipping Point.See also:

Godin, SethPopular blogger, author, viral marketer and business consultant.See also:

  • Seth’s blog – Seth talks about marketing
  • Purple Cow – Probably Seth’s most popular book. It is about how to be remarkable. Links are citations or remarks. This book is a highly recommended for any SEO.
  • All Marketers Are Liars – Book about creating and marketing authentic brand related stories in a low trust world.
  • The Big Red Fez – Small quick book about usability errors common to many websites.
  • Google speech – see Seth’s speech at Google.
  • Squidoo – community driven topical lens site created by Seth Godin

GoogleThe world’s leading search engine in terms of reach. Google pioneered search by analyzing linkage data via PageRank. Google was created by Stanford students Larry Page and Sergey Brin.See also

GoogleBotGoogle’s search engine spider.Google has a shared crawl cache between their various spiders, including vertical search spiders and spiders associated with ad targeting.

See also:

Google AdSense (see AdSense)

Google AdWords (see AdWords)

Google BaseFree database of semantically structured information created by Google.Google Base may also help Google better understand what types of information are commercial in nature, and how they should structure different vertical search products.

See also:

Google BombingMaking a pank rank well for a specific search query by pointing hundreds or thousands of links at it with the keywords in the anchor text.See also:

Google BowlingKnocking a competitor out of the search results by pointing hundreds or thousands of low trust low quality links at their website.Typically it is easier to bowl new sites out of the results. Older established sites are much harder to knock out of the search results.

Google CheckoutPayment service provided by Google which helps Google better understand merchant conversion rates and the value of different keywords and markets.See also:

Google DanceIn the past Google updated their index roughly once a month. Those updates were named Google Dances, but since Google shifted to a constantly updating index, Google no longer does what was traditionally called a Google Dance.Major search indexes are constantly updating. Google refers to this continuous refresh as everflux.

The second meaning of Google Dance is a yearly party at Google’s corporate headquarters which Google holds for search engine marketers. This party coincides with the San Jose Search Engine Strategies conference.

See also:

Google Keyword ToolKeyword research tool provided by Google which estimates the competition for a keyword, recommends related keywords, and will tell you what keywords Google thinks are relevant to your site or a page on your site.

See also:

Google OneBoxPortion of the search results page above the organic search results which Google sometimes uses to display vertical search results from Google News, Google Base, and other Google owned vertical search services.Google SitemapsProgram which webmasters can use to help Google index their contents.Please note that the best way to submit your site to search engines and to keep it in their search indexes is to build high quality editorial links.

See also:

Google SitelinksOn some search results where Google thinks one result is far more relevant than other results (like navigational or brand related searches) they may list numerous deep links to that site at the top of the search results.Google Supplemental IndexIndex where pages with lower trust scores are stored. Pages may be placed in Google’s Supplemental Index if they consist largely of duplicate content, if the URLs are excessively complex in nature, or the site which hosts them lacks significant trust.Google Traffic EstimatorTool which estimates bid prices and how many Google searchers will click on an ad for a particular keyword.If you do not submit a bid price the tool will return an estimated bid price necessary to rank #1 for 85% of Google’s queries for a particular keyword.

See also:

Google TrendsTool which allows you to see how Google search volumes for a particular keyword change over time.See also:

Google Website OptimizerFree multi variable testing platform used to help AdWords advertisers improve their conversion rates.

See also:

Guestbook SpamA type of low quality automated link which search engines do not want to place much trust on.

H

HeadingsThe heading element briefly describes the subject of the section it introduces.Heading elements go from H1 to H6 with the lower numbered headings being most important. You should only use a single H1 element on each page, and may want to use multiple other heading elements to structure a document. An H1 element source would look like:

<h1>Your Topic</h1>

Heading elements may be styled using CSS. Many content management systems place the same content in the main page heading and the page title, although in many cases it may be preferential to mix them up if possible.

See also:

HeadlineThe title of an article or story.

Hidden TextSEO technique used to show search engine spiders text that human visitors do not see.While some sites may get away with it for a while, generally the risk to reward ratio is inadequate for most legitimate sites to consider using hidden text.

HilltopAlgorithm which ranks results largely based on unaffiliated expert citations.See also:

HITSLink based algorithm which ranks relevancy scores based on citations from topical authorities.See also:

HijackingMaking a search engine believe that another website exists at your URL. Typically done using techniques such as a 302 redirect or meta refresh.Home PageThe main page on your website, which is largely responsible for helping develop your brand and setting up the navigational schemes that will be used to help users and search engines navigate your website.As far as SEO goes, a home page is typically going to be one of the easier pages to rank for some of your more competitive terms, largely because it is easy to build links at a home page. You should ensure your homepage stays focused and reinforces your brand though, and do not assume that most of your visitors will come to your site via the home page. If your site is well structured many pages on your site will likely be far more popular and rank better than your home page for relevant queries.

Host (see Server)

.htaccessApache directory-level configuration file which can be used to password protect or redirect files.As a note of caution, make sure you copy your current .htaccess file before editing it, and do not edit it on a site that you can’t afford to have go down unless you know what you are doing.

See also:

HTMLHyperText Markup Languageis the language in which pages on the World Wide Web are created.Some newer web pages are also formatted in XHTML.

See also:

HTTPHyperText Transfer Protocol is the foremost used protocol to communicate between servers and web browsers. Hypertext transfer protocol is the means by which data is transferred from its residing location on a server to an active browser.HubsTopical hubs are sites which link to well trusted within their topical community. A topical authority is a page which is referenced from many topical hub sites. A topical hub is a page which references many authorities.

See also:

I

IDFInverse Document Frequency is a term used to help determine the position of a term in a vector space model.IDF = log ( total documents in database / documents containing the term )

Inbound LinkLink pointing to one website from another website.Most search engines allow you to see a sample of links pointing to a document by searching using the link: function. For example, using link:www.seobook.com would show pages linking to the homepage of this site (both internal links and inbound links). Due to canonical URL issues www.site.com and site.com may show different linkage data. Google typically shows a much smaller sample of linkage data than competing engines do, but Google still knows of and counts many of the links that do not show up when you use their link: function.

IndexCollection of data used as bank to search through to find a match to a user fed query. The larger search engines have billions of documents in their catalogs.When search engines search they search via reverse indexes by words and return results based on matching relevancy vectors. Stemming and semantic analysis allow search engines to return near matches. Index may also refer to the root of a folder on a web server.

Internal LinkLink from one page on a site to another page on the same site.It is preferential to use descriptive internal linking to make it easy for search engines to understand what your website is about. Use consistent navigational anchor text for each section of your site, emphasizing other pages within that section. Place links to relevant related pages within the content area of your site to help further show the relationship between pages and improve the usability of your website.

Information ArchitectureDesigning, categorizing, organizing, and structuring content in a useful and meaningful way.Good information architecture considers both how humans and search spiders access a website. Information architecture suggestions:

  • focus each page on a specific topic
  • use descriptive page titles and meta descriptions which describe the content of the page
  • use clean (few or no variables) descriptive file names and folder names
  • use headings to help break up text and semantically structure a document
  • use breadcrumb navigation to show page relationships
  • use descriptive link anchor text
  • link to related information from within the content area of your web pages
  • improve conversion rates by making it easy for people to take desired actions
  • avoid feeding search engines duplicate or near-duplicate content

Information RetrievalThe field of science based on sorting or searching through large data sets to find relevant information.InktomiSearch engine which pioneered the paid inclusionbusiness model. Inktomi was bought by Yahoo! at the end of 2002.Internal Navigation (see Navigation)

InternetVast worldwide network of computers connected via TCP/IP.Internet ExplorerMicrosoft’s web browser. After they beat out Netscape’s browser on the marketshare front they failed to innovate on any level for about 5 years, until Firefoxforced them to.See also:

Inverted File (see Reverse Index)

Invisible WebPortions of the web which are not easily accessible to crawlers due to search technology limitations, copyright issues, or information architecture issues.IP AddressInternet Protocol Address.Every computer connected to the internet has an IP address. Some websites and servers have unique IP addresses, but most web hosts host multiple websites on a single host.Many SEOs refer to unique C class IP addresses. Every site is hosted on a numerical address like aa.bb.cc.dd. In some cases many sites are hosted on the same IP address. It is believed by many SEOs that if links come from different IP ranges with a different number somewhere in the aa.bb.cc part then the link may count more than links from the same local range and host.

IP delivery (see cloaking)

ISPInternet Service Providerssell end users access to the web. Some of these companies also sell usage data to web analytics companies.Italics (see emphasis)

J

JavaScriptA client-side scripting language that can be embedded into HTMLdocuments to add dynamic features.Search engines do not index most content in JavaScript. In AJAX, JavaScript has been combined with other technologies to make web pages even more interactive.

K

KeywordA word or phrase which implies a certain mindset or demand that targeted prospects are likely to search for.Long tail and brand related keywords are typically worth more than shorter and vague keywords because they typically occur later in the buying cycle and are associated with a greater level of implied intent.

Keyword DensityAn old measure of search engine relevancy based on how prominent keywords appeared within the content of a page. Keyword density is no longer a valid measure of relevancy over a broad open search index though.When people use keyword stuffed copy it tends to read mechanically (and thus does not convert well and is not link worthy), plus some pages that are crafted with just the core keyword in mind often lack semantically related words and modifiers from the related vocabulary (and that causes the pages to rank poorly as well).

See also:

Keyword FunnelThe relationship between various related keywords that searchers search for. Some searches are particularly well aligned with others due to spelling errors, poor search relevancy, and automated or manual query refinement.See also:

  • MSN Search Funnels – shows keywords people search for before or after they search for another keyword

Keyword ResearchThe process of discovering relevant keywords and keyword phrases to focus your SEO and PPCmarketing campaigns on.Example keyword discovery methods:

  • using keyword research tools
  • looking at analytics data or your server logs
  • looking at page copy on competing sites
  • reading customer feedback
  • placing a search box on your site and seeing what people are looking for
  • talking to customers to ask how and why they found and chose your business

Keyword Research ToolsTools which help you discover potential keywords based on past search volumes, search trends, bid prices, and page content from related websites.Short list of the most popular keyword research tools:

  • SEO Book Keyword Research Tool – free, driven by Overture, this tool cross references all of my favorite keyword research tools. In addition to linking to traditional keyword research tools, it also links to tools such as Google Suggest, Buzz related tools, vertical databases, social bookmarking and tagging sites, and latent semantic indexing related tools.
  • Overture – free, powered from Yahoo! search data. Heavily biased toward over representing commercial queries, combines singular and plural versions of a keyword into a single data point.
  • Google – free, powered from Google search data.
  • Wordtracker – paid, powered from Dogpile and MetaCrawler. Due to small sample size their keyword database may be easy to spam.

Please note that most keyword research tools used alone are going to be highly inaccurate at giving exact quantitative search volumes. The tools are better for qualitative measurements. To test the exact volume for a keyword it may make sense to set up a test Google AdWords campaign.

Keyword StuffingWriting copy that uses excessive amounts of the core keyword.When people use keyword stuffed copy it tends to read mechanically (and thus does not convert well and is not link worthy), plus some pages that are crafted with just the core keyword in mind often lack semantically related words and modifiers from the related vocabulary (and that causes the pages to rank poorly as well).

See also:

Keyword Suggestion Tools (see Keyword Research Tools)

Kleinberg, JonScientist largely responsible for much of the research that went into hubs and authoritiesbased search relevancy algorithms.See also:

L

Landing PageThe page on which a visitor arrives after clicking on a link or advertisement.Landing Page Quality ScoresA measure used by Google to help filter noisy ads out of their AdWordsprogram.When Google AdWords launched affiliates and arbitrage players made up a large portion of their ad market, but as more mainstream companies have spent on search marketing, Google has done many measures to try to keep their ads relevant.

LinkA citation from one web document to another web document or another position in the same document.Most major search engines consider links as a vote of trust.

Link BaitingThe art of targeting, creating, and formatting information that provokes the target audience to point high quality links at your site. Many link baiting techniques are targeted at social media and bloggers.See also:

Link BuildingThe process of building high quality linkage data that search engines will evaluate to trust your website is authoritative, relevant, and trustworthy.A few general link building tips:

See also:

Link BurstsA rapid increase in the quantity of links pointing at a website.When links occur naturally they generally develop over time. In some cases it may make sense that popular viral articles receive many links quickly, but in those cases there are typically other signs of quality as well, such as:

  • increased usage data
  • increase in brand related search queries
  • traffic from the link sources to the site being linked at
  • many of the new links coming from new pages on trusted domains

See also:

Link ChurnThe rate at which a site loses links.See also:

Link EquityA measure of how strong a site is based on its inbound link popularity and the authority of the sites providing those links.Link FarmWebsite or group of websites which exercises little to no editorial control when linking to other sites. FFA pages, for example, are link farms.Log FilesServer files which show you what your leading sources of traffic are and what people are search for to find your website.Log files do not typically show as much data as analytics programs would, and if they do, it is generally not in a format that is as useful beyond seeing the top few stats.

Link HoardingA method of trying to keep all your link popularity by not linking out to other sites, or linking out using JavaScriptor through cheesy redirects.Generally link hoarding is a bad idea for the following reasons:

  • many authority sites were at one point hub sites that freely linked out to other relevant resources
  • if you are unwilling to link out to other sites people are going to be less likely to link to your site
  • outbound links to relevant resources may improve your credibility and boost your overall relevancy scores

“Of course, folks never know when we’re going to adjust our scoring. It’s pretty easy to spot domains that are hoarding PageRank; that can be just another factor in scoring. If you work really hard to boost your authority-like score while trying to minimize your hub-like score, that sets your site apart from most domains. Just something to bear in mind.” – Quote from Google’s Matt Cutts

See also:

Link PopularityThe number of links pointing at a website.For competitive search queries link quality counts much more than link quantity. Google typically shows a smaller sample of known linkage data than the other engines do, even though Google still counts many of the links they do not show when you do a link: search.

Link ReputationThe combination of your link equity and anchor text.Link RotA measure of how many and what percent of a website’s links are broken.Links may broken for a number of reason, but four of the most common reasons are:

  • a website going offline
  • linking to content which is temporary in nature (due to licensing structures or other reasons)
  • moving a page’s location
  • changing a domain’s content management system

Most large websites have some broken links, but if too many of a site’s links are broken it may be an indication of outdated content, and it may provide website users with a poor user experience. Both of which may cause search engines to rank a page as being less relevant.

See also:

  • Xenu Link Sleuth is a free software program which crawls websites to find broken links.

Live.comNew search platform provided by Microsoft.See also:

Long TailPhrase describing how for any category of product being sold there is much more aggregate demand for the non-hits than there is for the hits.How does the long tail applies to keywords? Long Tail keywords are more precise and specific, thus have a higher value. As of writing this definition in the middle of October 2006 my leading keywords for this month are as follows:

#reqs search term
1504 seo book
512 seobook
501 seo
214 google auctions
116 link bait
95 aaron wall
94 gmail uk
89 search engine optimization
86 trustrank
78 adsense tracker
73 latent semantic indexing
71 seo books
69 john t reed
67 dear sir
67 book.com
64 link harvester
64 google adwords coupon
58 seobook.com
55 adwords coupon
15056 [not listed: 9,584 search terms]

Notice how the nearly 10,000 unlisted terms account for roughly 10 times as much traffic as I got from my core brand related term (and this site only has a couple thousand pages and has a rather strong brand).

See also:

LooksmartCompany originally launched as a directory service which later morphed into a paid search provider and vertical content play.See also:

LSILatent Semantic Indexingis a way for search systems to mathematically understanding and representing language based on the similarity of pages and keyword co-occurance. A relevant result may not even have the search term in it. It may be returned based solely on the fact that it contains many similar words to those appearing in relevant pages which contain the search words.See also:

  • Quintura Search – free LSI type keyword research tool.
  • Patterns in Unstructured Data – free paper describing how LSI works
  • SEO Book articles on LSI: #1 & #2 (Google may not be using LSI, but they are certainly using technologies with similar functions and purpose.)
  • Johnon Go Words – article about how adding certain relevant words to a page can drastically improve its relevancy for other keywords

M

Malda, RobFounder of Slashdot.org, a popular editorially driven technology news forum.Manual ReviewAll major search engines combine a manual review process with their automated relevancy algorithms to help catch search spam and train their relevancy algorithms. Abnormal usage data or link growth patterns may also flag sites for manual review.See also:

Mechanical TurkAmazon.com program which allows you to hire humans to perform easy tasks that computers are bad at.See also:

MemeIn The Selfish GeneRichard Dawkins defines a meme as “a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation.” Many people use the word meme to refer to self spreading or viral ideas.See also:

  • Techmeme – meme tracker which shows technology ideas that are currently spreading on popular technology blogs

Meta DescriptionThe meta description tag is typically a sentence or two of content which describes the content of the page.A good meta description tag should:

  • be relevant and unique to the page;
  • reinforce the page title; and
  • focus on including offers and secondary keywords and phrases to help add context to the page title.

Relevant meta description tags may appear in search results as part of the page description below the page title.

The code for a meta description tag looks like this

<meta name=”Description” content=”Your meta description here. ” / >

See also:

Meta KeywordsThe meta keywords tag is a tag which can be used to highlight keywordsand keyword phrases which the page is targeting.The code for a meta keyword tag looks like this

<meta name=”Keywords” content=”keyword phrase, another keyword, yep another, maybe one more “>

Many people spammed meta keyword tags and searchers typically never see the tag, so most search engines do not place much (if any) weight on it. Many SEO professionals no longer use meta keywords tags.

See also:

Meta RefreshA meta tag used to make a browser refresh to another URL location.A meta refresh looks like this

<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”10;url=http://www.site.com/folder/page.htm”>

Generally in most cases it is preferred to use a 301 or 302 redirect over a meta refresh.

Meta SearchA search engine which pulls top ranked results from multiple other search engines and rearranges them into a new result set.See also:

Meta TagsPeople generally refer to meta descriptions and meta keywords as meta tags. Some people also group the page title in with these.

MicrosoftMaker of the popular Windows operating system and Internet Explorer browser.    MindshareA measure of the amount of people who think of you or your product when thinking of products in your category.Sites with strong mindshare, top rankings, or a strong memorable brand are far more likely to be linked at than sites which are less memorable and have less search exposure. The link quality of mindshare related links most likely exceeds the quality of the average link on the web. If you sell non-commodities, personal recommendations also typically carry far greater weight than search rankings alone.

See also:

Mirror SiteSite which mirrors (or duplicates) the contents of another website.Generally search engines prefer not to index duplicate content. The one exception to this is that if you are a hosting company it might make sense to offer free hosting or a free mirror site to a popular open source software site to build significant link equity.

Movable TypeFor sale blogging software which allows you to host a blogon your website.Movable Type is typically much harder to install that WordPress is.

See also:

MSN SearchSearch engine built by Microsoft. MSN is the default search provider in Internet Explorer.See also:

Multi Dimensional ScalingThe process of taking shapshots of documents in a database to discover topical clusters through the use of latent semantic indexing. Multi dimensional scaling is more efficient than singular vector decomposition since only a rough approximation of relevance is necessary when combined with other ranking criteria.MySpaceOne of the most popular social networking sites, largely revolving around connecting musicians to fans and having an easy to use blogging platform.See also:

N

Natural Language ProcessingAlgorithms which attempt to understand the true intent of a search query rather than just matching results to keywords.Natural Link (see Editorial Link)

Natrual Search (see Organic Search Results)

NavigationScheme to help website users understand where they are, where they have been, and how that relates to the rest of your website.It is best to use regular HTML navigation rather than coding your navigation in JavaScript, Flash, or some other type of navigation which search engines may not be able to easily index.

NetscapeOriginally a company that created a popular web browser by the same name, Netscape is now a social news site similar to Digg.com.See also:

NicheA topic or subject which a website is focused on.Search is a broad field, but as you drill down each niche consists of many smaller niches. An example of drilling down to a niche market

  • search
  • search marketing, privacy considerations, legal issues, history of, future of, different types of vertical search, etc.
  • search engine optimization, search engine advertising
  • link building, keyword research, reputation monitoring and management, viral marketing, SEO copywriting, Google AdWords, information architecture, etc.

Generally it is easier to compete in small, new, or underdeveloped niches than trying to dominate large verticals. As your brand and authority grow you can go after bigger markets.

NofollowAttribute used to prevent a link from passing link authority. Commonly used on sites with user generated content, like in blog comments.The code to use nofollow on a link appears like

<a href=”http://wwwseobook.com.com” rel=”nofollow”>anchor text </a>Nofollow can also be used in a robots meta tag to prevent a search engine from counting any outbound links on a page. This code would look like this

<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”INDEX, NOFOLLOW”>

Google‘s Matt Cutts also pushes webmasters to use nofollow on any paid links, but since Google is the world’s largest link broker, their advice on how other people should buy or sell links should be taken with a grain of salt. Please note that it is generally not advised to practice link hoarding as that may look quite unnatural. Outbound links may also boost your relevancy scores in some search engines.

O

OntologyIn philosophy it is the study of being. As it relates to search, it is the attempt to create an exhaustive and rigorous conceptual schema about a domain. An ontology is typically a hierarchical data structure containing all the relevant entities and their relationships and rules within that domain.See also:

Open Directory Project, The (see DMOZ)

Open SourceSoftware which is distributed with its source code such that developers can modify it as they see fit.On the web open source is a great strategy for quickly building immense exposure and mindshare.

OperaA fast standards based web browser.See also:

Organic Search ResultsMost major search engines have results that consist of paid ads and unpaid listings. The unpaid / algorithmic listings are called the organic search results. Organic search results are organized by relevancy, which is largely determined based on linkage data, page content, usage data, and historical domain and trust related data.Most clicks on search results are on the organic search results. Some studies have shown that 60 to 80% + of clicks are on the organic search results.

Outbound LinkA link from one website pointing at another external website.Some webmasters believe in link hoarding, but linking out to useful relevant related documents is an easy way to help search engines understand what your website is about. If you reference other resources it also helps you build credibility and leverage the work of others without having to do everything yourself. Some webmasters track where their traffic comes from, so if you link to related websites they may be more likely to link back to your site.

See also:

OvertureThe company which pioneered search marketing by selling targeted searches on a pay per click basis. Originally named GoTo, they were eventually bought out by Yahoo! and branded as Yahoo! Search Marketing.See also:

Overture Keyword Selector ToolPopular keyword research tool, based largely on Yahoo! search statistics. Heavily skewed toward commercially oriented searches, also combines singular and plural versions of a keyword into a single version.See also:

P

Page, LarryCo-founder of Google.

PageRankA logarithmic scale based on link equity which estimates the importance of web documents.Since PageRank is widely bartered Google’s relevancy algorithms had to move away from relying on PageRank and place more emphasis on trusted links via algorithms such as TrustRank.

The PageRank formula is:

PR(A) = (1-d) + d (PR(T1)/C(T1) + … + PR(Tn)/C(Tn))

PR= PageRank
d= dampening factor (~0.85)
c = number of links on the page
PR(T1)/C(T1) = PageRank of page 1 divided by the total number of links on page 1, (transferred PageRank)

In text: for any given page A the PageRank PR(A) is equal to the sum of the parsed partial PageRank given from each page pointing at it multiplied by the dampening factor plus one minus the dampening factor.

See also:

Page Title (see Title)

A method of allowing websites which pass editorial quality guidelines to buy relevant exposure.See also:

Paid Link (see Text Link Ads)

Pay for PerformancePayment structure where affiliated sales workers are paid commission for getting consumers to perform certain actions.Publishers publishing contextual ads are typically paid per ad click. Affiliate marketing programs pay affiliates for conversions – leads, downloads, or sales.

PenaltySearch engines prevent some websites suspected of spammingfrom ranking highly in the results by banning or penalizing them. These penalties may be automated algorithmically or manually applied.If a site is penalized algorithmically the site may start ranking again after a certain period of time after the reason for being penalized is fixed. If a site is penalized manually the penalty may last an exceptionally long time or require contacting the search engine with a reinclusion request to remedy.

Some sites are also filtered for various reasons.

See also:

PersonalizationAltering the search results based on a person’s location, search history, content they recently viewed, or other factors relevant to them on a personal level.PHPPHP Hypertext Preprocessor is an open source server side scripting language used to render web pages or add interactivity to them.See also:

Poison WordWords which were traditionally associated with low quality content that caused search engines to want to demote the rankings of a page.See also:

PDFPortable Document Format is a universal file format developed by Adobe Systems that allows files to be stored and viewed in the original printer friendly context.PortalWeb site offering common consumer services such as news, email, other content, and search.PPCPay Per Click is a pricing model which most search ads and many contextual ad programsare sold through. PPC ads only charge advertisers if a potential customer clicks on an ad.See also:

PrecisionThe ability of a search engine to list results that satisfy the query, usually measured in percentage. (if 20 of the 50 results match the query the precision is 40%)Search spam and the complexity of language challenge the precision of search engines.

Profit ElasticityA measure of the profit potential of different economic conditions based on adjusting price, supply, or other variables to create a different profit potential where the supply and demand curves cross.ProximityA measure of how close words are to one another.A page which has words near one another may be deemed to be more likely to satisfy a search query containing both terms. If keyword phrases are repeated an excessive number of times, and the proximity is close on all the occurrences of both words it may also be a sign of unnatural (and thus potentially low quality) content.

Q

Quality ContentContent which is linkworthy in nature.See also:

Quality LinkSearch engines count links votes of trust. Quality links count more than low quality links.There are a variety of ways to define what a quality link is, but the following are characteristics of a high quality link:

  • Trusted Source: If a link is from a page or website which seems like it is trustworthy then it is more likely to count more than a link from an obscure, rarely used, and rarely cited website. See TrustRank for one example of a way to find highly trusted websites.
  • Hard to Get: The harder a link is to acquire the more likely a search engine will be to want to trust it and the more work a competitor will need to do to try to gain that link.
  • Aged: Some search engines may trust links from older resources or links that have existed for a length of time more than they trust brand new links or links from newer resources.
  • Co-citation: Pages that link at competing sites which also link to your site make it easy for search engines to understand what community your website belongs to. See Hilltop for an example of an algorithm which looks for co-citation from expert sources.
  • Related: Links from related pages or related websites may count more than links from unrelated sites.
  • In Content: Links which are in the content area of a page are typically going to be more likely to be editorial links than links that are not included within the editorial portion of a page.

While appropriate anchor text may also help you rank even better than a link which lacks appropriate anchor text, it is worth noting that for competitive queries Google is more likely to place weight on a high quality link where the anchor text does not match than trusting low quality links where the anchor text matches.

QueryThe actual “search string” a searcher enters into a search engine.Query RefinementSome searchers may refine their search query if they deemed the results as being irrelevant. Some search engines may aim to promote certain verticals or suggest other search queries if they deem other search queries or vertical databases as being relevant to the goals of the searcher.Query refinement is both a manual and an automated process. If searchers do not find their search results as being relevant they may search again. Search engines may also automatically refine queries using the following techniques:

  • Google OneBox: promotes a vertical search database near the top of the search result. For example, if image search is relevant to your search query images may be placed near the top of the search results.
  • Spell Correction: offers a did you mean link with the correct spelling near the top of the results.
  • Inline Suggest: offers related search results in the search results. Some engines also suggest a variety of related search queries.

Some search toolbars also aim to help searchers auto complete their search queries by offering a list of most popular queries which match the starting letters that a searcher enters into the search box.

R

RecallThe portion of relevant documents that were retrieved when compared to all relevant documents.Reciprocal LinksNepotistic link exchanges where websites try to build false authorityby trading links, using three way link trades, or other low quality link schemes.When sites link naturally there is going to be some amount of cross linking within a community, but if most or all of your links are reciprocal in nature it may be a sign of ranking manipulation. Also sites that trade links off topic or on links pages that are stashed away deep within their sites probably do not pass much link authority, and may add more risk than reward.

Quality reciprocal link exchanges in and of themselves are not a bad thing, but most reciprocal link offers are of low quality. If too many of your links are of low quality it may make it harder for your site to rank for relevant queries, and some search engines may look at inlink and outlink ratios as well as link quality when determining how natural a site’s link profile is.

See also:

RedirectA method of alerting browsers and search engines that a page location moved. 301 redirects are for permanent change of location and 302 redirects are used for a temporary change of location.RegistrarA company which allows you to register domain names.ReinclusionIf a site has been penalized for spamming they may fix the infraction and ask for reinclusion. Depending on the severity of the infraction and the brand strength of the site they may or may not be added to the search index.See also:

ReferrerThe source from which a website visitor came from.Relative LinkA link which shows the relation of the current URL to the URL of the page being linked at. Some links only show relative link paths instead of having the entire reference URL within the a href tag. Due to canonicalization and hijackingrelated issues it is typically preferred to use absolute links over relative links.Example relative link

<a href=”../folder/filename.html“>Cool Stuff</a>

Example absolute link

<a href=”http://seobook.com/folder/filename.html“>Cool Stuff</a>

RelevancyA measure of how useful searchers find search results.Many search engines may also bias organic search results to informational resources since commercial ads also show in the search results.

See also:

Reputation ManagementEnsuring your brand related keywords display results which reinforce your brand. Many hate sites tend to rank highly for brand related queries.ResubmissionMuch like search engine submission, resubmission is generally a useless program which is offered by businesses bilking naive consumers out of their money for a worthless service.Rewrite (see URL Rewrite)

Reverse IndexAn index of keywords which stores records of matching documents that contain those keywords.See also:

Robots.txtA file which sits in the root of a site and tells search engines which files not to crawl. Some search engines will still list your URLs as URL only listings even if you block them using a robots.txt file.Do not put files on a public server if you do not want search engines to index them!

See also:

ROIReturn on Investmentis a measure of how much return you receive from each marketing dollar.While ROI is a somewhat sophisticated measurement, some search marketers prefer to account for their marketing using more sophisticate profit elasticity calculations.

RSSRich Site Summary or Real Simple Syndication is a method of syndicating information to a feed readeror other software which allows people to subscribe to a channel they are interested in.

S

SafariA popular Apple browser.Salton, GerardScientist who pioneered the information retrieval field.See also:

ScumwareIntrusive software and programs which usually target ads, violate privacy, and are often installed without the computer owner knowing what the software does.Search HistoryMany search engines store user search history information. This data can be used for better ad targeting or to make old information more findable.Search engines may also determine what a document is about and how much they trust a domain based on aggregate usage data. Many brand related search queries is a strong signal of quality.

Search EngineA tool or device used to find relevant information. Search engines consist of a spider, index, relevancy algorithms and search results.SEMSearch engine marketing.Also known as:

SEOSearch engine optimizationis the art and science of publishing information and marketing it in a manner that helps search engines understand your information is relevant to relevant search queries.SEO consists largely of keyword research, SEO copywriting, information architecture, link building, brand building, building mindshare, reputation management, and viral marketing.

SEO CopywritingWriting and formatting copy in a way that will help make the documents appear relevant to a wide array of relevant search queries.There are two main ways to write titles and be SEO friendly

  1. Write literal titles that are well aligned with things people search for. This works well if you need backfill content for your site or already have an amazingly authoritative site.
  2. Write page titles that are exceptionally compelling to link at. If enough people link at them then your pages and site will rank for many relevant queries even if the keywords are not in the page titles.

See also:

SERPSearch Engine Results Page is the page on which the search engines show the results for a search query.Search MarketingMarketing a website in search engines. Typically via SEO, buying pay per click ads, and paid inclusion.ServerComputer used to host files and serve them to the WWW.Dedicated servers usually run from $100 to $500 a month. Virtual servers typically run from $5 to $50 per month.

Server LogsFiles hosted on servers which display website traffic trends and sources.Server logs typically do not show as much data and are not as user friendly as analytics software. Not all hosts provide server logs.

Singular Value DecompositionThe process of breaking down a large database to find the document vector (relevance) for various items by comparing them to other items and documents.Important steps:

  • Stemming: taking in account for various forms of a word on a page
  • Local Weighting: increasing the relevance of a given document based on the frequency a term appears in the document
  • Global Weighting: increasing the relevance of terms which appear in a small number of pages as they are more likely to be on topic than words that appear in most all documents.
  • Normalization: penalizing long copy and rewarding short copy to allow them fair distribution in results. a good way of looking at this is like standardizing things to a scale of 100.

Multi dimensional scaling is more efficient than singular value decomposition because it requires exceptionally less computation. When combined with other ranking factors only a rough approximation of relevance is necessary.

SiphoningTechniques used to steal another web sites traffic, including the use of spyware or cybersquatting.Site MapPage which can be used to help give search engines a secondary route to navigate through your site.Tips:

  • On large websites the on page navigation should help search engines find all applicable web pages.
  • On large websites it does not make sense to list every page on the site map, just the most important pages.
  • Site maps can be used to help redistribute internal link authority toward important pages or sections, or sections of your site that are seasonally important.
  • Site maps can use slightly different or more descriptive anchor text than other portions of your site to help search engines understand what your pages are about.
  • Site maps should be created such that they are useful to humans, not just search engines.

SlashdotCentral editorially driven community news site focusing on technology and nerd related topics created by Rob Malda.See also:

Snippit (see Description)

Social MediaWebsites which allow users to create the valuable content. A few examples of social media sites are social bookmarking sites and social news sites.See also:

SpamUnsolicited email messages.Search engines also like to outsource their relevancy issues by calling low quality search results spam. They have vague ever changing guidelines which determine what marketing techniques are acceptable at any given time. Typically search engines try hard not to flag false positives as spam, so most algorithms are quite lenient, as long as you do not build lots of low quality links, host large quantities of duplicate content, or perform other actions that are considered widely outside of relevancy guidelines. If your site is banned from a search engine you may request reinclusion after fixing the problem.

See also:

SpammingThe act of creating and distributing spam.SpiderSearch engine crawlers which search or “spider” the web for pages to include in the index.Many non-traditional search companies have different spiders which perform other applications. For example, TurnItInBot searches for plagiarism. Spiders should obey the robots.txt protocol.

Splash PageFeature rich or elegantly designed beautiful web page which typically offers poor usability and does not offer search engines much content to index.Make sure your home page has relevant content on it if possible.

SplogSpam blog, typically consisting of stolen or automated low quality content.SpywareSoftware programs which spy on web users, often used to collect consumer research and to behaviorally targeted ads.See also:

  • Ad Aware – spyware removal software
  • Stop Badware – site about fighting spyware and other adverse sleazy software programs

SquidooTopical lens site created by Seth Godin.See also:

SSIServer Side Includesare a way to call portions of a page in from another page. SSI makes it easier to update websites.To use a server side include you have to follow one of the conditions:

  • end file names in a .shtml or .shtm extension
  • use PHP or some other language which makes it easy to include files via that programming language
  • change your .htaccess file to make .html or .htm files be processed as though they were .shtml files.

The code to create a server side include looks like this:

<!–#include virtual=”/includes/filename.html” –>

Static ContentContent which does not change frequently. May also refer to content that does not have any social elements to it and does not use dynamic programming languages.Many static sites do well, but the reasons fresh content works great for SEO are:

  • If you keep building content every day you eventually build a huge archive of content
  • By frequently updating your content you keep building mindshare, brand equity, and give people fresh content worth linking at

StemmingUsing the stem of a word to help satisfy search relevancy requirements. EX: searching for swimming can return results which contain swim. This usually enhances the quality of search results due to the extreme diversity of word used in, and their application in the English language.Stop WordsCommon words (ex: a, to, and, is …) which add little relevancy to a search query, and are thus are removed from the search query prior to finding relevant search results.It is both fine and natural to use stop words in your page content. The reason stop words are ignored when people search is that the words are so common that they offer little to no discrimination value.

Sullivan, DannyFounder and lead editor of SearchEngineWatch.com, who later started SearchEngineLand.com.See also:

SubmissionThe act of making information systems and related websites aware of your website. In most cases you no longer need to submit your website to large scale search engines, they follow links and index content. The best way to submit your site is to get others to link to it.Some topical or vertical search systems will require submission, but you should not need to submit your site to large scale search engine.

Supplemental ResultsDocuments which generally are trusted less and rank lower than documents in the main search index.Some search engines, such as Google, have multiple indicies. Documents which are not well trusted due to any of the following conditions:

  • limited link authority relative to the number of pages on the site
  • duplicate content or near duplication
  • exceptionally complex URLs

Documents in the supplemental results are crawled less frequently than documents in the main index. Since documents in the supplemental results are typically considered to be trusted less than documents in the regular results, those pages probably carry less weight when they vote for other pages by linking at them.

You can find document’s on this site that are in Google’s supplemental results by searching for site:seobook.com *** -view:randomstring

T

Tagging, tags (see Bookmarks)

TaxonomyClassification system of controlled vocabulary used to organize topical subjects, usually hierarchical in nature.TechnoratiBlog search engine which tracks popular stories and link relationships.See also:

TeomaTopical community based search engine largely reliant upon Kleinberg‘s concept of hubs and authorities. Teoma powers Ask.com.TelnetInternet service allowing a remote computer to log into a local one for projects such as script initialization or manipulation.Term FrequencyA measure of how frequently a keyword appears amongst a collection of documents.Term Vector DatabaseA weighted index of documents which aims to understand the topic of documents based on how similar they are to other documents, and then match the most relevant documents to a search query based on vector length and angle.See also:

Text Link AdsAdvertisements which are formatted as text links.Since the web was originally based on text and links people are typically more inclined to pay attention to text links than some other ad formats which are typically less relevant and more annoying. However, search engines primarily want to count editorial links as votes, so links that are grouped together with other paid links (especially if those links are to off topic commercial sites) may be less likely to carry weight in search engines.

ThesaurusSynonym directory search engines use to help increase return relevancy.Thesaurus tools can also be used as a keyword research tool to help search marketers find related keywords to target.

TitleThe title element is used to describe the contents of a document.The title is one of the most important aspects to doing SEO on a web page. Each page title should be:

  • Unique to that page: Not the same for every page of a site!
  • Descriptive: What important ideas does that page cover?
  • Not excessively long: Typically page titles should be kept to 8 to 10 words or less, with some of the most important words occurring near the beginning of the page title.

Page titles appear in search results as the links searchers click on. In addition many people link to documents using the official document title as the link anchor text. Thus, by using a descriptive page title you are likely to gain descriptive anchor text and are more likely to have your listing clicked on.

On some occasions it also makes sense to use a title which is not literally descriptive, but is easily associated with human emotions or a controversy such that your idea will spread further and many more people will point quality editorial links at your document.

There are two main ways to write titles and be SEO friendly

  1. Write literal titles that are well aligned with things people search for. This works well if you need backfill content for your site or already have an amazingly authoritative site.
  2. Write page titles that are exceptionally compelling to link at. If enough people link at them then your pages and site will rank for many relevant queries even if the keywords are not in the page titles.

See also:

ToolbarMany major search companies aim to gain marketshare by distributing search toolbars. Some of these toolbars have useful features such as pop-up blockers, spell checkers, and form autofill. These toolbars also help search engines track usage data.Topic-Sensitive PageRankMethod of computing PageRankwhich instead of producing a single global score creates topic related PageRank scores.See also:

TrackbackAutomated notification that another website mentioned your site which is baked into most popular blogging software programs.Due to the automated nature of trackbacks they are typically quite easy to spam. Many publishers turn trackbacks off due to a low signal to noise ratio.

The Tragedy of the CommonsStory about how in order to protect the commons some people will have to give up some rights or care more for the commons. In marketing attention is the commons, and Google largely won distribution because they found ways to make marketing less annoying.See also:

TrustRankSearch relevancy algorithm which places additional weighting on links from trusted seed websites that are controlled by major corporations, educational institutions, or governmental institutions.See also:

TypepadHosted blogging platform provided by SixApart, who also makes Movable Type.It allows you to publish sites on a subdomain off of Typepad.com, or to publish content which appears as though it is on its own domain. If you are serious about building a brand or making money online you should publish your content to your own domain because it can be hard to reclaim a website’s link equity and age related trust if you have built years of link equity into a subdomain on someone else’s website.

See also:

U

Unethical SEO

Some search engine marketers lacking in creativity try to market theirservices as being ethical, whereas services rendered by other providers are somehow unethical. SEO services are generally neither ethical or unethical. They are either effective or ineffective.SEO is an inherently risky business, but any quality SEO service provider should make clients aware of potential risks and rewards of different recommended techniques.

UpdateSearch engines frequently update their algorithms and data sets to help keep their search results fresh and make their relevancy algorithms hard to update. Most major search engines are continuously updating both their relevancy algorithms and search index.See also:

  • Google Terminology – Video where Google’s Matt Cutts discusses various commonly used terms inside Google.

URLUniform Resource Locator is the unique address of any web document.URL RewriteA technique used to help make URLs more unique and descriptive to help facilitate better sitewide indexing by major search engines.See also:

  • Apache Module mod_rewrite – Apache module used to rewrite URLs on sites hosted on an Apache server.
  • ISAPI Rewrite – software to rewrite URLs on sites hosted on a Microsoft Internet Information Server.

UsabilityHow easy it is for customers to perform the desired actions.The structure and formatting of text and hyperlink based calls to action can drastically increase your website usability, and thus conversion rates.

See also:

Usage DataThings like a large stream of traffic, repeat visitors, multiple page views per visitor, a high clickthrough rate, or a high level of brand related search queries may be seen by some search engines as a sign of quality. Some search engines mayUsenetA search service which is focused on a particular field, a particular type of information, or a particular information format.See also:

V

Vector Space Model (see Term Vector Database)

Vertical SearchA search service which is focused on a particular field, a particular type of information, or a particular information format.For example, Business.com would be a B2B vertical search engine, and YouTube would be a video based vertical search engine.

Viral MarketingSelf propagating marketing techniques. Common modes of transmission are email, blogging, and word of mouth marketing channels.Many social news sites and social bookmarking sites also lead to secondary citations.

See also:

Virtual DomainWebsite hosted on a virtual server.Virtual ServerA server which allows multiple top level domains to be hosted from a single computer.Using a virtual server can save money for smaller applications, but dedicated hosting should be used for large commercial platforms.Most domains are hosted on virtual servers, but using a dedicated server on your most important domains should add server reliability, and could be seen as a sign of quality. Dedicated servers usually run from $100 to $500 a month. Virtual servers typically run from $5 to $50 per month.

W

Wales, JimmyCo-founder of the popular Wikipedia.Weblog (see Blog)

WhoisEach domain has an owner of record. Ownership data is stored in the Whois record for that domain.Some domain registrars also allow you to hide the ownership data of your sites. Many large scale spammers use fake Whois data.

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White Hat SEOSearch engines set up guidelines that help them extract billions of dollars of ad revenue from the work of publishers and the attention of searchers. Within that highly profitable framework search engines consider certain marketing techniques deceptive in nature, and label them as black hat SEO. Those which are considered within their guidelines are called white hat SEO techniques. The search guidelines are not a static set of rules, and things that may be considered legitimate one day may be considered deceptive the next.Search engines are not without flaws in their business models, but there is nothing immoral or illegal about testing search algorithms to understand how search engines work.

People who have extensively tested search algorithms are probably more competent and more knowledgeable search marketers than those who give themselves the arbitrary label of white hat SEOs while calling others black hat SEOs.

When making large investments in processes that are not entirely clear trust is important. Rather than looking for reasons to not work with an SEO it is best to look for signs of trust in a person you would like to work with.

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WikiSoftware which allows information to be published using collaborative editing.WikipediaFree online collaborative encyclopedia using wikisoftware.See also:

WordnetA lexical database of English words which can be used to help search engines understand word relationships.See also:

WordPressPopular open source blogging software platform, offering both a downloadable bloggingprogram and a hosted solution.If you are serious about building a brand or making money online you should publish your content to your own domain because it can be hard to reclaim a website’s link equity and age related trust if you have built years of link equity into a subdomain on someone else’s website.

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WordtrackerFeature rich paid keyword research toolwhich collects data from a couple popular meta search engines, like Dogpile.Due to Wordtracker’s small sample size their data may be easy to game.

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X

Xenu Link SleuthPopular free software for checking a site for broken internal or external links and creating a sitemap.See also:

  • Xenu – official site

XHTMLExtensible HyperText Markup Language is a class of specifications designed to move HTML to conform to XMLformatting.See also:

XMLExtensible Markup Language is a simple, very flexible text format derived from SGML, used to make it easy to syndicate or format information using technologies such as RSS.See also:

Y

Yahoo!Internet portal company which was started with the popular Yahoo! Directory.See also:

Yahoo! AnswersFree question asking and answering service which allows Yahoo! to leverage social structures to create a bottoms up network of free content.See also:

Yahoo! DirectoryOne of the original, most popular, and most authoritative web directories, started by David Filo and Jerry Yang in 1994.The Yahoo! Directory is one of a few places where most any legitimate site can pick up a trusted link. While the cost of $299 per year may seem expensive to some small businesses, a Yahoo! Directory link will likely help boost your rankings in major search engines.

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Yahoo! Search MarketingYahoo!’s paid search platform, formerly known as Overture.See also:

Yahoo! Site Explorer Research tool which webmasters can use to see what pages Yahoo! has indexed from a website, and what pages link at those pages.See also:

YouTubeFeature rich amateur video upload and syndication website owned by Google.See also:

Z

ZealNon-commercial directory which was bought by Looksmartfor $20 million, then abruptly shut down with little to no warning. 

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