404 – The 404 error message is an HTTP standard response code indicating that the client was able to communicate with the server, but the server either could not find the file that was requested, or it was configured not to fulfill the request and not reveal the reason why.
Alexa â€“ www.alexa.com. A search engine / ranking site that places a value on a website according to the traffic it receives.
Alexa Rank â€“ A ranking given to websites according to the traffic that they receive. See the section on Alexa Ranking for an in-depth explanation.
Algorithm – a statistical formula used by a search engine to rank a web page – different search engines weight differently the factors involved, keywords, back links etc.
One of the industryâ€™s best kept secrets is Googleâ€™s algorithm
ALT tags - Tags that are used to display a short text description of an image when the mouse is hovered over it. Using keywords in ALT tags increases keyword density as seen by Search Engine Spiders.
Anchor Text – “Linked Text” Anchor text is the text that you click on to activate and follow a hyperlink to another web page or another web site.
Backlink – any link from another web page to your own (aka Incoming link).
Below the fold – Content of a web page that is not seen by the consumer unless the consumer scrolls down.
Broken link – the target page of the link has been deleted or moved; disliked by search engines, always check any link from your pages is and remains live.
Click-Through – clicking on a link, or ad banner to visit a web vendor or site
CTR (Click-Through-Rate) – the number of times a link is clicked on divided by the number of impressions. I.E. If a banner is shown 100 times and is only clicked once, its CTR is 1%
Cloaking – Method by which specific content is served up to the search engine spider that is different then what the normal surfer sees. See also Doorway Pages. Presently considered unacceptable by most major search engines.
Content – the text of a web page, visible or not, either viewable by visitors or by search robots.
Counter – a small software application that counts the number of hits, unique visitors, and/or page views that a web page receives.
CPA (Cost per Action) – Paid when a certain action is performed by a user.
CPC – Cost per click – This is a frequent term used in PPC terminology. It refers to the cost associated with each click. I.E. The revenue earned every time a link or banner ad is clicked by a visitor to a site.
Crawler â€“ See Spider
Dead link â€“ A text link or other type of link that leads to a 404 error (Page not found)
Doorway Pages – Pages optimized for a particular search engine and/or search term, followed by a redirect to the usable page. Multiple doorway pages are often used to help ensure that the same basic content is ranked well on several different search engines. (Aka gateway page) The uses of such techniques are eligible for disqualification by Search Engines.
Duplicate Content – separate web pages with substantially the same content, which may attract a penalty from search engines.
Googlebot – the search engine spider that Google use to find and index web pages.
Hit – A single access request made to the server.
HMP – Hosted Marketing Page – a page that links back to yours but is written in a manner so as to give your page additional SEO leverage.
Home Directory – the directory in which your site’s main index page is located. Usually named /public_html/, or /www/ or /web/.
Hyperlink (also link): A hyperlink is text that when clicked on with your mouse, will take you to another web page.
Inbound Link. A link from another site to your site. (See Backlink)
Index (verb) â€“ To index oneâ€™s pages on a search engine. A spider will crawl your site for new content and index its listings within the search engineâ€™s database
Index Page – An index page is the main entrance page of a web site that normally describes the sites contents.
Keyword or Key Phrase – a word (or phrase) typed into a search, producing web pages that contain that word or phrase.
Keyword Density – This is the ratio of the keyword frequency as compared to the total words found on a page. Online tools can be used to compare keyword densities for multiple pages. With this knowledge, one can build up a page with a similar density as other high ranking pages.
Keyword Stuffing / Spamming – The process of repeating keywords or key phrases in Meta tags and body text. This can result in keyword densities over 50%, and is seen as spam by most search engines.
Link Farm – a site created solely for search engine ranking purposes that consist almost entirely of a long list of unrelated links. These types of pages are penalized by almost all search engines.
Link Popularity – the number and quality of inbound links pointing to a given web page.
Page Rank – A measurement of importance of a webpage that Google uses to rank pages all over the internet. Please see the section on PageRank for an in depth look at Page Rank.
PFI (Pay for Inclusion) – Used by various search engines that guarantees that your site will be listed in a search engine database. Google is a notable exception that does not ‘offer’ such a service.
Pop under – Un-requested window that opens underneath the currently focused or viewed window.
Popup – Un-requested window that opens on top of the currently viewed window.
PPC (Pay Per Click) – a search engine or directory places your link in their database and charges you a fee every time your URL comes up in a search and is clicked on. The size of the fee is usually determined by bidding on keywords. The two largest PPC schemes are Overture and Google Ad Words.
PR (PageRank) – See Page Rank
Psychological Factor - The psychological aspect of search engine usage which encompasses things such as using friendly URLs to entice more clicks from visitors by creating a visually and sensible URL
Query – The execution of a search on a search engine.
Reciprocal link – a link to another website placed on your site in exchange for a link to your site from theirs. Once very effective in achieving high search engine rankings, now of less proven value.
Redirect – a tactic used to send a user to a different page from the one clicked on in the search results, the final page being less relevant. Considered unacceptable by search engines.
Referrer or Referring URL – the URL of the web page where a visitor clicked a link to come to your site.
Relevancy – the degree to which the content on a web page returned in a list of search results matches the topic the user is searching for.
Robot – a program used by a search engine to roam the web, finding, ranking, and indexing web pages. (Spider, WebCrawler, crawler, web-bot, bot)
robots.txt – This is a text file that is used to control spiders that visit your website. Only spiders that conform to the Robots exclusion standard will obey the contents of the robots.txt file. This file allows you to grant and exclusive access to certain folders, file types, and specific files depending on the robot accessing the site. This file is not necessary for your site. For more information, visit – http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/robots.html.
Sandbox â€“ A probation period for new sites on Google. Gaining any PR is inhibited during this period. While a site is in the sandbox, none of their results will be displayed on the SERPS.
Search engine friendly – A web page designed and optimized for high search engine rankings. Such pages are rich in keywords and structured for ease of crawling.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – The process of arranging a web site’s content, design, layout and keyword content as well as Meta tags and other criteria to obtain high rankings in various search engines.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) – Encompasses SEO and further marketing methods, e.g. paid advertising options.
SERP (Search Engine Results Page) – SERPS are the pages that are displayed in a search engine when a search is performed.
Spam – In SEO circles, this refers to manipulation techniques that violate search engines Terms of Service and are designed to achieve higher rankings for a web page. Obviously, spam could be grounds for banning.
Traffic – Visitors to a website, measured in a variety of ways, including unique visitors and total page views, or the rather meaningless ‘hits’.
Unique Visitor – An instance of a unique connection by a visitor to your site.
URL Rewriting – A method of manipulating your URLs on the fly to create “friendly urls” which are SEO essential and easier for users to read and understand .