Thursday, August 21, 2008

SEO Slang - AKA - SEO Definitions

If you do SEO or SEM you know there is a special language that we speak.... I like to call it "SEO Slang"....

This is a compilation of various industry related terms I feel are important in the SEO/SEM/Links/PPC/SM world for my employees and anyone else who wants to talk the "SEO talk"...

Here it is:


Affiliate - An individual or company that markets a merchant's products or services and it paid only a sales commission fee. An affiliate is a marketing partner who promotes your products or services for a commission.

Affiliate Site - A site created to host links to a merchant's Web site so the site owner can make a commission.

Age of Domain - The number of years a particular website has been on-line. This starts with the date the domain was registered.

Alexa Ranking - Alexa is a search engine that provides extra information such as traffic rankings. An Alexa ranking is an indicator used to gauge site performance, based on comparisons drawn against other sites.

Algorithm - A mathematical equation, created by the search engines themselves (Google has their own, Yahoo has their own, etc) that uses certain information from websites in order to define their rankings.

Anchor Text Optimization – The technique of purposely placing keywords in the anchor text of your incoming and/or internal links in order to rank better for those keywords.

Authority Site - A site that is deemed by a search engine to be authoritative in its chosen field of subject matter. .edu and .gov sites are seen as “authority sites” and therefore desirable places to have a link.

Backlinks (Inbound Links) - The term used to refer to links which point to your site. Also called "Inbound Links" or "In Links"

Bad Neighborhood - Google sometimes refers to spammy Web sites, which employ tricks to misdirect users, as "bad neighborhoods."

Banned - When a search engine determines a Web site has violated their quality standards, all Web pages are removed from the search engine's index.

Banner Ad - An advertising banner (most often graphic) displayed on sites to advertise a web site. If a user clicks on the banner it will take them to that site

Black Hat - Techniques considered unethical, or contrary to the Terms of Service of search engines. Some examples are hiding text (ie - white letters on a white background) and cloaking.

Block Level Analysis – Microsoft’s attempt to deal with the faults in PageRank (PR) and HITS

Blog - A blog (short for web log) is an online journal or diary of an individual or groups opinions and latest news that is updated regularly, in chronological order. Many blogs allow visitors to make comments, or “postings” in response to the blogger, or ask questions.

Blogger - The owner and/or author of a blog. You can also have a “Guest Blogger” which is someone who writes for another owners blog.

Bot - Abbreviation for robot (also called a spider). It refers to software programs that scan the web. Bots vary in purpose from indexing web pages for search engines to harvesting e-mail addresses for spammers.

Brand/Branding - The 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.

Broken Link - A hyperlink which is not functioning. A link which does not lead to the desired location.

Cache - A cache is a temporary storage area where frequently accessed data can be stored for rapid access. (A “cached snapshot” is the search engines last view of the content of the webpage you’re currently viewing in your browser.)

Class C IP's - Class C networks make up an eighth of the total available IP addresses. The IP is unique, but if hosted on the same class C IP the search engine can detect and the links may not be as valuable then if hosted on completely unique Class C IP`s.

Cloaking - Cloaking describes the technique of serving a different page to a search engine spider than what a human visitor sees. This technique is abused by spammers for keyword stuffing. Cloaking is a violation of the Terms Of Service of most search engines and could be grounds for banning.

Code/Coding - Code can be added to web documents (HTML or other) through the usage of a program editor.

Content - The text, video, sound and graphics that makes up a web page. The text is what makes up the visual content.

Conversion - Site traffic that follows through on the goal of the site (such as buying a product from the website, filling out a contact form, registering for a newsletter, etc.). Webmasters measure conversion to judge the effectiveness (and ROI) of PPC and other advertising campaigns. Effective conversion tracking requires the use of some scripting/cookies to track visitors’ actions within a website. Many use analytics as well, such as Google Analytics.

CPC - Abbreviation for Cost Per Click. It is the base unit of cost for a PPC campaign.

CTA - Abbreviation for Content Targeted Ad(vertising). It refers to the placement of relevant PPC ads on content pages for non-search engine websites.

CTR - Abbreviation for Click Through Rate. It is a ratio of clicks per impressions in a PPC campaign. - Popular social bookmarking website… said to have “no follow tags” but Google still indexes the links.

Digg – A social news site where users vote on which stories get the most exposure and become the most popular.

Direct Clicks - When a user of a website directly clicks on the link(s) to get to the site the link points to. (Banners are good for direct clicks, our links are intended for SEO value).

Directory Link - A link on or within a Directory site, generally placed in a relevant category making it easy for a site user to find your listing or a search engine spider to find your link.

Directory Submissions - A website submission service where your website is added to the proper category in a searchable online directory which enhances your site’s visibility and creates relevant inbound links to your website. (Creating Directory Links)

DMOZ - The Open Directory Project is the largest human edited directory of websites. DMOZ is owned by AOL, and is primarily ran by volunteer editors.

Doorway Page/Gateway Page - A doorway page exists solely for the purpose of driving traffic to another page. They are usually designed and optimized to target one specific key phrase. Doorway pages rarely are written for human visitors. They are written for search engines to achieve high rankings and hopefully drive traffic to the main site. Using doorway pages is a violation of the Terms Of Service of most search engines and could be grounds for banning.

Duplicate Content - Content copied from other web pages to increase ranking with the help of more keywords is called “duplicate content”. Google has a filter that looks for duplicate text which may give a penalty to that page or even site.

Dynamic Content - Content which changes over time or uses a dynamic language such as PHP to help render the page.

EDU Links - A link hosted on a .edu site (an .edu site is a registered official educational institutions site)

Family Friendly - Pretty much every topic of relevancy other then adult, pharmaceutical and gambling. (Is it okay for a 5 year old to look at it?)

FFA - Abbreviation for Free For All. FFA sites post large lists of unrelated links to anyone and everyone. FFA sites and the links they provide are basically useless. Humans do not use them and search engines minimize their importance in ranking formulas.

Filter - Certain 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.

Footer - A websites text, images or links at the bottom of the page

Forum - An online discussion group, where participants with common interests can exchange open messages.

Fresh Content - Content which is dynamic in nature and gives people a reason to keep paying attention to your website.

FUD - Fear, uncertainty and doubt.

FUD Campaign - A “Fear, uncertainty, and doubt” campaign to frighten people into thinking something is bad by providing misleading information.

G - Google

General Category - A number of categories of relevancy represented in one place could be called a General Category site. (Blogs, new sites, etc.)

Google Dance - Up to June, 2003, Google has updated the index for their search engine on a roughly monthly basis. While the update is in progress, search results for each of Google's nine datacenters are different. The positions of a site appears to "dance" as it fluctuates minute to minute. "Google dance" is an unofficial term coined to refer to the period when Google is performing the update to its index. Google may be changing their index calculation method to allow for a continuous update (which will effectively end the roughly monthly dances).

Google Toolbar - Google’s specific toolbar options (such as PR)

GOV links - A link hosted on a .gov site (an .gov site is a registered official government site)

Grey hat - Optimization strategies that are in an unknown area of reputability/validity. Somewhere in-between Black and White Hat.

Header - The information at the beginning of an email, bulletin board message, article, etc.

Hit - One hit is one request for a file on a web server. A visitor opening a page with 5 images will in the process generate 6 hits (1 each for the images and one for the HTML page itself). The term is sometimes also used with reference to the number of results (hits) a search engine returns for a specific query.

HITS - Hyperlink Induced Topic Search

HP - Home Page

HTML - Hyper Text Markup Language - A programming (coding) language used to create documents for display on the World Wide Web.

HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol - HTTP is the most common transfer protocol used to facilitate communication between servers and browsers.

Hyperlink – A hyperlink, more commonly called a link, is an electronic connection between one web page to either (1) other web pages on the same web site, or (2) web pages located on another web site. More specifically, a hyperlink is a connection between one page of a hypertext document to another.

Hyperlink Induced Topic Search - Referring to a search where the search algorithm relies (partly) on hyperlinks to identify topic areas. Not to be confused with "hits" referring to file requests.

Image Link - A hyperlink which appears on an image.

Image Tags - A hyperlink which appears on an image that defines the image for the search engine spider.

Inbound Links - The term used to refer to links which point to your site. Also called "Backlinks" or "In links."

Index - Often used in reference to the search engine. Is the site/link indexed? When the search engine picks up the website/ link the website/ link is “indexed”, which means it`s getting the search engine visibility.

IP Address - All computers across the internet are assigned a unique identifier called an IP address. They are used like street addresses so other computers can find them. An IP address could look something like this:

Keyword Stuffing - Keyword stuffing refers to the practice of adding superfluous keywords to a web page. The words are added for the 'benefit' of search engines and not human visitors. The words may or may not be visible to human visitors. While not necessarily a violation of search engine Terms of Service, at least when the words are visible to humans, it detracts from the impact of a page (it looks like spam). It is also possible that search engines may discount the importance of large blocks of text that do not conform to grammatical structures (ie. lists of disconnected keywords). There is no valid reason for engaging in this practice.

Keyword/Keyphrase (Anchor Text, Link Text) - Keywords are words which are used in search engine queries. Keyphrases are multi-word phrases used in search engine queries. SEO is the process of optimizing web pages for keywords and keyphrases so that they rank highly in the results returned for search queries. Anchor text refers to the text that is used in your links.

Landing Page ("Doorway page") - A page used, which is generally relevant to anchor text, to help bring visitors to a website. A Landing Page can also be used for search engine optimization and PPC campaigns

Link (Text Link) - Similar to Image Links (Banner Links) these are hyperlinks which appear on text found within the site. A graphic, line of text, or both on a Web page that connects to another page on the same Web site or to one on a Web server located anywhere in the world. Links are "clicked on" to go to the Web page they specify.

Link Farm - A link farm is a group of separate, highly interlinked websites for the purposes of inflating link popularity (or PR). Engaging in a link farm is a violation of the Terms of Service of most search engines and could be grounds for banning.

Link Popularity - A broad term used to loosely associate how popular your site is by how many inbound links it has. Link popularity has changed over time, however, to now consider not only volume of incoming links but their "worth" to the site. Inbound links from relevant related sites are worth more to overall link popularity than non-related or non-relevant links.

Link Profile - What does the site tend to link to?

LP - Landing Page - Landing pages are any page, HomePage (HP) or SubPage (SP), within a particular website that a potential client will land on after clicking on an add, an organic result in the search engines, e-mail marketing campaign or even an article or Press Release.

LPO – Landing Page Optimization – A serious of on-page elements can be optimized for conversions. LPO is part of a broader Internet marketing process called Conversion Optimization, or Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), with the goal of improving the percentage of visitors to the website that become sales leads and customers.

Matt Cutts - (AKA “The Google Guy”) - Google's head of search quality. Runs his own Blog sponsored and endorsed by Google

Meta tag - A meta tag is an element of HTML that often describes the contents of a Web page, and is placed near the beginning of the page's source code. Search engines use information provided in a meta tags to index pages by subject.

Metadata - Data about data. Structured information that describes, explains, locates, and otherwise makes it easier to retrieve and use an information resource.

Mirror/Mirror Page - In SEO parlance, a mirror is a near identical duplicate website (or page). Mirrors are commonly used in an effort to target different keywords/key phrases. Using mirrors is a violation of the Terms Of Service of most search engines and could be grounds for banning.

Natural (Natural Search Listings) - See Organic Listings

Newsgroup - A discussion forum where users can post messages and reply to other users.

Newspaper Site - An online news publication site. Any topic of “General Family Friendly” relevancy can be found here.

"No Follow", "No Robot" (Blocked pages) – Website code that allows web masters and site owners to restrict which links a search engine crawler follows. By adding a "no follow" tag to a hyperlink the site tells the search engine that the link isn't worth anything to the site being linked to. This is a common tag used to discourage spam link builders from bulk link building as well as tell engines if links are paid advertising links.

Non-relevant - Also determined by the search engines algorithm, if a site is hosting links that would not seem relevant to the users of the site, we would call them “non-relevant”.

OB Links - Out Bound Links - A link pointing from your website to an external website.

One Way Links - Getting a link from a site without linking back to that same website. (*We only do one way links).

Organic (Organic Listings) - Organic search engine listings appear after all of the paid advertising (PPC ads). The results are formulated from the search engine's index. Also known as Natural Search listings.

Penalization - When a search engine penalizes a site the site generally loses PR and/or organic listings.

Penalized - Search engines prevent some websites suspected of spamming from 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.

PFI - Pay For Inclusion - Many search engines offer a PFI program to assure frequent spidering / indexing of a site (or page). PFI does not guarantee that a site will be ranked highly (or at all) for a given search term. It just offers webmasters the opportunity to quickly incorporate changes to a site into a search engine's index. This can be useful for experimenting with tweaking a site and judging the resultant effects on the rankings.

PPC - Pay Per Click - An advertising model where advertisers pay only for the traffic generated by their ads.

PR - Page Rank - Google's trademark for their proprietary measure of link

"Presell Page" - This is another term for content hosting or content advertising, also known as Hosted Marketing Pages (HMP’s) or In Content Pages.

Reciprocal Links - A reciprocal link is where website [A] links to website [B], Website [B] in turn links to website [A].

Reinclusion - If 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.

Relevance/Relevancy (Search Engine Relevancy) - The measure of the accuracy of the search results - in other words it's a measure of how close the documents listed in the search results are to what the user was looking for.

Relevant (Site Relevancy) - Ultimately determined by the search engines algorithm, relevancy says how closely related a particular page is to the site it is hosting a link for.

Reseller - A customer who is authorized to resell another company’s products and/or services. They are responsible for properly relaying any TOS or contract, managing the client and ensuring the payment is on time.

Robots.txt - Robots.txt is a file which well behaved spiders read to determine which parts of a website they may visit

ROI - Return on Investment - In the context of SEO, the term refers to sales generated as the direct result of a search engine marketing campaign.

RSS - Really Simple Syndication

RSS Feed - Rss is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated digital content, such as blogs, news feeds

Sandboxed - Also known as the Google Sandbox, this is a theory which holds that all news websites are placed into a "holding area" where they must earn their way out through reputation building and management. The quickest way out of the sandbox is to build links from relevant related sources which are considered authoritative in your industry.

Search Engine Index - The search engines results for the keyword searched. #1 is the desired indexed number for your site. In other words, you`d like to be ranking #1 in the search engine indexing in order to get traffic to your site.

SEM - Abbreviation for Search Engine Marketing. SEM encompasses SEO and search engine paid advertising options (banners, PPC, etc.)

SEO - Search Engine Optimization - SEO covers the process of making web pages spider friendly (so search engines can read them) making web pages relevant to desired keyphrases

SEO Links - Links intended to help a site rank higher in the SERP`s.

SERP/Serps - Search Engine Results Page/Positioning - This refers to the organic (excluding paid listings) search results for a given query.

Sitewide - A link that appears on each page (including the HP) of a site.

Social Bookmark - A link building method for internet users to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet with the help of metadata.

SM - Social Media - Any website or web service that utilizes a 'social' or 'web 2.0' philosophy. This includes blogs, micro blogs (Twitter), social networks, social news, wikis, etc.

Source Code - Also known as source, source code is the original work created by a developer. It contains all the tags and instructions in a text file used to compose a Web page.

SP - Sub Page - This refers to a interior page of a website with multiple pages.

Spam/Spammy - Manipulation techniques that violate search engines Terms of Service and are designed to achieve higher rankings for a web page. Spam could be grounds for banning.

Spider - The search engine “spider” crawls each site. Spiders are used to feed pages to search engines. Another term for these programs is “webcrawler”.

Splash Page - Splash pages are introduction pages to a web site that are heavy on graphics (or flash video) with no textual content. They are designed to either impress a visitor or complement some corporate branding.

Stop Word - Stop words are words that are ignored by search engines when indexing web pages and processing search queries. Common words such as the.

Supplemental Index - Generally known as the Google index where certain pages of a website are stored, which have been given little to no trust or value from Google. This could be due to spammy elements, but primarily is due to the fact that these pages have no indexed backlinks.

Supplemental Results – Pages deemed to be of less importance by Google’s algorithm or are less trusted.

Title tag - HTML tag used to define the text in the top line of a Web browser, also used by many search engines as the title of search listings.

Toolbar - A row of icons at the top of your browser that activate functions when clicked.

TOS - Terms of Service or Terms of Sale, a legal document signed by the end user outlining the specific terms of the service/product they are purchasing.

URL - Uniform Resource Locator / Universal Resource Locator. A unique Internet address (for example that every Internet resource must have in order to be located.

Webmaster Guidelines - The search engines guidelines for webmasters intended to help the search engine find, index, and rank your site. (Google has their own webmaster guidelines)

White hat - Techniques that fall within the terms of service of the search engines. Building useful online content, labeling pages correctly, gaining high quality in-bound links from relevant sites etc.

Feel free to send more ideas if you feel I`m missing anything. This is a work in progress!


Matthew Cox said...

Wow! Am I surprised to see you here. I just had no clue you had an interest in SEO. Glad to see your doing well. Cute baby! I have one on the way myself.

I was just searching for SEO info and I saw GURL and did not understand the "G" before the URL and thought it was a new type of URL that I was just not familiar with. I'm such a goof: "Girl" not G-URL. Cute!

OK, now that I "Got it". I have a web site with a good PR, mostly cause its "Age of Domain" is good (about 8 years old). It's getting a good amount of traffic and a couple thousand pages are indexed by google and looks like 600 by yahoo. Both are hitting the site each day for the new pages. I don't spend much time working on the site and it's mostly just a place for me to try out new technology and new ideas.

I'm gonna bookmark your blog page cause you seem to have a good grip on SEO terms. Keep it up!!

Best Wishes Always

Anonymous said...

Earlier there was a lot of debate on the usability and credibility of Alexa, the Search Engine, and the web information company. There were serious speculations that amidst cut throat competition from other search engines like Google, MSN, and Yahoo, Alexa stood a very minor chance in staying afloat in the rough waters. However, as far as analytics and rankings are concerned, Alexa is thought to be a trusted and reliable term by millions of users. The Alexa toolbar is easy to download and use. The extremely user friendly and helpful features of Alexa has also made it a favorite among the webmasters along with Google. So much so that today world famous press materials like Wired, Forbes, and Wall Street Journal are also publishing articles about Alexa. No wonders therefore, today Alexa is a known name in the internet arena.