Glossary of Common SEO Terms

Algorithms: Algorithms are operational programming rules (or mathematical formulas) that are used by search engines to establish a Web page’s position in the SERPs or the search engine results pages

‘Alt’ Attributes: ‘Alt’ attributes are used to display alternative text descriptions for images when Web users hover the mouse over them.

Anchor Texts: Anchor texts are the visible texts that are hyperlinked and that allow you to move to other Web pages in a website by clicking on them.

AdWords: Google AdWords is CPC or cost-per-click ads that are placed on different websites, where the ad’s owner is paid for every click made by a user on ads.

Blog Farms: Blog farms are a collection of blogs that are used by RSS-feed scripts for link building purposes.

Back Links: Backlinks are links that are placed on Web pages to point to the subject/main page such as the landing page of an e-commerce website.

Bad Neighborhoods: The term ‘bad neighborhood’ in the world of SEO is used to describe a site that uses Black Hat SEO tactics which are controversial or prohibited tactics to increase its ranking in SERPs.

Bid Management: This is the process of replacing a bid price the Web user wants to pay on pay-per-click (PPC) search engines.

Black Hat SEO Tactics: Black Hat SEO tactics or techniques are unethical or unfair search engine optimization tactics that are used to increase ranking on SERPs. These tactics could get your website banned by search engines.

Bots: Bots, the short form of robots, are software programs that are used by search engines for Web page indexing and Web spider.

Cache: Cache refers to the view of a Web page by Google that was last recorded. The last view is stored in the database of the search engine.

Cloaking: Cloaking is a Black Hat SEO tactic, whereby the content you provide to a search engine spider does not coincide with the information that is displayed in your browser.

Crawlers: Crawlers are software programs that go through sites in an automated and orderly fashion. These crawlers are used to validate HTML codes and for link analysis purposes.

Cross-linking: Cross-linking, as the term suggests, is the interconnection of all pages of a website to each other through linking. This is done to increase link popularity. It is also called interlinking.

CSS: CSS, an abbreviation of Cascading Style Sheets, is an application that is used in the formatting of Web pages that are written in XHTML or HTML.

Conversion Rate: The conversion rate is the rate at which Web visitors convert into customers.

Directories: Directories could be paid or free, are websites that have various categories for external links. Directories may be used for various purposes.

Doorway page: A doorway page is a specially-built page that is used to draw Web traffic to your site. This is a standalone page that acts as a bridge between your site and Web traffic and it works by directing search engine spiders to the real site once they come to the doorway page.

Description: Meta tag description is the description that is located on a Web page’s head section to explain what the site is all about. The term is also used to describe your site segment elaborately for purposes of directory submission.

Delisting: A Web page is said to have been delisted when it is banned by search engines or removed from their indexes for such reasons as the use of Black Hat SEO tactics.

Graphical Search Inventories: Graphical search inventories are ads such as animations, banners, and toolbars that are characterized by easy synchronization with keyboards.

Google Bots: Google bots or robots are Google’s spiders that transverse the Internet to feed Web pages to indexes. Visits by these spiders increase as you increase the quality links to your website.

Heads: The head, in the world of SEO, is the section in a site where the code containing the Web page’s title, description Meta tag, keyword Meta tag, and robots tag is contained. Note that this section is not visible through the naked eye, but it is easily accessible.

Hidden Texts: Hidden texts are the contents that are hidden by setting the color of the font to be the same as the background color. The text is only visible when highlighted.

Indexing: Indexing is the collection, parsing, and storage of data on the Internet. This is done by search engines to facilitate the convenient and accurate retrieval of data.

Keywords: Keywords and keyword phrases are the words used to describe a site’s or a Web page’s theme. These words are important in search engine optimization.

Keyword Density: The density of a keyword is the number of times a keyword has been used in the content. A density of 1% means the keyword has been used once in 100 words of the content.

Keyword Stuffing: The stuffing of keywords is the adding of extra keywords to a Web page with the hope of increasing your ranking with search engines. This is considered a Black Hat SEO tactic.

Link Farms: Link farms are collections of interlinked sites that are set up with the sole aim of increasing link popularity. Note that link farming is considered to be a Black Hat SEO tactic.

Link Building: Link building is the process of getting relevant and quality links from other sites. This is done through referral, lease, purchase, or request.

Link Popularity: Your link popularity is the number of hyperlinks that point to your Web page. Link popularity is a great factor in determining your ranking with search engines such as Google’s PageRank (PR).

Longtail SEO: Longtail search engine optimization is the process of bringing together keywords that have a low volume and high conversion rate to get greater impact from them and to get targeted Web traffic when Web users do long search queries. Long search queries may be focused, but they are used less frequently.

Meta Tags: Meta tags are HTML tags that are used for the storage of information related to Web pages. These tags are not visible when browsing. The tags carry such information as the keywords used, the page description, and the theme of the Web page.

Mirrors: In the world of SEO, a mirror website is a website that an exact copy of another site. These websites are used to give multiple sources of the same content.

Macro SEO: Macro SEO refers to an SEO technique that is used in the promotion of different sites using large and big keywords.

Micro Websites: A microsite is an SEO technique that is used in the promotion of different sites using relatively small keywords that chase less competition

Offsite Optimization: Offsite optimization is the optimization of a website for search engines through link exchange.

Optimization: Website optimization is the process of increasing the ranking of a website with search engines so that it appears higher in search engine results pages or SERPs.

Outbound Links: An outbound link is a link on your site that points to other sites.

PageRank: Google PageRank (or simply PR) is a tool that is used by Google to evaluate all the Web pages on the World Wide Web-based on backlinks and then rank the pages in the SERPs.

Pay-per-Click (PPC): PPC is the process used by major search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and MSN where advertisers place ads on websites and search engines pay once when someone clicks on the ads.

Reciprocal links: Reciprocal Links are links that are exchanged between 2 websites that want to improve their search engine ranking.

Redirects: A redirect is a tactic that is used by websites to send visitors to other Web pages other than those that the Web surfer was exploring. Note that spiders do not follow these redirects sometimes, making the process ineffective.

Robots.txt: Robots.txt is the set of instructions that you leave for spiders and which allows or denies them access to index a Web page.

Sandbox Effect: The Google Sandbox Effect is used to describe the systematic ignoring of a new site that wants to be indexed for its keywords/keyword phrases.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): This is the technique of using Title tags, Meta tags, and doing keyword optimization to increase search engine ranking.

Search Engine Ranking Report: This is a report that evaluates the ranking of a Web page by doing keyword analysis in Google, Yahoo!, and the other big search engines.

Search Engine Result Page (SERP): This is the page where search engine results are displayed once you type in a keyword or a keyword phrase in the search box of the search engine.

Search Engine Submission: This is the process of submitting a site to search engines so that it can be indexed and appears in their SERPs.

Slurp: This is Yahoo’s crawler. It transverses the Internet and submits what it gets to Yahoo!

Spiders: Spiders are automated programs that work by randomly visiting sites and Web pages, reading the content, and then indexing them in Google. A spider can be taken to be a robot used in search engine listing.

Spamming: Spamming is a Black Hat SEO technique whereby webmasters repeat keywords/keyword phrases to increase the ranking of their website

Reporting Search Engine Spam: This is the process of reporting unfair competition. The term also means the process of Web users reporting sites that have content that is irrelevant vis-a-vis the related theme.

Secondary Search Engines: These are regional and topical engines aimed at targeting a more targeted audience. Secondary search engines allow for a more focused search such as a country search.

Title Tag: These tags are HTML tags that are located at the top of Web pages. The tags are used to define the text that will be used as the title in all the search listings on the World Wide Web.

Traffic: Web traffic is the number of visitors to a website.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator): URL is the address that is unique to a website and that starts with HTTP://.

SEO Friendly URLs: SEO-friendly URLs are URLs that are used to increase the visibility of a website for more readable and understandable to relevant Web traffic.

White Hat SEO Tactics: These are the SEO techniques that comply with search engine guidelines.

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