Search Engine Optimisation
The SEO Glossary
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has become an essential weapon in the arsenal of every online business. Unfortunately, for most business owners and marketing managers (and even many webmasters), it's also somewhat of an enigma. That is partly due to the fact that it's such a new plus rapidly changing field, and partly due to the fact that SEO practitioners tend to speak in a language that is all of their own which, without translation, is virtually impenetrable to the layperson. This glossary seeks to remedy that situation, explaining specialist SEO terms in plain English.
AdWords See Sponsored Links.
algorithm Complex mathematical formula used by search engines to assess the relevance and importance of websites and rank them accordingly in their search results. These algorithms are kept tightly under wraps as they are key to the objectivity of search engines (i.e. the algorithm ensures relevant results, and that brings more users, which in turn brings more advertising revenue).
article PR The submitting of free reprint articles to many article submission sites and article distribution lists in order to increase your website's search engine ranking and Google PageRank. (In this sense, the "PR" stands for PageRank.) Like traditional public relations, article PR also conveys the sense of authority because your articles are widely published. And because you're proving all your expertise and freely dispensing knowledge, your readers will trust you and will be more likely to remain loyal to you. (In this sense, the "PR" stands for Public Relations.)
article submission domains Websites which act as repositories of free reprint articles. They are sites where authors can submit their articles free of charge, and where webmasters can find articles to use on their websites free of charge. Article submission sites generate revenue by selling advertising space on their websites. See also article PR.
backlink A text link to your website from another website. See also link.
copy The words used on your website
copywriter A professional writer who specializes in the writing of advertising copy (compelling, engaging words promoting a particular product or service). See also SEO copywriter and web copywriter.
crawl Google finds pages on the World Wide Web and records their details into its index by sending out 'spiders' or 'robots'. These spiders make their way from page to next page and site to next site by following text links. To a spider, this text link is like a door.
domain name The virtual address of your website (normally in the form www.yourbusinessname.com). That is what people will type when they want to visit your site. It is also what you will use as the address in any text links back to your site.
ezine An electronic magazine. Most publishers of ezines are desperate for content and gladly publish well written, helpful articles and give you full credit for author, including the link to your website.
Flash A technology used to create animated web pages (and the page elements).
free reprint article An interesting article written by you and made freely available to other webmasters to publish on their websites. See also article PR.
Google The search engine with the greatest coverage of the World Wide Web, and which is responsible for most search engine-referred traffic. Of approximately 11.5 billion pages on the World Wide Web, it is estimated that Google has indexed around 8.8 billion. That is one reason why it takes so long to increase your ranking!
Google AdWords See Sponsored Links.
Google PageRank How Google scores a website's importance. It gives all sites marks out of 10. By downloading the Google Toolbar, you can view the PR of any site you visit.
Google Toolbar A free tool you can download. It becomes part of your browser toolbar. It's most useful features are it's PageRank display (which allows you to view the PR of any site you visit) and it's AutoFill function (when you're filling out an online form, you can click AutoFill, and it enters all the standard information automatically, including Name, Address, Zip/Postcode, Phone Number, Email Address, Business Name, Credit Card Number (password protected), etc.) Once you've downloaded and installed the toolbar, you may need to set up how you'd like it to look and work by clicking Options (setup is very easy). NOTE: Google does record some information (mostly regarding sites visited).
HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the coding language used to create much of the information on the World Wide Web. Browsers read the HTML code and display the page that code describes.
Internet An interconnected network of computers around the world.
keyword A word which your customers search for and which you use frequently on your site in order to be relevant to those searches. This use known as the targeting of a keyword. Most websites actually target 'keyword phrases' because single keywords are too generic and it is very difficult to rank highly for them.
keyword density A measure of the frequency of your keyword in relation to the overall word count of the page. So if your page has 200 words, and your keyword phrase appears 10 times, its density is 5%.
keyword phrase A meaningful phrase which your customers search for and which you use frequently on your site in order to be relevant to those searches.
link A word or image on a web page which the reader can click to visit another page. There are normally visual cues to indicate immediately to the reader that the word or image is one.
link path Using text links to connect a series of pages (i.e. website page 1 connects to page 2, then page 2 connects to page 3, then page 3 connects to page 4, and so on). Search engine 'spiders' and 'robots' use text links to jump from page to next page as they gather information about it, so overall it's a good idea to allow them to traverse your entire site via text links, its in your own interest..
link partner A webmaster who is willing to put a link to your website on their own website. Quite often link partners engage in reciprocal ones.
link popularity The number of links to your website. Link popularity is the single most important factor in a high search engine ranking. Webmasters use a number of methods to increase their site's link popularity including article PR, link exchange (as before, link partners / reciprocal linking), sometimes even link buying, and link directories.
A link text The part of a text link that is visible to the reader. When generating links to your own site, they are most effective (in terms of ranking) if they include your keyword.
meta tag A short note within the header of the HTML of your web page which describes some aspect of that page. These meta tags are read by the search engines and used to help assess the relevance of a site to a particular search engine.
natural search results The 'real' search results. The actual results that most users are looking for and which take up most of the window. For most searches, the online search engine displays a long list of links to sites with content which is related to the word you searched for. These results are ranked according to how relevant and important they are.
organic search results See natural search results.
PPC (Pay-Per-Click advertising) See Sponsored Links.
PageRank See Google.
rank Your place in the search results that displays when someone searches for a particular word at search engine.
reciprocal link A mutual understanding between two webmasters to exchange links (i.e. they both add the link to the other's website on their own website). Most search engines (certainly Google) are sophisticated enough to detect reciprocal linking and they don't view it very favourably because it is clearly a manufactured method of generating links. Websites with reciprocal links risk being penalized.
robot See spider.
robots.txt file An important file which is used to inform the search engine spider which pages on a site should not be indexed. This file sits in your site's root directory on the web server. (Alternatively, you can do a similar thing by placing tags in the header section of your HTML for search engine robots/spiders to read.
Sandbox Many SEO experts believe that Google 'sandboxes' new websites. Whenever it detects a new website, it withholds all of its rightful ranking for a period while it determines whether your site is a genuine, credible, long term site. It does this to discourage the creation of SPAM websites (sites which serve no useful purpose other than to boost the ranking of some other site). Likewise, if Google detects a sudden increase (that is many hundreds or thousands) in the number of links back to your site, it may sandbox them for a period (or in fact penalize you by lowering your ranking or blacklisting your site altogether).
SEO Search Engine Optimisation. The art of making your website relevant and important so that it ranks high in the search results for a particular word.
SEO copywriter A sophisticated 'copywriter' who is not only proficient at web copy, but also experienced in writing copy which is optimized for search engines (and will therefore help you achieve far better search engine ranking for your website).
search engine An internet search engine is an online tool which allows you to search for websites which contain a particular word or phrase. The most well known search engines are Google and MSN.
site map A single page which contains a list of text links to every page in the site (and every page contains a text link back to the site map). Think of your site map as being at the centre of a spider-web.
SPAM Generally refers to unwanted and unrequested email sent en-masse to private email addresses. Also used to include websites which appear high in search results without having any useful content. The creators of these sites set them up simply to cash in on their high ranking by selling advertising space, links to other sites, or by linking to other sites of their own and hence increasing the ranking of those sites. The search engines are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and already have very efficient ways to detect SPAM websites and penalize them.
spider Google finds pages on the World Wide Web and records their details into its index by sending out 'spiders' or 'robots'. These spiders make their way from page to next page and site to next site by following text links about.
Sponsored Links Paid advertising which displays next to the natural search results. Customers can click on the ad to visit the advertiser's website. That is how the search engines make their money. Advertisers set their ads up to display whenever someone searches for a word which is related to their product or service. These ads look similar to the natural search results, but are normally labelled "Sponsored Links", and normally take up a smaller portion of a window. These ads work on a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) basis (i.e. the advertiser only pays when someone clicks on their ad).
submit You can submit your domain name to the search engines so that their 'spiders' or 'robots' will crawl your site. Also you can submit articles to relevant 'article submission sites' in order to have them published on the Internet.
text link A word on a web page which the reader can click to visit another page. Text links are normally blue and underlined. Text links are what 'spiders' or 'robots' use to jump from page to next page and website to next website.
URL Uniform Resource Locator. The address of the particular page published on the World Wide Web. Normally in the form
web copy See previous copy explanation.
web copywriter An ingenious internet 'copywriter' who understands the unique requirements of writing for an online medium.
webmaster A person responsible for the management of a particular website.
wordcount The number of words on a particular web page.
World Wide Web (WWW) The vast array of documents published on the Internet. It is estimated that the World Wide Web now consists of approximately 11.5 billion pages. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/
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