SEO Search & internet terms glossary

List of terms

 

Anchor Text

Anchor text refers to the visible text for a hyperlink. For example:

< a href="http://www.phmediaworks.co.uk/" >This is the anchor text< /a >

Algorithm

The rules a search engine will use to determine the results to be returned for a given search. Each search engine uses its own algorithm.

Back Link

Any link on another page that points to the subject page. Also called inbound links or IBLs.

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.

Cloaking

Cloaking describes the technique of serving a different page to a search engine spider than that 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.

Conversion

Conversion refers to site traffic that follows through on the goal of the site (such as buying a product on-line, filling out a contact form, registering for a newsletter, etc.). Measure conversion to judge the effectiveness (and Return On Investment) of Pay Per Click and other advertising campaigns. Effective conversion tracking requires the use of some scripting/cookies to track visitors' actions within a website. Log file analysis is not sufficient for this purpose.

CPC

Abbreviation for Cost Per Click. It is the base unit of cost for a Pay Per Click campaign.

CTA

Abbreviation for Content Targeted Ad(vertising). It refers to the placement of relevant Pay Per Click 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 Pay Per Click campaign.

Doorway Page

Also called a 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 keyphrase. Doorway pages are rarely 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.

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.

Gateway Page

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

Top of page

IBL

Abbreviation for InBound Link. Any link on another page that points to the subject page. Also called a back link.

Keyword / Keyphrase

Keywords are words which are used in search engine queries. Keyphrases are multi-word phrases used in search engine queries. Search Engine Optimisation is the process of optimising web pages for keywords and keyphrases so that they rank highly in the results returned for search queries.

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.

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.

Mirror

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

PFI

Abbreviation for 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 the opportunity to quickly incorporate changes to a site into a search engine's index.

Portal

Designation for websites that are either authoritative hubs for a given subject or popular content driven sites (like Google) that people use as their homepage. Most portals offer significant content and offer advertising opportunities for relevant sites.

PPC

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

PR

Abbreviation for PageRank - Google's trademark for their proprietary measure of link popularity for web pages.

Robots.txt

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

SEM

Abbreviation for Search Engine Marketing. SEM encompasses Search Engine Optimisation and search engine paid advertising options (banners, Pay Per Click, etc.)

SEO

Abbreviation for Search Engine Optimisation.

SERP

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

Spider

Also called a bot (or robot). Spiders are software programs that scan the web. They vary in purpose from indexing web pages for search engines to harvesting e-mail addresses for spammers.

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' are an example of this.