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SEO Terminology


SEO Terminology

It’s the same for all of us when we are looking at something new, we can quickly be outside our comfort zone being bombarded with new terms, phrases and words that we don’t fully understand. At Paramarketing, we try where ever possible not to speak in Techie Garbo Language to our clients as we want to ensure that they fully understand what we are going to be doing for them.

However, it’s good to know what the terminology means, so we have put together a list of the most commonly used SEO Terms as a point of reference.
Above the fold: This is a generic term which really depends upon individual screen size. Generally it is used to refer to the viewable area of a web page that is visible by a browser without having to scroll down the page.

Adwords: This is Google’s Cost Per Click (CPC) based advertising system. It is, basically, online advertising based upon contextual clues on the pages where it appears. With Adwords you get the chance to control your own budget and set your own daily advertising cost.

Algorithm: This is the mathematical formula which is at the core of each search engine and which is then used to index websites and rank them on the search engine results pages (SERPs) for particular keywords.

Anchor Text: Anchor text is also called, sometimes, link text which helps explain what it is. Essentially it is the text of a hyperlink leading to another website.

Alt image attribute: This is also called ‘Alt tag’ and it is one of the elements of on-page search engine optimisation. It is also known as alternate text and it is the text which is displayed when the user hovers the mouse over an image. The main use of this practice is to describe the graphic so that the website is more accessible to the disabled (for whom a web page is read out aloud). It is also an essential element of on-page optimisation because search engine bots, crawling a site to be indexed, cannot see graphics but they can read the alternative text which has been placed there.

Backlink: This is also known as inbound link. It is a link to a page received from another web page and it is one of the metrics used by search engines to measure the popularity of a particular website.

Banned: This is also known as de-listing and it is the action taken by a Search Engine to remove a site from appearing in its search listings. This usually happens because the website in question has broken one of the White Hat SEO rules and engaged in forbidden (or Black Hat) SEO techniques to artificially boost its own SEO status in the search engine results pages.

Below the fold: This is the opposite of the ‘Above The Fold’ and it refers to the content on a web page which requires scrolling down in order to be seen by a website visitor.

Blog: This is also known as Weblog and it the online equivalent of a diary which is updated on a regular basis. Blogs are popular for many reasons including SEO purposes. They also form the backbone of many online publicity campaigns and online visibility policies.

Cache: This is frequently viewed with search engine results where the word ‘cached’ is viewable on the search engine results page under the listing. Basically it is a copy of a web page which is stored within a search engine’s database.

Click Through Rate:  This is also known as CTR and it is the ratio of impressions shown of a particular text link or Adwords ad to the number of clicks (aka the number of people who click on it).

Cloaking: Is used to refer to the practice of using specific programming to showing alternate content to search engine spiders than you show to human visitors on a website. Although there may be a legit reason for this, the technique is the province of forbidden SEO techniques, known as Black Hat SEO and generally bound to get your website banned if applied.

Conversion Ratio:  Also known as CR this is used to refer to the number of visitors that visit a site or page to the number of visitors that perform a desired action. The action in question is anything which is considered central to the website’s area of expertise. It could be making a purchase, registering for a newsletter or becoming enrolled on a mailing list.

Cookie: Refers to the information stored on a user’s computer by a website in order to personalize the visitor experience.
Clustering: Is the process of listing only one or two pages from a website within the search engine results in what is often known as an embedded listing.

Cost per Click: Also known as CPC, this is a metric associated with online advertising and Adwords and it is, essentially, the amount of money it costs to place your ad on someone’s website divided by the number of visitors who click on that ad and come to your website.

Cross Linking: This refers to either the act of having multiple websites linking to each other or multiple pages of one website linking to each other.

Deep Crawl:  When a search engine bot follows links from the domain’s home page deeper into the site until it finds most of the site’s content this is called forcing a deep crawl of your site.

Deep link:  This refers to a link which leads to a page deep within a website rather than a link to the home page.

Directory:  A directory is a website that lists other websites, grouped into categories. In a directory, listings are gathered using human efforts, rather than by the use of an automated spider and this makes them more trusted. Links from directories to your website have the ability to increase your own website’s pagerank (PR).

Doorway Page: This is also known as a bridge page and it is a web page the purpose of which is to attract internet traffic from search engines and then direct the traffic to another website which is related in terms of content and has a much more interactive feel to.

SERPs: One of the most used acronyms in SEO. It stands for search engine results pages. The search engine results pages are always organic and placement there cannot be paid for. They are also the most trusted by the ones looking for specific results.

Dynamic: This is a term which refers to the kind of websites which are ran by a content management system (CMS). The content of websites which are ran by a CMS are generated “on the fly”, from a database.

Frames: This is a website building technique which combines multiple HTML documents into a single web page. Frames are not very search engine friendly and SEO concerns should impact on the way websites are built.

Inbound Link: This is also known as IBL and it refers to a link from another website coming into your website.
Heading Tag: This is a tag which designates headlines in the text of a site. Some examples are H1, H2, H3 head tags and there are SEO rules on how to best apply them.

Link Farms: These are websites which have as a primary goal the creation of links between member sites. Link farms are a direct violation of SEO rules and come into Black Hat SEO techniques.

IP Address: This is the numeric identifier given to each internet connection.  The IP address allows data to find its way to your computer.

IP Spoofing: This is an illegal method which reports an IP address other than your own when connecting to the internet.

Keyword or Keyword Phrase: Is a word or phrase used in a performing a search. Keywords and key phrases are important aspects of on-page search engine optimisation.

Keyword Density: This is the ratio of the number of occurrences of a keyword or “keyword phrase” to the total number of words on a page. There is a specific keyword density which is permitted under White Hat SEO rules.

Keyword Stuffing: If a keyword or “keyword phrase” is used excessively in a web page, perhaps in the text content or meta tags then it becomes excessively present and it becomes part of Black Hat SEO techniques.

Meta Tags: Are tags written in the code of a web page or within the CMS and provide information about the content of a website. Examples of meta tags are Title, description and keyword.

Mirror sites: These are duplicate copies of a website, usually on a different server and a totally frowned upon SEO technique.

ODP: or as it is better known DMOZ is the Open Directory Project. This is a huge human edited directory many webmasters try to get listed in.

Organic Listings: are Search engine listings based on merit as opposed to paid for listings.

Page Views: Refer to the number of times a web page was viewed. This count usually includes any duplicate views by the same visitor. Page views is one of the metrics webmasters use to gauge the stickiness of their website.

Robot: Is also known as a Spider and it refers to the program which runs across the web and which collects information found on websites and brings them to the search engine database to be indexed.

Robots.txt: This is a file that can be used to instruct robots which visit your site on which pages to visit and which not to.  The file can be used to keep certain pages from being scanned by one or all search engines bots and therefore protect some of your content from being indexed.

ROI: This is an acronym which means Return on Investment and is often used to calculate the outlay needed to promote a website against the commercial returns that website makes.

Search advertising: This refers to the act of buying listings (paid search) on search engines. Search advertising is often called a CPC campaign or Adwords advertising (on Google).

Search Marketing: Is the act of generating traffic from search engines by promoting the content of a website in the search engines using various methods including organic and paid listings. Search marketing consists of search advertising and search engine optimisation (SEO) as well as CPC campaigns.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): is the act of altering a website in terms of content and programming so that it ranks well in the organic listings of the various search engines.

SEM: Is an acronym for Search Engine Marketing which refers to the promotion of website content on search engines through various online promotion techniques.

SEO: Is an acronym for Search for Engine Optimisation.

SERPs: Is an acronym forSearch Engine Result Pages. It refers to the search engines’ natural search results.

SPAM / Spamming: refers to unscrupulous or unethical methods of inflating results through means which are banned by search engines today. The term is used by search engines to describe methods for increasing rankings which they consider totally unacceptable. As a result they have specific penalties for spamming which also include delisting.

Splash Page: This is a page displayed for viewing which appears before reaching the main page of a website.

Spider or robot: Also commonly shortened to bot by search engine optimisers and webmasters. This is a web program which crawls a website. Search engines use spiders to scan a website site and store relevant details which they take back to the search engine database to be indexed.

Stemming: Is a technique which involves the inclusion of word variations and plurals of a term.  A search can include all words that come from the same “stem” word like, for instance, act acts, acting, actor. Stemming is part of latent semantic indexing (LSI) techniques on website content creation.

Stop Word: This is more commonly referred to as a filter word. A stop word is a “common word” which is ignored in a query because the word makes no contribution to the relevancy of the query. Examples of stop words are I, the, you.

Unique Visitors: Is the number of unique visitors to a website or a webpage. It is one of the main metrics of a website’s success and popularity.

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