SEO Glossary

The following definition of terms may be helpful in understanding jargons often used in search engine optimization.

  • 404 Error is an error code that indicates the server could not find the requested page.
  • Absolute Link is a link which shows the full URL of the page being linked at. This is different from relative link which shows only a portion of the URL, relative to the location of the page that contain them.
  • Algorithm is method of solving a programming problem; a programming rule that determines how a search engine indexes content and displays the results to its users.
  • Alt Text is the text that is used to represent a certain graphic. This is implemented using the attribute “alt” within the <img> tag. This helps search engines associate alt text with the image which they are attributed to and may be used on other searches such as image search.
  • Anchor text is the text part of a link and used by search engines as an important ranking factor. Search engines pay particular attention to the text used in a hyperlink and associates the keywords contained in the anchor text to the page being linked to.
  • Bid Jamming is technique used in paid search advertising with fixed bids where an advertiser bids one cent cheaper than what a competitor pays. While the competitor pays the amount indicated in his bid, the advertiser who does bid jamming actually pays the minimum bid amount for the keyword or one cent higher than the next lower bidder.
  • Bounce Rate is the percentage of visitors who leave a website at the landing page without visiting any other pages.
  • Broad Match in paid search is a form of “keyword matching” and refers to the matching of a search listing or advertisement to selected keywords in any order.
  • Click Fraud is a term used to describe the improper delivery of clicks from a publisher or his associates on a paid search campaign.
  • Clickthrough Rate (CTR) is the ratio between the number of clicks in a link such as banner advertisement over the number of impressions (number of times the banner advertisement was displayed).
  • Cloaking is the process of serving different content to search engine spiders than to human visitors.
  • Content Management System (CMS) is a system that allows the owner of the website to be able to change, edit, add content without the need of a web developer or web skills.
  • Cost Per Action the cost incurred to accomplish a certain action online such as downloading a file, making a purchase, signing up for e-newsletter subscription or completing an online survey.
  • Crawler or Bot is a program that search engines use to navigate through web pages within the world wide web to gather information.
  • Display URL is the URL displayed at the bottom of Google AdWords advertisement. This URL can be customized for the landing page.
  • Doorway Page is a web page specifically created to rank high on search engine rankings for certain keywords. It is generally not visible to human visitors and it drives traffic to another page. This method is a violation to certain search engine rules and therefore be grounds for penalty.
  • Exact Match in paid search is a keyword matching condition where the search query must be exactly the same as the advertised keyword.
  • Google Bomb is the term used to describe a collaborative effort among webmasters to alter Google search results by using a common anchor text to associate with a search term. Famous example was “miserable failure” phrase which used to display the bio page of former American president George W Bush as top result.
  • Google Universal Search is a system in displaying Google’s search results characterized with blending of media types such as news, videos, images, blogs, in addition to the typical links to websites.
  • Inbound Link, backlink or incoming link is a link coming from external websites that help crawlers and robots navigate, provide visitor traffic and PageRank value.
  • Internal Linking is the method of structuring links to pages within a website.
  • Keywords / Phrases are the terms used to query seach engines. Keywords are single word terms while phrases are a combination of keywords. Optimization of pages starts with identifying these keywords / phrases suitable for each particular web page.
  • Landing Page is the page on which a visitor lands upon clicking an advertisement or link from a search engine results page.
  • Link Baiting is the process of creating a compelling information that provokes public interest and subsequent placement of link back to the location of the information.
  • Link Building is the process of creating relevant links pointing to a particular web page. This allows search engines to view a website as authoritative and trustworthy.
  • Pay Per Click (PPC) is an advertising model which enables advertisers display ads in the first page of search engine results. They pay only for every click on those ads.
  • Spiders (also known as bots or robots) are software programs mostly built by search engines to scan web pages across the Internet. These spiders perform tasks such as index pages and harvest e-mail addresses.
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM) encompasses various methodologies that evolve around promoting a web site for the purpose of attracting visitors to buy products, sign up newsletters, promote company brand and other goals. These include search engine optimization or natural/organic search promotion, pay per click campaign, link building and other related activities.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art and science of enhancing a web site’s chances of getting ranked on top of search engine results pages once a relevant search is performed.
  • Unique Visitor is the number of individuals who visit a website. If a visitor has visited a website multiple times, web analytics tools will record one unique visitor.
  • White Hat SEO is the term used to describe ethical SEO techniques that conform with guidelines provided by search engines. This is opposed to employing deceptive methods that game and manipulate search engine results.