SEO Definitions

:: Search Engine Optimization / SEO ::SEO Gossary

SEO Term & Definition Glossary

SEO Terms and Definitions

Age
This refers to the age of the domain name of a site.  Search engines, especially Google give preference to older domains.  The age or freshness of content is also considered in the ranking algorithms.

Alt Attribute
This is additional information that can be included in the code that allows you to help screen readers and search engines understand the function of an image.  This additional information is in the form of text and describes what is in the photo.  It is an item that helps to make your web site accessible.

Analytics
Software which allows you to track your web site visitors and their actions.  It provides valuable feedback like where your visitors came from and which search terms they used to find you.

Anchor Text
This is the actual text used in creating a hyper link.  Search engines value this text and use it to credit the destination of the link with some value for the words contained in the link.

Black Hat Optimization
This is the practice of exploiting perceived weaknesses in a search engine’s ranking algorithms.  These algorithms are always changing to improve their ranking criteria and to try to eliminate ranking tricks for black hat optimizers.

CSS / Cascading Style Sheets
This is the current web standard for web page layouts and style.  All of your CSS code can be placed on a separate page and referenced from your content.  The advantage of this is that it leaves you with clean coded content which is much more appealing to the search engines.

Description Meta Tag
This tag allows you to provide a description of your web page that is visible on the search engines but not to site visitors. 

Duplicate Content
This is content that is duplicated from another site or nearly duplicated.  Search engines typically will disregard this content and doesn’t value it in determining relevancy for search placement.

Frames
This is a way to create web pages by pulling other web pages into a single page and displaying each of them within their own frame.  It was used to help create a consistent look for a website but the downside is that it prevents search engines from indexing your website content.

GoogleBot
This is Google’s search engine spider that crawls web pages by following links.  It is during this process that Google indexes a sites’ content.

Keyword
These are the words that your content naturally offers to search engines or words that you purposefully want to target to rank well for using search engine optimization.

Keyword Density
This refers to the percentage of times a keyword is used on your web page in relation to all the words on your web page.

Keyword Meta Tag
This tag allows you to create a comma separated list of words that you would like to target on the search engines.  This list is not visible to site visitors on your web page but can be seen if you view the source code of the page.

Keyword Phrase
A targeted group of words that will be used on web searches to find your web site.

Inbound Link
This is a link pointing to your website from another website.  Each of these links carry a “vote” for the receiving page in helping to determine ranking relevancy on the search engines.

Link Baiting
This is the process of creating high quality content that draws others to link to you which increases your relevancy to the search engines.

Meta Tags
This typically refers to your keyword or description meta tags that do not appear on your web page but can be seen when you view a page’s source code.  They are used to provide information about your web page to search engines.

Natural Results
Refers to the results of an internet search on a search engine that are not paid for.  They are the results found within the index of the search engine.

Nofollow
This is an attribute that can be used with a hyperlink to instruct search spiders not to follow the link and therefore not pass any votes for the destination of the link.

Outbound Link
This is a link from your web site pointing out to another web site. Each of these links carry a “vote” for the receiving page in helping to determine ranking relevancy on the search engines.

PageRank 
This is a score given by Google to each web site on the internet.  The score ranges from 0 to 10 with 10 being the best.  PageRank is one of the factors used in the ranking algorithm of search engines.

Paid Results
This refers to the results of an internet search on a search engine that are paid for.  They are usually identified as paid ads.

Pay-Per-Click
A targeted advertising program used by search engines to allow placement on the engines in return for payment on every click through they send you.

Quality Links
These are incoming links with the following characteristics: from a trusted source, hard to acquire, aged source, on topic with your site, and from a site with a good PageRank.

Reciprocal Links
These are links that are exchanged between sites to try to build up the PageRank scores of both sites.  When done right they can be considered quality links.  But they are usually low quality links.

SEO / Search Engine Optimization
The art and science of preparing a web site to be published and marketed for a particular group of keywords or keyword phrases so that search engines find the site relevant for the selected words and phrases.

SERP / Search Engine Results Page
This is the page on which the search engines displays the results for the enetered keyword or keyword phrase.

Spamming 
The practice of hiding keywords on your web site in order to produce better rankings on search engines.

Submission
This is the process of alerting search engines or directories to a newly created web site or one that has not been submitted before.

Title Tag
This is where you can concisely describe the contents of your web page.  It is shown on the search engines and also appears in the browser’s title bar when someone visits your web pages.

Web Standards Design
This is web design based upon the web standards established by the W3C (w3.org).  The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential.

White Hat Optimization
This is the practice of applying search engine guidelines and ethical standards to optimize a web site.  It avoids tricks or perceived weaknesses in a search engines algorithms and by doing so prevents costly re-working the optimized tactics when a search engine closes the door to the “tricks”.

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