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Small Business SEO Glossary

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Anchor Text – The user visible text of a link. Search engines use anchor text to indicate the relevancy of the referring site and of the link to the content on the landing page. Ideally all three will share some keywords in common.

Authority  - (trust, link juice, Google juice) The amount of trust that a site is credited with for a particular search query. Authority/trust is derived from related incoming links from other trusted sites.

Blog – A personal journal published on the web consisting of entries or posts displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent posts appear first.

Content – (text, copy) The part of a web page has the highest value for and be of interest to the user. Advertising, navigation, branding and boilerplate are not usually considered to be content.

Conversion – (goal) Achievement of a quantifiable goal on a website. Sales, ad clicks, and sign-ups are examples of conversions.

Conversion Rate – Percentage of users who convert – see conversion.

Crawler – (bot, spider) A program which moves through the worldwide web or a website by way of the link structure to gather data.

Directory – A site devoted to directory pages. One example of this is the Yahoo! directory.

Duplicate Content – Content which is similar or identical to that found on another website or page. A site may not be penalized for having duplicate content but it will receive little, if any, trust from the search engines compared to the content that the search engine considers being the original.

Google Bomb – A combined effort of multiple webmasters to change the Google search results usually for amusing effect. The “miserable failure” – George Bush, and “greatest living American” – Steven Colbert Google bombs are famous examples.

Google Juice – (Trust, Authority, PageRank) Trust / authority from Google, which flows through outgoing links to other pages.

Googlebot – Google’s spider program

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) – directives or “markup” which are used to add formatting and web functionality to plain text for use on the internet. HTML is the mother tongue of the search engines, and should generally be strictly and exclusively adhered to on web pages.

Impression – (page view) When a user visits a webpage.

Inbound Link – (in-link, incoming link) Incoming links to a website or web page. In basic link terminology, a backlink is any link received by a web node (web page, directory, website, or top level domain) from another web node.

Index (Noun) – a database of web pages and their content used by the search engines.

Index (Verb) – to add a web page to a search engine index.

Indexed Pages – The pages on a site which have been indexed.

Inline Text Links – Hyper-links within the copy of a web page as part of a sentence.

Keyword – (Key Phrase) The word or phrase that a user enters into a search engine.

Keyword Density – The percentage of words on a web page which are a particular keyword. If this value is unnaturally high the page may be penalized.

Keyword Research – The hard work of determining which keywords are appropriate for targeting.

Keyword Spam – (keyword stuffing) Inappropriately high keyword density.

Keyword Stuffing – (keyword spam) Inappropriately high keyword density.

Landing Page – the page that a user lands on when they click on a link in a search engine results page (SERP).

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) – This mouthful just means that the search engines index commonly associated groups of words in a document. SEOs refer to these same groups of words as “Long Tail Searches”. The majority of searches consist of three or more words strung together. See also “long tail”. The significance is that it might be almost impossible to rank well for “mortgage”, but fairly easy to rank for “second mortgage to finance monster truck team”. Go figure.

Link – An element on a web page that can be clicked on to cause the browser to jump to another page or another part of the current page.

 Link Building – actively cultivating incoming links to a site.

Link Exchange – a reciprocal linking scheme often facilitated by a site devoted to directory pages. Link exchanges usually allow links to sites of low or no quality, and add no value themselves. Quality directories are usually human edited for quality assurance.

Link Juice – Google’s “currency”.  In other words, it’s the “secret sauce” that enables you to beat your competition for ranks on Google.

Link Popularity – a measure of the value of a site based upon the number and quality of sites that link to it.

Link Spam (Comment Spam) – Unwanted links such as those posted in user generated content like blog comments.

Link Text (Anchor text) – The user visibility text of a link. Search engines use anchor texts to indicate the relevancy of the referring site and link to the content on the landing page. Ideally all three will share some keywords in common.

Long Tail – Longer, more specific search queries that are less targeted than shorter broad queries. For example a search for “trucks” might be very broad while “2006 red Dodge Ram” would be a long tail search. A large percentage of all searches are normally long tail.

LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) – This mouthful just means that the search engines index commonly associated groups of words in a document. SEOs refer to these same groups of words as “Long Tail”. The majority of searches consist of three or more words strung together. See also “long tail”. The significance is that it might be almost impossible to rank well for “mortgage”, but fairly easy to rank for “second mortgage to finance monster truck team”

META tags – Statements within the HEAD section of an HTML page which furnishes information about the page. META information may be in the SERPs but is not visible on the page. It is very important to have unique and accurate META title and description tags, because they may be the information that the search engines rely upon the most to determine what the page is about. Also, they are the first impression that users get about your page within the SERPs.

Natural Search Results – The search engine results which are not sponsored, or paid for in any way.

Pagerank (PR) – a value between 0 and 1 assigned by the Google algorithm, which quantifies link popularity and trust among other (proprietary) factors.

Search Engine (SE) – A program which searches a document or group of documents for relevant matches of a user’s keyword phrase and returns a list of the most relevant matches. Internet search engines such as Google and Yahoo search the entire internet for relevant matches.

Search Engine Algorithm  – A program used by search engines to determine what pages to suggest for a given search query.

SEO - Acronym for search engine optimization, the process of increasing the number of visitors to a Web site by achieving high rank in the search results of a search engine. The higher a Web site ranks in the results of a search, the greater the chance that users will visit the site. It is common practice for Internet users to not click past the first few pages of search results, therefore high rank in SERPs is essential for obtaining traffic for a site. SEO helps to ensure that a site is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that the site will be indexed and favorably ranked by the search engine.

SERP - This is an acronym for Search Engine Results Page.

Social Bookmark – A form of Social Media where user’s bookmarks are aggregated for public access.

Social Media – Various online technologies used by people to share information and ideas. Blogs, forums, wikis, social bookmarking, user reviews, and rating sites (Digg, Reddit) are all examples of Social Media.

Social Media Marketing (SMM) – Website or brand promotion through social media

Spider (bot, crawler) – A specialized bot used by search engines to find and add web pages to their indexes.

Text Link – A plain HTML link that does not involve graphic or special code such as flash or java script.

URL – Uniform Resource Locator – AKA Web Address

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