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04
May 2015

SEO term glossary

SEO terms

301 redirect
Code meaning “moved permanently” used to point browsers, spiders, etc. to the correct location of a missing or renamed web page.

404 Error
Code meaning “file not found” used for missing or deleted web pages.

Algorithm
Rules and calculations a search engine uses to determine the rankings of the sites it has indexed. Every search engine has its own unique algorithm.

Algorithmic Results
Results that have not been paid for. These are results which the search engine has determined are worthy of inclusion without a Pay Per Click plan.

ALT Tag
Used to describe the content associated with a non-text based file, typically an image. Backlinks – The number of quality links from other websites directed to your website. This is part of link popularity and SEO marketing, the process of collecting quality links from other websites pointing to your own.

Banned
When a page is deemed inappropriate for a search engine, or the content is not relevant to the terms that it is optimizing, it can be removed from the index.

Banner Ad
Graphical image or small animation file embedded within a web page and used for advertising, often containing a link to other sites, products, etc.

Clickthrough Rate
The percentage of people who actually click on your link after seeing it.

Cloaking
An unethical SEO marketing practice of tricking the search engine into indexing different content than the user will see. Often the content is entirely unrelated to the actual purpose of the site.

Contextual Link Inventory
An extension of search engines where search engines place targeted links on web sites that they deem to have similar audiences.

Conversion Rate
This is the percentage of visitors to a site who actually take another action, like buying a product or filling out a survey. For example, if you want to collect survey data, and 20 people visit your site, but only 5 people complete the survey, you have a conversion rate of 25 percent.

Cost Per Click
An SEO marketing system of paying for targeted traffic. For a small fee, sites like Google will do their best to direct traffic to your site. In exchange, you agree to pay a set amount for every click.

CPC
An acronym for Cost Per Click.

CPM
This is the cost per thousand views of an advertisement. Often, advertisers agree to pay a certain amount for every 1000 customers who see their ad as part of SEO marketing efforts, regardless of conversion rates of clickthroughs. The “M” in CPM is derived for the Latin word for 1000.

Crawler
An automatic function of some search engines that index a page, and then visit the pages that the initial page links to. It then indexes the pages it visits. As the cycle continues, search engines can index a massive number of pages very quickly.

CTR
An acronym for Click-Through Rate

Delisting
When a page is removed from a search engine. They may be banned, or just deemed out-of-date or irrelevant.

Directories
A search engine where the results are compiled by hand, rather than by a crawler. Often these sites are reviewed and then categorized by humans.

Doorway Page
A low-content page created expressly with the purpose of ranking well on a search engine. It’s usually very keyword heavy. Most search engines frown on this SEO marketing practice.

Graphical Search Inventory
Images and banner ads that are tied to particular search terms on a search engine. They are then displayed to the user when they enter a related search term.

Index
The actual collection of data and websites obtained by a search engine.

Inbound Link
Same as Backlinks.

Keywords
The terms that a user enters into a search engine. Can also signify the terms a web site is targeting to rank highly as part of their SEO marketing campaign.

Keyword Density
The proportion of keywords used to the total number of words in the visible content of a web site.

Keyword Proximity
The relative distance between keywords in the visible text of a web site.

Landing Page
The actual page that a user lands on when he clicks through a search engine listing.

Link Farm
Page containing a very large number of links without groupings, categories, or structure. These are often used to make sure search engines completely index a site.

Link Popularity
A count of how many sites in a search engine index that link to you. Some engines use this as factor in determining your SEO marketing ranking.

Link Text
The text that is displayed in a hyperlink. For example, in the hyperlink NicolaZiady.com, “Nicola Ziady” is the link text.

Listings
A listing is a website’s presence in a search engine or directory, and is not indicative of a websites’ search engine positioning.

Meta Search Engine
A search engine that does not compile its own results, but rather pulls data from two or more search engines.

META Tags
Also called META data, this information formerly affected many of the SEO marketing strategies online. It included a description, keyword sets and other information. Generally, search engines may include the characters in their ranking criteria, but they don’t display the description as in the past and the keywords are having less influence.

Meta Description Tag
A tag on a web page, located in the heading source code, that has a basic description of the site to help search engines rank it accordingly. However, not all engines use them.

Meta Keywords Tag
Allows page authors to include a list of keywords they feel is appropriate for their page so that search engines may rank them better. This is not used by all search engines.

Meta Robots Tag
Allows page authors to prevent their web page from being indexed by a search engine.

Mirror Site
Duplicate copy of a web site already in existence, used to increase response time for high-volume sites.

Organic Listings
These are search engine results that have not been purchased. They are obtained solely by the engine’s algorithm and are based on the merit of the page.

Outbound Links
Any link on a web page to another web page, whether the page is on their site or another one.

Paid Inclusion
A system where a website renders a small payment in order to be included in a search engine, but no guarantees are given as to the rankings.

PPC
An acronym of Pay-Per-Click.

Paid Listings
Listings sold to advertisers for a small fee.

Pay-for-Performance
A system nearly identical to Pay-Per-Click, and can be synonymous.

Pay-Per-Click
Also known as PPC, this type of SEO marketing involves advertisements that run above or beside the free search engine listings on such services as Google and Overture. Typically, to get the highest position among these ads, website owners may place a per-click bid. It’s not uncommon to participate in a bidding war for coveted top spots. For example, if a website is among the top 3 advertisements, the same ad appears in the same location on partner websites. Some SEO marketing firms provide bid management services to get the most value for each search term.

Paid Placement
An SEO marketing program where companies or individuals pay a small fee to have their site rank higher than others for a given search term; this is usually done on a Cost-Per-Click basis.

Position
Same as Rank.

Query
The terms entered into a search engine by the user.

Rank
How well a page is doing on a search engine. The higher your rank, the more visible your page is to search engine users.

Rankings
They’re simply the place or positioning for a website after it’s registered with a search engine.

Rapid Inclusion
The indexing of web sites in search engines and directories based on a per page fee. As opposed to free submissions where indexes are updated every few weeks, rapid indexing occurs every 48-72 hours.

Reciprocal Link
When two sites agree to link to each other.

Registration
It’s the process of asking a search engine or directory to consider including a website for SEO marketing. Some registrations involve carefully written descriptions for paid and free directories. Others occur through automatic or manual submissions to the search engines and directories.

Results Page
The page that is displayed after a search query is entered.

Robot
Same as Crawler.

Robots.txt
A small text file included on a web site that prohibits a search engine from indexing certain pages.

ROI
An acronym for “Return On Investment.” ROI is the percentage of profit from a given search engine marketing activity. For example, if you pay fifty dollars a month for CPC listings, and it leads to $500 in profit, your return on investment would be 1000%.

Search Engine
A web site that allows users to search the web for specific information by entering keywords they are looking for. Can include paid or organic listings.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
These solutions are the cumulative effort of marketing a web site using search engines. It includes the process of improving organic and/or paid listings, rapid inclusion and more to increase a web site’s visibility, also known as SEO marketing.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
These solutions involve website analysis and adjustments (source code and visible text) to ensure the highest possible search engine positioning, also known as SEO marketing.

Search Terms
The words actually entered into a search engine when a user is looking for information.

SEM
An acronym for Search Engine Marketing.

SEO
An acronym for Search Engine Optimization.

SERPS
An acronym for Search Engine Results Page. See Results Page.

Shopping Search
A specialized search engine that indexes products and prices specifically for users who are shopping online.

SiteMatch
A paid-inclusion program offered by Yahoo! for web sites to be considered for its index.

Spam
In terms of search engines, it is any SEO marketing effort which the search engine decides is a hindrance to their providing good results. This can include doorway pages, having irrelevant keywords on a page, and many other things. The standards for what constitutes spam varies by search engine. Violating their policies usually results in being banned from the search engine.

Spider
Same as Crawler.

Style Sheet
Template used for defining the layout of multiple pages within a web site.

Submission
The SEO marketing process of registering a site with a search engine. It does not guarantee inclusion, but will usually lead to it being reviewed or crawled by the web site. It offers no guarantee of ranking. It can be done manually, or using some commercial software packages that are available.

Title Tag
A form of Meta data used by search engines to describe the titles of web pages. Search engine ranking algorithms place value in the use of title tags in determining what a site is about and the relevancy of its content.

Website Title
Located near the top of the source code, the title helps define the page content.

XML Feeds
A system where search engines get their information via XML, a technology where information can be updated rapidly between sites. This is an alternative to actually crawling the sites. This is usually a form of paid inclusion.

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7 Comments
Amauri José Junqueira says:

Hi Nicola.
Thank you for your job. Very good.

Beverly Shepard says:

Thank you, Nicole.

This was very helpful.

Beverly Shepard says:

Thank you, Nicola.

This was very helpful.

I enjoy the efforts you have put in this, thanks for all the great content . ginecologie

Love your blog!

I think you meant to say also known as SEM instead of SEO in the sentence below.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
– These solutions involve website analysis and adjustments (source code and visible text) to ensure the highest possible search engine positioning, also known as SEO marketing.

Also, it would be great have Hashtag in the list.

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