SEO Glossarium

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Search Engine Optimization


Rules which a search engine uses to rank listings in its index. Algorithms are kept secret by search engines to protect themselves from people who want to gain an unfair advantage in ranking. Search engine algorithms evolve constantly and especially Google is knows to regularly roll out significant algorithm changes that can temporarily or permanently impact on a site’s search engine ranking.

Also see Inbound Links. Incoming links to a website, which are used as a kind of voting system by search engine algorithms to determine the importance and relevance of a website. More backlinks are better than fewer backlinks, but the quality of backlinks (i.e., how important is the site the link originates on) has more influence on rankings than the number of backlinks.

Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

The number of clicks on a link compared to the number of people who see the link. A measure to assess the effectiveness of online marketing like banner advertising, emails or search advertising. Example: A newsletter is viewed by 100 people, and 8 of them click on links contained in the newsletter. This equates to a click-through-rate of 8%.

Conversion Rate

The number of positive outcomes (such as sales) a site receives divided by the amount of visitors to a site, expressed as a percentage value. Example: A website gets 200 visits per day and generates 4 paid sales, resulting in a daily conversion rate of 2%.

Cost Per Click (CPC)
An agreed fee paid by the advertiser to the site which displays their link, for each click someone makes on the link leading to their website.

Also known as a spider or robot, a program which automatically fetches web pages and adds them to a search engine’s index.

A type of search engine where humans are responsible for the review of websites, rather than by automated crawling of the web. Websites are usually reviewed, summarized and placed in an appropriate category. DMOZ is an example of a major directory and Complete Online Directory is an example of a general smaller directory.

Doorway Page
A web page which itself does not deliver much information to those viewing it, but rather aims to rank well for a specific term and often for a certain search engine. A website may have several door pages created for different search terms and search engines with all of them linking to the same end page. Most search engines have guidelines against doorway pages as they are seen as a form of SPAM.

Also called geographical targeting. A term mainly used in paid search advertising where it describes advertising being displayed only to users from a chosen geographical region (country, state, zip code, radius). Geo-targeting aims to increase the relevance and thus effectiveness of advertising (as measured for example in click-through or conversion rates).

Google Maps
Google Maps is a free online map service. It offers a draggable map of the entire world and is a business locator for the U.S, Germany, Australia, Canada, China, Spain, France, Italy, Japan, Netherlands and UK.

Google PIN
A unique number made up of 5 digits that is used to activate your business listing in Google Maps. View an example.

A request for a file located on a web server. Since a web page can contain many different elements, e.g. graphic images, many hits can be recorded when a user visits a single page. For example, a HTLM page containing five images would record six hits – five individual hits for the five images and one for the HTML file.

Inbound Links
A website contains inbound links if other websites link to it. Inbound links are highly considered by search engines, such as Google, when determining ranking for a particular web page.

See Search Terms.

Landing Page
The page that a visitor arrives on after clicking on an online advertising link (for example a link in a newsletter, a pay-per-click ad or an organic search engine listing). Landing pages are critical in determining conversion or interaction success, and online marketers invest a lot of effort in optimizing the various elements of a landing page (calls to action, content, navigation, graphic design) to achieve the best possible conversion rate. A landing page should always be relevant to the message a visitor saw when clicking on a link. For example, an advertisement stating “Submit your URL to search engines now!” should direct to a landing page about search engine submission and not contain any off-topic content.

Link Popularity
Link popularity is one of the most important factors in getting a good ranking for a website and it is derived from the number of inbound links to your website. It is important to mention that search engines do not only take the number of inbound links into account when assigning the ranking to a website. The relevancy of those inbound links also needs to be considered, meaning that the links should come from websites that deal with topics related to your own.

Listings are the results that a search engine returns for a particular search term.

Local Search Engines
A term given to search engines that display businesses based on search terms and location. Examples of local search engines include Google Local and Yahoo! Local.

Local Search Listing

An enhanced business listing that is submitted to 35 local search engines including Google Local and Yahoo! Local. A Local Search Listing also includes an Online Local Profile.

Meta Tags
Meta tags are bits of text which are placed within the HTML code, but are not displayed on the website. Search engines use these tags for the sole purpose of indexing and cataloging your website.

Meta Description Tag
The description meta tag is a general description of what is contained in your web page. Some search engines (not all) display the content of the description tag below your title in the list of results.

Meta Keywords Tag

The keyword meta tag was designed to help search engines understand the relevance between a website and the search terms people use in order to find it.

Meta Title Tag

The title meta tag is critical for search engine optimization since content contained in title tags is not only assessed for ranking, but can also be displayed as hyperlinked text on search engine results pages and appears in the title bar of web browsers.

Natural Search Engine Optimization
Also called “organic search engine optimization” or simply “search engine optimization”. Any techniques used to improve the ranking of a web page within the main search engine results. Natural search engine optimization includes techniques that comply with search engine guidelines as well as techniques deemed to be unacceptable by search engines (also called search engine spamming or black hat SEO). Using black hat SEO techniques is highly risky and not recommended as it can lead to web pages being banned from search engine results.

Online Local Profile
A detailed business profile with a unique URL you can provide to your customers. You get complete control of your Online Local Profile and can populate it the way you like. The best thing is you don't need a website to get started!

Optimization Services
A summary term for a wide range of search engine optimization services offered by search engine optimization companies. Services can include, but are not limited to, keyword research, review and improvement of meta data, copywriting, backlink building, sitemap design, consultation on site design and navigation, and search engine submission.

Organic Results / Listings
Organic listings are the natural listings returned on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), which are ranked on relevancy to a search term.

Outbound Links
Links on a particular web page leading to other web pages. These links can be links to other websites or links within a same website.

Paid Inclusion
Paid inclusion is a submission service where you pay a fee to a search engine and the search engine guarantees that your website will be included in its index. Paid inclusion programs will also ensure that your website is indexed very fast and crawled on regular basis.

PPC (a.k.a. Pay-For-Performance)
Stands for Pay-Per-Click and is the type of program where you bid on keywords for your site to be displayed in sponsored ads/links area when a user searches upon certain keywords. URLs with a higher bid will be displayed in a more prominent position.

Rank is a certain position where your website gets displayed in search engine results for a particular search term. As a rule of thumb, the higher a web page ranks in search engine results, the more search engine users it gets exposed to and the more people will click on the result.

Results Page
When a user conducts a search, the page that is displayed, is called the results page. Sometimes it may be called SERPs, which stands for "search engine results page."

Webmaster World Forums

Return on Investment (ROI)
A measure of the amount of money lost or earned on an investment compared to the amount of money invested. Normally expressed as a percentage. Example: If you spend $1,000 on a pay-per-click campaign and generate $1,450 in revenue from this campaign, your ROI would be 45%.

see Crawler.

A file used to keep certain web pages from being indexed by search engines.

Search Engine
A search engine is best described as a database of websites users can search using search terms. Every search engine has its own algorithm which defines how the results are displayed. The aim is to display the most relevant pages for a given search term at the top of the search results.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
The act of marketing a website via search engines, whether this be improving rank in organic listings, purchasing paid listings or a combination of these and other search engine-related activities. Source: SEMPO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is both a science and an art ensuring that a website appears higher on a search engine results page for relevant search terms. This is achieved by altering a number of factors both on and off the page to take advantage of the way that a search engine works.

Search Engine Spamming
The attempt to achieve high search engine rankings through organic search engine optimization methods that are in breach of best practice optimization guidelines as laid out by the search engines’ webmaster guidelines or that are regarded as detrimental to the search engines’ efforts to deliver relevant and high quality search results.

Search Terms
The words or phrases used by people when performing searches in search engines. Also called keywords, query terms or query.

Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization. SEMPO is a not-for-profit professional association of the search engine marketing industry that aims to increase the awareness and promote the value of search engine marketing worldwide. ineedhits is a SEMPO member.

Short for “search engine results pages”.

See Crawler.

Submission is the process of submitting URL(s) to search engines. It is important to note that unless you purchase paid inclusion, submission does not guarantee that your URL will be included in a search engine’s index.

The number of visits to a website. Normally counts the number of unique visitors to a website within a specified time period.

Trusted Feed
Trusted feed is a form of paid inclusion which uses bulk a XML feed to directly send website content to search engines for indexing. The feed can be optimized so that your website can take advantage better rankings and therefore more traffic. The popular choice for trusted feed service is Search Submit Pro.

Unique Visitor
A single individual visiting a website. If the same person visits a website more than once within a specified time period, he/she will still only be counted as one unique visitor.

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