Helpful internet related terms

AdSense- Google Advertisements that can be added to a website to generate income for that site.

AdWords – A Google Pay-per-Click program for advertising a website. Prices are based upon popularity and a bidding war and programs either have a maximum limit or unlimited. In maximum limit per day program once the number of clicks is met, the ad is automatically removed from further exposure. On an unlimited program the expense is unlimited.

Algorithm - An advanced software program that evaluates and compares the information to a set of standards in order to categorize information. this usually involves comparing the information to a list of sequenced instructions to filter and refine the results. Search Engines use algorithms to determine search results.

Analytics – A set of tools that evaluate information about a website and essential for evaluating the effect of any changes to the site on incoming traffic, conversion rate, search information, keyword efficacy and more.

Authority – Both a non-technical term in the traditional definition, and also a technical term used by Google as a set of criteria that determine their search results and page ranking status. Not all of the criteria are publicly disclosed, but some of the factors include keyword relevance, content relevance, website loading speed, ratio of inbound links to outbound links, quality of inbound and outbound links, internal linking structure and more.

Backlink – (See External Link)

Banned Site – Any website through improper use of search engine optimization techniques, programming or marketing strategies that are determined by Search Engines to be a violation of their terms of use, can be banned from search results by that search engine. (See also: Black Hat)

Black Hat – Unethical practices used for trying to get high ranking on search engine results utilizing techniques and practices that are unethical and violate the terms and conditions of the search engine. See also White Hat and Gray Hat

Blog – Web log. A journal style format that should be updated several times a week and can be utilized to improve search exposure and traffic.

Bot - Short for Robot See: Spider

Bounce Rate – The percentage of visitors that immediately leave a site without clicking through or responding to the call to action. The lower the bounce rate, the more effective the message on the landing page. Industry standards indicate anything less than 30% is a good result.

Cache – A historical sorted information of a website on a search engine based on a history of being crawled by various search engines. The historic cache is also used to compare content to determine if there have been changes made to the site.

Call to Action – A desired action for a website visitor to act on the intent of the website. This could be entering contact information, making a purchase, asking for a subscription or a click through to another site or page.

Clickthrough – When a website visitor clicks on a link to another section of the site or to finalize a desired action.

Clickthrough rate (CTR) – The frequency that a link is selected in a call-to-action or existing link on a page.

Cloud, (The) or "Cloud Computing - A concept posited by Oracle Corp. in the 90's where users lease or subscribe to software applications that exist on the software providers computers. This reduces or eliminates the need to buy, maintain and upgrade software that is stored on your computer. (Compared to the "Microsoft" Model of buying, upgrading and repurchasing new versions of software that are stored on your hard drive.)

Content - What exists within a website. The most common content is text: words, information. But photos are alos content, as is video, links, tools etc. Anything a viewer experiences on a web site.

Conversion Rate – The percentage of visitors on a web site who take the desired action of signing up, requesting information or making a purchase. The higher the conversion rate, the more successful and compelling is the message and look of the page. A typical conversion rate is 3-5% of visitors.

Cost Per Click (CPC) – In some paid search engine advertising programs, the cost is determined by a bidding program and charged by how many times the link is clicked on the SERP.

Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPM) - A paid search engine advertising campaign that is charged based upon how many thousand of unique visitors view the link and display line. These programs are difficult to verify as it is up to the discretion of the search engine as to where and when the ads appear.

Crawl - The act of using a software program (see "Bot") to analyze the content and structure of a website. This information can be used by Search Engines to create cached information on the site, rank the site, or use the information in their search results based on relevant content.

Crawlability – Search engines utilize software programs typically referred to as "bots" or "spiders". Once these programs find a website, they go through or "crawl" the programming layer of the site and gather information about structure and content. This information is then used to rank the page, determine placement priority, and "cache" the site in the search engine's records. This cache is then compared to future crawls to determine frequency and nature of changes. Poor page programming or structure can prevent any access of these programs to relevant content and result in poor or no search results.

Crawler – A Type of bot used to automatically review sites on a regular schedule with the intent of adding sites to cache data for the search engine. See also spider.

CSS - Cascading Style Sheet. A format to better organize website content to make websites function more efficiently and , more importantly, help structure sites to allow for faster, easier and more accurate access of content to search engine software.

Directory Site – A web site that is a source of information to multiple businesses within a geographic region, industry or locality. The various Internet versions of the classic phone directory. SEO novices often mistake directory sites with Link Farms.

External Link/Backlink – A link present on a second or third party website linking to a page or content on a specific site. Also referred to as "inbound link". Any link to a website from another site. Conversely, an outbound link is a link within a website that navigates to a location not on the page or site.

Flash – A multimedia application that allows for website animation and interactive website features. It also allows for website video integration. Originally created by Macromedia who was acquired by Adobe.

Geo - Geographical. This can refer to an in internet marketing strategy that focuses on a specific geographic area, or a type of paid search engine placement that restricts results to servers within a certain region.

Grey Hat - An SEO technique that is not clearly compliant with search engine terms and conditions, so has some risk of being deemed a violation of terms resulting in punitive action. See also White Hat and Black Hat.

Homepage – The main page of a website that is typically designed for the first-time visitor and summarizes the purpose of the site. It is also typically the main landing page.

HTML - Acronym for "Hypertext Markup Language". This is the "code" that is used to create most websites. Technically, it is not a programming language, but more of a means of identifying structure, components and formatting. HTML5 is the latest iteration that allows for more video, animation and graphic capabilities than existed in the original HTML.

Hyperlinks – Highlighted text that navigates the Internet user to the referenced content elsewhere on a page, site or on another site.

Indexing – A verification that a website has been acknowledged by a search engine. Indexing verification can be performed manually, or there are a variety of tools and analytics that can verify a site was indexed.

Internal Link – A link that navigates a web viewer to another part of the same web page or to some other content within the web site.

Juice – Results. Strength. Activity. Traffic. This is a term often used in conjunction with other terms such as "link-juice" "identity-juice".

Keyword/Keyword Phrase – The art and science of developing appropriate words or phrases that most accurately represent the terms used by Internet users to search for a particular type of business, organization or information. Keywords are one of the main elements in determining site relevance and authority resulting in how well a business gets exposure for its appropriate terms. Keyword strategy is constantly evaluated and refined based upon results and analytics.

Keyword Density – A calculation of the number of keywords or phrases used in relation to total word count in website content. Also can refer to the ratio of words and phrases in relations to volume of programming on a site. It used to be given more weight in SEO than is currently thought, but it is factor in determining site relevance.

Keyword Matching - Techniques of selecting and organizing keywords on a website to those anticipated being used by Internet users looking for the information or services presented on that site.

Keyword Research – Various techniques, some science, some art, to determine the most likely sets of words and phrases Internet users will utilize to find specific information or services offered on a website.

Keyword Popularity – The number of times a certain word or phrases is used for searches over a specified period of time. The higher the popularity, the more competitive the term and typically the more expensive for paid advertising.

Keyword Stuffing – An SEO tactic that was once popular and effective, but now a serious detriment to site exposure. It consists of placing as many keywords onto a website as possible, sometimes hidden visually, sometimes visible. Also referred to as "Keyword Cramming".

Keyword Rich – Any section of text on a website that has a nigh number of relevant keywords for the content of the site.

Landing Page - Any page on a website that is used as a destination for outside links. Typically it is the home page, but can also be a page with specific content, or even a micro-site with a different URL that then directs the viewer to the main site.

Link – Any hyperlink enabled copy typically highlighted in blue, bold, button or some other distinctive method, that navigate a person to a web page, specific web page content or location of information on the Internet or within a web site or page.

Link bait - Useful or entertaining site content designed to popularize a website and increase site traffic.

Link building - A number of strategies designed to increase the number of inbound links to a web site.

Link farm - A site or series of sites designed to use the Page Rank juice of other sites to artificially inflate page rank and authority. These sites are considered a spam source and having inbound links from these sites have the reverse affect by decreasing site PR and authority due to associating with sites with questionable practices. For the SEO novice link farms and Directories are often confused.

Link popularity – A site that is desirable for other sites to link to. They typically have a high number of inbound links.

Long-Tail Strategy – A technique for developing web traffic to multiple pages of a web site. The phrase refers to the inbound traffic distribution curve for most web sites, which is heavy on the home page then tapers off on subsequent pages. This strategy boosts the minimum traffic to additional pages.

Meta Data / Meta Keywords / Meta Description – Essentially "information about information". This is typically found on a website and invisible to the viewer but can be accessed using specialized tools or via a website administrator, designer or programmer. Meta Keywords are a synthesis of the website owner's idea of the most relevant phrases and words to their industry they determine are most relevant to their target market. This area has some contention and controversy about importance or relevance to various search engines. Meta Description is a brief summary of the website content, industry, location and topic and typically is used in search results below the web link.

Meta Tag Stuffing – Similar strategy to Keyword stuffing but within the meta tag information. This strategy has been made virtually ineffective due to past abuses. Google claims to no longer use meta tags at all in their considerations as a result of this practice.

Micro Site - A secondary site with a different URL than the main site that has content crafted to a specific audience or message that then guides the visitor to the main site.

Organic Search - The results on a search engine page that are not sponsored or paid advertisements (which are referred to as "Paid Search").

Page Sculpting - A largely discredited technique of creating a website programming structure to manipulate search engine results. An attempt to influence or manipulate how a site is crawled.

Paid Placement - Any number of programs that provide search results for particular keywords or phrases in exchange for a preset payment or on a competitive bidding program.

Pay per click (PPC) – A paid placement program based upon a competitive bidding structure and charges the account each time a person clicks on the advertised link. A preset budget can be set and then the site is removed from the first page once the limit has been reached. Likewise an unlimited expense program can be used, with an unknown maximum of monthly costs.

PR (PageRank) – A ranking system created by Google for relative page Authority. Google, some US Government sites, Yahoo! and Wikipedia rank at PR 9 or 10. .edu secondary education sites typically rank in the range of 6-8. Well-established businesses, organizations, or "hub sites" rank 4-8. Most small business or new business sites can rank between 0-4.

Scraper sites - A plagiarized website created by a web scraping program. This is a software that copies content from a site to set up a site with identical content.

Search Engine – Sites developed to help Internet users find information on the Internet in the form of a hierarchical page structure (SERP or Search Engine Results Page). The current top three search engines are Google, Yahoo! and Bing which are currently responsible for about 65%, 12% and 9% respectively, of all Internet search inquiries.

Search term - A word or phrase entered into a search engine for results. Also known as a keyword.

Searchability – The qualities of a website based upon all factors that allow or prevent websites from searching the content and giving the site search result placement.

Search Engine Placement (SEP) - A specialized Paid Placement Program. Unlike Adwords or PPC campaigns, this allows for a fixed monthly fee to guarantee first page placement for designated Keywords on specific search engines. These programs can be based on individual Keyword phrases, keyword by Geo, or a recommended "campaign" utilizing a "basket" of lower quality keywords based on a specific budget.

SEM – Search Engine Management or sometimes Search Engine Marketing.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization. The use of a variety of tools and techniques to help improve a website appearance in search engine search results under relevant topic searches. These techniques can include: Programming structure, site content, keyword usage, internal site links, external links, social media, and a variety of other strategies and tools. SEO is not a one-time "thing", but rather a process that constantly evaluates a website's performance in results delivered by search engines (SERP) to ensure that the site is complying in all ways to maximize search exposure. 

Site Architecture/Site Structure - The "bones" of a website. How it is programmed; laid out, how the programming is organized, how the content is placed, not only visually, but within the computer code. This can be a major cause of lack of search exposure. Many novice website designers can unknowingly block content from being searched or show the wrong information when a site is crawled. Poor architecture can result in NO search engine exposure.

SERP - Search Engine Results Page. The page that shows after entering a search phrase on a search engine.

Social Media – Also referred to as Web 2.0. The utilization of social networking web sites to promote a message and expand a website's exposure.

Spider - A search engine program created to "crawl" or investigate and record information on a web site for the purpose of creating a cache and evaluating content to determine what content is relevent and how it will be evaluated for search results.

Traffic - The number of visitors to a specific web page or site. A term to measure site popularity and effectiveness of an SEO campaign or marketing strategy. There can be, a correlation between traffic and conversion, but not necessarily.

Unique Visitors – A measure of website traffic that tracks only first-time visitors to a site.

URL – Uniform Resource Locator. A website address formatted as:

Viral – Any Internet content that has the ability of being passed on out of popularity. This can be video content, email content, information on a site, a widget, any type of content. A popular widget can increase site traffic and used as linkbait. If your want your information spread automatically without additional effort, "going viral" is a good thing.

Web Scraping/Web Harvesting/Web Data Extraction – A software designed to copy website data and information to created a plagiarized duplicate site or content.

White Hat - SEO practices that are fully compliant with all search engine terms of service, compared with Gray Hat with are questionably compliant or Black Hat which are a violation which can result in punitive action by the Search Engine.

Widget – a.k.a. gadget, badge, module, webjit. A packet of programming code that is a stand-alone tool or application that can be transported and inserted on any website without changing the site programming. They can be used to increase site popularity and be a source of link bait.