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This 33 message thread spans 2 pages: 33 ( [1] 2 > >     
Newbie Dictionary of SEO Terms
StickyNote




msg:3407373
 9:53 pm on Jul 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Moderators, please edit for clarity and accuracy. Members, please fill in omissions.

< Moderator Note: In addition, feel free to ASK for the
definition of any term whose meaning is not clear to you. >

ADAM LASNIK Google Search Team member whose focus is on broadening communications between Google and Webmasters.

ALT (IMAGE ATTRIBUTE) Text to be used instead of image for visually impaired, browsers that cannot display images (pretty rare), and can give the search engines an idea of what the image is about.

AUTHORITY, AUTHORITY SITE Debated topic, but generally a site that search engines view as an authority on given subjects. Among other considerations, determining factors could be incoming links, relevant content.
SEE [webmasterworld.com...]

BACK LINK, SEE INBOUND LINK

BOT (See spider)

CACHE In SEO, usually refers to the snapshot that the search engine stores and serves when it SPIDERS a webpage.

CLOAKING Generally used with a negative connotation, refers to the attempt to deliver different content to search engines than is delivered to the general public. This type of cloaking is a very effective way to have your site banned by search engines.

DATA CENTERS In SEO, and very simply put, the phrase 'data centers' usually refers to the different IP addresses that Google uses. Historically, groups of these IP addresses sometimes corresponded to different physical data centers.

DEDICATED SERVER / VIRTUAL DEDICATED SERVER Server that is only used by one client (webmaster). Client is usually allowed to run any operating system, a unique ip address, and usually has control over the server resources. On VIRTUAL DEDICATED SERVERS there is more than one client on the server, but the server is partitioned, and each client has allocated space and computing resources. SEE SHARED SERVER

DMCA (D)igital (M)illennium (C)opyright (A)ct As applies to SEO, usually referring to a provision in which a you can appeal to Google to have webpages removed from Google's index if the content on the webpages belongs to you. (Google has specific instructions/guidelines posted online.)

DUPLICATE CONTENT Content on two or more webpages that is similar enough to be considered redundant to search engines. Generally agreed to have a negative SEO impact on webpages if not websites.

EXTERNAL LINK a hyperlink in a webpage that points to another webpage NOT on the same website.

GOOGLEBOT (See spider)

HIJACKING occasionally accidental, but usually a malicious effort to 'steal' pages from another site, and make it appear that the pages are coming from the hijacker's site. This can mean that the hijacking domain takes over another domain's listing in the search results.

HTACCESS Actually, '.htaccess'. A file on your server that gives the server instructions regarding if, and how to serve your webpages. SEE STATUS CODES

IFRAME AN element used in a HTML document that allows another HTML document to be embedded within the original.

IMAGE LINK A hyperlink that uses a clickable image, as opposed to a clickable text hyperlink.

INBOUND LINK incoming hyperlink to a webpage. SEE OUTBOUND LINK.

INDEXED being added to a search engines list of websites.

INDEX PAGE Default webpage served on your website when someone types in your domain name. (A search request for (www.example.com) will take the searcher to your index page.)

INTERNAL LINK a hyperlink in a webpage that points to another webpage on the same website.

KEYWORD/KEYPHRASE The word or phrase a searcher uses when querying a search engine. Much study in SEO is dedicated to determining how to make webpages appear first in search engine results when a searcher performs a specific keyword or keyphrase search.

KEYWORD/KEYPHRASE DENSITY the amount of times a word or phrase is referred to in a document, compared to the total words in the document.

KEYWORD/KEYPHRASE STUFFING repeating a word or phrase in a document to the extent that search engines assume you are spamming.

LINK FARM Group of webpages linked to each other in an attempt to boost position in search results. Individual pages are usually of little quality the end user, and are sometimes computer generated.

LINK SPAM Links placed in forums, blogs etc. designed to boost rankings of the linked to page.

LONG TAIL In SEO, used to describe the substantial group of search queries, using longer, less competitive keyphrases.

MATT CUTTS Often quoted head of Google's webspam team.

META TAGS Tags, usually found in the header of a HTML document. Examples of meta tags are 'description', 'keywords' and 'robots'. The first two examples describe qualities of the document, the latter describes how ROBOTS should handle the document.

NOFOLLOW When used as an attribute of a hyperlink, instruction to search engine SPIDERS that the link is not a 'trusted' link and should not be passed PAGE RANK. When used in a ROBOTS META TAG, instructions to search engines to not follow links on page.

NOINDEX When used in a ROBOTS META TAG, instructions to not put the contents of the page in search engines public index.

ORGANIC RESULTS Search engine query results that are presented for their relevance, popularity, etc., unlike paid results, which are, well, paid results.

OUTBOUND LINK outgoing hyperlink to a webpage. SEE INBOUND LINK

PAGE RANK Calculation used by Google as one of the factors in search results. Calculation is based on the number of incoming links, or 'votes', to any given webpage.

PR SEE PAGERANK

RECIPROCAL LINKS You link to me, I like to you. Variations include A links to B, B links to C, C links to A.

ROBOT (See spider)

RSS FEEDS (R)eally (S)imple (S)yndication Web feeds are used on websites that have information that is frequently updated, such as news agencies or blogs. The content is in XML format. The content is automatically updated and put into a more human-readable format by a RSS reader.

SANDBOX Term used to describe a specific Google phenomenon in which new websites do not rank very well for a varied period of time.

SEO (S)earch (E)ngine (O)ptimization. The art of increasing volume and improving the quality of traffic from search engines. Usually this refers to organic search results, as opposed to paid placement in search results.

SERP (S)earch (E)ngine (R)esults (P)age The results of a query to a search engine. Most often refering to only the ORGANIC RESULTS.

SHARED SERVER With a shared server, each client shares disc space, IP addresses and computing resources with other clients on the same server.

SITEMAP (GOOGLE SITEMAP) Part of Google's Webmaster Tools. A sitemap enables you to tell Google the relative importance of pages on your site, and how often they change content.

SPIDER Automated programs, or scripts that search the world wide web for a number of reasons. Examples of 'good' spiders are googlebot, MSNbot and Yahoo Slurp, which search the web for pages to place in their respective search results. 'Bad' spiders are those that search for vulnerabilities in server configurations, web content to steal, etc.

STATUS CODES (HTTP) Following a HTTP request to a server, the server responds with a three digit code to denote the outcome of the request. If your website runs Apache server, you can use an .HTACCESS file to set the response code and action for any given webpage. Below are some of the more common response codes. w3.org has complete list. SEE HTACCESS

********

200 'OK' This response is the most common and is sent back with the requested items. Most common requested items can be 'HEAD', which is a request from the client for only the headers of a file, 'GET' which is a request for entire file, or "POST" which is in response of a form being posted to server.

301 'MOVED PERMANENTLY' This is a response from server that the requested file has been permanently assigned a new URI. (This is the code you usually want when attempting to redirect search engines to new URI.)

302 'FOUND' This is a response from server that the requested file has been temporarily assigned a new URI. (This is the code you usually DO NOT want when attempting to permanently redirect search engines to new URI.)

304 'NOT MODIFIED' Resource has not been modified since last accessed or cache.

403 'FORBIDDEN' Server refuses to send request.

404 'NOT FOUND'

500 'INTERNAL SERVER ERROR' Server encountered a problem and could not comply with request. (You might see this one when testing scripts.)

503 'SERVICE UNAVAILABLE' Usually means server is overloaded and cannot perform requested action.

********

SUBDOMAIN foo.example.com is a subdomain of examplee.com. Note that, technically speaking, www.example.com is also a subdomain of example.com

SUPPLEMENTAL RESULTS In SEO refers to individual pages in Google's index that are treated differently than pages in the 'main' or primary Google index. These pages are spidered less often, and usually show up in search results after all non-supplemental results, or not at all.

TEXT LINK A hyperlink that uses clickable text <link>Go to page two</link> as opposed to a clickable image hyperlink.

URI (U)niversal (R)esource (I)dentifier is what most people mean to say when they say URL. URI is the identifier that combines 1) method to access an internet resource (http://) and 2)specific identifier for the resource (mysite.com). (Always use URI when you are unsure of which to use, you will be right most of the time, and avoid unnesessary flaming.)

URL (U)niversal (R)esource (L)ocator refers to common protocols that are a subset of the URI protocols, namely [,...] ftp://, and mailto: term is considered deprecated SEE URI.

WEBMASTER TOOLS Services provided by Google that, according to Google, can "make your site more Google-friendly". Services include search analysis and SITEMAP. SEE SITEMAP

WWW The prefix on your domain name; www.example.com. Of interest to SEOers because even if www.example.com and example.com resolve to the same content, they are still two different URLs. This can lead to DUPLICATE CONTENT problems. Making sure your server performs a 301 permanent redirect from non-www to www, or vice versa, usually solves the problem. SEE DUPLICATE CONTENT, STATUS CODES

[edited by: tedster at 11:35 pm (utc) on July 29, 2007]

 

tedster




msg:3407522
 5:36 am on Jul 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

CANONICAL PROBLEM This is the phrase Google uses to describe a search engine's challenge in identifiying the actual url intended for the home page of a website - see WWW

reseller




msg:3407547
 7:06 am on Jul 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

DATA CENTERS In SEO, and very simply put, the phrase 'data centers' usually refers to the different IP addresses that Google uses. Historically, groups of these IP addresses sometimes corresponded to different physical data centers.

Also referred to on WebmasterWorld as DCs

MATT CUTTS Often quoted head of Google's webspam team.

Also referred to on WebmasterWorld as MC or just Matt

pontifex




msg:3407649
 12:36 pm on Jul 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

excellent, thanks!

CONVERSION or Conversion Rate - defines how many of your anonymous users are converted into money or saw a specific page (brand building). Basic definitions are

"Click" - the user clicked on a specific link (and created a unique impression on a page of your ad partners or on your site

"Lead" - a user left his contact information

"Sale" - a user bought something

All (commercial) SEO should lead to conversion. It is the goal of the process - without conversion, all traffic is in vein.

UNIQUES or unique visits (UV). The amount of unique visitors on a site.

pontifex




msg:3407651
 12:41 pm on Jul 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

HILLTOP - an aspect of the Google algorithm to rank specific documents based on the idea of counting links in a democratic process under the consideration of "AUTHORITIES". Strength and the specific role this part of the algorithm plays is not 100% clear, but the effects are visible.

OutdoorMan




msg:3407699
 3:59 pm on Jul 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Robots.txt A text (.txt) file used to exclude web robots/spiders from visiting pre-defined folders or files in a web server. The file has to be named robots.txt and has to be placed in the root level of a web site.

Additional information:
The Web Robots Pages [robotstxt.org]
Robots Exclusion Standard [en.wikipedia.org]
WebmasterWorld Robots.txt forum [webmasterworld.com]

[edited by: OutdoorMan at 4:06 pm (utc) on July 29, 2007]

King_Fisher




msg:3407721
 5:00 pm on Jul 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

AWESOME! Keep it coming. I am printing it out for referencing. KF

Quadrille




msg:3407753
 5:48 pm on Jul 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Above the fold - the visible part of a web page, as it first appears. Advertising term that originated with newspapers; atf is the place to be!

Adsense - Google's ad publishing program; context-specific ads.

ADSL - Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line; a DSL system that allows more data to be sent over standard copper telephone lines. ADSL supports data rates of from 1.5 to 9 Mbps when receiving data (the downstream rate) and from 16 to 640 Kbps when sending data (the upstream rate).

Advanced search - an option to search within a search, or otherwise narrow the results to improve search quality, eg using Boolean terms, restricting dates or languages.

AdWords - Google's PPC program.

Affiliate program - A system of commission on sales of products or services generated by affiliated websites.

Agent - a browser, crawler, robot or spider, that interprets the content on a web server and presents it as a page.

Algorithm - programming protocols that determine how a search engine indexes content and displays search results.

allintitle: - If you start a query with [allintitle:], Google will restrict the results to those with all of the query words in the title. For instance, [allintitle: google search] will return only documents that have both "google" and "search" in the title.

allinurl: - If you start a query with [allinurl:], Google will restrict the results to those with all of the query words in the url. For instance, [allinurl: google search] will return only documents that have both "google" and "search" in the url.

ALT attribute - HTML element which allows for descriptive text to be shown if an image fails to appear or graphics are turned off. An essential component of web accessibility.

Anchor text - the text part of a link.

API - Application Program Interface; a set of routines, protocols and tools for building software applications; it determines how a service is invoked through the application.

Applet - a small program written in Java and included in a HTML page. It is independent of the operating system, and can be used (for example) to display scrolling text, or animations.

ARPANet - Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. Forerunner of the Internet, ARPANET was designed to be a military command and control center that could withstand nuclear attack. Authority was distributed over a large number of geographically dispersed computers, thus enabling system survival, even after major damage to individual centers.

ASCII - American Standard Code for Information Interchange; a seven bit code used for representing text, graphics, and keyboard control characters for computer use. For file transfer purposes, an ASCII file is a text file which should be readable on any type of computer. Usually pronounced 'ask-ee'.

ASP - Active Server Pages. A Microsoft web publishing system that enables Web pages to be dynamically created using HTML, scripts, and ActiveX server components.

Attribute - the properties of a page element.

Authority - loosely, a web site is regarded as having authority, if it contains a lot of valuable unique content, about a particular subject, and those qualities are reflected in its IBLs. Specifically, Google is thought to recognise certain 'authority' sites, determined by its algortihm, against which other same-topic sites are assessed.

Automated submission - the use of software to submit a site to many search engines and / or directories. With search engies, a futile and pointless activity, with directories, a source of spam; totally ineffective in any human-edited Quality Directory, and usually in breech of search engine TOS

theBear




msg:3408085
 8:42 pm on Jul 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Webmaster - Debatable title given to those who produce Web Sites ;-)

reseller




msg:3408105
 9:12 pm on Jul 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Brett Tabke - CEO WebmasterWorld Inc., WebmasterWorld Administrator. Usually referred to as Brett [webmasterworld.com] :-)

johnhh




msg:3408137
 10:42 pm on Jul 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

MFA Made For Adsense - a site specifically made to show Adsense adverts rather than actually give the user any required information
Scraper A site consisting of content scrapped" from other sites

Hopefully all this is useful for new webmasters - or even us oldens ones trying to keep up!

Miamacs




msg:3408145
 11:36 pm on Jul 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

...

TrustRank - {trust, neither is used officially} patent/trademark. A method of passing down status of trust with links, from designated reputable / "trusted" websites: which are least likely to show/link to spam or other unwanted material. Its side effects include the so called "sandbox", which is tied to "link age", and keeps pages from being able to suddenly leap on top for competitive phrases ( at least without a massive amount of links from reputable sites ). The TrustRank patent was filed by Zoltan Gyongyi ( Stanford ), Hector Garcia-Molina ( Stanford ) Jan Pedersen ( YAHOO! Inc ) in 2004. Trademark for TrustRank was filed by Google. There's no comment on it from official sources, it has been in practice for years on both search engines.

Trust / TrustRank threshold - Minimum required trust ( see: TrustRank ) needed for a page to appear in the SERPs for competitive queries. Sometimes set so high that only a few hundred of the most reputable sites show. Websites that don't have the minimum required trust, don't appear in the Index for 1/2/3 word queries, only obscure searches. The threshold varies by keyword, word order, number of words, region and is sometimes adjusted. With the combination of Link age, the method prevents spamming by volume.

Link age - Parameter, keeping account of active inter-domain anchor text links' dates of first calculation. The algorithm holds back the full value of links even if they're from trusted sources, and adds them gradually in terms of months. This practice is to see if the links would be edited out by that time ( spam that was found ). This ( and other effects of TrustRank ) are the cause of the "sandbox" effect.

Quality link - A link considered legitimate and valuable by all means and parties ( inc. Google ). Ideally an editorial link ( from a reputable, popular source ) with relevant anchor text, that thus has good effects on the ranking of the target page. In terms of parameters, it is highly relevant to its target, has medium/high PageRank, and high trust.

...

...or why not use maths for this.

Quality link = {relevant source}*{relevant anchor text}*{source TrustRank}*{source PageRank}*{age}

...

ok, that wasn't math at all.
Whatever. Wow, this is fun.

[edited by: Miamacs at 11:40 pm (utc) on July 29, 2007]

tedster




msg:3408252
 4:24 am on Jul 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

OPERATOR - Query words that have special meaning to Google. Typically these operators modify the search in some way, or even tell Google to do a totally different type of search. It is essential to use the exact syntax for any special operator, or else your results will not be what you intended.

These operators are all followed by a colon [:] -- and then by your search terms, with NO space in between. For example, cache:example.com will show the cached page for the url http://example.com -- but cache: example.com will simply do a regular search on the two character strings "cache:" and "example.com"

Two very useful operators for understanding how Google sees your site:

site: operator When you search on site:example.com Google will restrict the results to those pages within example.com. Note that results for site:www.example.com may well be different. Also very useful for analyzing larger websites, site:example.com/directory/ will restrict results to both that domain and directory.

inurl: operator Google restricts the results to documents containing the following character string anywhere in the url. Some people use the words "URL" and "domain name" interchangeably - this is inaccurate. The URL includes the complete path, not just the domain name. So inurl:example.com may well include sites on domains other than example.com, such as http://example.org?id=example.com.

Note that the link: operator on Google does not work the way it does on other search engines. It returns only a sample of the backlinks that Google knows about. The sample is switched out more frequently than the toolbar PageRank is updated, but its incompleteness makes its usefulness quite limited.

List of all operators that Google supports [google.com]
Longer list of operators [googleguide.com] (includs operators that work, but Google does not promise to support)

StickyNote




msg:3408330
 7:52 am on Jul 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

What we have so far in alphabetical order:

Moderators, please edit for clarity and accuracy. Members, please fill in omissions.

< Moderator Note: In addition, feel free to ASK for the definition of any term whose meaning is not clear to you. >

ABOVE THE FOLD The visible part of a web page, as it first appears. Advertising term that originated with newspapers; atf is the place to be!

ADAM LASNIK Google Search Team member whose focus is on broadening communications between Google and Webmasters.

ADSENSE Google's ad publishing program; context-specific ads.

ADVANCED SEARCH An option to search within a search, or otherwise narrow the results to improve search quality, eg using Boolean terms, restricting dates or languages.

ADWORDS Google's PPC program.

AFFILIATE PROGRAM A system of commission on sales of products or services generated by affiliated websites.

AGENT A browser, crawler, robot or spider, that interprets the content on a web server and presents it as a page.

ALGORITHM Programming protocols that determine how a search engine indexes content and displays search results.

allintitle: SEE OPERATORS

allinurl: SEE OPERATORS

ALT (IMAGE ATTRIBUTE) Text to be used instead of image for visually impaired, browsers that cannot display images (pretty rare), and can give the search engines an idea of what the image is about.

ANCHOR TEXT The text part of a link.

APPLET A small program written in Java and included in a HTML page. It is independent of the operating system, and can be used (for example) to display scrolling text, or animations.

ASCII American Standard Code for Information Interchange; a seven bit code used for representing text, graphics, and keyboard control characters for computer use. For file transfer purposes, an ASCII file is a text file which should be readable on any type of computer. Usually pronounced 'ask-ee'.

ASP Active Server Pages. A Microsoft web publishing system that enables Web pages to be dynamically created using HTML, scripts, and ActiveX server components.

ATTRIBUTE The properties of a page element.

AUTHORITY, AUTHORITY SITE Debated topic, but generally a site that search engines view as an authority on given subjects. Among other considerations, determining factors could be incoming links, relevant content.
SEE [webmasterworld.com...]

(2nd description: loosely, a web site is regarded as having authority, if it contains a lot of valuable unique content, about a particular subject, and those qualities are reflected in its IBLs. Specifically, Google is thought to recognize certain 'authority' sites, determined by its algorithm, against which other same-topic sites are assessed.)

AUTOMATED SUBMISSION The use of software to submit a site to many search engines and / or directories. With search engines, a futile and pointless activity, with directories, a source of spam; totally ineffective in any human-edited Quality Directory, and usually in breech of search engine TOS

BACK LINK, SEE INBOUND LINK

BOT (See spider)

BRETT / BRETT TABKE - CEO WebmasterWorld Inc., WebmasterWorld Administrator. Usually referred to as Brett.

CACHE In SEO, usually refers to the snapshot that the search engine stores and serves when it SPIDERS a webpage.

CANONICAL PROBLEM This is the phrase Google uses to describe a search engine's challenge in identifying the actual url intended for the home page of a website - SEE WWW

CLOAKING Generally used with a negative connotation, refers to the attempt to deliver different content to search engines than is delivered to the general public. This type of cloaking is a very effective way to have your site banned by search engines.

CONVERSION / CONVERSION RATE - defines how many of your anonymous users are converted into money or saw a specific page (brand building). Basic definitions are:

********

"Click" - the user clicked on a specific link (and created a unique impression on a page of your ad partners or on your site

"Lead" - a user left his contact information

"Sale" - a user bought something

All (commercial) SEO should lead to conversion. It is the goal of the process - without conversion, all traffic is in vein.

********

DATA CENTERS In SEO, and very simply put, the phrase 'data centers' usually refers to the different IP addresses that Google uses. Historically, groups of these IP addresses sometimes corresponded to different physical data centers.

DC SEE DATA CENTERS

DEDICATED SERVER / VIRTUAL DEDICATED SERVER Server that is only used by one client (webmaster). Client is usually allowed to run any operating system, a unique ip address, and usually has control over the server resources. On VIRTUAL DEDICATED SERVERS there is more than one client on the server, but the server is partitioned, and each client has allocated space and computing resources. SEE SHARED SERVER

DMCA (D)igital (M)illennium (C)opyright (A)ct As applies to SEO, usually referring to a provision in which a you can appeal to Google to have webpages removed from Google's index if the content on the webpages belongs to you. (Google has specific instructions/guidelines posted online.)

DUPLICATE CONTENT Content on two or more webpages that is similar enough to be considered redundant to search engines. Generally agreed to have a negative SEO impact on webpages if not websites.

EXTERNAL LINK a hyperlink in a webpage that points to another webpage NOT on the same website.

GOOGLEBOT (See spider)

HIJACKING occasionally accidental, but usually a malicious effort to 'steal' pages from another site, and make it appear that the pages are coming from the hijacker's site. This can mean that the hijacking domain takes over another domain's listing in the search results.

HILLTOP an aspect of the Google algorithm to rank specific documents based on the idea of counting links in a democratic process under the consideration of "AUTHORITIES". Strength and the specific role this part of the algorithm plays is not 100% clear, but the effects are visible.

HTACCESS Actually, '.htaccess'. A file on your server that gives the server instructions regarding if, and how to serve your webpages. SEE STATUS CODES

IFRAME An element used in a HTML document that allows another HTML document to be embedded within the original.

IMAGE LINK A hyperlink that uses a clickable image, as opposed to a clickable text hyperlink.

INBOUND LINK incoming hyperlink to a webpage. SEE OUTBOUND LINK.

INDEXED being added to a search engines list of websites.

INDEX PAGE Default webpage served on your website when someone types in your domain name. (A search request for (www.example.com) will take the searcher to your index page.)

INTERNAL LINK a hyperlink in a webpage that points to another webpage on the same website.

inurl: SEE OPERATOR

KEYWORD/KEYPHRASE The word or phrase a searcher uses when querying a search engine. Much study in SEO is dedicated to determining how to make webpages appear first in search engine results when a searcher performs a specific keyword or keyphrase search.

KEYWORD/KEYPHRASE DENSITY the amount of times a word or phrase is referred to in a document, compared to the total words in the document.

KEYWORD/KEYPHRASE STUFFING repeating a word or phrase in a document to the extent that search engines assume you are spamming.

LINK AGE Parameter, keeping account of active inter-domain anchor text link's dates of first calculation. The algorithm holds back the full value of links even if they're from trusted sources, and adds them gradually in terms of months. This practice is to see if the links would be edited out by that time ( spam that was found ). This ( and other effects of TrustRank ) are the cause of the "sandbox" effect.

LINK FARM Group of webpages linked to each other in an attempt to boost position in search results. Individual pages are usually of little quality the end user, and are sometimes computer generated.

LINK SPAM Links placed in forums, blogs etc. designed to boost rankings of the linked to page.

LONG TAIL In SEO, used to describe the substantial group of search queries, using longer, less competitive keyphrases.

MATT / MATT CUTTS Often quoted head of Google's webspam team.

MC SEE MATT CUTTS

META TAGS Tags, usually found in the header of a HTML document. Examples of meta tags are 'description', 'keywords' and 'robots'. The first two examples describe qualities of the document, the latter describes how ROBOTS should handle the document.

MFA (M)ade (F)or (A)dsense A site specifically made to show Adsense adverts rather than actually give the user any required information. SEE ADSENSE

NOARCHIVE When used in a ROBOTS META TAG, instructions to search engines to NOT show an older stored version, or 'cached' version, of a webpage.

NOFOLLOW When used as an attribute of a hyperlink, instruction to search engine SPIDERS that the link is not a 'trusted' link and should not be passed PAGE RANK. When used in a ROBOTS META TAG, instructions to search engines to not follow links on page.

NOINDEX When used in a ROBOTS META TAG, instructions to not put the contents of the page in search engines public index.

OPERATOR Query words that have special meaning to Google. Typically these operators modify the search in some way, or even tell Google to do a totally different type of search. It is essential to use the exact syntax for any special operator, or else your results will not be what you intended.

These operators are all followed by a colon [:] -- and then by your search terms, with NO space in between. For example, cache:example.com will show the cached page for the url http://example.com -- but cache: example.com will simply do a regular search on the two character strings "cache:" and "example.com"

********

Two very useful operators for understanding how Google sees your site:

site: operator When you search on site:example.com Google will restrict the results to those pages within example.com. Note that results for site:www.example.com may well be different. Also very useful for analyzing larger websites, site:example.com/directory/ will restrict results to both that domain and directory.

inurl: operator Google restricts the results to documents containing the following character string anywhere in the url. Some people use the words "URL" and "domain name" interchangeably - this is inaccurate. The URL includes the complete path, not just the domain name. So inurl:example.com may well include sites on domains other than example.com, such as http://example.org?id=example.com.

Note that the link: operator on Google does not work the way it does on other search engines. It returns only a sample of the backlinks that Google knows about. The sample is switched out more frequently than the toolbar PageRank is updated, but its incompleteness makes its usefulness quite limited.

List of all operators that Google supports [google.com]
Longer list of operators [googleguide.com] (includes operators that work, but Google does not promise to support)

More operators:

allintitle: If you start a query with [allintitle:], Google will restrict the results to those with all of the query words in the title. For instance, [allintitle: google search] will return only documents that have both "google" and "search" in the title.

allinurl: If you start a query with [allinurl:], Google will restrict the results to those with all of the query words in the url. For instance, [allinurl: google search] will return only documents that have both "google" and "search" in the url.

********

ORGANIC RESULTS Search engine query results that are presented for their relevance, popularity, etc., unlike paid results, which are, well, paid results.

OUTBOUND LINK outgoing hyperlink to a webpage. SEE INBOUND LINK

PAGE RANK Calculation used by Google as one of the factors in search results. Calculation is based on the number of incoming links, or 'votes', to any given webpage.

PR SEE PAGERANK

QUALITY LINK A link considered legitimate and valuable by all means and parties ( inc. Google ). Ideally an editorial link ( from a reputable, popular source ) with relevant anchor text, that thus has good effects on the ranking of the target page. In terms of parameters, it is highly relevant to its target, has medium/high PageRank, and high trust.

RECIPROCAL LINKS You link to me, I like to you. Variations include A links to B, B links to C, C links to A.

ROBOT (See spider)

ROBOTS.TXT A text (.txt) file used to exclude web robots/spiders from visiting pre-defined folders or files in a web server. The file has to be named robots.txt and has to be placed in the root level of a web site.

Additional information:
The Web Robots Pages [robotstxt.org]
Robots Exclusion Standard [en.wikipedia.org]
WebmasterWorld Robots.txt forum [webmasterworld.com]

RSS FEEDS (R)eally (S)imple (S)yndication Web feeds are used on websites that have information that is frequently updated, such as news agencies or blogs. The content is in XML format. The content is automatically updated and put into a more human-readable format by a RSS reader.

SANDBOX Term used to describe a specific Google phenomenon in which new websites do not rank very well for a varied period of time.

SCRAPER / SCRAPER SITE A site consisting of content "scrapped" from other sites

SEO (S)earch (E)ngine (O)ptimization. The art of increasing volume and improving the quality of traffic from search engines. Usually this refers to organic search results, as opposed to paid placement in search results.

SERP (S)earch (E)ngine (R)esults (P)age The results of a query to a search engine. Most often refering to only the ORGANIC RESULTS.

SHARED SERVER With a shared server, each client shares disc space, IP addresses and computing resources with other clients on the same server.

site: SEE OPERATOR

SITEMAP / GOOGLE SITEMAP Part of Google's Webmaster Tools. A sitemap enables you to tell Google the relative importance of pages on your site, and how often they change content.

SPIDER Automated programs, or scripts that search the world wide web for a number of reasons. Examples of 'good' spiders are googlebot, MSNbot and Yahoo Slurp, which search the web for pages to place in their respective search results. 'Bad' spiders are those that search for vulnerabilities in server configurations, web content to steal, etc.

STATUS CODES (HTTP) Following a HTTP request to a server, the server responds with a three digit code to denote the outcome of the request. If your website runs Apache server, you can use an .HTACCESS file to set the response code and action for any given webpage. Below are some of the more common response codes. w3.org has complete list. SEE HTACCESS

********

200 'OK' This response is the most common and is sent back with the requested items. Most common requested items can be 'HEAD', which is a request from the client for only the headers of a file, 'GET' which is a request for entire file, or "POST" which is in response of a form being posted to server.

301 'MOVED PERMANENTLY' This is a response from server that the requested file has been permanently assigned a new URI. (This is the code you usually want when attempting to redirect search engines to new URI.)

302 'FOUND' This is a response from server that the requested file has been temporarily assigned a new URI. (This is the code you usually DO NOT want when attempting to permanently redirect search engines to new URI.)

304 'NOT MODIFIED' Resource has not been modified since last accessed or cache.

403 'FORBIDDEN' Server refuses to send request.

404 'NOT FOUND'

500 'INTERNAL SERVER ERROR' Server encountered a problem and could not comply with request. (You might see this one when testing scripts.)

503 'SERVICE UNAVAILABLE' Usually means server is overloaded and cannot perform requested action.

********

SUBDOMAIN foo.example.com is a subdomain of examplee.com. Note that, technically speaking, www.example.com is also a subdomain of example.com

SUPPLEMENTAL RESULTS In SEO refers to individual pages in Google's index that are treated differently than pages in the 'main' or primary Google index. These pages are spidered less often, and usually show up in search results after all non-supplemental results, or not at all.

TEXT LINK A hyperlink that uses clickable text <link>Go to page two</link> as opposed to a clickable image hyperlink.

TOS (T)erms (O)f (S)ervice: "Spamming is against Google's TOS."

TRUSTRANK {trust, neither is used officially} patent/trademark. A method of passing down status of trust with links, from designated reputable / "trusted" websites: which are least likely to show/link to spam or other unwanted material. Its side effects include the so called "sandbox", which is tied to "link age", and keeps pages from being able to suddenly leap on top for competitive phrases ( at least without a massive amount of links from reputable sites ). The TrustRank patent was filed by Zoltan Gyongyi ( Stanford ), Hector Garcia-Molina ( Stanford ) Jan Pedersen ( YAHOO! Inc ) in 2004. Trademark for TrustRank was filed by Google. There's no comment on it from official sources, it has been in practice for years on both search engines.

TRUST / TRUSTRANK THRESHOLD Minimum required trust ( see: TrustRank ) needed for a page to appear in the SERPs for competitive queries. Sometimes set so high that only a few hundred of the most reputable sites show. Websites that don't have the minimum required trust, don't appear in the Index for 1/2/3 word queries, only obscure searches. The threshold varies by keyword, word order, number of words, region and is sometimes adjusted. With the combination of Link age, the method prevents spamming by volume.

UNIQUES / UNIQUE VISITS (UV). The amount of unique visitors on a site.

URI (U)niversal (R)esource (I)dentifier is what most people mean to say when they say URL. URI is the identifier that combines 1) method to access an internet resource (http://) and 2)specific identifier for the resource (mysite.com). (Always use URI when you are unsure of which to use, you will be right most of the time, and avoid unnecessary flaming.)

URL (U)niversal (R)esource (L)ocator refers to common protocols that are a subset of the URI protocols, namely [,...] ftp://, and mailto: term is considered deprecated SEE URI.

UV SEE UNIQUE VISITS

WEBMASTER Debatable title given to those who produce Web Sites ;-)

WEBMASTER TOOLS Services provided by Google that, according to Google, can "make your site more Google-friendly". Services include search analysis and SITEMAP. SEE SITEMAP

WWW The prefix on your domain name; www.example.com. Of interest to SEOers because even if www.example.com and example.com resolve to the same content, they are still two different URLs. This can lead to DUPLICATE CONTENT problems. Making sure your server performs a 301 permanent redirect from non-www to www, or vice versa, usually solves the problem. SEE DUPLICATE CONTENT, STATUS CODES

roblaw




msg:3409548
 2:28 pm on Jul 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

monetize: Generally used as a description of how you will earn money from a web page or web site.

blend27




msg:3409600
 3:16 pm on Jul 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

STATUS CODES

410 - 'GONE' - purposely set response by the server to indicate that page/site is realy nomore

SEOold




msg:3409635
 3:52 pm on Jul 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

'Thin' Document - The URL of a disallowed page may be included in Yahoo! Search as a "thin" document with no text content. Links and reference text from other public web pages may provide identifiable information about a URL and may be indexed as part of web search coverage.

System
redhat



msg:3409650
 4:03 pm on Jul 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

The following message was cut out to new thread by engine. New thread at: google/3409648.htm [webmasterworld.com]
5:05 pm on July 31, 2007 (utc +1)

martinibuster




msg:3409655
 4:07 pm on Jul 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Interesting that this thread is in the Google Search Forum. Are we discussing Search Engine Optimization Terms, or Google Optimization Terms?

Google Mindshare: The influence on user perceptions which causes them to confuse Google with the Internet. Symptoms include blindness towards other search engines, and using the word Search Engines when actually meaning just Google. Also see Drinking Kool Aid.

Samizdata




msg:3409683
 4:35 pm on Jul 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wikipedia - top result on Google no matter how authoritative your site is.

httpwebwitch




msg:3409692
 4:44 pm on Jul 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

AJAX
Asynchronous Javascript And XML. Technique whereby a client-side script can make a request from a server without reloading the page. Often combined with DHTML and DOM manipulation for slick interaction.

Document
A complete XML structure with one root node. a Document has a prolog which may reference a DTD and/or Schema. Contrast with an XML Fragment. A Document may (and should) be well-formed and valid.

DOM
Document Object Model. an object representation of an XML document.

DTD
Document Type Definition. Defines the elements and attributes that may be used in an XML document for it to Validate

Fragment, XML Fragment
a piece of XML that doesn't have a DTD or schema declaration. It's just a chunk of XML isolated from any namespace or context. must be well-formed, but won't be valid.

JSON
Javascript Object Notation. Syntax for serializing Javascript objects, often used as a data carrier format.

Namespace
A feature of XML for using multiple dialects or vocabularies in a single XML document. a Namespace is a reference to such a vocabulary, which is declared at the top of the XML document and defined using a DTD or Schema.

Node
An occurrence of an element in a tree structure.

Schema
XML-based language that defines the structure, content and semantics of XML documents. like DTD, used to validate an XML document.

Valid
Term that describes XML that conforms to a DTD or Schema.

"tag", HTML Tag
more precisely called an "element" or "HTML Element". Too easily confused with Keyword Tagging, the practice of associating a word with a data object, so it's better to call "<this>" an Element to avoid confusion.

Well-formed
Term used to describe an XML document that meets the basic syntax of XML.

XHTML
An HTML document that is also a well formed XML document.

XSLT
A language for transforming XML documents into other formats.

httpwebwitch




msg:3409746
 5:47 pm on Jul 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Crowdsourcing
variant of "outsourcing". Getting the general public to do stuff... like writing content, solving problems, adding data, usually by participation in online activity.

sock puppet
a fake identity used on a forum/blog/2.0app to make comments or additions anonymously, where anonymity hides someone's vested interest or non-impartiality in the discussion. often used for shilling, flaming, or spamming.

Shill
a professional commenter/reviewer who enters a conversation as a pseudo-anonymous participant, whose goal is to direct and manipulate public perception of a product or service. e.g. someone who writes glowing reviews on a public forum, while being on the payroll of those who sell the product.

Blogspammer
a program that finds blogs and posts comments to them in an automated fashion. alt: A person who uses such techniques.

Linkrot
the deterioration of links because the target destination moves or ceases to exist.

Munging
obfuscating an email address by rendering it like "my__removethis__name@exa__removethis__mple.com" so it can't be used by an automated email address harvester.

Bandwidth Hugger
cute nickname for someone who fights SPAM

Page-Jacking
Practice in which an innocent third party's web page is scraped, copied to the page-jacker's web site almost verbatim, but modified so that it links or redirects to the page-jacker's other web sites.

Click Fraud
paid-for clicks (via PPC) that weren't clicked honestly... and the fraudulent billing that results from inflated click numbers.

Splog
Portmanteau of Spam and Blog. a blog created only to contains spam and/or paid links

cnvi




msg:3409762
 6:02 pm on Jul 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

LINK FARM Group of webpages linked to each other in an attempt to boost position in search results. Individual pages are usually of little quality the end user, and are sometimes computer generated.

This is a good start but I would like to suggest this revision:

LINK FARM Group of webpages that lists exit links in high volume and with low relevancy in an attempt to boost position in search results. Individual pages are usually of little quality the end user, and are sometimes computer generated (full duplex link exchange).

I would also like to suggest you add:

FULL DUPLEX LINKING - Software or services that guarantee links usually in high volume without editorial discretion.

RELEVANT LINK EXCHANGE - The practice of linking to relevant sites in low volume while maintaining editorial discretion on making links.

buckworks




msg:3409810
 6:49 pm on Jul 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

LINK JUICE = favorable inbound links that will help to boost a page's rankings in the SERPs. Derivation may be the slang term "juice" meaning electricity / power, or possibly the juices that flow within a plant and nourish its growth.

Favorable aspects can include Page Rank being passed, supportive anchor text, a one-way link, a relevant link source, a trusted link source, a link that sends real targeted visitors

whoisgregg




msg:3409818
 6:52 pm on Jul 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Perhaps the existing WebmasterWorld glossary [webmasterworld.com] and this page could be merged?

StickyNote




msg:3409864
 7:48 pm on Jul 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Interesting that this thread is in the Google Search Forum. Are we discussing Search Engine Optimization Terms, or Google Optimization Terms?

The thread was started as a list of SEO terms with a heavy bias for Google SEO. The thread was a result of my suggestion to a moderator that we have a more complete glossary. His reply was, 'Yes, great, why don't you start one?'.

Google search, being the most read forum, seemed the best place to get member additions.

Also, an example of:

BOTTOM UP ENGINEERING: Starting a project from the wrong end. Opposite of TOP DOWN ENGINEERING. ;)

lexipixel




msg:3409940
 9:08 pm on Jul 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Search Engine - algorithmic computer program used for searching for internet content by keyword(s) or phrase(s).

Index - a hierarchal computer program designed to sort internet content by category, (sometimes called a directory)

lexipixel




msg:3409943
 9:16 pm on Jul 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Context - relevance of one element of a web page's content in regards to surrounding elements. (e.g.- the word "Austin" used in the phase "Austin Hotels" in context suggests "lodging in a city in Texas", while used in the phrase "Who was Steve Austin?" may refer to the role played by Lee Majors in the t.v. show "The Six Million Dollar Man".

theBear




msg:3410098
 2:45 am on Aug 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

StickyNote,

I'm a firm believer in bottom up have you ever tried to build a house from the roof down ;-)?

IanKelley




msg:3410135
 4:24 am on Aug 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

BOT (See spider)

ROBOT (See spider)

SPIDER Automated programs, or scripts that search the world wide web for a number of reasons. Examples of 'good' spiders are googlebot, MSNbot and Yahoo Slurp, which search the web for pages to place in their respective search results. 'Bad' spiders are those that search for vulnerabilities in server configurations, web content to steal, etc.

For purposes of accuracy BOT and ROBOT refer to an automated process, of which there are a great many that pertain to SEO.

Whereas SPIDER (aka crawler) refers to very specific automated processes that visit (and sometimes copy) web pages based on a stored list of links, often generated by the spider itself while crawling.

Square/rectangle sort of thing :-)

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