|SEO MASTERS INDIA - Professional Search Engine Optimization Services
|Search Engine Optimization Glossary Terms
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of developing, customizing and retooling a website so that it achieves a continual high ranking on Top Search Engines like Google, MSN, Yahoo, etc. If you are looking for good definition of search engine optimization terms you will get it here.
This SEO glossary will help you to navigate the search engine optimization terms in better ways.
| Adwords |
A system to advertise on Google &
partner sites on a CPC (cost per click)
"User-Agent". This is the name of a spider or
browser as defined by the owner.
mathematical formula used by a search engine to
rank the web pages that it finds by crawling the
Used to display a
short text description of an image when you
hover your mouse over it. The ALT description is
also displayed in place of the image if the user
is browsing with image display turned
Image ALT tags are useful to your
page's visitors. Equally as important, they can
help with your search engine rankings by
increasing the keyword density (if you use your
keywords in your ALT tags).
<img src="qualispace_logo.jpg" width="156"
height="175" ALT="web hosting
One of the first
large scale search engines.
Apache Web Server
The web server
software that is most used on the internet
Links from another
web page to your web page. Most search engines
provide an easy way to get a list of all of the
backward links to a specific page. Also referred
to as Incoming Links.
A web page that
has been penalized by a search engine (most
notably Google) for using shady SEO tactics,
such as hidden text or link farms.
"Doorway Page", this is a specifically designed
entry point for a website.
A link that no
longer takes the user to the destination page
when it is clicked on. This is usually the
result of the destination page having been
renamed or deleted from the server. Also
referred to as a Dead Link.
The action of
clicking on a link to visit a web page.
The number of
times a link is clicked on divided by the number
of times that same link is displayed (called an
Portability Architecture: DEC's plan for
portable applications software. Example: A link
is displayed 100 times (100 impressions) and
clicked on 5 times. The CTR is 5% (5/100=.05).
version of a page to a human visitor and a
different version of the same page to the search
engines. This is usually done to "fool" the
search engines into giving the page a higher
rank than it would normally receive while making
sure the human visitor sees a useful and
attractive page. Note: Cloaking is discouraged
by most major search engines, including
Used in a web
page's HTML source code to indicate certain
information about a section of the page code.
Some search engines will consider keywords
contained in comment tags for keyword density
purposes, others (including Google) will not.
Example: <!--This is a comment-->
Contents The information
located on a web page. This includes text,
images, and any other types of information that
a webmaster places on the page.
A script that
counts the number of hits, unique visitors,
and/or page views that a web page (or an entire
site) receives. These "stats" provide very
useful information for the webmaster.
Cost per Action.
Where you pay for a specified action such as a
Cost per Click.
With this you are charged for every click your
link on someone's website
Cost per Lead.
Where you pay for a lead i.e. is someone does
Cost per Thousand.
Where you pay for each 1000 impressions.
A program used by
search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN etc) to
"crawl" the websites by following links from
page to page. This is how most search engines
"find" the web pages that they place in their
index. Also referred to as a spider or robot.
Crawling The Web
Search engines use
crawlers to move from web page to web page by
following the links on the pages. The pages
"found" are then ranked using an algorithm and
indexed into the search engine database.
This is where the
owner of two or more websites interlink the
sites in order to boost their search engine
rankings. If detected, cross linking often
results in a search engine penalty.
Sheets. Used to manipulate and easily manage the
design of a website.
Rate. The ratio of impressions shown to the
number of clicks.
A link that
produces a 404 error, page not found.
Linking to a page
that is one or more levels removed from the home
directory. Deep linking is often desirable to
build PageRank to a specific page on a website.
A short sentence
or paragraph that describes a web page's
content, usually used as part of a link to
describe the page being linked to. See also link
A categorized list
of websites that is maintained by human editors
instead of crawlers. Yahoo.com is the most
widely recognized directory on the web, but
there are literally thousands of others.
Every time a new
domain name is registered (or an existing one is
transferred to a new DNS), the information about
the domain and the DNS that hosts it must make
its way around the entire internet. This process
usually takes around 24 hours, during which time
the domain will be inaccessible to users.
"address, or URL" of a website. When a user
types a URL into a web browser, a dedicated
computer somewhere on the web known as a Domain
Name Server, or DNS translates the URL into a
discrete IP address which is then used to find
the actual website being requested. In the URL
http://www.qualispace.com; qualispace.com is the
Domain Name Servers (DNS)
These are special
computers that translate human-friendly URLs
into computer-friendly IP addresses. This
process takes place every time a user requests a
page from a website.
A page that is
usually optimized for a particular search engine
and search term. Multiple doorway pages are
often used to help ensure that the same basic
content is ranked well on several different
search engines. The use of doorway pages for
this purpose is frowned upon by most larger
search engines, including Google.
Two or more
separate web pages that contain substantially
the same content are said to contain duplicate
Dynamic Content (dynamic
Web pages that are
often generated from database information based
upon queries initiated by users. Dynamic pages
often include the ? character in the URL. The
URLs of dynamic pages often use these
extensions: .asp, .cgm, or .cgi. Most search
engines don't index dynamic content very well
(or at all). Google has recently been doing a
better job at indexing them
Dynamic IP Address
An IP address that
changes every time a computer logs on to the
internet. See also Static IP Address.
A page that
generates content "on-the-fly" as a user
requests the page.
A server log file
which records errors encountered.
FFA Free For
This is a links
page with nothing but links added by visitors.
A filter is a
software routine that examines web pages during
a robot's crawl looking for search engine spam.
If the filter detects the use of spam on the
page, a ranking penalty is assessed.
This is the name
for the Google crawlers that are known to add
pages to the Google index more promptly than
The crawler that
Google uses on a daily basis to find and index
new web pages.
This denotes the
continuous changes in the Google search results
toolbar for Internet Explorer that allows a user
to do a Google search without visiting the
Google website. The toolbar also displays the
Google PageRank (PR) of the page currently
displayed in the browser. The latest version
also includes a very good popup-blocker. The
Google Toolbar is a must have for every serious
search engine optimizer.
The Google Toolbar
can be downloaded here:
The leading search
engine on the internet today with approximately
80% of all search traffic. When people speak of
search engine optimization (SEO), they're often
referring specifically to Google.
The name of the
web crawler for Northern Light.
HTML tags that
help outline a web page or draw attention to
important information. Keywords located inside
header tags can provide a rankings boost in the
<h1>This is an H1
<h2>This is an H2
The term hits is
commonly misused. Many people think of a hit as
a visit to one of their web pages. This is
incorrect. A hit takes place every time a file
is accessed on your website.
let's say your friend's home page has a logo gif
and 12 pictures on it. Every time a visitor
loads that page, 14 hits are recorded: 1 for the
logo gif, 12 for the pictures, and one for the
page itself. So don't be all that impressed if
he boasts that his site receives 1000 hits a
day. In our example, those 1000 hits could have
been generated by as few as 72 visitors to the
The only meaningful way to evaluate the
traffic flow of a site is to consider the
average daily or monthly number of unique
visitors and page views a site receives..
The main directory
where your site's main index page is located.
The index page in your home directory can be
accessed like this: http://www.qualispace.com
A link from one
page to another.
hyperlinks on different areas of the same image.
Clicking on different parts of the image will
take the user to different web pages. Not very
search engine friendly.
A link from another
website to your website. This is an incoming
links to your site established on the other
websites where you do not need to link back to
them. These types of links are bringing good
traffic and helps to produce a measure of the
The list of web
pages stored and ranked by a search engine. Also
known as a database.
After a search
engine has crawled the web, it ranks the URLs
found using various criteria (see algorithm) and
places them in the database, or index.
A database of
search results used to power multiple search
A unique numerical
Internet Protocol Address (IP Address) that is
assigned to every computer that connects to the
internet. IP addresses can be either static
(never unchanging) or dynamic (changes with
every internet connection).
IP address is what enables it to be "found" on
the internet in order to receive email, web
Returning an IP
address that is different from the one that is
actually assigned to the destination website.
This is often done with redirects. A huge no-no
(it's even a criminal offense when done under
language which enables web designers to add
dynamic, interactive elements to a web
A word or phrase
typed into a search engine in order to find web
pages that contain that word or phrase. A web
page can (and should be) optimized for specific
keywords/phrases that are relevant to the
content on that page.
density of a given keyword or phrase.
Stuffing a page
with numerous keywords for the sole purpose of
confusing search engines.
Keywords Meta Tag
An HTML meta tag
that lists all of the main keywords and key
phrases that are contained on that web page.
Some search engines use the keyword meta tag to
help rank web pages in their databases. Google
name="keywords" content="web hosting company,
part of the link structure. Using keywords in
the link anchor text of your inbound links will
help your search engine rankings for those
href="http://www.yoursite.com">This is the
link anchor text for this link</a>
Placing a link to
another website on your own site in exchange for
a return link back. Also known as reciprocal
A web page created
solely for search engine ranking purposes that
consists almost entirely of a long list of
unrelated links. These types of pages are
penalized by almost all search engines,
A measure of how
"popular" a web page is on the internet as
measured by the number of inbound links pointing
to your web page. Link popularity is one of the
main factors used to help determine search
Placing a link to
another web page (usually on another web site)
on one of your own web pages.
URLs placed within
a web page so that when they're clicked on the
browser is served with a different web page,
often on a completely different web site.
Files that are
constantly and automatically created and updated
on your web server that provide very specific
details about the activities taking place on
your web site.
A website that
takes your search query and passes it on to
several different search engines and
directories, then summarizes the results in a
logical manner for you to review.
A tag used for
behind the scenes purposes, such as providing
content to non human visitors.
separate websites on different domains. They are
commonly used legitimately by large websites to
share heavy server loads, and by search engine
spammers to generate more search engine
referrals and revenue.
In general, the
search engines frown upon mirror sites and do
not hesitate to assess duplicate content
penalties when they feel they are
A large directory
of websites run by volunteers. Their database is
used by many website across the internet.
Fine tuning a
website or webpage with the ultimate goal being
to ascertain a higher position in all or a
specific search engine's results.
Links from your
website's page to another website's page.
Each time a web
page on a site is accessed by a visitor, it
counts as one page view. It doesn't matter if
the same user viewed the same page 5 minutes
ago, it still represents another page
Page Rank (PR)
numerical score that is assigned by Google to
every web page in their index. PR for each page
is calculated by Google using a special
mathematical algorithm, based on the number and
quality (as determined by Google) of the inbound
links to the page. Google assigning page rank
from 1 to 10 for various websites. For example
www.qualispace.com has page rank 5 out of 10
(5/10). You can check your page rank on Google
toolbar or http://www.pagerank.net/
Page Rank (PR) For Money
Selling or buying
a link from a web page with a high Google
PageRank for the stated purpose of increasing
the other page's PR. This is highly frowned upon
by Google and will result in a penalty for both
pages if Google finds out about it.
means that, in exchange for a fee, a search
engine will guarantee to list Web pages from a
Web site. Paid Inclusion services are basically
a way to guarantee your Web site is kept in a
search engines database and regularly indexed.
Some directories will only consider placing your
URL into their database if you pay them a fee.
Many search engines also have a paid inclusion
program. You don't have to pay to be included in
search engines however. If you have a few
quality inbound links to your site, the search
engines will find and index your site on their
The advantage of utilizing
their paid inclusion services is they'll usually
crawl and index your site within 48 hours or
less instead of the weeks or even months and it
ensures your Web site title and description is
regularly updated in the search engine.
PHP - Hypertext
PHP is another
scripting language. Like ASP, it's commands are
embedded within the HTML of a web page. The
commands are executed on the web server, making
it browser independent. The web browser only
sees the resulting HTML output of the PHP code.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Search
This is a traffic
generating method where a search engine or
directory places your link in their searchable
database and charges you a fee every time your
URL comes up in a search and it gets clicked on.
The amount of the fee that you pay is usually
determined by bidding on keywords or key
The two largest
PPC search engines are Overture and Google
AdWords. There are also numerous smaller PPC
engines on the net, some very good a delivering
affordable targeted traffic, others not.
levied against a web page by a search engine as
a result of using an SEO tactic that it doesn't
approve of. Tactics that most often result in
penalties include using hidden text, sneaky
redirects, and linking to a bad neighborhood.
A penalty usually
results in a web page being credited for a lower
Google PageRank (PR) than it has actually
"earned". Penalties also result in a page being
"buried" deep within the SERPS where it will
almost never be found again by searchers.
Pay For Inclusion.
This is where a site must pay to be listed at
A pop-up that
loads under a page so that it is only viewable
when the current page is closed.
The opening of a
new window above the previous window.
The keyword, key
phrase, or list of words that you type into a
search engine to find web pages on a topic that
you're interested in.
The order in which
individual web pages are returned in the SERPS
for a given search query. Search engines rank
the web pages based upon relevancy to your
search terms according to their proprietary
A sheet with
Links to another
website placed on your site in exchange for
links back to your site from theirs. This is a
proven way to build link popularity which is
instrumental in getting high search engine
A tactic sometimes
used to send a user to a different page that the
one she found in the SERPS. For example, a
webmaster optimizes a web page for a very
popular keyword. When a user finds the page by
searching on that keyword, she is subsequently
redirected to a different, possibly non-relevant
page that the webmaster stands ready to make
This is considered to be an
invalid use of a redirect and the search engines
(including Google) will penalize pages that use
one in this manner..
Referrer or Referring URL
The URL of the web
page where a visitor clicked a link to come to
A tag which
defines when and to where a page will
The degree to
which the content on a web page that is returned
in a list of search results (SERPS) "matches"
the topic of the information that the user was
searching for. In other words, if you use the
search phrase "small green widgets" and a page
is returned that deals with "large red
thingamajigs", the relevancy of that page is
RFC - Request For Comments
The name of the
result and the process for creating a standard
on the Internet. New standards are proposed and
published on line, as a Request For Comments.
The Internet Engineering Task Force is a
consensus-building body that facilitates
discussion, and eventually a new standard is
established, but the reference number/name for
the standard retains the acronym RFC, e.g. the
official standard for e-mail is RFC 822.
A program used by
a search engine to crawl the web in order to
find, rank, and index new web pages.
A special file
that is commonly used to exclude some or all
robots from crawling certain files or
directories on a website. This file should b
placed in your website's root directory.
The search crawler
of Altavista search engine.
Search Engine Friendly
A web page that
has been designed and optimized for high search
engine rankings. A search engine friendly page
also makes it easy for search engines to follow
the links on the page.
Search Engine Optimization
The process of
optimizing a web page for high search engine
rankings for a particular search term or set of
Search Engine Results Pages
The ranked listing
of web pages that are returned for a specific
A list of keywords
or a keyphrase that a user types into a search
engine to find a list of web pages related to
topic that he/she is interested in.
A computer that
hosts web pages and delivers them to a user's
internet browser when requested. A dedicated
server hosts one website only. A shared server
hosts multiple websites. Dedicated servers
deliver web pages faster and provide more
capacity and features than shared servers, but
they're also considerably more expensive to
A search crawler
for Inktomi search engine.
When speaking of
search engines, spam is loosely defined as any
technique used to give your web page(s) an
unfair ranking advantage over other pages.
Static IP Address
An IP address that
is permanently assigned to a computer. The IP
address doesn't change with each connection to
the internet. See also Dynamic IP
Submitting Your URLs
This is the
process of telling a search engine or directory
about your web pages. The URLs that you submit
are placed into a queue for later crawling or
A web page that is
listed in the first 10 search results for a
search query. Top-10 in Google also means on the
first page using the standard search
average rate of traffic flow within a given time
period. It can be measured in a couple ways,
including unique visitors and total page views.
Don't confuse hits with unique visitors and page
views. The term hits is virtually useless when
evaluating website traffic statistics.
The number of
visitors who access a website within a given
time period (usually 24 hours) from a single IP
address. If you visit the same website three
times within a 24 hour period, your visits only
count as one unique visit for that day.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
Each web page has
it's own specific human-friendly URL, or web
address. URLs are mapped to computer-friendly IP
addresses by special computers called Domain
Name Servers, or DNSs. Example:
A person who
visits your website. Also known as a