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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Glossary

Search Engine Ranking: program that searches documents for specified keywords and returns a list of the documents where the keywords were found. Although search engine is really a general class of programs, the term is often used to specifically describe systems like Alta Vista and Excite that enable users to search for documents on the World Wide Web and USENET newsgroups

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The process of increasing the amount of visitors to a web site by ranking high in the search results of a search engine. The higher a web site ranks in the results of a search, the greater the chance that site will be visited by a user. It is common practice for Internet users to not click through pages and pages of search results, so where a site ranks in a search is essential for directing more traffic toward the site.

Webmaster: An individual who manages a Web site. Depending on the size of the site, the Webmaster might be responsible for making sure that the Web server hardware and software is running properly designing the web site, creating and updating Web pages, replying to user feedback, creating CGI scripts or monitoring traffic through the site.

Search Engine Positioning: Typically, a search engine works by sending out a spider to fetch as many documents as possible. Another program, called an indexer, then reads these documents and creates an index based on the words contained in each document. Each search engine uses a proprietary algorithm to create its indices such that, ideally, only meaningful results are returned for each query.

Internet Marketing: Internet marketing is the act of promoting products and services by increasing a web site's online visibility. Some of these promotion techniques includes: natural search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, e-mail marketing, newsletter distribution, blogging, community forums, article writing and distribution, and banner advertising.

Submissions; The act of supplying a URL to a search engine in an attempt to make a search engine aware of a site or page.

Keywords: A word used by a search engine in its search for relevant Web pages.

Spamming: Excessive manipulation to influence search engine rankings, often for pages which contain little or no relevant content

Internet: A global network connecting millions of computers. More than 100 countries are linked into exchanges of data, news and opinions.

Meta Tags: A special HTML tag that provides information about a Web page. Unlike normal HTML tags, meta tags do not affect how the page is displayed. Instead, they provide information such as who created the page, how often it is updated, what the page is about, and which keywords represent the page's content. Many search engines use this information when building their indices.

Doorway page: a page made specifically to rank well in search engines for particular keywords, serving as an entry point through which visitors pass to the main content.

Title Tag: HTML tag used to define the text in the top line of a Web browser, also used by many search engines as the title of search listings.

BODY Text Tag:The body text is the HTML documents content. Body text is the text visible in the browser window, includes all image and links.
Example: <BODY>Body text goes here</BODY>

Link Text or Anchor Text: Link text is the clickable text which connects one web page to another.
Example: <A HREF="page.html">link text goes here</A>

Heading Tag: Headings (H1,H2,H3) are used as the topics of the website's sections.
Example: <H1>heading 1 goes here</H1>

Bold Tag: Bold text is used as a font styling element to signify important words or sections in the web page.
Example: <B>bold text goes here</B>

Italic Tag: Italic text is used as a font styling element to point out new terms, book or article titles etc.
Example: <I>italic text goes here</I>

EM Emphasis Tag: Em text is used for emphasis and is usually displayed in italic font.
Example: <EM>em text goes here</EM>

Strong Tag: Strong text is used for stronger emphasis and is usually displayed in bold font.
Example: <STRONG>strong text goes here</STRONG>

Cite Tag: Cite text is used for citations or reference to other sources.
Example: <CITE>cite text goes here</CITE>

Abbr Tag: Abbr text is used for abbreviations which are shortened forms of words like HTML, FBI or WWW.
Example: <ABBR>abbr text goes here</ABBR>

Acronym Tag: Acronym text is used for pronounceable abbreviations like NATO. It is also used for shortened forms of word like Inc. for Incorporated or Lab. for laboratory.
Example: <ACRONYM>acronym text goes here</ACRONYM>

Table Caption Tag: Table caption is used as a short description of the table's purpose usually displayed below the table.
Example: <TABLE><CAPTION>caption goes here<CAPTION></TABLE>

HTML Comment Tag: Html comments are not visible in the browser and are mainly used for developers to document html code.
Example: <!-- comment goes here -->

Table Summary Tag: Table summary is used for describing the table's contents and purpose to non-visual media.
Example: <TABLE SUMMARY="summary goes here">

Link Href Tag: Link href is the attribute of the link and specifies the address of another page.
Example: <A HREF="link-href-goes-here.html">text</A>

Link Title Tag: Link title is the attribute of the link and adds information about the link, it is rendered as a tool tip in the browser.
Example: <A HREF="page.html" TITLE="link title goes here">text</A>

Image Source Names Tag: Image names are the names of the image files.
Example: <IMG SRC="image-name-goes-here.gif">

Page Name or URL: Most search engines look for the keywords in the domain name, folder name and page name. Keywords should be separated by hyphens.
Example: http://www.keyword1.com/keyword2-keyword3.html

Index: In database design, a list of keys (or keywords), each of which identifies a unique record. Indices make it faster to find specific records and to sort records by the index field -- that is, the field used to identify each record.

HTML: Short for Hypertext Markup Language, the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web. HTML is similar to SGML, although it is not a strict subset. HTML defines the structure and layout of a Web document by using a variety of tags and attributes. The correct structure for an HTML document starts with <HTML><HEAD>(enter here what document is about)</HEAD><BODY> and ends with </BODY></HTML>. All the information you'd like to include in your Web page fits in between the <BODY> and </BODY> tags.

Domain: A name that identifies one or more IP addresses. For example, the domain name microsoft.com represents about a dozen IP addresses. Domain names are used in URLs to identify particular Web pages. For example, in the URL http://www.pcwebopedia.com/index.html, the domain name is pcwebopedia.com. Every domain name has a suffix that indicates which top level domain (TLD) it belongs to. There are only a limited number of such domains. For example:
gov - Government agencies
edu - Educational institutions
org - Organizations (nonprofit)
mil - Military
com - commercial business
net - Network organizations
ca - Canada
th - Thailand
Because the Internet is based on IP addresses, not domain names, every Web server requires a Domain Name System (DNS) server to translate domain names into IP addresses.

Image Alt Tag: HTML tag that provides alternative text when non-textual elements, typically images, cannot be displayed. The image tag is a very important tag. It directs the browser to either a gif or jpeg file. The browser then displays that image file where the command is placed.

Link Popularity: a measure of the quantity and quality of sites that link to your site. A growing number of search engines use link popularity in their ranking algorithms. Google uses it as its most important factor in ranking sites. HotBot, AltaVista, MSN, Inktomi, and others also use link popularity in their formulas. Eventually every major engine will use link popularity, so developing and maintaining it are essential to your search engine placement.

Link Farms A link farm consists of sites that link to other sites for the sole purpose of increasing their link popularity score. Unlike perfectly valid links to sites with related information, sites that participate in link farming contain links to totally unrelated sites. This practice is also referred to as link stuffing. Google hates link farms and labels the links they generate as spam. In fact, Google gates them so much that some sites get removed from the index if they're affiliated with link farms. Spooked, some webmasters are considering removing all outbound links from their sites.

Manual Submission: adding a URL to the search engines individually by hand.

HTTP: HTTP is called a stateless protocol because each command is executed independently, without any knowledge of the commands that came before it. This is the main reason that it is difficult to implement Web sites that react intelligently to user input. This shortcoming of HTTP is being addressed in a number of new technologies, including ActiveX, Java, JavaScript and cookies. Short for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web. HTTP defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands. For example, when you enter a URL in your browser, this actually sends an HTTP command to the Web server directing it to fetch and transmit the requested Web page.

Density: Most search engines look for keyword density. Some will only look at the first 200-400 characters of your site, and count the number of times the keyword appears. Some index a small amount of text from the top, middle, and bottom parts of your web page, and search them for keywords. Generally keyword density should be in the 6-8% range. Simply repeating the keyword will not work because some search engines consider grammar structure in their calculations. For a very competitive keyword you could aim a little higher perhaps targeting a 10% range, but you have to take into consideration the search engine may consider this spamming.

Prominence: Prominence is the ratio of the position of one keyword or keyword phrase to the positions of the other keywords in an HTML section of the page. For example in the text enclosed by the BODY tag is one of sections of the page we measure keyword prominence in. Your most important keywords must appear in the crucial locations on your web pages because search engines like pages where keywords appear closer to the top of the page. They should preferable appear in the first paragraphs of your page. Also keep in mind if you include keywords closer to the bottom of your page it will have a negative effect on the overall keyword prominence calculations.

Algorithm: A formula or set of steps for solving a particular problem. To be an algorithm, a set of rules must be unambiguous and have a clear stopping point. Algorithms can be expressed in any language, from natural languages like English or French to programming languages like FORTRAN.  We use algorithms every day. For example, a recipe for baking a cake is an algorithm. Most programs, with the exception of some artificial intelligence applications, consist of algorithms. Inventing elegant algorithms- algorithms that are simple and require the fewest steps possible-is one of the principal challenges in programming.

StopWords: Words that are common in a full-text file but have little value in searching. Words in a stopword file will be excluded from the indexes, considerably reducing the size of the indexes and improving search performance. For example these are stopwords a about an are as at be by com for from how.

Google API: You can use your Google API license key to perform automated queries on Google that complies with Google's term of service agreement. To access the Google Web APIs service, you must create a Google Account and obtain a license key. Your Google Account and license key entitle you to 1,000 automated queries per day.

Keyword Count, Occurrence: How often a keyword or keyword phrase occurs in a particular HTML page section. The the ke word count is used is used in a calculationto determine the key word density.

Google's Page Rank: PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important."

SERP: The SERP is otherwise known as the Search Engines Results Page. This is the page that users see after typing their search query into an engine. Since conversion starts at the SERP, it is an important job of the search marketer to obtain strong call-to-action listings that produce a high number of click throughs.

SEO Copywriting: Writing specifically for web pages involves incorporating target keywords that tell the search engines what a specific web page is about. Effective SEO copywriting achieves two goals. The first one is, it creates persuasive, informative content for the web site visitor while maintaining an optimum keyword count for the search engines to index.

Inbound Link: External links pointing to a specific web page from somewhere else on the Web is called and inbound link. The number, and quality of inbound links pointing to a web site can increase a web site’ link popularity.  

SEO Software: A set of software tools aimed to speed up website optimization tasks such as keyword analysis and internal link optimization or search engine results (SERPS) rank checking. Most of the SEO software tools are broken down into two main categories. All-in-one SEO tools that handles all search engine optimization tasks and specialty tools used to perform optimization, rank checking or link popularity analysis tasks.


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