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SEO Terms


Algorithm A mathematical formula used by each search engine to determine where a web page will rank in the search results.
Anchor Text The visible text in a hyperlink you click to go to another page or website. Also known as "Link Text".
ALT tag Text that appears when you scroll over an image or a graphic or see when images are turned "off" on your browser. Also used by the visually impaired as screen readers can read this text.
Back Links The number of web pages found in a specific search engine or across the Internet that contain a link to a specific page. Also referred to as "inbound links" or "incoming links".
Bot An abbreviation for robot or spider. It is a software program that scans the web, indexing web pages by search engines or harvesting e-mail addresses.
Cache A snapshot of a web page as the search engine last recorded it. Viewing the cached version of a page will tell you what the search engine saw that led to a page's currently ranking.
Cloaking The act of presenting different information to a search engine spider that a human visitor will see. You can find more information on this in the Black-Hat Search Engine Positioning Tactics.
Crawler Another name for a search engine spider.
Cross Linking Multiple sites linked together to increase link popularity. Also referred to as "interlinking".
CSS Cascading Style Sheets. They are used to manipulate and easily manage the design and formatting of a website.
Directory Websites that list other websites, organized into various categories. Human editors assess each website and if approved, they place them into the specific category in the directory. Click here for a list of the major directories.
Description This term typically has two uses in search engine positioning:
1. it can refer to the description meta tag which is a line of code in the header of your page used to describe what that page is about, or
2. it can refer to a description of your site which you would submit to a webmaster you were interested in exchanging links with that they would put below your link on their resources page or directory.
Doorway Pages A page on your site not there to provide information but rather solely to rank for a specific keyword phrase in hopes that the visitor will go to one of your more useful pages after that. Sometimes used in conjunction with redirects and/or cloaking. You can find more information on this with the Black-Hat SEO Tactics.
Gateway Pages Another term for "doorway pages".
Google Bot or Googlebot Google's search engine spider.
Head Code that exists on your web page yet is essentially invisible to the visitor. This code includes the title, keyword meta tag, description meta tag, the robots tag and can also contain scripting and other additional information.
Hidden Text Text which is invisible to the human eye because it is set to the same color as the background. You can find more information on this with the Black-Hat SEO Tactics.
Header There are traditionally 6 header tags ranging from <H1> to <H6>. These tags are typically used to separate a web page into logical parts, acting as titles for various page sections. It is commonly believed that header content is assigned a higher weight than standard content as it generally appears more prominently on the page.
Inbound Link Another term for "back links".
Keywords Words used to identify the theme of your website.
Keyword Density The percentage of a given keyword or phrase. ex: 1 instances of a keyword in 100 words of page text, equals a 1% keyword density.
Keyword Stuffing Keyword stuffing refers to the practice of adding unnecessary keywords to a web page to lead search engines to consider the page to be more relevant. You can find more information on this in the Black-Hat SEO Tactics.
Link Popularity Another term for "back links".
Meta Tags HTML used in the source code to provide content and site information to search engine spiders.
Mirror A mirror is a nearly identical duplicate website (or page). You can find more information on this under "duplicate sites" on our Black-Hat SEO Tactics page.
Offsite Optimization The method of increasing a web site's rankings by influencing its relationships with other website, primarily links found on other web sites to the target web site.
Optimization Fine tuning a website or web page with the ultimate goal being to achieve higher rankings.
Outbound Link Linking from your website to another website.
PageRank Google's tool for measuring the importance of web pages.
PPC Pay-Per-Click. Search engines that operate by charging website per-click to appear higher in the rankings. You can view some of the main PPC engines here.
PR Another term for "PageRank".
Reciprocal Links Two sites exchanging links by placing a link to each other on each site. You can find additional information on this practice on our White-Hat SEO Tactics page.
Redirects A spam tactic used to send a visitor to a different page than the one found in the search results. You can find more information on this with the Black-Hat SEO Tactics.
Robot A name given to a spider/bot/crawler program that travels the web collecting data from websites.
Search Engine Optimization The practice of manipulating web pages and external factors such as linking in order to rank a website higher on the search engines. Also known as: SEO, search engine positioning, search engine placement, search engine marketing, search engine ranking and search engine promotion.
Search Engine Rankings Report A report that measures a web page or websites search engine rankings for a range of keyword phrases across the major search engines. For this aspect of the process we use a great program called WebPosition Gold.
SERP An acronym for "search engine results page".
Search Engine Submission The registering of your website to the search engines.
Slurp Yahoo!'s crawler.
Spider A program that visits and collects specific information from a web page, including the URL and indexing the keywords and text of each page it finds.
Splash Page Another term for "doorway page".
Title Tag Content that exists in the meta data of your page. This content often appears as the clickable title in the search engine results and will appear in your browser's navigation bar.
URL Uniform Resource Locator. The address where your website can be found. e.g. Also knows as a "domain".

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