Algorithm – a statistical formula used by a search engine to rank a web page –
different search engines weight differently the factors involved, keywords, links etc.
Anchor text – see Link anchor text
Authority site – a measure of the quality (in the all-powerful opinion of the search engine company) of a given site, gauged by some combination of size, importance, relevance. A link from an authority site to your own is more valuable than just any old site.
Content – in this regard, the text of a web page, visible or not, examined by search robots.
Counter – a small software application (written in perl, php etc) that counts the number of hits, unique visitors, and/or page views that a web page receives.
Crawler – nowadays, synonymous with robot.
Dead Link – See Broken Link.
Description – a summary of a web page’s content, often used verbatim in search engine results pages.
Description Meta Tag – a meta tag describing the content of the web page. Used by some search engines for keyword density purposes.It is recommended that you use a couple of your targeted keywords in the description meta tag.
Directory – a categorised list of websites, maintained by human editors instead of robots. Yahoo is the most widely recognized directory on the web.
DNS Propagation – when a new domain name is registered (or an existing one is transferred to a new DNS), the information must make its way around the entire internet. This process
usually takes around 24 hours, during which time the domain will be
inaccessible to many or all users.
Domain Name Server – computer that translates human-friendly URLs (words)into computer-friendly IP addresses. This process occurs every time a user requests a page from a website.
Doorway Page – a page optimised for a particular search engine and/or search term, followed by a redirect to the usable page. Multiple doorway pages are often used to help ensure that the same basic content is ranked well on several different search engines. Frowned upon. (aka gateway page)
Duplicate Content – separate web pages with substantially the same content, which may attract a penalty from search engines.
Googlebot – the crawler Google uses on a daily basis to find and index new web pages.
Google Desktop – downloadable application, providing a search function for files on the user’s computer. The future, apparently…
Google Toolbar – a downloadable toolbar for Internet Explorer that allows a user to do a Google search without visiting the Google website.
Hidden text (and hidden links) – used to increase artificially a web page’s keyword density for a given word or phrase. For example, white text on white background, or very very small print. Search engines can detect and may penalize.
Hits – vague term, differently calculated depending on stats counter used – one web page with 10 picture files can count as 11 hits.
Home Directory – the directory in which your site’s main index page is located. usually named /public_html/, or /www/ or /web/.
Image Map – placing hyperlinks on different areas of an image. Not search engine friendly.
Inbound link – see Backlink.
IP Address – a unique numeric Internet Protocol Address assigned to every computer that connects to the internet. IP addresses can be either static or dynamic (changes with every internet connection).
IP Spoofing – returning an IP address that is different from the one that is actually assigned to the destination website.
Keyword (Key Phrase) – a word (or phrase) typed into a search, producing web pages that contain that word or phrase.
Keywords Meta Tag – an HTML tag that lists all of the main keywords and key phrases that are contained on that web page. Some search engines pay attention to this tag, some do not.
Link Anchor Text – the visible (perhaps underlined) text of a link.
Link Farm – a site 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
Link Popularity – the number and quality of inbound links pointing to a given web page.
Meta Search Engine – an application (website or software) that takes a search term and queries several search engines and directories, then aggregates the results.
Mirror Sites – identical websites on different domains. Used legitimately by large websites to share heavy server loads, but by search engine spammers to generate more search engine
Outbound Links – links from your web page to another web page.
PageRank (PR) – a score out of ten assigned by Google to each indexed web page. The visible result of the algorithm, but note that the ‘public’ PR is not the same as the ‘true’ PR and is only updated infrequently.
PageRank For Money – selling or buying a link from a web page with a high PR for the express purpose of increasing the other page’s PR.
Page views – each time a web page on a site is accessed by a visitor, it counts as one page view, whether or not the same user viewed the same page 5 minutes ago. (aka pageload)
Paid Inclusion – some directories will only consider including your site (especially commercial ones) in their database if you pay them an ‘evaluation’ fee. Note that in some cases this fee does not guarantee your site will be accepted.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) – a search engine or directory places your link in their database and charges you a fee every time your URL comes up in a search and is clicked on. The size of the fee is usually determined by bidding on keywords. The two largest PPC schemes
are Overture and Google AdWords.
Reciprocal link – a link to another website placed on your site in exchange for a link to your site from theirs. Once very effective in achieving high search engine rankings, now of less proven value.
Redirect – a tactic used to send a user to a different page from the one clicked on in the search results, the final page being less relevant. Considered unacceptable by search engines, except when they employ it, when it becomes known as ‘an enhancement of
the user experience.’
Referrer or Referring URL – the URL of the web page where a visitor clicked a link to come to your site.
Relevancy – the degree to which the content on a web page returned in a list of search results matches the topic the user is searching for.
Robot – a programme used by a search engine to roam the web, finding, ranking, and indexing web pages. (spider, webcrawler, crawler, web-bot, bot)