Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Glossary (A-M)

Definitions to the terms used to describe actions and event in the world of Search Engine Marketing.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Glossary
Definitions to the terms used to describe actions and event in the world of Search Engine Marketing.

Search Terms
The words or phrases used by people when performing searches in search engines. Also called keywords, query terms or query.

Ad Pimp
A website that has too many ads on it in an obvious attempt to monetize the site.

Ad Rank
Google AdWords multiplies Quality Score (QS) and the maximum CPC (Max CPC) to reach an Ad Rank for each ad.

Added Value Affiliates
Provide a value-added service to visitors in addition to affiliate links and affiliate content.

AdSense Arbitrage
The process of buying traffic with pay-per-click programs, sending traffic to highly optimized Adsense pages and collecting the difference.

AdSense Link Clicking Bots
Automated programs that try to spoof random IP addresses to click through AdWords displayed on a site.

Google’s – Cost Per Click (CPC) based advertising system.

Affiliate Sniper
People who save money on purchases by switching your affiliate ID with their own.

Agent Name
An agent name is the name of the software accessing a web page.

Software that lets you automatically download content to your computer

Attention, Interest, Desire, Action: A term used to describe a formula to increase conversions.

A mathematical formula used to determine the value of a page when compared against others.

Second Tier search engine.

ALT Text
The text that appears when you put your mouse on top of an image or a picture.

Used to be the #1 search engine until Google came along.

Anchor Text
Also known as Link Text, the clickable text of a hyperlink.

America On-Line – Great for novice users, uses Google as part of it’s search results.

Application Programming Interface.

American Standard Code for Information Interchange

Trying to be considered as one of the \”Top Dogs\” along with Yahoo and MSN, following Google.

Dual meanings: Microsoft Active Server Pages (filename.asp) or Application Service Provider (e.g. a provider of web based applications)

The practice of faking, pushing or help to mold a “grass roots” movement.

ATF (Above the Fold)
This is the part of the user’s screen that is always displayed.

An audio web log in MP3 format and available for download to an MP3 player or a computer.

Authority Site
A site that has many In-Bound links coming to it, and very little outbound links.

Back link
A text link to your website from another website.

A term that means a site has been removed from a search engine’s index.

Banner Blindness
The act of web visitors to ignoring advertisements on the site whether it is a graphic or text ad.

BAP (Blog and Ping)
A method (ab)used to get the search engines to quickly index your blog’s content.

Black Hat SEO
A term referring to the practice of “unethical” SEO. These techniques are used to gain an advantage over your competition.

Blind Traffic
This is traffic that is extremely low quality often by low relevance pages.

A \”Web Log\” that is updated frequently and is usually the opinion of one person. Also joking stands for Better Listing on Google.

Term referring to have bookmarked a blog in your browser.

The emerging practice of giving free stuff (from tote bags to travel junkets) to bloggers, in return for a sympathetic review.

A book that is serialized on a blog site. Chapters are published one by one as blog posts.

Short for robot. Often used to refer to a search engine spider.

Software application used to browse the internet – Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer are the 2 most popular browsers.

BTF (Below the Fold)
This is the part of the user’s screen that is hidden unless the user scrolls down on the page.

C Class IP
This is the third block of numbers found in an IP Address.

A copy of web pages stored within a search engine’s database.

Stands for : Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart

A blog that describes products for sale.

Click Arbitrage
Purchasing PPC ads and hoping that traffic leaves with a click on your ads.

Click Distance
The minimum number of clicks it takes a visitor to get from one page to another.

Click Flipping
The process of identifying and maximizing, multiple profit pathways, using PPC traffic and converting that traffic with Cost Per Action offers.

Click Pirates
Peuple who click on ads, knowingly and proudly, stealing from advertisers, as they encourage others to join with them in this quest.

Click Poison
The process of using blatant phrases such as \”Cool New Idea\” and \”Click here for Travel Tips\” to get a site buried on sites such as digg and netscape.

Click Through
The process of clicking through an online advertisement to the advertiser’s destination.

Derived from the amount of time a user spends on a Web site and the number of pages viewed, a clickprint is a unique online fingerprint that can help a vendor identify return visitors, curb fraud, and collect personal information for \”customer service.\” aka invasive marketing

A technique that shows keyword stuffed apges to a search engine, but a real page to a human user.

In search engine search results pages, clustering is limiting each represented website to one or two listings.

A collaborative vocabulary for tagging Web content. Like the folksonomies used on social bookmarking sites like, collabularies are generated by a community. But unlike folksonomies, they’re automatically vetted for consistency, extracting the wisdom of the crowds from the cacophony.

Content Networks
A nicer way to say Link Farm.

Content Repurposing
A nicer way to say scraping a site for content.

Contextual Link Inventory (CLI)
Text links that are shown depending on the content that appears around them.

Conversion Optimization
Transforms your site into a selling tool – your site logically leads visitors through the sales cycle and closes sale.

Conversion Rate
The number of visitors to a website that end up performing a specific action that leads to a conversion. This could be a product purchase, newsletter sign up or anything where information is submitted.

Converting Search Phrase
A phrase that converts traffic into money.

Information stored on a user’s computer by a website.

Text found on a web page.

Cost per Thousand
The cost for each thousand impressions of your ad.

CPA – (Cost Per Action)
The price paid for each visitor’s actions from a paid search.

CPC (Cost Per Click)
The amount it will cost each time a user selects your phrase or keyword.

A bot from a search engine that reads the text found on a website in order to determine what the website is about.

Cross Linking
Having multiple websites linking to each other.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
Used to define the look and navigation of a website.

CTR (Click Through Rate)
The value associated to the amount of times a paid ad is viewed.

A person who finds, collects, and manages information available on the Internet.

Dangling Link
This term is applied to a web page with no links to any other pages. Also known as an Orphan Page.

Dead Link
A hyperlink pointing to a non-existent URL.

Deep Crawl
Once a month, Googlebot will crawl all of the links it has listed in it’s database on your site. This is known as the Deep Crawl.

Deep Link
A link on a website that is not reachable from the home page.

When a site gets removed from the search index of a search engine.

In a contract, these are the expected results of the services provided.

Purposely creating content to get traffic from

Usually human edited, a directory contains sites that are sorted by categories.

DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act)
A declaration that protects digital works found online.

Also known as the Open Directory Project.

Domain Network Optimizers

DNS (Domain Name System)
A protocol that lets computers recognize each other through an IP Address, whereas the human sees a website URL.

Fired for negative blogging about the company you work for.

Doorway Page
A web page designed to draw in Internet traffic from search engines, and then direct this traffic to another website.

Dynamic Site
A site that uses a database to store it’s content and is delivered based on the variable passed to the page.

EPC (Earnings Per Click)
How much profit is made from each click from a paid ad.

EPV (Earnings Per Visitor)
The cost it takes to make profit from a site’s total number of visitors.

Error 404
When a hyperlink is pointing to a location on the web that doesn’t exist, it is called a 404 error.

A term associated with the constant updating of Google’s algorithm between the major updates.

External Link
A link that points to another website.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)
Commonly found on websites, FAQs answer questions that many users generally have about a product or service.

FFA (Free For All)
A site where anyone can list their link. Don’t waste any time submitting your site to these places.

Filter Words
Words such as is, am, were, was, the, for, do, ETC, that search engines deem irrelevant for indexing purposes. Also known as Stop words.

A fake blog, a website pretending to be a blog but actually the creation of public relations firms, the mainstream media, or professional political operatives.

The construction of open-ended organization systems that allow multiple internet users to sort web sites and their elements.

Pirated software cobbled together from beta versions and early releases.

Fresh Crawl
Utilizes FreshBot to review already indexed pages and any pages where the content has been updated.

A sister to GoogleBot, this spider crawls highly ranked sites on a very frequent basis.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
Technology that allows file transfers from a local machine to a remote host.

Geo Targeting
A very tactful way to employ cloaking.

Google First Name Rank.

Currently, the world’s #1 search engine.

Google AdWords
Google’s PPC program.

Google Bombing
A technique where using the same text anchor links, many people link to a certain page, usually of irrelevant content.

The spider that performs a deep crawl of your site.

To nudge a competitor from the serps.

The fear of Google taking over everything.

When your content is copied and inserted into someone else’s site without permission or

This is the term that inspired the creators of Google to use this name – it means: 10100 = 1 followed by 100 zeros

Heading Tag
Tag that designates headlines in the text of a site.

Hidden Text
Text that can’t be seen normally in a browser.

A single access request made to the server.

Hoax Marketing
The creation of false stories to drive traffic to a site.

.htaccess is an Apache file that allows server configuration instructions.

HyperText Markup Language – the basics for all web coding.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

It is a generic, stateless, protocol which can be used for many tasks.

HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure)
It is a generic, stateless, protocol which can be used for many tasks, but has security features enabled to protect sensitive data.

A site that has many outbound links, and few sites linking back.

IBL (In-Bound Link)
A link residing on another site that points to your site.

ICRA (Internet Content Rating Association)
The Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) is an international, non-profit organization of internet leaders working to make the internet safer for children, while respecting the rights of content providers.

IM (Instant Messaging)
As the name implies, this protocol allows for extremely fast communication over the Internet

A term used to describe the database that holds all the web pages crawled by the search engine for each website.

Indexing Assistance
An even more advanced form of cloaking.

Information Architecture
The gathering, organizing, and presenting information to serve a purpose.

Informational Query
A query about a topic where the user expects to be provided with information on the topic.

Internal Link
A link that points to another page within the same site. Most commonly used for navigation.

An interconnected system of networks that connects computers around the world via the TCP/IP protocol.

Internet Traffic Optimizer (ITO)
A broader term for a person who optimizes not only for search engines but to get traffic from other sources such as blogs, RSS feeds and articles.

Loads a commercial in the background of a Web page. When the user exits the page, the user gets served a full-page, between-page advertisement in Flash, an animated gif or other rich media.

Invisible Web
Web Pages that are not reachable by search engines.

IP (Internet Protocol)
This protocol allows for machines to communicate to each other via the Internet.

IP Address (Internet Protocol Address)
how data finds its way back and forth from your computer to the internet.

IP Spoofing
A method of reporting an IP address other than your own when connecting to the internet.

js (JavaScript)
A scripting language that provides browser functionality.

Keyword Density
A ratio of the number of occurrences of a keyword or \”keyword phrase\” to the total number of words on a page.

Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI)
The KEI compares the number of searches for a keyword with the number of search results to pinpoint which keywords should be the most effective for your campaign.

Keyword Phrase
A group of words that form a search query.

Keyword Stuffing
Using a keyword or \”keyword phrase\” excessively in a web page, perhaps in the text content or meta tags.

The term used when weblogs are used in knowledge management use cases.

KW (Key Words)
Used to define the terms a user might enter into a search engine to find information on their query.

Landing Page
Usually used in conjunction with a PPC campaign, they are call-to-action pages that prompt the user to engage the site.

Also known as a hyperlink, it is the \”clickable\” area of text or image that allows for navigation on the Internet. Also the name of the main character og the Legend of Zelda video games.

Link Bait (Linkbaiting)
The process of getting users to link to your site.

Link Farm
A site that features links in no particular order which are totally unrelated to each other.

Link Maximization
The method of getting popular sites in your industry to link to your website.

Link Partner
A website who is willing to put a link to your site from their website. Quite often link partners engage in reciprocal linking.

Link Popularity
How many sites link to your website.

Link Text
The clickable part of a hyperlink. Also known as Anchor Text or Anchor Link.


People who are the target of linkbait – bloggers, forum users, social taggers, etc.

The results that a search engine returns for a particular search term.

Commonly thought of as a way of merging two different items, or scraping more than one source.

Meta Description Tag
Hold the description of the content found on the page.

Meta Keywords Tag
Holds the keywords that are found on the page.

Meta Search Engine
A search engine that relies on the meta data found in meta tags to determine relevancy.

Meta Tag Masking
An old trick that uses CGI codes to hide the Meta tags from browsers while allowing search engines to actually see the Meta tags.

Meta Tags
Header tags that provide information about the content of a site.

META Tags or what are officially referred to as Metadata Elements, are found within the section of your web pages.

The use of copyrighted names and slogans in META tags.

MFA (Made For AdSense)
A term that describes websites that are created entirely for the purpose of gaming Google Adsense to make money.

Made For Digg – Similar to MFA (Made for AdSense) sites, these sites try to get traffic from digg by having entire sites full of funny images or postings.

To split up a product or service sold traditionally as a package, offering each piece to buyers a la carte.

Designed for humans first and machines second, microformats are a set of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted standards. Instead of throwing away what works today, microformats intend to solve simpler problems first by adapting to current behaviors and usage patterns (e.g. XHTML, blogging).

Mirror Sites
A mirror site is a site that exacltly duplicates another site.

TV shows shot exclusively for mobile phones.

Short for “My Mobile Blog”, a service from Blogger that when you send an email to from your cellphone, it automatically creates a new blog.

The study of how people adapt and use wireless technologies.

Most Wanted Response (MWR)
This is what you want your customer to do on your site.

Short for Mobile Browser.

Stands for “MPEG Third Layer.” A standard for storing and transmitting music in digital format across the Internet.

MSN (MicroSoft Network)
Microsoft’s search engine.

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