Glossary Terms

.Edu is the string awarded to learning institutions, and is considered highly trustworthy by the search engines as .Edu domains are not available to the general public. .Edu awards are determined by EDUCAUSE and under the authority of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Because institutions receiving .Edu domains have been carefully vetted by EDUCAUSE, search engines give more authority to links from these sites.

A domain string restricted for use by U.S. government entities and not available to the general public. .Gov awards are overseen by the General Services Administration (GSA), a famously wasteful independent U.S. agency. Search engines give more authority to links from these sites.

Above the Fold
In the digital world of email and websites, it is the area viewable on the screen when the email or page initially loads, without scrolling, based on an average or standard screen size and resolution.

Anchor Text
The visible and clickable text of a link from one URL to another. Search engines consider the anchor text in determining keyword relevance and ranking.

Article Databases
Online stores selling content on various topics. The available content is typically sold and resold again and again. Search engines punish sites which use duplicated content. For this reason, you should never use content purchased from article databases, or copied and pasted from other sites.

A link from one website to another, including internal links on the same website. Search engines use external backlinks as a significant factor in determining keyword rankings based on the authority and strength of the linking website.

Below the Fold
Just the opposite of Above the Fold. The area of a webpage that can only be viewed by scrolling downward.

A search engine owned by Microsoft and previously known as Live or MSN Search. In 2009 Yahoo announced it would start being powered by Bing’s search and indexing technology.

SEO techniques which are outside acceptable SEO guidelines, and used in order to fool search engines into sending more traffic than the site deserves/earns. Black-hat strategies may work temporarily, but typically end up hurting a website’s ranking eventually.

The main area of text on a webpage, excluding the header, menu, and footer.

The practice of displaying different types of content on the same webpage, first, to inform site visitors, and second, to communicate to search engines. Cloaking isn’t always considered black-hat SEO, as it can be used in areas such as localization SEO to show geographically-based results. However, if the intent is to fool the search engines, cloaking is considered black-hat, and may be grounds for being banned by a search engine.

Any text, image, video, audio, slide show, file download, design, or other media included on a site which communicates to the visitor the purpose or theme of the site. Content is used by search engines to help determine keyword relevance.

Also known as discussion boards and similar to forums. A site where users discuss and comment on topics or questions, usually centered on a niche or community.

Domain Age
Refers to how long a domain name has been registered and owned, and how long the website has been active and running. The older the domain age, the more trusted it can appear to search engines.

Doorway Pages
A black-hat SEO trick where pages are created to target high traffic search queries, then those searchers are pushed to other pages with advertisements.

Similar to discussion boards, where individuals discuss their opinions on topics either created by the users or offered by site administrators. Users are allowed to review the posts left by others and then make general to specific comments.

The combination of Free and Premium, and used to describe a business marketing technique where a free version of a product is given away, in hopes free users will eventually agree or desire to pay a premium for increased functionality.
The largest search engine, known for creating an algorithm to deliver more relative webpages to a search query.

Header Tags
In HTML, header tags are used to show emphasis and are often used for titles and subtitles within the body of a page. H1-H6 tags can be used with the H1 tag being the most important. H1 tags should only be used once per page. In HMTL the H1 tag is represented as: <h1>SEO basics</h1>.

Short for Information Graphics. A graphical model to more simply convey a complex concept, data set, or survey. In SEO, infographics are a great way to attract links.

Internal Link Structure
Internal links are hyperlinks from one webpage to another within a single website. There are several approaches to an optimized internal link structure that often involve grouping parts of a website and using links within those groups.

Keyword List
A list of keywords created as an early step in performing SEO. This is a list of words potential searchers will use to find a relevant site, and the list of words which will be the focus of SEO efforts in content and links.

Keyword Phrases
A group of words used to query search engines. In SEO the term “keyword” includes not only single words but also key phrases when multiple words are used in a search query.

Keyword Stuffing
The outdated practice of including a targeted keyword in the body of a page far more frequently than it would be used in natural prose. In the early days of search engines, keyword stuffing was enough to boost a website’s search engine rankings.

Keyword Tools
Tools for helping discover or create keywords for a keyword list. An example of a keyword tool is to take basic keywords and add informational words to help create longer tail keyword phrases.

A word or group of words used to query search engines. Used as the basis for optimizing content and obtaining links in SEO.

Link Bait
The use of content, contests, social media, infographics, and other media used to attract other site owners to link to a particular site.

Link Building
A process of obtaining links from other websites through various methods. High quality links are used by the search engines to gauge a site’s authority.

A link from one website to another. Links may be from external websites (external links) or from within the same website (internal links). Search engines use external links as a significant factor in determining keyword rankings based on the authority and strength of links to any one website.

Long-tail Keywords
Keyword phrases of four words or more are considered long-tail. Long-tail keyword queries in search engines allow for more specific search results and increased opportunities for optimizing for less competitive keywords.

A site organizational tool allowing for quick navigation to main sections of a site from page to page. Usually placed in a prominent, consistent, and visible location.

Meta Tags
The page title, the meta description, and the meta keywords are often bunched into one group called Meta Tags. The meta keywords tag is no longer deemed useful by search engines.

Optimized Content
A coordinated content strategy in which the site owner develops well-written, unique content. Optimized content typically involves keyword use, keyword placement in HTML tags, and internal link structure.

A program offered by search engines to allow site owners to purchase their way onto Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). These text ads are located at the top and side of the SERPs to set them apart from the organic search results. Advertisers are typically charged on a per-click basis.

See Pay-Per-Click.

Redirect Pages
Pages used to let search engines and searchers know a page has moved. A 301 redirect is used for permanent page moves and a 302 redirect is for temporary page moves.

Relevance of Site
A search engine’s perception of a website’s relevance related to a certain keyword. The relevance is obtained by both content and external links.

Copying or stealing another’s site content.

Search Engine Optimization
Otherwise known as SEO. The process of transforming a site to a state where a search engine not only knows the site topic, but eventually trusts the site owners and knows the content, services, and products are desirable to searchers using certain keywords.

The abbreviation of Search Engine Optimization.

The abbreviation of Search Engine Results Page. Provides a list of websites for a particular keyword search.

Short-tail Keywords
A keyword or keyword phrase of typically three words or less.

A page created and submitted to search engines to provide the URLs of a website. A new XML standard is now universally accepted. Submitting a site map to a search engine may increase indexing speed.

A site organizational strategy, separating a site into categories or themes via a prominent menu.

Title Tag
HTML tag indicating the title of a web page. Considered by many in SEO to be one of the most important content-based ranking factors. Each title tag should be unique, descriptive, and less than 70 characters. The title tag is also used by search engines as the predominant text describing a page in search results.

Visitors to a site.

Abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator, essentially the unique address for each webpage.

The opposite of black-hat. Good SEO practices, which are acceptable to the search engines and promote natural, organic ranking results over time. White-hat SEO usually takes more time and effort, but has a long-lasting impact and long-term positive outcome.

Was considered the main search engine rival to Google for many years. Now Yahoo’s searches are powered by Microsoft’s Bing.

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