Glossary

A

AdSense
Google AdSense is a program that allows Website owners to maximize their page content in terms of SEO relevancy. By utilizing the Google search engine technology, AdSense enables Websites of all sizes and fields to display ads on the search results page that are based on the Website content, the user's interests, location, and other factors. These non-intrusive, highly relevant ads generate revenue on either a Pay Per Click (PPC) or Per Thousand Impressions (PTI) basis.

AdWords
Google AdWords helps Website owners advertise their online businesses on a Pay Per Click (PPC) basis. It offers site targeted advertising on several distribution scopes - on local, national and international levels. It is Google's leading advertising product and its main source of revenue. Read more

Alt Tag
Alt tags are Web page graphics containing text that appear on the screen when a user holds the mouse over an image. Alt tags are SEO tools with added value other than serving as a replacement for when images and non-textual elements cannot be displayed. Click here to find out how Dot Traffic can help you design alt tags in the best possible way.

Affiliate Program
Affiliate programs are an integrative part of online advertising and Search Engine Marketing. Incentives offered by affiliate programs encourage Webmasters to drive more traffic to the advertised Website. They fill a gap in the link between the publisher and the Webmasters by not requiring the former to find where on the Internet ads should be posted. The affiliate Websites themselves profit monetarily as well as with increased response rates. The compensation is based on commission, with the affiliates placing banners and links to the published Website. For any purchase at the publisher's site, the affiliate may receive a fixed amount or a percentage of the sale, depending on the agreement between the two.

B

Backlinks
Also called incoming links, inward links and inlinks, backlinks are incoming links to a Website or page. They measure the Website or page rank and also affect SEO considerations and calculations. By looking up backlinks on the search engine, Website owners can keep track of the number of pages that link back to them. Backward links See Backlinks.

Blacklist
SEO and SEM might be volatile fields, but they have rules that must be respected. Abuse of the Internet and search engines will land a Website on a blacklist. The most common violation is the use of spam for marketing purposes. Blacklists may bring to a ban or boycott of the abusive Website by the search engine. Dot Traffic will optimize your Website’s marketing campaign only by legit means.

Blog
Blogs, a derivation from Web logs, are user-generated Websites for personal use, much like journal entries. Blogs evolve around a certain subject, be it a personal blog where the "blogger" writes in first person, or a political blog, commentary on local news and so on. It is often used as a Search Engine Marketing method, promoting a certain Website by generating links and driving traffic to it, for example.

Bot
Internet bots, short for robots, also known as spiders and crawlers, are automated tasks that the search engine uses to scan the Internet. They perform mostly large-scale, repetitive tasks, consisting of downloading HTML non-graphic content. See also Spider.

Bid
In Search Engine Marketing, a bid is the amount a Website owner is willing to pay for the placement among the sponsored links on the search results page. The ranking is based on the bid as well as on keyword ranking as determined by the search engine.

Broken Link
Links are clickable text that refers a user to a Webpage, a document or any image by clicking on them. Broken links fail to do so, sending the user to an error page.

C

Cache
A search engine may save time in accessing Web pages by accessing a cached copy of the page, temporarily saved on the computer, instead of the original data.

Click Through Rate
Search Engine Marketing campaigns are measured by Click Through Rate (CTR), which is a calculation of how many users who were delivered impressions of the search result listing or banner ad actually clicked on it.

Cloaking
Deception is, unfortunately, part of the SEM world. Cloaking is one such SEM tool, which identifies a visit to the Web page by a search engine spider, rather than a user and presents content other than what the user would have seen on the screen. This tactic may help fool search engines but often leads to penalties.

Conversion rate
A SEM campaign is designed to have the user take a certain action. This action may be an acquisition, viewing certain content, request information, etc. the conversion rate is the percentage of such visitors to the site who take the desired action.

Cost Per Action
SEM campaigns need not be only priced globally. Instead, campaigns can be more goal-oriented, as the Cost Per Action meter helps measure. This performance-based model of online advertising has the advertiser pay for the ad based only on direct actions which it brings about. Read more

CPA
See Cost Per Action.

Cost Per Click
Also known as Pay Per Click and by the acronyms CPC and PPC, this online advertising performance-based system is set on a cost per clickthrough basis, meaning that the advertiser pays relative to the clickthroughs to the landing page that the ad directs users to. Read more

CPC
See Cost Per Click.

Cost Per Impression
Cost Per Impression is a SEM measuring-model based on performance. Just as in other media, the advertiser tries to speculate what the cost of the advertising campaign is based on the number of people who are exposed to it, with the Internet even more precise figures can be reached, often using the Cost Per Thousand (CPM) meter. The SEM campaign can then be valued per 1,000 impressions.

CPI
See Cost Per Impression.

Cost Per Thousand
Also known as Cost Per Mille, CPT and CPM, Cost Per Thousand is a measurement of SEM campaigns. It values the cost incurred in reaching a thousand impressions.

CPM
See Cost Per Thousand.

Crawler
See Bot.

Cost per lead
The eventual cost of the SEM campaign divided by the number of sales leads it produces.

CPL
See Cost Per Lead.

D

Directory
An alternative to computerized search engines, a directory has human editors organize, categorize and group Websites. This way, the work of a professional Search Engine Optimization company such as Dot Traffic in increasing visibility is greater as elements other than the HTML text come to play, such as choosing the right category and editing spot-on descriptions.

Deep linking
Search Engine Marketing campaigns that are designed to direct users to a specific page within the Website, not only to the main or home page, use deep links. Search engine robots reach these URLs just as they would any other Web page, and special technology must be used to direct the user to the main URL specifically.

Dead link
See Broken Link.

Description tag
A description tag is text information attached to items on the Web page – images, video clips, articles, etc. They are created by the site creator, by users or by an SEO expert such as Dot Traffic, and describe the item in order to maximize the indexing of the page by the search engine. An item may have more than a single tag.

DMOZ
DMOZ in an open content directory project that organizes Website listings across the Internet. Its name derives form directory.mozilla.org, which was once its original URL. The directory is maintained by volunteer editors and serves directories of the leading search engines, including Google, Yahoo! Overture, Alexa and more who use its titles, descriptions and category metadata.

DNS
DNS stands for Domain Name Service, Domain Name System or Domain Name Server, all of which are the same name-based service that replaces IP Address numbers with letters. This makes it much easier to remember a Web site address than had it been in numbers. SEO specialist Dot Traffic can help you pick the ideal domain name for your business’s Website.

E

Ethical SEO
SEO techniques are either effective or not, with ethics generally playing a minor role. However, accusations of unethical manipulations of search engine algorithms abound, whereas they rather should be acknowledged for their creativity. Unethical practices can relate to business aspects, such as not disclosing risks involved with certain practices to clients and not delivering the service promised, something that may happen in any discipline. Aggressive SEO is not necessarily unethical.

External Link
Like inbound links, external links play a role in Search Engine Optimization. Search engines, like users, follow the external links that direct them to other domains. If these destinations are found to be of low quality or altogether irrelevant, they will only harm the website’s ranking and popularity. High quality and relevancy external links count more than sheer mass.

F

Fresh Content
Internet users and search engines acknowledge quality web content that is dynamic. Such fresh content will draw them to the website the first time and then again for repeat visits. More than simply re-editing existing text, it requires creating new content. Visitors and search engine crawlers will more likely frequent an updated website.

Feed
The term web feed refers to automated subscription based content notifications via RSS or XML feeds. Users are notified of new content they are interested in without having to regularly search for it. Feeds serve web content management purposes and are popular with websites, blogs and podcasts.

G

Google
A California-based public corporation specializing in online searches and advertising. Google was created by Stanford students Larry Page and Sergey Brin and has by now become the world’s leading search engine in terms of reach. Internet searches have been modeled after Google’s pioneering and linkage data analyzing via PageRank.

GoogleBot
Google’s robot scanning the Internet is called GoogleBot. The technology employed in GoogleBots is varied. They all share cache between them. The different spiders include vertical search spiders and spiders associated with ad targeting.

Google Dance
Today, Google updates its index on a regular, ongoing, constant basis to which it refers for its searches. This was not the case in the past, when such updates took place only once a month. Back then, the updates were named Google Dances. The Google Dance also refers to an annual party thrown at Google's corporate headquarters for industry marketers.

H

Heading tag
A Web page may have as many as five or six levels of HTML coded heading tags, which are displayed in various font sizes from large to small. The h1 tag, also referred to as the header tag, for example, displays a text as a level 1 heading, much like a title on the page. Heading tags may be designed in a style that suits the Web page best and serve SEO and SEM functions as well. Dot Traffic can improve heading tags on your Website.

Header tag
See Heading Tag.

H1 tag
See Heading Tag.

Hits
Also called page hits, it comes to mean in Internet and SEM terms any download or retrieval of a file, an item, graphic or other from a Web server. The hits meter is affected by the number of graphics on the Web page, among other aspects. Therefore the higher the number of items on the page, the higher the hits count is. A Web server with 10 items would therefore count as 11 hits, one for the page itself and 10 others for the items. Hits, however, are not a good indication for a Web page’s traffic. Dot Traffic can maximize your Web traffic in the most effective way.

HTML
The term stands for HyperText Markup Language and is essentially programmed text dressed up with such additional features as formatting, images, links to other Web pages, etc. Text can be presented to appear visually in different styles on the page, set to fill different structural functions or link to other pages altogether. A Search Engine Marketing specialist may design the Web page ideally with HTML for varying purposes – design, structure and Search Engine Optimization purposes included, for the Web browsers and end users to enjoy a richer Web page.

Hyperlinks
See Links.

I

Impression
In Search Engine Marketing language, impression keeps its Middle English meaning of an enquiry, only to relate it to the number of times users are served the ad posted on the search engine. Such ad investigations by users are the ultimate goal of the Search Engine Marketing and Internet advertising campaign. Impressions are also the basis of measuring the success of the cost of a marketing campaign, often by the Cost per Mille meter, which is a measure of the cost per a thousand impressions.

Inbound Link
Hyperlinks from Websites that send users to another domain are called inbound links, from the perspective of the Website referred to. From a Search Engine Optimization point of view, such inbound links are free advertising and generate Web traffic to the site. Read more

Index
An index helps people find information they are looking for with greater ease, at the end of scholarly books, in computerized databases and in the service of search engines. The index contains text and optimizes the search engine spider’s visit to the Website. Dot Traffic, specializing in Search Engine Optimization services, can devise an index that will make the spider’s visit faster, more accurate, and specific to the Website’s needs and goals.

Index file
The index file must be in a format that is identifiable by the search engine, for better and more effective visits by the search engine spider. The text information stored in the index file must be clear and accurate, but above all it must be legible to the search engine, which may be limited in the formats it can identify. Dot Traffic can help you identify what format the index file must be formatted, which will make fast retrieval possible.

J

JavaScript
A standard scripting language used on websites. HTML documents can become more dynamic with JavaScript features embedded into them. Content with JavaScript, however, is not indexed by search engines.

K

Keyword
With the difficulty of using natural language to search for Websites, keywords have evolved as the basis for Internet searches and for Search Engine Marketing campaigns. Defined by the SEO company and the Website publisher, and identified by the search engine, the keyword helps generate the best and most relevant search engine results for the users’ benefit. Keywords may appear on the Web page itself or be purchased in a Pay Per Click campaign.

Keyword density
After choosing the Website’s keywords, the Search Engine Marketing campaign must decide where and how often to use them on the page. The keyword density is the percentage of words that correlate with the keyword, a calculation that helps search engines identify the page’s content and theme. Read more.

Keyword popularity
What keywords to pick for your Website’s most successful Search Engine Marketing campaign and where to place them on the page are highly important issues. There are various means to identify such factors, one of which is researching the popularity of a given keyword in users’ searches over a period of time. Have Dot Traffic research and advise you on the ideal keywords for your site in terms of popularity.

Keyword prominence
Picking the right keyword for your Website, the most relevant word or phrase that will draw the most Web traffic to your site is in the basis of Search Engine Optimization. Where to place the keyword on the page and in the text is no less significant. Keyword prominence is the location of the keyword on the page. The prominence affects visitors to the Website as well as the search engine crawlers. Many tips and advice abound regarding keyword prominence and correct use of keywords for successful SEM campaigns.

Keyword research
The importance of keywords and phrases for the ideal SEM campaign and to generate the most relevant search results requires careful and specific research. Read more

Keyword ratio
See Keyword density.

L

Landing page
A landing page is the Web page that the user eventually arrives at, after clicking on the search result, a link or an advertisement. It is an essential element in the SEM campaign and must be optimized as a reference or transactional landing page, for information or specific conversions, respectively, depending on what the Web page publisher wishes it to be.

Lead
Leads, or sales leads as they are also referred as, are databases with the contact information of potential customers. Not all Websites are designed to sell products, but they may still be able to generate such focused leads to those who are likely to purchase products. This valuable Multi-Level Marketing technique is a core element of SEM.

Link
Links, or hyperlinks, are references to other Web pages that guide and direct the user directly to the page. They function like citations, but do much more than cite, as they navigate the user with a click of the mouse to the designated Website where the information is stored. Links can be text, labels, graphic images, hot areas on the page or other.

Link exchange
Link exchange is a SEM tool for increasing a Web page’s standing in the eyes of search engines by reciprocal linking of two separate Websites. Read more

Link popularity
A certain Web page’s rank increases if other Websites link to it. This is a measure of successful SEM. The number of links that direct users and search engines to the Web page, along with the quality of these linking sites, is one of the factors that help promote a site’s rank. Read more

Log file
Visitors at Websites leave behind a logging-signature, containing of the date and time of their visit, their IP address, the filename accessed, the Web page that linked them to the site and more. Such information has value from a SEM perspective, namely knowing where the users came from, signifying successful marketing strategies.

M

Meta description
Meta description tags are hidden from the user and not visible on the page, but function in other ways, no less significant. The meta description tag is text the Website owner composes, which describes the page in the most accurate way for the search engine spider to conveniently find out what the Website’s essence is. Its Search Engine Marketing value is not so much the ranking as it is in correctly identifying the Website content. Google, for instance, will list the meta description of the page on the search result listing.

Meta keywords
Meta keyword tags are optional features, which the Website may include. The only purpose of these meta tags, since they do not even appear on the page, is to list the keywords most relevant to the Web page for better, more accurate search engine identification. Dot Traffic can optimize your Website by smart use of meta keyword tags.

Meta tags
Meta tags are an optional feature of Websites with strict Search Engine Optimization purposes and little else. Such meta information in HTML is not displayed on the page and is “visible” only to search engine crawlers. Meta tags could include meta descriptions, meta keywords and others, but spiders look up mainly these two types. The meta tags, in turn, make the spider’s visit less time consuming and more accurate.

MSN
MSN, famous acronym that stands for The Microsoft Network, is in essence Microsoft’s entire family of Web services and programs. Its search engine, called Microsoft Live Search in the 2006 release, is currently ranked 2nd in the competition with Google and Yahoo!, among other search engines. Its picture and image search functions have been developed, as well as other user-friendly and Search Engine Marketing relevant features.

N

Nofollow
A website can direct a search engine spider not to follow a link that appears on it. The idea being that the target website’s ranking will not influence the website indexed. Nofollow attribute values are most often used on sites with user generated content, like user comments and blogs.

Navigation
The overall structure and layout of a website, which helps users find their way around. Knowing your position, where you want to go and how it relates to the rest of the website. For search engines to be able to follow the navigation scheme it is best not to encode it in any script other than regular HTML.

O

Organic Listings
Search engines list results based on varying factors they deem relevant based on the user’s search keywords. Organic search engine listings, also known as “natural” listings, are those listings that appear on the results page solely based on relevancy factors. Organic listings are juxtaposed with paid listings, which are ranked on the results page based on how much the advertiser paid the search engine to post them. Read more

Organic SEO
Organic Search Engine Optimization is the SEM term for unpaid high ranking results on search engines. Organic SEO, also known as “natural” SEO, is juxtaposed with Pay Per Click advertising campaigns. The Organic SEO method involves complete optimization of the company’s Website and long term investment in building up towards top search engine results that will last a long time. Read more

Outbound Link
Outbound links appear on a Web page and direct users and search engine crawlers to another Web page. They can link between different Websites or between pages on the same site. Outbound links are key elements in Search Engine Marketing campaigns, as the smart use of them helps promote a Web page’s ranking. Read more

Overture
Overture, a Yahoo! Search Marketing product, was formerly known as GoTo.com. It is the largest of all Pay Per Click search engines. Overture enables Website owners to purchase online marketing and advertising space on a PPC basis, keyword oriented and sponsored. Yahoo! search engine results also include paid listings of search results that are based on the bidding of the advertiser for certain keywords. Such pay for placement services are successful Search Engine Marketing tools that can serve a Website, though at a cost. Thorough, Internet-wide research by Overture assures ever more relevant keyword relevancy, help promote Websites and generate profit for itself.

P

Page title
A page title, also called title tag, is an HTML meta tag that places the control of how the Web page is described by the search engine in the hands of the publisher and its Search Engine Optimizer.

PageRank
PageRank is an index used by Google to value Websites on a scale of 0 to 10, based largely on link popularity and appearing on the Google Toolbar.

Paid placement
Paid placement is a SEM strategy by which placement on the search results page is allotted in return for a fee. Paid placement is temporary and usually marked as sponsored listings.

Paid Inclusion
Paid inclusion is a SEM tool that includes search engine listing in return for a fee, with immediate results, although not necessarily with guaranteed ranking. Search engines or directories that list Websites and pages charge often on a Cost Per Click basis or alternatively per URL, ensuring highly relevant lists. Most search engines provide paid inclusion as a marketing option, although Google does not.

Paid Listing
Paid listing is one of two core SEM strategies, along with organic search engine results. Search engines offer products such as paid listings, which advertisers may buy and appear on search engine result pages based on relevancy and in return for a fee. Read more

Pay For Performance
Performance-based SEM is a term that expresses the added value, more than simply traffic. A SEM campaign is measured by actions such as conversions, sales and inquiries by the users. This pricing model, unlike mere impressions, is based on delivering the bottom line.

Pay Per Click
Pay per Click is a pricing model that is based on the number of clickthroughs the advertising generates. Read more

PPC
See Pay Per Click.

Position
The position is the rank of the advertiser on the search engine results page. Some search engines place the highest bidder at the top position, while others use algorithms that are more complex. The assumption is that the higher the rank the more clicks the advertisement generates.

Q

Quality Content
Web content that is user friendly as well as search engine friendly is considered quality content. For a website to rank high on SERPs and be popular among users it must provide interesting, well written, relevant and unique content. It can be looked at as content that is link-worthy, not merely generic text that appears on hundreds of sites.

Quality Link
Links on websites are important factors when search engines consider the site’s value and theme. Links are much like votes of trust, with better quality links counting more than low quality links for optimization purposes. A high quality link will be to or from a trusted and familiar source, not easily attainable, an older site that has been around for long and which includes quality content.

R

Reciprocal link
Reciprocal links are considered the glue that binds the World Wide Web together as they allow users to cross over between Websites, pages and documents. Search engines factor links in evaluating a Web page’s ranking to some degree. A Search Engine Optimization expert company will therefore improve the links feature of the Web page, by exchanging reciprocal links among other means. Read more

Reciprocal linking
An often used Search Engine Marketing method, reciprocal linking is the mutual trading of links between Websites. Two Websites will agree to exchange links, through a link exchange directory or other circumstances, to increase relevancy and appeal more to search engines that consider the quantity (and quality) of links on a page in its algorithms.

Redirect
Generally speaking, search engine ranking does not benefit from URL redirection, or URL forwarding as it is also called, in which users are taken to another domain without specifically entering its URL or following any link. Spiders, too, are not always able to follow the link thus hurting the Web page indexing and ranking.

Relevance
Search engines score and rank search results according to their relevance with regard to the user’s query, an evaluation based on keywords and other SEM concepts that often determine the order in which the search results appear.

Result
See SERP.

Robot
See Spider.

Robots.txt
Websites that have undergone Search Engine Optimization may include robots exclusion standards, or robots.txt, which are text file protocols that control the search engine spiders. They advise the spiders to refrain from visiting parts of the Website that are either irrelevant to the site’s categorization or that may be private.

ROI
ROI, from Return On Investment, is a central performance meter for Search Engine Marketing campaigns. It refers to the direct benefit that comes from the campaign investment, expressed as a percentage or ratio.

S

Search engine
Search engines generate lists of Websites and pages based on the user’s specifications – often certain keywords or phrases – in order of relevancy based not only on the Website’s name but also on its entire pages’ HTML content. Search Engine Marketing is designed to advance a Website’s ranking on a search engine’s results page.

Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing, also known by the acronym SEM, is a set of Internet marketing strategies that are designed to promote a Website’s visibility and Web traffic. SEM includes a score of methods. Read more

Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization, also known by the acronym SEO, is a division of the larger Search Engine Marketing. SEO is a strategy that aims at increasing the Website’s performance on the search engines in organic, natural means. Read more

Search Engine Results Page
A page with links and site descriptions produced by the search engine in response to the user’s interest, as expressed in the keywords or phrases entered.

Search term
The keyword or phrase entered by the user in a search request at a search engine Website.

Search term popularity
See Keyword popularity.

SEM
Acronym for Search Engine Marketing

SEO
Acronym for Search Engine Optimization and/or Search Engine Optimizer.

SERP
An acronym for Search Engine Results Page.

SERPs
Plural for SERP (Search Engine Results Pages)

Spamming
Spamming search engines is the term used to describe any attempts by Website publishers to disrupt the work of the search engine spiders in order to confuse the relevancy algorithm and optimize the site’s ranking.

Spider
See Bot.

Submitting website
Submitting a Website to a search engine, also known as announcing a Website, is a means to draw the attention of the search engine to have it index the site. There are automated tools and various levels of submitting a Website. Dot Traffic can help you learn what best means of submitting your Website with each search engine is.

T

Text Link Ads
Graphic advertisements are not necessarily the ideal advertising method online. Advertisements that are formatted as text links can work as well, possibly even better. Considering that the web has always been text based and that graphic ads are often simply annoying, the advantage of a well phrased and catchy text link ad is clear.

Title
An important Search Engine Optimization element, the title is used to describe the contents of a document. It is unique to the particular page, descriptive in nature or simply catchy and appealing, and rather short. Titles appear as links for users to click on or as link anchor text on documents. When used well it can help drive traffic to your website.

U

Usability
Usability is a measure for how simple or difficult users find the website to be when they wish to perform their desired action. It is affected by the website’s structure, layout, text formatting and hyperlinks, among others. A website that scores high on usability means higher conversion rates.

Update
Search engines are a constantly changing world. To reach relevant and fresh results, search engine algorithms and data sets frequently update. The search index like the search engine algorithm continuously updates, bringing users the most specific, relevant and quality results.

V

Visibility
Not merely exposure, but visibility is key to a successful Search Engine Marketing campaign. A website must be positioned well on search engine result pages for the relevant keyword searches. Visibility, meaning ranking high on relevant searches, helps generate targeted traffic and is much more effective than mere exposure (appearing on some low ranking page in the results).

W

White Hat SEO
The search engine world changes regularly. So do its regulations that dictate what are legitimate and ethical Search Engine Optimization techniques and methods. SEO companies that operate within these guidelines are considered White Hat SEO Companies, distinguished from Black Hat SEO. They avoid deceptive methods, and operate ethically within this great business model.

Whois
Whois records store the identity of the owner of each domain online, except for those that hide such information. Indeed, some domain registrars allow the ownership information to remain hidden, a feature often taken advantage of by large scale spammers.

X

XML
XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. It is a simple text format, derived from SGML and rather flexible. RSS feeds and other syndicate information technologies usually are make use of it.

Xenu
Link verification is important to ensure that internal and external links on a website are not broken. Xenu is free software, popularly used for checking broken links of any kind, text, graphic or other, and reporting to the website owner the status of his links.

Y

Yahoo!
Sunnyvale, California based Internet services company founded by Stanford students Jerry Yang and David Filo in 1994. Its products include a search engine and the Yahoo! Directory, email service and a popular web portal.

Yahoo! Search Marketing
Yahoo! Runs a PPC or Sponsored results advertising service, based on keyword that are based on a bidding system over keywords and placement. The platform was formerly known as Overture.

Z

Zeitgeist (Google Zeitgesit)
Weekly, monthly, and annual reports released by Google and based on millions of searches. The service reveals emerging and declining trends in real time of searches conducted on the Google search engine.

 
 
 
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