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SEO Glossary of Terms
A Glossary of Terms relating to search engine optimisation (seo)
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Term Definition


This is a configuration file which is at apache directory level asnd is used to redirect files or put password protection on them. You should never even consider altering your .htaccess file until you have copied it, otherwise you could find that your site goes down and if you are ussure of what you are doing this could be a disaster for you.


About is a huge directory that is internet based, it was once known as The Mining Company.

Above the fold

This is the section of a page on the internet that can be seen without having to scroll down.

Absolute link

An absolute link is a link that is the entire URL of the web page that the user is being directed to. These kind of links are better than a relative link path as these can lead you to a totally different site than you expected.


An acquisition is a person who rather than just looking at a website subscribes to receive regular information from it, buys something from the site, or shows a marked interest in the product by leaving their contact details on the site for the owners.

Acquisition cost

The acquisition cost is the total cost of advertising a website has used divided either by the total number of visitors, or the total number of customers the site has received.

Ad broker

A person who sells advertising space on behalf of the owners of web sites.

Ad Centre

AdCentre is the name of the Microsoft owned ad network that is cost per click.

Ad inventory

The total number of potential views a page has for advertising purposes.


Adjacency is a term used to describe the connection between certain words when they are entered into a search engine. A search engine will rank a site higher where the words searched for appear side by in the body of text on a website, rather than the words being separated by words not included in the search.

Adjacent searching

Adjacent searching is similar to proximity. It is a way of specifying how much space is in between keywords in a search, yet still allow a site to be highly ranked. For example if the size of the space in between keywords was two a search for 'bullets and guns' would show sites with terms like 'bullets used in guns' however a term such as 'bullets and their use in guns' would not appear as the space between the keywords was four spaces not two.


AdSense is a ad based program belonging to Google that is contextual.

Advanced search

An advanced search is when a search on an engine can be narrowed down to only search within certain parameters, such as a specific date of creation or from a certain country.


The pay per click advertising program run by Google.

Affiliate marketing

This kind of marketing is useful for internet selling as it does not cost very much, apart from the affiliates payments and can be very productive. The way the buyers commission gets to the affiliate is by them clicking through an affiliate placed link.

Affiliate program link

An affiliate program is one where other people sell on a product for you gaining monetary reward through commission. An affiliate program link is a link that affiliates place on their websites, blogs, comments on someone else's website on order for others to see and click through. Once the person has clicked through it is noted by the affiliate link program and if that person buys something, the affiliate who placed the link will get the commission.


Age is often used by some search engines or social networking sites in order to test the validity of a website, page, user information and other data that is historical. If a site or page is 'new' then it will at first rank quite highly as it is seen as unique and fresh content, this ranking slides as the site becomes older and more trusted sites gain a higher status due to their age and content.

Agent name delivery

This is a method by which different pages can be shown to a user on the same URL depending on what agent name is making the request. Mozilla at the start of an agent name will mean that a normal browser is searching, if a name such as Googlebot is used it shows that it is a search engine. However this is not a good way of cloaking as many searhc engines just disguise their spiders by calling them Mozilla agents.


AJAX or Asynchronous JavaScript and XML is a way in which additional data can be requested via a server by a web page cutting out the need to load a new page.


Alexa is owned and it is a service that can measure the traffic to a website. It does tend to lean towards sites that are marketing orientated and those that include websmaster communities, this makes it unreliable. The service however is free.


Algorithms are the principles that search engines use when ranking websites. An understanding of algorithms is crucial to successful SEO, as algorithms can make a web page highly relevant for certain search queries.

Algorithm based software

This is a type of software that mines data. It is normally used for statistical research.

Algorithmic search

This is a term that is mainly used when thinking financially about search engines such as the ones that are algorithm based like Google or the ones that are cost driven such as Overture.


Aliweb is a dictionary that is only available on the Internet.


This is a Google specific search command. Using an allinthtitle:cats search would mean that only the websites that had the word 'cats' in the title would be ranked.


This is a Google specific search command. Using an allinurl:animals search would mean that only the websites that had the word 'animals' in their URL would be ranked.


Alltheweb is a search engine created in 1999. It has recently been taken over by Yahoo! and uses Yahoo!'s database for searches. However, this takeover has meant that Alltheweb has lost some of it's advanced features.

Alt attribute

Images are not easy to distinguish for people with poor eyesight and for many search engines. This is why an image alt attribute is used to help define the image in a text format as an equivalent.

Alt tag

An alt tag is the name for the text that will normally be visible as an image is loading onto a web page. These can be used in SEO as the alt tag can include keywords in its title.

Alta Vista

Alta Vista was at one time one of the biggest search engines in the world, however due to an algorithmic update which caused it to rid itself of many websites it lost credibility. Shortly after it was bought by Overture, which was then bought by Yahoo! Alta Vista now uses much of Yahoo's technology and is still Yahoo! owned.

Amazon is one of the largest internet based retail websites in the world. Amazon is also the owner of several other websites.


Analytics are used to compile statistics on views of your web pages, user conversations and paths. Software is used to calculate this through log files, or by a tracker code which is in JavaScript on your website. Using analytics will give you a huge advantage over other marketers who do not use it.

Anchor text

Anchor text is used in links for people to click onto. A link that has keyword optimised anchor text in it would be seen as highly relevant to a search engine. Using too much anchor text is seen in a bad light and can result in a site being poorly ranked, or not at all.


AOL is a web based portal that is now owned by Time Warner.


API or Application Program Interface is a set of rules or routes that are vital to accessing various software functions. Almost all of the top search functions will use API.


An applet is a tiny Java based program that has no real use on it's own as it only runs within a certain program and will only perform a very narrow set of functions.


Arbitrage is a method by which assets are bought and sold on at a profit. When speaking in relation to a search market sites will buy traffic from a larger search engine in the hope that they can make a profit from someone clicking back on a higher costing advertisement.

Architext spider

This is the name of the spider that is utilised by the search engine of Excite.


Ask is a type of search engine. It was initially called Ask Jeeves but that title was shorted to Ask in 2006.

Ask Jeeves

Ask Jeeves is what the search engine Ask was once known as.


ASP or Active Server Pages is a scripting language that is server side and assists in the delivery of dynamic content.


Attribute is a HMTL term that is normally used when defining aspects of a page. For example the background colour of a page would be shown as bgcolour in a <body> tag.

Audience reach

Audience reach is used to calculate the number of the population that use the Internet and use a certain search engine during one month. This can be used in tandem with the amount of hours used to search on the Internet to calculate how popular any search engine is.


Authority is a term used to describe a website that ahs many links to it from sites on the same subject. Such a site would be high ranking due to its relevance on certain searches.

Automated bid management software

This is a type of software that is used by owners of large websites that do a lot of advertising. It is used to control the overall spend on advertisements and when used in tandem with analylitical software it can increase the profitability of a website.

Automated submission

Automated submission is the term used when URLs are submitted to various search engines by a machine, this is normally done by the use of specific software designed for the process.

Back link

A back link is a type of link that will direct you back to the page you are viewing from another page.

Backward link

A backward link is another term for back link.

Bad neighbourhood

A bad neighbourhood is the act of sharing an IP block or a server with other websites that have been blacklisted for using dubious Black Hat SEO methods.

Bad request

A bad request is a request that is not understood by a server due to bad syntax. By correcting the syntax the user can get the server to perform the search successfully.

Bait & switch

Bait & switch is the tactic used to get a visitor to click onto a link or website that once entered is not relevant to the search they were performing. They take the bait, then the end result is switched.


When a website is banned it means that it has been blacklisted and removed from search engines. This is usually due to the use of unethical SEO methods such as excessive link farming.

Banner ad

A banner ad is an advertisement that is usually a long rectangular shape that either runs across the top of a website or down the side of it. Once clicked on these adverts take the visitor to the website being advertised.

Banner blindness

This is the term for the way in which people are so used to seeing banner ads at the side of web pages that they simply ignore them.

Battelle, John

John Battelle is a well known media influenced blogger who has written various books and blogs and jointly founded Wired and The Industry Standard.

Begins with partial word matching

Many search engines will present results that include the searched word in the index at the beginning of other words. For example a search for the word 'cat' will also bring up results for 'catering' or cattery' as they both contain the word 'cat' at the start of them.

Behavioural training

This is a method used by advertisements to target recent searches. For instance a previous search may have been on credit cards so when reading another page credit cards ads may keep appearing.

Bells & whistles

Some people consider bells and whistles to be features that are advanced, such as lots of animation on a web page, or the over use of SEO which can ultimately wind up with a website ranking very badly.

Best of the Web

Best of the Web was an Inktomi database.


Beta is the term used when software or similar product is in its testing stage and not yet released to the public. Such software is known as being a beta version until it is fully checked and free from bugs and ready to go on sale or be distributed. However, when something is in its beta stage you can try it out and give feedback to the makers so they can iron out any glitches.


Bias in SEO is the term to describe a search engine favouring certain sites above others. This favoring can be organically biased towards non-commercial websites to create a balance, to sites that have older information on them which is thought to be trusted.

Bibliomatic analysis

This is a type of analytical study that can show the number of inbound links to your site. The major search engines all have the facility to check this for yourself.


A bid is the fee that a person is willing to pay for ranking using keywords on pay per click search engines.

Black hat SEO

Every search engine has a list of rules and regulations that must be followed by the owners of websites in order for them to be able to included on search engines. These sites create the revenue for the search engine so the engine owners want sites to be profitable and not include any dubious techniques to gain traffic. Any method that is seen as being deceptive is classed as being Black Hat SEO and can lead a website to be blacklisted.


Being blacklisted is the same as being banned or delisted from a search engine. This is when a site is removed from a search engine normally for using unethical Black Hat SEO methods.

Block level analysis

This is an analysing method whereby a website is viewed in a block by block way rather than looking at the website in its entirety. It highlights the fact that some areas of a webpage are more important and Microsoft use this method to improve its search engine relevancy.


A blog is an online diary that can be viewed by anyone. Many blogs have chat rooms and other features on them and some even have regular subscribers.

Blog and ping

This is a form of marketing system that delivers content via blogs and pings, or pingbacks. Sites can be indexed on search engines using this and can be very profitable.

Blog comment span

This is a way of adding comments to a blog that have little or no value. These comments can be added manually or automatically and there is software available that can make these comments for you.


Blogger is platform used to create create blogs. It is Google owned and is free to use. However, if you intend to make money from your website or blog it is important to own the domain you are publishing from as it can be difficult to claim back the link equity or age related trust on a domain that is not your own.


A blgoroll is a list of the various links that direct the reader to other blogs owned by the same person / company or to blogs written by people the blog writer knows.


This is a method of optimising a blog so that it is recognised in search engine searches.


Bold is the use of a bold font to attract a reader to it. Search engines put a slightly higher emphasis on bold words, but the overuse of bold text does not look natural and can have the opposite effect.


A bookmark is a way of remembering a site that you particularly liked, you can also share bookmarked sites.

Boolean search

A Boolean search is a search that contains certain mathematical terms such as OR, AND and NOT.


A brand is the emotional connection that a person has with a certain company or product. A brand is built by managing the expectations of customers and living up to them. Doing this can create much higher profit margins as people become faithful to a brand.

Branded keywords

Branded keywords are keywords that relate or contain the name of a brand. They are very profitable and some affiliate programs do not allow branded keywords to be used by their affiliates whilst others do.

Breadcrumb navigation

This is a technique that enables website users and some search engines work out the relationship between web pages. It usually begins with a page that is unlinked and relates to the pages that are above it on the structure of the site. Feeding back to the home page.


A bridge or doorway page is a method of entry into a site that is not the site's homepage. These pages are often thoguht to be created to spam search engines and can be a misrepresentation of a website's content. Sites that use bridges are frowned upon and can be blacklisted.

Bridge page / bridging page

These are pages which are created to be high ranking for a certain keyword. A visitor is then redirected from this page to another page. There are two main types of bridge page, one that is created from a template and made automatically and those that are manually created and are keyword optimised. The first type are normally thought of as spam and the second kind are highly thought of as a clever SEO technique.

Brin, Sergy

Sergy Brin is one of Google's co founders.


Broadband or broad bandwidth is a type of channel that transmits data. As it uses a technique that involves mulitplexing, data is allowed to be tramsmitted much faster than dial up Internet connections and several signals of different types can be transmitted at the same time.

Broken link

A broken link is a link that directs the viewer to a URL that no longer exists. As part of search engine maintenance spiders remove these dead links when they come across them.


A browser is a type of program that allows the content of the Internet to be displayed. One very popular browser is Microsoft Internet Explorer. Browsers will have certain features such as bookmarks and refresh buttons.

Browser compatability

This is a term that refers to the way in which a browser will show the same web page. For a web page to be successful from both a design and SEO viewpoint they should be independent so that no particular browser is needed to view them.


A bug is a problem or error within a program.


A burst is a short-lived interest in a certain subject or theme and the subsequent rise of searches on the matter. Many news items are bursts and rise and fall in popularity.

Bush, Vannevar

Vannevar Bush is a Second World War scientist who wrote a groundbreaking research paper on hypertext and its concepts and a device called As We May Think about memory extension.

This is a large directory of businesses and information that is well respected.

Buying cycle

When a person is about to make an expensive purchase they will often do some research on the item they wish to buy. By using keyword based marketing in searches a consumer is able to be accessed at various points this buying cycle. Branded keywords tend to have a good turn over in the buying cycle and can be very profitable.


A cache is a web page that has been copied and stored by a search engine. This is because such pages are used in the search engines index when performing a search. These pages then allow a reader to access the rest of a website that has been indexed.

Calacanis, Jason

Jason Calacanis is the creator of Weblogs Inc.

Canonical URL

A canonical URL is a URL that is the best indexed version. It does not contain any duplicate material which can be a problem when using inconsistent links as the same content can get indexed many times for different URLs and this can cause problems. In order to index the root level of a URL it is best to end it in / this prevents it being duplicated.


A captcha is a mixture of letters and numbers that is often distorted that is used as a passcode that a person must input to gain access to certain sites. They are used to prevent automatic commenting and blogs as this is seen as spamming.

Cascading style sheets

Cascading Style Sheets or CSS is a method of refining the way that a web page is seen by altering the font colour or other customisable features. CSS is an add on for HTML and it is only the CSS file that needs to be altered to change the entire rendering of a website. CSS in terms of SEO can sometimes be classed as spam.


Is the method of classifying groups of websites and pages to create a directory.

Catch all listing

This is a marketing method which relies on using terms that have not yet been targeted by marketers. This can create problems as it uses untargeted marketing and many search engines will not allow this type of bulk marketing. One benefit of catch all listings are that on search engines that are subject specific they can be very profitable.


When thinking of various Web directories a category is the grouping of links to similar sites.


CGI or Common Gateway Interface is a type of interface that is popular and works between web server program and other types of software.


Channels are the collections of links on web directories.

Citation analysis

This was software originally developed to discover which collections of documents are refered to the most on a given subject. Link analysis is a better way of expressing this when thinking about web searches.

Citation count

This is the total number of times a specific document is linked back to by documents that are in the same group or collection. Unlike link popularity where the quality of link is considered a citation, or link count simply counts the number of citations or links.


This is a method of organising online documents so that they can be used in a directory. Often these will fall into "main categories" and "sub categories" and can be several layers deep.

Click Fraud

This is an illegal practise that involves paying people a small sum of money to click through on certain ads. Webmasters will earn revenue from these ads as long as they are being clicked so will pay individuals to do this. The people who click through these ads have no intention of buying from them so the advertiser is wasting their fees by placing them on sites runs by fraudulent webmasters.

Click through

Click through is the act of clicking once on an advertisement or link and coming to a landing page. One of the main aims of SEO is to create a high click through rate for any link.

Click through rate

Click through rate is the total percentage of visitors that will click through an advertisement or link on a web page.

Click tracking

A search engine can find out more about its users and which pages are relevant to queries by click tracking. One search engine that is no longer is use called "Direct Hit" kept a record of what users clicked on and how long they spent on pages in order to improve the relevance of queries.


A client can be a computer, program or a process that makes an information request to a computer, program or process.


Cloaking is a method of showing a searcher different content than a search engine. The severity of the cloaking and the power of the person or brand that is doing the cloaking can either make it justifiable or an unscrupulous method.

Closed loop

A closed loop is a structure of links that only link to each other within their group. This means that a visitor will never leave a set of websites if they only click on links within them. This can be recognised by search engines and they will do all they can not to index sites that have closed loops links in them. However general consensus still does not state if a closed loop is a site that only contains links to others within the closed loop or if a site has a few closed loops links would still be penalised. In short it is better to have links to other sites outside of a loop in order to be highly ranked.


A cluster is a number of search results that are put together, this is normally done to save spae on a server that is shared domain that is top-level.


This is a method that search engines use by which they will put together a mixture of pages from the same domain together in the search results page. If this was not done one site might have all the top spots in the ranking which can mean having to conduct a different refined search. This is done automatically and can save a lot of time for the user.


CMS or Content Management System is a software tool that enables the user to update a website easily.


Co-citation is mainly used in topical authority based searches when algorithms and links that are close to each other are said to be related. In LSI words that tend to appear next to each toher in searches are thought to be related also.

Code bloat

A code bloat occurs when a website or page is crammed full of different codes, tags and HMTL that is unwanted that it becomes very hard to download and view. Search engines also find such websites hard to index.

Collaborative filtering

This is also known as 'social filtering', it is used to link together queries that were relevant when people performed a similar search. On many websites that sell products you will often find a section that will say "People who bought this product also bought...." this creates increased relevancy in searches.


A collection is the name for a set of documents that have been queried.

Collection fusion

This is the act of mixing the search results of several different collections. Problems are faced by meta search engines when they try and do this as they have been already ranked but using different algorithms.

Combined log file

A combined log file is a way of tracking the visitors a website attracts. It also has information on referrers and user agents.

Comment (s)

A comment is a thought or opinion that can be left on a blog or other CMS that can be read by other people who read the blog.

Comments tag

A comments tag is a HTML term that is used to allow humans to understand coding. Comments are put in a comments tag <put info here> and it ensures that no raw data is displayed on screen. People often try to put keywords in their comments tag, but search engines tend to totally overlook this.

Common log file

This is a log file that contains no more information than a standard log file.

Compacted information

Compacted information is used when there is a lot of information on a certain product or topic and one or two documents are needed to be considered to be an authority on the subject. By using compacted information a website or directory can ensure a good ranking as their information is seen as unique and therefore more attractive.

Concept search

A concept search is a type of search where the search engine will not just search for the queried words and phrases but also words associated with them, using the concept of the search not just the search terms.

Conceptual links

Conceptual links are links in which a search engine will try to not just include search words but also the concept behind the search.

Content-based filtering

Content-based filtering is the method of taking some or all of the content contain within a website or page in order to rank it correctly. For instance, PageRank by Google will use the inbound links a site has in order to rank it.

Contextual advertising

Contextual advertising is advertising that is totally relevant to the site being viewed and it is generated by an advertising program.


A conversion is the point when a visitor to a site does something other than simply look at the site. This can be buying something from the site, requesting information or joining as a member on that site.

Conversion cost

The conversion cost is the cost to the advertiser of gaining one sale. For example if a website owner has spent $1000 on marketing and from that 40 sales are made the conversion cost is $1000 divided by 40 which means that it costs $25 for each sale to be made. However if each product is sold for $100 then the site has made a profit as their conversion cost is less than the price of the product.

Conversion point

The conversion point is the point when a visitor to a site has completed their conversion. This can be once their payment has been accepted or when they have signed up to recieve updates on products etc.

Conversion rate (CR)

This is the total percentage of visitors to a website that will go on and be converted and produce the Most Wanted Response for that site, be that buying something or signing up to receive more information. This is a very useful percentage to know for a site as it measures the sites effectiveness and success.


A cookie is a tiny file that contains data about which websites a user accesses, this is kept on their computer and is used to track them. Affiliate marketing utilises cookies and many websites use them to improve the repeat visitors experience.


Copyright is having the total legal rights to publish and republish a certain document or other piece of information.

Cosine similarity

This is the extent that a search matches the query.

Cost per click C-P-C (CPC)

This is the cost of an advertising campaign divided by the number of clicks the ads got from unique visitors to the site. The higher the number of clicks the better the advertisements were.

Cost per thousand

This can also be known as cost-per-impression or mile (CPM) and it is a form of advertising whereby the advertisers pay a search engine a set fee for every thousand users who see their ads. They don't even have to click through the ads, these ads are usually banner ads which are at the side of webpages.

Counter / page counter

A counter is a small software application that can be put on a website in order to count how many visitors the website attracts and will count them for the owner. Counters can be a valuable tool to see how much traffic a website is getting.


CPA or Cost Per Action is the cost in advertising that is needed to generate an action from a user. An action could be signing up for emails or other information, or buying a product. Affiliate programs rely on this as do several contextual advertisements.


CPC or Cost Per Click is the total cost of advertising that is needed to generate one click through an advert. Measuring this can be useful in determining how effective an ad campaign is.


CPL or Cost Per Lead is the full cost of an advertising campaign divided by the total number of leads that are generated through it.


CPM or Cost Per Impression is the same as the Cost Per Thousand.


This is the Cost Per Sale and is the same as the Cost Per Action.


Spiders crawl when they are looking at websites to index, they will crawl from link to link from site to site when indexing search results.

Crawl depth

This is the term for how deeply a spider will crawl a website in order to rank it. As searches are getting more and more complex a spider will often have to crawl deeper within a website in order to see how relevant to that search a website is.

Crawl frequency

This is how often a site is crawled, or spidered. A site which has a lot of unique content will get crawled more often than one that is seen as low quality with spammy links.


A crawler is another name for a spider, which is a robot that crawls websites making note of links and other information, it then will sue this information to index the site on a search engine.

Cross linking

This is a method by which links across one family of domains are refered to each other. For instance links between a personal website and a business one.

CSS (Cascading style sheets)

See Cascading Style Sheets

Cutts, Matt

Matt Cutts is the head of Google's search quality.


This is a method in which a domain name that contains a popular trade name is bought with the intent of gaining more traffic. Misspellings of trade names are often bought too in an attempt to get increased traffic, or to even sell on for a profit.


A cybrarian is a person who is skilled at online research.


This is short for the term Google Dance

Data traffic

Data traffic is the total packets of data that cross a network


Databases are in very simplified terms an electronic way of filing. A database is very precise and categorised meticulously to enable easy retrieval of data. Search engines are one type of large database.


A dataset is a collection of documents on a search engine that are searchable.

Date range / date limit

By using a date range / date limit a search engine can help a user to narrow down their search to items created on or after a certain date.


Dayparting is a method used in advertising by which the advertiser will set times when ads will be shown in order to gain maximum audience reach.


If a website is removed from a search engine it has been de-listed. This can happen for several reasons, the main one being that the site has

Dead link

A dead link is a link to a site or page that no longer exists. Clicking on it will not take you anywhere and you will probably get an error message on your screen saying that the address is invalid.

Dedicated server

A dedicated server is a server that is only used to run one website or a number of website that all have the same owner. Such servers tend to be more reliable than a shared server.

Deep link ration

This is the ratio of links that are pointing at internal pages to the total number of links pointing at a website. The higher the ratio the more reliable the site is.

Deep linking

This is the act of linking the internal pages of website. Usually a link will be provided to the homepage of a website. However there can be legal implications of doing this.

This is a social bookmarking website that is very popular.


Demographics are the sectioning of society into certain groupings, This can be through age, gender, employment status etc. Demographics are used for many purposes such as target marketing.

Denton, Nick

Nick Denton is the publisher of controversial weblog Gawker.


A description is a short piece explaining what a website is about, this is usually near the title in a search engine ranking.

Description tag

This is HTML tag that is used by search engines that cannot be seen by the user that helps them to rank websites. Not all search engines use these though.


DHTML is the dynamic HTML which enables the user to improve a websites appearance.


This is a popular social new site. The users of Digg are able to vote on which items are the most popular.

Direct hit

Direct Hit was a search engine that tracked users queries in order to improve on search results. It was bought by Ask Jeeves but was never to reach its full potential and is now discontinued.


A directory is a usually manually compiled list of links to the web that can be topic specific or general. They are not as comprehensive as search engines but are useful if looking for something more specific.


This is a huge volunteer created directory that allows its database to be indexed by search engines and other directories. A listing on DMOZ will enable a website to be indexed on other search engines, due to this it is quite difficult to get indexed on DMOZ.


DNS or Domain Name Server, Domain Name Service or Domain Name System is the term for the name of a computer, every computer has its own IP address which is different for every computer. It is similar to a telephone but instead it uses letters as they are easier to remember. The DNS enables letters rather than numbers to be used and it is a static hierachical name service. Turning these names back into the IP address is known as "resolving" the Domain.

DNS parking

This is the term used for when a domain has been bought but not yet turned into a website. A domain must be paid for annually in order for it to stay the property of one person or business. Trademarks are normally protected by DNS parking.

Document streams

A document stream is a burst of documents on a certain subject, usually news topics, and these must be indexed by search engines in order to stay up to date.


Dogpile is a type of meta search engine.

Domain / domain name

Domain is a term used for the organisation and location of the web, this can often be logical. A domain name is the term for a specfic website.

Doorway page

Doorway pages are pages which are optimised to attract users with certain queries, once at the oodrway page the user is redirected to another page which will typically contain adverts. Doorway pages are foten used until they are found out and closed down, by this time though the creators have usually made quite a lot of money.


Dreamweaver is a type of editing and website developing software that creates a what you see is what you get type of interface.

Drill down

This is a method used when a user is clicking through links in categories and sub-categories for the purpose of finding more information.

Duplicate content

Duplicate content is content on a website or page that has been used elsewhere. Duplicate content that is taken from another website is frowned upon and is classed as plagiarism. If you are in doubt about the content of your website there are several online checking tools that you can use to make sure the content on your website is original, such as Dupecop or Copyscape.

Dynamic content

Dynamic content is the content of a web site that changes depending on what the user selects. These changes can be made daily. An example of dynamic content is the search engine reuslt pages as they change every time a person uses a search engine.

Dynamic languages

Dynamic Languages are languages used for programming such as ASP or PHP that can be used to create webpages quickly.

Dynamic optimization

This is the act of putting additional fields to page templates and databases, this is done to improve optimisation on ecommerce websites as there are many different elements on the site.

Editorial link

When deciding on site relevancy and quality search engines like to count links as a mark of this quality. An editorial link is a link that is earned. It is not a paid for link or part of a link farm, which will devalue a website. Some paid links are classed as quality links such as those from trusted directories and these will still get a vote as the editorial standards are still high in them.

Electronic library

An electronic library is a term for a website that allows access to other public resources such as audio files and e-books.


Emphasis is a type of HTML tag which is used to emphasize text. However it is not a good idea to emphasize all the keywords in a body of text as to a human it looks odd and sometimes becomes hard to read, so it is not crucial to use this tag to gain an advantage for a website.


EMR or Exact Match Result is the name for a search that will return the exact query that is entered.

Entry page

An entry page is the same as a doorway page.


EPC or Earnings Per Click is the term used when the total number of sales is divided by the total number of page views in order to calculate how successful the site is at turning visitors into customers.


EPV or Earnings Per Visitor is the same as EPC and conversion rate.

Ethical SEO

Ethical SEO is SEO that does not use unethical methods to rank highly in a search.


Every month Google will update all of the sites that it has indexed, this happens around the 20th to the 28th of each month. However today the indexing is constantly changing and this is known as the Everflux. This enables the content indexed on Google to be fresh.

Exact match

An exact match is a match that will only return the exact query entered. For example a query for "horse" will only return documents with this term in it, not any plurals or other combinations of the word.


Excite a large search engine.

Expert document

An expert document is a quality page that contains links to lots of topical resources that are non-affiliated.

Expert index

An expert index is a collection of documents that are indexed that are considered to be 'expert'.

Expert link

This is a link that can be to or from a document that is considered to be 'expert'.

Expert page

This is a page of an expert document.

External link

An external link is one that makes a reference to another domain. This is a good thing if the links are of good quality and it helps search engines to rank a site better.

Eye candy

This is the term used to describe a website that is pleasing to look at. This can be both a plus and a minus for a website as eye candy is not thought to be of any use.

Facted search

This is a type of search that links parenthesis and Boolean operators, as a result the search is very accurate.

Fair use

Covered by section 107 of the Copyright code, fair use is the acceptable amount of use a piece of work can be used before it breeches its fair usage.

Fake copy listing

This is the dubious act of stealing the content from a website and putting it on your own and submitting it to search engines. Copyright is catching up and adapting to cover the Internet so this practise is slowly being tightened up on. If a website is thought to have used stolen content there are certain things the copyright holder can do, such as going to the search engine that has listed the site and the content stealers hosting company. In order to prevent this it is a good idea to have copyright notices and / or links to one on each page of your website.

False drop

A false drop is a webpage that can be ranked on search engine results page that is not relevant to the search. This can be due to the fact that some words have multiple meanings and as a search engine will search for what is entered into the query there is no way of defining which meaning a user was searching for.


Favicon or Favourites Icon is a small icon that on a web browser will be next to a URL. To give your site a favicon you need to upload an image of your choice called favicon.ico to the root file of your website.


Feed is a term that is associated with blogs and other content management systems. It allows users to subscribe to a certain feed and receive new updates each time one is published. These are usually in the form of XML or RSS feeds.

Feed aggregator

A feed aggregator is a type of application that is hosted or software that enables feeds collected from various sources to all be shown in a single view. This can either be in a web browser or a desktop window.

Feed reader

A feed reader is a website or software program that will allow the user to receive notifications of new feeds.


FFA or Free For All are a type of low quality web page on which anyone can add a link to their site. Automated programs use such pages and as a result they are not particularly trusted as the links tend to be low quality.


Filter is a search engine term for what the search engine will do when it comes across something on a website which makes it seem unnatural. If a website is found to be unnatural the search engine will filter that site out of its search results. Duplicate content on a website is one thing that will result in it being filtered as is the quality of anchor text and link quality, spamming can also result in filtering.


Findwhat is a search engine.


Firefox is a type of web browser that is extensible and open source.


Flash is a type of animation technology that is vector graphic based. It is short for Macromedia Flash.

Flash page

A flash page is the same as a splash page and is the page that many website have that has a 'click to enter' type phrase on it and some graphics. They offer very little and many people consider them to be pointless.


Frames was a Netscape developed technique that enabled several smaller pages to be displayed at once on a single screen. This resulted in constant site navigation but it means that deep linking with relevant content is difficult. Today this is outdated since the introduction of SSI, dynamic languages and content management.

Frequency cap

A frequency cap is an advertising term which is used to describe the number, or limit of times that a user will be shown as advertisement.

Fresh content

Fresh content is content on a website that is dynamic, this helps visitors to return to a site to see what has been added to it. This has the benefits of a website being constantly re-crawled and the content archives of your site will get larger, leading to a higher ranking.


FTP or File Transfer Protocol is a method of transferring files between computers. Blogging platforms use FTP and there are several free or very cheap FTP systems available such as Leach FTP and Core FTP.


FUD or Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt is a marketing term by which a company will try to spread false rumours and create fear and uncertainty towards their competitors.

Full-text search engine / full-text inde

A full-text search engine is a kind of search engine that will go to the length of indexing every single word of every single document that it spiders.

Fuzzy matching

Fuzzy matching is the opposite of exact matching, instead of the search only returning the exact term it will return documents that contain variations on the query and other documents that are thought to be relevant to the query. This is done as it is assumed that results which are similar to the query will also be relevant to the search.

Fuzzy search

A fuzzy search is a search that will bring up what a user was looking for even if the words were spelled incorrectly.

G / GG

This is term that is often used in search engine forums, it stands for Google.


GAP or Google Advertising Professional is a type of program that helps to check if a marketer is an accomplished AdWords marketer.


A gateway is an entrance to a website that is not the homepage. Sometimes a gateway might be used to measure how effective a particular ad was, however they are generally regarded as spam and seen in an unfavourable light.

Gateway page

A gateway page is the same as a doorway page.

Ghost domain

A ghost domain is the same as a shadow domain.

Ghost site

A ghost site is a type of website that although it is no longer updated is still available to view online. It is different to a site that has been abandoned, normally because it still contains information that is relevant.


Gimpsey is a search engine that indexes and classfies websites by the actions or usage available on the site, rather than the content.

Gladwell, Malcolm

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a popular book called The Tipping Point which concentrates on how a network of influencers can spread an idea. was originally called Infoseek, then it was bought out by Disney and now merely shows information from Overture.

Godin, Seth

Seth Godin is a business consultant, popular blogger, viral marketer and author. was created by the makers of Go and is hailed as the spam free search engine.


Google is a hugely well known and used search engine, known for its PageRank and constantly updated database.

Google base

This is a semantically structured database that was created by Google. It can assist Google to find out what types of information are commercial and enables it to improve vertical searches.

Google bomb / Google bombing

This is a method where a website is made popular by pointing hundreds and soemtiems thousands of links at it that contain the keywords in the anchor text.

Google bowling

Google Bowling is a method of pointing hundreds, or more, poor quality links at a site in order for it to be poorly ranked. This is quite easy to do with a new site, but more difficult for an older one.

Google checkout

The Google Checkout is a payment service which can assist Google in understanding conversion rates for merchants, markets and keywords.

Google dance

The Google Dance was the term for the monthly update Google performed on its whole index of websites. It used to last for one or two days and was used to keep up to date with the latest content. However today this is done almost constantly.

Google juice

This is a term that means the added benefits a website has to enable it be highly ranked on Google.

Google keyword tool

This is a Google provided tool which can help website owners find out how much competition a keyword has and will provide keywords that are related an relevant to those on your site.

Google onebox

This is the area above Google's organic search results which is often used to show vertical search results from places such as Google News and Google Base.

Google sitemaps

This is a program which some people use to assist Google in indexing their contents. It is much better however to submit websites and build good quality links to keep it in search engines indexes.

Google supplemental index

This is an index where websites and pages that have low trust are kept. To be placed in the supplemental index a site usually has low trust, duplicate content or very complicated URLs.

Google traffic estimator

This is a tool which is used to estimate bid prices and the number of searchers on Google who will click on an advertisement for a certain keyword.

Google trends

Google trends is a software tool which enables the user to see Google's search volumes and track the changes in keywords over a period of time.

Google website optimiser

The google website optimiser is used by AdWords advertisers in order to improve their rates of conversion, it is a free tool.

Google whacking

This is a game played on Google where the user enters two words into the query, without quotes " " with the aim of only returning one result. Both of the words must be included in the dictionary and when you get the message results 1 of 1 you have just got a Google Whack.

Googlebot / Google bot

This is the name of Google's spider.


Googlewashing is a method where Google will replace the old meaning of a word in its databse with a new one. However you can still find the old meaning of the word by altering your query.

Goto / go to

This is a search engine that is PPC and is now called Overture.

Graphical search inventory

This is the term for a type of advertising that does not include any text. Pop-ups and banners are examples of this however they are usually in context with the pages displayed.

Guestbook spam

This is a little trusted automated link that search engines will not place much trust in.


The Northern Light search engine's spider is known as Gulliver.


A hallway is a type of crawl page which is only linked to dorrway pages.

Hand submission

Hand submission is the act of manually visiting every search engine and submitting your site to it, rather than using an automated program to this for you. Many search engines will not allow sites that have not been submitted by hand.

Heading / heading tag

A heading or heading tag are the same as headings.


A heading is on a webpage to describe the content of the page, headings are numbered from H1 to H6 with the lowest number being the most crucial. H1 headgins should only ever be used once on each page and these are placed on a web page using CSS and will look like this <h1>your title / topic <h1> other level headings can then be mixed up throughout the page.


This is the title of a story or article.

Hidden text

Text that is hidden in a web page, either by using the same colour font as background, or other methods. Hidden text is mainly used to hide keywords on a webpage or site.

Hierarchical clustering

Hierarchical clustering is a way of showing groups of results in a tree like structure, rather thatn the usual flat list.


This is the practise of fooling a search engine into believing another website is on your URL.


This is an algorithm that will rank wesbites according to expert citations that must not be affiliated.


A hit is a request for a single file located on a web server. One person visiting a website that clicks on three images will have created four hits, one for each image and one for the HTML page. A hit can also be a term to refer to the results that a search engine gives for a query.


This is a page that enjoys a lot of traffic or hits and then vanishes.


HITS or Hyperlink Induced Traffic Search is an algorithm that is link based and uses topical authority citations to rank relevancy.

Home directory

A home directory is the section of your website where the main index page is located. This will usually be called /public_html/ or /www/ or even /web/.

Homepage / Home page / Home

A home page is the main p[age of a website which is important for branding and directing visitors around your site. Home pages are normally easy to rank as they should contain links and a sitemap, however it should not have links that are not relevant and you should be aware that not every visitor to your website will get there via your home page. In other words make sure that every page on your webiste is optimised and relevant.

Hot bot

Hotbot is a search eninge that once rivalled Google for a marketshare, however its popularity has somewhat declined. Hotbot has several customisable features such as bieng able to block offensive language and other suhc material from its searches.

Hot linking

Hot linking is an unethical practise which bascially involves using someone elses server to display videos and images, thus using another person's bandwidth. However with notification some people do allow this to take place.


Hypertext Markup Language or HTML is the primary language used for creating websites.


HTTP ot Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the most popular method of transfering information between servers and browsers.


This is a term the Jon Kleinberg came up with and it refers to sites which contain many links to other sites that are seen to be authorites on a particular subject.

Hyperlink / link

A hyperlink or link is part of a website that contains clickable content which will then direct the user to another part of the site or another site altogether. Links and hyperlinks are used by search engine's spiders to crawl from one page to another.

Hyperlink induced traffic search



This is a term tha tis short for inbound link.

Image map

An image map is a type of image that has areas which are clickable and will take a user to different pages. These can be an external file or HTML and embedded on your site. If image maps are include through an external file a search engine will find it very difficult to spider it.


An impression is one display of an advert or image.

Inbound link

An inbound link is a link that points towards a website from another one. By using a function called link: a search engine will tell a suer the number of links that point to any one document. Certain issues with canonical URL's mean that a search for linkagae data to and would bring back different data on the links.


An index is a huge collection of documents and information stored by search engines from which they perform a search. The bigger the search engine the more they will have in their index. A search engine performs a search using a reverse index as it looks for matching words and return results based on this relevancy vector. If you are looking for a closer match, semantic analysis and stemming allow for this. An index can also be the root of a file folder which is located on a web server.

Index file

An index file is a type of file that contains specific information. It is stored in a certain way by an indexer program so that it can be accessed quickly.

Information architechture

Information architecture is a method of sorting, structuring and organising content in a way that is easy to access and is meaningful and useful. In order to do this well consideration must be given to the methods that both spiders and humans use and access websites. This is done by having good anchor text which is descriptive, using clear titles, focusing on one topic per page, use related links, avoid duplicate content and make good use of breadcrumb navigation.

Information extraction / information fil

Information extraction is an area of study which concentrates on identifiying semantics and their structure in order to return relevant information.

Information retrieval

Information retrieval is the name for the science of having large data sets which can be searched through or sorted in order to find the correct information.


Infoseek is the previous name of


Inktomi was a search engine that was one of this first to introduce paid inclusions for businesses and pionee this model. In 2002 Inktomi was bought by Yahoo! And never reached the audience it was destined to.

Internal link

an internal link is a link from a page on a website to another page on the same website. Using descriptive internal linking is very useful for helping search engines to fully understand what a website is all about. By using anchor text that is consistent and navigational your sites usability will be vastly improved and show the relationship between the pages on the site.


The Internet is the name given for the huge number of computers that are all connected via TCP/IP.

Internet explorer

Internet Explorer is the name of the hugely popular Microsoft created web browser.


The internal internet a company may have, containing information relating to that company and not accessable from outside it's own network.

Inverse document frequency (IDF)

IDF or Inverse Document Frequency is vector space model term which is used when determining the position of a term within the model. This basically means that it is the measure of how rare a term is when it is compared to the other documents within the same grouping.

Inverted file

An inverted file is a type of file that is used to represent an entire database or collection of documents. Such a file will have a list of every word in all the ducments in the databse as well as informtion on which documents the words appear in.

Invisible text

Invisible text is the name for text on website that is hidden as it is the same colour as the background that it is on. Previously this was a well known and used SEO method as website owners would cover a page with invisible keywords in an attempt to make the page rank highly. This is now frowned upon and sites that use invisible text will be penalised.

Invisible web

The invisible web is the name given for the sections of the internet that are difficult to access. This is though copyright issues, issues with information architechture or technology problems.


IP is short for Internet Protocol, which is basically the standards that must be followed by networks in order to send data via the internet. IP will show the way that data should be scrambled and sent via the internet in order for it to be recieved and TCP or transmission control protocol must be used to unscramble the data recieved. Both of these standards must be used in order for data to be trasmitted and recieved correctly.

IP address

IP addresses are the numerical addresses for every single server and internet user. They look something like this - 987.65.43.210 and are vital for online identification. It is useful from an SEO viewpoint if you can give your domain name an IP address.

IP delivery

IP delivery is a method that is likened to cloaking and is a method whereby different pages are sent to a user based on their own IP address. Although this can be useful, for example if the IP address determines a persons location they will get location specific information on certain geographical based quieries, it is generally thought to be an undesirable technique. Many search engines will not allow this kind of IP delivery.

IP spoofing

IP spoofing is a method on which there is much discussion that allows users to report a fake IP address. It can also be a term for claoking.


ISP or Internet Service Providers is the name given for any company that will sell an end user access to the web. Such companies also collate and sell user data to companies that perform web analytics.


Java is a type of programming language that is platform independent, meaning that programs can be created with Java that will run on any computer and on any operating system.


JavaScript is a a type of scripting language that is mainly used for increasing a webpage's interactive content. It is easily to integrate Java with HTML, which makes it very easy to use, much more so than Java which is more powerful and complex.

Joe Ant

Joe Ant is a type of directory that was created by the former creators of Go.

Jump page

A jump page is the same as a doorway page and it is way to a website that is not through the site's homepage. Some jump pages are used in order to test how successful a particular ad was but since jump pages are usually there to create a false content they are often penalised.


Kanoodle is a rather small search engine that uses Pay Per Click technology.


A keyword is a word in the text on a website that a person may search for when looking for a topic. For example if a person was looking for holidays in Greece, the keywords could be Greece and holidays

Keyword density

Keyword density is the number of times keywords are used in a body of text. The average density of keywords is 2-3%, although sometimes it can be as high as 6%.

Keyword domain name

This is a type domain name and it contains a keyword.

Keyword funnel

A keyword funnel is the term for searches for words that are related to each other, i.e a user may search for one word may then refine their search for another word. Some search engines are particularly in tune with this and can produce some good results.

Keyword meta tag

A keyword meta tag is a HMTL tag that will ist all the keywords and key phrases that are on a particular website.

Keyword phrase / key phrase

A keyword phase is similar to a keyword, only it is a phrase. I.e. the words "Cheap computer deals" being used in a body of text, in that exact order. The words are chosen as it is thought that the phrase will be searched for.

Keyword purchasing

This is different to Pay Per Click, instead an advertiser will buy an amount of space for advertising on certain topics of search engine results pages, this means that their advertising will be more consumer specific and hopefully mean more revenue for the advertiser.

Keyword ratio

Keyword ratio is the same as keyword density and it is the percentage of times a keyword is used in a body of text. The usual amount is 2-3%, but can be as high as 6%.

Keyword research

This is the method of finding out what keywords and phrases are relevant in certain searches and then using these keywords to maximum effect in advertising campaigns and other SEO techniques.

Keyword research tools

Keywords research tools are the programs used to help discover keywords to aid advertising and SEO. There are several available with Overture and Google being free tools and Wordtracker which is paid for. All have their advantages and disadavantages and it is best to decide what kind of keyword research you want to do before using a particular tool

Keyword search

A keyword search is the same as a search only it will concentrate on keywords that appear in documents.

Keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing is the over use of keywords in a body of text in the hope that it will rank highly in a search. It tends to have the opposite effect however as keyword stuffing is seen as an underhand way of getting traffic to your website.

Keyword tag / keywords tag

A keyword or keywords tag is a type of meta tag listing that will have certain keywords assosiated with it.

Keyword targeting

Keyword targeting is a method that is well used in SEO and it relies on the use of keywords to optimise a website so that it will rank highly in searches for the specific keywords.


KFCP or Keyword Focused Content Page is a method that was introduced by Ken Evoy who is an expert in e-selling. It means a bridge page that is search engine friendly and can be known as honest doorway pages.

Kickback marketing

This is a term for the Internet sellign techniques that revenue share such as affiliate programs and bartering etc. The method relies on the sharing of customers between websites that are affiliated as they pass the customer back and forth.


KISS or Keep It Simple Stupid is an Internet term used when thinking about online business, web design or SEO.

Kleinberg, Jon

Jon Kleinberg is a scientist that has done a lot of work on authorities and hubs and the search engine relevancy algorithms based on them.


Klog has two menaings, one is for a technical blog that is very specific and expert orientated. The other is for a knowledge blog that is normally not availble for public access, it might be on a businesses Intranet system or be part of another internal information database.

Landing page

A landing page is the first page of a website that a visitor sees when they click onto the site. They 'land' there.

Landing page quality scores

Landing page quality scores were introduced by Google in an attempt to filter out any ads that wwere noisy out of AdWords. When AdWords was new it was mainly made up of affiliates and arbitrage players, this has changed as more commercial ads are being made. This has resulted in ads being more relevant.

Latent Semantic Indexing

Latent Semantic Indexing or LSI is a way of retriving information by changing the lexical functioning of the search to a semantic one. This has the outcome of returning search results that are relevant yet do not contain any of the keywords searched for. It is thought that this method is the future for search egines and Google works to provide such searches.


A lead is obtaining the contact details of a potential customer. Many of the online companies prefer to generate leads online which they will then follow up, in fact many affilaite programs pay per lead.

Legacy data

Legacy data is old data that is held in old types of file. Such data can only be read using special programs for this purpose.

Link / hyperlink

A link is a section of content that uis clickable and will lead the user to another web page. Search engine spiders use these links to travel from one website to another when they are indexing websites.

Link baiting

Link baiting is a technique by which a website owner will modify information so that their audience will point high quality links to that website, thus ensuring the website owner high ranking and traffic.

Link building

Link building is the act of building high quality links to and from your website. This will make a search engine recognise your site as being trustworthy and relevant. Some good examples of lionk building are - link baiting, unique links, registering in directories that are relevant, deep linking and always ensuring fresh content.

Link bursts

This is the term for when there is a sudden burst of top quality links that point towards a website. This will happen naturally as time progresses however a topical site may receive a lot of links over a short period of time, or if there is an increase in brand awareness more links will point towards relevant sites, increased usage will also lead to more links.

Link checker / link validation

This is a type of program that will scan a website and create a lsit of all the dead links contained on it, then the owner can remove these linsk as they are useless.

Link churn

Link churn is the term for the speed at which a website might lose it's links.

Link equity

This is the strength of a webiste based on its links and the inbound link popularity.

Link farm

These are websites that pay no attention to the editiorial quality of sites that are linked to and from them.

Link hoarding

Link hoarding is a method of getting as many inbound links to your website as you can without having any outbound links in return. This however is seen as spam and will not increase link popularity as thought.

Link popularity / linkage

Link popularity is a very important factor in SEO and it is a form of measuring the quality of inbound links on a website.

Link reputation

This is the combination of your websites anchor text and link equity.

Link rot

Link rot is a measure of how many links on a website do not work. This could be due to several factors, a link could be to a site that is no longer online, a page may have moved or the content may only have been available for a limited period.

Link swop / link swap

Link swap is very similar to reciprocal links where two websites (or more) will sawp links to try to increase their link popularity.

Link tracking

Link tracking is a method of tracking how many inbound links to a particular document.

Linkable content

Linkable content is a content which is so unique and of such a high quality that all other sites want to link to it. News, newsletters and forums are good examples of this.


See link popularity. is a Microsoft developed search platform.


When thinking of networking the term load is the measure of how much traffic is being carried by the network.

Log file

Log files are stored on servers and every website has one to record data about the users who request a file. Such data comprises of the IP address of the user, browser, nationality etc. This informtaion can then be used to analyse the type of visitor that the site gets and adjust or improve the content accordingly.

Log file analysis

Log file analysis is the method of using software to convert the data provided by log files into easily understandable graphs and charts. This kind of tool is essential for SEO as it will tell the user the keywords that get the most queries, the number of spiders that have indexed the site and the total number of visitors and file requests to and from the site.

Logspam / log spamming

Logspam is a type of spamming that involves a website giving another website many hits in order for it to get highly ranked on a referrer log and get backlinks. Most search engines are aware of this tactic and will now penalise sites found guilty of logspamming.

Long tail / longtail

Long tail is a phrase used to explain the fact that for every category of product on the market there is a higher demand for non-hits than hits. A long tail keyword will have a very high value as it is so specific.


Looksmart was to begin with a directory service which soon turned into a search provider which was paid and provided vertical content play.


See Latent Semantic Indexing, or Latent Semantic Analysis.


Lycos is a type of search engine.


Magellan is a directory that was once the best around, it is no longer in operation.

Malda, Rob

Rob Malda created which is a technology focused news forum which is editorially driven.

Manual review

Manual review is one part of the process which search engines use to keep their index spam free. Combined with relevancy alogorithms which are automated this can further help to cut down on spam. If a website has a rapid link growth or usage data which seems abnormal it will be flagged for manual review.

Manual submission

Manual submission is the method of submitting a website to search engines to spider and index by hand. There are both services and software that will do this for but it is considered to be less reliable than doing it yourself. be

Mass submission

Mass submission is offered by nearly all submission services and you wil be promised that your website will be submitted to many search engines, making you think that your traffic will increase. This is a waste of money as there are only a handful of search engines that really matter and you could easily submit to these manually.


A match is the name for when a document or documents within a search engines index match the terms in query. If one if found is is then shown in the SERPs, all search engines have varying criteria to ascertain whether a document is match or not, some have to contain one query word whereas others need to contain all the query terms.

Match driver

Match driver is an Overture created system where an advertisers maximum bid on the various forms of a search term is mapped to Overture's deemed intent of the searcher. This can give a site more traffic due to terms that are related, but it can also mean that an advertiser pays for untarget traffic.

Mechanical turk

Mechanical Turk is the name of's hiring system which will hire humans to perform tasks that computers can't.


Meme is a term that is used to describe viral and self spreading ideas.

Meta description tag

A meta description tag is a HTML tag that is usually placed at the top section of a webpage and its aim is to give a search engines spider information about the content of a page through description and keywords. These tags were however abused and as a result search engines tend to overlook meta descriptions tags.

Meta keywords tag

Meta keywords tags are similar to meta descriptions tags, but they place more of an emphasis on keywords rather than descriptions. Like meta descriptions they were absued and now search engines overlook them too.

Meta refresh

Meta refresh is a type of tag that will tell a browser to refresh to a different URL.

Meta robots tag

A meta robots tag is a tag that will instruct a spider not to index that particular page. Msot spiders will obey this rule butsome are programmed to ignore it and index these pages anyway without reporting back any links to the search engine.

Meta search engine

A meta search engine is type of search engine without it's own databse. Instead it will use the databases of other search engines and list their results, nest to each result will be the search engine that is came from.

Meta tags

Meta tags is another term for meta description tags or meta keyword tags


Metacrawler is a type of search engine.


MFA or Made for Advertising, these are pages which are designed to get traffic which will them, hopefully click though on the ads placed on them.


Microsoft are a computer company owned by Bill Gates which is famous for it's Office Suite, Internet Explorer, Windows and many other operating systems and software.


Mindshare is a term that is used to describe the people who will automatically think of your brand when thinking about that product category. Strong mindshare is something that all brands strive for and sites that have strong mindshare will benefit from good quality links and high rankings. Mindshare along with personal recommendations carry a lot of weight in SEO terms.

Mining company

About,com the web directory was once known as The Mining Company.

Mirror sites

Mirror sites are websites that will copy the content of other sites. A search engines will nto on the whole index such as site, however some hosting companies will offer mirror sites for free that will lead to open source software sites that are popualr for the purpose of gaining and building good link equity.


Mirroring is the term for a website or page that is duplicated and put on different servers under different domain names. Search engines treat sites that register like this as spam as they artificially alter the site's relevancy and are classed as spam.

Mosaic / NCSA Mosaic

Mosiac was the first browser that was cross platform. It was developed by NCSA and was a forerunner of Netscape.

Most wanted respsonse (MWR)

MWR is the term for any action that a website wants to generate from a visitor, this can be signing up to receive email alerts or even buying something.

Mousetrapping / circle jerking

This is a method where a suer is prevented from leaving a website. It normally involves diabling the back button or continually allowing pop-ups every time the user clicks to close one.

Movable type

Movable type is a type of blogging software that is for sale and is harder to install than Wordpress. It does however enable you to host a blog on your own website.

Moved permanently

Moved permanently is the term for when a visitor is redirected from a website as it has moved it's location. It is important that if you are moving an entire site that you test the new location first and ensure that it it just as highly ranking as the first.


Mozzila is an early web browser that is open source.

MSN search

MSN search is a search engine that was developed by Microsoft.

Multidimensional scaling

Multidimensional scaling involves the taking of snaphots of documents contained in a database in order to find any topical groupings through LSI.


MySpace is a social networking site where people can upload photos, videos and audio for others to see and share. There is also the facility to send and receive messages.

Natural language processing

Natural language processing is an attempt by algorithms to actually understand a query and what is meant by it instead of just matching keywords. Questions can also be asked in the query, this is done by the removal of stop words.

Natural linking

Natural linking is the name given to links which are within a body of text, these will then link to an expansion of the topic or a further detailed document. Little consideration is given to their link popularity value.


Navigation is the term given to the proces that allows a user to know where they have been and where they are going on a website. Using HTML is easier for this than JavaScript which is harder to index.


Netscape was once a web browser of the same name, now however Netscape is a social news site.

Netscape navigator

Netscape Navigator is a Mosiac model based browser that was created by Netscape. It is still around today though not as popular as it once was.


NewHoo was the former name of the Open Directory Project (DMOZ).


A newsgroup is a type of forum where users can read and post comments and messages to others.


A niche is a particular topic or subject that one website focuses on. Drilling down into a niche will reveal further niches.


Nofollow is a technique used on sites who's content is user generated. It prevents links from passing link authority and is coded into the site.

Northern light

Northern Light was a search engine that still has a database of articles, however it is a paying site and has recently been bought out by David Seuss and needs more development.


This is a term that is not used very often and is now called spamdexing. Although unlike spamdexing it can refer to sites that are poorly optimised yet rank highly through stealth.

ODP (Open Directory Project) DMOZ

This is a huge volunteer created directory that allows its database to be indexed by search engines and other directories. A listing on DMOZ will enable a website to be indexed on other search engines, due to this it is quite difficult to get indexed on DMOZ.

Off the page / off the page factors / of

These are aspects of a website that although they cannot be seen have a direct impact on the ranking of a website. These are typcially inbound links and other similar things.


This, in search terms, is the name given to the attempts to come up with the most comprehensive schema about a domain. An ontology is a data structure that is usually hierarchical and contains all entities, their rules and relationships within a particular domain.

Open source

Open source is a type of software that will include its source code. This is so that developers can alter it as they see fit. This can create a huge amount of mindshare and exposure for the creators.

Open text

Open text is a quite large directory that will only list business sites.


Opera is a web browser that is fast standards.


These are used in Boolean searches and are "OR", "NOT" and "AND".

Optimize / optimization

In the most rigid version of the definition optimisation is the art of making a web page spider friendly throguh various means such as including text not image links. Optimisation can be a tricky subject however as many methods are seen as good optimisisation by some people are seen as spamdexing by others.

Organic search results

Organic search results are a set of results that do not contain any paid listings or paid advertisements. Such results will only show algorithmic results and unpaid listings, this means that the releavancy of such results is good as age related trust, link relevancy, page content and usage data are used to determine relevancy of site. Well over half of the the clicks on a SERPs page are for the organic results.

Origination page

These are pages that are quite new and have not yet gained the popularity to be linked from the larger community on the web, or they can be pages that are only linked to other origination pages.

Outbound link

An outbound link is a link on a website to another one.


Previously named GoTo this Yahoo! owned company sells targeted searches that are pay per click. They were one of the pioneers of this method.

Overture keyword selector tool

This is a research tool that focuses on keywords and although is is heavily weighted towards commercial searches can mix singular and plural versions of words in queries to create a single version.

Packet sniffing

Packet sniffing is the term for the monitoring of packets of data and their movement through the Internet.

Page jacking / pagejacking

This is the term for when a popular web page is copied and presented as the original. Fortunately the true owner of the document or page can usually claim ownership.

Page popularity

Page popularity is similar to link popularity as it is the quality of all inbound links to a particular website.

Page view / page impression / page reque

This is a term that can be cofused with hits, it is however the total number of pages viewed by all visitors to the site within a set time period, not the number of files viewed.

Page, Larry

Larry Page is one of Google's founders.


PageRank is a Google term and it is the ranking given to a website that is based upon the link popularity of that site.

PageRank hoarding

PageRank hoarding is the term for a website that will get as many inbound links from other websites as possible without having as many outbound links. It is done to try to increase a websites PageRank, however it is classed as spam.

Paid inclusion

Paid inclusion is a technique that trusted websites with good editorial guidelines can use to pay to be included on directories and otherwise buy exposure tha tis relevant to them. Both and Yahoo! Directory allow inclusion for a yearly fee. Yahoo! Search also charges a yearly fee to webmasters for CPC which is catagory based and a flat review fee.

Paid listing

A paid listing is a listing on search engine results pages that can only be gained by outbidding your competitors which works on the PPC model. It can also be used in reference to keyword based adverts where the advertiser pays for its adverts to be shown alongside certain keyword queries.


Parenthesis ( ) is usually used in Boolean searches and it is used to group words.

Pay for performance

Pay for performance is an area of affiliate marketing where the sales agent will be paid a set fee (commission) every time they direct a customer to perform a particular action.

Pay per lead / PPL

This is a method of advertising whereby the site that recieves a lead, or potential new customer pays a set fee to the site that referred them there.

Pay-per-click search engine

This is a form of search engine that works by advertisers placing bids on keywords, with the higest bidders site ranked first. Every time someone then clicks on that site the advertiser will pay the search engine, this method is becoming a popular form of marketing.


PDF or Portable Document Format was developed be Adobe Systems and it is a file format that can be recognised universally and allows the files to be both printed and viewed in a format that is very printer friendly.


A penalty is the punishment given to a website which has been found guilty of spamming by a search engine that they are included on. The penalty will prevent the site from ranking highly or even being included on the search engine. These penalties can either be manually enforced which usually means a very long ban from the search engine with a reinclusion request, or algorithmically, then the website has to wait for a set period of time before it will be ranked again.


Personalisation is a way of personalising search results so that they are more personally relevant to the searcher. This could be through adding a location, recently viewed content or search history.

Personally identifiable information

This is a type of information that a user can enter onto a website such as their real address, name and telephone number, it does not include nicknames or passwords. The website can then collect this information to identify that particular user.


PHP or PHP Hypertext Preproccessor is a type of scripting lanugae that is server side and ope source, it is used to include interactivity to web pages or to render them.

Phrase search

A phrase search is just that, a search for a certain phrase. The words have to appear next to each other and in the same order in a document in order for a match to be made.


Placement is a term that is used in place of optimisation.

Poison word

Poison words were words which were on the whole associated with very poor quality content and as a result a search engine would lower the rank of the site.

Politeness window

Spiders will enver crawl a full site in one day, instead they will crawl two or three pages per day or, leaving a gap inbetween each crawl. This is done until the whole site has been crawled and indexed. This self regimented gap stops the server from becoming over burdened with information.

Pop-under / popup / pop up

A pop up is an advert that will pop up on your screen who's purpose is for you to click through on to another website. These are often in the form of competitions which claim you have won a prize. These are bogus and should not be clicked on. A pop under is the same as a pop up but it occurs under the screen you are viewing and you might not realise it is on your computer.


A portal is a type of web site that contains popular consumer services. These can inculde searches, news stories, email and other relevant content.

Portal page

A portal page is the same as a gateway page.

Portal site

See portal.


This is a term that is sometimes used instead of optimisation.

PPC / Pay per click

PPC is the name for a type of advertising whereby an advertiser will only pay for the advertising when a user clicks on their ads. This is thought to be a cost effective method of advertising as only clicks are paid for not the actual ad impression. Cost Per Click can sometimes be used in place of PPC.


PPV or Pay Per Visit is the term sometimes used instead of Pay Per Click.


This is short for the term PageRank.

PR0 / PR zero

This is a term that means PageRank zero and it is rumoured that this is what Google does to any site found guilty of spamdexing. Google however denies this.

Pre / Postcoordination of terms

This is the method of using two words or more to describe a document. For example a page that was about cats and their behaviour when mating would be indexed under "cats" "mating" and "behaviour", then a search would return a match for a query like "pregnant cat".


Precision is the term given for a search engine's ability to return relevant search query results. This is usually given in a percentage. For example if 65 or 100 results were retruned the search engine would have a precision of 65%.

Probablistic model

The probablistic model is a term used to describe any search engine that will use a model where matches for a query are given using the probability that those matches will be relevant.

Profit elasticity

This is a method of altering variables such as supply and price in order to meet different economic situations, where the lines of supply and demand cross. This will have the result of creating different profit potentials.


Promotion is the act of submmitting a website to a search engine, in order to promote it.


Proximity is the term given when determining how similar certain words are to one another. This can help when looking at words that are near others as they would naturally occur. However if there is excessive use of keywords or similar words it can be an indication of very low quality content.

Proximity searching

Proximity searching is a method where the user of a search can indicate the number of words that can be between keywords. For example if the proximity was one there would only be one word allowed between the keywords, so if the query "knives forks" was entered results such as "knives and forks" "knives n forks" would be returned. Results such as "knives and wooden handled forks" would not not be returned.

Quality content

Quality content is the content of a website or page that is not copied from elsewhere and is totally original, hence the term quality. When performing searches, search engines look for quality content when ranking websites.

Quality link

A quality link is a link that directs a visitor to another website that is relevant to what they are looking for. There are various strengths of quality link and they depend on a number of factors. If a link is trusted or from a source that is it will be worth more, or if the link hard to get it is even better and of course the more relevant the link to the site the better.


A query is the string of search words that are put into a search engine.

Query expansion

This is the term for a search that is carried out within an old one. The majority of search engiens will allow these searches.

Query refinement

When the results that are returned on a search do not seem to be particularly relevant a user may refine their search. Many search engines will try to promote certain verticals to aid the user such as asking them if the meant to type in a certain term or word if it is spelled incorrectly or offering an autocomplete on searches which are listed as recent popular searches.

Query-by-example / Find similar

Many of the large search engines have a feature which will allow the user to ask for any documents that the search engine would class as similar to what they are looking for.

Quote (s)

These are quote marks " " which when entered on either side of queries will mean that the search engine should only return exact matches of those words. Words in single quotes ' ' will return results thau include those words.

R/S ratio

The R/S ratio is the number of websites that contain a particular keyword or phrase "R" - this is the demand, to the number of searches performed for that keyword or phrase or "S" - the supply. This ratio is used to find out keywords for which there is very little competition.


Ranking is the rank of a website on a search engines results. The higher the rank, or page, the more relevant to the search the website is. To be ranked first, or on the first two pages of a search is a sought after position. As websites with a high ranking are more likely to be clicked into.


Re-submission is the method of submitting a website to a search engine then repeating it many times. This was thought to improve a websites ranking but it doesn't, in fact it is seen as spamdexing.


RealNames was a Microsoft driven service that is no longer in use. It enabled the user to register names and words that would point to real URLs, this was a form of web site addressing which was discontinued.


Recall is the term used to describe a search engines ability to return all relevant documents. For example if a query such as "yellow curtains" is entered into the search engine and there are 10 documents containing the words yet the search engine returns only 6 of them the recall of that search engine will be 0.6 or 60%. However if a search engine only has 4 documents with these words and all 4 are recalled the score will be 1 or 100% as all the documents were returned.

Reciprocal link

Reciprocal links or link swap is the method by which a website will contain a link to another website, which in return will place a link back to the first site. This method doesn't always have a good effect on a websites PageRank.


Redirect is a term used to describe what happens when a user is redirected from one page to another on a website. This can be done automatically, or by the user clicking on a link. However this technique has been abused so much that sites that redirect people are often de-listed by search engines.


A referrer is a person who refers another person to a website or an affiliate program, they can then sometimes gain monitary compensation for doing so or some other sort of benefit.

Refresh / refresh tag

This is a type of HTML tag that will automatically refresh a webpage after a set time. It can also be used to redirect users to different pages. Search engines do not favour this and will often de-list sites found using refresh tags.


A registrar is a company that will enable you to register your domain names.


Registration is the same as submission and is the act of manually adding a URL to a search engine in order for its spider to index it.


Reinclusion is the term for when a website that has been de-listed or otherwise penalised by a search engine requested to be put back into the search engines index. The website will have been de-listed due to being found guilty of using spamming techniques which have to be fixed in order to be re-included. A site may or may not be re-inculded depending on the websites popularity and the seriousness of the infraction.

Relative link

A relative link is a type of link that will highlight the relationship between the URL which is current and the URL of the linked page. Sometimes a relative link will be shown rather than the URL in the href tag. However it is better to use absolute links rather than relative ones as hijacking and canonicalisation is becoming a problem.

Relevance / relevancy

This is a term for how relevant a person using a search engine finds the search results. Some search engines will only return organic results and ignore any commercial advertisments in their results to improve the relevancy.

Relevancy algorithm

A relevancy algorithm is the same as an algorithm.

Reputation management

Reputation management is a method of maintaining that your particular brand related keywords always show the results which strive to reinforce your brand. For this reason there are many high ranking hate sites for certain brands and their queries.

Results list

Results List is another name for SERPs which are the pages that are returned to a user after they have entered a query into a search engine.

Reverse index

A reverse index will only store a list of keywords which will then link to the documents that contains them.


A robot is similar to a browser, it will request web pages automatically in order to index them, like a spider, or it will obtain certain information, like an e-mail harvestign program.

Robots.txt / robots text file

This is a type of text file that is represented by .txt extension and it informs spiders of the pages that it cannot index. When a spider enters a site to crawl it will first ask for the robots.txt file, this will then show the spider where on that website it can't go. However if this is only the case if the robot follows the Robots Exclusion Program.


ROI or Return On Investment is a term that is used in marketing and is used to describe the return on spending on marketing. This is usually shown as a percentage of the amount spent on marketing. To be classed as a successful investment this percentage must be over 100% and there are factors such as return customers, brand awareness and sales in the future that are all taken into consideration.


RSS,Real Simple Sindication or Rich Site Summary is way of syndicating information and allowing users to sunscribe to a channel of interest, it works by using software such as a feed reader.


Safari is an Apple browser that is very popular.

Salton, Gerard

Gerard Salton is a scientist who was the pioneer of information retrieval.


Scooter is the name of the spider owned by Altas Vista, it was named after Alta Vista's annual motorbike race.


Score is the name for the method by which a search engine performs its rankings. Each web page is scored by relevancy from the most relevant downwards and the websites with the highest score will rank highly. Usually the document found to be the most relevant in the search will be awarded the highest score, then all subsequent documents found will be scored against the first document.

Scored keyword phrase

A scored keyword phrases is the term for the number of times a user will search for a certain keyword phrase, the higher the number of times it is searched the higher the score.


A script is part of programming that will perform a particular function. Scripts enable things such as pop-ups to occur.


Scumware is a type of software that can be installed on your computer without you realising it, it goes on to target advertisements and generally violate your privacy. This type of intrusive software is frowned upon.


A search is the act of finding a piece of information. On the Internet this is done by using a search engine that will search throguh databases and directories to provide what the user is looking for.

Search engine

A search engine is made up of a spider, an indexer, a database of information, software used to perform the search and a web interface. A search engine works by a spider crawling the Internet to find documents which are then indexed by the indexer and stored in a database. The software used to search will then find the correct information from the database based on the query the user has inputted and present the most relevant results. The most well known search engine is - Google and Yahoo! is often thought of as a search engine, but in fact it is a directory.

Search engine marketing / optimisation /

See SEO.

Search history

Search history is a log of which internet sites a person has accessed within a certain time period. This information can be wiped by going into Internet Options on your toolbar.

Search hours

Search hours is the term for the total amount of hours users have spent using a search engine. This combined with audience reach are the two most important aspects when finding out how popular a search engine is.

Search jacking

This is similar to spamdexing, whereby a webpage is optimised for search terms that are popular, but the site does not contain any relevant information. Although this technique can get traffic to a website it will not benefit from it as the visitors have been misdirected.

Search marketing

Search marketing is the term for marketing that is done for a website on a search engine. This can take the form of buying PPC advertisements and SEO techniques.

Search results

This is the term for the resutls thata search engine will provide in response to a query.

Search terms

These are the words that are entered into a search engine to form the query.

Search Tree

This is a little used term for a directory that is searchable.


SearchKing is a search engine that allows its users to take votes on the relevancy of its listings. It boasts that it promotes niche communities and industries.


SEM or Search Engine Marketing is the term for marketing on a search engine for a website. Buying PPC ads or using SEO are two of the methods of SEM.


SEO is the term for the various methods that will improve a websites ranking on search engines either directly or indirectly. There can also be providers of SEO services that owners of a website can go to help to get their site higher ranking.

SEO coywriting

SEO copywriting is the method of writing for websites in order to maximise their potential ranking for search engines. SEO copywriters know about keywords, keyword density and other such methods of ensuring good SEO in a body of text.


SERP's or Search Engine Results Pages are the pages that are returned to a user after they have entered a query into a search engine.


A server is a computer which is only used to serve and host files to the world wide web. A dedicated server is more expensive to run but it is better than a virtual server which is cheap but is not owned by the website.

Server logs

Servers logs are sets of files that are hosted on servers that will show sources and the trends of traffic. Unlike a lot of the analytic software they are not as comprehensive in their results and are not user friendly.