There are many terms you will hear whilst discussing
Search Engine Optimization
or Search Engine Marketing.
Below we attempt to describe the major ones.
Agent Name Delivery
Delivering a custom page based upon the user agent string a browser
or spider uses to identify itself. This technique is used in Cloaking.
Active Server Pages a server based scripting language that
is used to provide dynamic content and build database driven web sites
Common Gateway Interface. CGI refers to programs that are used
to produce content for browser delivery. Common CGI programming languages
include Perl, C, and PHP.
One of the most common names for a directory on a web server
that contains CGI files.
When a user clicks on a hyper text link.
A system to hide code or content from a user and deliver different
content to a search engine spider.
- IP based cloaking delivers custom pages based on the users IP address.
- User Agent cloaking delivers custom pages based upon the users Agent.
Neither of these are recommended good methods of SEO
and will ultimately get you banned
A log file format that collects all the data in the Common
Log File format in addition there is information found in the referrer
and user agent fields added to the file. A separate scripting error
log file is often included also.
The standard log file format developed by the NCSA.
Cost Per Click. Some search engines charge a cost per click
to advertisers. There are over 290 search engines including Google Adsense,
Overture, FindWhat and LookSmart.
A type of a Spider that will download multiple pages from the
same web site. This is for search engine indexes.
Cross linking is linking across content within the same site.
This is often used for navigation. This is not an acceptable form of
linking if you are looking for link popularity.
CSS Cascading Style Sheets
CSS is an external file used to as styles to your web pages.
This helps keep your coding clean.
An html link that the destination page no longer exists. Search
engines check for "dead links" by spidering the page again.
A directory lists websites by individual topics. Open Directory
Project is a directory.
Domain Name Registration
The act of registering a domain name with an approved registrar
such as Domain Direct. The process is overseen by ICANN.
An entrance to a website. Doorway pages are usually created
to rank high on a particular search engine. Again not a particularly
good way to optimize your web site.
The act of retrieving information from any computer is called
A page that is generated at the time the user requests it.
The content delivered to the user is stored in an online database. Most
search engines will index dynamic content now, however only a few will
spider dynamic sites.
Dynamic IP Address
An IP address that changes each time you connect to the internet.
Most ISPs use dynamic IP addresses.
Free For All links pages. These are sites that allow anyone
to add a link. These sites are looked down upon by search engines and
should be avoided. These FFA pages are also a cause of much spam around
the world and today that is about the only use they have.
An HTML coding for making a website appear to have more than
one windows within one browser. Most search engines do not like these
types of sites because there is no content on the index page of the
site. Many search engines read this as a site without value. If you
are going to use a frames site, you need to remember to use a no frames
Gateway Domain Names
A domain name that direct traffic to a main site. The these
usually will be keyword rich. If these are found by the search engines,
they will be removed from the index.
Also known as h-tags. There are 6 different sizes. They are
used as headings of different sections of a site. Search engines tend
to put added weight to keywords within these tags.
Hidden Text / Tiny Text
This is text in the body of a webpage that is not seen or hard
to read. This is considered a form of spam to search engines and is
A request for a file on a webserver. If you have a webpage
with 5 images, you will get 6 hits each time this page is viewed. One
for the html document and 5 for the images.
Hyper Text Markup Language. This is the primary language of
This is a website link. It is also known as a Hyper Link.
HyperText Transfer Protocol. This is the agreed upon system
to transfer data between a web server on the browser.
A system of associating parts of an image with hyper links.
An example would be a map of the world. Each country would have a link
associated with it that would lead to a different page
A hyper link pointing to your site from another. Inbound links
effect your link popularity and your rankings in many search engines.
The text associated with this link can also effect your ranking.
Like a mailing address tells the mailman where to deliver your
mail, your Internet Protocol Address (IP Address) is how data finds
its way back and forth from your computer to another.
Your IP address may change each time you attach to
your ISP. If your IP address stays the same from connection to connection,
you are said to have a static IP address. If it changes each time you
connect, you are said to have a Dynamic IP Address. Web Sites have a
static IP address so they can always be found.
The act of delivering customized content based upon the users
IP address. This is used in cloaking so you can deliver specific pages
Connecting to a web site and reporting an IP address different
than the one you are actually connected to. This is a highly unethical
tactic and may break some laws in your area.
Internet Service Provider. This is how you connect to the internet.
A computer language designed to deliver a small program from
websites to a users browser. This program is executed on the users system.
A computer language used with HTML that is executed after an
HTML page is transferred to the users browser.
Also Keyword Phrase. A word or combination of words used to find information
on a subject.
An example: The keyword Brampton Real Estate would be used to find
information about real estate in the city of Brampton.
Most search engines sell some type of advertising. The search
engines use keywords to help these sales. When a user types in a keyword,
a specific set of ads or sponsored entries are displayed to the user.
The amount of times a keyword or keyword phrase is used in
the body of a page. This is a percentage value determined by the number
of word on the page.
The act of adding way too many keywords to a page in either
the text or meta information. This is frowned upon by the search engines
and regarded as SPAM.
The number of inbound links to a site. Link popularity is a major factor
in search engine rankings now along with the associated text on the
Searching more than one source at a time.
A search engine that searches several different search engines
in order to return a SERP.
These are informational and command tags that are placed in
the head section of a webpage.
This would be an identical site with a different URL. Many
people feel this will help them obtain better rankings, however search
engines feel this is a form of spam.
When one sites link to another. This is counted in a sites
inbound links. A non-reciprocal link can be a text link (example: Webmaster
Key - Discussion Forums) or it can be in the form of an image.
Off Page Optimization
The factors not contained within a Web Page that effect it's
position in the SERP
On Page Optimization
The factors contained within a Web Page that effect it's position
in the SERP
Creating or editing a webpage so that it will rank well in
the search engines.
The amount of times a webpage has been delivered to a browser.
Practical Extraction and Report Language. This is one of the
most common languages used for CGI.
Refers to search engines and directories such as Yahoo! and
The position that a sites entry is display in any search engine
Pay Per Click. The act of paying for each time a user clicks
on your listing in certain search engines. This would include Google
Adwords, Overture, FindWhat and LookSmart.
Public Service Announcement. This would be free advertising usually
given to Non-Profit organizations.
The position that a sites entry is display in any search engine query.
When two sites link to each other. This is counted in a sites
inbound links. A reciprocal link can be a text link (example: Real Estate
Brampton) or it can be in the form of an image.
The URL of the web page a user came from before entering another
site. If the referring URL is a search engine, the keyword search terms
are usually shown.
This is a tag that refreshes or reloads a webpage at a set
The act of submitting a site to a search engine.
A programs that goes to websites for search engines. This program
reads a website and determines if it belongs in the search index. Also
know as a spider as it crawls all over the web.
A text file kept in the root of a website. It tells robots, spiders
and crawlers where they are allowed to go and not allowed to go on a
A web site that has crawled the web and lists 1000's of entries ranked
by their own code. Google, Yahoo, MSN are the biggest 3 search engines.
Also know as a Keyword. A word or combination of words used
to find information on a subject.
Search Engine Optimization is optimizing a web site to gain the best
position in the SERP
Search Engine Marketing not only optimizes the web site, but makes use
of other marketing tools like PPC.
Search Engine Results Page. The page(s) generated by a search engine
in response to a search query.
The act of submitting webpages to a search engine using techniques
that are considered unethical by search engines.
For email, it is sending out mass unsolicited emails.
For webpages, it is using unethical practices.
Also known as Crawlers and Robots. These programs are used
by search engines to retrieve web pages to include in their database.
Most spiders have cute or unusual names.
The act of a spider crawling through your website in order to add it
to an index.
Server Side Includes. HTML Comment commands placed in an HTML
file which causes a webserver to execute an action when the page is
viewed by a user.
Static IP Address
An IP Address that does not change. Web sites use static IP
A service that submits a website to the search engines. There
are ethical and unethical submission services.
This is the name of the webpage usually displayed at the top of the
The visitors to a website.
The count of unique visitors to a website.
Universal Resource Locator. This is a website address.
The act of submitting a website to the search engines.