This is an extensive list of the most common terms associated with search engine optimization.
[expand title=”Algorithm”]Used by search engines to determine the relevancy of all web pages that have been indexed in order to provide proper results for a specific search query. The sites displayed in the search results are ranked according to what the algorithm found as most relevant and may be different depending on the search engine. Search engines consistently change their algorithms in order to provide more relevant search results and remove lousy websites.[/expand]
[expand title=”Alt Tag/Alternative Text”]Used to provide descriptions for images in order to give the search engines an idea of what it is due to the search engines inability to view them. It is important to describe each image accurately so that the search engines index them correctly.
Example: <img src=”http://www.stephenhollingshead.com/images/logo.jpg” alt=”Logo” title=”Logo” />[/expand]
[expand title=”Analytics”]A tool used to provide in-depth analysis of a websites traffic and visitor activity. Assists with SEO by providing detailed information into how visitors are responding to the marketing techniques that have been administered on a website.[/expand]
[expand title=”Anchor Text”]The textual portion of a hyperlink or the alt tag of a linked image. Anchor text can bare high SEO value depending on how it is implemented especially with inbound links. When using anchor text it is important to use quality descriptions that consist of relevant keywords and they should also be relatively different from one another. Too many links consisting of the same exact description may be viewed as low quality by the search engines. It is believed that the anchor text of a linked image carries more weight than that of a textual link.
Example: <a href=”http://www.stephenhollingshead.com/”>Colorado SEO Specialist</a>[/expand]
[expand title=”Backlink”]Also known as an “Inbound Link”, is a link pointing from one website to another. For SEO purposes it is best to receive backlinks from highly ranked websites that allow trackbacks to your site.[/expand]
[expand title=”Black-Hat SEO”]SEO tactics that are viewed as malicious by the search engines and do not fit into the behavior deemed appropriate for a website. This consists of hidden content, keyword stuffing, creating gateway pages, and link farming.[/expand]
[expand title=”Blacklisted”]A website that has been removed from a search engine generally due to Black-Hat SEO practices. Once removed, the search engines seize to crawl and index your site until the issues are resolved.[/expand]
[expand title=”Breadcrumbs”]Used to assist search engine crawlers with navigating a site. Allows the crawlers to associate web pages with one another and to determine page importance.
Example: Home > SEO Info > SEO Dictionary[/expand]
[expand title=”Broken Link”]A hyperlink that is no longer pointing to a desired location. May be caused by an offline website, removed pages or content, or a page or website that has been relocated. Can be an issue if a site consists of too many broken links as the search engines may view the website as being out-of-date and irrelevant.[/expand]
[expand title=”Canonical URL”]The version of the URL for any page of a site that is considered to be the most important. This helps keep the search engines from indexing multiple URLs for the same page to avoid duplicate content issues. For SEO purposes it is best that a pages URL ends with a backslash instead of .html, .asp, .php, or any other types of code.[/expand]
[expand title=”Cloaking”]A Black-Hat SEO technique used to display certain content to search engines and completely different content to people. Search engines highly disapprove of this tactic and may blacklist a site as a result. In some cases it is used to provide a different user experience depending on a certain demographic and is acceptable to the search engines.[/expand]
[expand title=”Content Management System (CMS)”]A built-in feature for a website that allows site owners the ability to easily add and update page content. For SEO purposes, WordPress is widely considered as the best CMS for a website and Google seems to hold sites utilizing it in high regard due to its accessibility and structure.[/expand]
[expand title=”Deep Links”]A hyperlink that points to an inner-page of a website. When acquiring links to your site, it is best that you link to the page of your site that is most relevant to what is on the linking site.[/expand]
[expand title=”Directory”]A site generally comprised of separate categories for different types of business listings and/or topics. The listings usually include basic business information, a brief description, and a website URL. In most cases a website must first be submitted for inclusion and then reviewed and accepted by an administrator before it is officially listed. This process can take anywhere from a few days to several months as many directories receive thousands of submissions monthly. It is best to submit to directories that have a high page rank and relevant categories for your website.[/expand]
[expand title=”Domain Age”]The amount of time a website has been in existence without any lapse in ownership. Search engines usually place more trust on aged sites than newer ones.[/expand]
[expand title=”Domain Authority”]How much trust the search engines have in a particular website. This is usually attained from domain age, quality content, and link popularity. Each search engines’ algorithm will generally rank a site it has calculated as having high domain authority above the other results for a specific keyword or keyword phrase.[/expand]
[expand title=”Duplicate Content”]Content that has been copied from another source or has been grossly plagiarized. Search engines try to avoid pages with duplicate content and can cause your site to be completely overlooked.[/expand]
[expand title=”Dynamic URL”]A URL of an inner-page that changes depending on certain specifications and consist of special characters that bare little to no meaning to a search engine. These URLs will generally rank lower in search results than properly optimized URLs because they can be difficult for a search engine to understand.[/expand]
[expand title=”External Link”]A link on a website that points to a completely separate site. For SEO purposes it is an acceptable practice to link to high-quality relevant sites when creating content and is advisable for blog posts.[/expand]
[expand title=”Geographical Targeting”]An SEO technique used to target visitors of a certain geographical area such as a country, state, city, or region by using area specific keywords throughout a website.[/expand]
[expand title=”Google Keyword Tool”]Is intended to be used for Pay Per Click advertising, however it is an excellent tool for determining the competition level and search traffic of a given keyword or keyword phrase. Can be a great SEO resource for finding high traffic niche keywords with low competition.[/expand]
[expand title=”Google Places”]Used by local businesses to target users looking for specific services. Allows businesses to provide basic contact and business information. Can help to boost search engine rankings and traffic. Gives customers the ability to read and/or write reviews which can in return improve rankings as well.[/expand]
[expand title=”Heading Tags”]A brief description about the content on the page and provides an idea of what each section of a page is about. Should consist of the main keywords for the corresponding page.[/expand]
[expand title=”Hidden Text”]A Black-Hat SEO technique wherein textual content is hidden from actual visitors yet visible only to search engine crawlers.[/expand]
[expand title=”Hyperlink”]A clickable link consisting of either text or an image that directs users to other content on a page, another page of the site, or a completely separate website.
Example: <a href=”http://stephenhollingshead.com/seo-info”>SEO Info</a>[/expand]
[expand title=”Internal Link”]A link on a site that directs visitors to another page on the same site. Having a properly structured navigation menu with corresponding parent pages assists the search engine crawler with understanding a websites layout. Additionally, creating internal links with relevant anchor text within a pages content allows the crawler to fully distinguish the relationship between pages.[/expand]
[expand title=”IP Address”]Is a unique address associated with a computer, website, or computer. For SEO purposes it is ideal for a website to have its own unique IP address. Having a unique IP address makes a website appear to the search engines as being its own entity and can also assist with site speed.[/expand]
[expand title=”Keyword”]A word or phrase used to find information or products within a search engine. A site is ranked by the search engines depending on how relevant a website is to specific keywords and keyword phrases. Long tail keywords generally have a better click through rate as they tend to be more specific to what is desired.[/expand]
[expand title=”Keyword Density”]The amount of times a specific keyword is used throughout the content of a page. Usually keyword density should be less than 10%, although it is more important that content is user friendly and flows well.[/expand]
[expand title=”Keyword Stuffing”]Creating content that consists of an unnecessary amount of main keywords and phrases. The content it produces is neither user friendly nor does it flow well and in the end, deters visitors. The website may also be viewed as spam if it is prevalent throughout a site.[/expand]