algorithm (algo) A program used by search engines to determine what pages to suggest for a given search query.
alt text: A description of a graphic, which usually isn’t displayed to the end user, unless the graphic is undeliverable, or a browser is used that doesn’t display graphics. Alt text is important because search engines can’t tell one picture from another. Alt text is the one place where it is acceptable for the spider to get different content than the human user, but only because the alt text is accessible to the user, and when properly used is an accurate description of the associated picture. Special web browsers for visually challenged people rely on the alt text to make the content of graphics accessible to the users.
analytics: A program which assists in gathering and analyzing data about website usage. Google analytics is a feature rich, popular, free analytics program.
anchor text: The user visible text of a link. Search engines use anchor text to indicate the relevancy of the referring site and of the link to the content on the landing page. Ideally all three will share some keywords in common.
content (text, copy): The part of a web page that is intended to have value for and be of interest to the user. Advertising, navigation, branding and boilerplate are not usually considered to be content.
CPC Cost Per Click: the rate that is paid per click for a Pay Per Click Advertiser
CPM (Cost Per Thousand impressions): A statistical metric used to quantify the average value / cost of Pay Per Click advertisements. M - from the Roman numeral for one thousand.
crawler: (bot, spider) A program which moves through the worldwide web or a website by way of the link structure to gather data.
directory: A site devoted to directory pages. The Yahoo directory is an example.
directory page A page of links to related WebPages.
HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language): directives or “markup” which are used to add formatting and web functionality to plain text for use on the internet. HTML is the mother tongue of the search engines, and should generally be strictly and exclusively adhered to on web pages.
impression (page view): The event where a user views a webpage one time.
in bound link (inlink, incoming link) Inbound links from related pages are the source of trust and pagerank.
index Noun: - a database of WebPages and their content used by the search engines.
index Verb: - to add a web page to a search engine index.
indexed pages: The pages on a site which have been indexed.
inlink: (incoming link, inbound link) Inbound links from related pages are the source of trust and pagerank.
keyword - key phrase: The word or phrase that a user enters into a search engine.
keyword density: The percentage of words on a web page which are a particular keyword. If this value is unnaturally high the page may be penalized.
keyword research: The hard work of determining which keywords are appropriate for targeting.
link: An element on a web page that can be clicked on to cause the browser to jump to another page or another part of the current page.
link building: actively cultivating incoming links to a site.
link exchange: a reciprocal linking scheme often facilitated by a site devoted to directory pages. Link exchanges usually allow links to sites of low or no quality, and add no value themselves. Quality directories are usually human edited for quality assurance.
link partner: (link exchange, reciprocal linking) Two sites which link to each other. Search engines usually don’t see these as high value links, because of the reciprocal nature.
link popularity a measure of the value of a site based upon the number and quality of sites that link to it
META tags: Statements within the HEAD section of an HTML page which furnishes information about the page. META information may be in the SERPs but is not visible on the page. It is very important to have unique and accurate META title and description tags, because they may be the information that the search engines rely upon the most to determine what the page is about. Also, they are the first impression that users get about your page within the SERPs.
natural search results: The search engine results which are not sponsored, or paid for in any way.
non reciprocal link: if site A links to site B, but site B does not link back to site A, then the link is considered non reciprocal. Search engines tend to give more value to non-reciprocal links than to reciprocal ones because they are less likely to be the result of collusion between sites.
organic link: organic links are those that are published only because the webmaster considers them to add value for users.
outlink: (Out going link)
pagerank (PR): a value between 0 and 1 assigned by the Google algorithm, which quantifies link popularity and trust among other (proprietary) factors.
reciprocal link: (link exchange, link partner) Two sites which link to each other. Search engines usually don’t see these as high value links, because of the reciprocal and potentially incestuous nature.
redirect: Any of several methods used to change the address of a landing page such as when a site is moved to a new domain, or in the case of a doorway.
robots.txt: a file in the root directory of a website use to restrict and control the behavior of search engine spiders.
site map: A page or structured group of pages which link to every user accessible page on a website, and hopefully improves site usability by clarifying the data structure of the site for the users. An XML sitemap is often kept in the root directory of a site just to help search engine spiders to find all of the site pages.
social bookmark: A form of Social Media where users bookmarks are aggregated for public access.
social media: Various online technologies used by people to share information and perspectives. Blogs, wikis, forums, social bookmarking, user reviews and rating sites (digg, reddit) are all examples of Social Media.
spider: (bot, crawler) A specialized bot used by search engines to find and add web pages to their indexes.
static page: A web page without dynamic content or variables such as session IDs in the URL. Static pages are good for SEO work in that they are friendly to search engine spiders.
text link: A plain HTML link that does not involve graphic or special code such as flash or java script.
URL: Uniform Resource Locator - AKA Web Address
web 2.0: Is characterized by websites, which encourage user interaction.