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Glossary of Web Marketing Terms

StepForth's Glossary of TermsSearch Engine: A search engine is a database that helps people find information on websites based on a keyword search. Search engines generally use robots called “spiders” or “crawlers” to scan and catalog websites.

AdCenter (MSN): AdCenter is MSN’s pay-per-click advertising platform.

AdWords: The popular paid-advertising (PPC) system offered by Google.

AdSense: A program under which a webmaster gives Google permission to display AdWords advertising on his or her site for a percentage of click-through charges.

Algorithm: A mathematical formula used to perform a task or function. Search engines use various algorithms to sort and rank documents.

Algo: Abbreviation for algorithm.

Anchor Text: The text used to phrase a link. For example: Back to Home – this linked text is the “anchor text”.

Avatar: This is a visual representation of a computer users identy, commonly a thumbnail photo or graphic in social media. It may also be a 3D character used in video games and other web applications.

Basecamp: An online tool, or client portal, used to help manage and track projects or ideas.

Blog: Derived from the term Web Log, a blog is essentially an online diary of an individual, group, or business. Blogs are now used extensively to promote a large variety of topics ranging from personal information to entertainment to business promotions.

Body Text: The text that appears on a website.

Client Portal: This is an online system created to allow clients to log into a service providers website and access information pertaining to their account. Basecamp is a type of client portal.

CMS (content management system): This is an online back end computer application used to manage aspects of a website. It allows users to create, edit, and publish content to their website easily. Before choosing a CMS be sure that it offers features which make it search engine friendly. Many CMS’s are search friendly, but some may cause problems when trying to obtain top search rankings.

Content (General): The information contained in a document.

Content (Active Content): Content that changes from time to time.

Content (Fresh Content): New information posted to a document.

Content (Long Term Content): Content that is not expected to change over time. An example would be the US Constitution.

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Content (Static Content): Non-changing content.

Context: An understanding of the topic or meaning of a document.

Contextual Advertising: Industry term describing the delivery of paid advertising across multiple platforms based on information contained in the document the advertisement appears on.

Conversion: When a user performs the target action a website is designed to evoke. This can be a product purchase, newsletter sign up, contact form submission, or any other action that the website owner deems valuable..

CPC: Acronym: Cost per Click is the price an advertiser pays a search engine for a single click on an advertisement listing which leads a visitor to its website.

CPM: Acronym: A term used in PPC marketing. It refers to the Cost per Mille or Cost per Thousand (mille means thousand in Latin) an advertisers pays for impressions of their ad in a search engine.

Crawler: A crawler is much like a spider except it is programmed to constantly surf the web, following any and all links it comes across. As it visits new websites, it checks its own database to see if the site is listed. If the site is already listed, it makes note of any changes and calculates a search engine ranking for the site. If the site has not been previously listed, the crawler will record all important information, add the website to the database, and assign a ranking to it.

Database: A database is a repository or storage area for information. In reference to search engines, databases are measured by the number of websites listed on that particular search engine. A database is a collection of information organized in such a way that a computer program can quickly select desired pieces of data.

Directory: Directories are very much like search engines except they often use live human editors to review and catalog websites submitted to their databases. Most directories sort websites based on topical categories such as Arts & Humanities, or Business & Economics. Yahoo! is the most well known directory.

Document Profile: A set of characteristics assigned to a unique document based on historic data gathered and compiled over time.

Domain Name: The digital address of a website as expressed in hypertext transfer protocol code.

Document: A unique web-file of any type being examined by Google.

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FaceBook: Facebook is a social networking platform where users share photos, videos, status updates and more.

Forum: A forum is an online message board where users can post questions and answers and discuss popular topics. Most forums are created around a central theme.

Frames: A website design technique used to split the screen into two or more sections. Websites designed using frames are notoriously difficult to promote to search engines without effective website optimization work.

FTP: File Transfer Protocol – This is most often used to transfer files to a web server.

Google Analytics: This is Google’s free website analytics software

Googlebombing: A method of forcing a document to rank in the Top position at Google by having multiple links with the same anchor text pointing to that document.

Googlebot: The proper name of Google’s search spider.

Historic Data: Information compiled over time to provide accurate record of unique events over time.

Historic Profiles: A set of characteristics ascribed to a document after analysis of Historic Data.

Hits (page hits): Hits refers to the number of times a server is asked, or “pinged” for information. A successful request between a web browser and the web server. Hits is an antiquated term once used to judge the number of users accessing a website, however, this is false. A hit is any request. For example, if your home page has 10 images on it, every time that page is loaded it will result in 11 hits. 1 hit for the html page and 10 hits for the images.

Host Server: The computer on which a website resides and is made available via the web. Generally host servers are associated with Internet Service Providers.

HTML: Acronym: Hypertext Markup Language. A semi-universal protocol language for creating web documents. Hyper Text Mark-up Language is the basic programming code for the web.

Image: An image is a graphic used in a website. Not every image is a picture. Images can include photos, buttons, banners, and other non-text elements.

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IT: Information Technology, Intelligent Technologies or Internet Technologies (depending on the context used).

Index (Search Index): The term describing the entire database of documents known to a search engine.

Index (Page): The first document found on most websites is known as the index page. It can also be named the default page or referred to as the home page.

Keyword: Words input by search engine users when looking for documents containing information relevant to those words.

Keyword Phrase: Two or more keywords that might be input by search engine users when looking for documents containing information relevant to those words.

Keyword Query: A search conducted using keywords.

Keyword Ratio: The number of keywords in your body text measured against the total number of words in the body text.

Landing Page(s): This is the entry point, or first page a user sees, when visiting a website. Often custom pages are created to be used as landing pages for pay per click campaigns.

Link: A connector written into the source-code of a document that, when triggered by the site-user, leads to another document on the web. Links generally appear as coloured underlined text however they might also be triggered by images, FLASH, java scripts and drop down menus. Links are the item that the user clicks on to naviagate to a new page.

Link Density: The number of links directed to your website originating from outside sources

Link Popularity: A measure of how many other websites link to your website.

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Link (Backlink): A link directed to a web document from another web document. When plural (backlinks), the term may refer to a list of all links leading to a document or a domain.

Link (Internal): A connection between two documents in the same web site or domain.

Link (External): A connection between two web documents housed at separate domains.

Link (Reciprocal): An agreed upon exchange of links between two web documents or domains. (Site A places a link to Site B so Site B places a link to Site A to reciprocate)

Local Content: Content contained on a website created specifically for a particular geographic location

Local Search Marketing: Local Search marketing refers to the use of special search engines/online business directories (ex Google Maps, Yahoo Local Search etc) to geographically promote a business. Local Search marketing can be an ideal tool for particular businesses or organizations that benefit from geo-targeting themselves.

Meta Tags: Found in the source code of each web page, meta tags are sets of instructions and/or identifiers for search engine spiders to read which describe the content that is included on your web page. At one time, search engines used this information solely to decide where your web site should be placed within their database. Now search engines use Meta Tags only in part when calculating your web site’s ultimate placement. There are two commonly used meta tags, the description and the keyword tags.

Meta Tag (Description): The description meta tag is used to offer search engines a short paragraph of topical or thematic data. The description is often used to contextualize information found on the page. It might also appear as the descriptive text appearing below the active link on search engine results pages. The description meta tag is considered an essential component of a good SEO campaign.

Meta Tag (Keywords): The keywords meta tag may or may not be important. While it once carried a great deal of weight, misuse of the tag has led most search engines, including Google to take this tag much less seriously.

Moore’s Law: An observation made by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965 that states the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits would double every 18-months. This observation has generally held true over the years and continues to dictate assumptions about growth in all facets of the IT industry.

No Frames: A meta tag used to provide readable information for search engine spiders when a site is designed using frames.

Optimization: The process of making your website or web page search engine friendly

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Optimize (Website or Document): To alter a document in order to make the document rank well on search engines under specific keywords or keyword phrases.

Overture: Overture was the first search tool to use pay-per-click as a business model. Purchased by Yahoo early in 2004, Overture has been integrated into Yahoo as Yahoo Search Marketing.

Panama (Yahoo): Panama is the “codename” for the back end of Yahoo Search Marketing’s pay-per-click platform.

Pay Per Call: Similar to the pay-per-click advertising model, pay-per-call is when the advertiser pays the online platform based on the number of phone calls they receive from the ad. Unique phone numbers are used in order to track exactly how many calls are a direct result of the advertisement.

Pay-per-Click: Pay-per-click search tools allow website managers to bid for placement. Bids are most often measured as an amount per click-through, or each time a user visits a website, the bid amount is extracted from the bidder’s account.

PPC: Acronym: Pay per Click (each time users click a paid advertisement, the advertiser is charged a fee)

PageRank: A score assigned by Google to document profiles based on what is assumed to be an over-all evaluation of document content and the content of all associated documents. This value is largely dictated by inbound links.

Paid Search Advertising: Keyword driven advertising paid for by advertisers. By definition, this may include banner advertising, text-links and other forms of commercial placement however it tends to refer to programs such as Google AdWords or Yahoo Search Marketing Services.

Placement (SEO): The positioning of an optimized web document or website in the Top10 rankings.

Placement Targeting: Refers to AdWords PPC. The option advertisers have in choosing the individual websites within the Google content network, or specific sections of those sites, where they’d like their ads to appear.

Portal: A website that offers users access to a number of topic based references. Yahoo and AOL are commonly defined as Portals.

Promotion Map: Promotion Maps enable search engine spiders and live-directory editors to easily and quickly move through a website. The Promotion Mapping technique is an essential part of the Corporate Placement Packages.

Quality Score: A score given by Google AdWords (PPC Advertising) that refers to the relevancy and relationship between the keyword(s), text ad, and landing page. Having a high quality score will lower the cost of a PPC ad placement.

Rankings (Search Engine Rankings): Order of placement of a web document or web site on search engine results pages.

Reputation Enhancement: This is the process of increasing your positive online reputation – how search engines and users view your website.

Reputation Management: This is the management of your online reputation. Its main purpose is to protect your name and exposure from undesired public information. This can involve working to eliminate negative and defamatory information about your company.

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Robot (Search): Another name for search spider. Also referred to as ‘bots’.

Roll-over Image: An image that changes as your mouse moves over it.

Search: Search describes the act of looking for information using a search engine.

SERP: acronym: Search Engine Results Page.

SEO: Acronym: Search Engine Optimization/Search Engine Optimizer. The process or person performing the action of altering a document or website in order to improve search rankings of that document. SEO tends to focus on the organic (natural) or free listings.

SEM: Acronym: Search Engine Marketing/Search Engine Marketer. Where SEO tends to refer to a process performed for benefit in organic rankings, SEM tends to focus on paid aspects of search advertising.

Shopping Cart: This is an e-commerce system designed to enable easy online transactions. Users can add products or services to their “shopping cart” and then easily purchase their order, or “check out”. Shopping carts can also make the process of searching a store catalog much easier and faster.

Site Map: A set of text links used to direct human visitors or search engine spiders throughout the site.

Social Media: This is comprised primarily of internet based tools for discussing and sharing information on both personal and business levels. Some popular social media platforms include Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and Flickr.

Source-code: The computer language, generally modeled from HTML or a derivative, used to create a web document. Source code is often identifiable by the use of the < & > symbols.

Spam (SEO): Named after the infamous canned luncheon meat, SPAM is the term that refers to search engine optimization techniques that grossly violate the Terms of Services Agreements published by the major search engines. As a term, SPAM can be applied to any unwanted or unwelcome product of Internet Marketing including but certainly not limited to email.

Spider: A spider is a tool used by search engines to view and rank websites submitted to its search engine. Spiders are electronic robots programmed and used by search engines to find web documents and record information about web documents.

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Spidering: When a spider visits a document it is said to be spidering the document.

Spidering cycle: The term describing the time between visits by spiders to a document.

Static Content: Content that tends to remain constant over time.

Stickiness (Document Elements): Term describing document elements that do not change over time.

Stickiness (Search): Term describing a document’s tendency to remain in a constant place on search engine results pages.

Submitting to Search Engines: The process of posting websites to search engines.

Technology: Any non-human device constructed or augmented whose use is dictated by design.

Theme Site/s: Themed sites are individual web sites that consist of useful, original and relevant content on a specific product or service.

Theme Engines: – Theme Engines are the newest generation of search engines. Basing their site ranking formulas on multiple factors such as relevancy, link densities and textual continuity, theme engines are designed to produce better search results.

Title: The words or phrases placed in the <title> tag of the document source-code. The title is the text that appears as the active link on search engine results pages. The title appears across the very top of your search browser window, (in the area the minimize/maximize buttons are placed.)

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Top10: Industry term describing the first ten results found on a search engine results page.

Top 20 Listing: Being in the top 20 generally means that you will be found on one of the first two pages of reference links returned when a set of keywords is entered into a search engine. The majority of search engine users will switch to another search engine if they do not find the results they are looking for in the first 20 references.

Tracking Code: this is a snippet of code, often written in JavaScript, posted on the site to track visitor behaviour, or conversions.

Traffic: A term measuring the number of users who visit a document or URL.

Traffic Analysis: This is the analysis of the traffic, or site visitors, that a website incurs.

Trust Rank: A term used to describe a score assigned by Google to document profiles based on link-evaluation.

Twitter: Twitter is a free social messaging utility where users can enter in 140 character status updates. Sometimes referred to as micro-blogging, twitter combines blogging, instant messaging, and status updates found on other social media platforms.

Unique Visitors: This is the actual number of individual people who have accessed your website. This is the most commonly used figure to judge how busy a website is.

URL: Acronym: Uniform Resource Locator, also known as Domain Name.

User: The person visiting a website or using a piece of technology.

View-Source: – “View-Souce” means to look at the source-code of a website. To do so, point your mouse to the View option in the top menu bar. Choose source from the drop down menu. The text that appears is the source code of the website.

Web Page: A single document contained in a traditional W3C defined document format and found on the web.

Web Site: A collection of web pages or other content assembled to form a unique entity and housed at the same basic URL.

Web: A network of servers linked together using common protocols. The World Wide Web has become a vast repository of human information and has also provided its billions of users with the instant ability to communicate with other users via networks established using common protocols.

Web 2.0: This essentially refers to the second generation of web based applications and interaction. Common examples of web 2.0 would include blogs, wiki’s, social media – any website where there is user interaction and contribution to the web site would be considered web 2.0.

Website Analytics: This is the analysis of statistical information pertaining to a given website. Activities may include tracking web site usage, visitor behaviour, entry keywords, and conversion tracking.

W3C: (acronym) World Wide Web Consortium, the body that sets official standards for coded-content on the web.

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