SEO and What do all these words mean ?

A Glossary of terms for a new language.

Recently on my Networking group it was said " great articles if I could understand half of what they said " in reference to links to articles, I post on the group related to search engine tactics et al and all the Jargon such sites tend to use. Since I must assume my group members are not alone in not knowing what the words mean, here we go :

First off SEO:
It means several things at once, the act of optimizing your site for the engines, People who do such optimizing, and the whole idea in general, lots of work for three little letters.

Back link:
Means a link back to your site from somewhere else. aka an In-bound link

Out-bound link:
Just as it sounds, any link on your page that goes somewhere else.

Above the fold:
That first screen people see when they hit the site before they scroll down .. taken from newspaper speak, above the fold being the best place to have an article, as its the part you see before you open the newspaper..

Algorithm:
A rather arcane formula the search engines use to decide how to display/rank sites, which they don't share with anybody so you have to try and guess ..... ( thanks a lot dear search engines ! right ? :) )

Banner blind:
Where you completely ignore banner ads or anything that even looks like one, so not a good idea to have your header look too much like a typical banner as the viewer may ignore it.

Blog:
Started out as a definition for a kind of logging software. Now it means any kind of diary or personal journal posted on the web. Currently being used for news feeds and article publications as well.

Cloaking :
Using tricks to show a viewer one page yet deliver to the engine spider a completely different one, meaning one page for the viewer to look at, and one optimized for the engine. Considered very bad form. Which will get you booted off the engine, if they catch you at it.

Bait and Switch:
is much the same thing only the "good "page is put up for the engine, then taken down once its been indexed and a viewer page put up.

Doorway page:
A page designed as an entrance to a website. Yet another version of bait, as they can be tailored to the engine. Most often, however, it's just a welcome page. Also called a splash page.

Deep Linking:
Means a link to a page other than the main page. A lot of argument over this practice for those who have lots of ads on the front page that such linking skips. But its commonly done to link directly to content.

Dynamic content:
Just means content that changes as you see it, like the Amber alerts, or weather, news the stock market, that kind of thing.

FFA:
Or free for all page, a links page anyone can join just by posting to it. Much frowned upon by the engines who consider them link Farms. Most FFA pages on personal sites use them to automate links. By and large the engines ignore any page that has FFA in the title or meta tags. Over all I would suggest figuring another way to automate your links.

Link Farms:
Any page whose only reason for being there, is to spam the engines with a link, for a higher placement. Most often if you see a page with a whole mess of unordered links in tiny type.. its a link farm and you don't want to have your site on it. Engines penalize heavily for this offense.

Keywords:
A singular word or phrase that your average person types into a search engine box in order to find sites that relate to those words.

Keyword density:
How many times the keyword or words, is on the page, figured by percentage. Too little and you don't have good density, too much and you get penalized for spaming and only they know how much is enough and how much is too much. Sigh !

Keyword stuffing:
This means you are popping keywords everywhere, the title is loaded with em, the alt tags are loaded with them, the Meta tags have way too many. Considered spamming the engine.

Query:
Just a fancy name for what you do when you type in a word or words to the engine. It just means a question to the engine of what kind of sites you want.

Ranking:
For the engines, meaning whose site is the most relevant to the question asked. ( which is why keywords are so important ) the most relevant is first in line, then next relevant etc. etc.

Reciprocal Link:
The web runs on it, My site points to you and yours points to me.

SERP:
Yet another acronym for search engine results page, what you get after you ask an engine for information. Its just a shorthand like most acronyms.

SEM:
Search engine marketing, meaning the work of figuring out how to use the engines as a marketing tool.

Spam indexing or Spam:
With regard to engines means something different than the garbage you get in your inbox. It means delivering up to the engines false goods, pages made with fake practices just to get good ranking. It also means those sites which submit and re submit the site or pages of the site to the engine repeatedly in the mistaken notion that if I do it more often, I will rank better/faster.

Stop words:
Any word that makes a red flag go up and make a search engine spider stop indexing the page. Which depends on the filter ( adult language being the most common ) for that engine so no telling. If your site is not being indexed check for possible stop words.

Spider:
Programing sent out by engines and others ( like email harvesters) to read the content of your site and report it back to the engine so they can figure out what's on your site.

Email Harvesters:
Specialized spiders who scan sites just to find email address's for spam lists.

ROI:
You will see this one a lot, it just is another acronym meaning return of investment. Meaning is what your paying for marketing working ? How much are you putting out for what sales/income you are getting back ?

Hidden/tiny text:
A practice of spaming the engine, by making lists of keywords down low on the page in itty bitty font, or hidden by being the same color as the background.

( This practice is often pure spam as these lists can be hundreds of words long that may or may not be related to the site at all ,but are " good" high traffic keywords, the intent being to trick the engine to serve up their page, based on any of the " good" words you plug into the search box. The engines are getting smarter, to where you don't see this happen too often anymore. )

Sandbox:
This is a Google(tm) term, meaning where a new site was on the engine and suddenly disappears, its in the sandbox. Google will have it up to at first to show you that they have indexed it and then will stash it somewhere for a few mts. Why ? Have not really heard a good explanation yet of why they do this, but they do it and this is what it means when you see this term.

More soon
Esta


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