SEO Terminology

So often in the Search engine optimization (SEO) world you will hear terms thrown about and not have a clear understanding of what they are. I created this seo terminology list to shed some light on what they mean. This terminology list is by no means complete. I will be adding terms to it.

back links
Links pointing inbound from one site to another conveying linkjuice


blackhat SEO
Blackhat SEO is methodology of using less than ethical means to achieve a higher page rank. See here for more detailed description.


Also known as robots, spiders, or crawlers. This is any sort of program that is used to automatically perform tasks. Some examples would be the search engines use programs that search or crawl the web to index the site. (Google, Yahoo/Bing, etc) These are necessary and have a positive intent. Other purposes can be to scrape or steal content, email addresses, credit card numbers, or artificially generate traffic.


Bounce rate
This is a percentage of users that only view a single page where they entered the site. Then they leave the site. The industry estimates that a 40-50% bounce rate is considered good. Anything higher than this, there is something that is wrong. Either they could not find what they were looking for; they did not like what they saw; the reference they followed to the site was flawed or misleading; etc.

CPI Cost per Impression:
The CPI is a model that parallels with the traditional way of advertising. The model requires the advertiser to pay for the display of the advertisement on a webpage. In Google terms this is PPI (pay per impression) or Pay per mile (PPM)
CPC (Cost per click):
CPC is a module that has evolved to new age advertising. This model requires the advertiser to pay based on the number of clicks the advertisement receives.

CPA (Click per Action):
CPA is an alternative to CPC frauds. The payment made is not only for clicks but the action after clicking. The after-click suggestions are filling out an online form or an online survey.
Cloak or Cloaking
Cloaking is a blackhat technique where the page is seen by the indexing spiders is different than what a user sees. This carries a STRONG penalty if a site is caught doing this. They will be demoted, or even removed from the index all-together.


Comment Spam
Comment spam is the bane of every blogger, or blog site out there. See earlier post. The purpose is to create links back to the site they are promoting. They often employ the use of bots to automatically post comments.


A very important aspect of achieving higher PR. These are links on other sites that point back to your site. Links should be contextually relevant otherwise the search engines might classify them as link-farm material. Where possible, outbound links should be “no-follow” which tells search engines not to follow the link and preserve your link-juice.


A website that contains thousands of links. Usually they are unrelated and just thrown together without any order. You can incur serious penalties in PR if you utilize this method!


Link wheel
Link wheels are a blackhat method of transferring link-juice between sites. The basic concept is a hub and spoke with the outer rim uses the unethical means of achieving pagerank and have links pointing back to the hub. This passes link juice to the hub and if the outer rim is penalized for the unethical means, it does not hurt the hub.


link-juice or link juice
Refers to the amount of trust (aka pagerank)or weight transferred with the link to the receiving site. A site with high pagerank transfers more link-juice than one with a lower rank

organic search
Organic search refers to using the search engine for keywords, phrases, etc. The resulting output is referred to as SERP


pagerank or page-rank
Page rank is a term trade-marked by Google. It is the process that they rate and rank a page importance. It is similar to votes in that the more votes it gets by other sites the better the page rank. The algorithm that they use is very complex, but in simplistic terms the more important the voting site the more weight/ linkjuice their vote carries.


SEO is an an acronym for “Search Engine Optimization”. This is a set of a processes that help you increase your page rank. The sole purpose of this is to make your listing come up higher in the search engines, thereby increasing the likelihood of getting more traffic to your site. This increased exposure can help drive up revenue. It is akin to running more ads/commercials in conventional advertising. This is one facet of internet marketing that is sometimes used synonymously with internet marketing. See SEM (Search Engine Marketing), SMM (Social Media Marketing), Link building.

SEM or “Search Engine Marketing” usually refers to paid advertisments on Search Engines. Like Google Adwords, or MS Ad Center. Usually these are PPC (Pay per Click).

SMM or “Social Media Marketing” refers to dealing with social media, like facebook, twitter, pintrest, etc.

An acronym for Search Engine Results Page. This is the page and position of your listing that a search engine returns for a given query. To rank higher in the search engines means that you are closer to the top of page 1.


Search Engine(s)
There are many search engines that are available on the web. The most popular at the time of this writing is Google. They by far have the greatest market share. The search engine industry is a VERY lucrative market. The service they provide to consumers is a index of the web that allows a user to find information on any topic. They utilize spiders to crawl websites and keep an index. While they have different financial models, most rely on advertising income as their cash-cow. There are several dozen different Search Engines out there, these include:Yahoo, Bing, Biadu, Yadex, etc.


See Bot

whitehat SEO

whitehat SEO is the opposite of blackhat SEO. This is a methodology of only using ethical means of SEO. Thereby achieving longer lasting results. Cheating, taking short-cuts & gaming the search engines might get you a temporary gain, but will hurt you in the long-run.

The search engine’s rules can be boiled down to this: “Will users find it useful, and will it give them a good user experience.”

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