301 error A permanent server redirect – a change of address for a web page found in the htaccess file on apache servers. Also useful for dealing with canonical issues.
404 not found The HTTP 404, 404 Not Found, and 404 error message is a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) standard response code, in computer network communications, to indicate that the client was able to communicate with a given server, but the server could not find what was requested, such as a webpage. This typically happens when a user clicks on a broken link or tries to visit a webpage that no longer exists.
Ad account The account platform used in order to create, manage and deliver online advertising. Google Adwords is an example of an ad account.
AdWords Google Pay Per Click contextual advertisement program, very common way of basic website advertisement.
Advertising campaign For digital marketing purposes, a single advertising campaign involves the use of a single channel, such as Google Search, a singular keyword set and a singular target audience to advertise a client’s single advertising goal. For example, a hotel may wish to advertise its MICE promotions by using a Google Display campaign targeted to a specific audience in Europe. A Google search campaign is regarded as a separate campaign to a Google Display campaign. It’s also possible to have multiple campaigns on a given channel if they have different goals, target audiences or keyword sets.
affiliate An affiliate site markets products or services that are actually sold by another website or business in exchange for fees or commissions.
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.
Audience Audience targeting is sometimes used to refer to the practice of targeting users according to first or third party data related to these users.
Authority (trust, link juice, Google juice) The amount of trust that a site is credited with for a particular search query. Authority/trust is derived from related incoming links from other trusted sites.
Authority site A website which has many incoming links from other related expert/hub sites. Because of this simultaneous citation from trusted hubs an authority site usually has high trust, pagerank, and search results placement. Wikipedia, is an example of an authority site.
Avg. CPC The average amount that you've been charged for a click on your ad. Average cost-per-click (avg. CPC) is calculated by dividing the total cost of your clicks by the total number of clicks.
Avg. Time on Page Average time on page is simply the average amount of time all users spend on a single page
B2B Business to Business.
B2C Business to Consumer
Backlink (inlink, incoming link) Any link into a page or site from any other page or site.
Black hat Search engine optimization tactics that are counter to best practices such as the Google Webmaster Guidelines.
Blog A website which presents content in a more or less chronological series. Content may or may not be time sensitive. Most blogs us a Content Management System such as WordPress rather than individually crafted WebPages. Because of this, the Blogger can choose to concentrate on content creation instead of arcane code.
Bot (robot, spider, crawler) A program which performs a task more or less autonomously. Search engines use bots to find and add web pages to their search indexes. Spammers often use bots to “scrape” content for the purpose of plagiarizing it for exploitation by the Spammer.
Bounce rate A bounce is a single-page session on your site. In Analytics, a bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server, such as when a user opens a single page on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session. Bounce rate is single-page sessions divided by all sessions, or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server.
Brand guidelines Brand guidelines, also known as a brand style guide, govern the composition, design, and general look-and-feel of a company’s branding. Brand guidelines can dictate the content of a logo, blog, website, advertisement, and similar marketing collateral.
Brand search campaign a single search campaign that focuses on users searching for your brand or company name.
Brand display campaign a single display campaign that focuses on users seeing your brand or company name.
Breadcrumbs Web site navigation in a horizontal bar above the main content which helps the user to understand where they are on the site and how to get back to the root areas.
Call to action (CTA) is a marketing term used extensively in advertising and selling. It refers to any device designed to prompt an immediate response or encourage an immediate sale. A CTA most often refers to the use of words or phrases that can be incorporated into sales scripts, advertising messages or web pages that encourage consumers to take prompt action.
Campaign targets a realist set of goals that your campaign is trying to reach. A goal maybe to attract a certain number of users to visit your landing page.
Canonical issues (duplicate content) canon=legitimate or official version – It is often nearly impossible to avoid duplicate content, especially with CMSs like WordPress, but also due to the fact that www.site.com, site.com, and www.site.com/index.htm are supposedly seen as dupes by the SEs – although it’s a bit hard to believe they aren’t more sophisticated than that. However these issues can be dealt with effectively in several ways including – using the noindex meta tag in the non-canonical copies, and 301 server redirects to the canon.
Click fraud Improper clicks on a PPC advertisement usually by the publisher or his minions for the purpose of undeserved profit. Click fraud is a huge issue for add agencies like Google, because it lowers advertiser confidence that they will get fair value for their add spend.
Clicks When someone clicks your ad, like on the blue headline of a text ad, Google Ads counts that as a click.
Cloak The practice of delivering different content to the search engine spider than that seen by the human users. This Black Hat tactic is frowned upon by the search engines and caries a virtual death penalty of the site/domain being banned from the search engine results.
CMS Content Management System – Programs such as WordPress, which separate most of the mundane Webmaster tasks from content creation so that a publisher can be effective without acquiring or even understanding sophisticated coding skills if they so choose.
Code swapping (bait and switch) Changing the content after high rankings are achieved.
Comment spam Posting blog comments for the purpose of generating an inlink to another site.
Communications matrix The communication matrix is a tool to help you proactively plan communications. In marketing terms this allows you to target your key selling points to the right audience.
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.
Contextual advertisement Advertising which is related to the content.
Conv. Rate The percentage of your ads that are converting.
Conversion (goal) Achievement of a quantifiable goal on a website. Add clicks, sign ups, and sales are examples of conversions.
Conversion rate Percentage of users who convert – see conversion.
Cost This is the total amount spent on your ads.
Cost / Conv The cost per conversion.
CTR Clickthrough rate (CTR) can be used to gauge how well your keywords and ads are performing. CTR is the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown: clicks ÷ impressions = CTR. For example, if you had 5 clicks and 100 impressions, then your CTR would be 5%.
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.
Digital advertising also called Internet advertising (“Internet marketing”) is when businesses leverage Internet technologies to deliver promotional advertisements to consumers.
Digital channel A digital channel is a sales channel that is electronic in nature as opposed to physical channels such as retail. Common types of digital channels would be a website, Google search engine, Google display network, Yahoo search engine, Yandex search engine, email application, messaging apps, and so on.
Directory A site devoted to directory pages. The Yahoo directory is an example.
Directory page A page of links to related WebPages.
Direct Traffic Google Analytics will report a traffic source of "direct" when it has no data on how the session arrived at your website, or when the referring source has been configured to be ignored.
Doorway (gateway) A web page that is designed specifically to attract traffic from a search engine. A doorway page which redirects users (but not spiders) to another site or page is implementing cloaking.
Duplicate content Obviously content which is similar or identical to that found on another website or page. A site may not be penalized for serving duplicate content but it will receive little if any Trust from the search engines compared to the content that the SE considers being the original.
E commerce site A website devoted to retail sales.
Feed Content which is delivered to the user via special websites or programs such as news aggregators.
Frames a web page design where two or more documents appear on the same screen, each within it’s own frame. Frames are bad for SEO because spiders sometimes fail to correctly navigate them. Additionally, most users dislike frames because it is almost like having two tiny monitors neither of which shows a full page of information at one time.
Gateway page (doorway page) A web page that is designed to attract traffic from a search engine and then redirect it to another site or page. A doorway page is not exactly the same as cloaking but the effect is the same in that users and search engines are served different content.
Geo search campaign a search campaign, such as Google Search, that targets user based on their geographical location.
Google juice (trust, authority, pagerank) trust / authority from Google, which flows through outgoing links to other pages.
Googlebot Google’s spider program
Hit Once the standard by which web traffic was often judged, but now a largely meaningless term replaced by pageviews AKA impressions. A hit happens each time that a server sends an object – documents, graphics, include files, etc. Thus one pageview could generate many hits.
Hub (expert page) a trusted page with high quality content that links out to related pages.
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.
Impr. Share Impression share (IS) is the percentage of impressions that your ads receive compared to the total number of impressions that your ads could get.
Impression (page view) The event where a user views a webpage one time.
Impressions An impression is counted each time your ad is shown on a search result page or other site on the Google Network.
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 cannibalization The excessive reuse of the same keyword on too many web pages within the same site. This practice makes it difficult for the users and the search engines to determine which page is most relevant for the keyword.
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.
Keyword spam (keyword stuffing) Inappropriately high keyword density.
Keyword stuffing (keyword spam) Inappropriately high keyword density.
Landing page the page that a user lands on when they click on a link in a SERP
Latent semantic indexing (LSI) This mouthful just means that the search engines index commonly associated groups of words in a document. SEOs refer to these same groups of words as “Long Tail Searches”. The majority of searches consist of three or more words strung together. See also “long tail”. The significance is that it might be almost impossible to rank well for “mortgage”, but fairly easy to rank for “second mortgage to finance monster truck team”. Go figure.
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 detox a process of removing inlinks from a website that are deemed to be poor quality by search engines, such as Google.
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 farm a group of sites which all link to each other.
Link juice (trust, authority, pagerank)
Link love An outgoing link, which passes trust, unencumbered by any kind of link condom.
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
link spam (Comment Spam) Unwanted links such as those posted in user generated content like blog comments.
link text (Anchor text) The user visible text of a link. Search engines use anchor text to indicate the relevancy of the referring site and link to the content on the landing page. Ideally all three will share some keywords in common.
long tail longer more specific search queries that are often less targeted than shorter broad queries. For example a search for “widgets” might be very broad while “red widgets with reverse threads” would be a long tail search. A large percentage of all searches are long tail searches.
Media planning The fundamental purpose of a media plan is to determine the best way to convey a message to the target audience. A media plan sets out a systematic process that synchronizes all contributing elements in order to achieve this specific goal.
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.
Metric A standard of measurement used by analytics programs.
Mirror site An identical site at a different address.
Monetize To extract income from a site. Adsense ads are an easy way to Monetize a website.
Natural search results The search engine results which are not sponsored, or paid for in any way.
Nofollow A command found in either the HEAD section of a web page or within individual link code, which instructs robots to not follow either any links on the page or the specific link. A form of link condom.
Noindex A command found in either the HEAD section of a web page or within individual link code, which instructs robots to not index the page or the specific link. A form of link condom.
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.
Onpage conversion a conversion that happens on your web page.
Organic traffic The term “organic traffic” is used for referring to the visitors that land on your website as a result of unpaid (“organic”) search results. … The branch of online marketing that focuses directly on improving organic traffic is called SEO- search engine optimization.
Organic link organic links are those that are published only because the webmaster considers them to add value for users.
Outranking Share Outranking share is a percentage defined as the number of times your ad ranked higher in the auction than another participant's ad, plus the number of times your ad showed when theirs did not, divided by the total number of ad auctions you participated in.
Overlap How often another advertiser's ad received an impression in the same auction that your ad also received an impression
Pagerank (PR) a value between 0 and 1 assigned by the Google algorithm, which quantifies link popularity and trust among other (proprietary) factors.
Page speed Page speed is a measurement of how fast the content on your page loads.
Page speed optimization The task of optimizing components on your website in order to get your webpage to load quickly.
Paid Traffic Traffic that came to your website from paid sources such as Google Ads.
Pay for inclusion PFI The practice of charging a fee to include a website in a search engine or directory. While quite common, usually what is technically paid for is more rapid consideration to avoid Googles prohibition on paid links.
Portal A web service which offers a wide array of features to entice users to make the portal their “home page” on the web. IGoogle, Yahoo, and MSN are portals.
PPA (Pay Per Action ) Very similar to Pay Per Click except publishers only get paid when click throughs result in conversions.
PPC (Pay Per Click) a contextual advertisement scheme where advertisers pay add agencies (such as Google) whenever a user clicks on their add. Adwords is an example of PPC advertising.
Proprietary method (bullshit, snake oil) sales term often used by SEO service providers to imply that they can do something unique to achieve “Top Ten Rankings”.
Rankings Ranking refers to where a URL appears on a SERP (Search Engine Result Page) once a user has searched for a given search term.
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.
Referral Traffic Referral traffic describes the people who come to your domain from other sites, without searching for you on Google.
Retargeting Retargeting works by keeping track of people who visit your site and displaying your retargeting ads to them as they visit other sites online.
Revenue Total revenue recorded.
Robots.txt a file in the root directory of a website use to restrict and control the behavior of search engine spiders.
ROI (Return On Investment) One use of analytics software is to analyze and quantify return on investment, and thus cost / benefit of different schemes.
Sandbox There has been debate and speculation that Google puts all new sites into a “sandbox,” preventing them from ranking well for anything until a set period of time has passed. The existence or exact behavior of the sandbox is not universally accepted among SEOs.
Scrape copying content from a site, often facilitated by automated bots.
SE (Search Engine)
Search engine (SE) a program, which searches a document or group of documents for relevant matches of a users keyword phrase and returns a list of the most relevant matches. Internet search engines such as Google and Yahoo search the entire internet for relevant matches.
Search engine rankings Ranking refers to where a URL appears on a SERP (Search Engine Result Page) once a user has searched for a given search term.
Search engine spam Pages created to cause search engines to deliver inappropriate or less relevant results. Search Engine Optimizers are sometimes unfairly perceived as search engine Spammers. Of course in some cases they actually are.
Search Lost IS (budget) This is the percentage of time your ad didn't appear because your budget is too low.
Search Lost IS (rank) This is the percentage of time your ad didn't appear because of poor ad rank, which is determined by your bid relative to your competitors and by your ad quality.
SEM Short for search engine marketing, SEM is often used to describe acts associated with researching, submitting and positioning a Web site within search engines to achieve maximum exposure of your Web site. SEM includes things such as search engine optimization, paid listings and other search-engine related services and functions that will increase exposure and traffic to your Web site.
SEO Short for search engine optimization, the process of increasing the number of visitors to a Web site by achieving high rank in the search results of a search engine. The higher a Web site ranks in the results of a search, the greater the chance that users will visit the site. It is common practice for Internet users to not click past the first few pages of search results, therefore high rank in SERPs is essential for obtaining traffic for a site. SEO helps to ensure that a site is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that the site will be indexed and favorably ranked by the search engine.
SEO compliant Following the general rules associated with good SEO, such as the Google SEO Guidelines, will ensure you are SEO compliant.
SERP Search Engine Results Page
Sessions A session is a group of user interactions with your website that take place within a given time frame. For example, a single session can contain multiple page views, events, social interactions, and ecommerce transactions.
Sitemap 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.
SMM (Social Media Marketing) Website or brand promotion through the use of social media.
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.
Social media influencer A Social Media Influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. A social media influencer has access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach.
Social media marketing (SMM) Website or brand promotion through social media
Social Traffic Traffic that comes to your website from Social Media Platforms such as Facebook / Instagram.
Spammer A person who uses spam to pursue a goal.
Spider (bot, crawler) A specialized bot used by search engines to find and add web pages to their indexes.
Splash page Often animated, graphics pages without significant textual content. Splash pages are intended to look flashy to humans, but without attention to SEO may look like dead ends to search engine spiders, which can only navigate through text links. Poorly executed splash pages may be bad for SEO and often a pain in the ass for users.
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.
Stickiness Mitigation of bounce rate. Website changes that entice users to stay on the site longer, and view more pages improve the sites “stickiness”.
Target audience The group of users that you wish to show your information to. Audiences can be determined by many factors including, age, location, interests, earning power, etc.
Text link A plain HTML link that does not involve graphic or special code such as flash or java script.
Time on page The amount of time that a user spends on one page before clicking off. An indication of quality and relevance.
Top of page Rate Top of page rate tells you how often your ad (or the ad of another participant, depending on which row you're viewing) was shown at the top of the page, above the unpaid search results.
Trust rank a method of differentiating between valuable pages and spam by quantifying link relationships from trusted human evaluated seed pages.
URL Uniform Resource Locator – AKA Web Address
User experience the overall experience of a person using a product such as a website or computer application, especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use.
User generated content (UGC) Social Media, wikis, Folksonomies, and some blogs rely heavily on User Generated Content. One could say that Google is exploiting the entire web as UGC for an advertising venue.
Users A user is a visitor who has initiated a session on your website: the moment a person lands on any page of your site, they are identified as either a new or returning user. Google Analytics differentiates between new and returning users based on visitors' browser cookies.
Visual brand guidelines Also referred to as a style guide (or manual of style) is a set of standards for the writing and design of documents, either for general use or for a specific publication, organization, or field.
Walled garden a group of pages which link to each other but are not linked to by any other pages. A walled garden can still be indexed if it is included in a sitemap, but it will probably have very low pagerank.
Web rankings Ranking refers to where a URL appears on a SERP (Search Engine Result Page) once a user has searched for a given search term.
White hat SEO techniques, which conform to best practice guidelines, and do not attempt to unscrupulously “game” or manipulate SERPs.
Youtube display campaign A youtube advertising campaign that appears to the right of the feature video and above the video suggestions list. For larger players, this ad may appear below the player.
Youtube video ad campaign A youtube advertising campaign that can compromise of overlay ads (Semi-transparent overlay ads that appear on the lower 20% portion of your video), Skippable video ads or non-skippable video ads.