SEO and Website Jargon

Your A to Z on SEO and Web jargon.


Accessibility – An accessible website is one which has been written with the specific intention to ensure that it works well on varying types of specialized software specifically for visually impaired or physically disabled people.

Anchor Text – The anchor text, link label, link test, or link title is the visible clickable text in a hyperlink. The words contained in the anchor text can determine the ranking that the page will receive by search engines.

B
Black Hat – If you ever hear the words black hat and your website in the same sentence, it is not going to be a good day. Black Hat techniques are simply how not to do things when it comes to SEO. If you are doing it or the SEO company you employ are doing it, it wont be long before you are banned from the engines, so be aware.

Blog – A blog is a web site or a part of a website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions and comments by one or multiple users, adding posts to catagories and assigning tags to each post to explain exactly what the post is about.

Browsers – Browsers are software programs that enable you to view WWW documents. They ‘translate’ HTML-encoded files into the text, images, sounds and other features you see. Microsoft Internet Explorer (called simply IE), Mozilla, Firefox, Safari, and Opera are examples of ‘graphical’ browsers that enable you to view text and images and many other WWW features.

C
Cache – In browsers, ‘cache’ is used to identify a space where web pages you have visited are stored in your computer. A copy of documents you retrieve is stored in cache. When you use GO, BACK, or any other means to revisit a document, the browser first checks to see if it is in cache and will retrieve it from there because it is much faster than retrieving it from the World Wide Web.

CMS (Content Management System) – Websites are quite often built upon CMS’s these days. They are foundations of a website that give user and admin capabilities to the client after the website has been completed. These are most often connected to sites that have a lot of information that is regularly changing – such as blogs. Some of the more famous CMS systems are WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal. CMS = more updates from the website owner. Regular updates on a website = better SEO, which puts SEO into the hands of the website owner.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) – When websites are created, often a set of rules will be created that will be applicable to the entire site. For example, all main titles may need to be large and in a green typeface. In this scenario, the rule would be written in the CSS sheet which is attached to each page. This CSS sheet will be often contain hundreds of rules for the website and are attached to all the pages that are subject to the rules. It’s not abnormal to have more than one CSS file for a website.

F
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) – Ability to rapidly transfer entire files from one computer to another, intact, for viewing or other purposes. Often a specific piece of software will be required to use FTP. Some website builders have it built in (such as Adobe Dreamweaver), although most professionals will use a seperate piece of software to manage their FTP. Software such as Filezilla or Cyberduck.

H
Hosting – A publicly accessible place for your website to live.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) – A standardised language of computer code, embedded in ‘source’ documents behind all Web documents, containing the textual content, images, links to other documents (and possibly other applications, such as sound or motion) and formatting instructions for display on the screen. HTML5 is the latest standard addition to the code, adding the capacity to use animation and video without the need for extra pieces of software such as Adobe Flash (gradually rendering such softwares obsolete).

I
ISP (Internet Service Provider) – A company that sells internet connections via modem (examples: aol, Mindspring). There are thousands of ISPs to choose from and they’re not easy to evaluate. Faster, more expensive internet connectivity is available via cable or DSL.

K
Keyword(s) – A word searched for in a search command. Keywords are searched in any order. Use spaces to separate keywords in simple keyword searching. These can be used in any search box, be that online or on your home machine.

M
Meta-Search Engine – Search engines that automatically submit your keyword search to several other search tools and retrieve results from all their databases. Convenient time-savers for relatively simple keyword searches (one or two keywords or phrases in ” “).

O
On-Site Links – On Site links are links on your site pointing or leading to other pages on your site. These are usually the links that you will see on the navigation bar or menu within the site. However, it could also be in the midst of the text. For example… visit our contact page to get in touch.

One Way Links – One way links are pretty much what they say on the tin. It is where Site A links to you, but you offer no link back to them. This is often found with directories and articles or press released.

Optimisation (or Optimization, depending on what part of the world you are from!) – Web site optimization is the process of specifically designing your web pages to rank high in the Search Engines. If you’re serious about your business, optimizing your web pages is a must.

P
Page Rank –  Put simply by Matt Cutts from Google as, ” The number and importance of links pointing to you.”

Page rank is the algorithm used by Google to work out the importance of links pointing to your website or any website. It tries to measure the importance of the link pointing to your site and then, taking all of your inbound links into account, assigns a page rank to your website, which ranks from 0 -10. Only a few sites have a page rank of 10, with most established sites having a page rank of between 4 and 6.

PDF (or .pdf or pdf file) – Abbreviation for Portable Document Format, a file format developed by Adobe Systems that is used to capture almost any kind of document with the formatting in the original. Viewing a PDF file requires Acrobat Reader, which is built into most browsers and can be downloaded free from Adobe. PDF’s are now considered the industry standard for viewing documents on the Internet, often in the scenario of terms and conditions or printable forms/documents.

R
Reciprocal Links – This is often called a link exchange or link swap. It is basically where you link to Site A and they link back to you. If you are doing reciprocal linking, try to make sure the sites you are swapping links with are relevant and have some kind of existence.

S
SEO – Hopefully after being on this site for a while you will know this, but if not, SEO is the abbreviation for Search Engine Optimisation. It is a combination of doing many things to make sure your website is effecting in the major search engines.

SERP – This stands for Search Engine Results Page and is effectively the pages that are returned as a result of a search. For example, if you search for dining sets, the SERP are the web pages returned by a search engine for that keyword.

Spiders – Computer robot programs, referred to sometimes as ‘crawlers’ or ‘knowledge-bots’ or ‘knowbots’, that are used by search engines to roam the World Wide Web via the Internet. They visit sites and databases and keep the search engine database of web pages up to date. They obtain new pages, update known pages and delete obsolete ones. Their findings are then integrated into the ‘home’ database. Most large search engines operate several spiders all the time. Even so, the web is so enormous that it can take six months for spiders to cover it, resulting in a certain degree of “out-datedness” (link rot) in all the search engines.

Sponsors (of a web page or site) – Many web pages have organisations, businesses, institutions like universities, nonprofit foundations, or other interests, which ‘sponsor’ the page. Frequently you can find a link titled ‘Sponsors’, or an ‘About us’ link, explaining who or what (if anyone) is sponsoring the page. Sometimes the advertisers on the page (banner ads, links, buttons to sites that sell or promote something) are ‘sponsors’. WHY is this important? Sponsors and the funding they provide may, or may not, influence what can be said on the page or site and can bias what you find by excluding some opposing viewpoint or causing some other imbalanced information. A sponsored site is not necessarily bad, but sponsors should alert you to the need to evaluate a page or site very carefully.

T
Three Way Links – Three way links is a way of reciprocal linking but using a 3rd site for the link back. This is a form of link building which tries to hide the fact that you have entered into a link exchange. So site 1 will link to site 2 on the understanding that site 3 will link back to site 1. On most occasions site 2 and 3 are owned by the same person.

U
Usability – Whether your website is easy to use or not.

W
White Hat – White Hat SEO techniques are what we all abide by. These are the things that we do to improve the clients website and serps, in a natural and “proper” way, a way in which the engines both approve of and like. Any decent SEO company will only use white hat techniques to improve your SEO.