Monday, July 14, 2008

SEO Glossary - B an C

Today we'll cover the B and C terms important for you to know for SEO:

Bait and switch - Common con-artist terminology... In this case it refers to changing content after high rankings are achieved.

backlink - Also known as incoming links. This is any link into a page or site from any other page or site.

buying links - exactly what it sounds like - you buy links into a particular site or page

black hat SEO - Search engine optimisation technique that is bad - very bad. They do not follow google or other search engine guidelines and are techniques that effectively dupe the user into going to a page or website.

blog - This is a blog - it's a website that presents content in a chronological order. Most blogs use a CMS (see below) such as WordPress or Blogger (like this) rather than individually created webpages.

bots - These are also known as robots, spiders, crawlers. They are programs which performs an activity more or less autonomously. Search engines use bots to find and add web pages to their search indexes. Spammers sometimes use bots to “scrape” content for usually illegal anti-copyright reuse for their own benefits.

bounce rate - This is the percentage of users who enter a site and then leave it without viewing any other pages.

canonical issues - Also known as the issue of duplicate content. It is sadly just about impossible to avoid duplicate content, particularly on blogs where numerous applications like RSS to blog help spammers scrape original content for their own use. The noindex meta tag in legitimate copies, and 301 server redirects can help search engines distinguish between duplicate content on your own site (e.g. on and and which may all lead the user to the same default page)

click fraud - Some companies like the infamous ClickMonkey site encourage click fraud - the practice of generating clicks usually to: (a) make the advertiser of a particular competitor site incur advertising cost that will yield him no return or (b) and more commonly, getting people to click on ads on your own site to fraudulently generate revenue. Make no mistake, this is fraud and it is a felony in most parts of the world - get caught doing this and you'll be screwed (most likely in places you'd rather not be screwed)

cloak - This is the practice of delivering different content to the search engine spider than that seen by the human users. This is one of many Black Hat SEO techniques and is frowned upon by the search engines and carries a virtual death penalty of the site/domain being banned from the search engine results.

CMS Content Management System - Programs such as Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress, which separate most of the tedious website maintenance tasks from content creation so that a content publisher can focus on what he does best - creating content.

comment spam - This is the bad, bad practice of posting blog comments for the purpose of generating a backlink to another site or webpage.

content - This is also refered to as copy. It is the part of a web page that is intended to be of interest to the user. Advertising, navigation, and branding messages are not usually considered to be content.

contextual advertisement Advertising which is related to the content.

conversion - This is the achievement of a quantifiable goal on a website. Click-throughs, sign ups, and sales are examples of conversions.

conversion rate - Percentage of users who convert

CPC - Cost Per Click the rate that is paid per click by an advertiser

CPM - Cost Per Mil (i.e. 1000) impressions. A metric used to quantify the cost of showing your ad 1000 times.

crawler - This is bot or spider (see earlier) that studies a website or page to capture the link structure for search engines.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

First - the SEO glossary! - Start with A

So let's become familiar with the most important terms - a letter a day to start with. Today we'll cover numbers and the letter A:

301/ 302 server redirects - you can get two types of redirects - permanent and temporary. The change of address for a web page found in the htaccess file if you're using an Apache server.

adwords - Google product allowing website owners to advertise their products using a CPC (Cost Per Click) or CPM (Cost per 1,000 impressions) basis. The advertisements are contextual - i.e. they depend on the context of the content on that page.

affiliate - An affiliate website is a third party marketer or reseller of products. The products and/ or services are sold in return for fees or commissions. Some types of affiliate programs can be quite lucrative - particularly in the gambling space

alt text - Alt text is a description of an image or graphic. It is not usually displayed to the end user, unless the image is not available, or a browser is used that doesn’t display images. 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 image.

analytics - Another google product which assists in gathering and analyzing data about website usage. It is free.

anchor text - Anchor text is the text of a link that's visible to the end user. Search engines such as google 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.

authority - Also known as link juice or Google juice, this is 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. You can trust that your authority will be zero when your website is just starting off - it takes time to build up so be patient.

authority site - This is a website which has many inbound links from other related expert or hub websites. Because of so many links from trusted sites, an authority site usually has high trust, pagerank (see later for definition), and search results placement.