Friday, November 28, 2008

SEO Glossary terms N-P

Today we're covering terms from N-P related to SEO - we're almost there!

natural search results These refer to search engine results which are the result of organic linking and not paid for or sponsored in any way.

nofollow This command is usually found in the HEAD section of a web page or within individual link code (usually looks something like rel="external nofollow" when represented as part of a anchor href statement). This tells search bots to not follow either any links on the page or that specific link. Use of the nofollow statement is a form of link condom.

noindex This command is found in either the HEAD section of a web page or within an individual link code. It instructs search bots not to index that page or the specific link. Again, this is a form of link condom.

non reciprocal link This is also known as a one-way link. if site X links to site Y, but site Y does not link back to site X, 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 dodgy behaviour between the 2 sites.

organic link organic links are those that are published only because the content creator feels they will add value for their users.

pagerank (or google PR) is typically a value between 0 and 1 assigned by the Google. It is a measure of link popularity and authority amongst other mostly unknown factors. Newbies should not worry about this too much for now - it can be pretty random and most SEO specialists agree that real page authority and pagerank often have little correlation. Also Google is a bit painful when it comes to assigning pagerank.. it all appears somewhat random at times. In short, don't sweat it!

pay for inclusion This practice, also known as PFI in short, basically amounts to charging a fee to include a site in a directory or search engine. Probably good not to consider a Yahoo directory submission e.g. as a paid link - it just helps with faster consideration of your site by SEs

portal A consolidator website which offers a wide range of features to entice users to make the portal their “home page” on the web. IGoogle, Yahoo, and MSN are portals.

PPA (or Pay Per Action) is similar to PPC (Pay Per Click) except here the publishers only get paid when click throughs result in a conversion - be it a sale or lead or whatever.

PPC (Pay Per Click) this is an ad scheme where sponsors pay advertising agencies, e.g. Google Adwords, whenever a user clicks on their ad.

More soon :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

SEO Glossary - Terms J-M

So here are some more glossary terms you should feel comfortable with when discussing SEO.

keyword - This is a key phrase a user enters into a search engine when he's looking for something.

keyword cannibalization This refers to the excessive re-use of the same keyword on too many web pages within the same site. Doing this makes it tough for the users and the search engines to know which web page is most relevant for the keyword.

keyword density This refers to 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 spam/ stuffing This refers to an inappropriately high keyword density.

landing page this is the page a user arrives at when he clicks on a link after a search.

latent semantic indexing or LSI - Search engines index commonly associated groups of words in a document. SEOs refer to these same groups of words as 'Long Tail Searches' - see definition below. The majority of searches consist of three or more words strung together. The significance is that it may be too difficult to rank well for “cartoon”, it may be much easier to rank for “Jacob Zuma AIDS cartoon”. The more detail the better.

link - The thing you click on a web page that makes your browser go to another web page or another part of the same page.

link bait - This is a webpage that has been designed to attract incoming links, often mostly via social media networks like Facebook.

link building - this is the process of collecting inbound links to a website. Remember, no links, no authority, no page rank, no search engine love...

link condom This can be any of a number of techniques used to avoid passing link love to another page, or to avoid possible negative results of endorsing a bad site by way of an outgoing link, or to discourage link spam in user generated content. In blogs this is most commonly implemented using the nofollow tags (e.g. rel = "external nofollow" - when you see this in a page source it means search engines have been instructed not to follow the link or give the link authority)

linkerati or mad taggers these are the internet users who are the most productive targets of linkbait. Linkerati includes - posters in discussion forums, social taggers, bloggers and other content creators - those who are most likely to create incoming links or link generating traffic (in the case of social networkers).

link exchange a scheme to create reciprocal links 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. The best quality directories are usually human edited for quality assurance - they usually have a screening process upon submission.

link farm a site that basically consists of a bunch of links. Not looked upon with friendly eyes by search engines these days as they are seen to warp organic search results

link love An outgoing link, which passes authority or page rank, this is without the use of a link condom (the opposite of nofollow by the way is dofollow in case you want to make a countable reference to another site)

link partner - Two sites which link to each other through some kind of reciprocal arrangement. Search engines usually don’t see these as high value links.

link spam - See Comment Spam earlier. Usually associated with blogs

link text - See Anchor text definition earlier

long tail - this refers to the fact that longer, more specific search queries are often more effective than shorter broad queries. E.g. see the LSI definition above. The larger percentage of all searches tend to be long tail searches.

mashup - this refers to a web page which consists primarily of software and other small programs (gadgets and widgets) or possibly links to such programs. Mashups are pretty quick and easy content to produce and are quite popular with users. Mashups can make good link bait. Tool collection pages are sometimes mashups. Others are top 10 tips for doing something etc.. e.g. top 10 SEO tips for newbies

META tags - These are important! The statements occur within the HEAD section of an HTML page and provides information about that webpage. META information may be in the SERPs but is not visible on the page. The most critical thing to remember is that they should be unique and accurate - especially the META title and description tags. This is because they may be the information that the search engines most rely upon to figure out what that web page is about. Also, they are the first impression that users get about your page within the SERPs. The title and description is what gets displayed in the search results when a user conducts a search and your page shows up in the results.

MFA - Made For Advertisements websites that are designed from the ground up as a venue for advertisements. This isn't always a bad thing.

mirror site This refers to having an identical site at a different address.

That's all for today! N-Z over the next week or so after I'm back from vacation!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Entertainment deviation!

Taking a break from the SEO jargon talk today and thought I'd introduce a site I came across on StumbleUpon today.. it's called Wonkie - a fantastic cartoon site especially the Viva South Africa cartoon strip.

They make proper use of Meta tags on the site but if you'll notice the cartoons themselves do not have 'alt' text associated with them - considering this is a cartoon based site and the images are as important as they would be in a photo blog, this is something the author should try to correct as a priority. More about this site as a case study after we're done with the first few SEO tips and lessons.. let me not jump the gun too much just yet!