Sunday, December 7, 2008

Last of the SEO glossary

So this is the last of the SEO term glossary we're going to cover before we're going to look at an SEO case study and work through an example step by step. More details of this below after today's final set of terms:

text links - These are plain HTML links that do not involve images, flash, or javascript

time on page - Exactly what it says.. the amount of time someone spends on one page before clicking an outbound link or entering a new address in the address bar. Longer is better, obviously.

toolbar pagerank (PR) This is a value between 0 and ten giving an indication of relative page importance - it is not the same as pagerank. This is not updated frequently by google and is so not a reliable indicator of current status.

trust rank - This is a method of differentiating between valuable pages and spam by quantifying link relationships from trusted human evaluated seed pages. Manual is given more weight than automated links.. debatable how accurate the SEO algorithms for determining this are.

URL - Uniform Resource Locator - This is the http:// .. web address you type in your address bar

user generated content (also known as UGC) This includes media like Social bookmarking networks, wikis, and some blogs that rely heavily on UGC. The content that users create drive the site and the business model.

walled garden a group of pages which link to each other, but are not linked to by any external pages. A walled garden may still be indexed if it is included in a sitemap, but it is unlikely to have high pagerank

web 2.0 Much hyped-about technology characterised by websites which are designed to encourage user interaction.

white hat SEO - SEO techniques that conform to best practice guidelines (viz. Google's guidelines). This is what you want to use.

widget - this is a small application on blogs, web pages etc that provide specific functions such as a displaying number of subscribers, hits, time and date etc.

So from the next few posts, we're going to be looking at a case study. I've exchanged a couple of emails to the cartoonists at Wonkie cartoon blog and they're keen to get input from an SEO point of view on their site.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

SEO glossary - Terms S

Today we're covering the letter S.. I'm also working on getting a potential case study to walk you through a full SEO implementation. If you have any suggestions then drop me a line and you could get a freebie!

sandbox There is a rumour (and there are plenty about Google!) that Google puts new sites into a “sandbox.” Think of this as a trial period for the site in which it will not rank well. THe idea behind this is that a site should be around for a certain period of time to be relevant. Short term sites are unlikely to have anything of value for the end user. Again, debatable but you need to know the term.

scrape This is the process of copying content from a site, often through the use of bots. If you have half decent content with some keywords, it's likely your content WILL get scraped at some point or the other .. be prepared!

search engine (or SE) is an application that searches 1 or more documents for relevant matches of a user's keyword phrase and returns a list of the most relevant matches. The big three Internet search engines are Google, Yahoo and MSN

search engine spam These are webpages that are specifically created to cause search engines to produce inappropriate or less relevant results. Many people claiming to do SEO are actually spammers.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) - SEM is used to describe the process associated with researching, submitting and positioning a Web site within search engines to achieve maximum exposure on certain keyword searches.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) This is the process of increasing the number of visitors to a Web site through achieving high rankings in the search engine results pages (see SERP below). Obviously the higher the rank the better as there is a greater chance the searcher will click through to your webpage.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP) - the results page that comes up after a user does a search based on keywords

site map - This is a single page or group of pages which link to every user accessible page on a website - exactly what it sounds like - a map of the entire website. An XML sitemap, often kept in the root directory of a website, usually has the specific purpose to help search engine crawlers ensure they index all website pages.

sock puppet - act of establishing multiple user profiles or hiding your real identity when posting comments, etc.

social bookmark This is very important - it's a form of Social Media where user's bookmarks are aggregated for public access. Common sites for this are Digg, StumbleUpon, Mixx, Newsvine and many others. There are a number of products such as AddThis that allow a user to easily bookmark a page and share it with their friends.

social media - Web-based technologies used by people to share information and views. Blogs, wikis, forums, social bookmarking, user reviews and rating sites (digg, reddit) are all examples of Social Media. As are sites such as Facebook.

social media marketing (SMM) Website/ brand promotion through social media

spam ad page These are Made For Advertisement pages which usually use scraped or machine generated text for content. These pages have no real value to users. Spammers often create sites with hundreds of these pages (they get revenue based on the ad-clicks)

spam-dexing Also known as search engine spamming, this is the practice of deceptively modifying web pages to increase the chance of them being placed close to the beginning of search engine results, or to influence the category to which the page is assigned in a dishonest manner. - definition taken from Wikipedia

spammer A person who sends/ posts something unsolicited and commercial

spider A bot or crawler used by search engines to find and add webpages to its index.

spider trap - this is an endless loop of automatically generated links which can “confuse” a spider program. These are often intentionally used to prevent automated scraping or e-mail address harvesting by bots.

splash page Often animated, graphics pages without significant textual content. These are usually great for human users but can be very bad for SE spiders which usually only navigate through text links. Beware how you use these. The same argument applies to flash-based websites.

Splog - Spam Blog or Splog is a blog which usually contains little if any value to humans, and is often machine generated or made up of scraped content. It's not as irritating for end users as it is for the original copyright owners. Sadly there is little to do to stop them. Report them as contravening the DCMA to Google .. it's a process but probably worth the effort to protect your content and ranking.

static page A webpage without dynamic content or session-id variables in the URL. Static pages are good for SEO in that they are friendly for search engine bots.

stickiness Opposite of bounce. Website should entice users to stay on the site longer, and view more pages - this is called improving “stickiness”. An internally well-linked site is important for stickiness

submission (to search engine) - submitting your URL to a search engine to crawl and index

supplemental index These are pages with usually very low or non-existent pagerank. They may be still relevant to a search query and can often appear in the SERPs (labelled as a supplemental result). This does not necessarily indicate a Google penalty.

That's S done for today! As I was typing this out I thought it may be useful to have a site that has a combination of images/ photos and text to optimise. The cartoon blog I mentioned in my previous post, Wonkie, is probably a good one for this.