Adwords: Google’s paid ads program for display and PPC (pay per click) advertising.

Algorithms: Formulas or computational procedures used to solve complex computer problems.

Alt Text: This HTML text shows up when an element such as an image or video can’t be rendered or seen. It is also useful for search engines, such as Google. This term is sometimes used interchangeably with the (incorrect) term “Alt tag.”

Anchor Text: These are the words a user clicks on to open a link to a web page, and they are usually highlighted or displayed in a different color from surrounding text.

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Black Hat: This is a term for SEO firms or bots that use dishonest or sneaky tactics to try to trick search engines. Examples include buying spammy links, hiding content and keyword stuffing.

Blog: This term originated as shortened version of “web log” and has come to be known as a regularly updated web-page, often containing news, opinion and personal stories.

Boolean Search: A style of searching that uses operators such as AND, OR and NOT to get the most relevant results. For example, searching “Apple NOT computer” would bring up results related to the fruit and not the corporation. These operators are not standardized. For example, you would search for the fruit in Google using “apple -computer,” where the “-” symbol is the operator.

Bot: Also known as a robot or spider, this is a software program that follows links around the web and categorizes them into a database. Search engines and a variety of private companies use these to collect data.

Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors to a page who leave without meaningful interaction, which can be defined as either not spending enough time to read information on the page or failing to navigate to other pages on the site.

Branded Keywords: These are search terms or keyword phrases that include a brand name or phrases similar to a brand name.

Breadcrumb Navigation: This is an element users see that helps them navigate on a webpage. It usually appears in a clickable list with separators, such as home > section > subsection.

Broken Link: A link that doesn’t work or doesn’t point to a live web page, often resulting in an error page.

Browser: A program or application (app) used to navigate the World Wide Web, such as Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari or Mozilla Firefox.

Buyer Personas: Buyer personalities that are developed with the idea of determining the habits of a company’s main customers or clients.

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Cache: A place for temporary storage of data. Browsers use caches to store information a user has requested from a given web-page, making that page load faster and work better if it is visited again.

Canonical URL: This is the final URL users see when they navigate to your site after all redirects, and it can be used to help users get to your site regardless of whether they use http, https, www or other combinations before typing the root domain.

Click Fraud: This occurs in pay per click ads when impressions and clicks are counted that did not start with a legitimate user. This can be perpetrated by individuals clicking on ads numerous times or by automated scripts and computer programs doing the same for the purpose of inflating traffic numbers and driving up advertising costs.

Click-Through Rate (CTR): Expressed as a percentage, this number compares the ratio of user clicks to the number of times they saw your ad or your site in search results.

Cloaking: This is when sites try to trick search engines by showing them information that’s different from what users see. This “black hat” technique is usually done with a server-side script.

CMS Platform: Content management systems are computer applications for building and updating websites. Examples include WordPress, Wix, Joomla and Weebly.

Comment Spam: These are illegitimate comments posted by computers on blog posts, wikis and other social forums, often with promotional messages or garbled, nonsensical text.

Content Marketing: This is the technique of getting more customers by way of providing high-quality information on your site and on social media. It has grown in popularity among both site owners and users in recent years.

Conversion: When a visitor does what you want them to on your page, that’s a conversion. You can set any conversion goal, but common ones are phone calls, form submittal, newsletter signups and purchases.

Cost Per Click (CPC): This refers to online ads that charge per click. They often involve bidding on the clicks based on keywords and keyword phrases.

Cost Per Order (CPO): The cost of your online marketing campaign divided by the number of orders received for the campaign.

Cost Per Thousand (CPM): These ads incur costs every thousand times they’re viewed. Like with CPC, bidding on keywords is often part of the structure.

Crawl Depth: This term relates to how deeply into a website the search engines crawl. The more layers of pages the bots see in a domain’s URL structure, usually identified by forward slashes in a URL, the deeper the crawl depth.

Crawl Errors: Errors in sitemaps that result from links directing the user to a page with 404 page link errors.

Crawl Frequency: This refers to how often search engine bots crawl a domain.

CSS: Cascading style sheets are used within websites to define stylistic elements and decide precedence if there are conflicting artistic elements.

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Deep Link: This is any link that points to a page other than the homepage on a root domain. For example, rather than linking to, a deep link might point to

Deindex/Delist: This occurs when a search engine such as Google removes a page from its index, often due to “black hat” techniques. When this occurs it means the site will not be shown in search results.

Directory: For Internet marketing purposes, directories are sites that aggregate the contact information and ratings of multiple businesses. These can be general, like an old phonebook, or specific, such as a site that shows all the practicing lawyers in a specific area.

Disavow: This technique is a way to stop search engines from taking links from bad sites into account when they crawl websites.

DNS: This stands for domain name system, meaning a system for organizing and naming computers and networks into named domains that are easy to find.

Domain: This is a string of numbers that is translated into URLs. Top-level domains are represented by suffixes such as .com or .org. Domain names are the URLs for specific websites.

Doorway Pages: These are pages created for the sole purpose of being found in search results but when users click on them, they have little or no helpful information. Instead, they require visitors to go to another page within the domain to find anything of value. Google considers these pages “black hat.”

Duplicate Content: This occurs when wording and images on more than one web-page are either verbatim or nearly identical. Too much duplicate content means search engines either don’t crawl some of the pages or get confused about which page is most relevant for readers. Pages with duplicate content essentially compete against each other.

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Engagement: When it comes to the web, engagement means interacting with your site or content on social media with activities such as liking, linking and sharing. Engagement figures are increasingly being tracked as key marketing metrics online.

Entry Page: This is the first page a user visits on a website, even if it’s not the homepage. This is also known as a landing page.

External Link: This is a hyperlink that points to a webpage outside the root domain.

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Fair Use: This is a legal term related to U.S. copyright law. It refers to the instances in which it’s legal to use copyrighted material.

FTP: File transfer protocol is a system for transferring files online, and FTP servers store online files. In some cases, making changes to websites requires access to FTP servers.

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Geotargeting: This relates to the technique of optimizing online ads and websites for specific geographic locations such as provinces, cities or even neighbourhoods.

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Home Page: This is the main page of your site and the URL is domain name you buy for a website, such as (without prefixes). The homepage URL is also known as the root domain.

Hosting Services: These let you make your website available to the public by providing a space on a server to store all the files and folders related to your site. FTP lets site owners interact with hosting servers.

HTML: This stands for hypertext markup language, and it is the computer language used to build websites and specify elements such as fonts, colors, and graphics.

HTTP: Hypertext transfer protocol is the system of data communication used online. It uses hypertext with logical links (hyperlinks). The http:// or https:// string of characters is the first part of most URLs.

HTTPS: This is the protocol for secured data communication, and it requires authentication for privacy and integrity. A URL that begins https:// means that a site is encrypted.

HTTP 404: A status code that tells the user that the page is not available from the site’s server. This status code is also known as a “crawl error.” There are soft 404 error codes and hard 404 error codes.

Hummingbird Algorithm Update: This was an update to the code Google uses to choose which sites to display in search results, and it relates specifically to synonyms and context. This 2013 update made it easier to find topically relevant sites rather than simply ones that contained matching keyword phrases.

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Impressions: These occur any time a user sees your site in the search links or sees your ad.

Inbound Link: Hyperlinks from outside a root domain that point to a page within the domain.

Index: As a noun, this means the enormous database of URLs search engines and directories consult when deciding which ones to recommend on results pages. As a verb, it means to list a site in such an index.

Internal Link: This is when a hyperlink from one page on a site points to another page on the same site.

Internet Marketing: This broad term includes everything from content marketing to display ads, PPC (pay per click) ads, social media marketing, directory listing work and online reputation management.

IP Address: This is the unique string numbers that identifies each computer used in a network such as the Internet. It identifies each device or computer connecting to the network.

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Keyword Crawler Technology: This is software that analyses search engine results pages to see how a given website ranks for specific keyword phrases.

Keyword Density: This relates to how often a keyword phrase shows up in the copy on a webpage. Density is increasingly less important as search engines get better at returning contextual results.

Keyword Phrase: These are the words or phrases users type into search engines as queries.

Key Performance Indicator(KPI): A business metric that is used to evaluate the success of a company or client.

Keyword Stuffing: This refers to the outdated technique of using keyword phrases over and over again and in nonsensical ways in an attempt to get better rankings in search engine results. These days, stuffing is known as a “black hat” technique that can get your site banned from results.

Knowledge or Brand Graph: This is the chart that shows up above any links on search results pages for queries that ask for standard knowledge, such as “who was the first president of the U.S.” or “When was Madonna’s first album released.” The box can show just the answer or can be accompanied by brand information, images or definitions.

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Landing Page: Also known as an entry page, this is the first page a user visits on a site. Often, these are built specifically for ad campaigns.

Link Building: Because search engines judge reputation partly by looking at the number and quality of hyperlinks that point to your site, this search engine optimization process is aimed at attaining more and better links.

Link Cleanup: This can be necessary when your site has bad links pointing to it that damage its reputation. It is usually accomplished through the disavow process but can also include asking publishers to remove links to a site.

Local Optimization: This occurs through the process of geotargeting and other optimization techniques that aim to help sites improve search engine rankings for queries that come from IP addresses in a local area.

Local Pack: This is the chart at the top of Google search results for local service and shopping queries that shows business listings, names, phone numbers and addresses. These charts usually appear above other organic results but below paid ads.

Long-Tail Keywords: Contains three or more words. The longer the “tail” on a keyword, the more specific and relevant the search terms will be.

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Manual Penalty: This is an action taken against your site from a search engine such as Google, and can be thought of as punishment for spammy, “black hat” techniques or hacked websites. If your site is under a manual penalty, the chances that it will rank well are very low.

Meta Descriptions: These are made up of the words that show up under hyperlinks in search engine results and are usually a few sentences about the page. Along with Meta titles, these make up metatags.

Meta Titles: These are page titles, written in HTML code, and usually make up the text of hyperlinks in search engine results. They also show up in browser tabs as way for users to identify the page. Along with meta descriptions, these make up metatags.

Mirror Site: This is a site that is an exact copy of another site, sometimes used to better control the flow of server traffic.

Mobile Search: This term is used to differentiate search queries that come from mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, from queries that come from desktop browsers.

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Negative Keywords: These are words or phrases that you can filter out when setting up PPC (pay-per-click) or display ad campaigns as a way to reach more specific audiences.

Nofollow: This is HTML code written into the back-end of websites that tells search engines not to determine a specific element or page as influential as they crawl your site.

No-link: This html code directs search engines such as Google not to pay attention to an entire webpage, often a landing page for PPC ads.

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Off-Page SEO: This relates to search engine optimization techniques that don’t relate directly to making changes on the site, but instead to things such as social networking, search engine submission, directory submission, cross-linking and customer reviews.

On-Page SEO: This includes techniques for optimizing your site in search engines by making improvements to your website itself such as improving the content, design, and metatags.

Organic Search Ranking: This number reflects the position in which a given site shows up in search engine results without paying. A ranking of 2, for example, would mean that the site is the second non-paid hyperlink listed in the search results.

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Page Speed: This is a figure provided by Google that reflects how quickly a page loads content for users. This is differentiated from site speed, which means how quickly a sample of pages within a domain load, on average.

Page: A specific URL, as compared to a site or root domain. There may be several pages on one site.

PageRank: This is a figure provided by a Google algorithm that reflects the authority of a website. While still used in some situations, this term has become dated.

Panda Algorithm Update: This change in Google’s algorithm first showed up in 2011 as an attempt to offer users results with higher-quality content and more useful information.

Penguin Algorithm Update: This Google algorithm update from 2012 rewarded sites with links from high-quality sources over sites with spammy or low-quality inbound links.

PPC Campaign: A series of coordinated pay-per-click (PPC) ads that share an idea or theme, such as a coupon push or the promotion of a new product or service.

PPC: Pay-per-click ads incur charges whenever users click on them, and their cost is determined during a bidding process. In Google Adwords, for example, these ads show up when users search for relevant keyword phrases.

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Quality Score: In PPC (pay-per-click)) advertising, this is a rating of the quality and relevance of ads. Factors used in determining the score include CTR (click-through rates), landing page quality, ad text and historical ad performance.

Query: This occurs when a user asks a search engine to perform a search and provide relevant results. The term can be used either for the string of words that made up the query or for the action of asking itself.

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Redirect: A redirect automatically sends a user who typed in or clicked on one URL to another URL. These are common after site redesigns.

Reciprocal Link: An agreement between two webmasters to provide a supporting website link to each other’s website.

Rich Snippets: Embellishments such as photos or ratings that are added to web searches by site owners.

RSS: Rich Site Summary is a format for the delivery of web content that changes regularly, such as content on a news site or blog.

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SaaS: This stands for software as a service. These applications are often web-based and require subscription or service fees.

Semantic Markup: HTML markup that is used to reinforce the meaning of online content and give it a language that can be better understood by search engines.

SERP: Search engine results page, meaning the pages that list links to web pages relevant to the search query in question.

Short-Tail Keywords: Contain one or two words. The shorter the “tail” on a keyword, the more broad and open-ended the search terms will be.

Site: The entire set of pages that make up a website, including the homepage (root domain) and all other pages.

Sitemap: This is a hierarchical list of pages in a site, often submitted to search engine crawlers. These can be documents with lists of links or webpages on a domain.

Spammers: Spam was a term first used to describe unwanted, unsolicited promotional email. Now, the term spammers can mean anyone who places ads or content online using advanced technical knowledge but dishonest tactics.

Spider: This means to crawl the web using software that follows links around the Internet, generally adding information to a massive search engine database.

Split Testing: Also known as A/B testing, this is the practice of showing different websites, content or ads to randomized groups of users to gauge how well those elements are performing.

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URL: This type of uniform resource identifier (URI) is the name for essentially all addresses online, but specifically ones that use the HTTP or HTTPS protocol.

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Website Analytics: Metrics such as the number of visitors to the page, which keywords got them there, how long they spent before navigating away, their journey through your site and where they click. These figures are valuable for determining whether optimization efforts for a site have been effective.

White Hat: This is the term for search engine optimization and Internet marketing firms, such as Online Image®, that focus on honest ways to improve websites. Rather than trying to trick search engines, “white hat” firms focus on improving user experience to improve rankings.

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