301 Redirect – A message that the URL has moved permanently. This is commonly used when a URL has a new location and will not be appearing again at the old URL.
302 Redirect – A “found” message. (Also referred to as a “temporary redirect.”) This form of redirection is commonly used — and in some cases abused — when a URL has been moved to a different location; but, it will be returning to the original location eventually.
404 Server Code – A “not found” message. Server cannot find the URL requested.
API – Acronym for Application Programming Interface. This is a program that advertisers create to manage their SEM campaigns, bypassing the search engines’ interfaces.
A/B Testing – A/B testing, at its simplest, is randomly showing a visitor one version of a page – (A) version or (B) version – and tracking the changes in behavior based on which version they saw. (A) version is normally your existing design (“control” in statistics lingo); and (B) version is the “challenger” with one copy or design element changed. In a “50/50 A/B split test,” you’re flipping a coin to decide which version of a page to show. A classic example would be comparing conversions resulting from serving either version (A) or (B), where the versions display different headlines. A/B tests are commonly applied to clicked-on ad copy and landing page copy or designs to determine which version drives the more desired result.
Absolute URL’s Link – Absolute URLs use the full-path address, such as http://www.domain.com/page1.htm. Absolute vs Relative link.
Acquisition Strategy – A process of finding those potential customers who are in the market and ready to buy. The attempt to lead customers to a web site and to welcome them, answer their questions and close the sale.
Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate marketing is a process of revenue sharing that allows merchants to duplicate sales efforts by enlisting other web sites as a type of outside sales force. Successful affiliate marketing programs result in the merchant attracting additional buyers, and the affiliate earning the equivalent of a referral fee, based on click-through referrals to the merchant site.
Algorithm – A set of rules that a search engine uses to rank listings in response to a query. Search engines guard their algorithms closely, as they are the unique formulas used to determine relevancy. Algorithms are sometimes referred to as the ”secret sauce.”
ALT Text – Also known as alternative text. An HTML tag (ALT tag) used to provide images with a text description in the event images are turned off in a web browser. The images text description is usually visible while “hovering” over the image. This tag is also important for the web access of the visually impaired.
Anchor Text – Words used to link to a page, known as anchor text are an important signal to search engines to determine a page’s relevance. For example:
< a href=”http://www.seo-help.com/” >This is the anchor text< /a >
Arbitrage – A practice through which web publishers engage in the buying and reselling of web traffic. Typically, arbitrage occurs when such publishers pool client budgets to engage in PPC campaigns on Tier I search engines (Google, Yahoo!, MSN). If the publishers pay $0.10 per click for traffic, they typically resell those visitors to clients who bid $0.20 or more for the same keywords. Successful arbitrage requires that the arbitrageur must pay less per click than what the traffic sells for.
Auction Model Bidding – The most popular type of PPC bidding. First, an advertiser determines what maximum amount per click they are willing to spend for a keyword. If there is no competition for that keyword, the advertiser pays their bid, or less, for every click. If there is competition at auction for that keyword, then the advertiser with the highest bid will pay one penny more than their nearest competitor. For example, advertiser A is willing to bid up to $0.50; advertiser B is willing to bid up to $0.75. If advertiser A’s actual bid is $0.23, then advertiser B will only pay $0.24 per click..
B2B – Stands for “Business to Business.” A business that markets its services or products to other businesses.
B2C – Stands for “Business to
Consumer.” A business that markets its services or products to consumers.
Backlinks – All the links pointing at a particular web page. Also called inbound links.
Ban – Also known as Delisting. Refers to a punitive action imposed by a search engine in response to being spammed. Can be an IP address of a specific URL
Bid – The maximum amount of money that an advertiser is willing to pay each time a searcher clicks on an ad. Bid prices can vary widely depending on competition from other advertisers and keyword popularity.
Black Box Algorithms – A black box algorithm is one where the user cannot see the inner workings of the algorithm. All search engine algorithms are hidden.
Blacklists – A list of Web sites that are considered off limits or dangerous. A Web site can be placed on a blacklist because it is a fraudulent operation or because it exploits browser vulnerabilities to send spyware and other unwanted software to the user.
Blogs – A truncated form for “web log.” A blog is a frequently updated journal that is intended for general public consumption. They usually represent the personality of the author or web site.
Bot – Abbreviation for robot (also called a spider). It refers to software programs that scan the web. Bots vary in purpose from indexing web pages for search engines to harvesting e-mail addresses for spammers.
Brand – Customer or user experience represented by images and ideas, often referring to a symbol (name, logo, symbols, fonts, colors), a slogan and a design scheme.
Brand and Branding – “A brand is a customer experience represented by a collection of images and ideas; often, it refers to a symbol such as a name, logo, slogan, and design scheme. Brand recognition and other reactions are created by the accumulation of experiences with the specific product or service, both directly relating to its use, and through the influence of advertising, design, and media commentary.”
Bridge Page – Often used to describe the web pages that linked together many doorway pages on a web site. AKA: Doorway Page, Hallway Page.
Buying Funnel – Also called the Buying Cycle, Buyer Decision Cycle and Sales Cycle, Buying Funnel refers to a multi-step process of a consumer’s path to purchase a product – from awareness to education to preferences and intent to final purchase.
Buzz Monitoring Services – Services that will email a client regarding their status in an industry. Most buzz or publicity monitoring services will email anytime a company’s name, executives, products, services or other keyword-based information on them are mentioned on the web. Some services charge a fee; others, such as Yahoo! and Google Alerts, are free.
CPA – Acronym for Cost Per Acquisition (sometimes called Cost Per Action), which is the total cost of an ad campaign divided by the number of conversions. For example, if a campaign cost $100 and resulted in 5 conversions, the CPA is $20 ($100 / 5). It cost $20 to generate one conversion.
CPC – Acronym for Cost Per Click, or the amount search engines charge advertisers for every click that sends a searcher to the advertiser’s web site. For an advertiser, CPC is the total cost for each click-through received when its ad is clicked on.
CPM or “Cost Per Thousand” – A unit of measure typically assigned to the cost of displaying an ad. If an ad appears on a web page 1,000 times and costs $5, then the CPM would be $5. In this instance, every 1,000 times an ad appeared, it would incur a charge of $5.
CTR – Acronym for Click-Through Rate, the number of clicks that an ad gets, divided by the total number of times that ad is displayed or served. (Represented as: total clicks / total impressions for a specific ad = CTR). For example, if an ad has 100 impressions and 6 clicks, the CTR is 6%. The higher the CTR, the more visitors your site is receiving.
Campaign Integration – Planning and executing a paid search campaign concurrently with other marketing initiatives, online or offline, or both. More than simply launching simultaneous campaigns, true paid search integration takes all marketing initiatives into consideration prior to launch, such as consistent messaging and image, driving offline conversions, supporting brand awareness, increasing response rates and contributing to ROI business goals.
Cascading Style Sheets or CSS – An addition to your HTML, a web site’s “cascading style sheet” contains information on paragraph layout, font sizes, colors, etc. A cascading style sheet has many uses as far as search engine optimization and web site design are concerned.
Click Bot – A program generally used to artificially click on paid listings within the engines in order to artificially inflate click amounts.
Click Fraud – Clicks on a Pay-Per-Click advertisement that are motivated by something other than a search for the advertised product or service. Click fraud may be the result of malicious or negative competitor/affiliate actions motivated by the desire to increase costs for a competing advertiser or to garner click-through costs for the collaborating affiliate. Also affects search engine results by diluting the quality of clicks.
Click Through - When a user clicks on a hypertext link and is taken to the destination of that link
Click Through Rate – The percentage of those clicking on a link out of the total number who see the link. For example, imagine 10 people do a web search. In response, they see links to a variety of web pages. Three of the 10 people all choose one particular link. That link then has a 30 percent click-through rate. Also called CTR. Source: Webmaster World Forums
Cloaking - The process by which a web site can display different versions of a web page under different circumstances. It is primarily used to show an optimized or a content-rich page to the search engines and a different page to humans. Most major search engine representatives have publicly stated that they do not approve of this practice.
Comment - The text contained within a “comment” tag in a web page. “Comments” are used in a variety of situations, such as communication between web developers and Cascading Style Sheets (See Above).
Competitive Analysis – As used in SEO, CA is the assessment and analysis of strengths and weaknesses of competing web sites, including identifying traffic patterns, major traffic sources, and keyword selection.
Consumer Generated Media (CGM) – Refers to posts made by consumers to support or oppose products, web sites, or companies, which are very powerful when it comes to company image. It can reach a large audience and, therefore, may change your business overnight.
Content Management Systems (CMS) – In computing, a content management system (CMS) is a document centric collaborative application for managing documents and other content. A CMS is often a web application and often it is used as a method of managing web sites and web content.
Content Network – Also called Contextual Networks, content networks include Google and Yahoo! Contextual Search networks that serve paid search ads triggered by keywords related to the page content a user is viewing.
Content Targeting – An ad serving process in Google and Yahoo! that displays keyword triggered ads related to the content or subject (context) of the web site a user is viewing. Contrast to search network serves, in which an ad is displayed when a user types a keyword into the search box of a search engine or one of its partner sites.
Contextual Advertising – Advertising that is automatically served or placed on a web page based on the page’s content, keywords and phrases. Contrast to a SERP (search engine result page) ad display. For example, contextual ads for digital cameras would be shown on a page with an article about photography, not because the user entered “digital cameras” in a search box.
Conversion Action – The desired action you want a visitor to take on your site. Includes purchase, subscription to the company newsletter, request for follow-up or more information (lead generation), download of a company free offer (research results, a video or a tool), subscription to company updates and news.
Conversion Rate - Conversion rates are measurements that determine how many of your prospects perform the prescribed or desired action step. If your prescribed response is for a visitor to sign up for a newsletter, and you had 100 visitors and 1 newsletter signup, then your conversion rate would be 1%. Typically, micro-conversions (for instance, reading different pages on your site) lead to your main conversion step (making a purchase, or signing up for a service).
Crawler – Automated programs in search engines that gather web site listings by automatically crawling the web. A search engine’s crawler (also called a spider or robot) “reads” page text contents and web page coding, and also follows links to other hyperlinked pages on the web pages it crawls. A crawler makes copies of the web pages found and stores these in the search engine’s index, or database.
Creatives – Unique words, design and display of a paid-space advertisement. In paid search advertising, creative refers to the ad’s title (headline), description (text offer) and display URL (clickable link to advertiser’s web site landing page). Unique creative display includes word emphasis (boldfaced, italicized, in quotes), typeface style and, on some sites, added graphic images, logos, animation or video clips.
Custom Feed – Create custom feeds for each of the shopping engines that allow you to submit XML feeds. Each of the engines has different product categories and feed requirements.
DHTML – Stands for Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language.
Deep Linking – Linking that guides, directs and links a click-through searcher (or a search engine crawler) to a very specific and relevant product or category web page from search terms and PPC ads.
Description Tag - Refers to the information contained in the description META tag. This tag is meant to hold the brief description of the web page it is included on.
Directory Search – Also known as a search directory. Refers to a directory of web sites contained in an engine that are categorized into topics. The main difference between a search directory and a search engine is in how the listings are obtained. A search directory relies on user input in order to categorize and include a web site. Additionally, a directory usually only includes higher-level pages of a domain.
Display URL – The web page URL that one actually sees in a PPC text ad. Display URL usually appears as the last line in the ad; it may be a simplified path for the longer actual URL, which is not visible.
Domain – Refers to a specific web site address.
Doorway Page – A web page specifically created in order to obtain rankings within the natural listings of a search engine. These pages generally are filled with keywords and are meant to funnel surfers into the main web site. This practice is generally considered an outdated spam tactic. This term is not to be confused with a “landing page.”
Dynamic Landing Pages – Dynamic landing pages are web pages to which click-through searchers are sent that generate changeable (not static) pages with content specifically relevant to the keyword search. For example, if a user is looking for trucks, then a dynamic landing page with information and pictures on multiple models and, possibly, geographically localized dealerships might be served. The term truck would trigger a data dump into a web site template for all possible vehicles, that serves all truck-related information.
Dynamic Text (Insertion) – This is text, a keyword or ad copy that customizes search ads returned to a searcher by using parameters to insert the desired text somewhere in the title or ad. When the search query (for example, “hybrid cars”) matches the defined parameter (for example, all brands of electric/gasoline passenger cars AND SUVs), then the associated term (hybrid) is plugged into the ad. Dynamic insertion makes the ad mirror exact terms used in the search query, creating very relevant ads. See also DKI (Dynamic Keyword Insertion).
Ecommerce - Conducting commercial transactions on the internet where goods, information or services are bought and sold.
Editorial Review Process – A review process for potential advertiser listings conducted by search engines, which check to ensure relevancy and compliance with the engine’s editorial policy. This process could be automated – using a spider to crawl ads – or it could be human editorial ad review. Sometimes it’s a combination of both. Not all PPC Search Engines review listings.
Entry Page – Refers to any page within a web site that a user employs to “enter” your web site. Also see Landing Page.
Eye Tracking Studies – Studies by Google, Marketing Sherpa and Poynter Institute using Eyetools technology to track the eye movements of web page readers, in order to understand reading and click-through patterns.
FAQ – Stands for “Frequently Asked Questions.”
F.F.A – Stands for “Free for All” link pages. These are not search engines or directories. They are, for the most part, pages that simply take URL submissions that usually stay active for a period of time. A submission is placed at the top of their list and then moved down, and eventually out, as other submissions are made. These are seen as outdated and were used in an attempt to artificially inflate link popularity.
F.T.P – Stands for “File Transfer Protocol.”
Feeds – A web document that is a shortened or updated (revised content only) version of a web page created for syndication. Usually served at user request, through subscription; also includes ad feeds to shopping engines and paid-inclusion ad models. Ad feeds are usually in Extensible Markup Language (XML) or Rich Site Summary (RSS) format.
Flash – “Flash technology has become a popular method for adding animation and interactivity to web pages; several software products, systems, and devices are able to create or display Flash. Flash is commonly used to create animation, advertisements, various web page components, to integrate video into web pages.
Frames – HTML technique that allows two or more pages to display in one browser window. Many search engines had trouble indexing web sites that used frames, generally only seeing the contents of a single frame.
G.U.I – Stands for “Graphical User Interface.” Means a visual representation of the functional code. Or, is a way for the average web user to interface with a database, program, etc.
Gateway Page – Also called a doorway page. A gateway page exists solely for the purpose of driving traffic to another page. They are usually designed and optimized to target one specific keyphrase. Gateway pages rarely are written for human visitors. They are written for search engines to achieve high rankings and hopefully drive traffic to the main site. Using gateway pages is a violation of the Terms Of Service of most search engines and could be grounds for banning.
Geo-Targeting – The geographic location of the searcher. Geo-targeting allows you to specify where your ads will or won’t be shown based on the searcher’s location, enabling more localized and personalized results.
Google Dance – Up to June, 2003, Google has updated the index for their search engine on a roughly monthly basis. While the update is in progress, search results for each of Google’s nine datacenters are different. The positions of a site appears to “dance” as it fluctuates minute to minute. “Google dance” is an unofficial term coined to refer to the period when Google is performing the update to its index. Google may be changing their index calculation method to allow for a continuous update (which will effectively end the roughly monthly dances).
.htaccess file – A file with one or more configuration directives placed in a web site document directory. The directives apply to that directory and all subdirectories.
HTTP – Stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol.”
HTTPS – Stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.”
HTTP Referrer Data – A program included in most web analytics packages that analyzes and reports the source of traffic to the user’s web site. The HTTP referrer allows webmasters, site owners and PPC advertisers to uncover new audiences or sites to target or to calculate conversions and ROI for future ad campaigns.
Hidden text – (Also known as Invisible text.) Text that is visible to the search engines but hidden to a user. It is traditionally accomplished by coloring a block of HTML text the same color as the background color of the page. More creative methods have also been employed to create the same effect while making it more difficult for the search engines to detect or filter it. It is primarily used for the purpose of including extra keywords in the page without distorting the aesthetics of the page. Most search engines penalize or ignore URLs from web sites that use this practice.
Hit – The request or retrieval of any item located within a web page. For example, if a user enters a web page with 5 pictures on it, it would be counted as 6 “hits.” One hit is counted for the web page itself, and another 5 hits count for the pictures.
IFRAME – “IFrame (from inline frame) is an HTML element which makes it possible to embed another HTML document inside the main document. The size of the IFrame is specified in the surrounding HTML page, so that the surrounding page can already be presented in the browser while the IFrame is still being loaded. The IFrame behaves much like an inline image, and the user can scroll it out of view. On the other hand, the IFrame can contain its own scroll bar, independent of the surrounding page’s scroll bar. Source: Wikipedia
Impression – One view or display of an ad. Ad reports list total impressions per ad, which tells you the number of times your ad was served by the search engine when searchers entered your keywords (or viewed a content page containing your keywords).
Index – A search engine’s “index” refers to the amount of documents found by a search engines crawler on the web.
Indexability - Also known as crawlability and spiderability. Indexability refers to the potential of a web site or its contents to be crawled or “indexed” by a search engine. If a site is not “indexable,” or if a site has reduced indexability, it has difficulties getting its URLs included.
IP Address – Abbreviation for Internet Protocol Address, a unique combination of numbers assigned to individual electronic devices or networks that communicate over the Internet. Basically, it’s a trackable address for any computer, and it can be used to localize. The format of an IP address is a 32-bit numeric address, written as four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be zero to 255. For example, 18.104.22.168
IP Address Lookup – The process of determining a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address. DNSstuff is one free program to look up an IP address (http://www.dnsstuff.com).
Keyword / Keyword Phrase – A specific word or combination of words that a searcher might type into a search field. Includes generic, category keywords; industry-specific terms; product brands; common misspellings and expanded variations (called Keyword Stemming), or multiple words (called Long Tail for their lower CTRs but sometimes better conversion rates). All might be entered as a search query. For example, someone looking to buy coffee mugs might use the keyword phrase “ceramic coffee mugs
Keyword Density - The number of times a keyword or keyword phrase is used in the body of a page. This is a percentage value determined by the number of words on the page, as opposed to the number of times the specific keyword appears within it. In general, the higher the number of times a keyword appears in a page, the higher its density.
Keyword Stemming – To return to the root or stem of a word and build additional words by adding a prefix or suffix, or using pluralization. The word can expand in either direction and even add words, increasing the number of variable options.
Keyword Stuffing – Keyword stuffing refers to the practice of adding superfluous keywords to a web page. The words are added for the ‘benefit’ of search engines and not human visitors. The words may or may not be visible to human visitors. While not necessarily a violation of search engine Terms of Service, at least when the words are visible to humans, it detracts from the impact of a page.
Keyword Tag – Refers to the META keywords tag within a web page. This tag is meant to hold approximately 8 – 10 keywords or keyword phrases, separated by commas. These phrases should be either misspellings of the main page topic, or terms that directly reflect the content on the page on which they appear.
Landing Page / Destination Page – The web page at which a searcher arrives after clicking on an ad or search result.
Latent Semantic Indexing – LSI uses word associations to help search engines know more accurately what a page is about.
Lead Generation – Web sites that generate leads for products or services offered by another company. On a lead generation site, the visitor is unable to make a purchase but will fill out a contact form in order to get more information about the product or service presented.
Link Farm – A link farm is a group of separate, highly interlinked websites for the purposes of inflating link popularity (or PR). Engaging in a link farm is a violation of the Terms Of Service of most search engines and could be grounds for banning.
Link Popularity – Link popularity generally refers to the total number of links pointing to any particular URL. There are typically two types of link popularity: Internal and External. Internal link popularity typically refers to the number of links or pages within a web site that link to a specific URL. External link popularity refers to the number of inbound links from external web sites that are pointing to a specific URL. If you have more “links” than your competitors, you are typically known to have link cardinality or link superiority.
Linkbait – Also known as link bait, this is something on your site that people will notice and link to. By linking to your site, other sites are saying they value the content of your site and that they think other people will be interested in it, too.
Log File – All server software stores information about web site incoming and outgoing activities. Web log files function like the “black box” that records everything during an airplane’s flight. The log file is usually in the root directory but it may also be found in a secondary folder. If you do not have permission to access these files, then you will need the help of the server administrator.
Long Tail – Keyword phrases with at least three, sometimes four or five, words in them. These long tail keywords are usually highly specific and draw lower traffic than shorter, more competitive keyword phrases, which is why they are also cheaper. Oftentimes, long tail keywords, in aggregate, have good conversion ratios for the low number of click-throughs they generate.
Meta Feeds – Ad networks that pull advertiser listings from other providers. They may or may not have their own distribution and advertiser networks.
META Refresh redirect – A client-side redirect.
Metrics – A system of measures that helps to quantify particular characteristics. In SEO the following are some important metrics to measure: overall traffic, search engine traffic, conversions, top traffic-driving keywords, top conversion-driving keywords, keyword rankings, etc.
Minimum Bid – The least amount that an advertiser can bid for a keyword or keyword phrase and still be active on the search ad network.
Mirror – In SEO parlance, a mirror is a near identical duplicate website (or page). Mirrors are commonly used in an effort to target different keywords/keyphrases. Using mirrors is a violation of the Terms Of Service of most search engines and could be grounds for banning.
Mod_rewrite – URL Rewrite processes, also known as “mod rewrites,” are employed when a webmaster decides to reorganize a current web site, either for the benefit of better user experience with a new directory structure or to clean up URLs which are difficult for search engines to index.
Naked Links – A posted and visible link in the text of a web page that directs to a web site.
Negative Keywords – Filtered-out keywords to prevent ad serves on them in order to avoid irrelevant click-through charges on, for example, products that you do not sell, or to refine and narrow the targeting of your Ad Group’s keywords.
No Frames Tag - A tag used to describe the content of a frame to a user or engine which had trouble displaying / reading frames. Frequently misused and often referred to as “Poor mans cloaking”.
NoFollow – NoFollow is an attribute webmasters can place on links that tell search engines not to count the link as a vote or not to send any trust to that site. Search engines will follow the link, yet it will not influence search results. NoFollows can be added to any link with this code: “rel=”nofollow”.”
Organic Results – Listings on SERPs that were not paid for; listings for which search engines do not sell space. Sites appear in organic (also called “natural”) results because a search engine has applied formulas (algorithms) to its search crawler index, combined with editorial decisions and content weighting, that it deems important enough inclusion without payment.
Organic Search Listings – Listings that search engines do not sell (unlike paid listings). Instead, sites appear solely because a search engine has deemed it editorially important for them to be included, regardless of payment.
Organic Search Rankings – Search engine ranking of web pages found in SERPs.
PPC – Acronym for Pay Per Click. See also PPC Advertising.
PageRank (PR) – PR is the Google technology developed at Stanford University for placing importance on pages and web sites. At one point, PageRank (PR) was a major factor in rankings. Today it is one of hundreds of factors in the algorithm that determines a page’s rankings.
Paid Inclusion – Refers to the process of paying a fee to a search engine in order to be included in that search engine or directory. Also known as “guaranteed inclusion.” Paid inclusion does not impact rankings of a web page; it merely guarantees that the web page itself will be included in the index. These programs were typically used by web sites that were not being fully crawled or were incapable of being crawled, due to dynamic URL structures, frames, etc.
Personas – These are “people types” or sub-groups that encompass several attributes, such as gender, age, location, salary level, leisure activities, lifestyle characteristics, marital/family status or some kind of definable behavior. Useful profiles for focusing ad messages and offers to targeted segments.
Podcasts – “A podcast is a media file that is distributed over the internet using syndication feeds, for playback on portable media players and personal computers. Like ‘radio,’ it can mean both the content and the method of syndication. The latter may also be termed podcasting.
Portal – Designation for websites that are either authoritative hubs for a given subject or popular content driven sites (like Yahoo) that people use as their homepage. Most portals offer significant content and offer advertising opportunities for relevant sites.
Position – In PPC advertising, position is the placement on a search engine results page where your ad appears relative to other paid ads and to organic search results. Top ranking paid ads (high ranking 10 to 15 results, depending on the engine) usually appear at the top of the SERP and on the “right rail” (right-side column of the page). Ads appearing in the top three paid-ad or Sponsored Ad slots are known as Premium Positions.
PPC Advertising – Acronym for Pay-Per-Click Advertising, a model of online advertising in which advertisers pay only for each click on their ads that directs searchers to a specified landing page on the advertiser’s web site. PPC ads may get thousands of impressions (views or serves of the ad); but, unlike more traditional ad models billed on a CPM (Cost-Per-Thousand-Impressions) basis, PPC advertisers only pay when their ad is clicked on. Charges per ad click-through are based on advertiser bids in hybrid ad space auctions and are influenced by competitor bids, competition for keywords and search engines’ proprietary quality measures of advertiser ad and landing page content.
PPC Management – The monitoring and maintenance of a Pay-Per-Click campaign or campaigns. This includes changing bid prices, expanding and refining keyword lists, editing ad copy, testing campaign components for cost effectiveness and successful conversions, and reviewing performance reports for reports to management and clients, as well as results to feed into future PPC campaign operations.
Quality Score – A number assigned by Google to paid ads in a hybrid auction that, together with maximum CPC, determines each ad’s rank and SERP position. Quality Scores reflect an ad’s historical CTR, keyword relevance, landing page relevance, and other factors proprietary to Google. Yahoo! refers to the Quality Score as a Quality Index. And both Google and Yahoo! display 3- or 5-step indicators of quality evaluations for individual advertisers.
Query – The keyword or keyword phrase a searcher enters into a search field, which initiates a search and results in a SERP with organic and paid listings.
ROI – Acronym for Return On Investment, the amount of money you make on your ads compared to the amount of money you spend on your ads. For example, if you spend $100 on PPC ads and make $150 from those ads, then your ROI would be 50%. (Calculated as: ($150 – $100) / 100 = $50 / 100 = 50%.) The higher your ROI, the more successful your advertising, although some practitioners in search advertising consider ROAS a more useful metric, as it breaks down cost and expenses by conversions per advertising dollar spent.
RSS – Acronym for Rich Site Summary or Real Simple Syndication, a family of web feed formats that leverages XML for distributing and sharing headlines and information from other web content (also known as syndication).
Rank – How well positioned a particular web page or web site appears in search engine results. For example, if you rank at position #1, you’re the first listed paid or sponsored ad. If you’re in position #18, it is likely that your ad appears on the second or third page of search results, after 17 competitor paid ads and organic listings. Rank and position affect your click-through rates and, ultimately, conversion rates for your landing pages.
Raw Data Feed – Raw data is information that has been collected but not formatted, analyzed or processed. This raw data can be used to build an optimized XML feed.
Reciprocal Link – Two different sites that link out to each other. Also referred to as Cross Linking.
Relative URL’s Link – Relative URLs link to just the file, for example, “page1.htm
Relevance – In relation to PPC advertising, relevance is a measure of how closely your ad title, description, and keywords are related to the search query and the searcher’s expectations.
Reverse DNS – A process to determine the hostname or host associated with an IP or host address.
Revshare / Revenue Sharing – A method of allocating per-click revenue to a site publisher, and click-through charges to a search engine that distributes paid-ads to its context network partners, for every page viewer who clicks on the content site’s sponsored ads.
Rich Media – Media with embedded motion or interactivity. A growing option for PPC advertisers as rates of broadband connectivity increase.
Robots.txt – A text file present in the root directory of a website which is used to direct the activity of search engine crawlers. This file is typically used to tell a crawler which portions of the site should be crawled and which should not be crawled.
RSS (Really Simply Syndication, Rich Site Summary, RDF Site Summary) – A family of web feed formats used for distributing frequently updated digital content, such as blogs, news, podcasts, and videos
RSS Aggregators – “A client software that uses web feed to retrieve syndicated web content such as blogs, podcasts, vlogs, and mainstream mass media websites, or in the case of a search aggregator, a customized set of search results….Such applications are also referred to as RSS readers, feed readers, feed aggregators, news readers or search aggregators. These have been recently supplemented by the so-called RSS-narrators [such as TalkingNews or Talkr] which not only aggregate news feeds but also converts them into podcasts.” Source: Wikipedia
SEM – Abbreviation for Search Engine Marketing. SEM encompasses SEO and search engine paid advertising options (banners, PPC, etc.)
SEO – Acronym for “Search Engine Optimization.” This is the process of editing a web site’s content and code in order to improve visibility within one or more search engines.
SERP – Abbreviation for Search Engine Results Page/Positioning. This refers to the organic search results for a given query.
Search Directory – Similar to a search engine, in that they both compile databases of web sites. A directory does not use crawlers in order to obtain entries in its search database. Instead, it relies on user interaction and submissions for the content it contains. Submissions are then categorized by topic and normally alphabetized, so that the results of any search will start with site descriptions that begin with some number or non-letter character, then moving from A-to-Z.
Search Engines - A search engine is a database of many web pages. Most engines display the number of web pages they hold in their database at any given time. A search engine generally “ranks” or orders the results according to a set of parameters. These parameters (called algorithms) vary among search engines; they are always improving in order to identify spam as well as improve relevance.
Search Query – The word or phrase a searcher types into a search field, which initiates search engine results page listings and PPC ad serves.
Search Submit Pro (SSP) – Search Submit Pro is Yahoo!’s paid inclusion product that uses a “feed” tactic. With Search Submit Pro, Yahoo! crawls your web site as well as an optimized XML feed that represents the content on your site. Yahoo! applies its algorithm to both the actual web site pages and the XML feed to determine which listing is most appropriate to appear in the organic search results when a user conducts a search for relevant terms. Yahoo! charges a CPC, determined by category, for each time a listing established through SSP is clicked.
Secondary Links – Links that are indirectly acquired links, such as a story in a major newspaper about a new product your company released.
Session Id’s – dynamic parameters, such as session IDs generated by cookies for each individual user. Session IDs cause search engines to see a different URL for each page each time that they return to re-crawl a web site.
Siloing – Siloing (also known as Theming) is a site architecture technique used to split the focus of a site into multiple themes. The goal behind siloing is to create a site that ranks well for both its common and more-targeted keywords. Source: Bruce Clay Newsletter 09/06
Site-Targeted Ads – Site targeting lets advertisers display their ads on manually-selected sites in the search engine’s content network for content or contextual ad serves. Site-targeted ads are billed more like traditional display ads, per 1000 impressions (CPM), and not on a Pay-Per-Click basis.
Social Media or Social Search – Sites where users actively participate to determine what is popular.
SPAM – Any search marketing method that a search engine deems to be detrimental to its efforts to deliver relevant, quality search results.
Spamming – Spamming refers to a wide array of techniques used to “trick” the search engines. These tactics generally are against the guidelines put forth by the search engines. Tactics such as Hidden text, Doorway Pages, Content Duplication and Link Farming are but a few of many spam techniques employed over the years.
Spider – Also called a bot (or robot). Spiders are software programs that scan the web.
Spider Trap – A spider trap refers to either a continuous loop where spiders are requesting pages and the server is requesting data to render the page or an intentional scheme designed to identify (and “ban”) spiders that do not respect robots.txt.
Splash Page – Refers to an entry page or main page of a web site that is interactive or graphically intense. Many splash pages are designed using Flash.
Sponsored Listing – A term used as a title or column head on SERPs to identify paid advertisers and distinguish between paid and organic listings. Alternate names are Paid Listings or Paid Sponsors.
Stop Word A word that often appears in a page’s copy or content, but it has no significance by itself. Examples of stop words are: and, the, of, etc.
Submission - The act of submitting a web site to search engines and search directories.
Super Verbs – Compelling verbs that trigger emotions or visual images.
TLP – Acronym for Top Level Page, a reference to the home page, category pages, or product pages that have unique value for the site and so are structured in the top levels of the site directory.
Targeting – Narrowly focusing ads and keywords to attract a specific, marketing-profiled searcher and potential customer. You can target to geographic locations (geo-targeting), by days of the week or time of day, or by gender and age (demographic targeting).
Themes – A theme is an overall idea of what a web page is focused on. Search engines determine the theme of a web page through analysis in the algorithm of the density of associated words on a page.
Tier I Search Engines – The top echelon, or top three, search engines that serve the vast majority of searcher queries. Also referred to as Major Engines, Top Tier Engines or GYM, for Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft Live Search.
Tier II Search Engines – Smaller, vertical and specialized engines, including general engines, such as Ask.com and AOL; meta-engines that search and display results from other search engines, such as Dogpile; local engines, shopping and comparison engines, and business vertical engines. Tier II Search Engines don’t offer the search query market share or features of the Tier I engines; however, Tier II engines can target specific, niche markets and are usually lower cost.
Title Tag – An HTML tag appearing in the <head> tag of a web page that contains the page title. The page title should be determined by the relevant contents of that specific web page. The contents of a title tag for a web page is generally displayed in a search engine result as a bold blue underlined hyperlink.
Trackbacks – A protocol that allows a blogger to link to posts, often on other blogs, that relate to a selected subject. Blogging software that supports Trackback includes a “TrackBack URL” with each post that displays other blogs that have linked to it.
Tracking URL – A specially designed and/or unique URL created to track an action or conversion from paid advertising. The URL can include strings that will show what keyword was used, what match type was triggered, and what search engine delivered the visitor.
Traffic – Refers to the number of visitors a website receives. It can be determined by examination of web logs.
Traffic Analysis – The process of analyzing traffic to a web site to understand what visitors are searching for and what is driving traffic to a site.
Unique Visitor – Identifies an actual web surfer (as opposed to a crawler) and is tracked by a unique identifiable quality (typically IP address). If a visitor comes to a web site and clicks on 100 links, it is still only counted as one unique visit.
Usability – This term refers to how “user friendly” a web site and its functions are. A site with good usability is a site that makes it easy for visitors to find the information they are looking for or to perform the action they desire. Bad usability is anything that causes confusion or problems for the user. For example, large Flash animations served to a visitor with a dial up connection causes poor usability. Easy, intuitive navigation and clear, informative text enhance usability.
User Agent – This is the identity of a web site visitor, spider, browser, etc. The most common user agents are Mozilla and Internet Explorer.
Value Propositions – “A customer value proposition is the sum total of benefits a customer is promised to receive in return for his or her custom and the associated payment.“
Viral Marketing – Also called viral advertising, viral marketing refers to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness. The awareness increases are the result of self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can often be word-of-mouth delivered and enhanced online; it can also harness the network effect of the internet and can be very useful in reaching a large number of people rapidly. Source: Wikipedia
Web Forwarding – Web forwarding allows for redirects to exist within an .htaccess file on a separate server.
Web Server Logs – Most web server software, and all good web analytics packages, keep a running count of all search terms used by visitors to your site. These running counts are kept in large text files called Log Files or Web Server Logs. Useful for developing and refining PPC campaign keyword lists.
Wiki — Software that allows people to contribute knowledge on a particular topic. A wiki is another web publishing platform that makes use of technologies similar to blogs and also allows for collaboration with multiple people.
Wikipedia – “Wikipedia is a multilingual, web-based, free content encyclopedia project. Wikipedia is written collaboratively by volunteers; its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the web site.” Source: Wikipedia
Word Count – The total number of words contained within a web document.
XML – Stands for “Extensible Markup Language,” a data delivery language.
XML Feeds – A form of paid inclusion in which a search engine is fed information about an advertiser’s web pages via XML, rather than requiring that the engine gather that information through crawling actual pages. Marketers pay to have their pages included in a spider-based search index based on an XML format document that represents each page on the advertiser site.
XML Maps – XML maps are specially formatted links to your pages. They will never replace the need for HTML site maps.