SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION GLOSSARY
As marketers and link builders, industry jargon has become second nature to us. However, we understand that not everyone is versed in these terms. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to compile a glossary of commonly used link building terms for those who are unfamiliar with them. We’ll keep updating this list too. If there are any terms that you’re unsure of, or if you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re always happy to lend a hand.
301: A 301 status code is used for permanent redirection. It sends a web user from an old (usually vacant, outdated or otherwise unused) page to its new, permanent address. Search engines claim that 90 percent of link equity flows through a 301 redirect.
404: A 404 error code is a response code which denotes that a web page is unavailable. The web page could have been deleted, been moved or simply is not working.
3Ps: This term refers to the three primary kinds of risqué online content: pills, poker and porn. These terms are highly competitive and sometimes highly lucrative. They’re also risky web neighborhoods to be associated with, and are often riddled with spam, scams and malware.
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Abandoned Domains: An abandoned domain is a web address that potentially has links pointing to it, but has not been renewed for any number of reasons, and is available for purchase. The process of buying an abandoned domain and then using a 301 status code to automatically redirect to another website is a common link building strategy.
AC Rank: A site’s AC rank (which stands for A Citation Rank) is the ranking its pages achieve on a 0-15 scale based on the number of root domains that have referred to that site. This term is associated with Majestic SEO.
Affiliate Marketing: A performance-based marketing method which allows merchants to expand their market reach by rewarding independent agents (affiliates) for promoting a product, service or site.
Aging Content: Aging content refers to pages on a site that have lost their timeliness, and relevance. Unlike evergreen content, aging content can drag the entire site down.
Algorithm: An algorithm is a series of steps used by a computer or program to solve a problem. The major search engines use proprietary algorithms to measure, rank and display web pages in their SERPs. Google claims its search algorithmsrely on over 200 measurable factors, some of which are thought to be keywords and inbound links.
ALT Attribute: An ALT attribute is the text that accompanies an image link on a page of HTML code. Because search engines don’t understand images like humans do, it’s important to use the alt text attribute to textually describe an image. The alt text is also displayed if the image cannot be loaded. eg. If you have a picture of a 1991 black Ferrari the alt text should be: 1991 black Ferrari.
ALT Tag: An ALT tag is the text that appears over an image on a webpage when the mouse hovers over it.
Anchor Text: Anchor text refers to the visible, clickable text portion of a hyperlink. Anchor text should usually describe the site or content on the other side of the link. For example, a link with the anchor text “cat beds” linking to a page about cat beds has greater value than a link with the anchor text “cool stuff” linking to that same page about cat beds. (See also Kiss of death.)
Article Marketing: Article marketing entails a business writing content about their area of expertise and submitting that content to various article directory sites.
Article Directories: An article directory is a website that hosts an archive of online articles. Businesses submit articles about their brand, business or field of expertise to these directories with the aim of getting a link and increasing traffic. Once a widely accepted link building activity, it has recently diminished in prominence.
Article Spinning: Article spinning is the practice of using a computer program to take an existing article and “rewriting” it. This is done by replacing certain nouns, verbs and descriptors with synonyms. Webmasters then repost the “new” article to various sites in order to build links. This type of content is considered highly dubious, and search engines target sites that use spun articles for potential penalties.
Associations: In SEO terms, an association refers to an organization of people that are more likely to post content from or link back to one of its members’ websites.
Automated Submitting: A site that uses an automated submitting program is one that has its web pages automatically submitted to the search engines, social media sites and directories. The risk in using such automated programs is that your website may be listed in places that are not relevant or appropriate for your purposes.
Authority (website): A site’s authority is comprised of its domain’s age, its content, its inbound link profile (quality and quantity) and its search ranking based on a search query.
Authority Linking: Authority linking is the practice of linking to a website that is considered an authority (or at least authoritative) in its respective field. A site about dentist chairs hosting a link to the American Dental Association is an example of authority linking.
Backlink: A backlink is a link that is inbound from an external, independent site. The amount and quality of backlinks a site has will increase or decrease its search ranking accordingly.
Better Business Bureau: The Better Business Bureau or BBB is an organization that determines if a business is reputable or not. A listing by the BBB is highly valuable and the link that goes with it is considered a high-quality and authoritative.
Black Blogs: A term coined by Zach Ball, founder of the link building firm Page One Power. A black blog is a weblog dedicated solely to selling links and possesses no true valuable content.
Black Hat SEO: Black Hat SEO refers to a set of SEO tactics that includes cloaking, keyword stuffing and robot-driven link building. These practices attempt to increase rankings of target sites through manipulation. These tactics endeavor to “game” the system using doorway pages, by spamming search engines and using various other methods. It is a generally frowned-upon form of SEO, and search engines have started penalizing websites using (or abusing) this practice. Jokingly referred to as the dark arts, Black Hat SEO had massive positive effects on its target sites in the recent past. Many search engines have tried to limit the practice. Most notably, Google has punished and penalized spammy links with its algorithm updates Panda and Penguin. Practitioners of White Hat SEO tend to see it as a shady practice, but such techniques often get results, albeit temporary ones.
Blekko: Blekko is an unconventional search engine that uses specific search tags in specific categories. The resulting pages (searches in only those categories) have been authenticated by human editors as spam-free sites.
Blog: Short for “weblog,” a blog is a popular form of communication. A blog is a sort of an online journal with ongoing posts. Blogs are an integral part of an overall strategy to create an online presence, have a stake in the online community and attract people to your site. Great blog posts encourage links to your content and increase your perceived authority on the subject you are blogging about.
Blog Comment: A blog comment is a reader’s written response to the content on a blog post. Blog commenting can and does happen naturally, but because links can often be included along with the comment, it has also been severely abused by spammers.
Blog Directories: A blog directory is an online archive of links to blogs. A blogger submits their weblog to the directory to expand the blog’s link profile and readership. Most blog directories however are too general and therefore contribute little to a blog’s marketing strategy.
Body Copy: The body copy of a webpage is the primary text on a site. Anchor text links in the body copy pass the highest link equity.
Bots: Also known as spiders, web crawlers, etc. Bots are programs designed to crawl and copy web pages for later processing and indexing by search engines. They generally begin with a list of URLs to crawl, and while crawling the bot identifies all the hyperlinks it finds, and then adds those URLs to the list of sites to be crawled next.
Brand Mentions: The natural or organic mention of a company’s brand online. Brand mentions often include a link, and business owner’s should monitor not only their brand mentions, but those of their competitors.
Brand Awareness: The degree to which consumers are acquainted with or knowledgeable of the qualities or image of a particular brand. Brand awareness is managed by utilizing social media, content marketing and various other resources that increase public knowledge of a company’s presence.
Broken Links: A broken link is simply a link on a website that no longer takes the user to its designated target. Broken links are bad for user experience, and having many broken links will make a website less trustworthy.
Cache Copy: Cache copy is the search engine’s copy of your website on its server. Every time the search engine crawls and indexes your site it replaces its cached copy of your website.
Call to Action: A call to action is a marketing tactic that tries to get consumers to take a certain action, as recommend by the marketer. “Click here for your free guide!” is an example.
Case Study: A form of qualitative descriptive research used to illustrate a thesis or principle. For example, if your thesis was that a certain number of links will get a website to the top of the search results page, then you would design an illustrative case study to explore that.
Canonical: A canon is the official, codified version of a text or document. Canonical aids in the search engine’s quest to credit the original sources of various documents.
Canonical Issues: A canonical issue occurs when search engines are unable to tell which site is the official one. Consider the URLs:
The two URLs display the same web page, but search engines would consider them different. Webmasters hoping to avoid this can use a 301 permanent redirect or tag one of the URLs with the Canonical URL Tag, which informs search engines that one of the pages is a copy of the canonical or official page and should be treated as such.
Citation Links: A citation is a mention of a business name and address on other web pages. A citation link is the mention of a non-hyperlinked of a business on other web pages. For example, www.website.com would be a citation link. While it is not an active link, it is still crawled and indexed by web spiders such as Googlebot.
Cloaking: A site that engages in cloaking is using a type of black hat SEO strategy that makes a web page look different to a search engine that it does to a site visitor.
Company Directory Submissions: Many companies will publish directories of relevant sites, and submitting your site to these directories is another link building practice. See Resource pages.
Competitive Research: Competitive research is a crucial element to any marketing strategy. In terms of link building, researching a competitor’s backlink profile for instance can reveal a wealth of information such as market reach, SEO strategy and so on.
Content: Term used to describe the available information on a website; is comprised of all forms of online media such as text, links, images, .gifs, graphics, videos, etc. The quality of the content is also a factor in a website’s rank in a SEPR.
Content Acquisition: Content acquisition is obtaining content for a website. Because web content comes in many forms, how content is acquired can also vary widely. One of the most common forms of content acquisition is guest posting.
Content Gap: A content gap is crucial information about an industry or market that should be covered but was somehow overlooked. If discovered, creating content to fill the gap can be a powerful way to build relevant links.
Content Marketing: Content that is used to market a company web site; such content is created and used across a broad network of sites, social media outlets, forums, etc. to increase sales and brand awareness.
Content Link Building: Developing content can be used as a link building strategy. Compelling content generates interest, backlinks, response and other forms of engagement across the web, and greatly increases the likelihood that a web page will have higher rankings in the search engine results.
Conversion: A conversion represents the number of site visitors that respond with either a sign up or a purchase to a call to action.
Content Link Segmentation: Content link segmentation refers to the location of a link on a page. Pages are broken into several segments such as the header, body, footer and navigation bar. It is believed that links in the header and body area of a page are worth more than links in other parts of the page.
Contests: Contests are used as a link building strategy by offering an attractive prizes and hosting the content on your site. The intent is that interested parties will link to your contest.
Contrary Hook: A contrary hook is post that tackle a polarizing issue in your industry or market. The idea is to draw users who are already interested in the topic to your site where they can read and hopefully link to your polemical article.
CPA: CPA is an acronym for cost per acquisition, which is the business related expense of acquiring a new customer.
CPC: CPC—cost per click—refers to one of the ways to make money by accepting ads on your website. With CPC, an advertiser pays a fee when someone clicks its link on your site, and you get a portion of that fee.
CSS: The term CSS stands for for cascading style sheets. A site’s CSS are used to control the style or appearance of a website.
CTR: Click through rate (CTR) is the number of times a link for an advertisement has been clicked, and this number is indicative of how effective the ad is.
Custom Error Page: A custom error page is one that shows up when technical issues occur on your site. Instead of the standard “page not found” message being displayed, a custom error page is shown. Along with the custom error message, a search box, site map, and other elements can be included which can help save the site from the error by keeping visitors from leaving.
Dead Content: A link building strategy that consists of finding broken links on a site and discovering the content that once existed using a tool like archive.org. Once the content is discovered, the process involves rewriting, reviving and offering replacement content to the site owner for a link.
Debunking Myths: A popular link building strategy that includes posting facts that contradict site-relevant misinformation on the web, with the express goal of debunking a myth. Used as a linking tactic, debunking myths about a controversial topic, an industry or a product adds to the authority of your site and increases link juice.
Deep Links: Are links that point not to a site’s homepage, but to a page deeper in the website. These links are often very natural because they point to a page that is directly relevant to the page content the link is embedded in. An example of a deep link would be: www.samplesite.com/page/information.
Deep Link Ratio: The deep link ratio is the relation between the number of deep links to home page links on your site.
Deindex: Although de-indexing is reserved for the most flagrant offenders, a site that has been removed from a search index is one that has been de-indexed. You’ll know that your site is de-indexed because it is not included in SERPs anymore. De-indexing is different than a site penalty, which means that the site has only lost rankings.
Directory: Directories are websites that contain lists of products, services or resources, usually separated into categories or subcategories. Directories can be human edited, or submission can be automatic. There are free directories and paid directories. The most famous directory is DMOZ, also known as the Open Directory Project.
Dofollow Links: A “nofollow link” includes specific HTML code to stop link equity from flowing through the link. In contrast, a “dofollow link” is a link that allows link equity to flow to the URL being linked to.
Domain Authority: Domain Authority, or DA, is a metric developed by (SEO) Moz that predicts how a website will perform is search engine rankings. DA is scored on a logarithmic scale ranging from zero to one hundred points. The higher the score, the greater the (predicted) authority.
Duplicate Content: Duplicate content refers to the content (usually text) on one site that identically matches the content on another site. Having duplicate content can adversely impact the amount of trust the site receives from search engines. Sites with canonical issues can also be affected by duplicate content.
Drain Rank: Drain rank is the collateral damage from linking out from your site. Theoretically, search engines divide the amount of authority present on a page between all of the links on a page. If this theory is true, too many links on a page can drain the rank from that page.
Dynamic Website: A site that is considered dynamic is one that is frequently changed, and will sometimes change based on the unique user’s interaction with it.
Education-based Content: Content generated for the purpose of educating or tutoring an audience. This content can be used to gain authoritative links from .edu sites or other educational sites.
Educational Links: An educational link is a backlink from a site that has a .edu domain name. The .edu domain, much like the .gov domain, is so tightly controlled that education backlinks are always authoritative and pass significant link equity.
Ego Bait: Ego bait is a tactic that involves posting flattering content about an individual in an effort to get them to link to your site or content.
Embed Code: HTML code that allows users to obtain the content for inclusion on their own site. YouTube, for instance, includes embed code for most of the videos on its site.
Embedded Link: An embedded link is a type of hyperlink that has embedded into the existing text of an article or website, most readily found on blog posts and built in by the post writer using HTML code.
Equity (link): Link equity refers to the amount of value a link has to the page it links to. Link equity can be measured by PageRank (Google’s system), the site’s domain authority (offered by Moz) and the relevance of the two pages.
Evergreen Content: Evergreen content is information and data that is timeless and ever-useful. Evergreen content is not tied to current events or trends, so there is less chance of an audience losing interest in the specific content. Evergreen content can be added to your site frequently to promote natural link building.
Exact Match: In a search query, an exact match means that the searched keywords must exactly match the keywords on a web page to be included in the search results.
External Links: An external link is one that links out from your site to another.
Fresh: Fresh is a descriptor used by Google to label sites that are very frequently updated.
Findability: The findability of a site consists of how easy or difficult it is to find the site with a search.
First Crawled: A first crawled date denotes the first time a website or page was crawled by a web bot such as Googlebot.
Forum: Forums are online discussion sites where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. Depending on the forum’s settings, users can be anonymous or may have to register and log-in to post messages.
Forum Posting: The act of writing or posting comments on a web forum dedicated to a specific group or topic. As a link building strategy use caution because forum users can often spot a user who is on the forum solely for links and flag that user as a spammer.
Footer: Footer denotes the section of web content located at the bottom (or foot) of the page. Web page footer content most often conveys technical information such as copyright information for the website, the name of the website’s author, the business name and address, if applicable, and the date of the most recent update. The footer is also treated as its own section of the web page, separate from the header, content and sidebars.
FTBOM: FTBOM is an acronym for “For The Betterment Of Mankind.” FTBOM is part of a foundational link building philosophy created by Jon Ball, Page One Power co-owner. It implies that a successful link building strategy must develop links and content for the betterment of mankind, rather than content that is created for search engines or solely promotional in nature.
Google Algorithm: A formula employed by the Google search engine to determines which pages are most relevant to a user’s search query.
Google Analytics: A tool offered by the search engine that allows site owners to view all of the available statistics regarding site traffic, page rank, unique site views and other demographic data.
Green Content: Content that is generated to attract interest, links etc., from green-friendly web users, or from the environmentally conscious.
Grey Hat: Grey hat refers to link building tactics that are neither perfectly white nor obviously black hat. They’re grey. The term grey is similar to a “grey area” where exceptions to the rule reside. For example, if you find an excellent blog for a guest post, you offer good content with an embedded link but the webmaster wants $25, that could be considered a grey hat link.
Guest Posting: A guest post is a article on a website or blog from a writer who does not regularly contribute to the site. Blog owners often find it difficult to come up with new content on a regular basis, so they often solicit material from their readers. Guest posting on a blog or other website is a great source for relevant backlinks. Guest posts can also increase traffic to your site.
Guide: A guide is a resource for a given industry. When a guide is posted on a site, it increases the site’s content, increases the site’s authority, adds to the site’s link juice (through relevant backlinks) and serves as a strong way to generate long-term interest in a site. For example: The complete guide to tying wooly bugger flies for fly fishing.
How-to’s: A relevant, instructional piece of content posted to your website. If the information in that how-to is good enough, it can potentially rake in links to your site. It serves as a great tool for a targeted link building strategy.
HTML-ready content: HTML-ready content is content that already has link code embedded in it. When provided content is already HTML-ready, a site owner is more likely to keep the link in place when using the content.
Hyperlink: A hyperlink is any bit of text on a website that contains HTML code. When that text is clicked it directs the user to the linked target or site on the web.
Images: An image is any graphic, photo or piece of visual content on the web. Offering the use images, such as high quality photos, in exchange for a link is a common link building tactic.
Inbound Link: An inbound link is a link to your site from another site.
Inbound Marketing: Inbound marketing refers to “earning” leads to your site with good content, social shares and other strategies. With inbound marketing, potential conversions come to you; not the other way around.
Industry Experts: Industry Experts are those whose special knowledge, experience or skill in a particular field causes them to be regarded as authorities.
Infographic: Short for information graphic, an infographic is a graphic visualization of data or other information. Infographics with embedded links can be used as a link building strategy.
Interlink: Links between web pages on an internal site or between a series of related websites are interlinked. Interlinking can also be used as a link building strategy.
Interactive Content: Web content that responds to a user’s input, such as playing a song, game or video on a site. Compelling interactive content can earn quality backlinks.
Internet Protocol (IP): The primary procedure for relaying and routing data across networks. It has been used since its development in the 1970s, and it essentially makes the internet possible.
IP Address: An IP address is a numeric representation of a computer’s “location” when it is connected to the internet. IP addresses are part of the overall way computers network and interact with one another.
IP Diversity: IP diversity refers to the number of backlinks your site has from unique IP addresses. To a search engine, a wide diversity of IP addresses shows that your site is valuable to a large number of people. Multiple sites linking from the same IP may indicate to search engines that some form of manipulation is at work because site owners can host dozens of site from the same IP address and repeatedly link to the same site.
Juice: Juice, commonly referred to as link juice, refers to the quality and authority of the links in your backlink portfolio. Links from authoritative and relevant websites pass more value to your website, potentially increasing your site’s position in search engine rankings. For example, a link from Cat Fancy’s website with the anchor text ‘kitten beds’ pointing to a page all about kitten beds on your website carries a significant amount of link juice. A similar link from a low-traffic blog page or a spam site carries little to no link juice.
Keyword: A keyword is a word or phrase (often called a keyword phrase) that is used to help search engines index content on webpages. Keywords allow Google to better categorize and deliver webpages appropriately when people conduct searches.
Keyword Density: Keyword density refers to the number of times a keyword appears on a given webpage. Having too many keywords can prompt a search engine penalty, and too few can cause ranking problems.
Keyword Popularity: A keyword’s popularity refers to how many times that keyword was searched for during a set amount of time. This is similar to “trending” terms on social media sites such as Twitter.
Keyword Prominence: The prominence of a keyword refers to a keyword’s location, the amount of times it appears, and its overall use on a given website or page. The way the keyword is used or placed in a site’s text indicates the keyword’s value to a search engine.
Keyword Research: The investigation of a search term’s popularity. Keyword research is used to determine the best search terms and anchor text to increase a given website’s search engine visibility.
Keyword Stuffing: A spam or Black Hat SEO technique that entails loading pages with keywords that are related to the user’s search query. Examples of what you might see:
Spammers also sometimes load pages with irrelevant keywords on topics that are unrelated to the query, such as mortgages, cell phones, ringtones, gambling, weather, etc. Whether the keywords are related or unrelated to the query, the intent is to draw search engines and users to the page.
Kiss of Death: In the search marketing world, Kiss of Death refers to the penalty or de-indexation that comes along with anchor text abuse. When a site uses the same anchor text too many times in a given period, it can lead to search engine penalties or downright de-indexation.
Landing Page: A landing page refers to the destination of a given hyperlink. That hyperlink might be embedded in text, an image, an advertisement, a flash game or a video.
Last Crawled: The last time a website or page was crawled by a search engine bot is its last crawled date. This information used to be available in Google’s Webmaster Tools, but they have since removed it. To check your site’s last crawl date you can use the “cache” search operator. For example, entering the search cache:example.com will display the last cached copy of the site along with its last crawled date.
Link Asset: Something on a site that would draw an audience to your website, and also compel them to link to that content.
Link Bait: Link bait is content that considered so great that it will attract links based on its general awesomeness.
Link Building: A system of tools, tactics, marketing strategies and sometimes schemes created with the purpose of gaining links back to your website. Gaining links can increase the position of a website in search engine rankings, and that leads to increased traffic and revenue.
Linking Domains: Used in search engine optimization, it refers to the number and variety of domains that have given links to your site. The greater the variety the better.
Link Farm: A site that gives links indiscriminately, regardless of whom, what, or where the link goes, for the sole purpose of helping those site gain position in search engine rankings. The Google Panda update shut down most link farms.
Link Love: Similar to reciprocal linking, it is the practice of adding links to your site from other sites as a means of showing appreciation for its content or to increase rapport between web communities.
Link Neighborhood: A link neighborhood is the location of your website as determined by the sites that link to you and the sites that you link to. Just as links to and from authoritative and relevant sites can boost your rankings, links to and from bad sites can bring you down. Examples of bad sites would be sites infected with malware, spam sites, sites with poor content or too many ads, and sites involved in link schemes. If you have links from these kinds of websites, you may likely be in a bad link neighborhood, and this will ultimately impact your ranking.
Link Profile: Also known as a backlink profile, this refers to the appraisal of the number, quality, variety and general health of the backlinks a website possesses.
Link Value: The potential worth of a given link for its ability to pass link juice and authority, for instance an .edu site has a greater authority than an article directory.
Link Velocity: The speed at which a site gains new links. Generally a steady and reasonable increase of links enhances a website’s potential to rank in the SERPs. Acquiring a large number of links quickly is a red flag for search engines and usually indicates some type of automation at work.
Linkability: A webpage’s linkability refers to the amount of backlinks it might attract. Useful, actionable content has high linkability.
Linkerati: The linkerati are an elite group of people who are high-use internet practitioners that generate content, build web presence and increase the amount of linkages to sites they see as valuable. This group is very effective for purposes of link building.
Live Blogging: Blogging from an event while present at the event. Live blogging great link building potential, provides a source of content for sites that were unable to cover the event and increases the perception of your site.
Majestic SEO: An SEO company that offers a variety of tools based around it’s own web crawler which has spent the better part of a decade indexing web links.
Manual Submission: The process of submitting URLs to search engines manually rather than using software that automates the process. Manual submission tends to be a more effective and inexpensive method of ensuring that your pages are indexed.
Mashup: A mash-up is involves taking two or more pre-existing pieces of content and combining them in a novel way. Mash-ups are similar to remixes, except they usually combine disparate elements.
Meta Description: A meta description is a string of words in HTML code that the search engines use to describe your web page when displayed in the SERP. If no meta description is provided, search engines will automatically pick text from the page to display on the results page. If that happens it could work out well, but Google could also choose no text or even irrelevant text, so it’s always better to carefully write meta descriptions for your web pages rather than leave it to the machines.
Meta Keywords: Previously, SEO companies would include keywords about the site in an HTML tag on the site. However, this tool was overused and is now no longer effective in searches or web rankings.
Meta Tags: These are special HTML tags which define metadata about a particular HTML document. They can specify things such as page descriptions, keywords, author’s name, and date last modified. This information is used by web browsers and search engines, but is not displayed on the web page itself.
Naked Link: A naked link contains anchor text that is the same as the website’s URL. For example, a naked link would be: pageonepower.com, instead of The World’s Finest Link Building Firm.
Navigation Bar: A navigation bar is the static list of links, like a table of contents, that lead to other locations on the site. The navigation bar serves as the primary means for easily navigating a website.
Niche: The position which a company or business occupies within a specialized market.
Niche Directory: A website that contains a hierarchical list of products or resources related to a specialized market.
Nofollow Links: Links that have the HTML rel attribute that specifies that a spider or web bot should not follow that specific link, essentially meaning the site or document that linked to is not (fully) endorsed.
Organic Link: An organic link is a link that your site attracts naturally with quality content. It’s the objective of link bait or any other quality driven web initiative.
Organic Search: Returned search results that appear because of their relevancy to the search query or keywords. In contrast to paid search results, these results have not been paid for, and show up based on their own merit, so to speak.
PPC: An acronym for pay-per-click advertising. PPC is an internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites. The publisher of the advertisement (i.e., the search engine or website) is paid by the advertiser each time the ad is clicked.
PPP: An acronym for pay-per-post, this designates websites that will pay people who create content in exchange for using it on their site.
Panda: Panda is a Google algorithm update that changed the way web pages are ranked and penalized sites with poor quality content.
Paid Links: When one website offers a link to another website for money you. Paid links are a violation of Google’s quality guidelines, and therefore buying or selling links is a high-risk proposition. Penalties vary, but can include a website being dropped significantly in the search results or being deindexed entirely. Despite this, the practice of buying and selling links remains fairly widespread.
Paid Strategy: A paid strategy is one that includes payment for services, such as a positive product review, as part of a link building plan.
PageRank: A link analysis algorithm named after Larry Page and used by Google. It is a measure of the importance of a web page based on the incoming links from other web pages.
Penalty: A penalty is a virtual reprimand against site owners for engaging in practices that search engine companies find unacceptable, such as black hat SEO. A penalty typically consists of a site losing rankings in the SERP. Many penalties are timed (30, 60, or 90 days), while some are permanent, remaining in place until the offending issue is resolved.
Persona: The creation and implementation of an online individual (similar to an avatar) who has an extensive online presence that engages in blogging, social media, etc., that both is a representation of a company’s target consumer, and is used as a means of link building for a company products.
Petition: Part of the web cultural phenomenon called “hacktivism” (internet activism) petitioning is a means of getting signatures in protest of or support for an issue or cause. For link building strategy it potentially increases link juice, brand awareness and if it is related to your industry, could also generate lots of linking and traffic from your targeted audience.
Press Release: A press release is a write-up on a company’s newsworthy events. Submitting press releases to media companies gains your company brand awareness, links and other benefits. Many media companies accept free press releases, but it is up to the discretion of the editorial staff to publish it or not. Paid media companies will guarantee that the press release will be sent out, provided it does contain newsworthy content. The effectiveness of this as a link building tactic has diminished greatly.
Printables: A printable is information, hosted on a website, that can be easily printed out. If the information is useful, it may be shared, resulting in increased brand awareness, authority and links.
Profile Links: Profile links are usually found on forums or message boards, and anyone who wishes to register can often get a link from their newly created profile. Profile links are very low value links. As a link building strategy, it has been abused by spammers and is therefore not recommended.
Quiz: A quiz on a site can be used to increase traffic, potentially links, offer interactive content, test your web visitors with company or product-related knowledge (which will actually educate them about your company/product) and add to the overall ranking of your site.
Resource Pages: A resource page is a site that collects and aggregates websites and content related to a specific online niche, and publishes this information into a list of webpages. Many specialized markets have websites that host resource pages, and it can be a worthwhile to pursue them for relevant links.
Reciprocal Links: Reciprocal linking occurs when one site offers to link to another site, if, and only if, they get a link in return. Technically reciprocal links are a violation of Google’s quality guidelines, which means websites can be penalized if caught engaging in this practice. But in some cases reciprocal linking can happen very naturally, and in fact it can be often hard to avoid. Because of this, it remains a fairly common practice among webmasters.
Relevancy: Relevancy is a critical part of both SEO and link building. Gaining links on pages that are relevant to your website is often a goal with any link building project as non-relevant pages that link to you have questionable effect on search engine placement. In relation to SEO relevancy refers to having all on page elements (titles, text, URL’s) consolidated to be relevant to a particular keyword.
Robots.txt: Also known as the Robots Exclusion Standard, this is a file that restricts access to a website by search engine robots that crawl the web. These bots are automated, and before they access the page of a site, they check to see if a robots.txt file exists that prevents them from accessing certain pages.
Root Domain: A root domain is the base domain of a site. eg…www.ebay.com not www.ebay.com/felines/kittens/kittenbeds.
RSS Feeds: RSS feeds are subscriptions to the posts the user selects for aggregation into a personalized stream of content. The acronym stands for RDF Site Summary.
Scraped Content: Scraped content is simply content gleaned from the internet via a computer program and posted on another site.
Search Queries: Types of modifiers used in a web search to affect the results of the search, some of these include inurl, intitle, quotations and intext modifiers.
SEO: Often confused with CEO (chief executive officer) SEO is an acronym for the term “search engine optimization.” It is the practice of using technical tools to maximize a given website’s potential for ranking highly in the page results from a web search. The top three sites listed in a organic search engine results page (SERP) are highly sought after.
SEO Link Building: Tactically placing as many links as possible on topically-related sites throughout the web in order to increase a site’s SERP.
SERP: An acronym for “search engine results pages,” which are the links to websites that are populated onscreen after a term is searched for in a web browser. For instance, if I Google the word “cupcake” the search engine will then give me a list of websites with the term cupcake in them. The most relevant websites are listed first, with the first three sites traditionally being the “best” websites. SES: A series of trade show/expos held for the purpose of educating and collaborating for search engine and social media marketing related companies. These shows are held in various locations throughout the U.S. and internationally.
SEM: SEM is an acronym for search engine marketing.
Sitewide Link: A sitewide link on a page remains in the same location on the website, no matter what page of the site you are on. (These are typically in a static header or footer of a website.)
Social Media: A term used to describe the popular and varied online social networking websites that have arisen online in the past decade. (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
Social Signals: A social signal is a way to determine how well a company’s posts, comments or social shares are doing by evaluating the response these shares are getting. Many expert SEO’s agree that social signals bear weight with the search engines.
Social Payment System: A social payment company is one that pays out for a social share with a given audience. A person who agrees to share a link via Twitter for instance, is paid for doing so.
Source Flag: A source flag is the language that determines what kind of link it is, such as an atl text flag.
Spam: Spam is unsolicited commercial-based content generated for monetary purposes, and is disliked by all.
Spamdexing: Spamdexing is the process of intentionally manipulating search engines for higher page rankings with the use of various forms of spam-quality hyperlinks.
Splash Page: A site that has a splash page is one that gives the viewer a fun, visual experience upon arriving at the site. Using these have pros and cons, since some users find them aggravating.
Spider: A spider is a search engine robot (bot) that crawls site for information used to determine site-relevance to a queried term.
Sponsoring: Sponsoring is a strategy that gives companies the opportunity to sponsor a club, charity event, contest or other higher-profile activity with financial or other resources. In terms of online marketing, sponsoring increases brand awareness and linking options.
Static Webpage: A static page is a plain HTML page with no dynamic content.
Strongest Links: 1. Links that are the most powerful in terms of achieving relevance, authority and are most likely to be indexed by search engines. 2. Also a collection of directories that have high authority.
Stories: When blogging on your site, a great story can develop into an effective organic link strategy if your story has enough emotional thrust to it.
Subpage: A subpage is a page that is not the top level domain. Pages following the (/) of a site’s home page are the sites sub pages.
Submissions: A tactic of submitting articles, images, videos, etc., or other content to web directories, article databases or other sites to increase links.
Surveys: A survey is a series of questions designed to get a consensus opinion of a given subject. Surveys, if interesting enough, will provide plenty of opportunities for linking after the questions are asked, and again once the results are posted. The data gleaned from the survey, if it is industry-relevant, can also be used by the site owner to tailor their products to consumer desires.
Testimonial: A testimonial is a positive affirmation on a company or its products. Writing and submitting testimonials to sites that publish these increases links, brand awareness, etc.
Time Sensitive Content: Time-sensitive content subject matter that is posted at significant times, such as anniversaries, holidays, elections, or seasonally. Images, graphics stories and other timely pieces will get greater traction if they’re tied in to a culturally significant event.
Title Tag: A title tag refers to the title of a page as found on the HTML of a page. The title of a page is what displays in the SERP’s and can be optimized for keywords and click rate.
Toolbar: A toolbar on a site that is available for users to access, typically created as a widget that can be shared with other webmasters.
TLD: A top level domain, or TLD is the highest point of a given domain hosting websites.
Trade Articles: 1. Articles that are written about a specific trade or industry, to be used in article directories for additional links. 2. Trading content with another site in order to increase links, content, and to add potential visitors/links and other traffic from the trade site’s regular visitors.
Traffic: The numbers of visitors to your site are its traffic.
Troll Bait: Creating content that is so polarizing or controversial it will probably encourage many angry commenting, links, and other online sparring for adding to your site’s link juice.
Tutorial: An instructional piece of content, usually a video or a class posted on your site, which if the information is good enough, can result in massive linkages to the site. It serves as a great tool for link building strategy.
Twitter: Part social networking site, part microblogging site, Twitter is an incredibly effective social media tool used by millions of members of the web community, and is always part of a larger social media marketing strategy.
UGC: This is an acronym for user-generated content and utilizing it allows sites to have a broader scope for a given topic. It is incredibly useful for sites such as e-commerce and Amazon and is part of what makes those sites so successful.
Unnatural Link: A link that has been intentionally placed by a webmaster on a site for the sole purpose of deceiving the search engines.
Unnatural Link Warning: An unnatural link warning is a notice to a webmaster from a search engine such as Google. These warnings typically say that a site has unnatural links. Unnatural links can negatively impact a site’s rankings. (The Google Penguin update will penalize sites that contain an “over” optimization link profile.)
User-Rating Review: Sites that have the option of publishing a user-review of a product can be used for posting a review for a product with a link to the product in the review. Review can be part of a link building plan.
Video Submission: Video submission is the strategy of submitting original videos for posting on video aggregate sites for the benefit of brand awareness and backlinks.
Webinar: A webinar is a seminar or class held online. Users can watch via live video feed or listen in over the phone when invited to from the webinar hosts, if your site has the capabilities.
Web 2.0 Sites: Are sites that allow a user to interact with an online community by uploading content and commenting on other users content. For example facebook, tumblr, instagram and other sites that are user dependent.
Web Tools: A web tool is an online instrument that makes a task easier or solves a problem. These interactive tools, if entertaining or useful enough, are often repeatedly linked to and serve to increase the amount of links on a site.
Web 2.0 Profiles: A web 2.0 profile is the personal profile a user creates when signing up to use a site like facebook and tumblr. A web 2.0 user has a broad reach across a number of different websites, and has profiles that are linked to each other and the content generated and interactions taking place are spread over the web 2.0 sites.
White Hat SEO: White hat SEO means that your search engine optimization practices are in line with published search engine best practices and webmaster guidelines. Typically white hat SEO involves optimizing a website with the great content and natural link building. There are a number of tactics used by SEO firms to get a site higher rankings by search engines and white hat SEO is considered a strategic, organic way to affect the rankings, where black hat SEO (spam) refers to automated techniques. SEOMoz writer Rand Fishkin had this to say about White Hat SEO, “Unless your manager/company/client is wholly comfortable with the high, variable risk that comes with black hat SEO, you’d better stay clear. I’m also of the mind that there’s almost nothing black hat can accomplish that white hat can’t do better over the long run, while building far more value. Unless it’s “I want to rank in the top 5 for ‘buy viagra’ in the next 7 days,” you’d better explain that you’re recommending black hat primarily because you’re not smart, talented and creative enough to find a white hat strategy to do it.”
White Papers: A white paper is a paper written with a clear intention of demonstrating a particular point. These are often mistaken for scientific or scholarly papers, and this misconception is used to the advantage of the webmaster to increase awareness about the topic in the paper.
Widget Directory: A site that has a directory of widgets. Submitting a widget to a widget directory is a great way to build links to your site hosting the widget.
Wiki: A wiki site is a site that allows all users to contribute information and is constantly seeking new information or to make existing information more accurate, complete and authoritative. However, a wiki site is only as the contributors on it and the people who moderate the content for accuracy. Wikipedia is the most well-known example.