Internet Marketing Glossary Of Terms

Like any industry, Internet Marketing & Search Engine Optimization has its own set of lingo that can be very confusing to outsiders.   We have put together the following Glossary Of Terms in an effort to help alleviate some of that confusion.

In the event that you realize that Internet Marketing is something best left to an expert, please contact me via this website or via phone at 866-669-9404

AdWords - Google's Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or Cost Per Click (CPC) text based advertising system. AdWords takes click-through rate into consideration in addition to the advertiser's bid to determine the ad's relative position within the paid search results. Google applies such a weighting factor in order to feature those paid search results that more popular and thus presumably more relevant and useful. Google has also started taking into account the quality of the landing page and applying a quality score to the landing pages. For my thoughts on PPC, read my article "To Pay Per Click Or Not Pay Per Click" at my Los Angeles Lawyer Marketing blog.

Algorithm - Refers to a search engine ranking algorithm for one of the commercial web search engines (such as Google or Yahoo). While some of the general parameters might be known to the public, the source code is not made available to protect company interests and prevent misuse. Generally speaking, it is the algorithms that determine how sites are ranked for any particular search. It is the job of the Search Engine Marketing Consultant to structure websites in ways that make them most appealing to these search engine algorithms.

Black Hat SEO: Black Hat SEO (sometimes called spamdexing) is the opposite of White Hat SEO  -  and it is definitely NOT something we at Omnipresent recommend or utilize ourselves. Black Hat SEO tactics are optimizations that are against search engine guidelines. In the short term sites can benefit from these tactics, but if you step too far over the mark, your site may be penalized or even removed from the indexes. In the long run, it just is not worth the risk.

Here are a few Black Hat SEO techniques that should be avoided:

  • Keyword stuffing
  • Hidden text or links
  • Link farms
  • Cloaking
  • Duplicate content sites
  • Content with no value to user, but that is aimed at "tricking" the search engines.
  • Spamming forums or blogs

The bottom line is that you should always stay close to the "Best Practices" as laid out by the search engines & which can be found at the following links.

Blacklist - lists that search engines compile of websites violating the search engine guidelines (see BLACK HAT SEO). Being placed on these lists may lead to being banned from the search engines.

Blog - Short for "weblog", a blog is an online diary where people can easily post messages and others may view and respond to the posts. When affiliated with a website, blogs can provide a great way to quickly add content to the site.

Browser - A program, such Internet Explorer, Safari or Firefox which allows a user to easily surf the internet.

Cache - Copies of web pages stored locally on an Internet user's hard drive or within a search engine's database. A cache is the reason why web pages load so quickly when a user hits the Back button in their web browser, since the page is not need to be downloaded from the Internet. Google is unusual among search engines in that it allows Internet users to view the cached version of web pages in its index. Simply click on the word "Cache" next to the search result of interest and you will be taken to a copy of the page as the Googlebot discovered and indexed it. This feature of Google makes it easy to spot cloaking.

Call to action - Call to action words are "doing words" such as "Click here", "Buy Now", "Enter Now" or "Click to download". On websites, they are generally links which when clicked take the user to a different page, typically an online form page, or other page where the user inputs information.

Click-through rate - the rate at which people click on a link such as a search engine listing or a banner ad. Studies show that click-through rates are six times higher for search engine listings than sponsored links or banner ads.

Cloaking - When a website uses one version of content for the site which is seen by the user, and sends a different version of content to the search engine. In some cases, cloaking will result in a website being banned from the search engines because of its unethical practices.

Conversion - the act of converting a web site visitor into a customer or at least taking that visitor a step closer to customer acquisition (such as convincing them to sign up for your e-mail newsletter or complete an intake form).

Cost-Per-Click (CPC) - see Pay-Per-Click

Delisting - This is a process in which a webpage is removed from a search engine index. There are a variety of reasons that a site may be removed, sometimes because they have been banned for unethical practices.

Directory - A compilation of websites that is categorized and sorted by a topic. Within every directory listing you will find an informative description of each site. When a site is listed on a popular directory, the site's link popularity will increase. Directories are generally editorial in nature, meaning that they are compiled by people who accept or deny the site's inclusion in the directory. Some directories, like, are free while others, such as, require a subscription for inclusion. Generally, links from paid directories are not as valuable as those from purely editorial based directories.

Description tag
- A Meta tag which describes the purpose of the website or web page. Some search engines use all or part of the description tag in their own description of the site (on the results pages).

A description tag usually looks like:

<meta name="description" content="California Personal Injury Law Firm of Adam & Eve fights for the rights of its clients in a variety of personal injury claims, including car accidents, wrongful death and medical malpractice">

Domain name
- Essentially, domain names are the public addresses of websites. While all websites have numerical IP addresses, these are rarely used by the web-surfing public. Instead, we use domain addresses like or or  When you register a domain and tell it to point to your website, you are essentially creating an address that is easier for people than remembering than   But in truth, the real address of every site is just a number like that. From an SEO perspective, there can be real value in having keywords in your domain name, like or

Flash - a technology developed by Macromedia Corp (now part of Adobe, Inc.) that allows a web designer to embed interactive multimedia into web pages. Flash can be a great addition to a web page, but because Flash files are viewed as pictures by Google and the search engines, it is generally regarded as a mistake to build an entire site using Flash. The general rule is that if a user can highlight the text of a site, then the Search Engines can read the content as well. Some mobile devices, like Apple iPhones, do not display flash, so many sites have adopted jQuery as an alternative way of adding animation to sites while keeping them mobile friendly.

Frames - The process of combining separate web pages into one segmented page (called a frameset), with each segment (frame) potentially having its own scrollbar. You know you're on a framed website when part of the page scrolls while the rest of the page stays in place. Frames frustrate people because much of the time when the person tries to bookmark a specific page, it doesn't actually work but instead bookmarks the "frameset" page which is typically the home page. Search engines also don't like frames. A framed web site is at a severe disadvantage compared to non-framed sites in terms of search engine marketing. Most search engines support frames, but only, as Google says in its FAQ section, "to the extent that [we] can." Searchers clicking through to a framed page from search results sometimes end up on an orphaned page. You can use <noframes> in HTML to make the page indexed normally by the crawler. It should also be noted that sites built on frames are generally regarded as one page sites by the search engines, which is detrimental to your search engine rankings.

Fresh - The term that Google uses to refer to frequently changing web pages. When the Googlebot ascertains that a given page is changing frequently, the Googlebot will revisit and re-index this page more often (perhaps even daily).

Google Dance - The Google Dance refers to when Google indexes are updated. This period of time often results in fluctuations in the index size and some noticeable changes in search engine result positions. The fluctuation is due to each of Google's nine datacenters being updated out of sync - meaning for a time the results are different. Owners of websites often get very nervous during this "dance sessions", but if I site is built properly and utilizes best practices they will generally fall back into their normal position once the "dance" subsides.

Google PageRank - A system which ranks pages within the Google search engine and determines the importance of the web page, based on a scale of 1 to 10. Higher page rank usually means higher placement on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) within relevant searches. Note: the "Page" in PageRank is actually Larry Page, co-founder of Google and author of the original PageRank algorithm.

Google's Supplemental Index - A secondary database containing Supplemental Results which are web pages deemed to be of less importance by Google's algorithm or are less trusted, and therefore are left out of the regular Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Pages in the Supplemental Index can still rank in search results, but this will depend on the number of pages in the main index relevant to the search.

Some reasons pages may be in the Google Supplemental Index:

  • Duplicate content
  • Low PageRank
  • Lack of trust
  • A site with a large number of pages
  • Page freshness
  • Excessively long URLs

*Note: As of July 2007 Google discontinued the practice of placing a "Supplemental Result" tag on search results making it nearly impossible to tell whether a result is in the supplemental index or the main one.

Headline - A bolded short title located at the top of a web page, informing the user what the page's topic is, such as what type of service or product the website offers. Headlines are very important because it immediately informs the user of the topic, allowing them to decide whether or not they want to read the content on the page.

Hyperlink - An underlined word or phrase, usually a different color from regular text, which will direct the user to a different page or spot on the same page when it is clicked.

IP Address - A set of numbers used for a computer or device to acknowledge a website address. To learn more about how Domain Names and IP Addresses interact, see domain names in this glossary.

Keyword - a word that a search engine user might use to find relevant web pages. If a keyword doesn't appear anywhere in the text of your web page, it's highly unlikely your page will appear in the search results. For example, a Personal Injury Attorney would most likely make sure to include the keyword phrase "accident attorney" on their web page so people searching for that phrase would have a better chance of landing on their website. Within a website, important keywords should be placed in the keyword tag in the Meta tags and throughout the content.

Keyword stuffing
- When one or more keyword or keyword phrases are overly used or repeated within meta tags or web page content. This is considered spam and the website may be penalized.

Keyword tag - A Meta tag which is used to emphasize relevant keywords or keyword phrases for the web page or website. Typically, all tags can be viewed when a user right clicks on a web page and clicks "view source."

A keyword tag usually looks like:

<meta name="keywords" content="attorney, lawyer, personal injury lawyer, personal injury attorney,">

Keyword phrase - A phrase of two or more words used together that an individual may search for, such as "personal injury attorney." See keyword for more details.

Landing page - The landing page is a web page where people go to once they click on an online advertisement or natural search listing. Landing pages are designed to be highly relevant to the advertisement or search listing and encourage users to complete a "call to action". The landing page is also known as the "click through URL" or "destination URL".

Meta tag - Written information that is on a web page and is used by search engine crawlers to view the site. The search engines use the Meta tags to collect, sort, and classify information which helps the search engines determine the relevance of the site and assists users in finding the site when they perform a search for a keyword or keyword phrase which is in the Meta tags. Typically, all tags can be viewed when a user right clicks on a web page and clicks "view source." Meta tags usually consist of a title, description, keyword and subject tag, and may also include rating, robot, and search engine tags.

Optimized content - A form of content writing which is optimal for websites due to the amount and placement of relevant keywords and keyword phrases. Properly written content will help the web page or website receive greater positioning in the search engines.

Pay-per-click (PPC) - A pay-for-performance pricing model where advertising (such as banners or paid search engine listings) is priced based on the number of click-throughs rather than impressions or other criteria.

- Also known as "position," this informs a person how their website is listed on the internet within various search engines, such as on the first page or which number the site is listed on a page.

Reciprocal link - The exchange of a link between two websites. Before entering into a reciprocal link agreement with anyone, check with an SEO expert.

Return On Investment (ROI) - The benefit gained in return for the cost of investing into advertising or marketing. ROI can be measured by the following calculation: "Total Revenues (generated from campaign or project) minus Total Costs." A good website should have a high ROI.

Search engine - A website (such as Google or Yahoo) that offers its visitors the ability to search the content of millions of web pages on the Internet. Search engines periodically explore all the pages of known websites and add the text on those pages into a large database that users can then search. Because of this methodology, publishing web pages that incorporate relevant key phrases, prominently positioned in particular ways, is critical to high search engine rankings.

Search engine marketing (SEM) - Online marketing of a website through search engines using proven strategies and advertising to make the website rank high in the search engines with the goal of improving the amount and quality of leads.

Search engine optimization (SEO) - Creating and improving a website so that it will rank high in the search engines and help potential customers or clients find the website. There are generally three components of SEO: content optimization, and technical optimizatio.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP) - A page of search results delivered by a search engine. The goal of most websites is to have a good SERP ranking on relevant searches.

Sitemap - A page which contains an organized listing of links to all pages within the website. Having a well structured sitemap will help a search engine spider and index the pages. This is part of the Technical Optimization of SEO.

Spider - An automated program which is sent out by search engines to index websites on the internet.

Title tag - The text displayed in the blue bar at the very top of the browser window. Although inconspicuous to the user, the title tag is a very important bit of text on a web page as far as the search engines are concerned. Search engines not only assign the words in the title tag more weight, they also typically display the title tag in the search results, making the title tag an important potential call-to-action as well. Thus, the wording of each page's title tag should be thought through carefully by a professional SEO consultant.

- The number of people who have visited a website. Web design & search engine optimization companies keep track of the traffic for the sites they optimize as a way to evaluate the effectiveness of their procedures and show the client how the optimization is improving the amount of people visiting the site. Generally speaking, more traffic means more qualified leads.

URL - The domain or web address of a page or site. Acronym stands for Uniform Resource Locator. URLs can specify the location of a web page, an email address, or a file on an FTP server, among other things.

Visibility - How well-placed your web site is in the search engines for relevant keyword searches. A site that places in the top 10-20 on a search has great visibility as it is more likely to be found than a site that ranks lower. A site with low visibility is generally considered "invisible."

White Hat SEO
- Ethical SEO approved by the search engines. This is the only type of SEO performed by me or anyone at OmnipresentSEO.

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