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SEO Dictionary


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The position of a web page in the search results. "Ranking" generally refers to organic or natural listings achieved through site optimization plus inclusion efforts; specific positions positions can't be determined as with paid placement.

Reciprocal Link:

A Reciprocal Link is a two-way link involving a link to your site from an external source and a link from your site back to the external source.


A software program that crawls the internet, by following links and indexing web pages.


The robots exclusion standard or robots.txt protocol is a convention to prevent well-behaved web spiders and other web robots from accessing all or part of a website. The information specifying the parts that should not be accessed is specified in a file called robots.txt in the top-level directory of the website.


Abbreviation for return on investment. ROI focuses on the profitability of an advertising campaign. Ad ROI formula by percentage is: ad profit divided by the ad cost times 100.


RSS or Really Simple Syndication:

RSS is a format for sharing content among different websites. Sites can syndicate “feeds” (content) and Internet users can use an application called an RSS reader or aggregator to download feeds. There are many such readers available, most at no cost. To explain the difference between RSS and email, think of email is a push technology. You have to wait until the email is sent before receiving it. On the other hand, RSS is pull technology. The RSS reader constantly scans each of the feeds to which you have subscribed looking for new information. Once found, the reader notifies you and captures that information for viewing inside the application.

Search Engine:

A Search Engine is a program designed to help find files stored on a computer, for example a public server on the World Wide Web, or one's own computer. The search engine allows one to ask for media content meeting specific criteria (typically those containing a given word or phrase) and retrieving a list of files that match those criteria.

SEM or Search Engine Marketing:

Short for search engine marketing, SEM is often used to describe acts associated with researching, submitting and positioning a Web site within search engines to achieve maximum exposure of your Web site. SEM includes things such as search engine optimization, paid listings and other search-engine related services and functions that will increase exposure and traffic to your Web site.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization:

A form of online marketing, Search Engine Optimization is the process of making a site and its content highly relevant for both search engines and searchers. In other words, SEO is a set of methodologies aimed at improving the visibility of a website in search engine listings.


SERP was chosen as the keyword for the initial competition, primarily due to the fact it is an acronym for Search Engine Results Page. Not a well known word, except by SEOs, this meant it was not a particularly competitive target, allowing for the tracking of competing sites to be reasonably easy.


A file name extension that identifies web pages containing SSI commands.

Site Map or Sitemap:

A hierarchical visual model of the pages of a Web site. Site maps help users navigate through a Web site that has more than one page by showing the user a diagram of the entire site's contents. Similar to a book's table of contents, the site map makes it easier for a user to find information on a site without having to navigate through the site's many pages. Also, in SEO, a site map can make it easier for a search engine spider to find all a site's pages.

Site Navigation:

The site navigation is the menu within website in which to navigation through the site. Generally there is at least one menu area. This main menu is called the senior navigation. Additional navigation areas, such as the footer and side menus are called secondary navigation.


SMTP is a relatively simple, text-based protocol, where one or more recipients of a message are specified (and in most cases verified to exist) and then the message text is transferred. It is quite easy to test a SMTP server using the telnet program. SMTP uses TCP port 25. To determine the SMTP server for a given domain name, the MX (Mail exchange) DNS record is used.


Any activity designed to trick the search engines into giving a site a higher ranking. Common tactics include hiding keywords as white text on a white page background, submitting a web page to a search engine daily, and building doorway pages.


Spider or Search Engine Spider:

A program that automatically fetches Web pages. Spiders are used to feed pages to search engines. It's called a spider because it crawls over the Web. Another term for these programs is web crawler. Because most Web pages contain links to other pages, a spider can start almost anywhere. As soon as it sees a link to another page, it goes off and fetches it. Large search engines, like Alta Vista, have many spiders working in parallel.


Structured Query Language (SQL) is the most popular computer language used to create, modify and query databases.


Server Side Includes or SSI is a simple server-side scripting language used almost exclusively for the web. As its name implies, its primary use is including the contents of one file in another.


Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), its successor, are cryptographic protocols which provide secure communications on the Internet.

Static Page:

Static Page is a standard web page using only HTML. Static pages do not employ dynamic technologies (like PHP, ASP, Perl...), and have standard URL's.



In the DNS hierarchy, a subdomain is a domain that is part of a larger domain name. A DNS hierarchy consists of the root-level domain at the top, underneath which are the top-level domains, followed by second-level domains and finally subdomains.



The process of registering a web site, usually a specific page (URL) within the site, with search engines and directories.


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