Graduate Bruce Clay
Australian Search Engine
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Algorithm: A set of rules that a search engine uses to rank the listings
contained within its index, in response to a particular query. No search engine
reveals exactly how its own algorithm works, to protect itself from competitors
and those who wish to spam the search engine. Source: Did-It.com
Algorithmic Results: see Organic Listings.
Anchor Text: The text that is surrounded by a hyperlink (the part you
click on in a browser).
N.B. This text is used by some search engines to rank search results. It may be
hidden or visible on a page
Backlinks: All the links pointing at a particular web page. Also called
inbound links. Source: Webmaster World Forums
Banned: When pages are removed from a search engine's index specifically
because the search engine has deemed them to be spamming or violating some type
Clickthrough 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 clickthrough
rate. Also called CTR. Source: Webmaster World Forums
Cloaking: In terms of search engine marketing, this is the act of getting
a search engine to record content for a URL that is different than what a
searcher will ultimately see. It can be done in many technical ways. Several
search engines have explicit rules against unapproved cloaking. Those violating
these guidelines might find their pages penalized or banned from a search
engine's index. As for approved cloaking, this generally only happens with
search engines offering paid inclusion program. Anyone offering cloaking
services should be able to demonstrate explicit approval from a search engine
about what they intend to do. If not, then they should then have explained the
risks inherent of unapproved cloaking.
Contextual Link Inventory. To supplement their business models, certain
text-link advertising networks have expanded their network distribution to
include ?contextual inventory?. Most vendors of "search engine traffic" have
expanded the definition of Search Engine Marketing to include this contextual
inventory. Contextual or content inventory is generated when listings are
displayed on pages of Web sites (usually not search engines), where the written
content on the page indicates to the ad-server that the page is a good match to
specific keywords and phrases. Often this matching method is validated by
measuring the number of times a viewer clicks on the displayed ad.
Conversion Rate: The relationship between visitors to a web site and
actions consider to be a "conversion," such as a sale or request to receive more
information. Often expressed as a percentage. If a web site has 50 visitors and
10 of them convert, then the site has a 20 percent conversion rate. Source:
Webmaster World Forums
Cost Per Click: System where an advertiser pays an agreed amount for each
click someone makes on a link leading to their web site. Also known as CPC.
Source: Webmaster World Forums
CPC: see Cost Per Click.
CPM: System where an advertiser pays an agreed amount for the number of
times their ad is seen by a consumer, regardless of the consumer's subsequent
action. Heavily used in print, broadcasting and direct marketing, as well as
with online banner ad sales. CPM stands for "cost per thousand," since ad views
are often sold in blocks of 1,000. The M in CPM is Latin for thousand. Source:
Webmaster World Forums and Did-It.com
Crawler: Component of search engine that gather listings by automatically
"crawling" the web. A search engine's crawler (also called a spider or robot),
follows links to web pages. It makes copies of the web pages found and stores
these in the search engine's index.
CTR: see Clickthrough Rate.
Delisting: When pages are removed from a search engines index. This may
happen because they have been banned or for other reasons, such as an accidental
glitch on the search engine's part. Source: Adventive
Directories: A type of search engine where listings are gathered through
human efforts, rather than by automated crawling of the web. In directories, web
sites are often reviewed, summarized in about 25 words and placed in a
Doorway Page: A web page created expressly in hopes of ranking well for a
term in a search engine's non-paid listings and which itself does not deliver
much information to those viewing it. Instead, visitors will often see only some
enticement on the doorway page leading them to other pages (i.e., "Click Here To
Enter), or they may be automatically propelled quickly past the doorway page.
With cloaking, they may never see the doorway page at all. Several search
engines have guidelines against doorway pages, though they are more commonly
allowed in through paid inclusion programs. Also referred to as bridge pages,
gateway pages and jump pages, among other names.
Gateway Page: see Doorway Page.
Graphical Search Inventory. Banners, and other types of advertising units
which can be synchronized to search keywords. Includes pop-ups, browser toolbars
and rich media.
Index: The collection of information a search engine has that searchers
can query against. With crawler-based search engines, the index is typically
copies of all the web pages they have found from crawling the web. With
human-powered directories, the index contains the summaries of all web sites
that have been categorized.
Inbound Link: See Backlinks.
Keywords: See Search Terms.
Landing Page: The specific web page that a visitor ultimately reaches
after clicking a search engine listing. Marketers attempt to improve conversion
rates by testing various landing page creative, which encompasses the entire
user experience including navigation, layout and copy. Source: Did-It.com
Link Popularity: A raw count of how "popular" a page is based on the
number of backlinks it has. It does not factor in link context or link quality,
which are also important elements in how search engines make use of links to
Link Text: The text that is contained within a link. For example,
search engine is a link that
contains the link text "search engine."
Listings: The information that appears on a search engine's results page
in response to a search.
Meta Search Engine: A search engine that gets listings from two or more
other search engines, rather than through its own efforts.
Meta Tags: Information placed in a web page not intended for users to see
but instead which typically passes information to search engine crawlers,
browser software and some other applications.
Meta Description Tag: Allows page authors to say how they would like
their pages described when listed by search engines. Not all search engines use
Meta Keywords Tag: Allows page authors to add text to a page to help with
the search engine ranking process. Not all search engines use the tag.
Meta Robots Tag: Allows page authors to keep their web pages from being
indexed by search engines, especially helpful for those who cannot create
robots.txt files. The Robots Exclusion page provides official details.
Organic 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. Paid
inclusion content is also often considered "organic" even though it is paid for.
This is because that content usually appears intermixed with unpaid organic
Outbound Links: Links on a particular web page leading to other web
pages, whether they are within the same web site or other web sites.
Paid Inclusion: Advertising program where pages are guaranteed to be
included in a search engine's index in exchange for payment, though no guarantee
of ranking well is typically given. For example, Looksmart is a directory that
lists pages and sites, not based on position but based on relevance. Marketers
pay to be included in the directory, on a CPC basis or per-URL fee basis, with
no guarantee of specific placement. Also see XML Feeds. Source: Did-It.com
PPC: Stands for pay-per-click and means the same as cost-per-click. See
Cost Per Click.
Paid Listings: Listings that search engines sell to advertisers, usually
through paid placement or paid inclusion programs. In contrast, organic listings
are not sold.
Pay-for-Performance: Term popularized by some search engines as a synonym
for pay-per-click, stressing to advertisers that they are only paying for ads
that "perform" in terms of delivering traffic, as opposed to CPM-based ads,
where ads cost money, even if they don't generate a click.
Pay-Per-Click: see Cost Per Click.
Paid Placement: Advertising program where listings are guaranteed to
appear in response to particular search terms, with higher ranking typically
obtained by paying more than other advertisers. Paid placement listings can be
purchased from a portal or a search network. Search networks are often set up in
an auction environment where keywords and phrases are associated with a
cost-per-click (CPC) fee. Overture and Google are the largest networks, but MSN
and other portals sometimes sell paid placement listings directly as well.
Portal sponsorships are also a type of paid placement.
Position: See Rank.
Query: See Search Terms.
Rank: How well a particular web page or web site is listed in a search
engine results. For example, a web page about apples may be listed in response
to a query for "apples." However, "rank" indicates where exactly it was listed
-- be it on the first page of results, the second page or perhaps the 200th
page. Alternatively, it might also be said to be ranked first among all results,
or 12th, or 111th. Overall, saying a page is "listed" only means that it can be
found within a search engine in response to a query, not that it necessarily
ranks well for that query. Also called position.
Reciprocal Link: A link exchange between two sites. Source: Webmaster
Registration: See Submission.
Results Page: After a user enters a search query, the page that is
displayed, is call the results page. Sometimes it may be called SERPs, for
"search engine results page." Source: Webmaster World Forums
Robot: see Crawler.
Robots.txt: A file used to keep web pages from being indexed by search
engines. The Robots Exclusion page provides official details.
ROI: Stands for "Return On Investment" and refers to the percentage of
profit or revenue generated from a specific activity. For example, one might
measure the ROI of a paid listing campaign by adding up the total amount spent
on the campaign (say $200) versus the amount generated from it in revenue (say
$1,000). The ROI would then be 500 percent. Source: Did-It.com
Search Engine: Any service generally designed to allow users to search
the web or a specialized database of information. Web search engines generally
have paid listings and organic listings. Organic listings typically come from
crawling the web, though often human-powered directory listings are also
optionally offered. Source: Webmaster World Forums
Search Engine Marketing: The act of marketing a web site via search
engines, whether this be improving rank in organic listings, purchasing paid
listings or a combination of these and other search engine-related activities.
Search Engine Optimisation: Spelling variation of definition below. Used
more often in UK and Australia.
Search Engine Optimization: The act of altering a web site so that it
does well in the organic, crawler-based listings of search engines. In the past,
has also been used as a term for any type of search engine marketing activity,
though now the term search engine marketing itself has taken over for this. Also
Search Terms: The words (or word) a searcher enters into a search
engine's search box. Also used to refer to the terms a search engine marketer
hopes a particular page will be found for. Also called keywords, query terms or
SEM: Acronym for search engine marketing and may also be used to refer to
a person or company that does search engine marketing (i.e.., "They're an SEM
SEMPO: Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, a non-profit,
formed to increase the awareness of and educate people on the value of search
SEO: Acronym for search engine optimization and often also used to refer
to a person or company that does search engine optimization (i.e., "They do SEO").
SERPS: Acronym for Search Engine Results Page.
Shopping Search: Shopping search engines allow shoppers to look for
products and prices in a search environment. Premium placement can be purchased
on some shopping search indices.
Spam: Any search engine marketing method that a search engine deems to be
detrimental to its efforts to deliver relevant, quality search results. Some
search engines have written guidelines about what they consider to be spamming,
but ultimately any activity a particular search engine deems harmful may be
considered spam, whether or not there are published guidelines against it.
Example of spam include the creation of nonsensical doorway pages designed to
please search engine algorithms rather than human visitors or heavy repetition
of search terms on a page (i.e. the search terms are used tens or hundreds or
times in a row). These are only two of many examples. Determining what is spam
is complicated by the fact that different search engines have different
standards. A particular search engine may even have different standards of
what's allowed, depending on whether content is gathered through organic methods
versus paid inclusion. Also referred to as spamdexing. Source: Webmaster World
Spider: See Crawler.
Submission: The act to submitting a URL for inclusion into a search
engine's index. Unless done through paid inclusion, submission generally does
not guarantee listing. In addition, submission does not help with rank
improvement on crawler-based search engines unless search engine optimization
efforts have been taken. Submission can be done manually (i.e., you fill out an
online form and submit) or automated, where a software program or online service
may process the forms behind the scenes.
XML Feeds: A form of paid inclusion where a search engine is "fed"
information about pages via XML, rather than gathering that information through
crawling actual pages. Marketers can pay to have their pages included in a
spider based search index either annually per URL or on a CPC basis based on an
XML document representing each page on the client site. New media types are
being introduced into paid inclusion, including graphics, video, audio, and rich
FOR MORE DEFINITIONS SEE:
Definitions above draw on multiple sources, as well as original writing.
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