A Glossary For Search Engine Optimization

The A-Z glossary of search engine optimization terms and definitions.


Adwords – A system to advertise on Google & partner sites on a CPC (cost per click) basis.

Agent Name – Synonymous with "User-Agent". This is the name of a spider or browser as defined by the owner.

Algorithm – A mathematical formulae which is used in order to rank websites and web pages.

Altavista – One of the first large scale search engines.

Back Link – A link from one website to another.

Bridge Page – Similar to "Doorway Page", this is a specifically designed entry point for a website.

Click-Through – A click on a link that leads to another website.

Click-Tracking – The use of scripts in order to track inbound and outbound links.

Cloaking – Delivering different content to specific crawlers/spiders. This is generally used to trick spiders into seeing optimized content.

Comment Tag – A tag in HTML that is invisible unless viewed through the source code.

Counter – A program or script that counts hits/visits to a page.

CPA – Cost per Action. Where you pay for a specified action such as a purchase.

CPC – Cost per Click. With this you are charged for every click your link on someone’s website receives.

CPL – Cost per Lead. Where you pay for a lead i.e. is someone does something.

CPM – Cost per Thousand. Where you pay for each 1000 impressions.

Crawler – A program that goes through websites and gathers information for the crawler’s creator.

Cross Linking – Multiple sites linking to each other.

CSS – Cascading Style Sheets. Used to manipulate and easily manage the design of a website.

CTR – Click Through Rate. The ratio of impressions shown to the number of clicks.

Dead Link – A link that produces a 404 error, page not found.

Directory – A website that list other websites in their various categories.

Domain – The name for a website e.g. SEOChat.com.

Dynamic Page – A page that generates content "on-the-fly" as a user requests the page.

Error Log File – A server log file which records errors encountered.

Google Everflux – This denotes the continuous changes in the Google search results pages.

FFA Free For All – This is a links page with nothing but links added by visitors.

Freshbot – This is the name for the Google crawlers that are known to add pages to the Google index more promptly than others.



Northern Light – An older search engines, once very popular.

Open Directory Project – A large directory of websites run by volunteers. Their database is used by many website across the internet.

Optimization – Fine tuning a website or webpage with the ultimate goal being to ascertain a higher position in all or a specific search engine’s results.

Outbound Link – Linking from your website to another website.

Page View – The number of times a page was loaded.

PopUp – The opening of a new window above the previous window.

PFI – Pay For Inclusion. This is where a site must pay to be listed at all.

Pop Under – A pop-up that loads under a page so that it is only viewable when the current page is closed.

PR – Google’s Page Rank. The higher the rank the better position your website or page will have in their results.

Query – A search phrase submitted to search engines.

Rate Card – A sheet with pricing information.

Reciprocal Link – Where 2 sites exchange links.

Referrer – The page from which a user has come.

Refresh Tag – A tag which defines when and to where a page will refresh.

Robot – Generally the name given to a spider / crawler. Anything that is not a human visitor.

Robots.txt – A file created to direct the search engine spiders in specific directions of the website.

Scooter – The search crawler of Altavista.

Search Engine – A site which searches the web for sites which are relevant for a given search query.

SERP – A search engine results page.

Slurp – The Inktomi search crawler.

Spider – A program that visits and downloads specific informaiton from a webpage.

Submission – Submitting a site to a search engine or directory.

Traffic – The visitors and page views on a website.

URL – Uniform Resource Locator. The address at which a specific resource can be found.

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