What does SEO stand for? The Ultimate Search Terms Definition Guide

If you are reading this article, you are likely asking yourself “What does SEO stand for?”. You are not alone. Many professionals and marketers are still trying to grasp the many factors that are involved in optimizing content and web pages for search engines.

So to start off answering your question…

What does SEO stand for?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is the process of optimizing digital content that exists on a website internally and sources that link to that website and content externally on other websites.

What does SEM stand for?

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. This term describes when Search Engine Optimization is used for marketing purposes, such as driving new visitors to a website through a users keyword search on popular search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. This relatively new form of marketing includes keyword research and content creation among other things.

To help you navigate the many SEO and SEM terms alphabetically, we’ve included A-Z navigation bars above each lettered section. This way you can skip to the SEO and SEM term you want to learn more about.
 
 

Below is a comprehensive list of other search terms definition examples that relate to SEO and SEM.

 
 

301

A response code activated when the current URL has been modified and has yet to be updated. The 301 code acts as the automatic server redirection of that URL until the changes have been updated.
  

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A

Adwords

An advertisement Pay-Per-Click program implemented by Google that controls which ads appear based on payments from advertisers. Adwords spots are usually given to the highest bidder and is a common way of website advertisement.
  

Adwords Site (MFA)

A website made to fit the standards for the Google Adsense advertisement program. These Adwords sites generally have the sole intent to make venue from advertisements building around keyword sensing rather than working on the quality of the site.
  

Affiliate

A tradeoff between merchant websites that pay other websites a commission or fee in exchange for some form of traffic and marketing, where the affiliate site is the website providing the traffic.
  

Algorithm

A program used by search engines and machines to determine what is the best match for the given search value after scanning through the library of options. These algorithms are implemented to calculate and determine values from complex equations and specifications.
  

Alt Tag

See Alt Text.
  

Alt Text

A description or caption connected to an image that explains what that image is, allowing it to be accessible without the visual. This is especially important because the alt text provides information for the screen readers who have difficulty viewing the image as well as providing information to search engine algorithms as they can not differentiate between images and rather use the text accompanied.
  

Analytics

A general understanding and research of what the data depicts, meaning the observance of patterns and the main idea behind the data. Programs are usually created to assist in gathering and analyzing website data from its visitors to its usage. A common analytics program is the Google Analytics that provides in-depth website analysis.
  

Anchor Text

This search term definition refers to the text that is visible to the user and is generally a clickable hyperlink. Anchor Texts provide search engines and the users about meaningful information of what the anchor text is referencing.
  

Astroturfing

A deceptive strategy that involves pushing a commercial or political agenda while perceiving to be a impartial participant of a group or forum to create artificial buzz about a topic or item. Astroturfing is generally looked down upon because it is a misleading tactic employed by disreputable marketers.
  

Authority

The probability and power that a particular site has built up based on accuracy of its content related to specific search queries. Authority can also be influenced by having backlinks/ incoming related links from other trusted sites.
  

Authority Site

A very high quality website that has information or content directly related to a search query, making users very trustful and happy to have found it. Authority sites also have incoming and outgoing links with other trustworthy sites, resulting in high page rank and site score.
  

Authority Websites

See Authority Site.
  

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B

B2B Business to Business

Commercial interactions between businesses where products and services can be traded for with comparable negotiation powers on either side. Some examples of business to business trading would be re-selling goods like a retailer purchasing products from a toy manufacturer.
  

B2C Business to Consumer

Commercial interactions between a business and its customers where products and services are offered by the business to be purchased by the consumer. Business to consumer interactions are heavily based on consumer satisfaction and good relations to build trust in the business’s name.
  

Back Link

A link on a page that connects to an external page or website. These are important to have because they build trust for a site when they have backlinks to other trustworthy sites.
  

Black Hat SEO

A tactic that focuses on the search engine part of SEO and generally ignores the human aspect of it. The black hat SEO method can increase the website ranking, however it is a possible way of getting the website banned from search engines.
  

Blog

A website providing chronological content that can relate or entertain the reader while hosting a discussion on a topic. Blogs are usually written in a casual conversational style rather than a formal text block and can promote the author’s agenda, product, or just their thoughts.
  

Bot (robot)

An autonomous program performs a repetitive action without instruction faster than a human could. These bots are commonly used by search engine algorithms to capture and understand the content that a website provides to organize and sort them appropriately so that when a user enters a search query, the most relevant web pages appear first. An example is the web crawler bot that builds a web consisting of links and related pages, connecting each other in a vast search index.
  

Bounce Rate

A rate based on the amount of users that enter a landing page of a website but does not view any other page prior to leaving. A large bounce rate could indicate that the content does not match the search query and lower its page ranking.
  

Bread Crumbs

A website navigation tool that indicates to the user where they are in the website and helps them visualize their location and their path. Breadcrumbs are helpful in structuring a website as well as provide higher ranking in searches.
  

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C

Cached

Data or information stored in a location that can be accessed faster rather than recomputing the data in the future. Cached information is usually data that has already been computed and is usually searched for first when computing.
  

Canonical Issues

An issue where content is re-uploaded on the internet and found in multiple sites causing an error with search engines in determining which is better to post in a search query result. This can result in a lower webpage ranking and canonical issues are almost impossible to avoid, however by using no-index meta tags and 301 server redirects, the issue can be solved.
  

Click Fraud

Clicks made on a pay per click advertisement by the publisher or their employees of the ad to boost its revenue or to deplete a competing company’s ad budget. Click fraud is an illegal practice and a big issue for programs run by ad agencies because it lowers the trust in the programs.
  

Client-Side Optimization in SEO

A strategy that works without any tricks, focusing on the content related to the client’s needs and ignoring the search engine aspect of the web page optimization. Client side optimization leads to a more cleaner and content related website that clients want to engage with.
  

Cloak

See Cloaking.
  

Cloaking

A method where the content provided to the search engine is different than to the content presented to the user. Cloaking is a black hat method that deceives search engines and elevates the page’s ranking without actual related content. This is considered to be a doorway page technique.
  

CMS Content Management System

A program or application that supports the management of webpages where editing and publishing are covered in their attributes. Content Management Systems generally decrease the workload for creating web pages and are easy to work with.
  

Code Swapping (Bait and Switch)

The content is modified or changed to a different agenda after a certain level of rank is achieved. Code swapping is a black hat method that involves making a text page that climbs the ranking due to search engine algorithms and then is changed to a human friendly site after gaining a high rank.
  

Comment Spam

Comments that have the sole goal of generating or promoting products or in-links to other sites. Comment spams usually provide no value to the discussion and can hurt the webpage ranking.
  

Content (Text)

Information on a webpage that is intended to have value and be consumed by the readers. Good content is ideas and things that are geared towards an appropriate audience in hopes that it helps them with what they are trying to understand. Generally, branding and advertising are not considered to be content.
  

Content Optimizers

The process or program of changing the interface around the content to create a better response and higher satisfaction with both search engines and users. Content optimizers are good opportunities to rank higher on search engines and appeal to the right audience.
  

Contextual Advertisement

Advertisement that is built around content as a form of targeted advertisement. Contextual Advertisement can be better because it does not distract the readers with new or foreign ideas, and is based on the user patterns and the content on the page.
  

Conversion

The end goal of websites, where the user completes a desired action such as click-throughs, signups, and sales. Conversions do not always have to be sales and are good endings to a customer’s journey on a webpage.
  

Conversion Rate

Percentage of users who convert out of how many users visit the webpage. See conversion.
  

Cost Per Click

This search term definition refers to an advertisement that pays the publishers an amount every time the ad is clicked. Cost-per-click is also known as pay-per-click. See Pay-Per-Click.
  

CPM (Cost Per Thousand impressions)

The amount that is paid to the publisher for every 1,000 impressions an advertisement make. An impression is counted when the advertisement is loaded on the page or viewed by a user. Cost Per Thousand is the common strategy of pricing web advertisements.
  

Crawler

A program that searches the web by linking websites that are related to gather relevant data for search engines. Crawlers gather information from virtually every website so its important to have the website optimized and ready after submitting. See Bot.
  

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D

Directory

An online list of websites that contain their title and information. Directories can also categorize them into appropriate groups for accurate and easier searching.
  

Directory Page

A category listed with similar websites or webpages based on content. A directory page is usually part of a larger directory.
  

Doorway

Low-quality webpages or landing sites that are optimized for search engines and machines rather than for humans and eventually redirects the user to the appropriate site. Having doorways can quickly rank the webpage, however they add little value to the users and are considered to be a black hat method.
  

Doorway Page in SEO

See Doorway.
  

Duplicate Content

Content that is similar or identical to content on another webpage. This can cause a fall in ranking as search engines rank duplicate content webpages lower due to a confusion where the machine can not determine which copy to display in a search/
  

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E

E-Commerce Site

Websites where products and services can be exchanged between businesses and customers. Generally, e-commerce sites can include shopping or retail stores, online financial exchanges, and demographic data collection.
  

External Link Structure

A structure that is based on websites having links to other websites. An external link structure can slowly build trust to raise a webpage’s rank.
  

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F

Feed

Content that is frequently updated and delivered to a user based on patterns and interests specified usually on social media platforms. Feeds are implemented by news aggregators who create the categorized content for their subscribers.
  

Free-For-All (FFA)

A webpage that includes a large number of links that lead to unrelated content of which the screen readers have no interest in. Free For Alls are created for spiders to improve the page’s ranking, but are harshly penalized by search engines. Also known as link farms.
  

Frames

A website that displays two or more documents at one time on the screen, allowing them to load individually. Users and spiders also do not generally like the frame interface presented with frames as it can be hard to navigate and the spider can sometimes fail the navigation, reducing the rank.
  

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G

Gadget

A tool used by websites to complete or perform certain functions without needing an independent application to be launched to activate the gadget.
  

Gateway Page

A webpage designed to collect visitors and redirects them to another site. Gateway pages are black hat SEO methods that trick the search engine into ranking the page higher while concealing its true contents. See Doorway.
  

Gizmo

See Gadget.
  

Google Bomb

Influencing or bombarding the Google search engine algorithm by bloating an unrelated website through spamdexing, see Spamdexing, to increase the chance of the website appearing in a specific search query. Google Bombs are generally used in a political, business, or comedic manner to achieve a response from the public.
  

Google Bowling

A method that deliberately lowers a website’s ranking by using Google Bombs, see Google Bomb. Usually this is done by a competitor who wants their rival’s website to appear lower in the search results and uses the search engine penalty system to gain that advantage through Google Bowling.
  

Google Dance

A period of time where search results fluctuate heavily for webpages causing a abruptness in the rankings such as when the Google search engine algorithm was undergoing changes and updates. When the website undergoes any optimization that impacts the web ranking, Google dance shows up and starts the recalculation with the engine’s algorithm to find a fitting position out of the millions of results.
  

Google Guice

The value that the PageRank algorithm sets for a webpage that is supplied to outgoing web links. See Google PageRank.
  

Google PageRank

An algorithm that is used by Google search engines to determine the location of a webpage in the results list from a search query. PageRank is focused on link analysis and presents values based on the quality and quantity of links on a webpage.
  

Google Sandbox

The belief that Google prevents new webpages from reaching the front page of a search query by placing a large number of restrictions on them. Google Sandbox’s reasoning is that older websites have more value than newer ones and prevents SEO score manipulation and spam websites from appearing.
  

Googlebot

Google’s very own spider bot, see Bot, that collects information and builds indexes for Google’s search engine. Google bot behaves similarly to other search engine bots and can still be restricted with a robot text file.
  

GYM – Google, Yahoo, Microsoft

This search term definition refers to the three largest search engines on the worldwide web at the moment, containing the most searches and best algorithms.
  

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H

Hit

A value associated with how many times an object is sent by a server and received by a user. However hits are now obsolete as page views are a more accurate method of ranking websites since page views could generate many hits, inflating the hit value.
  

Hub

A page that is known for its high quality content and related external links. Hubs have high trust built over time and high rankings in the search results.
  

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I

Impression

Anytime a user views the page one time. See Page View.
  

Inbound Link

A link on a page that connects to another page. Inbound links are similar to external links except they are links coming from the outside going into the page.
  

Index Noun

A listing of webpages and their content used by search engines to determine ranking, similar to a directory. See Directory.
  

Index Verb

A method to add a webpage to an search engine index.
  

Indexed Page

Pages on a website that have been sorted and listed into an index.
  

In-link

See Inbound Link.
  

Internal Link Structure

Similar to an external link structure, except the link structure is built on links embedded inside the website rather than expanding outward into the web. Internal Link Structures can also raise a webpage’s rank.
  

IP Adress

This search term definition refers to a series of numbers that follow a protocol connected to a device to label its host and its location so that it can be tracked and identified. IP addresses are mandatory to access any publicly accessible network hardware.
  

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J

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K

Keyword

A phrase or word that defines what the content is about. Having keywords can help select the right audience that a website is looking for to assure a higher rate of click-throughs and conversions.
  

Keyword Cannibalization

The process of reusing the same keyword over and over again where it appears so many times on a website over multiple page that it becomes counterproductive to search engine ranking. Keyword cannibalization is something to be avoided as it makes it difficult for both the reader and search engine to determine relevance of a page to a keyword.
  

Keyword Density

A value referenced to the amount of times a keyword appears on a webpage, normally shown as a percentage, out of all of the text on the same page. Having a small keyword density can be penalized as it may not be seen as relevant by search engines, however having an unnaturally high keyword density can also be punishable as spam.
  

Keyword Research

Understanding and analyzing patterns of search results in correspondence to the content for the webpage to determine the best keywords to use. Having a good and in-depth keyword research is a first step to optimizing the content for the right audience.
  

Keyword Spamming

A large amount of keywords in the given text, leading to a high level of keyword density which can be fatal to the webpage’s ranking. See Keyword Density
  

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L

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)

A method that a search engine employs using an algorithm to determine the relationship between the keyword and the concepts within context of given content. LSI helps search engines like Google identify the quality and relevance of the content to the search query.
  

Link

A highlighted piece of text on a webpage that can be clicked on to connect to another page or another part of the same page. Links are common throughout the internet and can connect websites together so that users can travel from one page to another if desired and are good ways to boost page rank.
  

Link Bait

Website that is designed to generate inbound links, see Inbound Links, with attention grabbing content. Link baits can sometimes fail or can negatively impact the website if the content is not related, but they can also be successful methods if the content is extraordinary and informative.
  

Link Building

The act of building up a large number of trustful inbound and external links to a webpage to increase its webpage ranking. Link building a very effective way of establishing a high ranking domain if done properly with the legitimate methods in SEO.
  

Link Condom

Several methods that prevent website ranking loss by avoiding link spam and discouraging the usage of a bad site in a link structure, “killing” the passed link value so that it can’t be traced back to the webpage.
  

Link Exchange

A linking system between two different webpages. This can be detrimental or beneficial depending on the situation. If the opposing webpage have similar content and a good level of trust, then having a link exchange would be beneficial between both parties, however, if both pages contrast in ideals and the opposing webpage pales in comparison based on design, it would be best to stay away from them.
  

Link Farm

A website that involves generating a lot of external links to other unrelated sources and webpages, usually other link farms, in an attempt to increase its ranking.
  

Link Juice

The value passed between two different websites through a link. Link juice can either build or destroy trust based on the search engine algorithm, greatly influencing the page’s rank.
  

Link Love

A term that is reserved for the webpages that have very high quality content and trust making their outbound links very worthy, passing value to other webpages without expecting a return. Link love is similar to building a relationship in the community of webpages on the internet and by having a good standing with other pages, the quality of “love” will increase.
  

Link Optimizers in SEO

This search term definition refers to the methods used to gather and optimize links, both inbound and outbound, to achieve a higher rank and manipulate search engine results either naturally or unnaturally.
  

Link Partner

Two webpages that link to one another. This does not provide a large value when calculating webpage ranking because they are linking back to each other.
  

Link Popularity

The value that a website has based on the quantity and quality of the links that connect to that website. Having a high link popularity would quickly increase the webpage’s ranking.
  

Link Spam

Links that a included into a webpage’s content due to user interaction that do not provide any value to the content or redirect a user to an unrelated site. Related to comment spam, link spam can cause detrimental damage to a webpage’s ranking.
  

Link Text

The visible part of a hyperlink of which a user sees prior to selecting it. Link text generally gives a small bit of information on the relevancy of the link to the content that the user is currently consuming and search engines can use this to score the relevancy of the referred site to the content. See Anchor Text.
  

Linkerati

Targeted users that are prime for link baiting, see link bait, campaigns as they are primarily content creators that generate the most traffic and incoming links for webpages and can help a website rank higher due to increased traffic and organic linking that linkerati provide.
  

Long Tail Keywords

Keywords that are much longer than normal, narrowing the audience into the perfect niche that searches for content related to the website rather than something unrelated but close in spelling. These long tail keywords are less targeted in queries, but make up a large percentage of total searches making them prime targets for valuable keywords.
  

Low Hanging Fruit

The keywords that are not generally searched for with low volume, meaning there is little competition for them. Thus, low hanging fruits are perfect for obtaining a higher ranking easier due to its exact specifications.
  

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M

Mashup

A website that brings together multiple programs and softwares into one place to offer a variety of content and capability. Mashups bring together many things into a single website for convenience rather than be in different locations around the internet.
  

Meta Description

The short description of the website given to search engines embedded in code to further optimize the website and can increase ranking if the keyword is included in the meta description.
  

Meta Keyword

Keywords embedded in code, see Meta Description, to signify which words the webpage is supposed to rank for in search engines.
  

Meta Tag

This search term definition refers to a string of code that is embedded into the text that contains the meta descriptions and meta keywords, providing information about the webpage when search engine algorithms analyze them. These are usually relied upon the most to determine the value of the webpage to search engines and having a unique and very accurate meta tag is very beneficial.
  

Meta Title

The text that appears the biggest and is the hyperlink that leads to the webpage. The meta title should always contain the keyword and be a description of what the content is about as well as be related.
  

Metric

Standard values that are used by programs to measure the performance analyzed websites to determine their rating, ranking, and consumer value.
  

Made For Advertisements (MFA)

Similar to an Adwords Site, Made for Advertisement sites are designed specifically to make revenue from ads. These usually include clickbait titles and some form of spam to generate high levels ranking to gather a large amount of revenue. This is not always a bad thing as these sites can still provide meaningful content.
  

Mirror Site

A website identical to another but under a different address.
  

Monetize

Way of generating money from a website usually through advertisements and product placement.
  

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N

Natural Results

Another name for organic results, these are websites that are ranked in the first few search engine results page and are not paid for or sponsored by the publisher which simply appear there due to naturally good ranking and trust that was built overtime. A webpage naturally resulting on the first page is what a webmaster should be looking for as a goal for optimization.
  

No-Follow

A command prompt issued in the link code that tells any spider bot to not follow the link on the page. This is a form of a link condom, see Link Condom, and no-follows prevents losing rank based on bad links such as link spams on the webpage.
  

No-Index

A command prompt in the code that tells the spider bot not to index the page or a link as a form of link condom. No-indexing is another way that can prevent a loss of rank by telling the bots not to update the page index in the search engine for pages that are undesirable to be indexed.
  

Non-Reciprocal Link

An occurrence where website A links to website B, but website B does not link back to A. This is a non reciprocal link and is more valuable to search engines as it is less likely a result of collusion in an attempt to increase ranking.
  

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O

Optimized Web Content

Content on a website that has been modified and optimized to achieve the best ranking in the search engine results page.
  

Organic Link

This search term definition refers to links to other webpages that have good relatable content to the original website and are linked so, passing value without expecting a return. Having inbound organic links to a webpage can increase its ranking on search engine results for specific keywords so it’s good to continually build good content to build that trust.
  

Outgoing Link

A link that goes from website A to website B, going outwards away from the original root webpage. Increasing the number of out-links to trustworthy websites can increase the webpage’s ranking, but having too many outlinks can decrease the value of the webpage’s out-links.
  

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P

Page Rank

A value given by Google’s PageRank algorithm to websites based the the quality and quantity of out-links and in-links as well as the internal and external link structures. This algorithm builds the trust and determines link popularity, see Link Popularity, that a hyperlink coming to or from a webpage deserves.
  

Pay For Inclusion (PFI)

A fee charged for including a website in a search engine or directory at the very top rather than somewhere in the middle. This pay for inclusion fee allows the website to be the first to be seen and have higher impression counts.
  

Portal

A service offered by different websites that provide a wide variety of information and news based on the user’s settings and configurations. Portals try to promote themselves as the starting webpage to a user’s web browsing, commonly as the Google or Yahoo homepages.
  

Pay Per Action (PPA)

Similar to Pay per Click, except rather than paying for every click on an advertisement, it is a payment for every time a click goes through that results in a conversion or sale.
  

Pay Per Click (PPC)

An advertisement campaign where publishers pay ad agencies a fee, usually bided for based on popularity and demographics, whenever a user clicks on their ad. Pay Per Click can be very costly without much return if the advertisement can generate many clicks but few conversions, so its best to have content related and targeted advertisement.
  

Proprietary Method

A term used by an SEO service that deceives a buyer into assuming that the service can provide something unique to achieve high rankings, similar to a “secret method”. Proprietary methods do not actually exist as there is no “secret method” and webmasters should be wary of services offering this deal.
  

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Q

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R

Reciprocal Link

An agreement between two websites to link to one another in an attempt to increase their inbound links and ranking. However, reciprocal links are considered invaluable to search engines and can even bring down the webpage’s ranking.
  

Redirect

This search term definition refers to the method of changing the address of a landing page to something else, like a new domain, after the user had clicked on the link. It is important to be careful when using redirects as they still have risks and can sometimes lose link equity.
  

Regional Long Tail Keyword

Multi word Keywords that have a region specified inside the phrase. These regional long tail keywords, see Long Tail Keyword, are more beneficial to businesses looking for local customers.
  

Robots.txt

A file used by websites in their root directory used to control or restrict what search engine spiders can do or process on the webpage.
  

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S

Sandbox

A theory of website ranking restrictions based on their age. See Google Sandbox.
  

Scrape

Collecting and copying information or content from websites and re-uploading them onto a different website, often automated by programs or bots. A common form of scraping is contact scrapping where websites are analyzed for contact information then copied onto a spreadsheet for later use.
  

Search Engine

A program that analyzes websites based on content and information and indexes them into a sorted list to return the most relevant matches to a search query. Search engines maintain real time updates as they pair with algorithms and bots to index the entire internet.
  

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

In case you are asking yourself “What does SEM stand for?”… it’s a method of earning traffic through search engine optimization, search engine services, and paid listings means such as pay per click, see Pay Per Click, advertisement. SEM can maximize exposure of a webpage so that it can be seen on the first page of a search engine’s results, but it can be costly.
  

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Since you may have been wondering “What does SEO stand for?”… SEO stands for methods that can increase a website’s ranking on a results page of a search query based on making changes to the content by including white hat SEO methods like linking and using keywords or black hat methods such as cloaking and link spamming.
  

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

The listing of all relevant websites in reference to the search query term entered into the search engine. In an search engine results page, there are organic results and sponsored results, where the organic result are found based on the engine’s algorithm, while sponsored results are listings paid for by publishers. Usually the best and most competitive spots are on the first page of the SERPs as users primarily only see those results.
  

Search Engine Spam

This search term definition refers to a method of excessive manipulation done to a webpage in order to earn a higher ranking on the results page. Sometimes search engine optimization can result in this because it is mislabeled as SE spam, but it prevents spamdexing, see Spamdexing.
  

Search Engine Spider

A robot or programs used by search engines to scour the web to collect information and index webpages into categories so that when queries are entered into the search engine, results that are most relevant can appear first. See Bot.
  

Search Engine Submission

The process of a website applying for indexing in a search engine algorithm. Search engine submission can be seen as a tool for web promotion and makes the search engine aware of a new webpage to index.
  

Social Bookmark

An online service where users can share saved bookmarks to other users usually in forms documents, photos, or websites. A common form of social bookmarking is sending another user a saved website that was of interest.
  

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Method of gaining traffic or traction for a webpage by using social media. Using social media marketing can bring a lot of attention and exposure to the website as well as being a direct link to building a relationship with users since there’s many ways of promoting through social media with built in interactions such as user generated comments and feedback.
  

Social Media Poisoning (SMP)

A black hat technique that involves the spamming of a brand or product in a social media setting so that it can increase recognition that eventually backfires because users have seen so much spammy content related to the product that its seen in a negative tone. Utilizing social media to aid a website gain traction is okay, even recommended, as long as it doesn’t lead to social media poisoning.
  

Social Media

Various online platforms used a form of communication where users can share and transfer ideas, information, and opinions to others. Social media includes blogs, forums, and other user generated content websites that all form virtual communities.
  

Sock Puppet

A deceptive online identity that masks the user’s real identity. Sock puppets are now used to manipulate opinions and impersonate others, stemming from the original purpose of hiding one’s identity.
  

Spam Ad Page

A page made for Adsense or advertisement selection programs that are only created to generate revenue. These spam ad pages are usually made from scrapped content that have no value to users and hundreds are created by spammers.
  

Spamdexing

A method used to manipulate search engine results by changing the website to deceive and influence the engine’s algorithm and rank higher. Spamdexing revolves around excessive usage of material that increases a websites rank such as linking and related keywords with content unrelated to the search query. Today’s algorithms can now detect spamdexing and ban these websites to free the users of these illegitimate sites.
  

Spammer

Person or group that send repeated unsolicited content or messages to a large number of users or websites. Usually these messages are used to for promoting a product, finding contact information, or spreading malware. Web spammers are generally seen as the worst people on the internet as they prey on the unsuspecting or naive users.
  

Spider (bot)

This search term definition refers to a search engine bot that scans the internet to index websites into categories. See Bot.
  

Spider Trap

A loop on a webpage that cause the spider to make infinite requests to generated links causing the spider to crash or terminate. These loops can be made to counteract scraping spiders that browse the web looking for content to copy and contact scraping, but can also hurt the webpage if the search engine can not crawl the page. Sometimes spider traps can be made involuntarily and should always be tested for in a webpage.
  

Splash Page

These are pages that are seen prior to the home page and are optimized for human attention and interaction as they contain many visuals or animated graphics with little significant content. However, since these pages contain little content and replace the home page, web crawlers find little value in them and are often ranked lower for search engines as they are poorly optimized. Splash pages are very good for user interaction and promotion as they are commonly used to inform the user of the website’s plugins or products with websites that already have a user base, otherwise it can be a poor decision.
  

Splog

A blog considered as spam as it has little to no value to the user and is made of content generated by scrapping. Splogs are usually generated to increase the ranking of other low-tier websites with a large number of outbound links that are basically worthless as they are created for spamdexing, see Spamdexing.
  

Static Page

A webpage that has no dynamic material and is consistent on load up whenever the URL is requested. Static pages are geared towards search engine spiders and can be easily optimized to earn a high rank, however they may not be as appealing to the users.
  

Stickiness

The opposite of bounce rate, see Bounce Rate. Stickiness is basically the average time a user stays on the website, the longer they stay the better it is for website ranking. It can also refers to the content that brings back visitors consistently and website publishers tend to use this method to create a community of returning users. A good website would have a high rate of stickiness as users will tend to come back often and stay longer.
  

Supplemental Indexing (Supplemental Results)

An side indexing program that uses less restrictions on websites so that the websites with lower page rank on the main search engine index can appear in a search result page if it has relevance to the search query. Usually websites that have been supplementally indexed are not shown on the SERP of the main search index. Supplemental indexing can still help out smaller websites that have not reached their potential in optimization or sites that are poorly optimized for search engines but contain good content, but its best to avoid this.
  

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Text Link

A visible clickable text in an plain HTML link usually without any special graphics or code. See Link Text.
  

Time On Page

The length of time a user spends on a page before leaving. The longer the length, the higher quality and relevance the website has to a search query. See Stickiness.
  

Toolbar Page Rank

A feature no longer available to websites provided by Google, the program gave a number that indicated the page’s value and importance so that the webmaster can view. It is not to be confused with page rank, see Page Rank, but it helped with the PageRank algorithm used by Google during its time of activeness.
  

Trust Rank

A value given to website link relationships that indicated their quality and was used to establish a line between spam webpages and quality webpages that provided good trustable content to users. Trust rank has a large influence on ranking and can help a website rank high in the search engine index.
  

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Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

A series of number, letters, and symbols that provide a location for a website or resource from a web server from some place on the internet and is retrieved when asked by a user or bot. URL’s are usually in a form of a protocol followed by domain and host names. (https://www.responsify.com)
  

User Generated Content (UGC)

Content created by the user base generally found on social media platforms, forums, and virtual community websites. User generated content can be the backbone of many websites as the main source of content as it is readily available to the public and consists of many different ideas.
  

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Walled Garden

This search term definition refers to a bunch of webpages in a series of link exchanges, see Link Exchange, that are linked to each other, but do not link to any other external site. A walled garden has considerably low ranking and possibly not even be indexed.
  

Web 2.0

The second generation of the web, hence web 2.0, that focuses on user interaction including user created content and usability to simulate a virtual community through social media platforms and web-based communication.
  

Web Address

See URL.
  

White Hat SEO

Cleaner and “legal” methods of optimizing content and webpages so that they can rank higher naturally. White hat SEO methods do not play tricks on the algorithms and slowly build trust in a honest manner.
  

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We hope this post helped you answer the question “What does SEO stand for?”. Bookmark this page for future reference and we’ll be sure to keep it up-to-date!

To learn more about other terms related to marketing, check out: Empowered Marketer: Marketing 101 Terms to Master SEO, Content, & Social Media

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