Search engine optimisation glossary (MNOP)

A Selection of Common Terms and Definitions Related To Search Engine Optimisation

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Manual review
All major search engines combine a manual review process with their automated relevancy algorithms to help catch search spam and train their relevancy algorithms.

Meme
A self spreading viral idea.

Meta description
A sentence or two of content which describes the content of the page.

Meta keywords
A tag which can be used to highlight keywords and keyword phrases which the page is targeting.

Meta refresh
A meta tag used to make a browser refresh to another URL location.

Meta search
A search engine which pulls top ranked results from multiple other search engines and rearranges them into a new result set.

Meta tags
A combination of meta descriptions and meta keywords.

Mirror site
A site which mirrors (or duplicates) the contents of another website.

Natural language processing
Algorithms which attempt to understand the true intent of a search query rather than just matching results to keywords.

Navigation
Scheme to help website users understand where they are, where they have been, and how that relates to the rest of your website.

Niche
A topic or subject which a website is focused on.

Nofollow
Attribute used to prevent a link from passing link authority. Commonly used on sites with user generated content, like in blog comments.

Open source
Software which is distributed with its source code such that developers can modify it as they see fit.

Organic search results
Most major search engines have results that consist of paid ads and unpaid listings. The unpaid/algorithmic listings are called the organic search results.

Outbound link
A link from one website pointing at another external website.

PageRank
A logarithmic scale based on link equity which estimates the importance of web documents.

Penalty
Search engines prevent some websites suspected of spamming from ranking highly in the results by banning or penalising them. These penalties may be automated algorithmically or manually applied.

Personalisation
Altering the search results based on a person’s location, search history, content they recently viewed, or other factors relevant to them on a personal level.

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor)
An open source server side scripting language used to render web pages or add interactivity to them.

Poison word
Words which were traditionally associated with low quality content that caused search engines to want to demote the rankings of a page.

Portal
Web site offering common consumer services such as news, email, other content, and search.

PPC (Pay Per Click)
A pricing model which most search ads and many contextual ad programs are sold through. PPC ads only charge advertisers if a potential customer clicks on an ad.

Precision
The ability of a search engine to list results that satisfy the query, usually measured in percentage.

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