Search engine optimisation glossary (ABCD)

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

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Alt attribute
Search engines are not able to easily distinguish what is in an image, so using an image alt attribute allows you to help them understand the function of an image by providing a text equivalent for the object.

Analytics
Software that allows you to generate detailed statistics about the visits to a website.

Anchor text
The text that a user would click on to follow a link. In the case the link is an image the image alt attribute may act in the place of anchor text.

Authority
The ability of a page or domain to rank well in search engines. Five large factors associated with site and page authority are link equity, site age, traffic trends, site history, and publishing unique original quality content.

Backlink
A link pointing to one website from another external website.

Bookmarks
A link saved by a user. This can be stored as a favourite in a user’s web browser or on a social bookmarking site.

Broken link
A hyperlink which is not functioning, or which does not lead to the desired location.

Browser
The client used to view the world wide web. Popular browsers include Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, among others.

Cache
A copy of a web page stored by a search engine.

Cloaking
Displaying different content to search engines and searchers. Depending on the intent of the display discrepancy and the strength of the brand of the person/company cloaking it may get a site banned from a search engine.

CMS (Content Management System)
Tool used to help make it easy to update and add information to a website.

Crawl depth
How deeply a website is crawled and indexed by a specific search engine.

Crawl frequency
How frequently a website is crawled, or scanned, by a search engine.

CTR (Clickthrough rate)
The percentage of people who click on an advertisement they viewed, which is a way to measure how relevant a traffic source or keyword is.

Cybersquatting
Registering domains related to other trademarks or brands in an attempt to cash in on the value created by said trademark or brand.

Dead link
A link which is no longer functional.

Deep link
A link which points to an internal page within a website.

Deep link ratio
The ratio of links pointing to internal pages to overall links pointing at a website.

De-Listing
Temporarily or permanently becoming de-indexed from a directory or search engine.

Demographics
Statistical data or characteristics which define segments of a population.

Directory
A categorized catalog of websites, typically manually organised by topical editorial experts.

Domain
Scheme used for logical or location organisation of the web. Most people also use the word domain to refer to a specific website.

Doorway Pages
Pages designed to rank for highly targeted search queries, typically designed to redirect searchers to a page with other advertisements.

Duplicate content
Content which is identical or near identical in nature to other text within the same site. Search engines negatively rank pages with too much duplicate content.

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