This month we are taking an opportunity to bring you a concise SEO Glossary. We hope you find it useful. Even if you think you know what some of these terms mean, you may be surprised what you learn from this article ;)

An algorithm is programme or rule that governs how a web page is interpreted by the search engines and how/where it is indexed.

Alt tags
Alt tags or ‘alternate text’ is the text that appears when you hover over an image. This is useful when an image file breaks, since the Alt Tag describes the image. This is also useful for the visually impaired when using voice over technologies to read the page. Whist still common practice, Alt Tags are no longer considered as valuable for SEO.

Anchor text
Anchor text is the text used to form a link on a web page. As part of a sentence, the anchor text link will typically be the underlined text.

Back links

Backlinks are inbound links to a specific web page.

Bait and Switch

Using the same URL, people sometimes attract search engines with 1 page and then switch it for another once they have been indexed. With more advanced and frequent crawls from the spiders(see below for term), this technique is becoming less common and increasingly frowned upon.

Black Hat SEO

The opposite to White Hat SEO, this arrays of techniques is in effect raising the presence of a web page without necessarily providing any or an improved page for browsers. Generally the techniques used are considered spamming and are contrary to most search engine guidelines. Do this too much and you may get de-indexed!

Doorway page
Otherwise known as Bridge Pages or a Gateway Pages, a doorway page serves the purpose of being attractive to sarch engines and then simply linking straight into your main site.

Location based advertising eg, Country, County, City

Google bombing
An over abuse of the use of links and anchor text usually from well established blogs with high page rank. These links are all pointed towards the site/web page elsewhere that the bombing technique aims to force up google results page.

Google Dance
The Google Dance refers to when Google indexes are updated. This period of time often results in fluctuations in the index size and some noticeable changes in search engine result positions.

In effect, Googlebot is the programme/spider used by Google to trawl the web, harvesting web pages in order to build the Google indexing database.

Grey Hat SEO
You may be surprised to find that this is what you get when you mix Black Hat and White Hat SEO. We will be surprised if you are though…

Heading Tag
Generally used to break down the web page into manageable sections for presentation. The Heading tag currently carrys great importance by the search engines. In other words… Make them keyword rich.

Inbound links
These are links from external web sources pointing to your web page. Gathering enough high quality, relevant links may result in your Google Page Rank being elevated.

Internal Links
Internal links are links that connect the pages of your web site togther. These can be embedded in text, images or other web media.

Key phrase
A typically short phase comprised of your targeted keywords.

Within a web site, keywords are generally going to take center stage, be it in a title or heading tag of just a more common use than other words on the page. The display and setting of these words dictates the nature and relevancy of your web page to a subject.

Keyword density

How many times have you repeated the same word within one web page. Your most important keywords (the ones you hope people find you by typing into Google), will generally have a higher density on the page than all other words.

Keyword stuffing

Beware of being too aware of Keyword Density! Don’t think that you can stuff your keyword many times over into heading, body text and alt tags as you may get penalised. A subtle balance of your desired keywords is what you are looking for.

Landing Page
When browsers/surfers find your web site listed in a search or directory and subsequently click your link, the page they arrive on is your Landing Page. So… make these pages relevant and impressive.

Link bait
Higher interesting/engaging web content that makes viewers compelled to create a link to it, to spread the word etc A handy means of organic growth just like Word of Mouth advertising.

Link building
Amassing of backlinks/inbound/inlinks from external web sources to your own. A link to your site from a credible source is often thought of as a vote in favour of your web site.

Meta description
This meta tag is a concise description of the web page in question and is hidden in the top section of the code for your web page. The meta description is what is used to form the 10 – 20 words (roughly) found beneath each listing in a Google Search.

Meta keywords
Widely considered obsolete these tags are hidden in the web page code and should reflect the keywords displayed on the web page. They were initially used to guide the search engine bots/spiders as to the nature of the page. These days the spiders prefer to read the page content as read by your visitors in order to determine your keywords for you. This tag is still appreciated by Yahoo at least… no so obsolete!?

Meta tags
Meta Tags, refers to the batch of Meta information held hidden at the header/top section of the web page coding. This include Meta Description, Keywords etc.

This is the means by which Google decides upon your web sites popularity and relevance. Basically, the higher your page rank, the more popular your web site is. Anything above a PR5 becomes incredibly hard to achieve without an associated huge success in terms of business.

Reciprocal linking
The trading of links between web sites.

Search Engine Results Pages

Spider (See Also:- Googlebot)
Otherwise known as a Bot, Robot, or Crawler. Spiders are programs used to collect data from the Internet usually to increase the database volume for a search engine.

Title Tags
The Title Tag is the tag used on every page of a web site to summarise the nature of that particular page. This Tag can visibly be see in the very top bar of a web browser as you look at a web site. As with the Meta Description Tag, the Title Tag is included in the results page of a search on such as Google.

White Hat SEO
Ethical techniques used to promote a web site towards a page one listing on any major search engine. Please read our other article for more information as to Ethical SEO and to understand techniques that should be used for SEO.