SEM Knowledge Center »
SEM Glossary of Terms
Ranking - In the context
of search engines, it is the position that a sites entry
is displayed in a search engine query results.
Rate Card - A sites list
of fees for advertising and placement options.
Re-submission - The process of resubmitting a web page
or web site to a search engine or directory. This is
often done to update a listing because of content changes,
the page has moved, or the page has been removed. It
can also be done after updating or optimizing a page
to acquire better rankings.
RealNames - A company that
sells names associated web address queries. This is
mainly for corporate brand name protection. Some search
engines now use that system to generate search results.
Companies can buy their Real Name and their name will
be the first one returned for that search query. For
example, Coke-Cola could buy Coke and have their webpage
returned first for any search on Coke.
Reciprocating Link - A link
exchange between two sites.
Referrer - The address (URL) of the web page a user
came from, before entering another site. Each time a
user clicks (selects) a new HTML link on a web page,
most browsers report a "HTTP-REFERER" string
to the new site. Web hosts can record these "referrer
strings" in a log file for usage by a web site.
In the context of search engines, these referrer strings
are a powerful way to determine what searches users
used to enter your website. As part of a referral string
from search engine, the search terms a user typed in
will be included.
Some img tag counter style logging software can also
record referral strings.
Refresh Tag - Meta Refresh
tag reloads a page at a set time.
Registration - The act of submitting a website to a
directory for inclusion (such as registering with Yahoo).
Results Page - A page at
a search engine that displays the results of searches.
After the user types in a search query, the page that
is displayed, is call the results page. The order of
results on the results page, is called the rankings.
RFP- Request For Proposal.
RFQ - Request for Quotation.
Robot - A program that automatically
does "some action" without user intervention.
In the context of search engines, it usually refers
to a program that mimics a browser to download web pages
automatically. A spider is a type of robot. Some times
referred to as Webbots.
robots.txt - A file on a
web site in the root directory of a website that is
used to control which spiders have access to which pages
within a website. When a spider or robot connects to
a website, it checks for the presence of a robot.txt.
Only spiders that adhere to the Robots Exclusion Standard
will obey a robots.txt command file.
There are several specific fields in a robots.txt such
as User-agent specifies which User Agents are allowed
to access the site and "Allow/Disallow" specifies
which directories a spider may access.
ROI - Return On Investment.
In relation to search engine advertising, it often refers
to sales per lead. (Request a Proposal from an AQABA
RON - Run of Network. Large
advertising brokers such as Burst or Double click can
sell ads across the entire network of member sites.
ROS - Run of Site. An ad
that can be placed anywhere on a website without restrictions.
Sandbox - A development space
where developers can test data sets without causing
an actual execution of the final code. PayPal, Microsoft,
AOL, Google, and many search engines use "sandboxes"
to test code. For example: the PayPal sandbox allows
webmasters to use shopping carts without a purchase
using real money actually occurring.
Scooter - The Altavista spider.
The name is in reference to the world famous Altavista
Raceway that holds motorcycle races every year.
Search Engine - A program
designed to search a database. In the context of the
Internet this refers to a web site that contains a database
of information from other websites. Directories of sites
are *not* search engines (such as Yahoo).
Search Engine Optimization
- Effectively submitting your site in search engines
will enable you to acquire top placement in search engine
results and increase the likelihood that people will
link into your site during search queries. The trick
is to identify effective methods to optimize your placement.
The criteria search engines and directories use to determine
which sites rank highly varies. Some, like Google, use
link popularity in their ranking mechanisms. Others
measure click popularity, gauge the number of times
key words are used throughout a site, or favor sites
that are updated regularly. Therefore, it is important
to learn about the various search engines and identify
the ones that are best suited for your site.
Search Terms - The words
that are typed into a search engine search box. Also
called Search Words, Keywords, and Queries.
SERP - Started at Webmaster
World, it is short for "Search Engine Results Page".
This is the page that is generated by a search engine
in response to a search query.
Server - A computer which
is designed to generate information for connected users
(client). In the context of the world wide web, this
refers to a web site that delivers web pages to users.
Session ID - Webpages that
are produced at the time of the page request from programs,
are called Dynamic pages. Programs often will use specific
urls for each visitor. You will often see those as a
string of numbers in the browser address bar. These
numbers will track you via cookies and serve pages specific
to your "session". A session can be any time
limit and then it expires. Sites use these sessions
to serve custom content, defeat browser caching, and
to direct the flow of visitors through the website.
Sessions - By setting a cookie,
tracking a visitors IP address, or by other unique identifiers,
we can track a visitor’s session through a site.
These sessions can be used to analyze visitor behavior.
Sometimes software will create urls based on a unique
variable and track a visitor through a site by that
Shopping Cart - Software
designed to keep track of customer purchases until they
"check out" on an ecommerce website.
Sidewinder -The Infoseek
Sky Scrapper - An ad that
is quit tall and large. They can run 160x600 pixels
down the side of a webpage.
Slurp - The Inktomi spider.
Snap! - A medium sized web
site directory. Uses Inktomi for non-directory matches.
Spamdexing - The submission
of pages that are intended to rank artificially high
by various unethical techniques. These can include submitting
hundreds of slightly different pages designed to rank
high, small invisible text, or word scrambled pages.
Most of these techniques are flagged by search engines
Spamming - See spamdexing.
A broad term mainly referring to unsolicited junk email.
Spider - The main program
used by search engines to retrieve web pages to include
in their database. A spider is what a search engine
uses to analyze and include your website within its
search. Spiders run through the html of your website
at light speed picking up different tidbits from various
pages. This information is then used by search engines
in determining your placement in queries. Different
search engines use different spiders. Different spiders,
in turn, analyze your HTML coding differently. Spiders
continually roam the internet picking up new web-sites
and content. Search Engines use spiders, directories
do not. A commonly known spider is Google’s “GoogleBot.”
Spidering - While a spider
is downloading pages, it is called Spidering. Most modern
spiders used by search engines are only responsible
for downloading the pages and storing them raw in a
temporary database. An indexer is then used to process
the page for inclusion in a search engine database.
Spiders have a wide range of variables and guidelines
that they can be setup to use and follow. Some include:
speed at which it downloads pages, whether it will walk
or crawl through a website, whether it only goes after
index pages, what time of day it is active, which domains
it will connect to, how many pages it will accept from
· Infoseek (go.com) Sidewinder
· Altavista Scooter,
· Lycos T-Rex,
· Excite Architext,
· WebCrawler Excites Architext,
· Google Backrub or GoogleBot
· Northern Light Northern Lights
Splash Page - Also referred
to as a Welcome Mat Page. It is a page that normally
just includes a logo and a "click here to enter"
type link. These can be used to direct traffic based
upon user variables.
SSI - An acronym for Server
Side Includes. These are HTML Comment commands placed
in an HTML file, to cause a webserver to execute some
action when the page is viewed by a user. These include
calling external programs such as CGI programs, displaying
date or the last modified date on the file. Apache is
the most widely used web server and has a wide range
of SSI commands available.
Static IP Address - An IP
address that remains constant each time a person logs
on to the internet.
Stealth - A broad term referring
to the hiding of data from a user or robot. Often this
includes Obfuscation where by the data presented looks
correct, but there is something wrong with it. In the
context of search engine optimization this can include
Stealth Meta Tags that are displayed for search engine
robot but not users.
Stemming - Refers to root
word origins. For example, Search, Searching, and Searches
all have Search as the root stem. Some search engines
use stemming to provide results from more than just
the entered search terms. A search on Boat could return
results on Boating or Boats.
Stop Words - This term has
been so often confused with Filter Words that it now
refers to Filter words most of the time. Words that
are censored by search engines. These include the FCC's
seven naughty words. Search engines often maintain two
databases, one with all the bad stuff to keep away from
children, and one for the general public. Adult words
are called STOP WORDS by the search engines because
the indexer STOPS when it finds one of these words..A
stop word is a word that causes an indexer to STOP indexing
in the current procedure and do something else. Most
common of these, is when an indexer encounters an Adult
Subdomain - The traditional
portion of a domain name where "www" is location
is said to be a third level or subdomain of the primary
Submission - The act of submitting
a web page to a search engine or web site to a directory.
Submission Service - A service
that will automatically submit your page or website
to many search engines at once. These were once popular,
but many search engines now ban these types of services.
Teoma - Teoma is one of the
internets full spidering search engines. Delivers results
to parent company AskJeeves.
Term Vectors - Term vectors
map associations between keywords based on the frequency
and location of term when used in search queries. Apple
has a high vector relation to "fresh fruit",
but is not to "fruit of the loom".
Theme Engine - A theme engine
is a search engine that indexes entire sites as one
giant page. They then use only the most relevant keywords
found to determine your sites theme. By determining
a theme search engines hope to return more accurate
Throw Away Domain - A domain
name that has little value. These are most often used
to test out new search engine optimization tactics and
they may get banned.
Title - The part of an HTML
page that is displayed on a browser title line (usually
at the top of the window).
The text of a web page title is important, because it
is the part of the page displayed on search engines
as a link. Search engines also give the page title more
weight when determining what order to display pages.
TLD - An Acronym for Top
Level Domain. This would be the .net, .org, .com portion
of a domain name.
Toolbar - An add on program
for a browser that creates a bar across the browser
- most often under the menu line. These often provide
search query boxes and other features. Most of the major
search engines have Toolbars.
Traffic - A reference to
the number of visitors a web site receives.
T-Rex - The Lycos spider.
Unique Visitor - A single
individual website visitor. Visitors (or users) can
visit multiple pages within a site. Unique users are
important because it is an indication of success of
a website. If you have high visitor counts, but relatively
low page per user counts, that indicates that people
are not finding your site attractive enough to set and
read through it. On the other hand, if you have low
visitor counts and very high page per user counts, that
is an indication your site is providing good information
to people and you should do a better job a promotion.
High page per user counts indicate good site potential,
while low page per user counts indicate you need to
rework the site with more content or better displays.
Upload -The process of retrieving
information from any computer is called Downloading.
When one computer sends information to another, it is
URL - An acronym for Universal
Resource Locator. The basis of how we find web sites
on the internet. URL's can include different forms of
communicating with a server: (an HTTP url is Hyper Text
Transfer Protocol while a FTP url is a File Transfer
Protocol). You can determine how you are connecting
with a site, by looking at the beginning of a url for
the HTTP, FTP, or other protocol identifier. Most websites
are located on http servers and begin with HTTP://.
In the context of search engines, URL's are important
because they contain entities which the search engine
may or may not like. For example, your domain may include
keywords related to your website.
URL Submission - See Registration.
The process of submitting a webpage to search engines.
User Agent - Each time a
web browser or other client connect to a web site, they
report aUSER_AGENT. Common user agents include Netscape,
Opera, and Internet Explorer. In the context of Search
Engine Robots or Spiders, a CGI program can read the
USER AGENT and deliver custom content to that user or
robot. The User Agent can also be included in a robots.txt
file to allow or deny access to the website.
Viral Marketing - Any program
that result in customers or program members promoting
the service for you.
Virtual Domain - A website
setting on its own domain name. For example this web
site is located on the Virtual Domain www.AQABASEO.com.
Webcrawler - A large search
engine owned by Excite:
Weblog - It started out as
referring to specific content management software (blogger),
and has transitioned into a description for a wide range
of personal pages, journals, and diary type setups.
Whois - A search that provides
the company name, address, and contact information of
a visitor to a site. Whois lengthens the log analysis
Word Scrambled - Randomly
sorting the words on a page is called word scrambling.
A word scrambled page can be submitted to search engines
for high ranking, yet the page will be unreadable by
a human. By using cloaking, stealth, or other techniques,
a web master can hide the scrambled page from all but
the search engine spider.
Yahoo - One of the oldest
site directories on the net. Currently uses Inktomi
for webpage results.