SEM Glossary of Terms : : :
Client Testimonials : : :

Home » SEM Knowledge Center » SEM Glossary of Terms

A-E       F-L       M-Q       R-Z

AQABA has provided you with a glossary of terms, abbreviations and acronyms used within the Search Engine Marketing “SEM”, Internet Marketing, Organic Search Engine Optimization “SEO” and Pay-Per-Click management “PPC” industries. We hope you find this to be resourceful.

404 - When a page is removed, the server will generate a 404 when a visitor attempts to view that page.

Above The Fold - Above The Fold refers to the part of the screen where a user does not have to scroll to see content. It is a reference to newspapers where the top part of the page is above the fold.

Ad Broker - Someone who does nothing but sell advertisements for websites.

Ad Inventory - The number of page views a site has available for advertising.

Ad Sense - A contextual advertising program by Google.

AERT - Techniques for Accessibility and Evaluation and Repair Tools

Affiliate - Someone who sets up a business that is in between the original manufacturer and the end customer. Often these are not wholesalers, but store fronts. Most often, affiliates do not handle product delivery or customer support.

Affiliate Program - A program that allows websites to sell a product on a commission basis.

Agent Name Delivery - The practice of delivering a custom page based upon the user agent string a browser or spider uses to identify itself.

Algorithm - In the context of search engines, it is the mathematical programming system used to determine which web pages are displayed in search results.

Anchor Text - The text that is surrounded by a hyperlink (the part you click on in a browser). This text is used by some search engines to rank search results.
API - Application Programming Interface

Architext Spider - A spider run by the Excite search engine.

ASCII - American Standard Code for Information Interchange

Ask Jeeves - A meta search engine which was purchased by

ASP - Active Server Pages a server based scripting language that is used to provide dynamic content and build database driven web sites where the browser may have no scripting at all. Most often used in cloaking activity.

ASPX - Microsoft Active Server Page Framework

Authority Site - A system that would count inbound and outbound links to identify central sites in a community.

B2B - Business To Business. Products and services designed to be sold to other businesses.

B2C - Business To Consumer. Products and services designed to be sold to the general public.

B2E - Business To Employee. Products and services designed to be sold to company employees.

Back Link - Inbound links pointing to a page are referred to as back links. Most major search engines allow you to see who is linking to a page or site. That process is called "checking backlinks".

Banner Blind - Refers to the process where users become accustomed to banners and don't even notice they are there any more.

BTF - Below The Fold refers to the part of the screen where a user does not have to scroll to see content. It is a reference to newspapers where the bottom part of the page is below the fold.

CGI - An acronym for Common Gateway Interface. CGI refers to programs that are used to produce on-the-fly content for browser delivery. Common CGI programming languages include Perl, C, and PHP.

CGI-BIN - One of the most common name for a directory on a web server that contains CGI files. These directories are often under heavier access controls than standard directories.

Citation - A citation is a reference to an entity. Citation: quote, mention, reference. Citation in the context of the web usually means a HREF link to a location. A Citation count is the count of references to a page on the internet. Some search engines work on the theory that pages with high citation counts are better. In reality this is about 70% true. With modern affiliate and promotion programs, citations can be generated by some sites in mass quantities.

Click Through - When a user selects a hyper text (web page) link. The Click refers to the noise a input mouse makes when a button is depressed. The through refers to the act of going "through" the link. Many web statistics are kept on click-throughs (sometimes abbreviated as Click-Thru). Some advertising systems are based on paying sites when someone actually Clicks-Thru to a new site.

Click Tracking - Counting clicks on links via a redirected counter program that counts the clicks.

Cloaking - Using some system to hide code or content from a user, and deliver custom content to a search engine spider. The word Cloak comes from Star Trek where the Klingons were capable of "cloaking" their ships invisible. There are three main types of cloaking: IP based, User Agent based, and the combination of those two. IP based cloaking custom delivers a page based on the users IP address (this can be used to deliver custom language based sites or target groups of users from particular ISP's such as AOL or @home users). User Agent cloaking sends a custom page based upon the users Agent (most often use to take advantage of a particular agents strengths or features). Finally, the combination of Agent and IP cloaking is use to target specific users with specific agents (such as search engines).

Combined Logfile - A log file format that collects all the data in the Common Log File format, plus the information found in the referrer and user agent fields. Often includes separate scripting error logs as well.

Clustering - Some search engines Cluster pages from the same website in groups to keep any one site from dominating the top results. A poor mans directory service.

Cold Fusion - A cgi database program from Allaire. Cold fusion uses a file extension of cf or cfm. Also used by some cloaking programs.

Comment Tag - HTML comment tag that marks some html as a comment rather than displaying it in a browser. It is notable in relation to search engines because search engines have been known to index comment based text.

Conversion Rate - The relationship between show visitors to sales or actions. If 1 person out of 100 purchases a sites product, it has a conversion rate of 1 to 100.

Counter - A counter counts hits or page views to a web site. Counter quality and features can vary widely. Most common are image tag counters that are activated when anyone views a page with graphics enabled.

CPC - Cost Per Click.

CPL - Cost Per Lead

CPM - Cost Per

CPS - Cost Per Sale

CRM - Customer Relationship Management

Cyber Squatting - When a person buys a domain that is a trademark or near trademark name of some other company.

D2D - Distributor to Distributor.

Dead Link - An html link that has gone bad. The destination page no longer exists. Many search engines routinely check for "dead links" by spidering the page again. Dead links used to be a serious problem on search engines (mostly yahoo), but with increased link checking, dead links are becoming more rare.

Deep Linking - Linking to content buried deep within a website. They are referred to as "deep" because they are often two or more directories deep within a website.

Defaults - Advertising term used to describe when an advertiser doesn't have enough advertisements to fill the websites inventory. Usually defaults are filled with PSA ads, or blanks

Direct Hit - A click through counting system that counts users clicks on various search engine results. The count of clicks is then used to determine web site rankings in results pages. This system is can be manipulated quite easily.

Directory - A directory is a web site that focuses on listing web sites by individual topics. A quasi table of contents. A search engine lists pages, where a Directory (such as Looksmart or The Open Directory Project lists websites).

DMOZ - Directory Mozilla

DNS Lookup - Or sometimes referred to as Reverse DNS Lookup. Most often used by webmasters while looking at server log files. It converts a unique IP address of a site visitor to its domain name.

Domain - There are Top Level Domains (such as .com, .net, or .org), and then there are midlevel domains such as Ford ( or Domain is a generic term to describe any of these levels and is most often used to refer to the mid level domain ( In reference to search engine technology, domain names can play an important part in determining sites rankings on the search engines.

Domain Name Registration - The act of registering a domain name with an approved registrar.

Doorway Page - A page designed as an entrance to a website. Many doorway pages a specifically created to rank high on a particular search engine. Sometimes referred to as a Gateway Page or a Welcome Mat Page.

Download - The process of retrieving information from any computer is called Downloading. When one computer sends information to another, it is called Uploading.

Dynamic Content - A page that is generated just as the user views it. The content delivered to the user is often updated on-the-spot out of a database or based upon the users browser. It used to be easy to spot one of these pages, but with most systems now allowing dynamic content from any page at any time, you just never know. Search engines no longer penalize for dynamic content as long as the URL does not include submitted data (a ? question mark in the url).

Dynamic IP Address - An IP address that changes each time you connect to the internet.

Entry Page - Sometimes refers to a single page with a logo and "click here" to enter.

EPC - Earnings Per Click.

EPV - Earnings Per Visitor.

Error Log File - Web servers run separate logs that show web site errors. These logs can show things like access to robots.txt (if it doesn't exist), and cgi program failures.

Everflux - Another term coined at WebmasterWorld. It refers to the Google phenom when results appear to be in daily updating. This is between major updates where individual pages are updated, added, or removed from the index.

A-E       F-L       M-Q       R-Z


Internal SEM Process
Discovery » Development » Implementation » Launch » Management » ROI
Visibility »Creditability » Profitability


I wanted to take a moment to write and let you know just how pleased and happy I am with the great results AQABA Search Engine Marketing has done for us here at

-- Rachna Pradhan

More Testimonials >>







Copyright ©2005 AQABA Internet. All Rights Reserved. Global Search Engine Marketing Company