An algorithm is a set of mathematical rules. Search engines use algorithms to rank the listings within its index in order of relevance to a particular query. Each search engine’s algorithm is unique and is regularly tweaked and updated to provide users with the most relevant results possible. Google gained a huge market share by including ‘credibility’ in their algorithm, defined by PageRank and link popularity.
Anchor text refers to the textual part of a hyperlink and is an important ranking factor within search engines. Google pays particular attention to the text used in a hyperlink and considers the keywords contained in the anchor text to be relevant to the referred page and hence keyword searches.
Bid management tools are automated software used specifically for managing bids and reporting on PPC campaigns in search engines.
Bing is the current web search engine from Microsoft, replacing MSN. Notable updates include the listing of search suggestions as queries are entered and a list of related searches, similar to Google.
Blacklisting (also known as delisting) refers to when websites are removed from a search engine’s index. This happens most commonly as a punishment for the use of black/ grey hat SEO techniques. Google in particular occasionally makes famous examples of companies cheating their algorithm, most notably BMW and Ocean Finance.
Black hat refers to techniques that are used to get top rankings by cheating search engines. Common black hat techniques include: keyword spamming, cloaking (hiding text), link farming and duplicating content.
Blogs (derived from ‘Web Logs’) are websites maintained by individuals with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events or other media such as graphics or video. Blogs help to build trust and are a great way for companies to informally engage with their customers by providing insight into the organisation, their products, their services and their industry as a whole.
When a search engine user clicks on a Link from a SERP and then exits the website within one click, this is considered a ‘bounce’. Bounce rate is the percentage of users that ‘bounce’ after following a link from a SERP
Broad match is another type of keyword matching that includes keyword variations, synonyms, re-ordering and plurals. For example, if a user searches for “SEO Company London”, broad match will include in its listings results that relate to “London SEO Company”, “SEO Companies” and “SEO Companies in London”.
In Internet marketing, a call to action is copy or a creative used to entice a user/ ad viewer to complete an action or conversion, as defined by the advertiser. Call to actions include phrases such as “call us now”, “buy now” or “request call back”.
CTRs are a method of determining success from display advertising campaigns and refer to the ratio of impressions to clicks. CTR is calculated by dividing the number of clicks an ad receives by the number of impressions (views) that same ad receives.
Conversion rates are a percentage of visitors to a website that ‘convert’ into a desired result, for example a sales transaction, phone call or email enquiry.
A cookie is information stored on a user’s computer by a website that remembers personal preferences. Google has recently updated it’s search results to lift a user’s preferred websites higher up particular search engine results pages (SERPs).
Directories are essentially human edited search engines, where each website within the index has been manually submitted. In directories, websites are often reviewed, briefly summarised and categorised. Many directories, for example D-Moz, have a strong filtration process and for this purpose, Google considers websites in such directories to be of high integrity and credible.
Duplicate content refers to textual content that has been copied from another website. Content is considered duplicate when at least 60% of the original text has been replicated.
Exact match can be requested by a search engine user by placing their search query within quotation marks. This will exclusively return results that feature the complete keyphrase in the exact way it appears in the search box. For example, if a user searches for “SEO Company London”, only websites that feature the words “SEO Company London” in that order will be listed in results pages.
Flash is a technology designed by Macromedia, allowing animations on a web page. Until recently, Flash was not crawlable by search engine spiders and as such was not search engine friendly. However, Macromedia in 2009 updated their technology, allowing modern Flash sites to be crawled and hence indexed by search engines.
A frameset refers to a website that has been organised into frames. Each frame displays a different HTML document. Headers and sidebar menus do not move when the content frame is scrolled up and down and all content is stored on one URL. From an SEO perspective, Framesets hinder search engine spiders as it is difficult for the spider to differentiate one page from another.
Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool offering detailed visitor statistics. Analytics can be used to track all site activities: visits, traffic sources page views, pages per visit, bounce rates and average time on site etc. Analytics is an important tool for web marketers to understand the performance of a marketing campaign, and to understand user behavior.
As a product of universal search, Google maps feature in top ten rankings whenever a search query relating to a specific location or post code is input. Up to 8 different plots on the map will be displayed, featuring websites that are based within the catchment area. Since the emergence of universal search in 2008, many service industries have benefitted from achieving top rankings through maps.
Google product search is a price comparison site with a difference – Google does not charge any fees for businesses to advertise their products, nor does Google charge any commission. The product search interface provides a field into which users can type product queries to return lists of vendors selling a particular product, as well as pricing information. Due to the emergence of universal search, product search results now feature in Google’s organic listings.
Grey hat SEO incorporates a combination of both White and Black hat SEO techniques.
A request for a file by a web browser to a web server. Since files include images and graphics it is a meaningless statistic from a marketing or point of view as one page view could constitute 20 hits. However, often hits are quoted in website’s promotional material to make the site appear more successful than it actually is.
Space provided on a web server where information contained in a website is made available to those searching the World Wide Web.
Hypertext Markup Language. A programming language used in the construction of websites. It is really a mark up language rather than a full programming language. Static web pages are written in HTML.
Keyword density is a percentage, referring to the number of times a given keyword appears within the content of a web page. The more regularly that particular word appears in the text (within reason), the more weight that word is assigned by the search engine. Keyword density is calculated by dividing the number of appearances of a given keyword by the total number of words within the article and multiplying by 100. The optimum keyword density varies dependant on the volume of content between 5% - 14%.
When a user types a search phrase into a search engine, we refer to this term as a key phrase. For example, someone trying to find a search engine marketing company may type “SEO company London” in the Google search box – “SEO company London” would be the key phrase in this case and is made up of three keywords.