Internet Marketing

SEO Glossary: Common Internet Marketing Terminology Defined

If you’re new to the world of search engine optimization, and online marketing in general, all the acronyms and unfamiliar phrases you’re seeing on websites, blogs, and in guides are enough to make your head spin. SEO. CRO. PPC. CMS. What does it all mean?!

Don’t panic: We’re here for you. To help you decipher these online marketing buzzwords and better understand the terminology you’re bound to encounter as you continue your journey into the world of Internet marketing, we created this glossary of essentials! It's designed for anyone who needs help figuring out what a particular acronym or marketing phrase means, in clear, comprehensible English. There is an emphasis on SEO, although the glossary does touch on all branches of Internet marketing!

How to Use This Page

The marketing terminology on this page is sorted in alphabetical order. Click one of the letters below to jump to that section, or scroll down the page until you find the term you're looking for. It’s that simple!

With that introduction out of the way, here’s our list of common Internet marketing terms and definitions for you to peruse and study. We hope you enjoy learning more about these, and find this glossary helpful in some way!

0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

.htaccess

Website configuration file that can be used to establish redirects and password protect files.

200 status code

Status OK. The page or image was found and successfully loaded.

301 redirect

The server code for a permanent redirect. A file or site has been permanently moved to a new location. SEO best-practice.

302 redirect

The server code for a temporary redirect.

404 status code

"Not Found" server code. Custom 404 pages can improve usability.

A/B testing

Testing two different versions of a website, advertisement, or other campaign against one another to determine which performs better. Also known as split testing.

Above the fold

Historically used to describe the content printed above the centerfold of a newspaper. Online, it refers to all content that is viewable without having to scroll down.

Absolute link

A link that uses the entire URL of a page instead of using a relative link path. Absolute URLs are preferred, as relative link paths can result in problems with canonicalization and hijacking.

Absolute link example: http://site.com/folder/file.html

Relative link example: ../folder/http://file.html

AdSense

Contextual display advertising platform through Google. An automated process, opting into AdSense allows Google to place relevant ads on a website. Webmasters utilizing AdSense on their sites get a portion of ad click profits from Google. Contextual ads can be formatted as text links, graphics, animated graphics, and videos.

Advertising network

The middleman between advertisers and websites. These networks consolidate advertising space and match it with paying advertisers. The most prominent example is the Google Search Network, in which advertisers are connected to available ad space through the AdWords platform.

AdWords

Google’s paid, self-serve advertising network platform. Determines ad placement through a “quality score,” which evaluates advertisers users based on click-through rates, bounce rates, and other factors. AdWords is the largest online advertising network in the world.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing programs allow independent marketers (affiliates) to get paid on a cost per action (CPA) model. Affiliates earn more money based on how successful they are in attracting visitors to their sites.

Example: Business A might offer an affiliate program to sign users up for service B. Affiliate marketers drive traffic to service B, and get paid a commission for every successful user sign-up.

Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX)

Web development techniques that allow users to request data without loading a new page.

Alexa

Online service that ranks websites based on traffic estimates. Provides many insights, from user engagement to user geography. Owned by Amazon.

Algorithm

An automated procedure designed to solve problems very quickly. Google’s algorithms determine which websites show up in search results for any given keyword or phrase, and where in the results they appear.

Alt attribute

HTML code that serves as a text-based alternative to an image or video. Alt attributes are used by screen-readers and search engines because they provide context for the image/video.

Analytics

Information discerned through the analysis of data and statistics. Metrics like page views, user behavior, and load time, and dimensions like demographics and user locations.

Anchor text

The visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. Anchor text is important in SEO because Google judges how relevant the text is to the content of the link. However, as of Google’s Penguin update, exact match anchor text (or using anchor text identical to a page’s name) is not recommended.

Application program interface (API)

A set of routines, protocols, and tools for creating software applications. Many search products and other information-based products have API programs, allowing for the simplified integration and use of third party software in custom applications.

Arbitrage

The exploitation of price differences between markets, better known as “flipping.” A real-world is buying something on sale in a brick-and-mortar retail location, and reselling on Amazon for profit. In digital marketing, an example is sending paid clicks to a site built solely to show ads. The goal is to ensure one pays less for the clicks than he/she makes from sending this traffic to other advertisers. Google began cracking down on this practice in 2007.

Astroturfing

The process of hiding the real sponsors of a message or the organization behind a grassroots campaign. For example, a website might pay for artificial Yelp reviews from “authentic” accounts, bolstering their online reputation.

Authority

Typically relates to “site authority,” which is essentially the perceived quality, usefulness, and relevance of a website. Websites with a high level of site authority rank better in search engines.

Bait and switch

Building a website to do one thing, and then switching to another after gaining site authority. For example, making a website that appears to be purely informational and helpful, and later  overloading the site with ads to make money.

Banners

Another name for picture advertisements, specifically referring to a size of 468x60 pixels. Banners can be static, interactive, or animated, and can appear just about anywhere on a web page. Banner space is usually purchased using a CPM model, or for a flat rate per defined period of time.

Banner blindness

The idea that users have been so inundated with advertisements they now ignore ads in traditional positions (banners along the top or down the side). This is a big reason for text and other contextual advertising achieving greater success.

Behavioral targeting

Directing ads to people who are more likely to engage with them based on past behaviors like recent purchases, website visits, and searches. Much of this is possible through cookies.

Bing

Microsoft’s search engine, created in 2009. Bing now also powers Yahoo! Search.

Bing Ads

Microsoft’s paid, self-serve advertising network platform, a parallel to Google’s AdWords. Like AdWords, Bing Ads determines how frequently it displays an ad based on a combination of one’s maximum bid and the click-through rate of the ad, among other qualities.

Black hat SEO

SEO techniques that do not fall within a search engine’s defined guidelines. These techniques are usually deemed deceptive in nature, but could also exploit part of a search algorithm in order to achieve high ranking results in a short frame of time.

A large purpose of Google’s Everflux status is to ensure their algorithm is always equipped to deal with the newest “black hat” techniques.

Blog

Comes from “weblog” or “web log.” A continually updated “journal” that is usually run by an individual or small group. Blogs are typically informal in nature. Most blogs are part of a larger community and have commenting capabilities.

Within the context of Internet marketing, many blogs are good examples of content marketing.

Boolean search

Mathematical operators that users can add to searches in order to further specify intent or unique parameters.

Examples:

“AND”—Automatically applied to most searches. Searching for “Sunday football” is actually parsed as “Sunday ‘AND’ football.”

“<search>”—Surround a search with quotations tells the search engine to look for exact matches of those words.

“NOT”—Searching for “rock and roll -led zeppelin” will find results containing “rock and roll” but NOT “led zeppelin”

Bounce rate

As seen in Google Analytics, bounce rate refers to the percentage of website visitors who leave a particular page of a website without visiting any other pages. You can learn more about bounce rate on this page.

Brand

A company or organization that is associated with a specific product or service. For example, “Levi’s” is a brand of jeans.

Brand stacking

Branded search queries will display multiple page one results from the same domain. This was an intended change to Google’s algorithm.

Branded keywords

Keywords associated with a brand. Usually high-value, high-converting keywords. Searches for these keywords may be taken into account by search algorithms as signals of relevance.

Breadcrumb navigation

A navigation practice that helps explain the relationship between pages, to both search engines and visitors. Breadcrumb navigation typically takes this format: “Home > SubCategory1 > Content” and represents of the website’s architecture.

Broken link

Any hyperlink which is not working as intended. This can happen because of websites going offline, content moving to a different location, or other reasons. The occasional broken link will have no impact on SEO, but a lot of broken links can act as a negative signal to most search engine algorithms.

Cache

The version of a webpage that is stored and indexed by a search engine. It’s possible to look at the cached version of a webpage, which might differ from the live page.

Canonical URL

A single page or piece of content can be accessed through various different URLs. Marking a URL as canonical indicates its authority as the “correct” or preferred version to search engines. Designating a certain URL as canonical can help address inconsistent or messy internal link structures.

Cart abandon rate

On ecommerce websites, the percentage of visitors who added a product to their cart and left the website before completing a purchase.

Country code top level domain (ccTLD)

ccTLDs typically refer to a specific country. For example, .uk is the ccTLD for the United Kingdom.

Click-through rate (CTR)

The percentage of visitors who click to a page via a specified link.

Cloaking

The practice of showing different content to search engines and searchers than is on a website’s page. It can also be employed illegitimately, such as showing a “quality” site to Google but only serving affiliate advertisements to users.

Conceptual searching

A technique employed by most search engines, conceptual search is when a search engine interprets a query on a semantic or contextual level rather than just matching words. Conceptual searching results in more relevant search results.

Content management system (CMS)

A content management system, or CMS, is any “back end” website software used to control the text, graphics, and/or code that appears on a website. If you use Wordpress, Magento, Joomla!, Drupal, Sitecore, or something similar, you are using a CMS.

Content marketing

Content marketing refers to the practice by which companies reach potential leads through the use of blogs, articles, videos, graphics, and other site elements that they create. Content marketing is a specific practice that is considered part of inbound marketing.

Contextual advertising

A form of advertising in which relevant ads are served based on the content they accompany. See Google AdSense.

Conversion

A conversion is any desired action taken on a website like a purchase, the completion of a contact form, and so on. Unique conversions can be set up and tracked in Google Analytics for a website so one can see how many times these actions have been taken.

Conversion rate

The percentage at which visitors to a website convert, or go through with a conversion. For example, if one in every 100 visitors makes a purchase, the conversion rate is 1%.

Conversion rate optimization (CRO)

The practice of actively testing a website to determine how it can be improved, with the end goal of increasing one’s conversion rate.

Cookie

A unique identification data file saved to users’ web browsers for tracking purposes. Cookies can be used to personalize user experiences, track conversions, and remarketing to past site visitors.

Cost per action(CPA)

A method of measuring the effectiveness of online advertising. A monetary value is assigned to a specific action, which can be anything from a click to a user submitting their personal information. This structure is often utilized by affiliate marketing programs. For example, an affiliate marketer will get paid a certain amount of money every time a user clicks a certain ad.

Cost per click(CPC)

A method of measuring the effectiveness of pay-per-click advertising (PPC). Cost per click refers to the amount a company must pay every time someone clicks their ad. Marketers strive for the lowest CPC possible to maximize ROI.

Cost per thousand(CPM)

A measurement of how expensive it is to serve one thousand advertisement impressions. Reflects the profitability of a website.

Crawler

A search engine’s crawlers are responsible for discovering new webpages and indexing them accordingly. Ensuring one’s content is visible to search engine crawlers is critical for SEO.

Cascading style sheet (CSS)

A style sheet language that describes the presentation of a separate document written in code, like HTML. A CSS file is linked from each HTML page to control how the elements on each page appear, and this keeps the amount of coding to determine appearance within the HTML page to a minimum.

Cybersquatting

Registering popular domain names solely to profit from selling them to businesses wishing to establish an actual website. These domain names are often related to specific brands and sold at unreasonably high prices.

Dayparting

Modifying an ad campaign in accordance with the time periods one’s target audience is most active and least active. Dayparting can be done through completely shutting off a campaign at certain times, adjusting bids at certain times, or changing budget parameters.

Dead link

See broken link.

De-listing

When a web page or pages are removed from a search engine directory. This can be temporary or permanent, and can happen for any number of reasons including a penalty from the search engine, a change in search engine crawl priorities, or a change in location of the page in question.

Demographics

Subsets of a population, such as gender, age, location, and so on. Many advertising platforms allow the specific targeting of certain demographics.

Directories

A categorical collection of websites. High-quality directories are manually curated by experts in that specific industry.

Disavow

The disavow tool allows one to remove an inbound link from a disreputable source. This indicates to Google that a webmaster does not approve of the link’s source, and combats negative SEO or SEO penalties that may have otherwise been incurred.

Display advertising

Online advertising that includes banner ads, images, or videos. Webmasters can opt into display networks to monetize their sites with ads.

DMOZ

The Open Directory Project. Owned by AOL, the project is the biggest manually edited website directory.

Domain name

The customizable or branded part of a website’s name. For example, in the URL: http://www.example.com/folder/file.html, “example” is the domain name.

Domain name server(DNS)

A naming format that pairs a domain name or host with a certain TCP/IP address.

Doorway page

A webpage created specifically to rank well for very particular search terms, but cover different topics. Doorway pages often redirect to other pages that serve advertisements relevant to the targeted search term.

Duplicate content

Content that is extremely similar or copied verbatim. Duplicate content is heavily penalized by search engines.

Dwell time

The length of time a searcher spends on a given website before returning to the search results.

Dynamic content

Content that is programmed to change over time. Search engines can have difficulty indexing dynamic content.

Earnings per click

A data point used to measure potential earnings based on how much a publisher earns for each click on an ad.

Ecommerce

A type of website that sells products online. Short for “electronic commerce.”

Editorial link

An inbound link that was not paid for or requested. Editorial links are achieved as a result of great content and marketing techniques.

Engagement metrics

Data points used to measure how engaged users are on a website. Some examples of engagement metrics are click-through rate, repeat visits, and time on page.

Everflux

Google’s name for the continuous changing of search engine algorithms and indexes.

Exit rate

The percentage of visitors who look at a page and then leave the website entirely. Differs from bounce rate.

External link

A link that points to a different website or domain name. Search engines consider the quality of external links in their algorithms.

Favicon

The small picture that is displayed next to a URL in web browsers.

File transfer protocol (FTP)

A protocol for transferring files to and from a website’s server. Many websites are maintained through FTP usage.

Flat design

A style of web design made popular in the late 2000s. Flat design uses no 3D effects or skeuomorphism. Examples of flat design in popular culture include the Windows Metro UI and Android OS theme.

Forum

An online message board driven by a community of users. Usually created around a common interest or other niche subject.

Fresh content

New, dynamic content. Continuously creating  fresh content can result in more frequent search engine crawling and higher levels of engagement (depending on the quality of the content).

Geo-targeting

Targeting users with ads or content based on their geographical locations.

Google Keyword Tool

Google’s free keyword research tool. The tool provides search volume estimates, competition, and related keyword recommendations for a specific keyword and others similar to it.

Google partner

Google Partners is a Google program for advertising agencies and digital marketers. Joining Google Partners allows one access to special events and training, extensive industry research, and certification opportunities.

Google Trends

A tool from Google that compares keyword search volumes over time.

Google webmaster guidelines

A basic set of guidelines and best practices for ranking well in Google’s search results, as established by Google.

Google Webmaster Tools

A suite of tools offered by Google that give increased user control over technical back-end SEO.

Googlebot

The name of Google’s crawler/search spider.

Headings

An HTML element meant to briefly describe the content on a page. Headings go from H1 to H6, and properly using them is an SEO best practice.

Hidden text

Text meant for search engine crawlers, but not humans. Sites utilizing hidden text always get caught and penalized by Google.

Hijacking

Tricking a search engine into thinking a different website exists at a given URL.

Homepage

The main page of a website through which users can navigate the rest of a site.

Hypertext markup language (HTML)

A basic coding language used to create websites. When someone refers to a website’s “code,” they are usually referring to its HTML.

Hummingbird

A Google algorithm update. Hummingbird improved Google’s algorithm to understand semantics and synonyms in search.

Hypertext transfer protocol(HTTP)

The protocol used to communicate between servers and web browsers. Data is sent from a website’s server to a user’s browser.

Impressions

The number of times an advertisement has been served. These are not necessarily unique, as the same ad could serve the same user 20 times.

Inbound link

A link pointing to one’s website, originating from a different website.

Inbound marketing

A form of marketing in which a company attracts potential customers to it instead of reaching out to them.

Index

  1. A search engine’s collection of data used to generate search results.
  2. The root of a website.

Some of Our Successes:

Details Increased Website Traffic by
+ 95%
Details Increased Conversion Rate by
+ 37%
Details Decreased Bounce Rate by
- 29%
See how we can help you
Grow Your Business
Want to speak with an expert? Call us at 888-601-5359

Infographic

Short for “information graphic,” an infographic is a visual representation of data. They are usually presented as long images filled with information on one specific topic.

Information architecture (IA)

Information architecture refers to the practice of organizing websites so that they are as usable for visitors as possible. Those who work in IA typically produce wireframes or rough layouts of websites with the content sorted into different areas, and may also perform user testing to ensure that visitors are happy with the intended layout or organization. See user experience for additional information.

Internal link

A link from one page to another page, both on the same website.

Internet service provider (ISP)

The companies that sell Internet access.

Invisible web

Parts of the Internet that have not been crawled by search engines. These sections do not appear in search results.

Internet protocol (IP) address

The specific identification number assigned to an individual device with Internet access. Every device connected to the Internet has an IP address, and it can be thought of as a recognizable “name.”

JavaScript

A programming and scripting language that is often embedded in HTML content to add non-static features.

Key performance indicator (KPI)

A specific metric that shows whether a marketing initiative succeeds. For example, one KPI may be bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who leave after looking at only one page), and one could track this to determine how much interest a website is generating for first-time visitors.

Keyword

A specific word or phrase typed into a search engine with the intent of finding information. Keywords may be as simple as “bicycle” or as specific as “bicycle rack for a 2008 Honda Civic.”

Keyword density

The amount of times a specific keyword appears on a page. Monitoring keyword density is no longer considered important, but it is a good idea to make sure targeted keywords appear naturally on pages where one wants them to rank.

Keyword not provided

Google began stripping specific keyword information from organic referrals following their move to secured search.  This makes it much more difficult to discern high-conversion keywords.

Keyword research

The process of identifying desired relevant/profitable keywords to target with SEO and PPC campaigns.

Keyword stuffing

The practice of excessively using a specific keyword on a page. Keyword stuffing no longer works in SEO and negatively impacts a page’s ranking.

Knowledge Graph

Google scrapes information related to a search query and displays it at the top of the results page in an easy, accessible format. Users don’t have to leave the search page to access this information.

Landing page

The page a user is directed to upon clicking on a link or ad.

Link

A path from one webpage to another webpage, or to a different place on the same webpage.

Link baiting

Creating content in such a way that other websites are more likely to link to it.

Link building

The practice of obtaining links to a page from other websites with the intent of raising a specific page or website’s rank in search engine results.

Link churn

The measurement of lost links within a specified time period.

Link equity

The measurement of a website’s quality, based on its inbound link profile and the potential ranking power they can give to another site by linking to it. Websites with high link equity usually rank better in search engine results, and help other sites rank better by linking to them.

Sites that spam links to other domains have very little link equity, and can hurt one’s website.

Link farm

Websites that only to link out to other sites.

Link hoarding

The practice of attempting to retain link popularity by refusing to link to other websites, or by doing so using methods that do not convey link equity.

Link popularity

A website’s link popularity is the number of inbound links it has. Google strongly values quality backlinks over quantity of backlinks.

Link reputation

A measurement of the overall quality and relevancy of a website’s link profile.

Link rot

The process in which links to other websites no longer work because those pages or sites are no longer unavailable.

Local search

A type of search that allows users to search in a specific geographic area against an established index of local business listings.

Long tail keywords

Specific keywords or phrases that reflect user intent. They are higher value and lower competition as a result.

Manual penalty

A search engine penalty applied manually to a website by a search engine engineer.

Manual review

A website review done by a search engine engineer to determine whether a site is legitimate. Most search engines utilize a combination of manual and automated processes.

Meta description

A short description of a page’s content which appears below its name in search engine results.

Meta keywords

An HTML tag used to specify which keywords and phrases a page is trying to target. Modern day search engines don’t take them into any serious account.

Meta tags

An umbrella term referring to the meta description tag, meta keywords tag, and sometimes page title tag.

Microblogging

Blogging via short, frequent posts and updates. Done through platforms like Twitter.

Mindshare

The number of people who think of a specific brand when considering products in the same category.

Mirror site

A website that rehosts the content of another website. Also used in the context of downloads where three “mirror sites” would all offer different locations to download the same file.

Mobile marketing

Marketing on or with a mobile device, like a cell phone or tablet.

Multivariate testing

Testing multiple variables at the same time in order to find a winning combination.

Natural language processing

A type of algorithm which determines the purpose behind a search query instead of exact-matching results and keywords. See Google’s Hummingbird update.

Navigation

The mechanism used to direct users around a website.

Negative SEO

Purposely trying to decrease another website’s search engine rankings, often through outdated and black hat SEO strategies such as spamming a website with poor quality inbound links.

Niche

A specific subset of a broader category. For example, if the broad category is “marketing,” a niche category would be “inbound marketing for mining companies.”

Nofollow

HTML attribute telling search engines not to pass link authority to a linked website.

Open source

Software that comes packaged with its source code so programmers can modify and change it as needed.

Opt-in

Marketing initiatives in which a user chooses to participate. For example, an opt-in newsletter requires the user to input an email address in order to opt-in and receive the newsletter.

Opt-out

Marketing initiatives in which a user chooses not to participate.

Organic search results

The unpaid, algorithm-driven listings of search engines. Increasing one’s rank in the organic search results is the end goal of SEO.

Outbound link

A link directing users from one website to another.

Outbound marketing

Also known as paid or interruptive marketing, this is the practice of reaching out to broad audiences in the hopes that one can turn them into customers. Typically consists of TV or radio advertisements, banner ads, and direct mail.

PageRank

The first algorithm utilized by Google to order search engine results, based entirely on the number and quality of inbound links. Google now has other ranking algorithms in place to prevent exploitation.

Paid inclusion

Websites that meet a certain standard are able to buy ads from directories like the Yahoo! Directory or Thomasnet.

Panda

One of Google’s algorithms. Panda tries to sort websites according to perceived content quality, using a number of “signals” to make this judgement.

Pay-per-click (PPC)

Paid ads in the sidebar or top area of search engines. PPC ads only represent a cost to those who place them if they are clicked.

Penalty

Usually prefaced by the word “Google” or one of their algorithm updates, a penalty is applied to any website that is either intentionally or unintentionally breaking the search engine’s terms of service. Common penalty triggers include spyware or spam, keyword stuffing, spamming links, and thin content.

Penalties can be applied and removed as websites change their behavior.

Penguin

One of Google’s algorithms. The Penguin Algorithm penalizes sites that participate in link schemes that manipulate the number of links pointing to a page.

Permission marketing

A term coined by Seth Godin that is synonymous with inbound marketing.

Pigeon

An algorithm update from Google that strengthened the tie between local search and regular web search signals.

Piracy update

An update from Google that penalized websites which had DMCA takedown notices.

Pogo rate / Pogo sticking

The percentage of users who quickly clicked back to the search results and clicked another result right away. Higher POGO rates indicate poor relevancy and are a negative engagement metric.

Pop-under

Form of advertising that creates a separate browser window, but places it under the active one so as not to be disruptive.

Pop-up

An advertisement that is created on top of or within the active browser window.

Portable Document Format/PDF

An Adobe Systems file format. Files can be viewed and stored in a printer-friendly layout.

Quality content

An umbrella term used to describe content that warrants backlinks.

Quality link

A link that counts more than others in the context of SEO, usually from a universally trusted source or high authority domains.

Quality Score (QS)

A variable used by Google AdWords that influences both ad rank and CPC. The formula used to determine ad order is (bid x QS).

Query

The search term or phrase a user enters into a search engine.

Rank

A page’s position on the search engine results page.

Reciprocal links

Also known as “link trading,” reciprocal links occur when two or more sites link among each other. Reciprocal links can occur naturally and without cause for worry. There are also gray/black-hat reciprocal link exchange strategies that can result in penalties.

Redirect

Redirects indicate that a page or piece of content has changed location. There are permanent and temporary redirects (see 301 and 302 redirects).

Referrer

The origin of traffic to a website.

Registrar

A company responsible for the purchase/registration of domain names.

Reinclusion

The process of a website being added back into the search index after correcting any cause for penalization.

Relative link

The opposite of an absolute link, a relative link utilizes a link path that refers to the URL of the current page instead of explicitly stating the full URL.

Absolute link example: http://site.com/folder/file.html

Relative link example: ../folder/file.html (the .. referring to site.com)

Relevancy

How similar a website is to the keyword(s) it ranks for.

Repeat visits

The same user returning to a website more than once.

Reputation management

Curating brand keywords such that search results only show positive news for the brand.

Responsive design

A style design that forces a website to conform to screens of all sizes. Responsive design ensures that the same website will display properly on a mobile phone, tablet, and desktop monitor without zooming or excessive scrolling.

Retargeting/Remarketing

A marketing strategy that involves serving ads for previously viewed websites or products to a user. These are the ads that seem to “follow” users across the internet, advertising something they may have looked at days ago.

Return on investment (ROI)

A measurement of the benefit or profit derived from an investment. The formula for ROI is (cost / revenue).

Reverse index

A list of keywords associated with the content in which they’re used.

Rich media

Any ad that utilizes advances features like video, audio, or other non-text elements.

Robots.txt

A file in the root directory of a website that controls what search engines should and should not crawl.

Rich site summary (RSS)

RSS involves sending content of various origins to one location (a feed reader) for centralized viewing.

Scraping

A technique in which software extracts data from an online source.

Search engine

The basis of all SEO, a search engine is the tool used to look for information online.

Search engine marketing (SEM)

Refers to the application of PPC and SEO to increase visibility on search engines.

Search history

Stored data of a user’s past queries, often used for advertisement targeting purposes.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO is the process of improving a website’s rank and visibility in search engines. Common search engine optimization methods include the creation of keyword-rich page content, title tag optimization, CRO, link building, site speed improvements, and so on.

Search engine results page (SERP)

A page of results after searching for something in a search engine. If someone refers to their website appearing on “page 3 of the SERPs,” they are talking about appearing on the third page of results for a specific keyword.

SEO copywriting

Writing copy in accordance with SEO best practices to rank well on search engines and provide a positive user experience.

Server

The physical computer used to host a site’s online files.

Siphoning

Methods of poaching traffic from another website, often through spyware.

Sitemap

A page that shows search engines how to navigate a website.

Social media

A collection of websites that allow users to interact with one another by signing up and submitting personal information. 

Spam

Broadly defined as unsolicited advertisements. Historically this would occur via email, but it now happens in various forms across the Internet.

Spider

See “Crawler.”

Splash page

An aesthetically-pleasing web page with little-to-no indexable content.

Spyware

Software that spies on users, collecting information that can later be used for ad targeting, hacking, or identity theft.

Static content

Content that doesn’t change often or at all after it’s made.

Text link ads

Ads that are served as normal text links.

Title tag

An HTML element that acts as the name of an entire page.

Time on page

See dwell time.

Top level domain (TLD)

The name of the root space in a URL. Ex: .com, .org, .gov, etc.

Tracking code

A piece of JavaScript that populates Google Analytics with detailed traffic data from a website.

Uniform resource locator (URL)

The unique address that points to any given web content.

Universal search

Google’s technique of blending search results from the different search verticals of images, news, videos, and so on.

Usability

A qualitative measurement of how easy it is to use a website.

Usage data

Metrics and dimensions such as number of repeat visits, time on site, CTR, age, location, and more that all indicate who’s visiting a website.

User experience (UX)

The overall measurement of how easy and satisfying it is to use a website. User experience is the highest priority of an information architect. Those who specialize in it carefully watch how people use a website to make the site more user-friendly. Generally, user experience is related to bounce rate, cart abandon rate, and many other metrics.

Vertical search

Searching specifically within a certain field or industry.

Viral marketing

Marketing techniques that are meant to be self-disseminating. Viral marketing usually occurs through email, blog posts, social media, etc. A high number of “shares” in any medium is the goal of viral marketing.

Virtual server

Splitting a physical server into multiple “virtual servers” allows companies to host multiple TLDs from a single machine.

Webinar

An online seminar broadcast by an individual or company, typically with the intention of educating attendees on a specific topic. Webinars may consist of slides, video, audio, or all three.

White hat SEO

SEO practices that fall within the best-practice guidelines set forth by Google and other search engines.

Whois

The record of a domain that contains ownership data such as name, address, etc. Many registrars offer services to hide this Whois data.

WordPress

WordPress.com is a free blogging solution. ress.com is a free blogging solution. Wordpress.org allows one to download the free, open source, fully customizable Wordpress software.

Extensible HyperText Markup Language (XHTML)

XHTML extends HTML to include XML formatting.

Extensible Markup Language (XML)

Allows for the simple formatting and syndication of content through technology like RSS.

Yahoo! directory

A long-standing, authoritative web directory. Yahoo! Directory does offer paid inclusion to qualified websites.

Yahoo! search marketing

Yahoo’s keyword-based PPC Internet advertising service, similar to Google’s AdWords platform.

What’s the Definition of...?

Have a suggestion for a term you’d like us to add to this page? Can’t find the definition of an Internet marketing buzzword anywhere else? We're always looking to expand our glossary on Internet marketing terminology! Let us know on Twitter or Facebook and we’ll add it in here!

Need Help Deciphering Your Online Marketing Strategy?

If more than the terminology of Internet marketing is confusing you, WebpageFX can help. As a leading online marketing company, we’ve helped more than 500 clients find success online. We offer everything from website design to SEO, and we’d love to help you, too!

Want to find out what WebpageFX can do for your business? We offer much more than online marketing terminology. Just contact us today for a free quote. We’d be happy to listen to your goals, ideas, and needs, and create a custom strategy suited for your business or brand. Give us a call or send us an email to get started!

Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to learn how WebpageFX can help you make sense of Internet marketing.

Get your free quote

📞 Or Call 888-601-5359

Hear From Our Clients

WebpageFX has been a pleasure to work with from the start. Our online sales saw a jump of over 150%.
Cliffside Industries

Certifications

Awards