SEO Abbreviation

ATW All the Web
B2B  Business to business
B2C  Business to consumer
CPC  Cost Per Click
CTA  Content Targeted Advertising
FFA  Free For All
HTML  Hyper Text Markup Language
IP  Internet Protocol
PFI  Pay For Inclusion
PPC  Pay Per Click
PR  Page Rank
ROI Return on Investment.
SEO  Search Engine Optimization
SEM  Search Engine Marketing
SERP  Search Engine Result Pages
URL  Uniform Resource Locator
W3  World Wide Web
W3Cà World Wide Web Consortium

ALT Text/Attribute

Text attached to an image to allow search engine spiders to extract textual information from an image. Achieved by using the ALT attribute of the <IMG> tag. Example: <IMG SRC=”cow.jpeg” ALT=”A picture of a cow”/>

Anchor text

Text specified for a hyperlink e.g. anchor text for SEO Glossary is ‘SEO Glossary’. It is very extremely important what anchor text appears in links pointing to your web site e.g. if your web site is about cake recipes the anchor text ‘Delicious Cake Recipes’ will help your rankings more than the anchor text ‘Donkeys like Carrots’.


An unethical SEO practice. It involves a different version of a web page being presented to each search engine spider. Each different version of the web page is optimized for the search engine spider it is presented to (i.e. exploiting its weaknesses). For example the Yahoo spider will be presented with a web page optimized for the Yahoo spider. You can be penalized heavily by the search engines for doing it, so don’t do it.


A directory is a web site that contains a categorized listing of links from around the web. For more information read my article Directories and their importance for search engine rankings.

Ethical SEO

The opposite to Unethical SEO. It is SEO executed without resorting to underhand or illegal activities that may cause your web site to get blacklisted by the search engines. Stay on the ethical side of the fence!

Gateway Page

An unethical SEO practice. A web page optimized for certain keyphrase/s with the specific purpose of leading you to another page i.e. they offer nothing of value in themselves. Can be penalised by the search engines for this practice, so don’t do it.

Inbound Links

Links to your web site from outside web sites (i.e. a web sites under a different domain name). The more of these the better, obviously for traffic reasons, but also because the help build link popularity (read my article Link Popularity, the make or break element for Search Engine Rankings)

Key phrase

A group of keywords. For example: two keywords ‘cake’ and ‘recipes’ grouped together make up the key phrase ‘cake recipes’.Keyword:

A word with particular importance to the theme of a site. For example if a web site provides information about Formula 1 racing then important keywords would be ‘Ferrari’, ‘Monaco’, ‘Schumacher’ etc…

Keyword Analysis

The process of analysing a subject area or web site with the goal of identifying keywords that best describe the subject area/web site. A factor in the analysis is discovering keywords that match or resemble keywords that people use when performing real-world searches on search engines. The ideal result of the analysis is a list of keywords that if incorporated correctly into a web site will increase probability of traffic to the web site.

Keyword Optimization

The overall name given to the process of performing keyword analysis and incorporating the discovered keywords/keyphrases into the web site.

Keyword Spamming

The process of stuffing a web page with keywords not related to the theme of the web site or in a high amount as an attempt to influence/trick the search engines. Keywords can be stuffed into many areas of a web page e.g. TITLE tag, META tags, ALT text, TITLE text.

Link Popularity

The popularity of your web site in the eyes of the search engine, based on the quality and quantity of links to and from your web site. For more information read my link popularity article.


META tags are special tags included at the top of a HTML page. Their purpose is to provide extra information about the web page i.e. metadata. The most influential tags for search engine ranking are the Keywords tag and the Description tag.

Natural Links

Links pointing to a web site created because someone found the web site useful and decided to link to it i.e. linked to it naturally. These types of link are very powerful in the link popularity stakes as they identify a web site that is worth linking to and therefore has a better chance of being a quality resource of information. To increase your chances of earning natural links make sure your web site has a lot of quality content that is better than the competition. Also provide linking information on your web site to make it easier to link to i.e. provide actual HTML to use when linking.

One-way Links

Links to a web site that are not reciprocated i.e. no link exists to the web site that is doing the linking. These type of links are powerful in building link popularity.

Outbound Links

Links within a web site that are pointing to outside sites. Do not affect link popularity but care must be taken not to link to a web site that may get you banned e.g. linking to a link farm is a no-no.

Page Rank

An antiquated ranking system created by Google which is given far more hype and attention than it deserves. If you install the Google toolbar in your browser you can view the PageRank of any web page you visit by viewing the PageRank meter. It measures the ‘popularity’ of a web site in the eyes on Google. It is based on a ‘democratic voting’ mechanism whereby web sites linking to a site cast a ‘vote’ for the site i.e. add to the PageRank meter. The more PageRank the linking site has, the more PageRank the linked-to site receives. It is true that is does influence web site ranking i.e. the higher your PageRank the better ranking you will have, but there are other factors that affect ranking to a higher degree e.g. optimized anchor text, theme of the linking site.


The position within search engine results that a web site reaches for a particular search phrase by a surfer in any search engine or directory.


Another name for spider.


A special text file placed at the root of a web site’s structure. It contains rules that a search engine spider must obey when indexing a web site. You can specify what pages to index or what search engine spiders are allowed to index the web site e.g. you can specify that Google’s spider is allowed but not Yahoo’s spider. Useful to stop a web site from being indexed by accident if it is still under construction of if you want certain areas of the web site to be hidden from the spider.

Search Engine

A database of information retrieved from indexing web pages from all over the web. A user can use a search engine’s interface to search their database of information and find links to web sites that provide information relevant to their search criteria. The majority of search engines have their own piece of software called a ‘search engine spider’ that visits web pages on the Web and extracts the required information it needs to allow its search engine to function.

Search Engine Optimization

The process of modifying a web site’s content, structure and link popularity to maximize the chances of a higher ranking within search engine results. It is basically optimizing a web site to make it more important in the eyes of a search engine.

Site Map

A special page on a web site that contains a tree-like representation of the link structure of the site. It allows a search engine spider to index all the most important pages of the site with ease because it can access them all from one page. A link to the site map should be clearly accessible/indexable from the home page at least.


A spider is a special piece of software that is sent out by a search engine to index a web site’s pages for inclusion in a search engine’s database of information. Spiders work by parsing the HTML on a site, extracting relevant information and following any links that are contained on the page to continue the parsing process. It is important that your web site is indexable by a spider otherwise it may not visit some pages. A common method used to ensure that it indexes all the most important web pages is to include a site map on your site.


The TITLE tag is used to specify what text appears at the top of a browser window when visiting a web page. It also appears as the link text when your web site appears in search engine results. It can influence rankings a great deal so spend time ensuring that the right text is in it (i.e. include keywords/key phrases relevant to the web page). For more information read my title tag optimization article.

Unethical SEO

The opposite to Ethical SEO. It involves employing underhand or illegal activities to increase search engine ranking. They are many unethical seo practices including cloaking, gateway pages, keyword spamming

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