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Glossary

Algorithm
A set of rules or process used by Google’s and other search engine crawlers to determine how trustworthy, reputable or authoritative a webpage is in relation to a search query being submitted.

Analytics
A reporting solution for tracking and reporting on website traffic and data for search engine optimisation (SEO) and marketing purposes.

Backlink
An incoming hyperlink from an external website which points to that web resource.

Black-Hat
Refers to the use of aggressive, unethical SEO strategies, techniques and tactics which only focus on the search engines, as opposed to the visitors to a webpage.

Bounce Rate
The percentage of visitors who go to a particular website and navigate away from it after viewing only one page. A high Bounce Rate will indicate that the website chosen is either boring, no relevant or suffers from technical issues.

Cache
In terms of a web cache or HTTP cache, this is a stored snapshot of web documents, such as HTML pages and images, taken as a backup to reduce bandwidth usage, server load, and perceived lag.

Caffeine
An algorithm update from Google in June 2010 to provide 50 % faster results for web searches in order to meet the rise in Content being produced through the web and match user expectations.

Disavow
An instruction provided to Google for instructing them to ignore any unwanted or irrelevant external links that point back to a website, in order to avoid the risk of the site being penalised or blacklisted.

Ecommerce
The buying and selling of products or services online by businesses over the Internet, via a website or online social network.

FTP
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) enables the transferring of files and web pages from a localised location on a computer or online location to a website and vice versa.

Google
Currently the world’s biggest and most relied on Search Engine directory, enabling searches to be performed about something or someone on the Internet.

HTML
Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) is a standardised system used for creating web pages to achieve font, colour, graphic and hyperlink effects on World Wide Web pages.

Hummingbird
A search algorithm introduced by Google in August 2013 for the improvement of long-tail keyword search queries, to take into account the meaning of a whole sentence or conversation.

Internal Links
A type of hyperlink featured on a web page which links to another page or resource, such as an image or document, contained within the same domain or website.

JavaScript
A high level, dynamic, object-oriented compute programming language used by developers to enable web pages to become more interactive.

Keyword
A particular word or set of words that are used as a phrase to describe the contents of a web page. When used in the meta data, they can be helpful for matching a page to an appropriate search query.

Link Building
Refers to the process of acquiring a hyperlink from an external web page which points to and acts as a “vote” towards your website.

Meta Tags
Snippets of text which describe a page’s content, including title tags, meta descriptions and other content descriptors, to help tell Search Engines what a web page is generally all about.

Nofollow
An instruction assigned within a HTML tag to inform the search engines that a hyperlink should not affect any ranking for the link’s target within their index.

Off-page SEO
The techniques used to help improve the visibility of a website in the search engine results pages by link building, social media, social bookmarking and other strategies.

On-page SEO
The techniques used to help improve the visibility of a website in the search engine results pages by optimising individual web pages through Content and HTML source code, such as meta tags and headers.

Organic
Refers to the methods used to obtain a high ranking of a web page or website for a search query, within the Search Engine’s unpaid, algorithm-driven results pages.

Panda
An algorithm update from Google in February 2011 which aimed to lower the rank of websites which were featured low or poor quality content and reward sites which produced high-quality content.

Penguin
An algorithm update from Google in April 2012 to target websites which were deemed to be spamming its search results by buying links or obtaining them through link networks.

Pigeon
An algorithm update from Google in July 2014 which aimed to increase tankings of localised listings in a search, providing more useful, relevant and accurate local search results for users and local businesses.

Quality Content
Content produced which is unique, relevant, accurate and engaging. It should aim to respond to a need or answers a question as well as stand out above everything else within the same industry.

Robots.txt
The robots exclusion protocol (REP) is a simple notepad text file uploaded to the ‘root’ folder level of a website, to provide instructions for Search Engines to inform them which pages or files they can or cannot crawl through.

Schema
A specific vocabulary of tags (or microdata) which can be added to HTML code to improve the way in which it is presented in the search engine results pages. It can be used for products, company information, reviews, recipes, promotions etc.

Search Console
Previously known as Webmaster Tools, this feature from Google enables Webmasters and website editors to monitor statistics and site-related issues from Google as well as submit web pages and associated files to them.

SEO
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics for affecting the visibility of a website or web page within a Search Engine’s unpaid (Organic or Natural) listings.

SEM
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) refers to the broader form of Internet Marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages, primarily through paid advertising.

Taxonomy
Refers to the categorisation, prioritisation, organisation and labelling of a website’s products, services and information in order to make them easier and simpler to find.

URL
A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is used to specify addresses featured on the World Wide Web and consists of to main components – a protocol identified and resouce name.

Venice
Announced in February 2012, this algorithm update by Google targeted improvements to rankings for local search results by relying more on the ranking of the main search results as a signal.

White-Hat SEO
The opposite to black-hat SEO, this refers to any practice used to improve a website’s search performance on a search engine result’s page whilst adhering to the search engines’ Terms of Service.

WhoIs
A WhoIs lookup is a search service to obtain domain name registration information such as a domain’s DNS settings, ownership information, name servers, IP addresses and more.

WWW
The World Wide Web (WWW) is an information space where documents and other web resources are identified by Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) which are linked through hypertext links and are accessed via the Internet.

XML Sitemap
A type of sitemap which lists all URLs for a website and allows webmasters to feature additional information on each URL including when it was last updated, how often it changes, and how important it is in relation to the other featured URLs.

Yahoo
A type of sitemap which lists all URLs for a website and allows webmasters to feature additional information on each URL including when it was last updated, how often it changes, and how important it is in relation to the other featured URLs.

YouTube
An American video-sharing website bought by Google in 2006 and operating now as one of its subsidiaries. Content includes video clips, TV show clips, music videos, short and documentary films, audio recordings, movie trailers and more

Zooomr
Although not strictly SEO-related, Zooomr was a website for sharing digital photos (now defunct), created in 2005. It was considered to be an alternative to the popular Flickr service.