Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Glossary

Sure you probably don't know what the Google Death Penalty is, but neither did we at one point in time. Below is a glossary of terms (jargon, really) seen in the Search Engine Marketing industry. Skim through and impress your friends when they ask about Doorway Pages.

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A shortened version of the term Google BackLinks. Sometimes used to refer to any link coming into a page.
The major search engine in China that provides over 740 million webpages, and is the first Chinese company to be included in the NASDAQ-100 index.
Also considered delisting. In a response to being spammed, a search engine will impose this penalty on a website. It can be an IP address or a specific URL.
An advertisement that appears in the form of a graphic image on a web page. Banner ads usually conform to standard sizes on a web page and can be animated.
Banner Exchange
Symbiotic advertising relationship involving businesses that promote one another's websites on an exchange rather than a paid basis. Also known as link exchange.
Barry Schwartz
The founder and editor of Search Engine Roundtable.
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Behavioral Targeting
A term used to describe the technique that online publishers use to increase a campaign's effectiveness. Information on a user's search patterns and web-browsing behavior is collected. This data can be used alone or coupled with other forms of targeting such as demographics.
Below The Fold
A search engine ranking is said to be below the fold if it is on the first page, but cannot be seen without scrolling. While screen resolutions of course vary, the fold is generally considered to be between the fifth and sixth place.

Traffic is much higher for listings that are above the fold.
The amount an advertiser is willing to pay in paid search advertising.
Bid Jamming
A technique used in paid search advertising with fixed bids. Bid jamming allows an advertiser to pay less than his competition for similar ad positions while holding the competitor's costs high. An advertiser "jams" his competitor by bidding one cent less than them, thus forcing them to pay their entire bid price for each bid while the advertiser pays one cent more than the bid immediately below his. If the next bid is much lower, his competition can be spending substantially more for the higher ad position.
Bid Limits
The highest amount one can profitably bid for a particular keyword in paid search advertising. Calculated using conversion rate and the value per transaction.
Big Daddy
A major update to the Google system rolled out in the first half of 2006. While Big Daddy may have included some small algorithm changes, the greatest impact was on the way Google indexes sites.
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Black Hat
A controversial and difficult to define concept in search engine optimization that ascertains that certain techniques are actually unethical. Black hat includes techniques such as cloaking, doorway pages, and invisible text. While such techniques are contrary to search engine guidelines, are certainly risky, and may cause one to receive the Google Death Penalty, it does not become a moral issue unless a company is not appraised of the risks of such techniques.

At the extreme, some consider black hat to be anything other than basic content creation.

The opposite of black hat is white hat.
Short for web log, a blog is a site (or a subsection of a site) that allows individual to publish musings and opinions on particular topics. Generally, readers can comment on the published posts.

Properly implemented and maintained, blogs are useful both for generating traffic and build links to a site for SEO purposes, but are subject to attacks such as blog comment spam.
Blog Comment Spam
A type of spam that consists of comment postings made to blogs for the sole purpose of acquiring a link to the spammers site. Such comments rarely have any real content and are automatically detected and blocked by many blogs.

Google's NoFollow was created at least partly as a way to curtail blog comment spam. In this goal, NoFollow has largely failed.
A blogging platform that is owned by Google that allows users to create and update blogs. is a free service. Users can publish on the domain or FTP content to another domain.

Though Blogger is user-friendly, it lacks features that other blogging platforms have.
The all encompassing world of blogs, bloggers and blog postings. The blogosphere is a rapidly growing and evolving aspect of the Internet.
A linked list of blogs that are recommended by the blogger. They appear on a blog site, usually in the sidebar.
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A search engine for forums and message boards that allows correspondences with multiple boards simultaneously.
Body Field
The line or lines of text below the title field in a paid search advertisement. In Yahoo, there is one body field of up to 190 characters, although at most times only the first 70 characters are shown. In Google, there are two body fields of 35 characters each.
The list of websites that a user has selected to be saved in order to return to the site at a later date. In Internet Explorer, bookmarks are called "favorites"
Boolean Search
The ability to combine words and phrases with AND, OR, NOT and NEAR in order to define or narrow search results. Most search engines use the Boolean Search method automatically, but it is a good practice for searchers to use this method.
Boris Mordkovich
The creator and publisher of Search Marketing Standard.
Alternative name for a robot.
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Bounce Rate
The percentage or amount of users that visit a website and do not view any other pages within that site before exiting the site.
The fee an affiliate receives for driving traffic that performs certain actions. Generally, this could include clicks, leads and/or sales.
Bourbon Update
A major Google dance that occurred on or around June 1, 2005. It appears Bourbon implemented either a filter or a penalty of over-optimization, especially in the area of gaining links "too fast". Many legitimate content sites, however, were adversely affected by Bourbon.
Brand Messaging
Creative messaging or imaging of a company that is consistent across all media channels, including search.
Brandy Update
A major Google dance that occurred on or around February 15, 2004. Brandy seems to have returned some factors to the way they were before the Florida update. Some also believe that the importance of PageRank was decreased while the importance of anchor text increased.
Bread Crumbs

A website interface methodology generally used with large, hierarchical websites such as directories and e-tailers. Each page has links to its parent page, generally placed right before the page's actual content.

Bread crumbs are a cruicial design element for sights that are going to perform well in search engine optimization. For instance, suppose someone searches on the term "Microsoft Office". The resulting page is for Microsoft Office for Windows, and includes a bread crumb structured like this:

Microsoft | Microsoft Office | Microsoft Office for Windows

If the website visitor actually needs Microsoft Office for Macintosh, he can click on the "Microsoft Office" link within the bread crumb, then should be able to click on a link to take him to the page he actually needs.

Bread crumbs also tend to improve a site's internal linking structure and its ability to be effectively indexed by the search engines.

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Brett Tabke
The creator of Webmaster World and PubCon.
Bridge Page
Web pages that serve to link several doorway or gateway pages together on a website.
Broad Match
In Google AdWords, broad match means that an advertiser's ad will show when the ad's keywords are search in any order. It also means the ad may show for expanded matches such as synonyms and plurals.

Broad match traffic is generally less targeted than exact match or phrase match traffic.
A derogatory term for websites that are simply direct conversions of print brochure materials. Such sites are inherantly non-transactional and are rarely effective.
Broken Link
A hyperlink that is no longer functioning, or linking to the correct, intended web page. Links can become broken for several reasons, including a deletion or relocation of a web page or a website going offline.
A term for grouping related keywords, concepts and user behaviors that are directly associated to a company's product or service. This is considered a "virtual container" that can help in the process of determining keywords for PPC campaigns or other targeted advertisements.
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Buying Funnel
The multi-step path or process that a consumer takes in order to purchase a product or service. This is also known as a sales funnel. The funnel can start with completing a lead form or accepting a sales offer and end at a finished contract or a deal transaction.

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