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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Glossary

Cache
A copy of a web page that is stored by a search engine and used to index the page in search results. There are some search engines that provide links to cached versions of web pages for users to view in the search results.
Call To Action
Advertising intended to convince users to perform a particular action.
CAN-SPAM
A US law regulating commercial email (e.g. email marketing). The acronym stands for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003.
CAPTCHA
An abbreviation of "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart". A CAPTCHA system contains a graphical representation of several letters and a field in which those letters must be entered. The intention is to prevent access to automated systems.
Cascading Style Sheet
A website language that enables website designers to attach style (fonts, spacing and aural cues) to structure that include HTML and XML applications.

Can be used in search engine optimization to remove design elements from a page's main file. As a result, the file is smaller, and the content aspect of the file makes up a larger percentage of the whole. Some believe that this will deliver higher rankings, but the evidence of this is suspect at best.

Cascading Style Sheets can also be used to create invisible text, although this is likely to result in the Google Death Penalty.

Often abbreviated as CSS.
Catch All Listing
A listing used by PPC search engines for the purposes of monetizing long tail terms that are currently not targeted by marketers. This technique is not ideal because most major search engines have editorial regulations that prevent bulk untargeted advertising. They are pre-qualified clicks.
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Catcher Pages
A term that advertising and graphic design firms use to refer to landing pages.
Click Bot
A program or robot used to click on paid links or listings within a search engine. This process artificially and fraudulently boosts click amounts.
Click Fraud
Clicks on paid search advertising that are not made by actual searchers, but by others with an incentive to cost and advertiser money. Click fraud can come from competitors trying to drive up an advertisers media spend or from website owners attempting to drive up their Google AdSense revenue.
Click Through
The act of users clicking on a hypertext link and is then taken to the destination of that link. Usually the destination is the advertiser's web page.
Click Through Rate
The number of website visitors to a website divided by the number of potential visitors, expressed as a percentage. Generally calculated in connection to a particular advertisement or keyword. For instance, if 10,352 people view an advertisement, and 268 click on it, the click through rate is 2.59%.

Often abbreviated as CTR.
Client
A program or application that makes information requests to other computers, processes, or programs. The client communicates through networks.
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Cloaking
The highly risky search engine optimization technique of serving different content to website visitors and to search engine robots. The belief is that the text being served to the robots can be optimized for search engines, and the text served to actual visitors be optimized for website transactions. This is one of the more common causes of the Google Death Penalty.
Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing is an alternative method of storing data and programs that focuses on online storage. Originally, software, data, and other information that a user needed to access was stored on a computer’s hard drive. For example, your word documents are saved on your computer as is the Microsoft Word software program.

The cloud is a metaphor for the internet as a location to store information, instead of the computer’s hard drive. The concept behind cloud computing is that documents and software, even operating systems can be stored online.

Google Docs is a good example of cloud computing. With Google Docs, if a user wanted to edit a document, they would open it up from an online location and edit it without ever having to download anything.

This means computers will need less memory space because the computer will function as a portal to the information in the internet “cloud” but won’t actually store it.
Comment Tag
A HTML tag that is hidden from users (unless they look at a page's source code). In theory, search engines could read a page's comment tag and use it in its relevancy calculation, but it is not believed that any of the major search engines currently do so.
Comparison Shopping Engine
An alternative name for a price comparison engine.
Competitive Analysis
In SEO, it is the analysis or assessment of a site's attributes as compared to their competitors. This also identifies site traffic patterns, major traffic sources or referrers. Can also be useful in identifying relevant keywords.
Content Advertising
Paid search advertising that is served via third-party website, rather than through a search engine. The two largest content advertising offerings are Google AdSense and Yahoo Content Match.
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Content Network
Group of websites that a search engine has partnerships with to display paid search ads. Examples include the Google content network and Yahoo! contextual search.

These paid search ads are displayed based on the content of each specific site.

This is also referred to as a Contextual Network.
Content Targeting
Ad allocation process that displays keyword triggered ads related to the subject or content of the website a user is viewing.
Contextual Advertising
Delivering customized advertising to a user based upon his/her behavior or preferences. Paid Search advertising is a form of contextual advertising.

Contextual advertising also describes the class of advertising delivered by malware applications.
Conversion Action
The desired actions that advertisers want users to make once they arrive on a landing page or website. This can include making a purchase, completing a lead form, commenting on a blog posting, or signing up for a company newsletter. Also can include signing up for offers or requesting more information about the company's product or service.
Conversion Rate
The number of website transactions (generally either sales or leads) divided by the number of website visitors, expressed as a percentage. Often calculated for particular advertisements or keywords. Conversion rate is a critial piece of determining bid limits.
Cookie
Also referred to as HTTP cookie, Web cookie, or tracking cookie.

A message sent to a Web client (usually a browser) by a server. The Web client will store this message as a text file. This message is sent back (unchanged) to the server by the Web client each time it requests a page from that server.

Cookies are used for authenticating, session tracking, and for identifying users and maintaining site preferences or preparing customized Web pages for them.

The name "cookie" is derived from UNIX objects called "magic cookies."
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Copyright
Ownership/protection of works or expressions including words, images, art, sound and music. The copyright allows the owner to display, copy or license their work. They also cover almost any original expression.
Cost Per Acquisition
The cost of a marketing method divided by the number of customers it generated.

Often abbreviated as CPA.
Cost Per Action
The cost of a marketing method divided by the number of actions it generated.

Often abbreviated as CPA.
Cost Per Click
The amount paid per time a user clicks on your ad in a Pay Per Click campaign.

Often abbreviated as CPC.
Cost Per Impression
The cost of an impression of an advertisement. The cost of one thousand impressions are often grouped together to give a cost per thousand.

Usually abbreviated at CPM.
Cost Per Lead
The number of leads generated by a marketing method, divided by the number of visitors, expressed as a percentage.

Often abbreviated as CPL.
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Cost Per Sale
The number of sales generated by a marketing method, divided by the number of visitors, expressed as a percentage.

Often abbreviated as CPS.
Cost Per Thousand
The cost for one thousand impressions of an advertisement. Cost Per Thousand is a standard unit in the purchase of impression-based advertising.

Often abbreviated as CPM.
CPA
An abbreviation for either Cost Per Acquisition or Cost Per Action.
CPC
An abbreviation for Cost Per Click.
CPL
An abbreviation for Cost Per Lead.
CPM
An abbreviation for Cost Per Thousand.
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CPS
An abbreviation for Cost Per Sale.
Crawler
Alternative name for a web crawler.
CSS
An abbreviation for Cascading Style Sheet.
CTR
An abbreviation for Click Through Rate.
Cuil
A search engine launched in 2008 by founders Anna Patterson and Tom Costello. Cuil (pronounced cool) boasts having the world's largest search index and only analyzes web pages, not clickthroughs.
Cybersquatting
The act of registering several domains related to other trademarks or brands to profit from said particular brand or trademark.
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