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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Gateway Pages
Another name for the highly risky search engine optimization technique known as doorway pages. This is one of the more common causes of the Google Death Penalty.

Sometimes confused with landing pages.
Also seen as "geotagging."

The practice of adding geographic information to various media such as websites, photos, RSS feeds and videos. This data usually consists of latitude and longitude coordinates, though it can also include altitude, bearing, and place names.

Geo-tagging is useful for finding various location-specific information using a geo-tagging enabled search engine, such as images taken at a given location, local news, websites, and more.
The advertising method of determining a physical location (geolocation) of a visitor and subsequently delivering content to that visitor that is related to his/her location. This can be based on a visitor's state, county, region, zip code, IP Address, or other information.
The most popular search engine on the web.

Google began in January 1996, as a research project by Larry Page, who was soon joined by Sergey Brin, two Ph.D. students at Stanford University in California. The domain was registered on September 15, 1997. The company was incorporated as Google Inc. on September 4, 1998 at a friend's garage in Menlo Park, California.

Today, Google attracts at least 135 million U.S. visitors every month.
Google AdSense
Google's system that places paid search advertising on third-party websites. AdSense traffic is much cheaper than that from the regular search offering, but it tends to be much lower quality. Many believe that most click fraud occurs through AdSense.
Google AdWords
Paid search advertising offered by Google. Advertisers can use a pay-per-click or pay-per-impression pricing structure. Advertisers create ads, and display them in search results and in the Google content network. Advertisers choose keywords and Google displays the ads when those keywords are searched for. Advertisers participate in a bidding system to determine which ads will be displayed most prominently.
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Google Analytics
Google's rebranding of the web analytics tool Urchin, which Google purchased in March 2005.

Google Analytics is currently a free service that generates detailed statistics about the visitors to a website. Its main highlight is that the product is aimed at marketers as opposed to webmasters and technologists from which the industry of web analytics originally grew.

Google Analytics' approach is to show high level dashboard-type data for the casual user, and more in-depth data further into the report set. The tool allows the user to pinpoint pages that are not performing through funner visualization, referrers, and custom visitor segmentation.
Google BackLinks
Initially, this number indicated links to an individual page that Google considered particularly valuable, as shown by the link: command. Currently, it represents a subset of the total links coming to a site. It is not believed that the number of BackLinks that Google currently shows reflects the actual number that it uses in its relevancy calculations.
Google Bomb
A Google bomb (or Googlebomb) is an attempt to influence the ranking of a given site in results returned by the Google search engine through the use of external linking. The most famous (or infamous) Google bomb is miserable failure.

Update: In late January 2007, Google took steps to remove Google bombs from its index.
Google Bot
Or Googlebot, uses several user-agents to crawl and index content in The term Googlebot describes all Google spiders. All Google bots begin with "Googlebot"; for instance, Googlebot-Image:crawls pages for Google's image index.
Google Bowling
A term for attempts to damage a competitor's website. It is based on the belief that Google will penalize a website that has gained links too quickly. By this theory, if one finds a way to point a large number of low quality links to a competitor's site, Google will consider the site as engaging in SEO spam and will lower the site's rankings.

While a number of individuals have stated they have seen proof of the effects of Google Bowling, no one has published any actual proof (other than "proof by assertion"). Even those who do believe in Google Bowling believe it works in very specific situations.

Google has stated that there is no way for a person to affect the rating of a competitor's website, although there are some indications that they have softened this stance. At worst, Google bowling is likely to affect only brand new sites with little to no previously existing links.
Google Checkout
A newly annouced service that provides digital wallet and credit card processing functionality for consumers and online merchants, respectively. The initially annouced processing rates are significantly lower then that which most merchants currently pay.

In addition, merchants who us Google AdWords will receive a $10 processing credit for every $1 they spend in Adwords.
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Google Dance
A term dating back to the days that Google would make occasional, substantial changes to its algorithm. During such changes, one's search engine rankings would generally dance all over the place. Google Dances were often named after locations, with the most infamous one being the Florida update.

Google Dances were initially named after locations, but for the last couple of years have been named after liquors.

Recently, Google seems to make continual small changes to its algorithm, with major changes being made rarely, such as the release of Big Daddy.
Google Death Penalty
The complete, and potentially permanent, removal of a website from the Google index. This can happen for any of a number of techniques that run afoul of Google's guidelines, but the most common activities to cause a Google death penalty are cloaking, invisible text, and doorway pages.

Most famously, the German website of BMW was removed from the Google index for the usage of doorway pages with redirects. Unlike most websites, they were able to be reinstated into the Google index after only one week.
Google Directory
The website directory offered by Google. Google Directory is powered by the Open Directory Project.
Google Docs
Google Docs is a suite of software applications that allow users to create, edit and share documents, spreadsheets and slideshow presentations. The documents are stored online on a server hosted by Google and are accessible via any internet connection. Users can access their documents by logging into their Google account.
Google GoogleBot
Google's web crawler.
Google Grants
Google Grants is free AdWords advertising provided by Google through grants.

Google awards these grants to non-profit organizations that it chooses. These organizations are given funds to bid for keywords in the AdWords system. Google Grant recipients can bid up to $1 a keyword with the grant money.

This lets non-profits use the paid search functions within the Google search engine to have their ads displayed when users search for relevant keywords.
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Google Hell
A term popularized by (and possibly created by) Andy Greenberg of Forbes. Google Hell refers to the state of having most or all of one's pages trapped in the Supplemental Index.
Google Hot Trends
An addition to Google Trends.

Hot Trends displays the top 100 hot searches of the past hour. It provides 24-hour search volume graph as well as blog, news and web search results.

Topics often include current news, events and pop culture references. Hot Trends also has a history feature for those wishing to browse past hot searches.
Google Juice
A term popularized by (and some claim created by) Leslie Walker of The Washington Post. Google juice refers to one's search engine rankings within Google.
Google Link
The benefit provided to one's search engine rankings from links, particularly within Google.
Google Local 10 Pack
A group of ten local search results, including a map, returned as part of Google's universal search. The 10 pack is returned in results with or without a geo-term ("bakery austin" versus just "bakery," for example), depending on the non-geo term in the search query.
Google Personalized Search
A new feature introduced by Google in 2008 that provides search results to users based on a number of factors including, but not limited to, geographic location and user search history.
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Google SearchWiki
An addition to Google's user interface that gives a user more control.

It allows one to edit and personalize search results. Users can reorder, delete, add, or annotate search results for any query. When logged in to Google, it saves the changes enabling repeat searches to be customized.

Google emphasizes that SearchWiki will not impact page ranking at this time.
Google Site Targeted
An offering from Google where advertisements are places on particular website, rather than against individual keywords as with Google AdSense. Site Targeted ads can be purchased on either a CPC or a CPM basis.

Apogee Search has published information on running a successful Google Site Targeted campaign.
Google Sitemaps
A new, XML-based system from Google that allows one to automatically submit a list of pages for later crawling by Googlebot. It does not have any effect on the ranking of pages and/or keyphrases, beyond simply ensuring that a page is in the index.

Please be aware that if a page has indexing problems (from an extraordinarily long URL, for instance), Google Sitemaps will not force the page into the Google index.
Google Slap
A term referencing the feeling given to many when Google released its Quality Scoring system in the summer of 2006. Many advertisers saw such an increase in advertising costs that it felt like a slap in the face.
Google Toolbar
A downloadable toolbar extension for Internet Explorer and FireFox that allows a user to do a Google search without visiting the Google website. The Google toolbar is also one of the better methods of determining a page's PageRank and viewing a page's indexing.
Google Universal Search
Universal search is a system used by Google that blends a variety of different types of media into search results, not just text links to websites.

Among listings Google gathers from crawling web pages, Universal search results also include listings from Google's various search engines, such as news, video, images, local and book searches.

This is now the primary display method that Google uses for its search results pages.
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Google Webmaster Central
A system of tool and reports created by Google to assist in the management of a websites presence within Google's index. Originally founded by Vanessa Fox.
Google Website Optimizer
Google Website Optimizer (GWO) is a testing tool that performs A/B and Multivariate testing on websites, landing pages and other web properties to help online advertisers increase their conversion rates and achieve optimal performance. The results from these tests can determine the most effective combination of content and landing page design.
The headquarters of Google in Mountain View, California.
The very first paid search engine, and the creator of the pay per click advertising model. Won a landmark trademark case against Disney's

Later changed its name to Overture.
An acronym for Graphical User Interface which is the visual representation of the functional code. Visual icons are used to interact with the computer rather than test. It provides the user an opportunity to interface with a database, program, etc.

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