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

Made For AdSense
A website created purely to create revenue through Google AdSense. Such sites rarely have any unique or useful content. Often abbreviated as MFA.
Mahalo
Human edited "search engine" which entered alpha testing in the summer of 2007. It claims to be "the world's first human-powered search engine", although Yahoo and EINet Galaxy might disagree.
Malware
Software that is intentionally (and sometimes unknowingly) included or inserted in a system for a harmful purpose. Many malware systems deliver contextual advertising based upon the users surfing habits.
Matt Cutts
Matt Cutts is a software engineer for Google, a prominent blogger on search engine topics, and the leading proponent of NoFollow.
Media RSS
Media RSS is an RSS dialect used for syndicating multimedia files in RSS feeds.

Publishers use it to feed media files into Yahoo!Video Search. The format can be used for podcasting and allows for a more detailed description of the content delivered to a subscriber than is provided by the RSS standard.
META Data
HTML data on a webpage that describe the content on the page and provides keywords. This information is used by search engines to determine what the page is about. The search engines then index the page according to their algorithms.
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META Tag
A HTML tag that provides information about a web document. Unlike regular tags, META tags do not provide formatting information for the browser. Instead they provide such information as the author, date of creation or latest update for the page, and keywords which indicate the subject matter.
META Tag Content
A particular META tag that provides information about the content of a web page. In the past, keywords used in the content META tag could effect one's search engine rankings, but none of the major search engines use any META tags in their relevancy calculations. Google, however, occasionally uses the content META tag as the text to describe a site in its search engine results pages.
META Tag Description
A particular META tag that provides keywords that should match the content of a web page. In the past, this tag could effect one's search engine rankings, but none of the major search engines use any META tags in their relevancy calculations.
Metrics
A system of measures that works to quantify characteristics on a site such as overall web traffic, search engine traffic, conversions, top traffic driving keywords, and keyword rankings.
MFA
An abbreviation for Made For AdSense.
Michael Arrington
Founder of Techcrunch.
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Microblogging
A form of multimedia blogging that allows users to send and publish brief updates as text or micromedia. Microblogs can be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group.

The most popular example of a microblog is Twitter.
Microformat
A web-based approach to a semantic mark-up that reuses HTML and XHTML tags for the purposes of conveying metadata.
Minus 30 Penalty
A controversial theory that states that new and/or untrusted sites receive a penalty of thirty spots in Google's SERPs. This supposedly prevents the site from ranking on the top three pages within Google.
Minus 950 Penalty
A much hyped, but controversial theory that states that rankings may receive a penalty that drops them to the bottom of the first 1,000 Google listings for a term. The theory came to life in early 2007, and is believed by its proponents to be a page specific penalty, not a site specific penalty such as the Minus 30 Penalty.

Many believe that this is not a penalty, per se, but rather the symptoms of a new ranking factor within Google's algo.
Mirror
An FTP server that provides copies of files from another server. This is an alternative way to access said files if the other server is too popular.
Miserable Failure
One of the earliest and most widely cited examples of a Google bomb. When one searches for the term "miserable failure" on Google, the first result is President George W. Bush's biography page on the WhiteHouse.gov website. Neither the term "miserable" nor the term "failure" are anywhere on the page, but thousands of bloggers (and other website owners) have linked to the page with that term in the anchor text.

Update: In late January 2007, Google took steps to remove Google bombs from its index.
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MRSS
An abbreviation for Media RSS.
MSN AdCenter
The control system for the paid search advertising offering from MSN Search. MSN AdCenter is somewhat notorious as it is not fully compatible with FireFox, the leading web browser alternative to Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
Multivariate Testing
A testing methodology where more than one variable is examined at once. The variables are tested in random combination to determine which combination of the variables is most effective.

Multivariate testing is extremely useful in online marketing, particularly paid search advertising, as it allows the interrelations of various factors to be tested and understood.
MySpace
One of the most popular social networking sites on the web, Myspace allows users to easily connect and communicate with each other.

MySpace also connects popular musicians to their fans. Users can customize their profiles as well as their privacy settings, which can allow only their "friends" or approved users in their network to view their profiles.

See Social Media.



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