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SEO Glossary and SEO Definitions

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S

SEM – Acroymn for search engine marketing and may also be used to refer to a person or company that does search engine marketing (i.e.., "They're an SEM firm).

SEO – Acronym for “Search Engine Optimization.” This is the process of editing a web site’s content and code in order to improve visibility within one or more search engines. When this term is used to describe an individual, it stands for “Search Engine Optimizer” or one who performs SEO.

SERP – Acronym for Search Engine Results Page, the page delivered to a searcher that displays the results of a search query entered into the search field. Displays both paid ad (sponsored) and organic listings in varying positions or rank.

SSP Feed – See Search Submit Pro and Feeds.

Saturation (Search Engine Saturation) - A term relating to the number of URLs included from a specific web site in any given search engine. The higher the saturation level or number of pages indexed into a search engine, the higher the potential traffic levels and rankings.

Search Directory - Similar to a search engine, in that they both compile databases of web sites. A directory does not use crawlers in order to obtain entries in its search database. Instead, it relies on user interaction and submissions for the content it contains. Submissions are then categorized by topic and normally alphabetized, so that the results of any search will start with site descriptions that begin with some number or non-letter character, then moving from A-to-Z.

Search Engines - A search engine is a database of many web pages. Most engines display the number of web pages they hold in their database at any given time. A search engine generally “ranks” or orders the results according to a set of parameters. These parameters (called algorithms) vary among search engines; they are always improving in order to identify spam as well as improve relevance. See also SERP, Algorithm.

Search Funnel – Movement of searchers, who tend to do several searches before reaching a buy decision, that works from broad, general keyword search terms to narrower, specific keywords. Advertisers use the search funnel to anticipate customer intent and develop keywords targeted to different stages. Also refers to potential for switches at stages in the funnel when, for example, searchers start with keywords for a desired brand, but switch to other brands after gathering information on the category.

Search Query – The word or phrase a searcher types into a search field, which initiates search engine results page listings and PPC ad serves. In PPC advertising, the goal is to bid on keywords that closely match the search queries of the advertiser’s targets. See also Query.

Search Submit Pro (SSP) – Search Submit Pro is Yahoo!’s paid inclusion product that uses a “feed” tactic. With Search Submit Pro, Yahoo! crawls your web site as well as an optimized XML feed that represents the content on your site. Yahoo! applies its algorithm to both the actual web site pages and the XML feed to determine which listing is most appropriate to appear in the organic search results when a user conducts a search for relevant terms. Yahoo! charges a CPC, determined by category, for each time a listing established through SSP is clicked.

Search Terms – The words (or word) a searcher enters into a search engine's search box. Also used to refer to the terms a search engine marketer hopes a particular page will be found for. Also called keywords, query terms or query.

Secondary Links – Links that are indirectly acquired links, such as a story in a major newspaper about a new product your company released.

Semantic Clustering – A technique for developing relevant keywords for PPC Ad Groups, by focusing tightly on keywords and keyword phrases that are associative and closely related, referred to as "semantic clustering.” Focused and closely-related keyword groups, which would appear in the advertiser’s ad text and in the content of the click-through landing page, are more likely to meet searchers’ expectations and, therefore, support more effective advertising and conversion rates.

Server-side Tracking - The process of analyzing web server log files. Server-side analytics tools make sense of raw data to generate meaningful reports and trends analysis.

Session Id’s – dynamic parameters, such as session IDs generated by cookies for each individual user. Session IDs cause search engines to see a different URL for each page each time that they return to re-crawl a web site.

Share of Voice –”A brand's (or group of brands') advertising weight, expressed as a percentage of a defined total market or market segment in a given time period. SOV advertising weight is usually defined in terms of expenditure, ratings, pages, poster sites, etc.” Source: Wikipedia

Siloing – Siloing (also known as Theming) is a site architecture technique used to split the focus of a site into multiple themes. The goal behind siloing is to create a site that ranks well for both its common and more-targeted keywords. Source: Bruce Clay Newsletter 09/06

Site-Targeted Ads – Site targeting lets advertisers display their ads on manually-selected sites in the search engine’s content network for content or contextual ad serves. Site-targeted ads are billed more like traditional display ads, per 1000 impressions (CPM), and not on a Pay-Per-Click basis.

Social Media or Social Search – Sites where users actively participate to determine what is popular.

SPAM – Any search marketing method that a search engine deems to be detrimental to its efforts to deliver relevant, quality search results. Some search engines have written guidelines on their definitions and penalties for SPAM. Examples include doorway landing pages designed primarily to game search engine algorithms rather than meet searcher expectations from the advertiser’s clicked-on ad; keyword stuffing in which search terms that motivated a click-through are heavily and redundantly repeated on a page in place of relevant content; attempts to redirect click-through searchers to irrelevant pages, product offers and services; and landing pages that simply compile additional links on which a searcher must click to get any information. Determining what constitutes SPAM is complicated by the fact that different search engines have different standards, including what is allowable for listings gathered through organic methods versus paid inclusion (referred to as spamdexing), whether the listing is from a commercial or research/academic source, etc. Source: Webmaster World Forums

Spamming – Spamming refers to a wide array of techniques used to “trick” the search engines. These tactics generally are against the guidelines put forth by the search engines. Tactics such as Hidden text, Doorway Pages, Content Duplication and Link Farming are but a few of many spam techniques employed over the years. (Also see: delicious lunchmeat.)

Spider – See Crawler.

Splash Page – Refers to an entry page or main page of a web site that is interactive or graphically intense. Many splash pages are designed using Flash.

Sponsored Listing – A term used as a title or column head on SERPs to identify paid advertisers and distinguish between paid and organic listings. Alternate names are Paid Listings or Paid Sponsors. Separating paid listings from organic results enables searchers to make their own purchase and site trust decisions and, in fact, resulted from an FTC complaint filed by Commercial Alert in 2001 alleging that the confusion caused in consumers who saw mixed paid and unpaid results constituted fraud in advertising.

Statistical Validity – The degree to which an observed result, such as a difference between two measurements, can be relied upon and not attributed to random error in sampling or in measurement. Statistical Validity is important to the reliability of test results, particularly in Multivariate Testing methods.

Stop Word A word that often appears in a page’s copy or content, but it has no significance by itself. Examples of stop words are: and, the, of, etc.

Submission - The act of submitting a web site to search engines and search directories. For some search engines, this is performed simply by typing in the absolute home page URL of the web site you wish to submit. Other engines and directories request that descriptions of the web site be submitted for approval.

Super Verbs - Compelling verbs that trigger emotions or visual images.

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