SEO Glossary

Static Website: website doesn’t change. It has web pages stored on the server in the same form as the user will view them. Usually btwn 5-15 pages. Cost will start at $1,500 for a bare-bones site and start at $5,000 for a corporate site.

May be used for lead generation or informational purposes.

Dynamic Website: interactive website. Has frequently changing information or collates information on the hop each time a page is requested.  Cost will usually be double that of the same static site. Will usually include a content management system.

May also be used for lead generation or branding.

E-commerce/Shopping Cart Website: Includes database management.

Used as a Point of sale.

HTML – Hyper Text Markup Language

Web pages are written in hypertext, this is not because the text moves quickly, but rather because it can interact (a little) with the reader. A book (or a Word document) will always stay the same each time you read it, but hypertext is meant to be easily changed and manipulated so that it could ultimately be Dynamic.

DHTML or dHTML – Dynamic HTML

This is a combination of the Document Object Model (DOM), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and JavaScript that allows HTML to interact more directly with the readers

DOM – Document Object Model

This is the specification for how the HTML, JavaScript, and CSS will interact to form Dynamic HTML. It defines the methods and objects available for Web Developers to use.

CSS – Cascading Style Sheets

Style sheets are directives for browsers to display Web pages exactly how the designer would like to display them. They allow for very specific control over the look and feel of a Web page.

XML – eXtensible Markup Language

This is a markup language that allows developers to develop their own markup language.

HTTP – Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (some say Hyper Text Transport Protocol)

Basically, when you see this in a URL, all it means is Web Page. However, it is officially the method that the “post office” uses to send your Web page from its home to your Web browser. It is the way the “hypertext” (Web page information) is transferred to your computer.

FTP – File Transfer Protocol

When you see this in a URL it usually means that instead of a Web server machine on the other end, you are connecting to a file server machine. For our purposes, the difference between ftp:// and http:// is that FTP usually means that something will be saved to your hard drive.

RSS (formally “RDF Site Summary”, known colloquially as “Really Simple Syndication”) is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blog entries, news headlines or podcasts. An RSS document, which is called a “feed”, “web feed”, or “channel”, contains either a summary of content from an associated web site or the full text. RSS makes it possible for people to keep up with their favorite web sites in an automated manner that’s easier than checking them manually.

PHP is a reflective computer programming language originally designed for producing dynamic web pages.[1] PHP is used mainly in server-side scripting, but can be used from a command line interface or in standalone graphical applications. Textual User Interfaces can also be created using ncurses. PHP is a recursive initialism for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.

SSL Defined: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a protocol designed to enable secure communications on an insecure network such as the Internet. SSL provides encryption and integrity of communications along with strong authentication using digital certificates.

The term database originated within the computing discipline. Although its meaning has been broadened by popular use, even to include non-electronic databases, this article is about computer databases. The properties and design of database systems are included in the study of information science.

MySQL, pronounced either “My S-Q-L” or “My Sequel,” is an open source relational database management system. It is based on the structure query language (SQL), which is used for adding, removing, and modifying information in the database. Standard SQL commands, such as ADD, DROP, INSERT, and UPDATE can be used with MySQL.

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), or Ajax, is a group of inter-related web development techniques used for creating interactive web applications. A primary characteristic is the increased responsiveness and interactiveness of web pages achieved by exchanging small amounts of data with the server “behind the scenes” so that the entire web page does not have to be reloaded each time the user performs an action. This is intended to increase the web page’s interactivity, speed, functionality, and usability.

A shopping cart is a piece of software that acts as an online store’s catalog and ordering process. Typically, a shopping cart is the interface between a company’s Web site and its deeper infrastructure, allowing consumers to select merchandise; review what they have selected; make necessary modifications or additions; and purchase the merchandise.

Merchant Account

Account opened through a bank that is a member of the Visa, MasterCard, or other credit card network which allows merchants to accept credit cards from purchasers. The funds are then transferred electronically to the merchant’s bank account.

A content management system (CMS) is a system used to manage the content of a Web site.[1] Content management systems are deployed primarily for interactive use by a potentially large number of contributors.

A blog (a portmanteau of web log) is a website where entries are written in chronological order and commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

A Trackback is one of three types of Linkbacks, methods for Web authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their documents. This enables authors to keep track of who is linking to, or referring to their articles. Some weblog software programs, such as Wordpress, Movable Type and Community Server, support automatic pingbacks where all the links in a published article can be pinged when the article is published. The term is used colloquially for any kind of Linkback.

A web crawler (also known as a web spider or web robot) is a program or automated script which browses the World Wide Web in a methodical, automated manner. Other less frequently used names for web crawlers are ants, automatic indexers, bots, and worms

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (”organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. Usually, the earlier a site is presented in the search results, or the higher it “ranks”, the more searchers will visit that site. SEO can also target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, and industry-specific vertical search engines.

Back Links

Links from another web page to your web page. Most search engines provide an easy way to get a list of all of the backward links to a specific page. Also referred to as Incoming Links.

Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

The number of times a link is clicked on divided by the number of times that same link is displayed (called an impression).


Application Portability Architecture: DEC’s plan for portable applications software. Example: A link is displayed 100 times (100 impressions) and clicked on 5 times. The CTR is 5% (5/100=.05).

CPC Cost per Click. With this you are charged for every click your link on someone’s website receives.


A program used by search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN etc) to “crawl” the websites by following links from page to page. This is how most search engines “find” the web pages that they place in their index. Also referred to as a spider or robot

Cross Linking

This is where the owner of two or more websites interlink the sites in order to boost their search engine rankings. If detected, cross linking often results in a search engine penalty.

DNS Propagation

Every time a new domain name is registered (or an existing one is transferred to a new DNS), the information about the domain and the DNS that hosts it must make its way around the entire internet. This process usually takes around 24 hours, during which time the domain will be inaccessible to users.

Domain Name Servers (DNS)

These are special computers that translate human-friendly URLs into computer-friendly IP addresses. This process takes place every time a user requests a page from a website.

Dynamic Content (dynamic pages)

Web pages that are often generated from database information based upon queries initiated by users. Dynamic pages often include the ? character in the URL. The URLs of dynamic pages often use these extensions: .asp, .cgm, or .cgi. Most search engines don’t index dynamic content very well (or at all). Google has recently been doing a better job at indexing them however.

Dynamic IP Address

An IP address that changes every time a computer logs on to the internet. See also Static IP Address.

The leading search engine on the internet today with approximately 80% of all search traffic. When people speak of search engine optimization (SEO), they’re often referring specifically to Google.


The term hits is commonly misused. Many people think of a hit as a visit to one of their web pages. This is incorrect. A hit takes place every time a file is accessed on your website.

Keyword (Key Phrase)

A word or phrase typed into a search engine in order to find web pages that contain that word or phrase. A web page can (and should be) optimized for specific keywords/phrases that are relevant to the content on that page.

Keyword Density

The percentage density of a given keyword or phrase.

Keywords Meta Tag

An HTML meta tag that lists all of the main keywords and key phrases that are contained on that web page. Some search engines use the keyword meta tag to help rank web pages in their databases.

Link Popularity

A measure of how “popular” a web page is on the internet as measured by the number of inbound links pointing to your web page. Link popularity is one of the main factors used to help determine search engine rankings.


URLs placed within a web page so that when they’re clicked on the browser is served with a different web page, often on a completely different web site.


Fine tuning a website or webpage with the ultimate goal being to ascertain a higher position in all or a specific search engine’s results.

Page Rank (PR)

A proprietary numerical score that is assigned by Google to every web page in their index. PR for each page is calculated by Google using a special mathematical algorithm, based on the number and quality (as determined by Google) of the inbound links to the page.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Search Engines

This is a traffic generating method where a search engine or directory places your link in their searchable database and charges you a fee every time your URL comes up in a search and it gets clicked on.


A program used by a search engine to crawl the web in order to find, rank, and index new web pages.

BL = Backlink

CPC = Cost Per Click

CSE = Comparison Shopping Engine or Custom Search Engine (Google)

CSS = Cascading Style Sheet

DC = Data Center

DMOZ = Directory – Mozilla

HTML = HyperText Markup Language

IBL = Inbound Link

IPB9 = Internet Business Promoter

LSA = Latent semantic analysis

LSI = Latent Semantic Indexing

OBL = Outbound Link

ODP = Open Direcrory Project, See DMOZ

OWBL = One way back link

PPA = Pay Per Action

PPC = Pay Per Click

PR = PageRank

RI = Regular index

RSS = RDF Site Summary, Rich Site Summary, Really Simple Syndication

SE = Search Engine

SEM = Search Engine Marketing

SEO = Search Engine Optimization (Optimisation)

SERP = Search Engine Results Page

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