Search: Terminology - Jargon Buster

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Search: Terminology - Jargon Buster


Wouldn't know a crawler from spamdexing? We can help you find your way through search's specialist vocabulary.

Black-hat Bad search practices that do not follow all the search engines' rules.

Click fraud The act of purposely clicking on ad listings without intending to buy in order to cost the advertiser money.

Click-through rate (CTR) The percentage of users to whom a link is displayed who then click on that link.

Cloaking Considered to be any method of altering what a search-engine 'sees' when indexing a website. Violation of search engines' rules in this way may result in them dropping sites from their listings, making them invisible to consumers' searches.

Contextual links The process by which relevant ads are generated along the side of a non-search web page. The search engine produces ads that relate to specific words and phrases on the page. An example is Google's Ad Sense programme.

Conversion rates Measurement of the amount of website users who make a purchase or just view something, depending on the aim of the link.

Cost-per-click (CPC) System where an advertiser pays an agreed amount for each click someone makes on a link leading to their website. Also known as pay-per-click (PPC) or pay-per-performance.

Crawler (robot or spider) A search-engine crawler is a program that gathers information from sites. This information is collated by automatically 'crawling' the web. A crawler follows links from one web page to others. It then places copies of those pages (or portions of them) in the search engine's index for later retrieval and display.

Doorway page A web page that does not fit into the site structure or deliver much information to those viewing it. The searcher is automatically moved past the doorway page to the main site. This may be considered 'cloaking' (see above), as it can artificially raise a site's popularity ranking.

Dynamic content Information on web pages that changes or is changed automatically, based on database content or user information. Can affect search listings.

Grey-hat Questionable search marketing practices that are not quite as bad as black-hat, but generally frowned upon.

Headline Used at the top of paid search ads to allow customers to see instantly what is on offer.

Hyperlink Clicking on an underlined hyperlink (usually a website address) automatically takes browsers through to that page. Also known as call-to-action links.

Indexability The ability of a website to be indexed by a search engine. If it is not indexable, or has reduced indexability, its position in the search engines' results rankings will suffer. Also known as spiderability.

Keyword A word or phrase potential customers will type into a search engine to find a service or product.

Keyword stuffing The repeating of keywords and phrases in order to maximise a site's chances of showing up in a search listing referring to that term. …

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