SEO Glossary

SEO Words, Acronyms & Other Related Jargon

© Perry Bernard, 2017

A

ALT – stands for ‘alternative’ and is a text-based replacement for an image in your website if for some reason the image hasn’t been loaded into the browser. Aside from assisting in showing meaningful content when images don’t load, setting an ALT for every image is a good for SEO because it goes towards the overall keyword use in the site and page, and also assists in gaining image rank in Google’s image search filter.

AdWords – Google’s advertising application that allows you to advertise your website in many different places, including Google search pages. You pay for every click the ad generates. View our content about Google AdWords.

Algo – often used as a ‘cute’ version for the word ‘algorithm’ in relation to the Google search algorithm.

Analytics – often used as the short form for ‘Google Analytics’ – which is Google’s application for monitoring website traffic volume, behavior and source of origin to your website. Shortened to ‘GA’ in some cases. This application is very complex and often too difficult for users to understand. Hire an SEO services analyst to help you derive meaningful data from GA.

Anchor – is any element of text content on a page that is made clickable as a link to (usually) direct the user to somewhere other than exactly where they are in the website, either within the same page, or to a different page, or to link externally.

Adsense – Google’s advertising application that allows you to lease space on your website to Google so that Google can place ads into your site. You earn a commission on all clicks the ads generate.

Absolute link – a link that contain the complete URL. Absolute links typically remain preserved when you copy content from one domain to another, because they refer to a URL as if they were external. This contrasts with a relative link which refers to a URL that must be internal. Combinations of use between absolute and relative links is often a problem after a website has been constructed on a development URL, so check all your links after your website is live to ensure you haven’t preserved development absolute links as you will be referring Google and visitors to your development site. There can be serious SEO repercussions from leaving development links in your live website.

A-block – the country level IP address allocation for a IPV4 address. The A-block refers to the first octet. Usually, IP addresses with the same A block number are in the same country. Example: 192.168.000.001

Algorithm – commonly refers to an organic search ranking algorithm that calculates rank positions for organic placement in search results. Google also uses algorithms for other placements, but this word usually refers to the organic version. Google primary algorithm is called ‘Hummingbird’ and was previously call ‘Caffeine’.

<a> – an element in HTML used to create a link. The linked object (text, image or otherwise) is enclosed between and open and close HTML element noted like this: <a href=”some-link-to-somewhere”>object</a>. The element can be qualified by parameters inside the open statement, like this: <a href=”some-link-to-somewhere” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”>object</a>. In this case the element is a link to a page somewhere (href) which search engines should not pass through (nofollow) and when clicked will open a new browser tab (target).

Affiliate links – these are links that you might have in your website that link to other sites with which you have a business relationship. A lot of websites use these in their footer or sidebar widgets, and because these are usually part of a page template the affiliate link is replicated everywhere where those template elements are used. Google sees affiliate linking as an unnatural linking process and you should use this with caution. For outbound affiliate links, set a blank target (open the link in a new browser tab) and a nofollow attribute (tells Google not to pass through and pass out pagerank). Ditto for links that you receive through this method.

Alexa – a website directory that shows supposed global rank for websites in its directory. Quite inaccurate, but mildly indicative. I no longer bother even looking at this site.

B

Backlinks – links that you acquire that are built outside of your website – usually on other people’s websites, that direct users to go back to your website. Not all backlinks direct search engines through to your website, even if human users can.

Bold – bold text marked in an element coded as either <b>text</b> or <strong>text</strong>. Both will work.

Blog – a regularly updated newsfeed or discussion section of a website that is often (but not always) interactive with the audience. People say ‘you have to have a blog to get better rank in Google’ – and this is sometimes true, but often not true at all. Ask me about details

Broad – referring to a keyword phrase that encompasses too much scope in possible meanings to be of particularly reliable use as an SEO keyword.

Bandwidth – how much data has to be used to transfer a website’s resources (text, data, images, video etc) to somewhere else. Usually measured in Kilobytes, Megabytes or Gigabytes. Sometimes Terabytes. Often associated with a time frame, like Kilobytes per second (KBPS).

<body> – the section of your website’s code that creates the human-visible content in a browser.

Black Hat SEO – the SEO techniques used by some SEO services providers that are designed to trick search engines into thinking a website deserves rank when in fact it doesn’t. This is usually done through loopholes or flaws in the way an algorithm assesses rank. Black hat SEO can have positive short term effects but are usually discovered as manipulative in the long term, so black hat operators have to consonantly change or adjust what they do to keep ahead of discovery and penalty. This is very high risk for their clients and can result in a website being stricken off organic search or severely penalised beyond recovery. Do not hire a black hat operator. All SEO services I provide are White Hat and designed to carry forward positive effect as long as possible into the future. The frustration for many SEOs who were working in the industry for many years was that some techniques considered white hat have now become black hat. SEO has become much more difficult to do without significant planning and strategy that involves the business owner – hence why my home page banner shows a message about making you sweat for our combined efforts to get your website ranked. Google has made it clear that a ‘good user experience’ is what will give the best rank result – and this is the principle we build into all of our SEO services.

Brand search – any search keyword that includes the brand name (or perceived brand name) of a company’s website or domain name. A brand search for this website might be “rankpower”, whereas “seo services” is not typically a brand search. RankPower should be fairly unique and therefore gain rank on that basis, but SEO Services is generic and may be delivered by many thousands of SEO service providers and is therefore not a brand search and will also not gain rank easily as it competes against all other SEO services providers.

Browser – the software on your computer, tablet of smartphone that allows you to view web pages. The most commonly used browsers are Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.

Bot – short for Robot.

Bing – the main search engine competitor to Google. In New Zealand – Google use is about 90%, Bing is about 7%, which is why this website is almost entirely about Google stuff.

Bounce – recorded in Google Analytics, the term for a situation when a visitor comes to your website but doesn’t appear to interact in any other way with your site thereafter and is assumed that they left or stopped viewing your page. Bounce rates are often untrustworthy and need further analysis in GA. The term comes from the idea that the user hit the page and then bounced off elsewhere. It’s quite possible that they spent many minutes looking at your content, but because they didn’t ‘appear’ to interact further they were recorded in GA as a bounce.

B-block – the country level IP address allocation for a IPV4 address. The B-block refers to the second octet. Usually, IP addresses with the same B block number are in the same country and are hosted by the same ISP. Example: 192.168.000.001

C

ccTLD – stands for country code Top Level Domain, which is any domain that specifies a country in the last digits of the domain code, for example ‘.nz’ = New Zealand.

Cloaking – a way for a domain name to mask the true hosted domain that you are viewing. The cloaking domain replaces the true domain name in the browser navigation bar. This may lead people to think they are on a website that they’re not in fact on. This is negative for users and SEO alike. Don’t use cloaking, ever!

CRO – stands for Conversion Rate Optimisation, which is optimising your website content to maximise the chance of conversions.

Crawl – what a crawler or robot does in your website – it crawls about your pages checking out your texts, images and other content. The crawler does not decide your rank, it’s merely a sampling tool that looks at what you’ve got and then reports that back to base where the algorithm builds a statistical model of your site’s content and the compares it with others of a similar content range and genre.

Crawl depth – means how far into your navigation a crawler will go before leaving your site. If your navigation structure has problems, this may be reflected in crawl depth and will probably cause some SEO problems.

Crawl frequency – means how often a crawler will visit your site or any given page. Usually, Google crawls your site every day, and sometimes many times per day, but not every page or every piece of content on your page. If Google doesn’t crawl your site every day, it’s usually because you have a serious problem for SEO. Some SEOs say they ‘don’t know how often Google visits’ – but they can see this information in the Google Search Console Crawl section. Hire our SEO services if you need help interpreting your crawl stats for SEO.

Cutts – first name: Matt – the fella at Google that tells everyone what you should or shouldn’t do on your website to ‘get crawled’ and appeal to Google’s algorithm. Lots of people like to quote his name in a hope to get Google Brownie points. Although I used it here, I tend to avoid it as much as I can.

Canonical – the term for ‘original’ in SEO, used to signal to search engines which page is the original page of content in case your content also appears in exact copy but on different URLs. Often happens when you have products or posts in more than 1 category, or when your content appears via a search function. You would use rel=”canonical” when you want to influence which page is the one that is indexed in Google or Bing.

Crawler –another name for a bot or robot.

Click – the action of clicking a mouse or similar device on an anchor or other active element in a website – but may also be a touch-screen tap or a hover selection.

CMS – stands for Content Management System and is a way for operators of a website to be able to change or update their content in a fairly user-friendly way. This website uses WordPress as its content management system and is the most popular CMS in the world. I chose to use this for its powerful and easy to use features. Generally, the type of CMS you use should not affect SEO, but some CMS systems are not equipped with all the necessary SEO features to make them easy to work with. With some simple and free additions, WordPress becomes very ‘SEO friendly’. This still does not mean its SEO is good – as that depends on how well you can operate the features and if you can write great SEO content.

Click-depth – how many clicks it takes for a user to reach any given conversion target.

Conversion – the act of coming one step closer to becoming a customer. Often, conversions may be actual sales, but not necessarily. Usually, conversions are simply any action that you want a website visitor to take.

Copy – the human legible and (generally) bot crawlable text in your website. Text in images is not considered to be SEO copy because Google can’t read it.

Copywriting – the process of writing copy for your website. Copywriting is a specialised skill. SEO copywriting is the application of SEO modifications to copy for gaining rank.

CSS – stands for Cascading Style Sheet – which is a list of style commands that tell a user’s browser what style to apply to various elements in the website being viewed, i.e. ‘for paragraph font in the “fancy” section, use 16px size and leave 30px of space empty to the left side of the paragraph’ – might be written as .fancy p {font-size:16px; margin-left:30px;}

C-block – the country level IP address allocation for a IPV4 address. The C-block refers to the third octet. Usually, IP addresses with the same C block number are in the same country, are hosted by the same ISP and are allocated to the same hosting provider. Example: 192.168.000.001. This affects SEO because sites that have the same A, B and C blocks are probably related in some way and therefore have influence on each other’s SEO, if not directly, then by hosting association. i.e. they are possibly on the same server.

D

Description – probably refers to ‘Meta Description’.

Developer – the nerdy guy or gal at a website design company that can read all the code and understands what it all means.

DNS – stands for Domain Name Server – which is the internet equivalent of the Dewey Decimal System for libraries where a web address is allocated a set of numbers and location code called in IP address. These make it possible for your browser to find the website server wherever it happens to be in the world.

Download – the process of collecting a resource from a website and saving it (temporarily or permanently) on your computer or other device.

Design – often seen by website owners as the entire page of content, but to web developers this refers more to the choice of colours, styles, font, and placement of images, use of lines, icons, bullets, shadows or image treatments, etc, but usually not the actual text or client’s images. Design can, but doesn’t necessarily, affect SEO.

Doorway Page – a website that is designed to funnel visitors to a specified location by targeting specific keyword phrases. These pages are highly optimised for SEO but no longer work as a valid strategy in SEO because they seldom offer much value to the user. Do not do this for your SEO campaign, it’s an idea that will probably get you a Google penalty.

Directory – a website that lists businesses and websites. Not all directories can be trusted as a good source of info. Also: don’t add your website into a business directory just because someone said you should be doing that for SEO. Ask for advice.

Dog – an animal with (usually) four legs. Might also be a really bad website.

Domain – the main ‘name’ of your website address, which is basically the human readable version of the IP address, so that humans don’t have to have to try to remember all the awkward DNS numbers that locate the website.

Duplicate content – content in more than 1 page in your website that is a duplicate of another page. usually happens when you have products in multiple categories, or when search functions serve pages that have your content in a different URL than the original URL. Duplicate content will struggle to gain any rank on Google and should be signalled to search engines as to which version of the page is the original – this is done via the rel=”canonical” element.

E

eBook – A kind of book that starts with ‘e’. No, really. OK, it’s a book that’s available in digital form. Often in PDF format because PDFs can be read by most kinds of computer or mobile computing device.

eCommerce – after the last definition, the answer might surely be obvious: it’s a commerce starting with ‘e’. i.e. selling online.

Expert – what some SEO people call themselves when they can write 5 sentences about SEO and rank 240th in Google for “seo services expert”. Not to be confused with an SEO person who does in fact rank on Google’s page 1 for ‘seo services expert‘. That guy or gal is only mildly average at SEO, right?

<em> – the HTML element to make text Italic. Don’t overuse. If you want to use Italics for all of your text, then use CSS settings in a global style. The Italic text is enclosed between an opening and closing element like this: <em>text</em>

em – a measurement of font size.

Engine – the search engine i.e. Google, Bing etc.

EMD – stands for Exact Match Domain. This is a domain name that matches against a commercial search query or keyword phrase. EMDs used to provide a lot of SEO benefit in the past. This is no longer the case. EMDs now have to have excellent content in their website in order to gain rank but can provide some advantage for rank after the content has proven to be strong enough.

F

FAQ – stands for frequently asked questions.

Fetch – the action of sending a search engine crawler to your page in order to index its content. Fetches are managed in Google via Google Search Console. ‘Fetching’ – is something completely different: it’s an old-fashioned word for a pretty lady or a handsome man.

Font – the typeface used on your website. It’s a good idea to keep fonts as uncomplicated as possible, but you can use any websafe font available from Google fonts. You will need to install the font in your site and specify the font file location for your CSS files to refer to it. I presume that font don’t affect SEO unless you choose something that is difficult to read. Even then, it may be far more of a CRO issue rather than an SEO one.

Fresh – new content in your website that is supposed to keep search engines interested in coming back to your site to crawl the fresh material.

Favicon – the graphic icon used to display a miniature logo on the browser tab.

Flash – a not so flash way of placing animated content into your website. Some websites are made entirely out of Flash code – which is a disaster for SEO. Google will not crawl content inside Flash code. Use HTML5 instead.

Followers – people on social media channels that have indicated that they want to see more of your posts and content.

FTP – stands for file transfer protocol. It’s a method for uploading and downloading files between a client application and a hosting server. Usually for websites, this allows you access to all of the files used in your website. It does not give access to the website’s database if it has one. Database access is not necessary if your website is constructed out of static HTML files. You may need FTP access if you want to upload verification files from Google or Bing or some other party. Usually they would get uploaded into the root folder – which is the highest level folder in the directory tree structure in a website.

G

Genre – the kind of subject or the market segment that your website is in. Websites are compared to each other within a genre when assessing rank positions. Usually any given genre will have a statistical profile that your site is compared to. If you babble off-topic in your website you can accidentally get thrown into the wrong genre by search engines and that could mean a disaster for your SEO rank. Keep all (or most) of the text in your website on the right topic for what your website offers or does.

gTLD – stands for generic Top Level Domain. These are domains that are not associated to a specific country, so can be targeted to anywhere in the world. Examples are .com, .net and .biz. There are lots more.

Guest post – this is a post that someone places in someone else’s blog. Often used to disseminate content from the writer’s own website, and usually contains a link back to the source. It’s used as an SEO strategy, but consider this: Do you trust a website that allows anyone to post on their site? Are all of the other posts great and engaging content like yours? If you’re doing this for SEO reasons, be careful. You may be getting into hot water, and down the track you might even get yourself a Google Penguin penalty.

Google Search Console – here’s a link to info on Google Search Console – full explanation there. Basically, GSC is the #1 SEO tool you should be using to measure your current state and performance in Google search.

Google MyBusiness – a great application for managing your business, it’s location(s), Google Maps, Google+ pages, Google Analytics etc.It brings all of this data into a single app that makes for easy reading and quick access.

Google – AKA “the big G”. A search engine. Sometimes also referred to as “God-gle” due to their overwhelming global power in determining whether or not you can find any given website. Getting ranked on page 1 in Google is everyone’s goal – but not many can do it. Those who can’t have to find other ways to get found, like by paying Google for sending them traffic through AdWords. That’s how they earn a gazillion dollars per day. Nice gig. Wish I’d have thought of it 15 years ago.

Googlebot – Google’s robot, AKA crawler. Comes in several varieties for different content types, because the bot that looks at websites for rank on desktop computers is not the same bot as the mobile crawler.

Goal – an action that you want a visitor to your website to take. It might be a simple thing like reading your blog post, or maybe filling in an enquiry form. You’d set goals in your site because otherwise why do you have a website? Without goals, it’s also very hard to build a decent website – because everything should revolve around your goals.

GSC – stands for Google Search Console.

GA – stands for Google Analytics.

Google Analytics – here’s a link to info on Google Analytics.

H

Heading tag – any heading on a web page inside a <h> tag. <h> tags denote headings usually from size h1 (biggest) down to h6 (smallest) and signal to search engines and humans that the text within them is a heading Crazy huh? You should use these as heading. That’s what they are for! They are not for making your paragraph font bigger!

Hummingbird – the common name for Google’s algorithm launched in late 2013. Also known as ‘the semantic search engine’. Hummingbird succeeded ‘Caffeine’. This is scary stuff because it’s an algorithm designed to learn and adapt intelligently. Pretty soon it’s gonna start talking back at you and you’ll think it’s a human. Not long after that it will launch all of the world’s nuclear weapons in an attempt to destroy human kind and then the world will be run by robots.

Hosting – a service where data is stored on your behalf. This might refer to website hosting, email hosting, app hosting or having guests over for tea and biscuits. Usually that last one isn’t digital.

Hits – used to be referred to often as a productive metric. It represents the number of times a resource has been loaded from your website and doesn’t necessarily correspond to actual web traffic numbers. Because of the vague nature of its relevance to real traffic numbers, I recommend you view Google Analytics data for far more relevant indications of web traffic to your site.

htaccess – a file in your website that controls access to a folder or directory that it’s in. You can use htaccess to keep some kinds of visitors out of your website. Very handy, but very dangerous to edit if you don’t know what you are doing. Best if you access this via FTP and make a copy of it before testing a change as you may lose all access to your entire website if you make a mistake when editing, or accidentally prevent Google from crawling content you want ranked leading to a huge SEO disaster. Not for beginners.

HTTP – stands for hyper text transfer protocol. This is an accepted worldwide standard for transferring data between a host and a user’s browser. It is an unsecured method of transmission and can be intercepted by third parties.

Human readable – refers to content in your website that you can see when the page is displayed in the browser. There is usually a lot of code content and also text content that is often not displayed to the user. The human readable content is usually a subset of the bot-readable content. Bots like to read. Especially really long Russian novels like War and Peace. But they are not much fun at book clubs.

I

Impressions – the number of times any web element appears in front of a user. That doesn’t mean they necessarily notice that it’s there, or if they do, it doesn’t mean it prompts them to take any particular action. Impressions are a count of opportunities only. The kinds of impressions we often talk about for SEO are the ones when your web page(s) appear in search engine results. An impression may be triggered anywhere in search, not necessarily on page 1. It may be page 100. Google Search Console will provide you with feedback on organic impressions that your website is getting. In Google AdWords, impressions are generated for your ads in a hope that a user will click on one of them and follow a link to your website. For Google Display or Search ads, you don’t pay for the impression, only for clicks.

Just like when you meet a pretty girl, if you make a bad impression first time ’round, it’s hard to get Google to forget what it first thought of your website and you have to expect to take a bit longer to get to first base / rank.

Inbound – usually used in reference to a type of link. Inbound links are the ones you really want. They lead people to your site, but not necessarily. The link is located on someone else’s website and leads to yours. You will get web traffic through such links, but only if the user sees good reason to follow it. Google on the other hand will follow the link if allowed to do so, even if it looks ugly and unpromising. There is an attribute called ‘nofollow’ that may be set within the link that requests that search engines do not pass through the link, but it’s only a request, not a command. i.e. Google ‘may’ in fact follow such links, and some interesting wording from Googlers seem to indicate that Google does indeed follow some such links in certain circumstances. The number and quality of inbound links to your website is a ranking factor and building such links is part of our SEO services on offer.

IP address – stands for Internet Protocol address. The numerically coded location of a web resource. New Zealand uses IPv4 addresses – there are 4 octets in the address – basically 4 sets of numerals from 0 to 255 displayed with a dot between each octet like this: 192.168.000.001. Usually, the first set of numbers are assigned broadly at country-size levels. The third and fourth octets are usually assigned within much smaller zones, like within a certain ISP, or with a web hosting company. Many websites can share a single IP address, and these are sometimes referred to as a ‘network neighborhood’. The entire internet communications system relies on IP addresses being correctly assigned and allocated to unique resources, however, because the possible number of combinations have been exhausted in some countries, those countries are also using the new IPv6 system. Gaining backlinks from websites whose IP address is either within the same C-block (third set of numbers in the IPv4 address) suggests that the website providing the backlink may be under the direct influence of the website linked-to. Therefore, links between websites in the same C-Block range may be considered ‘unnatural’ by Google and may be discounted from the link-graph when assessing rank strength contributed to from links.

Implementation – the application of SEO modifications to a website to attain a rank advantage. Planning how to apply SEO services to a website is a fairly complex task. It involves figuring out what the objective current position is, and determining what it will take to achieve a desired outcome. A comprehensive SEO strategy plan is recommended. This is not the same as an “SEO audit” that is used as a sales tool by some SEO companies. Be wary of applying recommendations from typically simplistic SEO audits without full and proper analysis. Strategy plans cost upward of $500, or not unusually around $1000 or more. Done by skilled SEO specialists, these are usually well worth the investment.

Index – The memory database of a search engine. The Google index is in constant change as modifications are made to both the algorithm and the content accessed by crawlers and reported back to the algorithm for indexing. Sometimes confused with the cache. In my view, the index is more about what the search engine thinks about your content. The cache is only what is in the search engine’s short term memory – a ‘snapshot’ of your website.

iFrame – a block of content within a website that shows content from elsewhere, but does not copy the content, merely providing a sub-frame within which it displays it. The iFrame allows for real-time display. The content in iFrames do not contribute to the SEO of the site in which the iFrame is displayed. It’s possible to use an iFrame as the only visible element in the browser, thereby making it look like the content being displayed is on the host domain. This can trick human users, but not search engines. A quick look at the source code would reveal the extent of the iFramed content.

Italic – the sloped font style determined in HTML by the <em> element.

Internal links – links that point to another page within the same website. The most common form of internal links are created by the website’s menu structure, but links within page content from an anchor to another page within the same site are also called internal links. You should use your commercially relevant keywords as internal links as much as you like, within reason, and without making the content look garish. Just don’t build links to your site from elsewhere with the same commercial keyword anchors in anything more than about 10% of all cases, or you may be thought of as a keyword spammer by Google. When creating links between your own websites, use the nofollow attribute if the links are part of the website template – like in the header, footer or sidebars.

J

JavaScript – a type of program language that can be added into your website to perform certain actions or execute external software. Can perform many millions of different functions that your web developer may have built or may be using under licence from another party. Google generally doesn’t read content in JavaScript, but the output on your website may affect SEO under some circumstances.

K

Knowledge Graph – the element in Google organic search results that gives encyclopedia style information about a well known object, person or brand. Usually, to be shown in the knowledge graph, the information needs to be common knowledge, or verifiable via reliable sources.

Keyword – known as either a ‘keyword’ or ‘keyword phrase’ and may be a single word or a phrase containing 2 or more words. Usually (but not always) single words occur in search more often than phrases containing 2 or more words, but phrases with 2 or more words are usually (but not always) more valuable for SEO. This is a phrase for which you will search optimise your website or web page in order to gain rank. The best source of keyword phrases is from evidence from past searches. Major search engines like Google provide access to statistics for any keyword phrases used in their search engine across the last 12 months or longer. If evidence of use exists, the keyword can be implemented in a website in a hope that that website renders in the search engine. The entire principle of Search Engine Optimisation revolves around the strategic implementation of keyword phrases. SEO services applied without the fundamental research into keyword use, i.e. by basing content decisions around assumptions only, will be less likely to succeed.

Keyword density – the percentage of use of any given keyword within any given body of text – usually a complete web page. Many SEOs try to express this as a numeric value, e.g. 2% keyword density = 2 mentions per 100 words, but I believe this sort of metric to be highly flawed as a proper indicator. I believe that keyword density may be as high as you like, so long as the text still reads well and does not seem manipulated. Obviously, it can’t be so low that you barely make mention of the keyword at all. It should be the dominant theme of the optimised page, and should be mentioned more often than any other theme in the page. Expect to have to write at least enough text to embed at least 5-10 mentions of the pivotal semantic and morphological element of the optimised keyword phrase. You may be able to achieve this with 200-300 words, but more than likely you will need to write 300-1000 words in the page to make it reasonably powerful. For a more tailored formula, refer to Step 6 in How To SEO – Writing SEO page content.

Keyword stuffing – the overuse of keywords within a body of text for the sole purpose of amplifying keyword relevance. This actually has a negative SEO effect because the sophisticated algorithms used to assess a page can detect the overuse and learn to ignore it for what it is. Keyword stuffing also refers to use an array of ‘qualified keyword pivots’. For example, plumber Auckland, plumber West Auckland, plumber Henderson etc. This is where the pivotal keyword ‘plumber’ has been qualified by a location in the hope to capture searches for a plumber in any of the locations. Clearly, a list like that makes for bad reading and is therefore counter to a good experience for the user.

Keyword cannibalism – the process of optimising more than one page in your website for the same thing to the point that you have several pages competing against each other for rank, and resulting in one or more of the pages failing to get rank despite possibly deserving it. Some pages are dropped in rank due to the “de-clustering” process in Google that prefers to give rank to several different websites on Google page 1 instead of providing many links to the same website.

L

Landing page – any page within a website that is designed to be the first page seen by a user. Usually, the home page is the primary landing page by default. On average, about 50% or more of your organic traffic will first come to the home page. In many small websites of 10 or less pages, the percentage of entries via the home page may be much higher that 50%. Ideally, a search engine optimised website will have as many landing pages as it does optimised keyword phrases. i.e. for every keyword phrase, create one landing page especially to capture traffic to that page, so a website that is being optimised for 20 different keyword phrases should have 20+ pages of content, as well as the usual functional pages like the contact page, about page and home page. When a website is optimised for more than 2 keyword phrases, the website’s home page should be a general introduction and be optimised for the theme, usually expressed by the broadest keywords that encompass as much of the meaning of the rest of the keywords as possible.

Long-tail keyword – a keyword phrase that contains 2 or more words. Usually, long-tail keyword phrases occur less often in search, but they are also often associated with higher levels of search intent – meaning they may provide excellent convertible value from minimal number of search referrals.

Link farm – a website that exists for the sole purpose of amassing links. Such websites present little or no value to a user, and along with the websites their links point to, are therefore targeted by penalties from the Google Penguin algorithm. Links farms existed en masse during the era when link metrics where a major contributor to rank in Google. They still exist, but usually only in the hope that SEO service providers haven’t yet figured out that link farming is bad for SEO. Links farms where sometimes proprietary – meaning the farm was owned by the entity selling the links to its clients. Many millions of websites where adversely affected by the launch of Google Penguin and lost rank almost over night. Often, the companies who created the links where no longer in operation or where not contactable, so many of the affected sites where abandoned. Some sites recovered from Penguin penalties by using a link detox process.

Link juice – the concept of passing SEO ranking credit from one web page to another via a link. There is a belief that websites can pass credit through more than one generation – i.e. a web page can gain credit from another website even if not directly connected but when there is a different website between them in the link path. There is also a belief that link juice can ‘leak’ out of a page when outbound links are connected to pages of lower SEO value. I don’t personally like the term ‘link juice’, but I think the concept has merit. Always consider how and where you get links to your website carefully and try to be on the receiving end of a flow of positive ‘link juice’.

M

META – any element of data that can provide more information about any piece of content. Usually, meta data follows a pattern  that is repeated within any given website structure, for example a blog which will have author data, publish date, category, tags for other relevant information arranged in a regular fashion (i.e. author, then publish date, then category) The meta data may not necessarily appear to the front-end user of the website, instead appearing only in the source code, but allowing for arrangement by the website, or for indexing in search engines. The most commonly referred-to meta in SEO is the Meta Description which is a description of the page content that sometimes (but not necessarily) appears in organic search results.

MOZ – a US-based company in the business of providing SEO data analytics solutions for SEO practitioners or website owners. This company makes one of my favourite tools for SEO: the MOZ-bar plugin for Chrome. I also use the Open Site Explorer web application which is free to use. While MOZ do provide some awesome tools, I am a bit opposed to the reliance on data automation of some because it can lead users to believe they have to chase a metric as their SEO priority. I think this methodology can only get your SEO project so far, and sometimes result in poor decision-making. Common sense and logic are outstanding tools. Don’t forget to apply them even when the data seems more convincing.

Menu – the generally recognisable website navigation structure, usually in the header of a web page, but often also in a sidebar of the web page. Menus are part of the User Interface. Menus can be placed anywhere in a website, but when they don’t appear where expected it can lead to a poorer User eXperience. Menus are therefore a critical part of a UI/UX structure and should be considered for both users and SEO in mind.

META Description – the description statement embedded in the code of any web page. Should say what the page is about. Length recommendation for Google snippets is no longer than 156 characters, but this varies a little depending on what letter combinations are used, or how many upper case letters, or broad letters like ‘M’ or ‘W’ vs narrower letters like ‘I’, ‘J’ or ‘L’ are used. META Descriptions do not affect Google SEO, however they do affect Click Through and Conversion.

Mirror site – a website that is an exact copy of your main website, probably because it uses the same database and file resources, but on an apparently different domain name. For SEO, you should never have a live (search engine or human accessible) mirror website. You can have a duplicate site, but only as long as it targets a different country. If you are trying to game the system with two sites targeting the same market, you’ll likely end up in a big SEO mess.

Metric – a measurement of something that can be quantified with a number. This is different to a ‘segment’ which denotes a description of part of a market. These words are often associated with Google Analytics (or any analytics) as they apply to two different types of functions in measurement of data. Metrics can be defined as a percentage, a ratio, a total number, a fraction, a time-frame etc. Analysing Google Analytics and deriving useful information from it can be quite challenging, especially if you haven’t used Analytics in the past. Discuss our SEO services with us to find out how we can help you derive value from your analytics.

Mobile – any device that can browse the web that doesn’t rely on a direct hard line connection to a power source to operate. This includes a huge range of screen sizes and resolutions because it encompasses laptops, tablets and smart-phones. In my view, laptops are not considered mobile due to their larger screen sizes, so the definition is a little bit off, and the label ‘mobile’ is probably not applicable in the case of high resolution laptops, and possibly not applicable to Retina displays as well. Mobile is often used instead of the words ‘small screen’ – which is actually more appropriate for the content in which the word mobile is used in SEO

Morphological match – this term is not commonly used in SEO, but it is actually highly relevant. I used it because of my background in linguistics. When I use this phrase, I am talking about two keywords that match in their exact form, i.e. they are identical. The reason why I don’t just say ‘identical’ is two-fold: 1. because sometimes a morphological match may not be a match in meaning (when the context changes the meaning of the word) and 2. because I contrast morphological matches with semantic matches. Both of these have to be considered when implementing SEO services on a website.

Manual Action – a search engine ranking penalty that was imposed on your website that was actioned by a person on behalf of the search engine (their employee). Manual actions are different to algorithmic penalties because they usually require you to fix the issues and then appeal for reassessment. The reassessment is not an automatic process like it would be for a algorithmic penalty.

META Keywords – the code element in a web page that contains the keywords you are targeting. These have no effect for Google SEO. I never use this element for SEO.

N

Natural – usually used in SEO (or should I say, on this website at least) when referring to SEO services or SEO practices that blend with design and user interface in a way that they aren’t contrived, or look like they belong as part of the normal flow of the content. In my view, the ideally search engine optimised website looks like top priority was given to satisfying users’ needs, not search engines. I also often refer to ‘natural’ link acquisition patterns or ‘natural distribution’ because any behavior that appears unnatural or contrived usually will result in poor SEO scores – if not immediately, then some time in the near future. This means that the best SEO is the kind of SEO that’s aimed at firstly users, but subtly manipulated for search engines in a way that doesn’t disrupt the user experience in any way.

Noun – a word that names an object or idea. Commonly referred to as a ‘naming word’. Nouns are usually the pivotal words in SEO campaigns i.e. SEO is usually applied mainly on nouns (car, house, plumber), but often qualified by adjectives (fast, cheap, professional) or prepositional phrases (in Auckland, in Queenstown, near Hamilton). Keyword research will help you figure out what combinations are most valuable for you, and which pivots you should be using to build larger phrases or ‘long-tail-keywords’.

Navigation – a conventional method of accessing other pages in your website from any page. usually in the header of the page, but sometimes in a sidebar as well, or instead of. Navigation links are important for SEO because they also give Google and Bing access to the other pages too. If your site didn’t have a good navigation system that your visitors had trouble to figure out, expect a similar experience for search engines. That means navigation is an important part of SEO.

Nameserver – the library indexing server that associates a domain name based function like a web address or an email address with an IP location. Nameservers exist all over the world in ISPs, at hosting providers etc. Every time a user looks up a web address they use a recognisable common name like ‘crankedseo.com’ in their browser. The communication request then goes to the ISP to which the browser is connected, and the ISP looks up its nameserver records to see which IP address this common name is associated with. It then passes the communication request to the appropriate IP server, which then determines which specific web hosting installation the name refers to. Data can then be passed from the hosting installation and the recipient browser through this channel. Nameservers are not in constant communication with every other nameserver in the world, so when one nameserver updates a name and IP address allocation, it can take minutes (sometimes hours) to have this update roll out to all other nameservers. This is called propagation. Because of the delay caused by propagation, it’s possible for a user to see a cached old version of a website for some hours after it has been updated to a new version.

O

Optimisation – the process of making something more suited to/for some purpose. In this case, refers to subtly changing your website content, its structure, it’s underlying code and performance characteristics, or its outward impression on the web in order to make it more appealing to search engines like Google, in a hope that it gains favour against other websites in the same genre, and therefore gains rank. There’s no magic wand to do this, no sprinkling of fairy dust, but there is a secret recipe – a lot of which I have shared on this website. In case this is the first part of my website you are reading, do check out the rest.

Optimization – same as ‘optimisation’ above but with an American accent. This does bring up an interesting question for SEO: do you have to include all spelling variations of a word to be able to optimise for it? Answer: No, you do not. I never do this – and this one and only example will be the only time that ‘optimisation’ appears anywhere in the website spelled with a ‘z’.

Open Source – a type of code that may bee freely edited by the user without requiring permission or fees to be paid to the creator of the code. In websites, Open Source code means you are able to get a web developer to build add-ons to your specification without having to pay licence fees to the original creator of the base code. This is opposed to Proprietary Code which is fully owned by the creator and you typically have no rights over. Proprietary systems usually mean you are locked into paying monthly or annual fees to use the software.

Organic – the type of rank you achieve in search engines that doesn’t cost you for every impression or click. You may have to pay to get your website ranked organically – by buying SEO services, but once delivered, it will serve you well in getting unlimited volumes of impressions – and hopefully some clicks and conversions. Plus, good SEO lasts a long time. Bad SEO can get you some quick gains, but often result in long term damage. Avoid bad SEO. Unfortunately, price if not always the best indicator of good from bad, but the ones that are good rank well themselves. Don’t hire someone that relies totally on paid rank (which is NOT organic) to get their clicks, unless you are hiring them to help you with AdWords.

P

Phrase – any word or sequence of words that occur in searches. Specifically, these are “keyword phrases” in SEO. Discovering exactly what kinds of phrases actually occur is an important part of SEO work. We can’t do any SEO on your website without doing this research.

Post – any article that you write in a blog – called a blog post. In WordPress, all articles, pages and other page-generating elements in a theme are all actually posts. They are identified as a code number Post ID in the WordPress system, and if you have post title as permalink turned on, the post number is converted into a word-based name. Despite this, the actual post will always exist in the WordPress system as a post ID and can be referred to as such.

Process – you should follow a process when implementing SEO. The process should follow a structured plan that doesn’t overwhelm your time resources. Take your time. Do what you can, but do some every week via a process.

Penalty – an action carried out by a search engine to demote your website rank for a specific reason, usually because you have breached recommended quality guidelines. Search engines are getting very good at working out if you are trying to game the system to gain rank. If you or your website appears to behave in a way that matches what the search engine sees as being underhanded or contrived, you may find your site on the nasty side of a penalty or manual action. We carry out SEO work on a regular basis to resolve any kind of rank penalty including link detox.

Page Rank – an algorithmically calculated number that suggests how well your web page might rank in search results. I personally find such figures to be fairly useless in isolation, but when used to compare one site to another from the same genre, they can sometimes be quite useful. Ditto with PA and DA figures calculated by Moz. Take with a pinch of salt.

PA – stands for Page Authority. An algorithmic figure of ability to rank for any given web page. PA is associated with SEO Moz – a highly respected and trusted source of some really neat SEO software. I tend not to rely too much on the figures, except for making comparisons.

Panda – a Google algorithm designed to sort websites by content quality and fairly reduce the rank capability of sites that don’t offer users much value..

Penguin – another Google algorithm. This one designed to assess websites’ link profiles to weed out unnatural, low quality or manipulated links in order to fairly reduce benefit, eliminate benefit or even penalise sites that had them, in favour of ones that indicated actual trust value and more likely obtained through natural processes.

Plan – something you are crazy to proceed without when doing SEO work on your website. Every SEO project should have an overall strategy plan that doesn’t limit itself to on-page SEO or any other single facet of digital marketing. Talk to us about forming a digital strategy plan for your company.

Product page – any post page that refers to an item in a “productised” website. Usually product type posts conform to a template, i.e. they have a description section, a price, and SKU field, a category name, a short description and a stock count. Many other fields may be assigned to a product post page, but once productised, the site is usually ready to begin selling online. Some websites do have “product” pages where the page content is about the product. They may even have some of the same elements from a templated product page, but are not able to be sold and transacted by the website. Sites like that are not productised. Performing SEO on productised content carries its own level of complexity, and this is where a structure plan is quite important. Non-productised websites just use regular content SEO strategies. In other words, SEO implementation does differ depending on how products are presented.

Q

Quality traffic – the kind of visitors that you want coming to your website because they are most likely to want to do business with you. How do you know if your website is getting quality traffic? You measure conversions per hundred visits. Your goals should always be to increase the conversions in total, and increase the conversions per hundred. A reasonable conversion rate might be around 1-5%. For some sites, below 1% is not unusual.

Queries – any instance of a keyword phrase being used to search for something. A keyword phrase will be said to have X number of queries per month on average. 10 per month is very low, but may yield results. Keep in mind that conversion depends largely on visitor quality, so don’t ignore keyword phrases with low query rates. They may well be providing you with the highest visitor quality.

R

Reciprocal link – a link from one website to another that is exchanged between the two websites, i.e., they link to each other and therefore have increased their link profile. This used to be done a fair bit some time ago for SEO, but in today’s SEO reciprocal links don’t count toward rank, because when they occur, it’s fairly obvious that the linking is established through an unnatural process – the two website owners or managers probably agreed to set links to each other’s sites as a business exchange. Not sure how to figure out what kind of links will count positively toward your link profile?

Redirect – an instruction set in a website to direct traffic for a given URL to another URL. This may be done temporarily when the content at the original URL still exists, or permanently if the content at the original URL has been removed entirely. Identified as 302 (temporary) or 301 (permanent).

Referrer – a source location from which a website visitor came to your website. The visitor may be a human or a bot. Google or Bing search may be an organic referrer or a paid referred (organic rank or paid rank links), or your visitor may have followed a link to your site that they came across while viewing another website’s page. Examples might be a directory page, a social media page, or someone’s blog or contextual links in their site. Google Analytics provides data on which site and page has referred a visitor to your site.

Re-marketing – using a display advertising tool that shows your ads to people who have visited your website. It works well for reminding your visitor what you can do for them.

Reputation Management – a specialist field within SEO that manages searches based on a person’s name with the intention of pushing ranked negative information about the person down the ranks onto page 2 or later of search results pages, by successfully ranking other pages of content ahead of the negative information.

ROI – stands for Return On Investment. This is (or should be) the primary goal of your SEO or AdWords campaign if you do one. It’s certainly the goal of our SEM services, but that isn’t a given with many agencies. If you are considering hiring an agency, make sure you discuss ways that you can measure your Return On Investment.

Relative link – a link in HTML code that only refers to the subfolder and file name for the web page or content element. A relative link does not contain the domain name in the http element, which indicates that the host domain name if to be used by default. Relative links are often used when web content needs to be shared or migrated between domain names, because it preserves link integrity when website files are transferred to a new host and domain. This contrasts to Absolute links that include the domain name in the http address. Such links need to be modified to display the new domain name if content and files are being migrated to a new host.

A relative link will look like this: /services/

An absolute link will look like this: https://rankpower.com/services/

Registrant – the person or company that purchases a domain name license.

Registrar – the agency responsible for processing your domain name registration.

Robots.txt – the text document in a website that tells search engines which pages or directories you don’t want visited by the search engine’s crawler. Usually works, but is not a 100% guarantee that content within the disallowed page or directory wont appear in search. There are many instances where having a page appear in search engines is not a good thing, even if you do want human visitors to be able to access the page. Talk to us about SEO work around controlling your indexed pages and how this might affect your Google rank.

S

Search Engine – any software that is designed to return a search result based on some measure of relevance to a user’s search query. In SEO, the search engines mostly referred to are Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex and many others, including platform specific search engines like YouTube. The first two are the main contenders in the ‘Western’ world. In New Zealand and Australia, Google commands a massive lead and is around 90% of all search engine use.

Search History – the stored memory of other searches you have made on any given search engine, which is sometimes used to ‘improve’ your search results on the basis that if you search the same thing again, you most likely’ are looking for the same results you selected to view last time. This makes many of the searches you perform in search engines like Google biased based on who you are or what computer you are searching from. For this reason, it’s very difficult to determine objective rank and search results.

SEO – stands for Search Engine Optimisation – and is the topic of this website. Read everything. It might take you a while, so fetch a cup of tea and a biscuit first.

Search Engine Optimisation – as above. More tea please.

Sitemap – a file in your website that lists all of the pages in your website and provides active links to each. Sometimes you may have several sitemaps for different kinds of pages. If you do, you might also have a sitemap index page, which lists the various sitemaps and also provides links to them. The purpose of a sitemap is to tell search engines exactly where your pages are and gives a followed link to each page so that the page can get crawled by the search engine. Sitemap submission is a fundamental early step in getting your website ranked through SEO services, and if you’re not sure how to get this done, please consult a specialist. Generally, the sitemap document is not visible in the “front-end” of the website, but some website systems do have them either as well, or instead of a sitemap.xml file. As I haven’t used the front-end version, I can’t comment on whether it works. I recommend using an XML document for your sitemap, or if you can’t make one (or your website doesn’t generate one) you can use a text (txt) document instead.

Spammy (spam) – the way us SEOs refer to website content that comes across either over-optimised or has excessive use of a particular SEO strategy. Such sites aften look bad, or don’t read well, because of the repeated use of keyword phrases, or they may have overly manipulated structure or code designed to appeal to search engines but having the opposite effect. These days, this often happens because people are still trying to do SEO the way it worked years ago. Keyword spamming does not work. If you’re doing it, stop.

Spider – another name for a crawler or bot or robot. This is the exploratory part of a search engine that is designed to download data from your site and report back to the database for assessment by an algorithm. They are not black and creepy. But they do move very quickly and will probably visit your website several times per day. many times more if your website is very popular and has lots of links to it. Many SEOs who don’t know their job think that Google’s crawler only visits every now and then (like maybe a few times a month), but this misconception is based on the fact that it takes months for rank to change. Crawlers DO NOT assess rank. They just send data to the algorithm’s database where it gets processed when it can get around to it. There are hundreds of millions of websites to crawl, but it’s not a single instance of a crawler that does this. Google can crawl hundreds of thousands of websites simultaneously.

SEM – stands for Search Engine Marketing, which is the marketing through all channels via any given search engine. It’s not limited to Organic rank, but includes paid text ads, paid image ads, banners, local search optimisation, news submissions etc. basically, everything or anything you can do to promote your business via a search engine.

SEO Copywriting – the kind of text that is crafted with SEO in mind. This is considerably different to regular copywriting because while it has to convey a marketing message, it also needs to conform to some very technical guidelines that most regular copywriters can’t do. This is one of the most important SEO elements of any website and is an integral part of our  services on offer. I estimate that more than 50% of your website’s rank will depend on the quality of your SEO copywriting. This entire website is written as SEO copy..

SERPs – stands for Search Engine Results Pages. In Google or Bing, these are the pages you view after you have searched something using their search engine. In the SEO community this is very commonly abbreviated and referred to as ‘serps’ instead of saying the whole phrase, obviously to save the effort, but it does sometimes mean we say it and are not understood by our clients. Forgive me if I do this and you’re my client. I’ll try not to.

SSL – stands for Secure Socket Layers and is a system for encrypting data between two parties. In the case of SEO, this can help rank by a very small degree because an SSL certificate must be issued if SSL is to be used – and this is a small barrier to scammers as it means they have to reveal some details about their business to a third party, and/or part with some money for the certificate. SSL should be used if your website send or receives sensitive or private data that you don’t want intercepted.

Submission – the process of providing some data about your website to a search engine or directory. A critical early step in services for your site.

T

Taxonomy – a commonly referred-to phrase in website construction or SEO where collections of similar content get grouped into sets. A commonplace use of taxonomies in everyday life is in your kitchen. You probably place forks, spoon and knives in separate slots in your cutlery drawer, and most likely don’t keep your pots amongst your drinking glasses. The same principle is applied to taxonomies in a website, and SEO relies on the correct application of taxonomies to get organic traffic to specific landing pages.

Text ads – the advertising medium where you use a text-based search result to buy clicks to your website. The usual example in Google will be AdWords within SERPs.

Title element – refers to the coded data element in your web page that tells the search engine what the title of your page is. This does not have to match the page heading, but it should be about the same subject. The title element is the text that appears in blue (or purple if you visited the link) in Google search pages. Title elements count toward SEO and organic rank and is one of the many technical aspects we check as part of our work.

Top-heavy – is the excessive use of non-engagement-contributing or distracting elements in the content of your website that appears first on screen (above the fold). This has an impact on whether a user decides to scroll-down and is therefore a ranking factor for SEO.

U

Update – when referring to search engines, means a change in their algorithm processing, which may or may not affect your website’s rank. When referring to websites, means renewing content.

URL – stands for Uniform Resource Locator and is the address of your content on the web. It’s usually human readable so this it can be identified and remembered more easily, but not always the case. Some URLs may have many human-illegible content elements. Sometimes URLs are pronounced “url” but I prefer to say “you are el”.

URL rewriter – the process of applying a modification to a URL in a website. You may have typed “www.rankpower.net” to find this website, but on arriving here, my URL rewriter has transformed what you typed into “https://rankpower.com” because a) I do not use the ‘www’ subdomain, and b) this website transmits and received data only in secure SSL mode – so the “s” is added into “https” instead of just “http” which is non-secure mode.

UI / UX – stands for User Interface / User eXperience and refers to whether your website works well for its users. The User eXperience should be appealing enough to make them want to come back or refer it to others. The User Interface should make it easy for your users to find what they want as easily and quickly as possible. Although UI / UX is not directly under SEO, it does affect conversion rate optimisation and it will affect SEO factors such as content sharing.

Unethical SEO – unfortunately practiced by many in the industry. This is usually about providing the client with a perception of success while actually delivering none.

V

Viral Marketing – the occurrence of marketing that is spread exponentially by users in a fairly short space of time. This usually happens by accident. It seldom works if planned. Many business owners think that have a chance of having this happen with their digital marketing, but the reality is that it’s very unlikely to ever happen. Some agencies offer this service to their clients with hugely varying levels of success.

Vertical – marketing talk for a niche or genre that a particular agency might specialise in.

W

White Hat SEO – this is the kind of SEO work that I practice. It refers to the type of work that search engine architects approve of, but since it is subject to human opinion, the boundaries of White Hat SEO may evolve over time, and some factors that are accepted today as White Hat may become Black Hat in the future. However, the sophistication of Google’s algorithms are such that cheating or tricking them via Black Hat SEO is not considerably more difficult, meaning that White Hat SEO may at some point become the only SEO that works. Black Hat SEO is a kind of SEO work that exploits loopholes, weaknesses or flaws in search engine algorithms to leverage rank. It sometimes works well short term but is usually reduced to zero effect or penalised once discovered.

Whois – a public directory service that provides details about the registered owner, re-seller and nameserver settings for a domain name license. Usually, legitimate businesses will have all of their correct contact information available in these records. It’s possible to use proxies to hide registrant details, but this may be a ranking factor for SEO, so we never recommend obscuring your domain registry details in any way.

Wikipedia – the online encyclopedia that often ranks well ahead of business websites – because it has a very high level of trust online and is massively linked-to from outside their website i.e. many people refer to it and provide a link to a page in it as a reliable source of more information for their users, but that increases the rank capability of Wikipedia itself. If you rank higher than Wikipedia in your vertical (niche or genre) then you’re probably doing well! Try a search for “seo services” and check where my other website (www.seoservices.net.nz) ranks against Wikipedia.

WordPress – the website CMS that this website is built on. WordPress is the most widely used CMS on the planet. I’d recommend it for many businesses except those required complex eCommerce stores – for which I recommend Magento. WordPress is Open Source – which means the code used in its construction is able to be edited by the owner and user any way they like. Because of this, WordPress websites offer true ownership. Applying SEO to a WordPress site is easy as pie!

X

XML – a data document usually used as the base for a website’s sitemap. You can use a TXT file instead, but XML is more useful.

X-ited and X-tatic – what you would be if you ranked #1 in your vertical for a commercially relevant keyword phrase. If you need help getting there and can’t spare the 2 years you might need to learn everything on this website, talk to us about what SEM services we can offer you.

Y

Yahoo – a search engine I almost never use. Our SEO work does help get rank there though. Mainly our work concentrates on what Google thinks of your website, solely because it’s the most-used search engine, but we’d be happy to check out how you’re doing in Yahoo / Bing too and give you some pointers. Generally, the SEO that works for Yahoo and Bing is the SEO that worked for Google about 18 months – 2 years ago. Their systems are somewhat less advanced.

Yandex – another search engine, based in the Russian Federation.

Z

Zone File – the file that contains instructions on how traffic for your domain name is supposed to be directed. Traffic to  the domain name itself (for example “rankpower.net”) is sent to a hosting platform at a given IP address where this website is hosted, but email@rankpower.net is not directed there – it may be directed to a gmail account, or to some other place. Also subdomain.rankpower.net may be directed to a different hosting platform, and possibly not even in the same country. Zone files can have any number of address records in them to direct any combination of address type to its rightful location. The zone file is typically hosted with the domain name provider, but may also be hosted elsewhere so long as the domain is configured to direct nameserver queries to the right location.

0 – 9

200 – the HTTP status code for ‘OK’ – the web page is displayed with no problems. This is the usual status code you have for your web pages..

301 – the HTTP status code for a web page that has been permanently removed and redirected to a different page. You should use 301 redirects every time you want to remove a ranked web page from your website. For best SEO, you should redirect the page to the next closest page in relevance. It may well be the exact same content, but on a different URL. Whenever you redirect a page, you may lose some of its ranking power, so this should be avoided if possible. When redesigning your website on a different CMS with different URL structures and behavior, you may have no choice but to use new URLs and set 301 redirects. 301 redirects pass approximately 90% of their page-rank to the new URL, but that is only temporary because the new page will settle on its own rank in time. i.e. if your old page had excellent pagerank but your new page doesn’t deserve the same pagerank, it will eventually be lost and the new lower pagerank value assigned to the new page.

302 – the HTTP status for a temporary redirection.

404 – the HTTP status for any URL that is called but cannot be located. In other words, it may be a page URL that no longer exists and doesn’t have a 301 redirect to a new page, or you may have deleted an image or other kind of resource and the link to that resource hasn’t been 301’s to a new resource. Same issue really. You can track your 404 errors as Google sees them in Google Search Console. These should ideally all be redirected. If you don’t have a new page to redirect to, because you have permanently removed the information from your site, you could consider setting a custom 404 page that give details to the user with suggestions of other content they might like to see instead. If really nothing is suitable, you should redirect to the home page or category landing page that gives the best possible user experience based on the expectation of the user. If you have internal or external links flowing to missing URLs, always update the link first. You may not have any influence over bookmarked links, which is why you should keep 301s active for as long as bookmarks are sending referrals. 404 errors can affect your SEO, especially when your resource that was supposed to be at the specified URL has rank. You can temporarily preserve most of the rank via a 301 redirect, but the actual rank the new URL gets in the long term depends entirely on its own features.

500 – the HTTP status for an internal server error at the hosting server. There can be many causes to this error, and you may need a server specialist to sort it out. These errors are a serious issue for SEO because Google will be experiencing the same issue and may look unfavourably on your site or URLs if this sort of error is common.

503 – the HTTP status for an unavailable service. Usually for temporary problems, but regular occurrence can cause SEO problems. If your site regularly encounters 5XX errors, consider discussing with your hosting provider to resolve, or change hosting provider. For a full list of HTTP status codes, view this link.