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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.
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 can’t easily be detected, 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 Google or Bing. I also often refer to ‘natural’ link acquisition patterns or ‘natural distribution’ because any behaviour 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.
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. If you don’t fancy doing website optimisation for SEO yourself, check out my SEO services page.
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.
The defenitions here are provided in my own words and reflect my understanding of them. Sorry if I get something wrong. All content is protected by Copyright law.