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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 SEO 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 SEO services for your site.
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 SEO services.
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.
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.crankedseo.com” to find this website, but on arriving here, my URL rewriter has transformed what you typed into “https://crankedseo.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.
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.