Do you know what keyword stuffing is? Or a crawler? Or a link farm? Get the lowdown on SEO with this essential glossary by SEO expert, John Straw
Alt tag: the descriptive label you add to a graphic file.
Anchor text: the text that describes the target page in a link. Eg a link like "SEO" would have an underlying link to www.linkdex.com (see what I did there?).
Back links: the "inbound" link structure to a site - ie all the links that are coming into your site from other sites. The number of back links affects your page ranking (see below).
Black hat: term given to a strategy of trying to deceive Google.
Cloaking: serving different content to a search spider than to the human reader. Will get you banned.
Crawler: same as spider (see below).
Doorway page: also known as a "bridge page" or a "gateway page". A doorway page is a web page full of keyword-rich copy that doesn't deliver any useful information on it other than a link into the site, and whose sole purpose is to be fed to the search engines.
Google dance: the chaos caused when Google updates its algorithms and index — many sites are affected.
H1 title tag: this is important to Google. If your keyword is in the title tag that's a good thing.
Inlinks: the inbound links to a page or site. See also backlinks, above.
Keyword density: the number of times a keyword appears on a page as a proportion of total keywords. 2-3% is ideal.
Keyword rich copy: well-optimised page text that has a good distribution of keywords throughout headings and copy.
Keyword stuffing: the dubious practice of stuffing keywords into parts of the page Google can't see or overloading copy with keywords in the hope of fooling Google.
Link buying: buying inbound links to gain better Google results. Dubious at best.
Link farm: a series of highly-linked websites whose sole purpose is to raise the pagerank (see below) score of a target. Don't go there.
Meta description: a 10-20 word description of a page in the HTML code of that page. Although it’s not very important to SEO, a well-written description can be the difference between a potential visitor clicking on your link or that of your competitors.
PageRank: a weighted indication of how important Google thinks a page is. It's on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being nirvana and very hard to achieve. The scale is logarithmic. A tip on how PageRank is distributed — if a page has PageRank 4 with 8 outbound links on it then PageRank is distributed on the basis of 4/8. Something to watch for — you may well be offered a link from a page with Pagerank 7 — but you are not told that that page may have thousands of outbound links on it, making it worthless.
Reciprocal linking: where you agree a link from your site to another site and they agree to link back. Nearly worthless from an SEO perspective — Google knows what you're doing!
SERPS: Search Engine Results Pages.
Spider: the way a search engine crawls your site.
Text link ads: paid-for links; don't go there!
301 redirect: a legitimate method of telling Google you have moved content to another page or site.
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