Glossary of Terms
301 Redirect – A message that the URL has moved permanently. This is commonly used when a URL has a new location and will not be appearing again at the old URL.
302 Redirect – A “found” message. (Also referred to as a “temporary redirect.”) This form of redirection is commonly used — and in some cases abused — when a URL has been moved to a different location; but, it will be returning to the original location eventually.
403 Server Code – A “forbidden” message. Prevents access to a URL and displays the reason for preventing access.
404 Server Code – A “not found” message. Server cannot find the URL requested.
API – Acronym for Application Programming Interface. This is a program that advertisers create to manage their SEM campaigns, bypassing the search engines’ interfaces.
A/B Testing – A/B testing, at its simplest, is randomly showing a visitor one version of a page – (A) version or (B) version – and tracking the changes in behavior based on which version they saw. (A) version is normally your existing design (“control” in statistics lingo); and (B) version is the “challenger” with one copy or design element changed. In a “50/50 A/B split test,” you’re flipping a coin to decide which version of a page to show. A classic example would be comparing conversions resulting from serving either version (A) or (B), where the versions display different headlines. A/B tests are commonly applied to clicked-on ad copy and landing page copy or designs to determine which version drives the more desired result.
Absolute URL’s Link – Absolute URLs use the full-path address, such as http://www.vastvision.com/page1.htm. (See also Relative URL’s link.)
Acquisition Strategy – A process of finding those potential customers who are in the market and ready to buy. The attempt to lead customers to a web site and to welcome them, answer their questions and close the sale.
Ad – Advertisements a searcher sees after submitting a query in a search engine or web site search box. In PPC, these ads are usually text format, with a Title, Description and Display URL. In some cases, a keyword the searcher used in his or her query appears boldfaced in the displayed ad. Ads can be positioned anywhere on a search results page; commonly they appear at the top – above the natural or organic listings – and on the right side of the page, also known as “Right Rail.”
Ad Copy – The main text of a clickable search or context-served ad. It usually makes up the second and third lines of a displayed ad, between the Ad Title and the Display URL.
Ad Title – The first line of text displayed in a clickable search or context-served ad. Ad Titles serve as ad headlines.
Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate marketing is a process of revenue sharing that allows merchants to duplicate sales efforts by enlisting other web sites as a type of outside sales force. Successful affiliate marketing programs result in the merchant attracting additional buyers, and the affiliate earning the equivalent of a referral fee, based on click-through referrals to the merchant site.
Algorithm – A set of rules that a search engine uses to rank listings in response to a query. Search engines guard their algorithms closely, as they are the unique formulas used to determine relevancy. Algorithms are sometimes referred to as the ”secret sauce.”
ALT Text – Also known as alternative text or alt attribute. An HTML tag (ALT tag) used to provide images with a text description in the event images are turned off in a web browser. The images text description is usually visible while “hovering” over the image. This tag is also important for the web access of the visually impaired.
Anchor Text – Words used to link to a page, known as anchor text are an important signal to search engines to determine a page’s relevance.
Arbitrage – A practice through which web publishers – second tier search engines, directories and vertical search engines – engage in the buying and reselling of web traffic. Typically, arbitrage occurs when such publishers pool client budgets to engage in PPC campaigns on Tier I search engines (Google, Yahoo!, MSN). If the publishers pay $0.10 per click for traffic, they typically resell those visitors to clients who bid $0.20 or more for the same keywords. Successful arbitrage requires that the arbitrageur must pay less per click than what the traffic sells for. The variation called Affiliate Arbitrage involves a web site owner or blogger bidding on keywords from programs such as Yahoo! Search Marketing or Google AdWords, who then links the ads, either to their own web site, or directly to a merchant site displaying ads (from programs such as the Yahoo! Publisher Network or Google AdSense).
Auction Model Bidding – The most popular type of PPC bidding. First, an advertiser determines what maximum amount per click they are willing to spend for a keyword. If there is no competition for that keyword, the advertiser pays their bid, or less, for every click. If there is competition at auction for that keyword, then the advertiser with the highest bid will pay one penny more than their nearest competitor. For example, advertiser A is willing to bid up to $0.50; advertiser B is willing to bid up to $0.75. If advertiser A’s actual bid is $0.23, then advertiser B will only pay $0.24 per click. Also referred to as market or competition-driven bidding.
Automatic Optimization – Search engines identify which ad for an individual advertiser demonstrates the highest CTR (click-through rate) as time progresses, and then optimizes the ad serve, showing that ad more often than other ads in the same Ad Group/Ad Order.
B2B – Stands for “Business to Business.” A business that markets its services or products to other businesses.
B2C – Stands for “Business to
Consumer.” A business that markets its services or products to consumers.
Backlinks – All the links pointing at a particular web page. Also called inbound links.
Ban – Also known as Delisting. Refers to a punitive action imposed by a search engine in response to being spammed. Can be an IP address of a specific URL
Baseline Metrics – Time-lagged calculations (usually averages of one sort or another) which provide a basis for making comparisons of past performance to current performance. Baselines can also be forward-looking, such establishing a goal and seeking to determine whether the trends show the likelihood of meeting that goal. They become an essential piece of a Key Performance Indicator (KPI).
Behavioral Targeting – The practice of targeting and serving ads to groups of people who exhibit similarities not only in their location, gender or age, but also in how they act and react in their online environment. Behaviors tracked and targeted include web site topic areas they frequently visit or subscribe to; subjects or content or shopping categories for which they have registered, profiled themselves or requested automatic updates and information, etc.
Bid – The maximum amount of money that an advertiser is willing to pay each time a searcher clicks on an ad. Bid prices can vary widely depending on competition from other advertisers and keyword popularity.
Bid Boosting – A form of automated bid management that allows you to increase your bids when ads are served to someone whose age or gender matches your target market. This level of demographic focus and the “bid boosting” tool are current Microsoft adCenter offerings.
Bid Management Software – Software that manages PPC campaigns automatically, called either rules-based (with triggering rules or conditions set by the advertiser) or intelligent software (enacting real-time adjustments based on tracked conversions and competitor actions). Both types of automatic bid management programs monitor and change bid prices, pause campaigns, manage budget maximums, adjust multiple keyword bids based on CTR, position ranking and more.
Black Box Algorithms – Black box is technical jargon for a when system is viewed primarily in terms of input and output characteristics. A black box algorithm is one where the user cannot see the inner workings of the algorithm. All search engine algorithms are hidden.
Blacklists – A list of Web sites that are considered off limits or dangerous. A Web site can be placed on a blacklist because it is a fraudulent operation or because it exploits browser vulnerabilities to send spyware and other unwanted software to the user.
Blogs – A truncated form for “web log.” A blog is a frequently updated journal that is intended for general public consumption. They usually represent the personality of the author or web site.
Brand – Customer or user experience represented by images and ideas, often referring to a symbol (name, logo, symbols, fonts, colors), a slogan and a design scheme. Brand recognition and other reactions are created by the accumulation of experiences with the specific product or service, both from its use, and as influenced by advertising, design and media commentary. Brand is often developed to represent implicit values, ideas and even personality.
Brand and Branding – “A brand is a customer experience represented by a collection of images and ideas; often, it refers to a symbol such as a name, logo, slogan, and design scheme. Brand recognition and other reactions are created by the accumulation of experiences with the specific product or service, both directly relating to its use, and through the influence of advertising, design, and media commentary.” (Added Definition) “A brand often includes an explicit logo, fonts, color schemes, symbols, sound which may be developed to represent implicit values, ideas, and even personality.”
Brand Lift – A measurable increase in consumer recall for a specific, branded company, product or service. For example, brand lift might show an increase in respondents who think of Dell for computers, or WalMart for “every household thing.”
Brand Messaging – Creative messaging that presents and maintains a consistent corporate image across all media channels, including search.
Brand Reputation – The position a company brand occupies.
Branding Strategy – The attempt to develop a strong brand reputation on the web to increase brand recognition and create a significant volume of impressions.
Bridge Page – Often used to describe the web pages that linked together many doorway pages on a web site. Also see: Doorway Page, Hallway Page.
Bucket – An associative grouping for related concepts, keywords, behaviors and audience characteristics associated with your company’s product or service. A “virtual container” of similar concepts used to develop PPC keywords, focus ad campaigns and target messages.
Buying Funnel – Also called the Buying Cycle, Buyer Decision Cycle and Sales Cycle, Buying Funnel refers to a multi-step process of a consumer’s path to purchase a product – from awareness to education to preferences and intent to final purchase.
Buzz Monitoring Services – Services that will email a client regarding their status in an industry. Most buzz or publicity monitoring services will email anytime a company’s name, executives, products, services or other keyword-based information on them are mentioned on the web. Some services charge a fee; others, such as Yahoo! and Google Alerts, are free.
Buzz Opportunities – Topics popular in the media and with specific audiences that receive news coverage or pass along recommendations that help increase exposure for a brand. Ways to uncover potential buzz opportunities include reviewing incoming traffic to a web site from organic links and developing new keywords to reach those visitors, or scanning special interest blogs and social media sites to learn what new topics attract rising interest, also to develop new keywords and messages.
COA – Acronym for Cost of Acquisition, which is how much it costs to acquire a conversion (desired action), such as a sale.
CPA – Acronym for Cost Per Acquisition (sometimes called Cost Per Action), which is the total cost of an ad campaign divided by the number of conversions. For example, if a campaign cost $100 and resulted in 5 conversions, the CPA is $20 ($100 / 5). It cost $20 to generate one conversion.
CPA or “Cost Per Acquisition” – Also referred to as “Cost Per Action.” This is a metric used to measure the total monetary cost of each sale, lead or action from start to finish.
CPC – Acronym for Cost Per Click, or the amount search engines charge advertisers for every click that sends a searcher to the advertiser’s web site. For an advertiser, CPC is the total cost for each click-through received when its ad is clicked on.
CPC or “Cost Per Click” – Some search engines charge advertisers a cost for every click sent to their web site. The “CPC” is the total cost for each click received.
CPM – Acronym for Cost Per Thousand Impressions (ad serves or potential viewers). Compare to CPC pricing (defined above). CPM is a standard monetization model for offline display ad space, as well as for some context-based networks serving online search ads to, for example, web publishers and sites.
CPM or “Cost Per Thousand” – A unit of measure typically assigned to the cost of displaying an ad. If an ad appears on a web page 1,000 times and costs $5, then the CPM would be $5. In this instance, every 1,000 times an ad appeared, it would incur a charge of $5.
CPO – Acronym for Cost Per Order. The dollar amount of advertising or marketing necessary to acquire an order. Calculated by dividing marketing expenses by the number of orders. Also referred to as CPA (Cost Per Acquisition).
CTR – Acronym for Click-Through Rate, the number of clicks that an ad gets, divided by the total number of times that ad is displayed or served. (Represented as: total clicks / total impressions for a specific ad = CTR). For example, if an ad has 100 impressions and 6 clicks, the CTR is 6%. The higher the CTR, the more visitors your site is receiving; CTR also factors into you advertiser search engine Quality Score and, therefore, your minimum keyword bids on Tier I engines.
Campaign Integration – Planning and executing a paid search campaign concurrently with other marketing initiatives, online or offline, or both. More than simply launching simultaneous campaigns, true paid search integration takes all marketing initiatives into consideration prior to launch, such as consistent messaging and image, driving offline conversions, supporting brand awareness, increasing response rates and contributing to ROI business goals.
Canonicalization – The process of picking the best URL when there are several choices; this usually refers to home pages. In addition, “Canonicalization is the process of converting data that has more than one possible representation into a “standard” canonical representation. This can be done to compare different representations for equivalence, to count the number of distinct data structures (e.g., in combinatorics), to improve the efficiency of various algorithms by eliminating repeated calculations, or to make it possible to impose a meaningful sorting order.”
Cascading Style Sheets or CSS – An addition to your HTML, a web site’s “cascading style sheet” contains information on paragraph layout, font sizes, colors, etc. A cascading style sheet has many uses as far as search engine optimization and web site design are concerned.
Click Bot – A program generally used to artificially click on paid listings within the engines in order to artificially inflate click amounts.
Click Fraud – Clicks on a Pay-Per-Click advertisement that are motivated by something other than a search for the advertised product or service. Click fraud may be the result of malicious or negative competitor/affiliate actions motivated by the desire to increase costs for a competing advertiser or to garner click-through costs for the collaborating affiliate. Also affects search engine results by diluting the quality of clicks.
Click Through - When a user clicks on a hypertext link and is taken to the destination of that link
Click Through Rate – The percentage of those clicking on a link out of the total number who see the link. For example, imagine 10 people do a web search. In response, they see links to a variety of web pages. Three of the 10 people all choose one particular link. That link then has a 30 percent click-through rate. Also called CTR.
Cloaking - The process by which a web site can display different versions of a web page under different circumstances. It is primarily used to show an optimized or a content-rich page to the search engines and a different page to humans. Most major search engine representatives have publicly stated that they do not approve of this practice.
Comment - The text contained within a “comment” tag in a web page. “Comments” are used in a variety of situations, such as communication between web developers and Cascading Style Sheets (See Above).
Competitive Analysis – As used in SEO, CA is the assessment and analysis of strengths and weaknesses of competing web sites, including identifying traffic patterns, major traffic sources, and keyword selection.
Consumer Generated Media (CGM) – Refers to posts made by consumers to support or oppose products, web sites, or companies, which are very powerful when it comes to company image. It can reach a large audience and, therefore, may change your business overnight.
Content Management Systems (CMS) – In computing, a content management system (CMS) is a document centric collaborative application for managing documents and other content. A CMS is often a web application and often it is used as a method of managing web sites and web content. The market for content management systems remains fragmented, with many open source and proprietary solutions available.
Content Network – Also called Contextual Networks, content networks include Google and Yahoo! Contextual Search networks that serve paid search ads triggered by keywords related to the page content a user is viewing.
Content Targeting – An ad serving process in Google and Yahoo! that displays keyword triggered ads related to the content or subject (context) of the web site a user is viewing. Contrast to search network serves, in which an ad is displayed when a user types a keyword into the search box of a search engine or one of its partner sites.
Contextual Advertising – Advertising that is automatically served or placed on a web page based on the page’s content, keywords and phrases. Contrast to a SERP (search engine result page) ad display. For example, contextual ads for digital cameras would be shown on a page with an article about photography, not because the user entered “digital cameras” in a search box.
Contextual Distribution – The marketing decision to display search ads on certain publisher sites across the web instead of, or in addition to, placing PPC ads on search networks.
Contextual Network – Also called Content Ads and Content Network, contextual network ads are served on web site pages adjacent to content that contains the keywords being bid upon. Contextual ads are somewhat like traditional display ads placed in print media and, like traditional ad buys, are often purchased on the same CPM (cost per thousand impressions) model for purchased keywords, rather than a CPC basis
Contextual Search – A search that analyzes the page being viewed by a user and gives a list of related search results. Offered by Yahoo! and Google.
Contextual Search Campaigns – A paid placement search campaign that takes a search ad listing beyond search engine results pages and onto the sites of matched content web partners.
Conversion Action – The desired action you want a visitor to take on your site. Includes purchase, subscription to the company newsletter, request for follow-up or more information (lead generation), download of a company free offer (research results, a video or a tool), subscription to company updates and news.
Conversion Rate - Conversion rates are measurements that determine how many of your prospects perform the prescribed or desired action step. If your prescribed response is for a visitor to sign up for a newsletter, and you had 100 visitors and 1 newsletter signup, then your conversion rate would be 1%. Typically, micro-conversions (for instance, reading different pages on your site) lead to your main conversion step (making a purchase, or signing up for a service).
Conversion Rate – The number of visitors who convert (take a desired action at your site) after clicking through on your ad, divided by the total number of click-throughs to your site for that ad. (Expressed as: total click-throughs that convert / total click-throughs for that ad = conversion rate.) For example, if an ad brings in 150 click-throughs and 6 of the 150 clicks result in a desired conversion, then the conversion rate is 4% (6 / 150 = 0.04). Higher conversion rates generally translate into more successful PPC campaigns with a better ROI.
Copyright – Protection and ownership of works or expressions fixed in a tangible form, including words, art, images, sounds, and music. Copyright gives the owner the exclusive right to copy, display, license, or expand the work. Copyrights cover virtually any original expression; and the protection arises under common law as soon as the original expression is created (fixed in tangible form). However, proving ownership of the original expression may be difficult legally, unless the work was displayed or used publicly at a verifiable point in time.
Crawler – Automated programs in search engines that gather web site listings by automatically crawling the web. A search engine’s crawler (also called a spider or robot) “reads” page text contents and web page coding, and also follows links to other hyperlinked pages on the web pages it crawls. A crawler makes copies of the web pages found and stores these in the search engine’s index, or database.
Crawler: Also known as a bot and spider, a crawler is a program that search engines use to seek out information on the web. The act of “crawling” on a web site is referred to when the crawler begins to search through documents contained within the web site. Also see Index.
Creatives – Unique words, design and display of a paid-space advertisement. In paid search advertising, creative refers to the ad’s title (headline), description (text offer) and display URL (clickable link to advertiser’s web site landing page). Unique creative display includes word emphasis (boldfaced, italicized, in quotes), typeface style and, on some sites, added graphic images, logos, animation or video clips.
Custom Feed – Create custom feeds for each of the shopping engines that allow you to submit XML feeds. Each of the engines has different product categories and feed requirements.
DHTML – Stands for Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language.
DKI – Acronym for Dynamic Keyword Insertion, the insertion of the EXACT keywords a searcher included in his or her search request in the returned ad title or description. As an advertiser, you have bid on a table or cluster of these keyword variations, and DKI makes your ad listings more relevant to each searcher.
DMCA – Acronym for Digital Millennium Copyright Act. “The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law which….criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services that are used to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works (commonly known as DRM), and criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, even when there is no infringement of copyright itself. [Circumvention of controlled access includes unscrambling, copying, sharing, commercial recording or reverse engineering copyrighted entertainment or software.] It also heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet.”
Dayparting – The ability to specify different times of day – or day of week – for ad displays, as a way to target searchers more specifically. An option that limits serves of specified ads based on day and time factors.
Deep Linking – Linking that guides, directs and links a click-through searcher (or a search engine crawler) to a very specific and relevant product or category web page from search terms and PPC ads.
Description Tag - Refers to the information contained in the description META tag. This tag is meant to hold the brief description of the web page it is included on. The information contained in this tag is generally the description displayed immediately after the main link on many search engine result pages.
Directory Search – Also known as a search directory. Refers to a directory of web sites contained in an engine that are categorized into topics. The main difference between a search directory and a search engine is in how the listings are obtained. A search directory relies on user input in order to categorize and include a web site. Additionally, a directory usually only includes higher-level pages of a domain.
Display URL – The web page URL that one actually sees in a PPC text ad. Display URL usually appears as the last line in the ad; it may be a simplified path for the longer actual URL, which is not visible.
Distribution Network – A network of web sites (content publishers, ISPs) or search engines and their partner sites on which paid ads can be distributed. The network receives advertisements from the host search engine, paid for with a CPC or CPM model. For example, Google’s advertising network includes not only the Google search site, but also searchers at AOL, Netscape and the New York Post online edition, among others.
Domain – Refers to a specific web site address.
Doorway Page – A web page specifically created in order to obtain rankings within the natural listings of a search engine. These pages generally are filled with keywords and are meant to funnel surfers into the main web site. This practice is generally considered an outdated spam tactic. This term is not to be confused with a “landing page.”
Dynamic Landing Pages – Dynamic landing pages are web pages to which click-through searchers are sent that generate changeable (not static) pages with content specifically relevant to the keyword search. For example, if a user is looking for trucks, then a dynamic landing page with information and pictures on multiple models and, possibly, geographically localized dealerships might be served. The term truck would trigger a data dump into a web site template for all possible vehicles, that serves all truck-related information.
Dynamic Text (Insertion) – This is text, a keyword or ad copy that customizes search ads returned to a searcher by using parameters to insert the desired text somewhere in the title or ad. When the search query (for example, “hybrid cars”) matches the defined parameter (for example, all brands of electric/gasoline passenger cars AND SUVs), then the associated term (hybrid) is plugged into the ad. Dynamic insertion makes the ad mirror exact terms used in the search query, creating very relevant ads. See also DKI (Dynamic Keyword Insertion).
eCPM – Acronym for Effective Cost Per Thousand, a hybrid Cost-Per-Click (CPC) auction calculated by multiplying the CPC times the click-through rate (CTR), and multiplying that by one thousand. (Represented by: (CPC x CTR) x 1000 = eCPM.) This monetization model is used by Google to rank site-targeted CPM ads (in the Google content network) against keyword-targeted CPC ads (Google AdWords PPC) in their hybrid auction.
Ecommerce - Conducting commercial transactions on the internet where goods, information or services are bought and sold.
Editorial Review Process – A review process for potential advertiser listings conducted by search engines, which check to ensure relevancy and compliance with the engine’s editorial policy. This process could be automated – using a spider to crawl ads – or it could be human editorial ad review. Sometimes it’s a combination of both. Not all PPC Search Engines review listings.
Entry Page – Refers to any page within a web site that a user employs to “enter” your web site. Also see Landing Page.
Eye Tracking Studies – Studies by Google, Marketing Sherpa and Poynter Institute using Eyetools technology to track the eye movements of web page readers, in order to understand reading and click-through patterns.
FAQ – Stands for “Frequently Asked Questions.”
F.F.A – Stands for “Free for All” link pages. These are not search engines or directories. They are, for the most part, pages that simply take URL submissions that usually stay active for a period of time. A submission is placed at the top of their list and then moved down, and eventually out, as other submissions are made. These are seen as outdated and were used in an attempt to artificially inflate link popularity.
F.T.P – Stands for “File Transfer Protocol.”
Feeds – A web document that is a shortened or updated (revised content only) version of a web page created for syndication. Usually served at user request, through subscription; also includes ad feeds to shopping engines and paid-inclusion ad models. Ad feeds are usually in Extensible Markup Language (XML) or Rich Site Summary (RSS) format.
Flash – “Flash technology has become a popular method for adding animation and interactivity to web pages; several software products, systems, and devices are able to create or display Flash. Flash is commonly used to create animation, advertisements, various web page components, to integrate video into web pages, and more recently, to develop rich internet applications.”
Frames – HTML technique that allows two or more pages to display in one browser window. Many search engines had trouble indexing web sites that used frames, generally only seeing the contents of a single frame. See also “No Frames.”
G.U.I – Stands for “Graphical User Interface.” Means a visual representation of the functional code. Or, is a way for the average web user to interface with a database, program, etc.
Gateway page – See Doorway Page.
Geo-Targeting – The geographic location of the searcher. Geo-targeting allows you to specify where your ads will or won’t be shown based on the searcher’s location, enabling more localized and personalized results.
.htaccess file – A file with one or more configuration directives placed in a web site document directory. The directives apply to that directory and all subdirectories.
HTTP – Stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol.”
HTTPS – Stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.”
HTTP Referrer Data – A program included in most web analytics packages that analyzes and reports the source of traffic to the user’s web site. The HTTP referrer allows webmasters, site owners and PPC advertisers to uncover new audiences or sites to target or to calculate conversions and ROI for future ad campaigns.
Head Terms – Search terms that are short, popular and straightforward; e.g., “helicopter skiing.” These short terms are called “head terms” based on a bell-curve distribution of keyword usage that displays the high numbers of most-used terms at the “head” end of the bell curve graph. See also Tail Terms.
Hidden text – (Also known as Invisible text.) Text that is visible to the search engines but hidden to a user. It is traditionally accomplished by coloring a block of HTML text the same color as the background color of the page. More creative methods have also been employed to create the same effect while making it more difficult for the search engines to detect or filter it. It is primarily used for the purpose of including extra keywords in the page without distorting the aesthetics of the page. Most search engines penalize or ignore URLs from web sites that use this practice.
Hit – The request or retrieval of any item located within a web page. For example, if a user enters a web page with 5 pictures on it, it would be counted as 6 “hits.” One hit is counted for the web page itself, and another 5 hits count for the pictures.
IFRAME – “IFrame (from inline frame) is an HTML element which makes it possible to embed another HTML document inside the main document. The size of the IFrame is specified in the surrounding HTML page, so that the surrounding page can already be presented in the browser while the IFrame is still being loaded. The IFrame behaves much like an inline image, and the user can scroll it out of view. On the other hand, the IFrame can contain its own scroll bar, independent of the surrounding page’s scroll bar.
IPTV – Acronym for Internet Protocol Television, which delivers digital television service using the Internet Protocol over a network. IPTV delivery may be through a high capacity, high speed broadband connection. Compared to traditional broadcast and cable television, IPTV may offer new venues for PPC search advertisers through program interfaces and stored individual preferences.
Impression – One view or display of an ad. Ad reports list total impressions per ad, which tells you the number of times your ad was served by the search engine when searchers entered your keywords (or viewed a content page containing your keywords).
Index – A search engine’s “index” refers to the amount of documents found by a search engines crawler on the web.
Indexability - Also known as crawlability and spiderability. Indexability refers to the potential of a web site or its contents to be crawled or “indexed” by a search engine. If a site is not “indexable,” or if a site has reduced indexability, it has difficulties getting its URLs included.
IP Address – “Dedicated and shared IPs. –(An IP address is) an identifier for a computer or device on a TCP/IP network. Networks using the TCP/IP protocol route messages based on the IP address of the destination. The format of an IP address is a 32-bit numeric address, written as four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be zero to 255. For example, 184.108.40.206 could be an IP address.” (Added definition) An IP Address can be dedicated for one web site or shared by multiple web sites.
IP Address – Abbreviation for Internet Protocol Address, a unique combination of numbers assigned to individual electronic devices or networks that communicate over the Internet. Basically, it’s a trackable address for any computer, and it can be used to localize results (see Geo-Targeting). Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) oversees global IP address allocation.
IP Address Lookup – The process of determining a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address.
IASAPI_rewrite – ISAPI_rewrite is a powerful URL manipulation engine based on regular expressions. It acts mostly like Apache’s mod_rewrite, but is designed specifically for Microsoft’s Internet Information Server (IIS). ISAPI_rewrite is an ISAPI filter written in pure C/C++ so it is extremely fast. ISAPI_rewrite gives you the freedom to go beyond the standard URL schemes and develop your own scheme.
Keyword - A single word that relates to a specific subject or topic. For example, “glossary” would be a keyword for this document. See also Keyword Phrase.
Keyword / Keyword Phrase – A specific word or combination of words that a searcher might type into a search field. Includes generic, category keywords; industry-specific terms; product brands; common misspellings and expanded variations (called Keyword Stemming), or multiple words (called Long Tail for their lower CTRs but sometimes better conversion rates). All might be entered as a search query. For example, someone looking to buy coffee mugs might use the keyword phrase “ceramic coffee mugs.” Also, keywords – which trigger ad network and contextual network ad serves – are the auction components on which PPC advertisers bid for all Ad Groups/Orders and campaigns.
Keyword Density - The number of times a keyword or keyword phrase is used in the body of a page. This is a percentage value determined by the number of words on the page, as opposed to the number of times the specific keyword appears within it. In general, the higher the number of times a keyword appears in a page, the higher its density.
Keyword Phrase – Two or more keywords relating to a specific topic. For example, “Mind numbingly boring glossary” would be a keyword phrase to describe this document.
Keyword Stemming – To return to the root or stem of a word and build additional words by adding a prefix or suffix, or using pluralization. The word can expand in either direction and even add words, increasing the number of variable options.
Keyword Stuffing – Generally refers to the act of adding an inordinate number of keyword terms into the HTML or tags of a web page.
Keyword Tag – Refers to the META keywords tag within a web page. This tag is meant to hold approximately 8 – 10 keywords or keyword phrases, separated by commas. These phrases should be either misspellings of the main page topic, or terms that directly reflect the content on the page on which they appear. Keyword tags are sometimes used for internal search results as well as viewed by search engines.
Keyword Targeting – Displaying Pay Per Click search ads on publisher sites across the Web (see also Contextual Networks) that contain the keywords in a context advertiser’s Ad Group.
KPI, Key Performance Indicators — KPI are metrics used to quantify objectives that reflect the strategic performance of your online marketing campaigns. They provide business and marketing intelligence to assess a measurable objective and the direction in which that objective is headed. (See Module 5, Lesson 2, for key definitions for general and SEO-specific KPIs.)
Landing Page / Destination Page – The web page at which a searcher arrives after clicking on an ad. When creating a PPC ad, the advertiser displays a URL (and specifies the exact page URL in the code) on which the searcher will land after clicking on an ad in the SERP. Landing pages are also known as “where the deal is closed,” as it is landing page actions that determine an advertiser’s conversion rate success.
Latent Semantic Indexing – LSI uses word associations to help search engines know more accurately what a page is about.
Lead Generation – Web sites that generate leads for products or services offered by another company. On a lead generation site, the visitor is unable to make a purchase but will fill out a contact form in order to get more information about the product or service presented. A submitted contact form is considered a lead. It contains personal information about a visitor who has some degree of interest in a product or service.
Link Cardinality – See “Link Popularity.”
Link Farming – The attempt to substantially and artificially increase link popularity.
Link Popularity – Link popularity generally refers to the total number of links pointing to any particular URL. There are typically two types of link popularity: Internal and External. Internal link popularity typically refers to the number of links or pages within a web site that link to a specific URL. External link popularity refers to the number of inbound links from external web sites that are pointing to a specific URL. If you have more “links” than your competitors, you are typically known to have link cardinality or link superiority.
Linkbait – Also known as link bait, this is something on your site that people will notice and link to. By linking to your site, other sites are saying they value the content of your site and that they think other people will be interested in it, too.
Linking Profile – A profile is a representation of the extent to which something exhibits various characteristics. A linking profile is the results of an analysis of where of your links are coming from.
Log File – All server software stores information about web site incoming and outgoing activities. Web log files function like the “black box” that records everything during an airplane’s flight. The log file is usually in the root directory but it may also be found in a secondary folder. If you do not have permission to access these files, then you will need the help of the server administrator.
Log File Analysis – The analysis of records stored in the log file. In its raw format, the data in the log files can be hard to read and overwhelming. There are numerous log file analyzers that convert log file data into user-friendly charts and graphs. A good analyzer is generally considered an essential tool in SEO because it can show search engine statistics such as the number of visitors received from each search engine, the keywords each visitors used to find the site, visits by search engine spiders etc.
Long Tail – Keyword phrases with at least three, sometimes four or five, words in them. These long tail keywords are usually highly specific and draw lower traffic than shorter, more competitive keyword phrases, which is why they are also cheaper. Oftentimes, long tail keywords, in aggregate, have good conversion ratios for the low number of click-throughs they generate.
Long-tailed Keywords – Keyword phrases with at least 2 or 3 words in them.
Meta Feeds – Ad networks that pull advertiser listings from other providers. They may or may not have their own distribution and advertiser networks.
META Refresh redirect – A client-side redirect.
Metrics – A system of measures that helps to quantify particular characteristics. In SEO the following are some important metrics to measure: overall traffic, search engine traffic, conversions, top traffic-driving keywords, top conversion-driving keywords, keyword rankings, etc.
Minimum Bid – The least amount that an advertiser can bid for a keyword or keyword phrase and still be active on the search ad network. This amount can range from $0.01 to $0.50 (or more for highly competitive keywords), and are set by the search engine.
Mod_rewrite – URL Rewrite processes, also known as “mod rewrites,” are employed when a webmaster decides to reorganize a current web site, either for the benefit of better user experience with a new directory structure or to clean up URLs which are difficult for search engines to index.
Multivariate Testing – A type of testing that varies and tests more than one or two campaign elements at a time to determine the best performing elements and combinations. Multivariate testing can gather significant results on many different components of, for example, alternative PPC ad titles or descriptions in a short period of time. Often it requires special expertise to analyze complex statistical results. (Compare to A/B Testing which changes only one element at a time, alternately serving an “old” version ad and a changed ad.) In search advertising, you might do A/B Split or Multivariate testing to learn what parts of a landing page (background color, title, headline, fill in forms, design, images) produce higher conversions and are more cost effective.
Naked Links – A posted and visible link in the text of a web page that directs to a web site.
Negative Keywords – Filtered-out keywords to prevent ad serves on them in order to avoid irrelevant click-through charges on, for example, products that you do not sell, or to refine and narrow the targeting of your Ad Group’s keywords. Microsoft adCenter calls them “excluded keywords.” Formatting negative keywords varies by search engine; but they are usually designated with a minus sign.
No Frames Tag - A tag used to describe the content of a frame to a user or engine which had trouble displaying / reading frames. Frequently misused and often referred to as “Poor mans cloaking”.
No Script Tag - The noscript element is used to define an alternate content (text) if a script is NOT executed. This tag is used for browsers that recognizes the <script> tag, but does not support the script in it.
NoFollow – NoFollow is an attribute webmasters can place on links that tell search engines not to count the link as a vote or not to send any trust to that site. Search engines will follow the link, yet it will not influence search results. NoFollows can be added to any link with this code: “rel=”nofollow”.”
Organic Results – Listings on SERPs that were not paid for; listings for which search engines do not sell space. Sites appear in organic (also called “natural”) results because a search engine has applied formulas (algorithms) to its search crawler index, combined with editorial decisions and content weighting, that it deems important enough inclusion without payment. Paid Inclusion Content is also often considered “organic” even though it is paid advertising because paid inclusion content usually appears on SERPs mixed with unpaid, organic results.
Organic Search Listings – Listings that search engines do not sell (unlike paid listings). Instead, sites appear solely because a search engine has deemed it editorially important for them to be included, regardless of payment. Paid Inclusion Content is also often considered “organic” even though it is paid for. This is because paid inclusion content usually appears intermixed with unpaid organic results.
Organic Search Rankings – Search engine ranking of web pages found in SERPs.
P4P – Acronym for Pay for Performance, also designated as PFP. See also PPC Advertising.
PFP – Acronym for Pay for Performance; also designated as P4P. See also PPC Advertising.
PPC – Acronym for Pay Per Click. See also PPC Advertising.
PPCSE – Acronym for Pay-Per-Click Search Engine.
PageRank (PR) – PR is the Google technology developed at Stanford University for placing importance on pages and web sites. At one point, PageRank (PR) was a major factor in rankings. Today it is one of hundreds of factors in the algorithm that determines a page’s rankings.
Paid Inclusion – Refers to the process of paying a fee to a search engine in order to be included in that search engine or directory. Also known as “guaranteed inclusion.” Paid inclusion does not impact rankings of a web page; it merely guarantees that the web page itself will be included in the index. These programs were typically used by web sites that were not being fully crawled or were incapable of being crawled, due to dynamic URL structures, frames, etc.
Pay Per Call – A model of paid advertising similar to Pay Per Click (PPC), except advertisers pay for every phone call that comes to them from a search ad, rather than for every click-through to their web site landing page for the ad. Often higher cost than PPC advertising; but valued by advertisers for higher conversion rates from consumers who take the action step of telephoning an advertiser.
Personas – These are “people types” or sub-groups that encompass several attributes, such as gender, age, location, salary level, leisure activities, lifestyle characteristics, marital/family status or some kind of definable behavior. Useful profiles for focusing ad messages and offers to targeted segments.
Podcasts – “A podcast is a media file that is distributed over the internet using syndication feeds, for playback on portable media players and personal computers. Like ‘radio,’ it can mean both the content and the method of syndication. The latter may also be termed podcasting. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster.”
Position – In PPC advertising, position is the placement on a search engine results page where your ad appears relative to other paid ads and to organic search results. Top ranking paid ads (high ranking 10 to 15 results, depending on the engine) usually appear at the top of the SERP and on the “right rail” (right-side column of the page). Ads appearing in the top three paid-ad or Sponsored Ad slots are known as Premium Positions. Paid search ad position is determined by confidential algorithms and Quality Score measures specific to each search engine. However, factors in the engines’ position placement under some advertiser control include bid price, the ad’s CTR, relevancy of your ad to searcher requests, relevance of your click-through landing page to the search request, and quality measures search engines calculate to ensure quality user experience.
Position Preference – A feature in Google AdWords and in Microsoft adCenter enabling advertisers to specify in which positions they would like their ads to appear on the SERP. Not a position guarantee.
PPC Advertising – Acronym for Pay-Per-Click Advertising, a model of online advertising in which advertisers pay only for each click on their ads that directs searchers to a specified landing page on the advertiser’s web site. PPC ads may get thousands of impressions (views or serves of the ad); but, unlike more traditional ad models billed on a CPM (Cost-Per-Thousand-Impressions) basis, PPC advertisers only pay when their ad is clicked on. Charges per ad click-through are based on advertiser bids in hybrid ad space auctions and are influenced by competitor bids, competition for keywords and search engines’ proprietary quality measures of advertiser ad and landing page content.
PPC Management – The monitoring and maintenance of a Pay-Per-Click campaign or campaigns. This includes changing bid prices, expanding and refining keyword lists, editing ad copy, testing campaign components for cost effectiveness and successful conversions, and reviewing performance reports for reports to management and clients, as well as results to feed into future PPC campaign operations.
Quality Score – A number assigned by Google to paid ads in a hybrid auction that, together with maximum CPC, determines each ad’s rank and SERP position. Quality Scores reflect an ad’s historical CTR, keyword relevance, landing page relevance, and other factors proprietary to Google. Yahoo! refers to the Quality Score as a Quality Index. And both Google and Yahoo! display 3- or 5-step indicators of quality evaluations for individual advertisers.
Query – The keyword or keyword phrase a searcher enters into a search field, which initiates a search and results in a SERP with organic and paid listings.
ROAS – Acronym for Return On Advertising Spending, the profit generated by ad campaign conversions per dollar spent on advertising expenses. Calculated by dividing advertising-driven profit by ad spending.
ROI – Acronym for Return On Investment, the amount of money you make on your ads compared to the amount of money you spend on your ads. For example, if you spend $100 on PPC ads and make $150 from those ads, then your ROI would be 50%. (Calculated as: ($150 – $100) / 100 = $50 / 100 = 50%.) The higher your ROI, the more successful your advertising, although some practitioners in search advertising consider ROAS a more useful metric, as it breaks down cost and expenses by conversions per advertising dollar spent.
RSS – Acronym for Rich Site Summary or Real Simple Syndication, a family of web feed formats that leverages XML for distributing and sharing headlines and information from other web content (also known as syndication).
Rank – How well positioned a particular web page or web site appears in search engine results. For example, if you rank at position #1, you’re the first listed paid or sponsored ad. If you’re in position #18, it is likely that your ad appears on the second or third page of search results, after 17 competitor paid ads and organic listings. Rank and position affect your click-through rates and, ultimately, conversion rates for your landing pages.
Raw Data Feed – Raw data is information that has been collected but not formatted, analyzed or processed. This raw data can be used to build an optimized XML feed.
Reciprocal Link – Two different sites that link out to each other. Also referred to as Cross Linking.
Relative URL’s Link – Relative URLs link to just the file, for example, “page1.htm”. (See also Absolute URL’s link.)
Relevance – In relation to PPC advertising, relevance is a measure of how closely your ad title, description, and keywords are related to the search query and the searcher’s expectations.
Reverse DNS – A process to determine the hostname or host associated with an IP or host address.
Revshare / Revenue Sharing – A method of allocating per-click revenue to a site publisher, and click-through charges to a search engine that distributes paid-ads to its context network partners, for every page viewer who clicks on the content site’s sponsored ads. A type of site finder’s fee.
Rich Media – Media with embedded motion or interactivity. A growing option for PPC advertisers as rates of broadband connectivity increase.
Right Rail – The common name for the right-side column of a web page. On a SERP, right rail is usually where sponsored listings appear.
Robots.txt – A text file present in the root directory of a website which is used to direct the activity of search engine crawlers. This file is typically used to tell a crawler which portions of the site should be crawled and which should not be crawled.
RSS (Really Simply Syndication, Rich Site Summary, RDF Site Summary) – A family of web feed formats used for distributing frequently updated digital content, such as blogs, news, podcasts, and videos
RSS Aggregators – “A client software that uses web feed to retrieve syndicated web content such as blogs, podcasts, vlogs, and mainstream mass media websites, or in the case of a search aggregator, a customized set of search results….Such applications are also referred to as RSS readers, feed readers, feed aggregators, news readers or search aggregators. These have been recently supplemented by the so-called RSS-narrators [such as TalkingNews or Talkr] which not only aggregate news feeds but also converts them into podcasts.”
SEM – Acronym for “Search Engine Marketing.” A form of internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs). SEM methods include: search engine optimization (SEO), paid placement, contextual advertising, digital asset optimization, and paid inclusion. When this term is used to describe an individual, it stands for “Search Engine Marketer” or one who performs SEM.
SEO – Acronym for “Search Engine Optimization.” This is the process of editing a web site’s content and code in order to improve visibility within one or more search engines. When this term is used to describe an individual, it stands for “Search Engine Optimizer” or one who performs SEO.
SERP – Acronym for Search Engine Results Page, the page delivered to a searcher that displays the results of a search query entered into the search field. Displays both paid ad (sponsored) and organic listings in varying positions or rank.
SSP Feed – See Search Submit Pro and Feeds.
Saturation (Search Engine Saturation) – A term relating to the number of URLs included from a specific web site in any given search engine. The higher the saturation level or number of pages indexed into a search engine, the higher the potential traffic levels and rankings.
Search Directory – Similar to a search engine, in that they both compile databases of web sites. A directory does not use crawlers in order to obtain entries in its search database. Instead, it relies on user interaction and submissions for the content it contains. Submissions are then categorized by topic and normally alphabetized, so that the results of any search will start with site descriptions that begin with some number or non-letter character, then moving from A-to-Z.
Search Engines - A search engine is a database of many web pages. Most engines display the number of web pages they hold in their database at any given time. A search engine generally “ranks” or orders the results according to a set of parameters. These parameters (called algorithms) vary among search engines; they are always improving in order to identify spam as well as improve relevance. See also SERP, Algorithm.
Search Funnel – Movement of searchers, who tend to do several searches before reaching a buy decision, that works from broad, general keyword search terms to narrower, specific keywords. Advertisers use the search funnel to anticipate customer intent and develop keywords targeted to different stages. Also refers to potential for switches at stages in the funnel when, for example, searchers start with keywords for a desired brand, but switch to other brands after gathering information on the category. Microsoft AdCenter tested a search funnel keyword tool in 2006 to target keywords to search funnel stages.
Search Query – The word or phrase a searcher types into a search field, which initiates search engine results page listings and PPC ad serves. In PPC advertising, the goal is to bid on keywords that closely match the search queries of the advertiser’s targets. See also Query.
Search Submit Pro (SSP) – Search Submit Pro is Yahoo!’s paid inclusion product that uses a “feed” tactic. With Search Submit Pro, Yahoo! crawls your web site as well as an optimized XML feed that represents the content on your site. Yahoo! applies its algorithm to both the actual web site pages and the XML feed to determine which listing is most appropriate to appear in the organic search results when a user conducts a search for relevant terms. Yahoo! charges a CPC, determined by category, for each time a listing established through SSP is clicked.
Secondary Links – Links that are indirectly acquired links, such as a story in a major newspaper about a new product your company released.
Semantic Clustering – A technique for developing relevant keywords for PPC Ad Groups, by focusing tightly on keywords and keyword phrases that are associative and closely related, referred to as “semantic clustering.” Focused and closely-related keyword groups, which would appear in the advertiser’s ad text and in the content of the click-through landing page, are more likely to meet searchers’ expectations and, therefore, support more effective advertising and conversion rates.
Server-side Tracking -- The process of analyzing web server log files. Server-side analytics tools make sense of raw data to generate meaningful reports and trends analysis.
Session Id’s – dynamic parameters, such as session IDs generated by cookies for each individual user. Session IDs cause search engines to see a different URL for each page each time that they return to re-crawl a web site.
Share of Voice –”A brand’s (or group of brands’) advertising weight, expressed as a percentage of a defined total market or market segment in a given time period. SOV advertising weight is usually defined in terms of expenditure, ratings, pages, poster sites, etc.”
Siloing – Siloing (also known as Theming) is a site architecture technique used to split the focus of a site into multiple themes. The goal behind siloing is to create a site that ranks well for both its common and more-targeted keywords.
Site-Targeted Ads – Site targeting lets advertisers display their ads on manually-selected sites in the search engine’s content network for content or contextual ad serves. Site-targeted ads are billed more like traditional display ads, per 1000 impressions (CPM), and not on a Pay-Per-Click basis.
Social Media or Social Search – Sites where users actively participate to determine what is popular.
SPAM – Any search marketing method that a search engine deems to be detrimental to its efforts to deliver relevant, quality search results. Some search engines have written guidelines on their definitions and penalties for SPAM. Examples include doorway landing pages designed primarily to game search engine algorithms rather than meet searcher expectations from the advertiser’s clicked-on ad; keyword stuffing in which search terms that motivated a click-through are heavily and redundantly repeated on a page in place of relevant content; attempts to redirect click-through searchers to irrelevant pages, product offers and services; and landing pages that simply compile additional links on which a searcher must click to get any information. Determining what constitutes SPAM is complicated by the fact that different search engines have different standards, including what is allowable for listings gathered through organic methods versus paid inclusion (referred to as spamdexing), whether the listing is from a commercial or research/academic source, etc.
Spamming – Spamming refers to a wide array of techniques used to “trick” the search engines. These tactics generally are against the guidelines put forth by the search engines. Tactics such as Hidden text, Doorway Pages, Content Duplication and Link Farming are but a few of many spam techniques employed over the years.
Spider – See Crawler.
Splash Page – Refers to an entry page or main page of a web site that is interactive or graphically intense. Many splash pages are designed using Flash.
Sponsored Listing – A term used as a title or column head on SERPs to identify paid advertisers and distinguish between paid and organic listings. Alternate names are Paid Listings or Paid Sponsors. Separating paid listings from organic results enables searchers to make their own purchase and site trust decisions and, in fact, resulted from an FTC complaint filed by Commercial Alert in 2001 alleging that the confusion caused in consumers who saw mixed paid and unpaid results constituted fraud in advertising.
Statistical Validity – The degree to which an observed result, such as a difference between two measurements, can be relied upon and not attributed to random error in sampling or in measurement. Statistical Validity is important to the reliability of test results, particularly in Multivariate Testing methods.
Stop Word A word that often appears in a page’s copy or content, but it has no significance by itself. Examples of stop words are: and, the, of, etc.
Submission - The act of submitting a web site to search engines and search directories. For some search engines, this is performed simply by typing in the absolute home page URL of the web site you wish to submit. Other engines and directories request that descriptions of the web site be submitted for approval.
Super Verbs – Compelling verbs that trigger emotions or visual images.
TLP – Acronym for Top Level Page, a reference to the home page, category pages, or product pages that have unique value for the site and so are structured in the top levels of the site directory.
TLP Feed – Acronym for Top Level Page feed, the often automatic and on-subscription feed of an advertiser’s home page or unique category pages. See also Feeds.
Tail Terms – Search terms that are very specific, long phrases that include one or more modifiers, such as “cheapest helicopter skiing near Banff BC.” These longer, more specific terms are called “tail terms” based on a bell-curve distribution of keyword usage that displays the low numbers of little-used terms at the “tail” end of the bell curve graph. (See “The Long Tail” by Wired editor Chris Anderson.) Although long, specific and lesser-used tail terms have low CTRs, they are less competitive (and therefore cheaper) and often catch buyers at the end of the purchase decision process. This means that, even with low click-through numbers, tail terms can have good conversion rates. See also Head Terms.
Targeting – Narrowly focusing ads and keywords to attract a specific, marketing-profiled searcher and potential customer. You can target to geographic locations (geo-targeting), by days of the week or time of day (dayparting), or by gender and age (demographic targeting). Targeting features vary by search engine. Newer ad techniques and software focus on behavioral targeting, based on web activity and behaviors that are predictive for potential customers who might be more receptive to particular ads.
Themes – A theme is an overall idea of what a web page is focused on. Search engines determine the theme of a web page through analysis in the algorithm of the density of associated words on a page.
Tier I Search Engines – The top echelon, or top three, search engines that serve the vast majority of searcher queries. Also referred to as Major Engines, Top Tier Engines or GYM, for Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft Live Search.
Tier II Search Engines – Smaller, vertical and specialized engines, including general engines, such as Ask.com and AOL; meta-engines that search and display results from other search engines, such as Dogpile; local engines, shopping and comparison engines, and business vertical engines. Tier II Search Engines don’t offer the search query market share or features of the Tier I engines; however, Tier II engines can target specific, niche markets and are usually lower cost.
Tier III Search Engines – Contextual distribution networks, through which marketers’ ads appear on pages within the PPC engine’s content network, triggered by user web site page views at the moment that contain the advertiser’s keyword in its content. Cost is usually through Cost-Per-Thousand-Impressions (CPM) charges, rather than Pay Per Click (PPC). As discussed in Fundamentals coursework, Google’s contextual distribution program is called AdSense; Yahoo!’s is called Content Match.
Title Tag – An HTML tag appearing in the <head> tag of a web page that contains the page title. The page title should be determined by the relevant contents of that specific web page. The contents of a title tag for a web page is generally displayed in a search engine result as a bold blue underlined hyperlink.
Trackbacks – A protocol that allows a blogger to link to posts, often on other blogs, that relate to a selected subject. Blogging software that supports Trackback includes a “TrackBack URL” with each post that displays other blogs that have linked to it.
Tracking URL – A specially designed and/or unique URL created to track an action or conversion from paid advertising. The URL can include strings that will show what keyword was used, what match type was triggered, and what search engine delivered the visitor.
Trademarks – Distinctive symbols, pictures or words that identify a specific product or service. Received through registration with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Tier I search engines prohibit bids on trademarks as keywords if the bidder is not the legal owner, though this keyword bid practice is still allowed by Google.
Traffic – Refers to the number of visitors a website receives. It can be determined by examination of web logs.
Traffic Analysis – The process of analyzing traffic to a web site to understand what visitors are searching for and what is driving traffic to a site.
Trusted Feed – Also known as Paid Inclusion, a trusted feed is a fee-based custom crawl service offered by some search engines. These results appear in the “organic search results” of the engine. Typically, the fee is based on a “cost per click,” depending on the category of site content. It has been called a “Trusted Feed” due to the ability to actually alter the content in the feed, without changing the existing website.
TXT//AD – Text ads as mobile device text messages.
USPTO – Acronym for United States Patent & Trademark Office. See also Trademarks.
Unique Visitor – Identifies an actual web surfer (as opposed to a crawler) and is tracked by a unique identifiable quality (typically IP address). If a visitor comes to a web site and clicks on 100 links, it is still only counted as one unique visit.
Usability – This term refers to how “user friendly” a web site and its functions are. A site with good usability is a site that makes it easy for visitors to find the information they are looking for or to perform the action they desire. Bad usability is anything that causes confusion or problems for the user. For example, large Flash animations served to a visitor with a dial up connection causes poor usability. Easy, intuitive navigation and clear, informative text enhance usability.
User Agent – This is the identity of a web site visitor, spider, browser, etc. The most common user agents are Mozilla and Internet Explorer.
Value Propositions – “A customer value proposition is the sum total of benefits a customer is promised to receive in return for his or her custom and the associated payment (or other value transfer).“ A customer value proposition is what is promised by a company’s marketing and sales efforts, and then fulfilled by its delivery and customer service processes.”
Vertical Creep – Positioning trends when vertical listings appear at the top of organic search engine results and below top sponsored listings (when they are displayed on the SERP).
Vertical Portal / Vortal – Search engines that focus on a specific industry or sector. Such vertical search engines (also called “vortals”) have much more specific indexes and provide narrower and more focused search results than the Tier I search engines.
Verticals – A vertical is a specific business group or category, such as insurance, automotive or travel. Vertical search offers targeted search options and PPC opportunities to a specific business category.
Viral Marketing – Also called viral advertising, viral marketing refers to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness. The awareness increases are the result of self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can often be word-of-mouth delivered and enhanced online; it can also harness the network effect of the internet and can be very useful in reaching a large number of people rapidly.
Web Forwarding – Web forwarding allows for redirects to exist within an .htaccess file on a separate server.
Web Server Logs – Most web server software, and all good web analytics packages, keep a running count of all search terms used by visitors to your site. These running counts are kept in large text files called Log Files or Web Server Logs. Useful for developing and refining PPC campaign keyword lists.
Web TV – Television set-top boxes that allow users to browse the Internet from their televisions without a computer system. Perennial future opportunity as new PPC ad channel offering the option to use rich media formats.
Wiki — Software that allows people to contribute knowledge on a particular topic. A wiki is another web publishing platform that makes use of technologies similar to blogs and also allows for collaboration with multiple people.
Wikipedia – “Wikipedia is a multilingual, web-based, free content encyclopedia project. Wikipedia is written collaboratively by volunteers; its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the web site.”
Word Count – The total number of words contained within a web document.
XML – Stands for “Extensible Markup Language,” a data delivery language.
XML Feeds – A form of paid inclusion in which a search engine is fed information about an advertiser’s web pages via XML, rather than requiring that the engine gather that information through crawling actual pages. Marketers pay to have their pages included in a spider-based search index based on an XML format document that represents each page on the advertiser site. Advertisers pay either annually per URL or on a CPC basis – and are assured of frequent crawl cycles. New media types are being introduced into paid inclusion, including graphics, video, audio, and rich media.
XML Feeds – A form of paid inclusion where a search engine is “fed” information about pages via XML, rather than gathering that information through crawling actual pages. Marketers can pay to have their pages included in a spider-based search index either annually (per URL), or on a CPC basis (based on an XML document representing each page on the client site). New media types are being introduced into paid inclusion, including graphics, video, audio, and rich media.
XML Maps – XML maps are specially formatted links to your pages. They will never replace the need for HTML site maps.