Definitions

Definitions

 

This is an addition to our allready robust SEO Glossary.

Search engines: You submit your page to a search engine, and the spider indexs your entire site. Because most Web Sites contain links to other pages, a spider can start almost anywhere. As soon as it sees a link to another page, it goes off and fetches it. The spider is programmed to return to the site on a regular basis. The more frequently the sites are crawled, the more up-to-date the search results are.

Theoretically, these spiders might find your site by accident, but odds are they won’t unless you go to them and tell them about your site by filling out their “Submit” page. Typically, a search engine works by sending out a spider to fetch as many documents as possible.

Everything the spider finds goes into the second part of a search engine, the index. The index is like a database that contains the information the spider found during its crawl. Whenever a user enters a keyword or keywords into the search box, the search engines searches through the index to find the word(s) or phrase and returns the matching results.

Each search engine uses a proprietary algorithm to create its indices such that, ideally, only meaningful results are returned for each search.

Directories:
These rely on submissions from users and Web site owners to populate their indexes. Most directories add your site to their index, but generally they link only to your home page rather than indexing the full text of each page on your site.

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Cloaking:
Also known as stealth technology, a technique used by some Web sites to deliver one page to a search engine for indexing while serving an entirely different page to everyone else. There are opposing views as to whether or not cloaking is ethical. Opponents see it as a bait-and-switch, where a Web server is scripted to look out for search engines that are spidering in order to create an index of search results. The search engine thinks it is selecting a prime match to its request based on the meta tags that the site administrator has input. However, the search result is misleading because the meta tags do not correspond to what actually exists on the page. Some search engines, such as Lycos, Hotbot and Excite, even ban cloaked Web sites. Proponents of cloaking assert that cloaking is necessary in order to protect the meta data, as only the spider is supplied with the meta tags

Dynamic URL:
A URL that results from the search of a database-driven Web site or the URL of a Web site that runs a script. In contrast to static URLs, in which the contents of the Web page do not change unless the changes are coded into the HTML, dynamic URLs are generated from specific search to a site’s database. The page is merely a template to display the results of the query. Most of the content comes from the database that is associated with the site. Instead of changing information in the HTML code, the data is changed in the database.

Dynamic URLs often contain the following characters: ?, &, %, +, =, $, cgi-bin, .cgi.
A dynamic URL is the address of a dynamic Web page.

Keyword stuffing:
A technique used by Web designers to overload keywords onto a Web page so that search engines will read the page as being relevant in a Web search. Because search engines scan Web pages for the words that are entered into the search criteria by the user, the more times a keyword appears on the Web page the more relevancy the search engine will assign to the page in the search results (this is only one way that search engines determine relevancy, however.) Search engines often penalize a site if the engine discovers keyword stuffing, as this practice is considered poor etiquette, and some search engines will even ban the offending Web pages from their search results.

There are several methods of keyword stuffing. One way is to insert repeating keywords within the input type=”hidden” field meta tag or the keyword tag so that the keywords are not seen by the user but are scanned by the search engine. Another way is to make text in the body of the Web page invisible text, or hidden text, by making the text the same color as the page’s background, rendering the text invisible to the user unless the user highlights the text. This method is called invisible keyword stuffing.

Keyword stuffing also is referred to as keyword loading and spamdexing.

Meta Tag:
A meta tag is a special HTML tag that provides information about a Web page. Unlike normal HTML tags, meta tags do not affect how the page is displayed. Instead, they provide information such as who created the page, how often it is updated, what the page is about, and which keywords represent the page’s content. Many search engines use this information when building their indices.

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Meta Search Engine:
A meta Search Engine is a search engine that searches other search engines and then combines the results that are received from all. In effect, the user is not using just one search engine but a combination of many search engines at once to optimize Web searching. For example, Dogpile is a meta search engine.

Page Jacking:
The activity of stealing content (typically in the form of source code) from a Web site and copying it into another Web site in order to siphon some of the original site’s traffic to the copied Web pages. Page Jackers rely on search engines to spider the contents of the illegitimate site and index the results so that the copied site will appear in the search result rankings along with the original site’s rankings. Users can be tricked into thinking the illegitimate site is the one they are searching for, and once they visit the copied site they may be subjected to mouse trapping.

Proximity Operator:
A type of operator used by some search engines to improve search constraints by instructing the search to look for words that are within a short distance of each other in a document. For example, using a search engine that supports proximity operators, search the phrase “cable NEAR modem” will instruct the search engine to look in documents for instances of the words “cable” and “modem” that are near each other. Different search engines will specify different distances that the words must be within.

Link Farming:
The process of exchanging reciprocal links with Websites in order to increase search engine performance. The idea behind link farming is to increase the number of sites that link to yours because search engines such as Google rank sites according to, among many other things, the quality and quantity of sites that link to yours. In theory, the more sites that link to yours, the higher your ranking in the search engine results will be because the more links indicate a higher level of popularity among users of the Internet. However, search engines such as Google consider link farming as a form of spam and have been implementing procedures to banish sites that participate in link farming.

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