The internet can be a hectic and confusing place – even when you’ve got your head around doing a weekly online Tesco order and your Amazon Christmas shopping, you’re still not really sure how things work.
If you’re running a business and looking for advice about improving your website then you’ve probably come across lot of articles talking about bizarre terms like ‘link juice’, ‘bots’ and a surprising amount of animals that have something to do with Google…
The problem is that the techie guys who own (well, perhaps not literally) the internet just love to use jargon that leaves us lesser mortals feeling completely bewildered.
Fear not – we’re cutting through the technical terms and putting it simple, starting with an SEO Glossary.
Sorry, a Search Engine Optimisation Glossary.
An algorithm is basically a method that computers use to modify and display information. In the case of the search engines, an algorithm is used to build the results that you get when you search for something on Google.
An alt attribute (or alt tag) is a piece of text used to describe an image. When the search engines are trying to understand what your page is about, they can use the alternative text to help them. This text also helps blind people who may be using a screen reader to interpret a page.
Anchor text is a word or phrase that you link to a relevant page. So instead of writing “a wide range of services including Display Advertising (https://business.yell.com/display-advertising/) and Websites (https://business.yell.com/websites/)” you can simply write “a wide range of services including Display Advertising and Websites”.
Ever been browsing for a new lawnmower, pair of shoes, whatever, and then feel like they’re following you across the internet? This is behavioural targeting (or retargeting). Companies pay to effectively stalk you with products you’ve previously looked at when you visit certain other pages in the hope that you’ll come back and buy it.
Just like Hansel and Gretel tried to follow the breadcrumb trail back home, an online breadcrumb trail refers to your online journey and helps search engines understand how you got to the current page, e.g. Home > Products and Services > Websites
A deep link is an internal page link (e.g. not the homepage). It’s tempting to send people to your homepage from external sites or social media, but it’s much better practice to send them to the most relevant internal link so that they find the information they need straightaway.
A nasty trick, Google bombing refers to linking irrelevant anchor text to a specific webpage, e.g. the time when searching “miserable failure” brought up a list of results relating to George W. Bush.
When you search for something in Google, the relevant results come from the index – a collection of data – billions of websites that have been indexed by the spiders. Your search terms will be matched to relevant websites and displayed in the SERPs.
The process of link building is the term for creating links that are deemed authoritative and trustworthy, resulting in a much higher ranking in the SERPs, e.g. deep links, varied anchor text, registering in directories such as Yell.com.
Quite simply, the SERPs are search engine result pages.
A spider is the name given for the crawlers or bots that scan website content to index so it will appear in the SERPs.
A work in progress…
Found some other confusing jargon? Let us know and we’ll find out what it means and add it to the list.Search me! An SEO Glossary without the jargon Click To Tweet