A 301 redirect is a page status code that tells search engines
a page has permanently moved to another URL. The new URL might be
on the same site or on a different one. You use a 301 redirect
when you want to capture the traffic to the old address but the
page is now physically elsewhere. For instance, if you change
filenames, this usually leads to changes in the URL of the page
and if you don't do a 301 redirect, when visitors come to your old
URL, they will see a Page Not Found message. There are many ways
a redirect and your options are limited by the technology
(i.e. PHP, ASP, etc.) you are using. If you want to check if your
URLs are redirecting properly, use the Redirect
Unlike 301 redirect, a 302 redirect is used
when you move pages temporarily. For instance, if you are doing
major changes on your site that involve changing the URLs, and you
need weeks to complete this, you can use 302 redirects for the
time you are performing the changes. However, have in mind that
302 redirects are frequently abused . i.e. you redirect your
traffic to an illegitimate site and search engines don't always
regard 302 redirects in a favorable way.
The Alt tag, more correctly called the Alt
attribute of the <img> tag, is a way to tell search engines
what an image is about. Since search engines don't index the
contents of images, if you don't provide a meaningful description
of the image in the Alt attribute of its tag, search engines won't
index any information about the image except its name. Good SEO
practices require that you fill the Alt tag with meaningful
description without resorting to keyword
Anchor text is the text of a hyperlink – i.e. in this
hyperlink: SEO tools, "SEO
tools" is the anchor text of the hyperlink that leads to the
home page of the site. Usually the anchor text is underlined but
this is not mandatory. The importance of anchor text for SEO is
significant because search engines pay a lot of attention to it
and if there are keywords in the anchor text, this helps to rank
better. Use the Backlink
Anchor Text Analyzer to see if the anchor text of the
backlinks to your site contains your
keywords or not.
Backlinks, also called inbound links are
links from other sites to your site. In SEO, the quality of
backlinks (i.e. if the backlink comes from a reputable site, what
the Page Rank of the linking site is, and
what the anchor text is) is one of the major ranking factors. For
more information, please refer to the The
Importance of Backlinks article.
A bad neighbor is a site with low quality and/or illegal
content. When you link to bad neighbors, this affects your
rankings in a negative way. When bad neighbors link to you, this
plays no role for your rankings because the assumption is you
can't control what the webmaster of the bad neighbor links to. For
more details, see the Bad
Baidu is the Chinese search engine. In many aspects it is
different from Google and if you want to learn how to rank well
with it, consult the How
to Optimize for Baidu article.
Bing is the Microsoft search engine and as such it is one of
the biggest search engines. Its algorithm is different from that
of Google, Yahoo, and the other search engines, as explained in
Black hat refers to a set of unethical SEO practices aimed at
getting artificially high rankings with search engines. Black hat
includes techniques such as keyword
stuffing, cloaking, or the use of
doorway pages. Sometimes webmasters
inadvertently use black hat techniques . for instance when they
go the over-optimization
route . but still the end result could be getting banned from
A broad match is the opposite of exact
match and it occurs when any of the search words (including
synonyms) are found in the matched string. For instance, if the
search words are "homes in LA", when a broad match is used,
the search results will also include matches for "homes in Los
Angeles", "LA home", "real estate Los Angeles", etc.
CTR, or Click Through Rate, is a measure used in Pay Per Click
(PPC) advertising to measure the number of clicks per 100
visitors. If you are using Google
Adwords to promote your site, CTR tells you how much attention
your keywords are getting . the keywords with the highest CTR
get the most attention.
Cloaking is an unethical, black hat
SEO technique that involves serving different versions of the same
page to crawlers and to human visitors. The version you serve to
crawlers is highly optimized for good rankings, while the version
you serve to your human visitors is made in a way to appeal to
A crawler, also called a spider, is the
search engine robot that crawls and indexes Web pages. It is an
automated program that periodically visits a site.
Deep links are backlinks to internal pages. For instance, SEO
tips isn't a deep link because it points to the home page,
Difficulty is because it points to an internal page, i.e. the
page. You use deep links when you want to promote particular pages
from your site, rather than the homepage.
Domain age is a measure how old a domain is. Generally, all
equal, older domains get more favorable treatment by search
engines than new domain. The reason is that new domains are often
created just for backlinks, while older
domains that have been around for years, are considered to be more
trustworthy. You can check the age of a domain with the Domain
Age tool and learn more about the term in the Age
of a Domain Name article.
A doorway page, also called a gateway page,
is another black hat technique that can
get you banned from search engines. The technique employs the
creation of numerous identical pages, each of which is optimized
for a particular keyword. When the visitor comes through the
doorway page, he or she is redirected to another page, aimed at
Duplicate content . i.e. content that is verbatim the same or
very similar to content found on other sites or other pages of
your site – is one of the worst things that you can put on your
site. Search engines penalize for duplicate content, so use the
Page Checker tool to see if you have content that is very
similar to other pages online. For more details about what
duplicate content is, read the Duplicate
Content Filter article.
A dynamic URL is the opposite of Static
URL. A dynamic URL is the result of a database query and it
looks like this:
Dynamic URLs are SEO – and user–unfriendly and if you want to rank
well with search engines, you must rewrite dynamic URLs (for
instance with the URL
Rewriting tool) into static URLs, as described in the Dynamic
URLs vs Static URLs article.
An exact match is the opposite of broad
match. When an exact search is performed, the search results
include only the exact search string. For instance, if the search
string is "homes in LA", the search results will include only
these pages where the "homes in LA" string is present and
won't include matches for "homes in Los Angeles", "LA home",
"real estate Los Angeles", etc. Exact matches are useful when
searching for a competitive keyword because it filters the
results, rather than delivering millions of broad matches.
Flash is an interactive media technology that makes sites more
interesting. At the same time, Flash can kill your search rankings
because search engines can't index Flash content directly.
Flash Sites article explains what to do if you have Flash
content on your site.
Similarly to Flash, frames are a burden in
terms of SEO. When you use frames on a page, you use the same URL
but show different content in each of the frames. This confuses
search engines because for them one URL is one page of content,
not multiple pages, as the case with frames is and search engines
might not index the content of all the frames on a page.
Another name for doorway page.
Geotargeting is a technique to target audience based on
geographic location. The criterion could be country, state, or
Geotargeting is used in local search, too,
when you are interested in traffic from a particular location
only, not from the global traffic search engines bring by default.
The leading search engine. It is also a leader in PPC ads
(AdSense and AdWords) and in email services.
Googlebot is the Google's spider . i.e.
the robot that traverses the Web and indexes pages for inclusion
in Google's database. You can see how your site looks to Googlebot
with the Search
Engine Spider Simulator tool.
The heading tag is used to separate the
sections of text on a page. Heading tags are from <H1> to
<H6>, with H1 being the title of the page. Very often H1 and
the title tag are the same but for better
results you can make them different. Keywords in heading tags
weigh more than keywords in the body of the page, so don't forget
to use the right keywords in your tags.
A hyperlink is a link from one page to another or from one
place on a page to another place on the same page. Hyperlinks are
inbound and outbound.
The hyperlinks that start and end on the same site are called
Inbound links are links from other sites to your site. They are
the same as backlinks.
1. (Verb) The activity a spider
performs when crawling the Web and collecting pages.
2. (Noun) The database of indexed Web pages a search engine
stores to retrieve search results from.
Internal links are the links from one page on a site to another
page on the same site or from one place on a page to another place
on the same page. Search engines give the same value to internal
and inbound links, so it makes sense to have as many meaningful
internal links on your site as possible. Internal links are also
important for a site's navigation.
significantly enhance the functionality of a site but for SEO the
not spiderable, the content you have inside
them can't be indexed by search engines.
Keywords are the major factor for SEO success. A keyword (or
more commonly . a couple of keywords and/or keyphrases)
describes what a page is about. When you have keywords in the
title and the headings,
this is good for your rankings. The higher the keyword
density for a particular keyword, the better you rank for this
keyword in search results. However, too high density could be
regarded as keyword stuffing.
The keyword density for a particular keyword defines how many
times this keyword is used on a page. Keyword density of 2 to 7
per cent is optimal because everything above this could be
regarded as keyword stuffing and
everything below this will make your page go down in search
results. To check the keyword density of your pages, use the
Density Cloud tool.
Keyword research is a major task for every SEO expert. Before
you start any SEO, you need to find the right keywords for your
site and niche. To do this, you use tools, such as the Website
Keyword Suggestions tool, or the Keyword
Playground tool. These tools suggest relevant keywords with
high search volume . i.e. the keywords that makes sense to
Keyword stuffing is a black hat
technique, which involves artificially high keyword
density for your target keywords. In the best case keyword
stuffing can substantially lower your rankings in search results
and in the worst, it can get you banned from search engines.
This is the page where the visitor arrives, when he or she
clicks a link. The landing page could be the home page but it
could also be any internal site page.
Link building . i.e.
acquiring quality backlinks from other
sites – is a major activity for every SEO. Link building is a
very time–consuming process you can speed with the right tools,
such as the Backlink
Builder tool. Not all backlinks matter, as you will learn in
Building Mistakes article.
Link exchanges are one of the primary ways to link
building. Link exchanges involve exchanging links with other
webmasters, preferably in the same niche. When you have thousands
of backlinks from link exchanges, tracking
them manually becomes virtually impossible and here tools, such as
Tracker Pro tool, come to the rescue.
Link farms are sites with many outbound
links, often created with the sole purpose to raise other sites'
rankings. Link farms generally don't rank well in search results
and the backlinks from them are of low (if
Link spam is when you get dozens of backlinks in a short time,
especially from low quality sites. Very often link spammers use
automated tools to get backlinks but even manual submission to
numerous sites and blogs is regarded as link spam.
Local search applies to those cases, when you use geotargeting
and other techniques (i.e. your location as a keyword) to attract
local visitors and to rank well in local search engines or in
global ones for searches for your location. More details about
local search can be found in the SEO
for local businesses article.
Long tail keywords
Long tail keywords are keywords with low search volume but high
value. For instance, "dating" is a very general keyword with
millions of monthly searches but it is low value because the
traffic you will be getting won't be as targeted as the traffic
for "single parents dating Los Angeles" for example. "single
parents dating Los Angeles" is a long tail keyword.
The meta description is one of the most important meta
tags because in it you write your description of the page, search
engines pick it and show it in search results for visitors to see.
This is why you need to write meaningful meta descriptions with
keywords with them but without stuffing them.
Similarly to the meta description,
meta keywords are also important for SEO because this is the place
where you put your keywords and search engines read it. Meta
keywords used to be more important in the past but due to constant
abuse, now they have less weight but still they aren't totally
Meta tags are HTML tags, where you describe
the contents of your page. Among the most important meta tags are
the title, the meta
description and the meta keywords.
Mod_rewrite is the Apache module for rewriting dynamic
URLs into static. If you don't want
to mess with the configuration of Apache, use the URL
Rewriting tool instead.
Navigation is the system of hyperlinks and other auxiliary
items that help users find their way through the site. Internal
links play a vital role in navigation.
A nofollow is an attribute of links, usually inbound
links, that tells search engines not to follow the link. Links
with the nofollow attribute are not counted by search engines
(mainly by Google because some of the other search engines don't
take the nofollow attribute into account) and therefore don't
count as backlinks.
Organic search, also known as natural search, refers to
the non–paid search results search engines serve based on the
relevancy of the page where the search string is found. Organic
search is the opposite of the paid search listings search engines
serve for particular keywords.
Outbound links are the opposite of inbound
links (more commonly known as backlinks).
Outbound links are these links that start from your site and point
to another site on the Web. When the number of your outbound links
is high, this affects your rankings in a negative way, so keep the
number of outbound links low.
A Page Rank (PR) is a measure used by Google to determine the
popularity of a page. PR ranges from 0 (most unpopular sites) to
10 (most popular sites). Pages with high PR generally rank better
in search results but this isn't always so. One of the important
implications of PR is with backlinks .
getting a few backlinks from sites with high PR helps more than
getting tons of them from low PR sites.
A page title is what you put in the title
tag . it displays in the browser and tells users what your page
is about. Clear and descriptive page titles with keywords in them
do a great job for your good rankings.
Paid links are these links you get in exchange of payment.
Buying and selling links is considered a huge offense by Google
and if you get caught, the penalties are severe . from not
counting the links at all, to exclusion from search index.
Poison words are these words that when used on a page, degrade
the quality of the page for search engines. Usually it is adult
words that have such a role but there are also other words that
can literally poison a page with great content and bury it deep in
Proximity measures how close the words in the search string are
in their occurrence on the page. When the words are one next to
another . i.e. they are an exact match
of the search phrase, this page is considered highly relevant.
Reciprocal links are these links where you put a link to Site A
on your site and Site A puts a link to your site in return.
Reciprocal links are a common form of a link
exchange. You can use the Reciprocal
Link Check tool to see how many of the reciprocal links you
had still exist.
A redirect is a way to tell search engines that the URL of a
page has changed. When you use redirects, you don't lose the
traffic to your old URL. 301 Redirect
(permanent redirect) and 302 Redirect
(temporary redirect) are the two most popular ways to redirect a
Reinclusion is the act of being included again in Google index.
Most often sites are removed from Google index because of the use
of black hat SEO and if they want to be
reincluded, they need to clean their act. The Reinclusion
in Google article details what to do in order to be admitted
in Google again.
robots.txt is a file, where you tell search engines which
pages/sections of your site not to index. However, while generally
search engines respect your wishes and don't spider the
pages/sections you don't want them to, if you have sensitive
information, don't think it is safe, if you have listed it as
not–spiderable in robots.txt. For more information about
robots.txt, refer to the What
is robots.txt article.
A sandbox in Google is a place, where new sites are temporarily
put before Google includes them in search results. When a site is
in the sandbox, it is indexed by search engines but results from
it don't show in the search results. Instead, results from
sandboxed sites are available in the supplementary results,which
generally get much less traffic than the standard results pages.
A search engine is a software application that is used to
spider, store, index, and display search
results from the pages around the Web. Google, Yahoo, and Bing are
the three major search engines.
SEO, an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, is a set of
tools and skills used to finetune pages, so that they rank well in
search engines. Two of the main SEO activities are keyword
research and link building.
SEO tools are various programs and pieces of code that allow to
perform SEO tasks. For instance, there are tools for keyword
research and link building, for
Anchor Text Analysis, etc.
SERP is an abbreviation for Search
Engine Results Page . i.e. the page search
engines display with the results for a particular search query.
A sitemap is a file, usually in HTML or XML format, where links
to the important pages on the site are gathered in one place.
Sitemaps are useful both for human visitors because they help
navigation and for search engines. For
more details about sitemaps, please refer to the Importance
of Sitemaps article.
Spiders are search engine robots that crawl the Web and index
the Web pages they encounter. Only pages that are spiderable are
included in the search engine databases and are later shown in
search results. This is why it is important that your pages are
spiderable. You can check this with the Search
Engine Spider Simulator tool. For more details about spiders,
please refer to the The
Spider View of Your Site article.
A splash page is a home page with very limited content.
Typically, a splash page will include only "Click to enter" or
a similar text. Splash pages are bad for SEO because they lack
content. Splash pages are sometimes made in Flash,
which makes them even worse, unless optimized properly.
A static URL is the opposite of Dynamic
URL. A static URL is always the same and if we use the example
from the Dynamic URL entry
the static equivalent will be
Static URLs are better for your human visitors and for search
engines, as explained in the Dynamic
URLs vs Static URLs article. This is why it is highly
recommendable to rewrite dynamic URLs into static . you could
use the URL
Rewriting tool for the purpose.
1. In HTML, a tag is a pair of an
opening and closing bracket (< and />) that tell the browser
how to interpret a particular piece of code . i.e. as text,
image, title, table, etc. Title tags,
headings, and metatags
are the most important tags for SEO.
2. In social bookmarking this is a form of labeling entries,
which usually includes keywords.
The Title tag (<title>Enter your title here</title>)
is displayed in the browser titlebar and it contains the title of
your page. Keywords here and a descriptive title are vital because
this is one of the first things visitors see from your page.
In order to rank well with search engines, you'd better rewrite
dynamic URLs into static.
You can do it with the URL
A user agent is a program used to access the Net. A user agent
can be a browser or a spider. Usually log files give more details
about the user agents that have visited your site, such as the
name of the browser and its version.
Vertical search is a type of specialized search that focuses on
results from particular area only. For instance, when you use a
search engine that indexes only business–related pages, you are
performing a vertical search. The advantage of vertical search is
that the results it delivers are better targeted.
The second largest search engine and also one of the oldest.
for Yahoo is different from optimizing for Google and Bing and
Yahoo's search results for the same term differ from those of its
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