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With all the terms that get thrown around in the online marketing industry, it’s no wonder that things can become a little confusing. Sometimes, you just need someone to explain clearly and concisely what something actually means.

Glossary Jargon Buster3

We’ve sat down and made a list of terms related to internet marketing, along with a short, simple definition of what each one means. Some you may know, some you may not and some you may have spotted in amongst your website’s performance statistics on platforms such as Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools but just need a little clarification on what they actually mean. And if there are any we’ve missed off the list, or you’d like to know a little more, feel free to contact us.

Above the fold – Everything that appears on a web page before you have to start scrolling down.

AdWords – Google’s own Pay-Per-Click service.

Algorithm – The method used by search engines to rank websites by using a set of rules or criteria, or a method of searching any type of website index.

ALT tag/text – Search engines cannot see images, so the ALT tag/text is a small piece of code accompanying the image which should be used to describe what’s in the picture. This is also an accessibility feature with the ALT text displayed in place of the image if a user has images turned off in their web browser or is using screen reading technology.

Anchor text – The visible, text part of a link. So if you were to link to a web page containing a recipe and used the text “Chicken Supreme”, that would be the anchor text.

Back link – A link from an external website, e.g. a link from Website A which points to Website B.

Below the fold – Everything that appears on a web page after you have begun scrolling down.

Black hat – The method of optimising a website using tactics and practices that are against search engine guidelines and are used to trick search engines instead.

Blog – Short for “Weblog”, this can be a section of a business website that is dedicated to news and resources. You can also find individual use of blogs across the internet, where people write about their lives and hobbies, for instance. To find out more about blogging, click here.

Bounce rate – To bounce, a person will land on your website and then go back or navigate elsewhere, without visiting anywhere else on your website. The bounce rate is the average amount of time that this occurs.

Breadcrumb navigation – Usually displayed towards the top of a web page, detailing how you have navigated to that page within the website’s page hierarchy. Or simply put, this:

Breadcrumb navigation

Broken link – A link to another web page that is not working correctly, often resulting in an error page being returned instead.

Cache – Returns basic code versions of a website (also known as a ‘Static website’) instead of the dynamic versions (or a version that is scripted) in order to decrease the bandwidth and server load, as well as helping to increase a page’s load time.

Call to action – Specifically telling an audience to take a certain action e.g. “Give us a call”, “Click here for more”.

Canonical – When various pages contain similar content, adding a canonical tag allows you to specify which the main/preferred page is.

Citation – A mention or reference of something anywhere on the internet. For instance, if your business name is mentioned on a web page, even if there is no link back to your website, this is a citation.

Click – Literally when someone clicks through to your website from the search results (whether they be natural or paid).

Click through rate – The number of times users have clicked through to your website in relation to the number of times it’s appeared in the search results (whether they be natural or paid).

Cloaking – The act of showing one thing to human visitors and a completely different thing to search engines and robots. A black hat tactic.

CMS – Content Management Systems allow you to upload your own content (whether it be text, images or videos) to a website without the need for any coding experience.

Conversion – Whenever a goal is achieved on your website. Depending on your business aims, this could be when a person makes a purchase or signs up to a newsletter.

Deep page – Any other page on your website that isn’t your home page.

Disavow – A term applied in the context of Google and their Webmaster Tools. The Disavow tool was released by Google in 2012. It doesn’t remove back links to your website, but it’s a way of indicating to Google that you don’t want certain links to be counted towards your website’s domain authority.

Domain name – The name of your website. For instance, this website’s domain name is vibecreative.co.uk.

Duplicate content – When content on one website is also being used on another website.

Ecommerce – A website that is designed specifically to sell products online with the use of a virtual shopping basket and process payments online. To find out more about ecommerce, click here.

Email newsletter/marketing – A method of promoting a business/products by directly emailing users to inform them of updates/promotions/sales etc. More on email marketing can be found here.

External link – A link from another website pointing back to your website.

Facebook page – An account specifically for businesses to promote themselves on the Facebook network. Note, this is separate from a Facebook profile, which should only be used by individuals.

Google Analytics – A Google service which allows you to monitor various aspects of your website’s performance, including traffic, bounce rate, website speed etc.

Google Webmaster Tools – A Google service which allows you to monitor various aspects of your website’s performance and health, including whether you have any manual penalties, your website’s indexation levels, the number of impressions and clicks you receive etc.

Guest post – Writing an article which will be posted on another website; this can be for link building purposes, but not always as it can also increase brand awareness and/or website traffic.

Hacking – When skilled programmers access an external website usually with malicious intentions.

Hit – Often used when referring to videos or website traffic. It determines the approximate number of visits or views a web page/video has received.

Home page – The main, root page of your website, e.g. https://www.vibecreative.co.uk/ is the home page of this website. Any other pages after the final “/” (such as https://www.vibecreative.co.uk/contact/ or https://www.vibecreative.co.uk/blog/) are deep pages.

Impression – The number of times a website has appeared in the search results for certain key terms.

Indexing – Often referred to Google’s process of finding web pages and making a note/bookmarking them within their index of the web.

Internal link – A link from one page on your website pointing to another page on your website.

Keyword – A word (singular or a group of words) or phrase that is entered into a search engine and subsequently used to optimise pages of a website.

Landing page – The page that a person accesses when they first navigate to your website, whether this be from another website or from the search engines.

Link – A way of pointing from one web page to another, with the intention of navigating users there should they then choose to click on it.

Link bait – A piece of content (copy, an image, a video or other) which has been created purely for the purposes of attracting links.

Link building – The method of making a conscious effort to increase the number of links pointing back to your website.

Meta description – Used in the code of a website to describe what a specific web page is about. Or simply put, this:

Meta description

Meta keywords – Used in the code of a website to highlight main keywords for that particular page.

Meta robots tag – Used in the code of a website to tell robots/spiders whether they can follow/index a particular page.

Negative SEO – The method of actively taking steps to negatively affect another website’s performance in the search engines, often by using black hat tactics and with malicious intent.

Newsfeed – Often referred to on social media channels where you can see a collation of other users’ recent posts.

NoFollow – Used in the coding of a link which tells search engines that you do not want them to follow said link or pass any authority from your website to that particular page.

NoIndex – A tag used in the coding of a page which tells search engines that you do not want them to index that particular page.

Organic/natural results – After entering a term into a search engine, the natural results are those that are unpaid. There are often ten per page and they can sometimes appear below 1-3 paid results. Or simply put, these:

Organic natural results

Page Rank – A score provided by Google on how authoritative they deem a page to be. Though this has since become obsolete as Google has not updated it since December 2013.

Page title/title tag/meta tag – The title of a web page; the most important tag from an SEO point of view and it appears in the tab of a browser web page. Or simply put, this:

Page title tag

Paid results – After entering a term into a search engine, the paid results usually appear above and to the side of the natural results. In Google’s search results, they are usually highlighted with a small yellow box saying ‘Ad’. Or simply put, these:

Paid results

Panda – One of Google’s main algorithms which targets low quality and thin websites. Amongst other things, this includes reviewing areas such as the number of words on a particular web page and duplicate content which also appears on other external websites. More on Panda can be found here.

Penalty – Should a search engine determine that your website acts against their guidelines in any way, you can be penalised for this, usually resulting in a drop in ranking positions and a loss in your traffic.

Penguin – Another of Google’s main algorithms which targets spam. Amongst other things, this includes reviewing areas such as a website’s back link profile. Click here for more information on Penguin.

Pigeon – Another Google algorithm which affects local search results. Though not an official code name from Google, it has been named this by the industry. To find out more click here.

PPC – Pay-Per-Click is a form of online marketing whereby your website appears in the ad sections of a search engine and you only pay the search engines for this placement every time someone clicks on your ad. To find out more about PPC, click here.

Reciprocal link – When two websites link to each other, usually on an agreed basis, e.g. “We’ll link to you if you link back to us”.

Redirect – Should a certain page no longer exist, adding a redirect will point people and search engines to a different, live page.

Responsive – A responsive website is something that will adapt, no matter what device it’s accessed on. So, for instance, smaller screens, such as those on mobile phones and tablets, will still be able to render a web page successfully. Click here to find out more about responsive web design.

Retweet – A way of sharing content on Twitter from its original source. If you find a tweet interesting, by retweeting it, you are sharing it with your own followers whilst simultaneously crediting the user that originally posted it.

Robot/Bot/Spider – A piece of software that crawls the internet by following links and subsequently, indexes the pages it finds.

Robots.txt – A file on your website that robots access to determine where they can and cannot go on your website.

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation is a method of promoting your website in such a way that it appears in more prominent positions of the natural results of search engines. Click here to find out more about it.

SERPs – Search Engine Results Pages are presented to you after performing a search in a search engine. The list of results you see on the numerous pages are the SERPs.

Site speed – Refers to how fast the web pages on your website load, on average.

Sitelinks – These can sometimes appear below your website listing in the search engine results; they are links to other pages of your website. Or simply put, these:


Social media – Used by businesses and individuals alike; businesses to promote themselves, individuals as a means to keep up to date with friends, current news and to share their own personal life experiences. Two popular social media websites are Facebook and Twitter.

Spam – When referring to email spam, these are irrelevant or cold messages sent in bulk to users over the internet, usually to advertise or promote but, given that they are unwanted and un-requested, they are of no use to the people that receive them. It can also be seen in SEO where techniques are manipulated in such a way so as to make a website appear more appealing to a search engine for indexing purposes.

Stuffing – Usually refers to keyword stuffing. Over-optimising a piece of content or a meta tag in such a way that it is literally stuffed full of keywords and, when read, sounds unnatural.

Traffic – Refers to the number/amount of visits to a particular website.

Tweet – The name for posting a status/update to an account on the Twitter platform.

URL – A Uniform Resource Locator is the full address of a specific web page. For instance, the URL for this page is https://www.vibecreative.co.uk/blog/glossary-and-jargon-buster

User experience – Refers to the nature of a person’s encounter when navigating around a website. For instance, should they come across numerous pop-ups, a slow load time and difficult navigation, that would likely be classed as a bad user experience.

White hat – The method of optimising a website using tactics and practices that are in line with search engine guidelines.

XML sitemap – A file in a website which is used by search engines as a map to navigate around a website.


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