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The name of AltaVista's
spider. (The name refers to the annual motorcycle
races held at the famous AltaVista Raceway)
Search engines usually
arrange search results from the most relevant
to the least relevant (as determined by the search engine's algorithm).
In order to rank documents, the search engine
assigns a score to each page and those with the highest scores are listed
first. Most search engines simply give the maximum score to the most
relevant document and score all other relevant documents relative to
that document. Others compare all documents to a theoretically perfect
document. The score of a web page therefore refers to its relevance
as perceived by a specific search engine.
Name given to phrases that searchers use
that are tracked by a system the records the number of times the phrase
was used in a search, also known as the score.
- May 30, 2003
by Christian Nielsen of
A piece of programming designed to perform a certain
function on a web page - for example to create a rollover effect on
buttons or to create pop-ups.
The process of locating information - on the Internet
typically done by searching through documents in search
engine and directory databases.
A tool for finding information on the Internet.
Most search engines consist of the following main components:
4. Search software
5. Web interface
Documents found by the spider are processed by the indexer and stored
in a database. From the database the search software extracts documents
based on parameters entered by the user. Examples of search engines
include Google and AllTheWeb.
Directories like Yahoo
and ODP are often referred to as search engines
although they are not. The details of how search engines work are discussed
in more detail in the Search Engine Yearbook.
The actual amount of time (in hours) all visitors
to a search engine spent there during a
given month. Audience reach and search hours are the two major factors
when calculating the popularity of a search engine.
A variation of spamdexing
where pages are optimized for popular
search terms even though those terms are
not related to the page content. In the long run this technique makes
little sense, as it attracts mostly untargeted visitors.
A comparatively small search engine. It's
claim to fame is that it allows users to vote on the relevance
of documents it returns for queries - and
it then uses that data to continually increase the accuracy of its search
results. In September 2002 SearchKing was (according to them) penalized
by Google. The rumor has it that sites
that link to SearchKing were also penalized and we decided to disable
the link above. You can still visit the SearchKing site by typing http://www.searchking.com
into the address bar of your browser.
The documents returned by a search
engine in response to a query.
Also see SERP.
Words entered into a search
engine's search box to form a query.
A seldom used synonym for a searchable directory.
Search Engine Optimization. This term is widely
used in the search engine industry as a
collective name for those activities that are directly or indirectly
aimed at improving a page's search engine ranking.
Sometimes the term SEO is also used to refer to providers of SEO services
- in other words it's used in the place of terms like "SEO provider"
and "SEO specialist". For a detailed discussion of the SEO
industry and SEO techniques, please refer to the Search
Search Engine Results
Page(s). The term refers to the page of search results a search engine
displays in response to a query.
Also known as a "ghost domain", referring
to a domain used to funnel traffic
(or link popularity) to a site.
Typically it would involve setting up a throwaway
domain and either automatically redirecting visitors to the "real
site" or just linking to it. Both uses
are considered spam by most of the major
The name of Infoseek's
The measure of the degree to which a document
matches a query
or the degree to which two or more documents are alike.
A collective name for the different techniques
used to steal traffic from another site.
For example the use of another's trade name in the title
Also see obfuscation and spamdexing.
A map to your site. A sitemap contains links
to every page of your site (check out Google's
sitemap). The important benefit of having a sitemap (apart from
helping your visitors find what they are
looking for) is that spiders can find all
pages on a site quickly and with fewer hops. For maximum benefit, insert
a prominent link to your sitemap on every page of your site.
A search utility that allows the user to search
through documents on a particular site. Different from a search
engine in that it's database contains
only documents found on that site as opposed to a wider collection of
documents from all over the web.
A technique used by search
engines. It refers to the practice of artificially altering the
search results so that certain documents
will score well on certain queries.
A seldom used synonym for spamdexing.
Click here for more spider names.
The name of a program that Infoseek
used to "sniff out" attempts at spamdexing.
Referring to the quoted pieces of page content
search engines like Google
use on the SERPs instead of a traditional, webmaster
created site descriptions. The term originates from the "NOSNIPPET"
robots meta tag used to disallow SNIPPETS.
Search engines sort
results displayed on the SERP in a particular order
- usually from most relevant to least
relevant. Some search engines allow the user to sort results based on
different criteria, for example alphabetically, arranged from newest
to oldest etc.
A collective name for those marketing techniques
that are intrusive, offensive and/or unethical in some way. A major
characteristic is that it aims its message at a wide (often in the millions),
untargeted audience - which it can afford because electronic distribution
is very cheap. The most common form of spam is unsolicited commercial
e-mail. In the search engine world, regular
mass submission of web pages to
search engines is also referred to as spam or spamdexing.
The term spamdexing is also used to refer to all SEO
techniques that are deceptive or unethical.
All attempts to deceive search
engines or gain an unfair advantage in the search
results of a search engine. Spamdexing decreases the value of a
search engine's index by reducing the precision
with which the search engine can return relevant
documents. Most search engines have measures in place to detect spamdexing
and guilty pages are usually either penalized or de-listed.
Many webmasters inadvertently make themselves guilty by braking search
engine submission rules. For a detailed
discussion of what to do and what not to do, please refer to the Search
See spam, spamdexing
A browser-like program
that forms part of a search engine. Its
task is to "surf" the web by following links
from one page to the next and from one site to the next. It collects
information from the sites it visits and that information is stored
in the search engine's database. For
detailed discussions on spiders, the other components of search engines,
spider names etc., please refer to the Search Engine
What spiders do - the process
of surfing the web and indexing documents.
A page that is displayed before users enter a
site. Splash pages are often comparatively empty except for a logo,
welcome message and "click here to enter" type of link.
Splash pages are often used to house introductory Flash
animations. Splash pages are generally considered annoying since they
offer very little value. Even very impressive splash pages offer only
entertainment - which normally distracts from the sales effort and hampers
See IP spoofing,
(Server Side Include)
A type of HTML command
that allows webmasters to insert code from an outside HTML document.
It is especially used with things like menus, headers and footers that
are the same for all pages. To change the menu, for example, the webmaster
changes only the external menu file and the menu changes across the
entire site. SSI can also be used to insert non-HTML elements like scripts.
In the context of search
engines, the term is often used to refer to the information created
by some type of reporting software. The web server log
files for the site are used as the source of the information. Also
known as Web stats, web reporting, statistics, and traffic
- May 31, 2003
by Christian Nielsen of
Stats typically include information like number of visitors,
referring URLs, search engine queries used,
number of page views etc.
A collective name for techniques (like cloaking)
that aim to deliver optimized content to spiders
while delivering the "real" page to human visitors.
Almost all search engines consider stealth
a form of spamdexing.
The use of linguistic analysis to get to the root
form of a word. Search engines that use
stemming compare the root forms of the search
terms to the documents in its database.
For example, if the user enters "viewer" as the query,
the search engine reduces the word to its root ("view") and
returns all documents containing the root - like documents containing
view, viewer, viewing, preview, review etc.
Characters in URLs (like question marks, equal
signs and ampersands) that signal the search
engine spiders to stop crawling
beyond a certain point.
Words like conjunctions, prepositions etc. that
are so commonly used that they have little or no influence on relevance.
Most search engines ignore stop words entered
in a query. Also see
inverse document frequency.
typically divided into top-level categories
that contain sub-categories or lower level categories. Directories often
run several category levels deep.
Snippet from the Teoma web site:
"Teoma adds a new dimension and level of authority to search
results through its breakthrough approach, known as Subject-Specific
Popularity(SM)." Source: http://sp.teoma.com/docs/teoma/about/searchwithauthority.html
Popularity takes link popularity
a step further by ranking pages based on the number of same-subject
pages that reference it. What makes this approach effective is that
natural occuring topic communities on the Net are more qualified to
"vote" for (by linking to) pages within their communities.
By using Subject-Specific Popularity, Teoma is able to return (arguably)
more relevant search results than any other
The process of manually adding a URL to a search
engine's list of URLs to spider - in effect
telling a spider about a page in order to get it spidered and ultimately
added to the search engine's database.
Most search engines have a list of rules that
must be obeyed when submitting sites to be
spidered. Examples of submission rules include
how often the page may be resubmitted (if at all), how many pages may
be submitted per day etc. For links to the submission rules pages of
the major search engines, please refer to the Search
Services exist where the user can have pages submitted
to multiple search engines for a fee. The
fee is normally very low, but usually not as low as the quality of the
submission. We have a more detailed explanation of submission services
and the dangers, as well as guidelines to choosing a reputable SEO
service in our Search Engine Yearbook.
Programs that assist webmasters in optimizing
and submitting web pages to search engines.
There are countless programs available, but probably only a handful
that are worth getting. You can find full reviews of the top 2 programs
in our Search Engine Yearbook.
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