SERP – search engine results page. The page of search results that appears after conducting a search in Google or another search engine. Plural: SERPs
SE – Search Engine. Google and Bing are the two most popular search engines.
URL – the address of a specific web page, or the home page address of a web site:
Link – a “clickable” word or image that displays a different web page when clicked on: Linky
Text link – clickable words used as a link: Text Link
Anchor Text – the words or the alt text that form a link. Search engines consider the anchor text used in links to particular page as a strong clue with respect to the topic of the page being linked to.
ALT text – text that is placed with the code that displays an image. Its intended purpose is to replace the image for users who do not see the image, such as blind users or those surfing with a text browser or with images turned off. Search engine spiders could be considered blind users.
Navigation links – the primary collection of links that is usually standard on every page, or most pages, of a web site, to allow users to get from any section to another section of the site. Often referred to as a nav menu, nav links, or just nav. Often located in a horizontal bar across the top (header) or bottom (footer) of the page, or in a vertical list down the left or right side (sidebar).
Mobile-responsive – Structuring a website so that it rearranges its elements to display nicely on a smart phone, a tablet or a laptop as well as on a large desktop computer. A mobile-responsive site can use a variety of different techniques: Hide certain elements from display at all on a tiny phone screen, make some elements display smaller, make some elements display larger — such as text links or buttons, so that people can tap them more easily with their finger. Elements displayed side-by-side on a large screen may appear one below the other on a smaller screen. These are all techniques to make a site mobile-responsive.
Mailto link – a link that, when clicked, opens the user’s default e-mail program with a new email message addressed to the e-mail address in the link: E-mail me. Mailto links only work if the user has a default e-mail program specified and configured correctly. I like to use mailto links in addition to contact forms, so that visitors can choose to communicate in the way that they prefer.
POP Mail – Incoming mail (i.e., mail that you receive from someone else). POP stands for Post Office Protocol.
SMTP Mail – Outgoing mail (mail that you send to someone else). SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.
IMAP Mail – Mail that lives on the mailserver. Only copies are downloaded to the user’s computer. Sent mail is likewise stored on the server. IMAP has become popular in recent years because people want to use their computer, laptop, tablet and phone to send & receive mail, and have all their mail appear on all devices. IMAP is the mail protocol that allows this to happen.
Domain / domain name – the unique name that identifies a web site. (Also used for e-mail, ftp, and other activities). The domain name of Tropical Web Works is tropicalwebworks.com.
Subdomain – An extra “name” pre-pended to the beginning of a domain that de facto is treated as if it is a separate domain. Many bloggers use “blog” as a subdomain for their blog, e.g., blog.example.com. Technically, the www part of a web site address is a subdomain, but the vast majority of web sites direct the www and non-www versions of their domain to the same web site.
Registrar – A company that participates in the domain name registration system and is authorized to offer domain registrations and maintain registration information. Individuals and companies register their domains through a registrar. Tropical Web Works recommends that domains always be registered with ICANN-accredited registrars.
Hosting – Having your web site installed on a web server that is accessible on the Web. Hosting can refer to shared virtual hosting, a dedicated server, or something in between.
Organic search results – the web pages that appear in a search engine results page purely on the basis of the search engine’s determination of its relevency to the search. The opposite of paid, or sponsored, results.
Sponsored results – web pages that appear in a search engine results page because the site owner paid the search engine a fee. Reputable search engines (including Google, MSN, Yahoo, and Ask) display sponsored results visually separated from organic results and label the sponsored results as such.
PPC – “Pay per click” — sponsored search results (or other forms of online advertising) in which the advertiser pays on the basis of user clicks on the ad. Contrast with the more conventional, off-line, payment approach of paying based on how many people will see the ad. Google’s AdWords program is probably the best-known PPC advertising program.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization. A multivariate process to maximize a site’s potential performance in search engines for effective keywords. Includes optimizing the underlying code and on-page visible text, and the development of inbound links from other sites. May also include changes to server configuration, navigational structure, or other technical details. Sitemaps, mobile responsiveness, social media activity and other efforts can all play a role in how a site performs in the search engines.
White Hat SEO / Black Hat SEO – Informal terms that refer to search engine optimization techniques that comply with the guidelines put forth by the search engines (white hat) or that that violate the guidelines put forth by the search engines (black hat). Black hat SEO can often shoot a site to the top of the SERPs for a period of time, but is generally not considered to be a viable long-term technique. In fact, black hat SEO can result in a site being banned by the search engines, and is often implemented on “throw-away domains” without any expectation of long-term search engine success. White hat SEO can take longer to achieve results in the search engines, but is generally believed to be the best method of achieving success for the long haul. Tropical Web Works only performs white hat SEO for our clients.
HTML – Hypertext Markup Language. The code (technically, not code but markup language) used to create a web page.
CSS – Cascading Style Sheets. The code that governs the visual presentation of a web page.
Inbound link – Often referred to as a backlink or inlink (common abbreviations: IBL or BL). A link from another web page to your web page. Most often refers to links from other web sites to a page on your web site, but technically includes links from one page on your site to another page on your site.
Outbound link – A link from your site to another site. Often called external links.
Reciprocal link – Trading links with another web site: “I’ll link to you if you link to me.” For a long time, this method of gaining inbound links was effective with Google, but for some time now, Google has been working to devalue the importance of these links.
SPAM – Sites Placed Above Mine 😉