Search Engine Optimization Glossary

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Search Engine Optimization, I have newly entered the field of Internet marketing, and more specifically pay-per-click bid management as a result of my employer turning over a big pay-per-click account to me, and finding I am a natural at it and truly enjoy doing it.

I was introduced to your newsletter and find it very informative and helpful; however, I find myself continually frustrated by many of the abbreviated terms used in the articles that I don’t understand the meaning of. I try second-guessing, and figure out many of them, but some have me stumped!
Right now, I feel like the kid in school, afraid to raise his/her hand and ask a “dumb question”… but perhaps, like that kid, there are others afraid to ask too! I realize to sound knowledgeable you need to use the accepted “jargon”; however, would it be possible to include a list at the bottom of the article of brief explanation and spelled out meaning of all the abbreviations or terms? Example: From most recent newsletter, SEO (Search Engine Operative?), ODP, paid inclusion URL, DMOZ link, Googlebot – know what Google is, but not the “bot” part.
If I’m the only one, then please disregard. Just thought I’d ask/suggest!
Nancy Houtz
~~~Jill’s Response~~~
Hi Nancy,
Sorry to have confused you! Please don’t worry about asking any “dumb” questions, as that’s the only way to learn about anything.
Your comments are well taken and you’re definitely not alone. I do try to give the full word and put the abbreviation in parentheses most of the time, but apparently I’ve been lax at doing this! Some of the terms, e.g., DMOZ, are just so commonplace to me that I forget that others may not know them.
So let’s define the ones in your email plus any others I can think of. I’m sure you won’t be the only one to appreciate this mini-glossary. (Please note that with some phrases such as SEO, there will be people who disagree with my definition. That’s what keeps this industry interesting!)
SEO = Search Engine Optimization or Search Engine Optimizer (depending on how you use it).
My definition of SEO is “optimizing” your existing Web site to be search engine friendly. Search engine friendly simply means that your keyword phrases have been researched and carefully chosen, and have been incorporated into a few hundred words of visible copy on the pages of the site. It also means that the design of the site is such that search engines can follow the links throughout the site and read the information provided on every page. Other aspects of SEO include creating search engine friendly HTML (hyper text markup language) coding such as keyword-rich Title tags and Meta tags.
Modern-day professional SEO does not try to *trick* the search engines into believing your site is relevant for particular keyword phrases, nor does it create hundreds of keyword-laden pages meant for search engine “eyes” only. This is what is known as search engine spamming, not search engine optimization.
SEM = Search Engine Marketing.
This phrase and acronym is often used interchangeably with SEO; however, it’s actually much more than SEO. Search engine optimization is actually one type of SEM. The other major type of SEM would be pay-per-click advertising (PPC). Many companies specialize in all types of SEM, but plenty of them specialize in either SEO or PPC. My area of expertise lies in the SEO end of things.
In that same vein, another phrase that was bandied about for awhile was Search Engine Positioning or SEP. We don’t hear that one quite as much now that SEM has gained in popularity. Many use the term SEP interchangeably with SEO, but since optimizers don’t actually “position” pages within the search engines, I find it to be a misnomer. It works better to describe PPC ads, since those are really the only way someone can actually place a site in an exact position in a search engine.
Paid inclusion (sometimes known as pay-per-inclusion or PPI) = Paying a search engine to include your page or pages in their database.
Paid-inclusion submissions are very often done through a third-party company such as PositionTech. All of the major search engines (except for Google) have paid-inclusion programs. PPI does not give sites any special treatment other than regular spidering (usually every 48 hours). This regular spidering is helpful to pages that change content frequently, or for Webmasters who are attempting to tweak their pages for higher rankings.
ODP = Open Directory Project. Also known as DMOZ (Directory MOZilla).
This one is very confusing to people because they call themselves “DMOZ open directory project” on their site, but they don’t seem to define “DMOZ.” Seems like it would be less confusing if they got rid of the DMOZ acronym and used only ODP instead. You can learn more about them on their “about us” page. In a nutshell, ODP/DMOZ is an Internet directory where you can submit your site for review and (hopefully) a listing. Once you get a listing, it would be considered a “DMOZ link” (or an “ODP link”).
Googlebot = The automated robot (or bot) that Google sends out to crawl the Web in order to find new pages to add to their vast database.
These bots are sometimes called spiders also. If you can check your server logs, you can often see which bots have visited your site. A couple of other search engine bot names are “Slurp” (Inktomi) and “Scooter” (AltaVista).
I’m sure there are plenty of other acronyms and words that you’re not sure of. Adventive put a glossarytogether a few years ago, but I’m not sure if it’s been kept up to date. If you do a search for “SEO glossary” on Google you’ll find many more. Feel free to email me with any other terms you’re not sure of and I’ll be happy to explain them to you! 
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