Glossary Of Terms

Our WizardsPlace - Hutchinson SEO Glossary of Terms provides understandable definitions of many of the often unknown words you will run into daily. Use the menu below to jump to the sections sorted in alpha-numeric order. Use the Back To Top links in each section to return to the top of the page and this menu. You might call this the ABCs of online jargon:

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

With all you have to do on a day-to-day basis to run your own online business, it doesn't leave much time for you to stay up-to-date on the latest internet terms and jargon. Unfortunately, the digital world of websites, search engine optimization, social media, and Internet marketing, can be somewhat overwhelming for small businesses. To help you become familiar with some of the most popular terms used in the online presence world, we have prepared this glossary of terms for you to review.


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200 means Status OK indicating the file request was successful, ie: a page or image was found and loaded properly in a browser.

301 means Moved Permanently indicating the file has been moved permanently to a new location.

302 means Found indicating the file has been found, but is temporarily located at another URI.

404 means Not Found indicating the server was unable to locate the URL.


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Above the Fold is a term traditionally used to describe the top portion of a newspaper, viewable when folded vertically and stacked, as at a news stand. In email or web marketing parlance it refers the area of content immediately viewable on screen prior to scrolling.

Absolute Link is a hyper-link which shows the full URL of the page, document, or file to which it connects. Due to canonical considerations, the possibility of link hijacking, and other related issues, it is typically preferred to use absolute links over relative links.

AdWords is a paid search advertising platform, which is owned by Google – the world’s largest search engine. It offers pay-per-click advertising, which means you set a budget and only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

Algorithm is a set of rules, in particular, the formula used by search engines to rank website pages. They analyze data on your site to determine relevance and rank your pages based on the strength of your optimization.

Analytics is the data that is used to give you detailed information about your website activity that you can use to improve your visitors' experience. You can analyze user-behavior, such as pages viewed, time spent on the site, and much more.

Authority is the value assigned to, or associated with, website content as determined by its quality in reference to the search term, suggesting a level of trust as indicated by various quantifiable factors such as keywords and links.

Authorship is method instituted by Google allowing writers to use their Google+ account to identify content they have written and published. Authorship was indicated by the placement of an authorized image of the author next to appropriate listings within search results. Authorship was discontinued by Google in 2014.

Autoresponder/Email Campaign System is an automated email software designed to help you manage email marketing campaigns. You can build and maintain your list, set up automated email messages, send broadcast messages, track results, and much more. MailChimp, iContact, Constant Contact, and Aweber are some of the most popular.


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Backup is a process of capturing (typically in a file) the content, data, and sometimes structure, of a website in order to restore (or replace) it after a site failure, hacking, or other damage. Also the file created by the process itself.

Blog is a contraction, or portmanteau, or the words web and log. It is a website, or portion of a website, devoted to journaling or other forms of periodic writing. A blogs is typically used to facilitate the creation content over time and place links to assist in search results management.


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Call-to-Action (CTA) is a prompt (written or verbal) that tells readers/viewers what to do next. For instance, Call us today, Download our free report, Fill out the form for a free quote, etc. It is recommended that you include a CTA clearly visible on every page of your website, your videos, and most other online marketing methods.

Citation (Local) is the mention of your company's name, perhaps along with its address and phone number, on other places around the web. For Local SEO purposes, citations are viewed as credible sources of information about your business. They validate your business in the eyes of the search engines. So the more citations you have, the more likely you are to see your Local Business Listing show up higher in the search results.

CMS is an acronym for Content Management System, a website platform where content and other information is stored in a database and retrieved for display or other use as needed.

Content Management System is a content processing structure with the ability to store and retrieve text, documents, images, video and any other online content type, most often used for blogs, news and photo sites, those with multiple editors and/or content sections, and are typically the foundation for many large websites, including newspaper and government websites.

Content Marketing is the process of creating and publishing online content that is helpful to readers, as well as help to build credibility, trust, and authority with your business. It focuses on “pulling” in new leads via content they find online instead of hard-selling them by “pushing” out advertising messages.


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Email Marketing is the process of building an email list of current and potential customers, and then communicating with this list via email. Your emails and newsletters can range in type and topics (as long as it’s relevant to your industry). The goal of email marketing is to allow businesses to generate sales via these communications.

Error Message is a displayed statement which points out an error or conveys information (not always an error) on a computer or website. See the numeric section for specific numeric website errors and their meanings.


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Facebook is the most popular social networking site online with more than 1.2 BILLION monthly active users, Facebook is the most utilized social media site today. Not only is it used for personal socializing with family and friends, but it is also used by billions of businesses across the globe to build and maintain relationships with customers and prospects.

File is a single unit of data (information) or function (app or program), such as a text or document file, an image or photo file, a database or spreadsheet file, an audio or video file, etc. There are many file types, typically indicated by the file extension as in filename.ext where filename is the chosen name for the file and ext is the extension (eg: gif, txt, doc, mp4, odt.)


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Geo-Targeting is a process of targeting or providing different content to visitors based on their geographic location. This can be accomplished with both via PPC and organic search.

Google is the world’s number one search engine. The process of going to an online search engine to look for information is also called, “Google” or “Googling” something (which is proof of just how popular Google is). Google is also well-known for many of its other website tools and features, such as Gmail, Maps, YouTube, Google+, Google Alerts, and much more.

Google+ is a social networking site, owned by Google, that offers the features and social functionality of similar sites such as Facebook.

Google Alerts is a tool that allows you to get email notifications related to any topics/keywords you set up within the application. For instance, you can set up alerts that notify you about any mentions or comments about your business.

Google Maps is Google’s mapping service, which offers street maps, directions, and other detailed information about an address located within it.


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Hosting (Web) is the services of providing space and storage on the internet for websites. In order for your website to be seen, it has to be published with a web hosting service. The internet looks to this hosting service when attempting to show your website on someone’s computer.


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Inbound Marketing is the process which focuses on branding, the creation of quality content, and the building of personal trust, in order to draw prospects to your company, product(s) and/or service(s). By aligning the content you publish, the methods you share, the actions you take, and the integrity you demonstrate, with your customer's needs, desires, and interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic.


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Keyword is a selected word or phrase in website content which implies a certain mindset, or relates to a specific consumer demand, and for which targeted prospects are likely to search.


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Latent Semantic Indexing is a text indexing and retrieval method which uses a mathematical technique, singular value decomposition (SVD), to identify relevant patterns in the relationships between the words/phrases and the concepts contained in an otherwise unstructured document. LSI is based on the principle that words that are used in the same context tend to have a similar meaning. A key feature of LSI is its ability to extract the conceptual content of the whole document by establishing associations between those words or phrases that occur in similar context.

LinkedIn is a social networking site built around professionals looking to connect with other like-minded professionals.

Long Tail Keyword is a phrase providing a deeper, more precise or specific, description of a product, service, or information, for which one is searching. Long tail, and brand related, keywords are typically worth more than shorter, often vague, keywords because they typically occur later in the buying cycle and are associated with a greater level of implied intent, and thus greater conversion.

Local Business Listings/Online Directories Based on categories (and usually location), these are submission sites where businesses can list their websites. When a local consumer is searching for your type of product or service online, chances are some directories with show up in the results containing a list of businesses that offer this product or service. Directories usually show up high in search results, as well as provide a strong link back to your website.

Local Search are search engine results that incorporate using a geographical location in the keyword search phrase. This type of search is common for people who are looking for local businesses, products, and services. For example, computer repair in Oakland, CA vs. computer repair. The results usually show up in the Local Pack section of the search page, which contains the local business listings accompanied by a map pin.

LSI is an acronym for Latent Semantic Indexing.


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Mobile Application, commonly known as a mobile app, is software that is created specifically to allow internet applications function on smartphones and other mobile devices.

Mobile Marketing is the process of catering to mobile internet users. This includes ensuring that your website is optimized for easy mobile viewing, using text message marketing to generate repeat business, using mobile apps to provide convenience for your customers, and using QR codes to quickly send mobile users to any online destination.


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NAP (Name, Address, Phone) is a trail of your business online, which is used by the search engines to validate your business by cross-referencing your address and phone number. A strong NAP results in higher local search rankings.


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Off-Page Optimization is the combination of search engine optimization factors, strategies, and methods, which are applied directly to the website in general and the individual web page (or document) in particular.

Off-Site Optimization - See Off-Page Optimization.

On-Page Optimization is the combination of search engine optimization factors, strategies, and methods, which are applied indirectly to the website in general and the individual web page (or document) in particular through external means.

On-Site Optimization - See On-Page Optimization.

Opt-In/Opt-Out Opt-in occurs when a person joins your email list or mobile list. Usually, this is accomplished by giving away something of value in exchange for their email address or mobile phone number. Opt-out occurs when one of your subscribers “unsubscribes,” which means they will no longer receive your messages.

Organic (Natural) Search Engine Results are the website listings that show up in the “organic results section” after a user types in a keyword term into a search engine. These are websites that are naturally optimized to show up in the results for that keyword (they are not part of the local listings or paid advertising sections).


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Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) is an online advertising method that means when you place an ad, you only pay when someone clicks on the ad. Google AdWords is the most popular PPC provider.


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Quick Response Code (QR Code) is a bar code of black and white squares that can be scanned with a mobile device. Once scanned, users can be directed to any online destination you choose, such as your website, a video, a coupon, a survey, and more. Useful for direct linking print ads (magazine, billboard, bumper stickers, etc.) to web pages.


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Relative Link is a link which shows the relation of the link URL to the domain URL of the page on which the link resides. This is sometimes called a short form link and may be less desirable to use. See Absolute Link.

Reputation Management is the process of monitoring, tracking, and responding to what people are saying about your business online. It also involves building brand awareness and building a more positive online reputation surrounding your business via more customer reviews, good content, and more.

Restore is the process of replacing the content, data, and sometimes structure, of a damaged website using the file saved during the backup process.

Retargeting/Remarketing is the process of increasing conversions by marketing to people who have already visited your website or Facebook page. This is usually done by creating remarketing ads, which are then periodically displayed to these visitors as they browse the web. The ultimate goal is to get these hot leads who have expressed an interest in you back to your website.

Review Sites are websites where consumers go to leave reviews and opinions about companies, products, and services. Consumers who are looking to make a purchase decision often visit these websites to get more information. Some of the most popular review sites for local businesses are Yelp, Google My Business, Yahoo Local, and others.


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Search Engine When searching for information online, most people go to their favorite search engine, such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Once there, they type in a keyword term that briefly describes what they’re looking for. Then, a list of websites (search results) that match the keyword will appear on the page.

Search Engine Optimization is the process of making website page content more appealing to search engines with the end result of gaining better placement in search engine return pages (SERPs) leading to more exposure and greater organic traffic to the indexed page.

Search Engine Return Page is the page displayed by a search engine in response to a search inquiry. This page will typically display one or more search results comprised of the name or title of the target page, a link to that page, and a brief description of its content or purpose.

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization.

SERP is an acronym for Search Engine Return Page.

Social Media Online services which allow individuals and businesses to create brand awareness and communicate with their existing and potential customers via their profiles on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and others. Social media “marketing” entails utilizing these platforms to provide updates and information that your audience is interested in, as well as promotions about your products and services.

Spam, also known as junk mail, this is the practice of sending unsolicited commercial emails, or sending a bunch of commercial emails, over and over to unsuspecting recipients. Spamming is unethical, annoying, and should be avoided by businesses wishing to be accepted as legitimate. When using Email Marketing, be sure to comply with the CAN-SPAM act, which has set rules for commercial emailing.


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Text Message Marketing (SMS) is a popular form of mobile marketing that involves building a list of mobile subscribers, and then following up with them via text messages to provide information or promote your current events and special offers.

Title Tag is a critical element for SEO. Title tags are the words in your web page document title, which the search engines use to help determine the topic of your site so it can rank it accordingly in search results. These tags show in the top bar of the internet browser, as well as on the search results page. It is important to use relevant keywords in your site’s title tag for the best results.


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Video Marketing is the process of creating and publishing online videos to promote your business, as well as educate and inform your audience. A Video Marketing campaign involves a consistent plan for putting videos online that will attract more leads and sales.


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WordPress is the most popular blogging platform and content management system; however, it goes way beyond blogging and is now being used as a full website platform for millions of businesses.


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Yelp is a local review site where businesses and consumers connect. This is also where many local consumers go to post their reviews and opinions about companies they’ve done business with; it’s also a major source for consumers who want to see what other people have to say about local businesses.

YouTube is a video sharing platform, which is owned by Google, and has been named the second largest search engine in the world. You can publish keyword-optimized videos related to your business on YouTube to get more exposure.


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ZIP is a file extension as in or just the general name for this file type. A zip file is an archive file which gathers one or more individual files (and/or folders) together and compresses them into a single file making the total size smaller and providing for ease in storage and transfer.


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