Search engine optimisation is all about working backwards from guidelines laid out by Google, Bing and other search engines to help a web site gain higher recognition on the web.
To help cut through some of the jargon, here’s a list of some of the common terms and what they mean:
- Search engine – Google, Ask, Bing or Yahoo are search engines that return a list of likely web sites that will have information about a key word or phrase you have typed in to the search box on their home page.
- Keyword or search term – A trigger that helps identify what a web site is about. For instance SEO or search engine optimisation is a keyword for this site
- Search system – This is the method a search site calls on to index web sites. Not all search sites index their own content. For instance, AOL displays Google results. Google and the Open Directory Project send search results to hundreds of search sites. The majority of the world’s search sites get their results from other sources, with the majority coming from Google.
- Search results – The list of web sites and documents returned after you enter a key word or phrase in to a search engine
- SERPs – Search engine results page – jargon for the search results
- Organic search results – Search results that are not paid for by advertisers or sponsors. Google has paid-for or ‘non-organic’ search results at the top of the page and in the column down the right side.
- Pay per click (PPC) – The paid-for search results
- On-page SEO – Aligning the page content with key words in an effort to make the page score highly in organic search results
- Off-page SEO – The theory that having links to your site from high traffic well-respected sites lifts your site ranking in organic searches
- PR – Page ranking or where your web site sits in the list of organic searches for your keywords. PR1 is the objective, which is the top of the list.
The theory behind the science is search engine optimisation (SEO) can prime pages to score higher for relevance when web sites are indexed.