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Glossary of Directory SEO Terminology

A glossary of SEO definitions tailored to the directory industry.

SEO Term
Alexa Rank Alexa is a service that measures website traffic levels. Statistics are compiled from user's of Alexa's toolbar. As a result, the numbers are likely skewed towards webmaster type sites. They can be used to make a comparison of websites within the same industry. Alexa rankings are rumored to be easy to fake but it is not likely that anyone ever faked a bad ranking.
Algo The formula or logic used by a search engine to rank their search results.
Anchor Text Link Text The words of a text-based link that can be clicked. Anchor text is usually underlined. For directories, the anchor text is usually the title of the listing. Search Engine algos are believed to look at the words near the anchor text instead of just the anchor text.
Automated Directory Submission Mass Submission The process of using submission software to automatically submit to directories and search engines.
Backlink Inbound Link A link from another website to your site. An incoming link to your site.
Bidding Directory Bid for Position,
Bid for Placement
A directory in which you make cash bids for placement. The highest bidder usually gets top placement on the homepage or specific category pages.
Black Hat SEO   Unethical techniques that are used to get higher search engine rankings. These techniques are against the search engine's code of conduct and risk getting your site banned or penalized. The separation of white from black hat varies from person to person. The definition also tends to change over time.
Blog Weblog A website that is updated regularly. The structure of the site is like a online journal or a diary. Legal related blogs are called blawgs.
Cache   An electronic copy of a web page stored within a search engine's database. A change to a web page will not be reflected in the search engines until the page is spidered, re-index and re-cached. The cache also refers to a copy of a web page stored on the user's local hard drive, that speeds up the display of pages that you have previously loaded.
Cache Date   The date that the search engine last indexed and made a copy of a page in it's index. When Google spends it's resources to visit a site/page often it probably means that the content is useful. A page that changes often is also likely to be cached more often.
Captcha   An image of a group of letters and numbers, used to confirm that a form is being completed by a human visitor. Captchas are used to combat spam and denial or service attacks.
Categorization   The practice of grouping sites by topic.
Cloaking   The practice of delivering alternate content to different clients. An example in SEO would be showing search engine spiders and human visitors different content.
Content   The information provided by a website. Content can be in many forms including text, photos, videos, and designs.
Cross Linking Interlinking Having a group of websites linking to each other. Excessive cross linking can bring negative attention from the search engines.
Dead Link   A link that is no longer points to an active website. The ratio of live links to dead links may be seen as a quality factor of a website.
Deep Link Internal Link A link to an inner pages of a website as opposed to a link to the home page.
Deep Link Ratio   A ratio of links pointing to internal pages (deep links) to overall links pointing at a website. A low deep link ratio can mean that the website does not have a legitimate natural link profile.
Direct Link   A link that passes full PageRank (and it's ranking benefits) to the page it is linking to. A link that provides Google "link juice".
To identify a direct link, hover the cursor over a link in your browser. The domain of the site being linked to should be displayed. See also indirect link.

Directory   A categorized collection of websites, usually compiled manually. Some directories are general while others offer listings categorized by specific niche or regional topics. Listings in directories can be free, paid or reciprocal.
Directory Submission Service   A service that performs the task of submitting websites to directories. Ideally, this service should include the research and selection of appropriate directories. This type of service should be performed manually rather than using an automated submission program.
Open Directory Project
A large established directory, edited by volunteers. Please see our DMOZ review for a complete description.
Duplicate Content   Pages of content, or parts of pages, that are identical or substantially similar. It would apply to the text/images within a page that is shown via the browser. Duplicate content can be within the same website or across different domains. The search engines typically only display one copy of content in their main results. In Google, duplicate content can be relegated to the Supplementary Results.
Dynamic Web Pages   Web pages generated on demand by databases, as opposed to regular static HTML pages. Dynamic pages can look different each time they are called.
FFA Free for All "Free for All" sites allow almost anyone to add a link to their site. See also link farm.
Footer Links   Clickable links at the very bottom of a web page. A footer is often repeated on every page.
Free Directory   A directory that provides listings without requiring anything in return. Some directory owners take a more liberal meaning of free, as in a directory that requires no cash payment.
Google Sitelinks   When Google believes that one search result is far more relevant than the other results they list a half dozen or so deep links in the search results.
Google Webmaster Central   A free set of tools and resources offered by Google. The tool provides insight into how Google views your website, crawl errors you may have, keyword traffic stats and more.
Googlebot Google Spider Google's spider that crawls the web to create it's index.
SEO Term
Inbound Link Incoming Link A link that comes to your website from another website.
Indirect Link CGI Link,
Jump Link,
Re-Direct Link
A link that uses a dynamic scripting language to link to a website. A link that does not pass PageRank to the page it is linking to. This does not provide any Google "link juice".
To identify an indirect link, hover the cursor over a link in your browser. An indirect link does not link directly to the URL of the website. See also direct link.
IP Address   An Internet Protocol number. A numeric address used to identify each server and internet user.

Example: 125.354.42.6
IP C Class   An IP address is made up of 4 sets of numbers. The 3rd set is known as the C class.

Link Growth Patterns   The history of link growth of a website. Unusual link growth could flag a site for special attention.
Link Farm FFA Websites that link to one another with the goal of artificially increasing their link popularity. These sites usually contain links to other pages and very little else. A form of spamming the search engines.
Link Popularity   The quantity and quality of inbound links to your website.
Link Profile   The data available on the net with respect to a website's incoming links and the quality of the information. The link profile would include a link history. See also natural link profile.
Manual Directory Submission Hand Submission The process of submitting a website to a directory by having a person visiting the directory and complete the submission form. The important part of this process is having the person select the most appropriate category.
Meta Keywords   An HTML header element. Words or short phrases that describe the content of a page. Google has stated that they no longer uses the keywords meta tag in their rankings. Do not spend too much time thinking of these.

Example: <META NAME="KEYWORDS" CONTENT="add keywords or short keyword phrases,separated by a comma">
Meta Description   An HTML header element. A short description (1-3 short sentences) of the content of a web page. Meta descriptions are important as Google uses the description in it's search results. The meta description should be unique.

Example: <META NAME="Description" CONTENT="Insert 1 or 2 sentences that describe the page.">
Natural Link Profile   A situation in which a we website's incoming links have the statistical characteristics of organic or natural links. A natural link profile would emulate the natural growth patterns of the net over time. See also link profile.
Niche Directory   A web directory that provides listings related to a specific topic or type of website.
E.g. Travel, Real Estate, Webmaster, Software, Business, Blog, Article
Nofollow   An HTML attribute used to tell search engines that a link should not influence the link target's search engine ranking. The nofollow attribute should not pass on full link authority.

Example of a link with a nofollow attribute: <a rel="nofollow" href="">
Non-linking Citations   References to your website that do not provide a live link to your site. Examples of these would include your url, your domain, your company name or your product.

Examples:,, Apple Computers, iPod Touch
One Way Link   A link from a website for which you do not have a link on your website.
Organic Link Natural Links Organic links are backlinks to your site that you did not specifically solicit or pay for. These links are usually created because someone thinks that your website is useful or interesting.
Outbound Link   A link that points from one website to another external website.
PageRank PR Google's measure of a web page's relative importance based on the links. A link analysis algorithm that looks at the number and importance of incoming links. Google displays a historic PR figure on it's toolbar, which is updated every 2-4 months. PageRank is a logarithmic scale.
Paid Directory   A directory that requires a cash payment in return for a listing.
Penalty   Search engines can apply penalties to website suspected of trying to game their algorithms. A penalty can cause a reduction in PR, a reduction in rankings or both. Penalties can be applied automatically or manually. Many penalties expire after a period of time. A website with a penalty can send a re-inclusion request to attempt to have a penalty rescinded.
Press Release PR A notice meant to tell the public about abut a newsworthy event within a company.
Reciprocal Link Recip An agreement to exchange links. For example, placing a link on site A that points to site B returns the favor.
Reciprocal Directory   A directory requiring that you link to their website, in return for a directory listing.
Regional Directory   A directory that focuses on a specific region. The region could be a continent, country, state, province, area, city or even an area of a city.
RSS Feed Really Simple Syndication Feed A standardized format used for publish frequently update work such as blog entries or news. RSS feeds allow authors to syndicate content automatically.
Robots.txt   A text file that allows your website to tell robots/spiders if and how they should crawl your website. For example, you can tell Google not to crawl certain files or folders.
Search Engine Rankings Search Results The list returned by a Search Engine, representing the most relevant pages with respect to the searcher's query.
Search Engine Results Page SERP The list returned by a Search Engine, representing the most relevant pages with respect to the searcher's query.
Spider Web Crawler
Robot, Bot
A program that surfs the web by following links from one page to the next and from one site to the next.
Submission Software   A program used to submit websites to search engines and directories. Examples would be your url, your domain name or
Supplemental Index   A term used by Google to identify a secondary index, that has lower standards for indexing. The supplementary index is shown in search results when there are few results from the primary index. Having most of your web pages in the supplemental index is never a good thing.
Title Title Tag
Page Title
The title of a web page, which should be part of the header section of every web page. The title should describe the content of your page as it is one of the most important ranking factors used by the Search Engines. Within a website, each title should be unique. See our tips for writing titles for directory submission.

Example: <Title>Web page title goes here<Title>
White Hat SEO   Ethical techniques used to get higher search engine rankings. The separation of white from black hat varies from person to person. The definition also tends to change over time.
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