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Glossary of Search Engine Ranking Terms

Heading Tags : A paragraph style that is displayed in a large, bold typeface. Having
text containing keywords in the Heading Tags can improve the search engine ranking
of a page for those keywords.
Hidden Text : Text that is visible to the search engines but is invisible to humans. It is
mainly accomplished by using text in the same color as the background color of the
page. It is primarily used for the purpose of including extra keywords in the page
without distorting the aesthetics of the page. Most search engines penalize web sites
which use such hidden text.
Image Map : An image containing one or more invisible regions which are linked to
other pages. If the image map is defined as a separate file, the search engines may not
be able to index the pages to which that image map links. The way out is to have text
hyperlinks to those pages in addition to the links from the image map. However,
image maps defined within the same web page will generally not prevent search
engines from indexing the other pages.
Inktomi : A database of sites used by many of the larger search engines like HotBot,
see
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MSN etc
.
For more information
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JavaScript : A scripting language commonly used in web pages. Most search engines
are unable to index these scripts properly.
Keyword : A word or phrase that you type in when you are searching for information
in the search engines.
Keyword Frequency : Denotes how often a keyword appears in a page or in an area of
a page. In general, higher the number of times a keyword appears in a page, higher its
search engine ranking. However, repeating a keyword too often in a page can lead to
that page being penalized for spamming.
Keyword Prominence : Denotes how close to the start of an area of a page that a
keyword appears. In general, having the keyword closer to the start of an area will
lead to an improvement in the search engine ranking of a page.
Keyword Weight : Denotes the number of times a keyword appears in a page as a
percentage of all the other words in the page. In general, higher the weight of a
particular keyword in a page, higher will be the search engine ranking of the page for
that keyword. However, repeating a keyword too often in order to increase its weight
can cause the page to be penalized by the search engines.
Link Popularity : The number of sites which link to a particular site. Many search
engines use link popularity as a factor in determining the search engine ranking of a
web site.
Meta Description Tag : The tag present in the header of a web page which is used to
provide a short description of the contents of the page. Some search engines will
display the text present in the Meta Description Tag when the page appears in the
results of a search. Including keywords in the Meta Description Tag can improve the
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