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Glossary of Search Engine Ranking Terms

search engine ranking of a page for those keywords. However, some search engines
ignore the Meta Description Tag.
Meta Keywords Tag : The tag present in the header of a web page which is used to
provide alternative words for the words used in the body of the page. The Meta
Keywords Tag is becoming less and less important in influencing the search engine
ranking of a page. Some search engines ignore the Meta Keywords tag.
Meta Refresh Tag : The tag present in the header of a web page which is used to
display a different page after a few seconds. If a page displays another page too soon,
most search engines will either ignore the current page and index the second page or
penalize the current page for spamming.
Pay Per Click Search Engine : A search engine in which the ranking of your site is
determined by the amount you are paying for each click from that search engine to
your site. Examples of pay per click search engines are GoTo, HootingOwl,
SearchGalore etc.
Robot : In the context of search engine ranking, it implies the same thing as Spider. In
a different context, it is also used to indicate a software which visits web sites and
collects email addresses to be used for sending unsolicited bulk email.
Robots.txt : A text file present in the root directory of a site which is used to control
which pages are indexed by a robot. Only robots which comply with the Robots
Exclusion Standard will follow the instructions contained in this file.
Search Engine : A software that searches for information and returns sites which
provide that information. Examples of search engines are AltaVista, Google, Excite,
Northern Light etc.
Search Engine Placement : The practice of trying to ensure that a web site obtains a
high rank in the search engines. Also called search engine positioning, search engine
optimization etc.
Spamdexing : See Spamming.
Spamming : Using any search engine ranking technique which causes a degradation in
the quality of the results produced by the search engines. Examples of spamming
include excessive repetition of a keyword in a page, optimizing a page for a keyword
which is unrelated to the contents of the site, using invisible text, etc. Most search
engines will penalize a page which uses spamming. Also called spamdexing. In a
different context, spamming is also used to mean the practice of sending unsolicited
bulk email.
Spider : A software that visits web sites and indexes the pages present in those sites.
Search engines use spiders to build up their databases. Examples: The spider for
AltaVista is called Scooter, the spider for Excite is called ArchitextSpider, the spider
for Northern Light is called Gulliver.
Stop Word : A word that often appears in pages, yet has no significance by itself.
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