Social Media and Digital Marketing Glossary

Digital and social media terminology can be extremely confusing!

Below is list of social media and digital marketing definitions that can help you on your quest to unlocking the secrets of the online universe!

All | # 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
There are currently 324 names in this directory
#
This symbol represents a tag for categorization on Twitter and Instagram. See “hashtag.”

301 Redirect
Code meaning “moved permanently,” used to point browsers, spiders, etc. to the correct location of a missing or renamed URL. Pages marked with such a code will automatically redirect to another URL.

302 Redirect
A method of redirecting a visitor from one page to another web page, used for temporary situations only. For permanent redirects, instead use a 301.

404 Error
“File not found” code for a Web page that displays when a user attempts to access a URL that has been moved, renamed or no longer exists. Used as a template for missing or deleted pages, designing a custom “404 page” in a user-friendly way can help people stay engaged with your site even when a given page turns up blank.

A

Abandonment Rate
See “bounce rate.”

Acquisition
Refers to the point in time when a visitor to a website becomes a qualified lead or customer.

Acquisition Cost
See “cost-per-acquistion.”

Ad Extensions
Additional pieces of information that can be added to Google Adwords ads, including reviews, address, pricing, callouts, app downloads, sitelinks, and click-to-call. Ad extensions help advertisers create richer, more informative ads that take up more on-page real estate, which generally lead to higher Click Through Rates.

Ad Manager Account
An advertising account on Facebook that allows you to run ads on the Facebook Ad Network.

Ad Network
A grouping of websites or digital properties (like apps) where ads can appear. For example, Google has 2 ad networks: the search network (text ads that appear in search results) and the display network (image ads that appear on millions of websites that have partnered with Google).

AdCenter
See “Microsoft adCenter.”

AdSense
Google AdSense is a pay-per-click advertisement application which is available to bloggers and Web publishers as a way to generate revenue from the traffic on their sites. The owner of the site selects which ads they will host, and AdSense pays the owner each time an ad is clicked.

Adsense (Google Adsense)
A Google platform that allows websites to earn money by publishing Google network ads on their website.

AdWords
The pay-per-click (PPC) search-engine marketing (SEM) program provided by Google.

Adwords (Google Adwords)
A Google owned program that is used by advertisers to place ads on Google search results pages, on Youtube, and on Google ad network sites. Adwords is the primary platform for PPC advertising.

Aggregator
An Internet-based tool or application which collects and curates content (often provided via RSS feeds) from many different websites and displays it in one central location. Google Reader is one popular example of an aggregator.

Akismet
A widely used application for blogging platforms, such as WordPress, that functions as a filter for trapping link spam, comment spam and other forms of undesirable user-generated content.

Alerts
Notifications that can be set up for various search terms, events or website actions. These are often sent to an individual via email, e.g., whenever a company/product name appears on the Internet in newly published content. Alerts are usually sent to an individual via email.

Alexa (Amazon Alexa)
Amazon’s home assistant device that uses voice commands to do various things like: play music, answer questions, give weather updates, and more. Voice search is becoming more interesting to the SEO industry as more people use devices like Alexa in place of computers for searches.

Algorithm
Mathematical rules and calculations a search engine uses to determine the rankings of the sites it has indexed. Every search engine has its own unique, proprietary algorithm that gets updated on a regular basis. Google’s famously has more than 200 major components.

Algorithm Update
A change made to a Google algorithm. Updates typically affect the rankings of websites. Google makes hundreds of adjustments to their algorithms throughout the year, as well as several major updates each year.

ALT Attribute
A line of text used to describe the content associated with a non-text based file, typically an image. A traditionally strong correlation exists between use of keywords in these attributes and high rankings for the pages that contain them.

Alt Text (or Alternative Text)
An attribute added to HTML code for images, used to provide vision impaired website visitors with information about the contents of a picture. Best practice dictates that all images on a website should have alt text, and that the text should be descriptive of the image.

Analytics (or Google Analytics)
A Google platform that allows webmasters to collect statistics and data about website visitors. Google Analytics (sometimes abbreviated as GA) allows webmasters to see where web traffic comes from and how visitors behave once on the site.

Anchor Text
The non-URL text that is displayed in a hyperlink. For example, in this hyperlink to Fathom’s website, “Fathom’s website” is the anchor text. Careful use of anchor text can produce both reader and SEO benefits.

Automation
Using computer programs to perform tasks that are repetitive, that would normally be completed by a human. Email programs can use automation to send email messages to people based on certain triggers (new customers, did or did not open the last email, etc). Marketers also use automation to nurture leads by sending relevant content to previous visitors of a website, in an attempt to get the visitor back to convert into a sale.

Avatar
A graphical representation of a real person, often seen in user profiles for online forums, social networks or chat/instant-message services. Avatars can be two-dimensional images, representing the author of a blog or microblog; or they can be three-dimensional figures, occupying space in a virtual world, such as Second Life.

Average Position
A metric in Google Adwords that helps advertisers understand where, on average, their ads are showing in Google search results pages. There are usually 4 available ad slots at the top of a search result page (where 1 is the first ad, 2 is the second ad, etc), so for the best results advertisers typically want an average position between 1-4. Average position 5+ indicates that your ads are showing at the bottom of the search results page.

B

Backlink
See “inbound link.”

Ban
Removal from a search index when a page and/or entire website is deemed inappropriate for a given engine’s results, usually on a temporary basis until the offending site corrects itself.

Banner Ad
A popular type of digital image ad that can be placed across various websites. The largest and most popular image ad network is run by Google, and allows ads in the following common sizes: A popular type of digital image ad that can be placed across various websites. The largest and most popular image ad network is run by Google, and allows ads in the following common sizes: 250 x 250 Square 200 x 200 Small Square 468 x 60 Banner 728 x 90 Leaderboard 300 x 250 Inline Rectangle 336 x 280 Large Rectangle 120 x 600 Skyscraper 160 x 600 Wide Skyscraper 300 x 600 Half-Page Ad 970 x 90 Large Leaderboard

Bing
A web search engine that provides search services for web, video, image and map search products. Bing is owned and operated by Microsoft, and is powers Yahoo! Search. Bing now controls approximately 20% of the search share.

Bing Ads
A platform that provides pay-per-click advertising on both the Bing and Yahoo! search engines. The service allows businesses to create ads, and subsequently serve the ads to consumers who search for keyword that the businesses bid on. This platform also offers targeting options such as location, demographic, and device targeting.

Black Hat
Slang for an unethical digital marketer or SEO who uses spammy tactics to rank websites, like article spinning, mass directory link building, or negative SEO.

Blip
A “blip” can refer to a music or video clip which a user has posted via the popular media hosting sites, Blip.fm and Blip.tv.

Blog
Short for “weblog,” this is a special kind of website for self-publishing, often done by the owner of the site (the “blogger”), but sometimes by a committee of authors who rotate by day, for example. Blogs typically record and categorize all content updates by date/time and topic for easy tracking by readers. The posts appear on a blog’s homepage in reverse-chronological order (thus the original term, “weblog”). Another feature of blogging is a space reserved for comments (usually following every post). These interactive sections can often be longer, and sometimes more interesting, than the original post. Visitors can view regular blog updates by going to the actual site or using an RSS feed aggregator like Google Reader.

Blogger
An individual who generates content for blogs, either personal or professional. Reasons for being a professional blogger are many: delivering timely commentary; showcasing expertise; engaging with audiences and fellow bloggers; and building personal brands. Some professional bloggers generate levels of esteem and prestige equivalent to that of journalists, an occupation which has also found value in blogging for the above reasons.

Blogroll
A list of recommended or similar blogs that a blogger lists on his or her own blog as a resource for the audience.

Bookmarking
The act of saving a website address for future reference. This can be done individually on an Internet browser, such as Mozilla Firefox, or through a dedicated social bookmarking site, such as del.icio.us. Social bookmarking allows visitors to easily share groups of bookmarks with each other across computers regardless of browser, as well as comment on and rate the stored content. Other social bookmarking sites include Digg, StumbleUpon and Mixx.

Bot
An automated program that visits websites, sometimes also referred to as a “crawler” or a “spider”. A spam bot visits websites for nefarious reasons, often showing in Google Analytics as junk traffic. However, Google uses a bot to crawl websites so that they can be ranked and added to Google search.

Bounce Rate
Refers to the percentage of a given page’s visitors who exit without visiting another page on the same site. This term is often used in e-commerce in conjunction with merchandise shopping carts. Also known as “abandonment rate.”

Bread Crumbs
Navigation links at the top of a webpage that better help the user understand where on the website they are. These links often appear near the web page’s title and look something like this: Home > Services > Specific Service

Broken Links
Links to pages which no longer exist or have been moved to a different URL without redirection. These links usually serve pages with the “404 error” message (see “404 error”). Incidentally, most search engines provide ways for visitors to report on broken or “dead” links.

Business Manager
A Facebook platform that allows marketers to manage multiple pages and ad accounts in one central location.

C

Campaign
A series of advertising messages that share a theme, and market a product or service. In the context of digital marketing, campaigns can be run through search and display network advertising platforms (i.e. Google, Bing), social media, email, or other online platforms.

Canonical (rel=canonical)
A piece of code that is added into the html head of a webpage to indicate to Google whether a piece of content is original or duplicated from somewhere else. Original content should canonical to itself, and content taken from other places should point the canonical to the original source URL. Canonicals can also be used to avoid duplicate content issues within a website.

Categories
Ways to organize content on a site, especially blogs. One typical way to store both current and archival blog posts is by an alphabetical list of topical categories.

Click-Through-Rate
A metric showing how often people click on an ad after they see it. It can be calculated by dividing the number of clicks on the ad divided by the number of impressions (how many times it was seen). This ratio can be useful when determining whether an ad’s messaging matches what the consumer is searching for, and if it resonates with them.

Click-Thru Rate (CTR)
The percentage of people who actually click on a link (e.g., in an email message or sponsored ad) after seeing it.

Cloaking
A prohibited practice of tricking a search engine into indexing different content than the user actually sees. In essence, it is serving one version of a page to search engines (for intended SEO benefit) and another to humans. Often the content is entirely unrelated to the actual topic/theme of the rest of the site.

Code
The languages used to build a website. The most commonly used languages in web design are HTML, CSS, JS, and PHP.

Collaboration
In reference to Web 2.0, this concept states that shared contributions of large numbers of individuals, using social media tools, is a main driver of quality content on the Internet.

Collective Intelligence
The idea that a community or group of individuals is more efficiently capable of higher thought processes than an individual. Social-media applications of this concept include online communities which provide user-created informative content, such as Wikipedia.

Comments
Comments are content generated by users in response to an initial publication, most notably blog posts. These are usually posted below the blog entry, and can often be vehicles for creating advanced levels of discussion that increase the lifespan of blog posts. Comments are also typically associated with news articles, videos, media-sharing sites, and Facebook posts.

Congoo
Congoo is a news-sharing social network that offers free subscription content across hundreds of broad and niche topics.

Connections
See “friends.”

Contact Form
A section on a website with fillable fields for visitors to contact the website owner, most commonly used to collect name, phone number, and email address of potential customers.

Content
Any text, image, video, audio, app or other material published on the Internet for audience consumption.

Contextual Link Inventory
An extension of search engines where they place targeted links on websites they deem to have similar audiences.

Conversion
A desired action taken by a website visitor, such as making a purchase, registering for an event, subscribing to an e-newsletter, completing a lead-gen form, downloading a file, etc.

Conversion Cost
See “cost-per-acquisition (CPA).”

Conversion Rate
This is the percentage of visitors to a site or ad who actually take a further action, like buying a product or filling out a survey. For example, if your primary goal is to collect survey data through your site, and 20 people visit it, but only 5 people complete the survey, you have a conversion rate of 25%.

Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA)
Represents the ratio of the total cost of a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign to the total number of leads or customers, often called “CPA” or “conversion cost.”

Cost-Per-Click
A method of paying for targeted traffic. For a fee, sites like Google or Facebook direct traffic to your site. You agree to pay a set amount for every click.

CPA
An abbreviation for “cost-per-acquisition.”

CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)
A metric in paid advertising platforms that measures how much money is spent in order to acquire a new lead or customer. It can be calculated by dividing the total spend by the number of conversions, for a given period of time. For example, if in a month a PPC account spends $1000 dollars and gets 10 conversions (leads), then the cost per acquisition is $100.

CPC
An abbreviation for “cost-per-click.”

CPC (Cost Per Click)
The amount of money spent for a click on an ad in a Pay-Per-Click campaign. In the Adwords platform, each keyword will have an estimated click cost, but the prices change in real time as advertisers bid against each other for each keyword. Average CPCs can range from less than $1 dollar for longtail or low-competition keywords, to upwards of $100 per click for competitive terms, primarily in legal, insurance, and water damage restoration industries.

CPM
This is the “cost-per-thousand” views of an advertisement. Often, advertisers agree to pay a certain amount for every 1,000 customers who see their ad, regardless of conversion rates or click-thrus. The “M” in “CPM” is derived from the Latin word for 1,000 (mille).

Crawler
An automatic function of some search engines that index a page, and then visit subsequent pages that the initial page links to. As the cycle continues over time, search engine crawlers or “bots”/“spiders” can index a massive number of pages very quickly.

CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization)
a branch of digital marketing that aims to improve the conversion rate of web pages, thus making the pages more profitable. Conversion rate optimization combines psychology with marketing and web design in order to influence the behavior of the web page visitor. CRO uses a type of testing called “A/B split testing” to determine which version of a page (version A or version B) is more successful.

Crowdsourcing
In the context of social media, this is a process used by many social bookmarking sites where individuals are allowed to vote on news stories and articles to determine their value and relevancy within the site. Related to other social media concepts such as collaboration and collective intelligence, it can also be a research tool. Due to its significant popularity, this new word famously has entered standard English dictionaries in recent years.

CSS
stands for “Cascading Style Sheets”. CSS a document of code that tells the website’s HTML how it should be appear on screen. CSS is a time saving document for web designers as they can style batched-sections of HTML code, rather than styling individual lines of code one-at-a-time.

CTA (Call to Action)
an element on a web page used to push visitors towards a specific action or conversion. A CTA can be a clickable button with text, an image, or text, and typically uses an imperative verb phrase like: “call today” or “buy now”.

CTR
An abbreviation for “click-thru rate.”

CTR (Click Through Rate)
the ratio of how many times an advertisement was clicked on, versus how many times it was shown. It is calculated by dividing the ad’s clicks by the ad’s impressions. For example, if an ad is shown to 100 people, and 10 of them click the ad, then it has a click through rate of 10% (10 clicks / 100 impressions = 10%)

D

Dashboard
Any area of administrative control for operating applications, especially social media settings, blogging software, and user profiles for websites that offer multiple customization options.

De-listing
See “ban.”

Del.icio.us
A popular social bookmarking site which allows members to share, store and organize their favorite online content.

Digg
Not as popular as it once was, Digg is a tech-centric social bookmarking and crowdsourcing site with a large, devoted audience that famously directs server-busting traffic to websites that have articles linked from its popular top rankings.

Digital Marketing
A catchall term for online work that includes specialized marketing practices like SEO, PPC, CRO, web design, blogging, content, and any other form of advertising on a internet-connected device with a screen. Traditionally, television was not considered digital marketing, however the shift from cable television to internet streaming means that digital advertising can now be served to online TV viewers.

Directory
An index of websites where the listings are compiled by hand, rather than by a crawler. Whether general or niche-oriented, the best of these sites are structured, reviewed and regularly updated by humans with transparent editorial guidelines.

Display Ads
Ads on a display network which include many different formats such as: images, flash, video, and audio. Also commonly known as banner ads, these are the advertisements that are seen around the web on news sites, blogs, and social media.

Display Network
a network of websites and apps that show display ads on their web pages. Google’s display network spans over 2 million websites that reach over 90% of people on the internet. Businesses can target consumers on the display network based on keywords/topics, placement on specific webpages, and through remarketing.

DMOZ
Also known as the Open Directory Project, this continually expanding directory is run by volunteers. It claims to be the largest (and is one of the most famous) of the human-edited directories.

DNS
Stands alternately for “Domain Name Service,” “Domain Name Server,” and “Domain Name System”: the DNS is a name service which allows letters (and numbers) that constitute domain names to be used to identify computers instead of numerical IP addresses.

Dofollow
A phrase that denotes a hyperlink absent of a “nofollow” tag. By default, a hyperlink is a dofollow link until a “nofollow” piece of code is added to it. Dofollow links pass SEO equity to the destination URL, while “nofollow” links do not.

Doorway Page
A low-content page traditionally created expressly for the purpose of ranking on a search engine. Usually very keyword-heavy and user-hostile, most search engines now frown on these pages.

Duplicate Content
Refers to instances where portions of text are found in 2 different places on the web. When the same content is found on multiple websites, it can cause ranking issues for one or all of the websites, as Google does not want to show multiple websites in search results that have the exact same information. This type of duplicate content can occur because of can result from plagiarism, automated content scrapers, or lazy web design. Duplicate content can also be a problem within one website — if multiple versions of a page exists, Google may not understand which version to show in search results, and the pages are competing against each other. This can occur when new versions of pages are added without deleting or forwarding the old version, or through poor URL structures.

E

Ecommerce (or E-Commerce)
Stands for Electronic Commerce, it is a classification for businesses that conduct business online. The most common form of e commerce business is an online retailer that sells products direct to the consumer.

Email Automation
A marketing system that uses software to automatically send emails based on defined triggers. Multiple automated emails in a sequence are used create user funnels and segment users based on behavior. For example, an automation funnel could be set to send email 1 when a person provides their email address, then either email 2a or 2b would be sent based on whether or not the person clicked on the first email.

Email List
A collection of email addresses that can be used to send targeted email marketing campaigns. Lists are typically segmented by user classification so a list of existing customers can receive one type of communication, while potential customers can receive more promotional communication.

Email Marketing
The use of email with the goal of acquiring sales, customers, or any other type of conversion.

Entry
A piece of writing posted to a blog, microblog, wiki, or other easy-access Web publishing platform.

F

Facebook
A dominant, free-access social-networking site which is available to companies and any person 13 years of age or older. Facebook was initially non-commercial and limited to students with a college email domain, but has since expanded to accommodate fan pages, paid advertising, and e-commerce stores.

Facebook Ads Manager
Ads Manager is a tool for creating Facebook ads, managing when and where they’ll run, and tracking how well campaigns are performing on Facebook, Instagram or their Audience Network.

Facebook Advertising
Facebook allows advertisers to reach its users through their ad network. A range of ad types can be created to reach various goals set by companies. Facebook advertising is unique in that audiences are set up based on vast demographic information that Facebook has about their users, as compared to Google advertising that uses keywords.

Facebook Business Page
A public webpage on Facebook created to represent a company. Using a business page gives users access to Facebook Ads Manager. It also allows businesses to engage with users (i.e. page likes, message responses, post content).

Facebook Profile
A personal Facebook account. Profiles are automatically created when a user signs up.

Featured Snippet
a summarized piece of information that Google pulls from a website and places directly into search results, in order to show quick answers to common and simple queries. Featured snippets appear in a block at the top of search results with a link to the source. Featured Snippets cannot be created by webmasters; Google programmatically pulls the most relevant information from an authoritative site. Most featured snippets are shown for question queries like “what is _____” or “who invented _____”.

Featured Snippet:
When content within a web page is pulled into google search results to instantly give the information a user is looking for.

First Page:
when a site ranks on the first page of google search results.

Flash
Refers to a form of video software developed by Adobe Macromedia that creates vector-based graphic animations that occupy small file sizes.

Flickr
A media-hosting network where users can upload and share image files. It is the largest photo-storage and photo-sharing site on the Web.

Form Fill
When a visitor has filled out a contact form on a website, commonly used as a noun to refer to a conversion. “This month our marketing campaign generated 20 phone calls and 8 form fills.”

Forum
An area on a website (or an entire website) dedicated to user conversation through written comments and message boards, often related to customer support or fan engagement.

Frames
See “iFrames.”

Friends
Individuals connected to one another’s profiles on a social networking site, most frequently used in association with Facebook (e.g., Facebook friends).

G

Gateway Page
See “doorway page.”

GCLID
Stands for Google Click IDentifier. This is a small string of numbers and letters that serves as a unique ID badge for visitors to a website. Typically, this is used to keep track of individual users as they click on a PPC ad, so that their interaction with the website (whether they converted, on which page, and using which method) can be tracked and attributed properly using Google Analytics. (See also: Google Analytics, PPC)

Google
Company behind the search engine giant Google.com. Founded in 1998, Google now controls approximately 80% of the search market. Google has also expanded to include many software services, both directly related to search, and targeted towards consumers outside of the search marketing industry like Google Chrome (a web browser), Google Fiber (internet service), Gmail (email client), and Google Drive (a file storing platform). Google is owned by parent company Alphabet.

Google Adwords
Google’s online advertising service. This system allows advertisers to reach customers through their search and display networks. AdWords offers several cost models which vary by bidding strategy and company goals. Advertisers can bid on keywords which allows their ads to show in Google search results and on Google’s network of partner websites.

Google Algorithm
A mathematical programmatic system that determines where websites will appear on Google search result pages for any given number of queries. Sometimes also called the “Core” algorithm, though this is a less specific term. Google’s algorithm is constantly updated (approximately 500-600 times a year, or two times per day), which can have varying levels of impact on the rankings of websites across the world. Google’s actual algorithm is kept deliberately secret to prevent webmasters from manipulating the system for rankings, though Google does publically state their suggested “best practices” for appearing higher in search results.

Google Analytics
A free software platform created by Google, which is used to analyze nearly every aspect of users accessing a website. Website traffic, conversions, user metrics, historical data comparisons, and effectiveness of each channel of marketing can all be managed using this tool.

Google Home
A device for consumers that connects to their home network and can perform many basic tasks through voice commands. Typical uses for Google Home include asking basic questions, making Google searches, scheduling appointments, playing music, or setting alarms.

Google Hummingbird
The industry nickname for one of the first major overhauls to the main Google search algorithm. In contrast to algorithm updates like Panda or Penguin, Hummingbird was intended to completely update the way Google interpreted user search queries. Previous to this update, Google results were mostly provided based on specific keyword matching within the user query. Now, a search for “Cheapest way to build birdhouse without using wood” will show results directly related to that query. Previously, users might see results that included wood as a building material. (See also: Google Algorithm, Google Panda, Google Penguin)

Google Maps
The location and navigation service provided by Google. Using maps.google.com, users can search for stores, restaurants, businesses, and landmarks anywhere in the world. Typically, users will find routes to nearby establishments including local businesses using Maps.

Google My Business
The platform on which businesses can input information to appear in search results, map packs, location searches, and more. Name, address, phone number, website link, hours of operation, and reviews can all be managed through this platform. GMB is crucial to local SEO campaigns, as this is directly related to location-based searches.

Google Panda
A Google algorithm update focused on analyzing the quality of a website’s on-page content. Initially released February 2011, and updated periodically after this release, similar to Google Penguin. This update would determine if content on site pages was related to queries it was being displayed for, and alter the site’s rankings accordingly. Sites with low-quality content saw significant ranking drops due to this algorithm update. The algorithm has now been assimilated to Google’s core search algorithm, and can assess content quality in real time. (See also: Google Algorithm, Google Penguin)

Google Partner Agency
An agency that is certified by Google for meeting certain requirements. To be a Google Partner, an agency must have an Adwords certified employee affiliated to the company profile, meet spend requirements, and Meet the performance requirement by delivering overall ad revenue and growth, and maintaining and growing the customer base.

Google Penguin
A Google algorithm update focused on analyzing the quality of links pointing to a site, or more accurately, the overall quality of a site’s backlink profile. First announced on April 2012 and updated periodically after this release, similar to Google Panda. This algorithm targeted so-called “black-hat SEO” tactics which manipulated search rankings by creating links to sites in an unnatural manner. Google analyzes all of the pages which link to a specific site and determine whether the links are a benefit to users, or if they simply serve to manipulate search rankings and adjust the site’s standing accordingly. Google estimates that Penguin affects 3.1% of all searches in English, a relatively large number for one algorithm. (See also: Backlink, Black Hat, Google Algorithm, Google Panda).

Google Pigeon
A Google algorithm update focused on providing locally relevant results to searchers. For example, searching for “SOHO coffee shop” will return results primarily centered around that neighborhood. In addition, Google can determine your location when you enter a search, and show you local businesses nearby your area even without localized keywords. This algorithm greatly influenced the potential for local businesses to appear in search results. (See also: Google Algorithm)

Google Reviews
Reviews left using the Google My Business platform. Reviews are on a 1-5 star scale, and include a brief message written by the reviewer. Reviews can show up in the knowledge graph in Google searches, and have been shown to positively correlate with SEO rankings. (See also: Google My Business)

Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools)
Search Console is a free tool Google offers to webmasters. Within the tool are several areas that include data on how a site is performing in search. Search Console differs from Analytics - it does not measure traffic, it measures a site’s visibility on search pages, and indexability by Google crawler bots. Metrics Search Console measures are Click-Through Rate, Number of Indexed Pages, Number of Dead Links (AKA 404 pages), and more. (See also: Google Analytics, Click-through rate, Index, Crawler/Spider)

Google+
Google’s own social media platform. Google+ has been used to varying success by the company, and is still receiving updates that change functionality in a variety of ways. Google+ can also be used for business pages (Google My Business), which can feature information, company events, updates, and more.

Graphical Search Inventory
Images and banner ads that are tied to particular search terms on a search engine. They are then displayed to the user after a related search term is entered.

Gravity Forms
A WordPress plugin that adds a customizable contact form to a website. This plugin keeps track of all completed form submissions, and allows for all of the fields on a form to be customized. Gravity Forms is the standard contact form plugin used on sites built by Geek Powered Studios.

Groups
Micro-communities within a social networking site for individuals who share a particular interest. LinkedIn groups are a particularly notable example of this phenomenon.

H

H-Tags (H1, H2, etc.)
Also known as “header tags,” these page elements represent different levels of headings in HTML. From the largest (H1) to the smallest (H6), these define the titles/headings and sub-headings of Web copy. For SEO and reader benefits, headers should contain keywords wherever possible.

HARO
Stands for Help A Reporter Out. Three times a day Monday through Friday, HARO emails are sent out, listing different stories that reporters need sources for. Used as a marketing strategy to gain PR and link opportunities.

Hashtag
A symbol (#) placed directly in front of a word or words to tag a post on Twitter. It is often used to group tweets by popular categories of interest and to help users follow discussion topics.

Header
Can refer to either the top portion of a webpage that typically contains the logo and menu, or the section of HTML in a website’s code that contains important information about the site.

Header Code
On a website, certain code is placed in the universal header section so that it can be accessible across all pages of the website. Typically in the header code, you’ll find things like Schema Markup, Analytics Code, Adwords Code, and other tools used for tracking data across a website. These are placed in the header code so that they can be rendered and start tracking information as the site loads.

Header Tags (h1, h2, h3, etc)
Header tags are used in HTML for categorizing text headings on a web page. They are, in essence, the titles and major topics of a web page and help indicate to readers and search engines what the page is about. Header tags use a cascading format where a page should have only one H1 (main title) but beneath can be multiple H2s (subtitles) and every H2 can have H3s beneath (sub-sub titles) and so on. -H1 is used only once on a webpage, and is used to display the most important title.

Heatmap
A heatmap is a graphical representation of how users interact with your site. Heatmapping software is used to track where users click on a page, how they scroll, and what they hover over. Heatmaps are used to collect user behavior data to assist in designing and optimizing a website.

Hreflang Tag
A code in the html of a website that tells search engines like Google which spoken language a web page is using. These are especially useful for websites that have versions of pages in multiple languages, as they help Google understand which pages are related and which should be shown to specific audiences.

HTML
Hypertext markup language (HTML) refers to the text-based language which is used to create websites.

HTTP
Stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. HTTP is the protocol used by the world wide web to define how data is formatted and transmitted, and what actions web browsers and web servers should take to respond to a command. When you enter a website into your web browser and press enter, this sends an HTTP command to a web server, which tells the server to fetch and send the data for that website to your browser.

HTTPS
Stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. Is a secured version of HTTP, which is used to define how data is formatted and transmitted across the web. HTTPS has an advantage over HTTP in that the data sent when fetching a webpage is encrypted, adding a layer of security so that third parties can’t gather data about the webpage when the data is sent from the server to the browser.

Hummingbird
See “Google Hummingbird”

Hyperlink
Known as “link” for short, a hyperlink is a word or phrase which is clickable and takes the visitor to another Web page. This page can be within the same site or on a completely different site. Instead of a full URL string, a word or phrase is typically displayed in the body copy for the linked page (see “anchor text”), which can bring both reader and SEO benefits.

I

Iframe
An HTML document that is inside of another HTML document on a website. Iframes are used commonly to embed content from one source onto another web page.

iFrames
Also known as simply “frames,” these HTML tag devices allow 2 or more websites to be displayed simultaneously on the same page. Facebook now allows companies to create customized tabs for its fan pages using iFrames, a process which developers find much easier than using the previous “FBML,” or Facebook markup language.

Impression
An instance of an organic search-engine listing or sponsored ad being served on a particular Web page or an image being viewed in display advertising. In paid search, “cost-per-impression” is a common metric.

Impression Share
Used in Pay per click advertising, this metric refers to the percentage of times viewers have seen an advertiser’s ad, in relation to the total possible amounts that ad could have been seen. If an ad campaign’s impression share is 70%, then the ads showed 7 out of 10 possible times.

Inbound Link
A link from another website directed to yours, also known as a “backlink.” Related marketing areas that focus on inbound links include link popularity,social media and online PR, all of which explore ways to collect quality links from other websites.

Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing refers to the activities and strategies used for attracting potential users or customers to a website. “Inbound” is a more recent euphemism for what has traditionally been called “SEO”. Inbound marketing is crucial to having a good web presence, as it’s used as a way to attract prospective customers by educating and building trust about your services, product and/or brand. (See also: organic). You can find your public IP address by going to Google and searching “what is my ip address”.

Index
The actual collection of data and websites obtained by a search engine, also known as “search index.”

Instant Messaging
A service where individuals can communicate through a real-time, text-based interface over an Internet connection. The exchange of small files and screen-sharing are also typically available on these platforms. AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) is one of the most famous (and original) American examples of this software. Many other software programs provide this functionality, including Skype, Facebook, Gmail, and corporate videoconference clients.

IP Address
This series of numbers and periods represents the unique numeric address for each Internet user.

J

Jaiku
A cousin of Twitter, this now-defunct microblogging social network and mobile-phone app was started in Finland and later purchased by Google.

Java
Java is a powerful programming language which is independent of platforms, meaning it can run on multiple computers and operating systems.

JavaScript
JavaScript is a relatively simple scripting language which can be seamlessly integrated with HTML and is used on many websites. JavaScript is less complex and consequently, less powerful than Java.

Javascript (JS)
Javascript is a scripting language. Javascript is used on web browsers to provide interactive elements to web pages that are difficult or impossible to achieve with just HTML or CSS.

John Leo Weber
The COO at Geek Powered Studios, and the person responsible for writing this fancy digital marketing glossary! *easter egg

K

Kaboodle
A social shopping network where members create their own shopping lists and find, suggest and share products and reviews.

Keyword
A word or phrase indicative of the major theme in a piece of content. When you search for something in a search engine, you type in a keyword and the search engine gives you results based on that keyword. One major Goal of SEO is to have your website show in searches for as many keywords as possible.

Keyword Density
The proportion of keywords to the total number of words in the face copy of a website.

Keyword Phrase
A group of two or more words that are used to find information in a search engine. Sometimes, when searching for something, one single keyword does not provide the information you seek, where a keyword phrase allows you to string multiple words together to find better information.

Keyword Proximity
The relative placement of keywords in prominent areas of a Web page, including the distance between keywords in the visible text.

Keyword Stemming
The practice adopted by search engines to group search results not only by exact keyword matches, but also by variations of keywords in semantic groups, such as singular-plural, related suffixes, and synonyms.

Keyword Stuffing
When a web page uses a keyword too often or superfluously, with the intent of manipulating search engines. This type of behavior is frowned upon and can lead to either algorithmic devaluation in search, or a manual penalty from Google.

Keywords
The terms that a user enters into a search engine. They can also signify the terms a website is targeting to rank highly as part of an SEO marketing campaign.

L

Landing Page
A stand-alone Web page that a user “lands” on, commonly after visiting a paid search-engine listing or following a link in an email newsletter. This kind of page often is designed with a very specific purpose (i.e. conversion goals) for visitors.

Lead
A potential customer in the sales funnel who has communicated with a business with intent to purchase through a call, email, or online form fill.

Link
Also known as a hyperlink, a link is a string of hypertext transfer protocol structured text used to connect web pages on the internet. There are two main forms of links: internal links that point to pages on the same site, and external links that point to web pages on a different website.

Link Farm
A website exclusively devoted to listing a very large number of links without groupings, categories, or structure. These sites are largely discredited by major search engines, and your site’s engagement with one can potentially lead to ranking penalties.

Link Network
A blackat link building strategy that uses a network of websites all interconnected with links in order to boost backlink profiles and rank certain sites higher in google search results. Some link networks can also be known as private blog networks (PBNs). Link networks and PBNs are against Google guidelines and are devalued or penalized when detected.

Link Popularity
A measurement of the number and quality of sites that link to a given site, especially as cataloged in a search-engine index.

Link profile
The cumulative grouping of all links pointing to a particular website. A link profile can be used to determine a website’s power, trust, subject matter, and content. Link profiles are important at determining where a website ranks in google search results. If a website has a high number of links from websites that are not trusted, adult in nature, spammy or against guidelines, the link profile will have a negative effect on rankings. If a website has a high number of links from websites that are strong providers of content or reputable sources of information it will have a positive effect on rankings.

Link Text
See “anchor text.”

LinkedIn
A business-oriented social networking site for professionals. Much like Facebook, LinkedIn allows members to connect with other users on the network, share status updates, and participate in groups and chats, although with a career focus.

Linkedin Advertising
LinkedIn’s advertising platform. Through different ad formats, advertisers can bid on ad space and target unique audiences based on job title, years of experience, industry, and many other demographics.

Listings
A listing is a website’s presence in a search engine or directory, and is not necessarily indicative of its search-engine positioning.

Long Tail Keyword:
A keyword phrase that is longer in length and hyper-specifically matches a user search query. A long tail keyword get less searches per month but has a higher search intent, and typically less competition by companies looking to serve up content to that search query. For example, a regular keyword might be “austin web designer” but a long tail keyword would be “affordable austin web designer that makes WordPress sites”.

Lookalike Audience
A targeting option offered by Facebook’s ad service. This audience is created from a source audience (i.e. fans of your Facebook page, email list), and from this list Facebook will identify common characteristics between audience members. Facebook will then target users that exhibit similar interests or qualities.

M

Map Pack:
The section of Google search results pages featuring three businesses listed in a local map section. The map pack shows up for queries with local intent, a general business type, or a “near me” search.

Medium (source/medium)
Medium is the general category of traffic to a website tracked in google analytics. Some examples of common medium are: Organic CPC Email Referral

Meta Description:
One of the meta tags that gives a description of the page in 160 characters. The meta description is an important aspect of a webpage because it is what appears in Google searches and other search engine results.

Meta Keywords:
A specific meta tag that displays the specific keywords addresses in a page. After meta keyword markup was abused on some websites, listed keywords no longer apply to how a page is categorized by google and other search engines.

Meta Tags
HTML snippets added to a webpage’s code that that add contextual information for web crawlers and search engines. Search engines use meta data to help decide what information from a webpage to display in their results. Example meta tags include the date the page was published, the page title, author, and image descriptions.

Meta-Description Tag
A tag on a Web page located in the heading source code containing a basic description of the page. It helps search engines categorize the page and can potentially inform users who come across the page listing in search results.

Meta-Keywords Tag
In the past, this tag allowed page authors to insert a massive list of keywords related (and occasionally unrelated) to a page in order to game search-engine results. Today, this tag’s potential to influence rankings has diminished to the point where it is widely disregarded by major search engines.

Meta-Search Engine
A search engine that does not compile its own independent results, but rather pulls data from two or more search engines, such as Dogpile.com.

Meta-Tags
Also called meta-data, this information found in HTML page headers used to be the bread and butter of SEO marketing tactics. Still used today despite widely perceived diminishing relevance to search-engine rankings, the most common are the “title,” “description,” and “keyword” tags (see below).

Microblog
A microblog is a social media utility where users can share short status updates and information. The most famous example is Twitter, which combines aspects of blogs (personalized Web posting) with aspects of social networking sites (making and tracking connections, or “friends”).

Microsoft adCenter
The pay-per-click (PPC) search-engine advertising program provided by Microsoft in conjunction with its Bing search engine, now also populating Yahoo! search results.

Mirror Site
Duplicate copy of a website already in existence, used to increase response time for high-volume sites.

MySpace
A once-leading social-networking site, the music-themed MySpace allows more freedom for users to personalize their profiles than other social-networking sites, such as Facebook, which are more structured. Though its membership has shrunk significantly from its peak, the community is still popular among musicians as a platform for sharing music and interacting with fans.

N

NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number)
An acronym for local citations. Consistency in name, address, and phone number citations is an important piece of a local SEO Campaign. To build local SEO authority, a business’s name, address ,and phone number should be listed across local citation websites like Yelp, Google Business, Angie’s List, Yellowpages, Better Business Bureau, Foursquare, and more.

Natural Listings
See “organic listings.”

Ning
A hosting service with a set of community-building tools that allows anyone to create a social network.

Nofollow
“Nofollow” is an append which is coded into the HTML markup of a hyperlink. It is used to prevent a search engine from indexing a link to a particular Web page. Some strategic uses of external “nofollow” are associated with link popularity management, e.g., for site owners that do not want to give full “follow” credit to links posted by users in their forums or blog comments.

O

Open-Source Software
Computer software with a special license that allows users in the general public to edit and improve the source code. Famously exemplified in the Firefox Web browser and Wikipedia encyclopedia, it is an example of the kind of collaboration that is encouraged under the Web 2.0 ethos. Contrast with closed, propriety software that does not share its codebase beyond an exclusive group of authorized developers.

Organic
A source of traffic to a website that comes through clicking on a non-paid search engine result. Organic traffic is a main measurement of an SEO campaign and grows as a site ranks better for keywords, or ranks for more keywords in search engines.

Organic Listings
Also known as “natural” listings, these are search-engine results that have not been purchased. They are calculated solely by an engine’s algorithm and are based on the merits of the listed pages. Typically, most search engines will display several sponsored ads related to search terms (often separated by background color or otherwise highlighted) before displaying the non-paid listings.

Outbound Link
Any link on a Web page to an external Web page.

P

PageRank
A former proprietary method of Google (now disavowed) for measuring the popularity of a Web page. Much-debated in the SEO community, the measurement is believed to be influenced chiefly by the number and quality of inbound and outbound links associated with a given page. Updated infrequently, this rank was indicated as a number between 1 and 10 most commonly displayed in a green bar chart in the Google toolbar add-on for browsers. The SEO community consensus opinion is that the measurement was nothing more than Google’s incomplete assessment of the relative strength of a website.

Paid Listings
Listings sold to advertisers for a fee. Also known as “paid placement.” See “pay-per-click.”

Paid Placement
See “pay-per-click.”

Panda
A search engine algorithm developed by Google to rate the quality and relevance of content on a webpage. Google panda was released in February 2011 and devalued sites in search results that had thin, non original, or poorly written content.

Pay-For-Performance
A paid-search system nearly identical to (and essentially synonymous with) pay-per-click.

Pay-Per-Click
Also known as “PPC,” this type of paid search marketing involves placing advertisements that run above or besides (and occasionally below) the free search-engine listings on Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. Typically, to get the highest position among these ads, website owners place a per-click bid. It’s not uncommon to participate in a bidding war for coveted top spots. For example, if a website’s listing is among the top 3 advertisements on a page, the same ad appears in the same location on partner websites. Some marketing firms, including Fathom, provide bid management services to get the most value for each search term.

PBN (Private Blog Network)
also known as a link network, a private blog network is a collection of private websites all linking to each other. These networks are intended to manipulate search engines by adding large amounts of new links to a website’s link profile.

PDF
“Portable Document Format” is a type of file for viewing documents, created by Adobe. PDFs are especially suitable for print-out viewing, so the format is a good choice for sharing high-value collateral like white papers and guides.

Peer-to-peer (P2P)
Refers to any type of interaction between two or more people within a specific social network. Most viral media by definition get their popularity via such P2P sharing. The term is also widely associated with (often illicit) file-sharing networks for music and movies, though not exclusive to that realm.

Penalty
An infraction issued by Google, to a webmaster, for breaking Google’s guidelines. The penalty is issued by Google through Search Console, and can result in a sites’ removal from search engine results. The issues that caused the penalty will need to be fixed before the penalty is lifted, and once the penalty is lifted it may still take some time to return to previous rank in Google search results. Penalty may also refer to an “algorithmic penalty” which is actually a misnomer; a website may be doing poorly in search results because of an issue that Google’s algorithm has found in the site. This however is not really a “penalty” but a ranking problem. For there to be a true penalty, there would have to be a manual action from Google, as denoted by the message sent to the webmaster in Search Console.

Penguin
A search engine algorithm developed by Google to determine the quality of links pointing to a particular site. It was launched to deter spammers from blackhat seo practices such as private blog and link networks. Google Penguin was released in April 2012 and updated regularly until 2016 when it was then rolled into the Core Algorithm.

Pigeon
A Google search engine algorithm intended to serve up locally targeted information for certain searches. Google Pigeon was released in July 24, 2014 and helps users find local businesses from broad keyword searches.

Podcast
A series of audio or video content which can be downloaded and listened to/viewed offline (or a particular episode in that series, e.g. podcast #6 of The Sporkful). A podcast is essentially an asynchronous Internet version of a “broadcast,” but to a very specific audience of willing subscribers. Podcasts are sometimes created to provide stand-alone copies of existing radio or television programming (such as daily/weekly shows), but they may also consist of entirely unique content intended for devoted Web-based subscribers.

Pop-Up Ad
A form of advertisement which automatically opens (or “pops up” in) a new window in a browser to display an ad. Also seen in the form of “pop-under” ads, a slightly less intrusive version. These interruptive approaches to advertising are generally disliked (and therefore ignored) by Internet users. Many browser-based and stand-alone software programs exist to block these ads.

Position
Same as “rank” in reference to search-engine listings.

PPC
An abbreviation for “pay-per-click.”

PPC / Pay-Per-Click
An online advertising model in which advertisers are charged for their ad once it is clicked. The PPC model is commonly associated with search engine and social media advertising like Google Adwords and Facebook Ads.

Profile
A profile is a personal page within a social network created by a user for sharing with others on the network. The profile provides basic biographical information and often links to the profiles of the user’s friends/connections.

Q

Quality Score
Google Adwords’ rating of the relevance and quality of keywords used in PPC campaigns. These scores are largely determined by relevance of ad copy, expected click-through rate, as well as the landing page quality and relevance. Quality score is a component in determining ad auctions, so having a high score can lead to higher ad rankings at lower costs.

Query
The term(s) entered into a search engine by the user.

R

Ranking(s)
The position of a website’s listing(s) in search-engine results pages. The higher a rank for a specific keyword, the more generally visible a page is to search-engine users.

Rankings
A general term for where a website appears in search engine results. A site’s “ranking” my increase or decrease over time for different search terms, or queries. Ranking is specific to each keyword, so a website may have keywords that rank on the first page, and others that don’t.

Rapid Inclusion
The indexing of websites in search engines and directories based on a per-page fee. As opposed to free submissions, where indexes are updated every few weeks (or less frequently), rapid indexing occurs every 48-72 hours.

Reciprocal Link
A link to a website that is reciprocated in the form of a backlink, often prearranged by sites with mutually benefitting audiences. If abused, e.g., two sites with no topical relation decide to link to each other (and many other sites) exclusively for the sake of linking, penalties from search engines could result. See “link farm.”

Redirect
See “301 redirect.”

Referral
A medium denoted in Google Analytics that represents a website visit that came from another website (as opposed to coming from a Google search, for example). When users click on a link to another, external webpage, they are said to have been “referred” there.

Registration
The process of signing up to participate in an online forum, community or social-media network. At minimum, this act usually involves sharing a name and email address in order to set up a username and password.

Rel Canonical
In HTML, “rel” is an attribute associated with links. “Canonical” can be applied to the “rel” attribute, which will link to the original or authoritative page from which content is being used or referenced. The “canonical” page is the original content, and any page referencing it is a duplicate or otherwise similar page. Used to prevent duplicate content issues and maintain search engine rankings.

Remarketing
Also known as retargeting, a type of paid ad that allows advertisers to show ads to customers who have already visited their site. Once a user visits a site, a small piece of data called a “cookie” will be stored in the user’s browser. When the user then visits other sites, this cookie can allow remarketing ads to be shown. Remarketing allows advertisers to “follow” users around in attempts to get the user back to the original site.

Responsive Web Design
A philosophy of creating a website that allows all of the content to show correctly regardless of screen size or device. Your website will “respond” to the size of the screen each user has, shrinking and reorganizing on smaller screens, and expanding to fill appropriately on large ones.

Results Page
See “SERP.”

ROAS
stands for Return On Ad Spend. A PPC marketing metric that demonstrates the profit made as compared to the amount of money spent on the ads. Similar to ROI.

Robot
Also known as “bot.” See “crawler.”

Robots.txt
A small text file included on a website that directs a search engine to include/exclude specific pages from its index. It can be submitted manually to search engines to ensure the latest version is followed regardless of the “crawl cycle.”

ROI
An acronym for “return-on-investment.” ROI is the percentage of profit from a given digital marketing activity. For example, if you pay $50 a month for CPC advertising, and it leads to $500 in profit, your ROI would be 1000%.

RSS
“Really simple syndication” is the process by which content such as blog posts or podcasts can be updated regularly and syndicated to subscribers in feeds. RSS feeds enable users to access content updates from various outlets—e.g. their favorite blogs, news sites, and digital audio/video providers—all in one central location.

S

Schema Markup
Code that is added to the HTML of a website to give search engines more relevant information about a business, person, place, product, or thing. Also known as rich snippets or structured data.

Search Engine
A website that allows users to search the Web for specific information by entering keywords. Can include paid or organic listings of websites and sometimes specific images, products, videos, music, place entries or other enhanced results.

Search Network
A group of websites in which ads can appear. Google’s Search Network, for example, is a group of Google & non-Google websites that partner with Google to show text ads.

Search Operator
a text modifier that can be used in Google searches to return more specific results. Search operators essentially act as shortcuts to an advanced search.

Search Term
The precise word or phrase(s) entered into a search engine by a user (also called a “query”).

Search-Engine Marketing (SEM)
A phrase sometimes used in contrast with “SEO” to describe paid search activities, SEM may also more generally refer to the broad range of search-marketing activities, either paid or organic.

Search-Engine Optimization (SEO)
The process of using website analysis and copy/design/structural adjustments to ensure both the highest possible positioning on desired search-engine results pages and the best experience for a given site’s users.

Search-Engine Referral
This statistic represents a visitor who arrives at a website after clicking through a search-engine results listing.

Second Life
A 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents.

SEM
An abbreviation for “search-engine marketing.”

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
a nebulous term that can apply to either 1. Any digital marketing that involves the use of a search engine, or 2. Only paid digital marketing that involves a search engine, ie: PPC (pay-per-click). There is not an industry standard as to which definition is correct, however the latter is most commonly used.

SEO
An abbreviation for “search-engine optimization.”

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
the process of improving a website’s performance and positioning in organic search engine results through a variety of methodologies including content production or improvement, technical and code improvement, and link acquisition.

SERP
An acronym for “search engine results page,” displayed after a query is entered on a search engine.

Sessions
A metric in Google Analytics that measures one user interacting with a website during a given period of time, which Google defaults to 30 minutes. A session is not dependent on how many pages are viewed, so if a person goes to a website and looks around at different pages for 20 minutes, it would count as 1 session.

Shopping Search
A specialized type of search or dedicated search engine that indexes groups of products, prices and reviews for side-by-side comparison, especially helpful for shopping online.

Siri
Apple’s voice search technology that allows for hands free search on iPhones and other Apple products.

Sitelink
An ad extension in Google Adwords that appears below the main ad copy which links to a specific page on the website (i.e. Contact Us, About Us, etc.). Ads can have from 2-6 sitelinks.

Sitemap
An XML file or page on a website that lists all of the pages and posts for search engines to see. This document helps search engines quickly understand all of the content that they should be aware of on a particular website.

SlideShare
A popular presentation- and document-sharing social network, especially useful for B2B marketing.

Slug
Slang for the portion of a URL that comes after the .com. For example, the homepage might be http://www.domain.com, but for the Contact Us page, a slug would be added to the end of the URL to direct the browser to a page within the website i.e. http://www.domain.com/contact-us.

Social Media
Refers to all online tools and places that are available for users to generate content and communicate through the Internet. These media include blogs, social networks, file-hosting sites and bookmarking sites, among others.

Social Network
A site or community on the Internet where members can interact with one another and share content. This term is more or less used interchangeably with “social media” in reference to Internet marketing.

Source
A term in Google Analytics that helps webmasters classify where traffic is coming from (ie. the “source” of the web traffic). Source can be a search engine (for example, Google) or a domain (website-example.com)

Spam
In email marketing, this refers to any message that is deemed by users or email providers to be an unsolicited commercial offer. Also called “junk mail". “Spam” may also refer to links or comments that are left on blogs, forums and message boards designed exclusively to steer users to a site for commercial gain. This kind of spam, generated by random visitors, is called “link spam” or “comment spam". In SEO, “spam” can be any Web page that a search engine views as harming the credibility of its results. Examples of these can include doorway pages, link farms, keyword stuffing, cloaking and other duplicitous or otherwise user-hostile practices. The standards for what constitutes SEO spam varies by search engine and current algorithm factors.

Sphinn
A niche social-bookmarking website for online marketers.

Spider
Same as “crawler.”

Squidoo
A popular UGC site that allows members to create easy-to-build, single-page websites (called “lenses”) featuring whatever topic they choose. Typically, marketers use these pages to aggregate other content from across the Web under a common theme.

Style Sheet
A design template used for defining the layout of multiple pages within a website, most commonly seen in the form of “CSS” (cascading style sheets).

Submission
The process of registering a site with a search engine or Web directory. It does not guarantee inclusion, but can lead to it being reviewed or crawled. It offers no guarantee of ranking. The process can be done manually or by using commercial software packages.

Subscribing
The process of opting in to an email newsletter or adding an RSS feed to an aggregator (e.g. for reading blog updates).

T

Tag
A keyword (often in a string) which is attached to a blog post, tweet (see “hashtag”), social bookmark or media file. Tags help categorize content by subject.

Technorati
A leading blog search engine that aggregates blog content and scores blogs’ popularity or influence.

Title Tag
A form of meta-data used by search engines to categorize Web pages by title. Search-engine algorithms traditionally value title tags to determine/categorize page content.

Tracking Code
A script, often placed in the header, footer, or thank you page of a website that passes information along to software tools for data gathering purposes. Tools like Google Analytics, Google Adwords utilize tracking codes so that they can track information about users who view a site.

Tweet
A “tweet” is the special name for an entry made on the microblogging site, Twitter. Up to 140 characters long, tweets can consist of random status updates, news, commentary, or anything an individual wants to communicate to followers at that moment, including personal messages to other users or groups and links to external content (articles, photos, videos).

Tweetup
A take-off on “meet-up,” a Tweetup is a meeting organized for friends, fans and/or strangers on Twitter. Also known as a “Tweetchat,” it can be used in marketing for consumer engagement and brand awareness by building and educating large communities of people.

Twitter
Twitter is a microblogging platform which allows users to create profiles, share short updates on a timeline, and engage with other users, much like a social-networking site.

Twitter Advertising
Allows marketers to promote a tweet on users feeds without that user having to follow your brand for it to appear on their feed. These advertisements can be used to grow brand awareness, gain more followers, extend social media reach, and/or reach out to prospective customers about a product or service.

U

UGC
See “user-generated content.”

UI
Stands for User Interface. User interface is the area with which a user interacts with something through a digital device. Good UI should be fluid and easy for most people to understand.

Unique Visitor
Also known as “absolute unique visitor,” this statistic represents visitors to a website that are counted once in a given time period despite the possibility of having made multiple visits. Determined by cookies, unique visitors are distinguished from regular visitor counts which would classify two or more visits from the same user as multiple visitors.

Unique Visitors
A metric used in web analytics to show how many different, unique people view a website over a period of time. Unique visitors are tracked by their IP addresses. If a visitor visits the same website multiple times, they will only be counted once in the unique visitors metric.

URL
“Universal” or “uniform resource locator,” this string of letters and numbers separated by periods and slashes is unique for every Internet page. A page’s address must be written in this form in order to be found on the World Wide Web.

User Sitemap
A page containing structured links to every other important page on a particular website grouped by topic or navigational hierarchy. These pages are equally useful for people and search-engine spiders alike, as they provide a categorized look at every page on a website at a glance (with hyperlinks).

User-Generated Content
Commonly abbreviated as “UGC,” it is any piece of content created by a member of a given website’s audience for use on that website and sometimes to be freely distributed on the Web. Wikis (and Wikipedia) are examples of UGC (see below).

UX
stands for User Experience. UX refers to how a user interacts with a website or app (where they click, which pages they visit). UX can be shaped by testing differences in page layouts, CTAs, colors, content, etc to improve conversion rates. Having a good UX is crucial to having a good business, as it drives repeating users and engagement.

V

Visitors
A metric in Google Analytics that quantifies a user of a website over a particular period of time. Visitors are often broken down between “new visitors” who are browsing for the first time in the allotted time period, or “returning visitors” who have already browsed at least once in the given time frame.

Visits
An old term in Google Analytics which was recently changes to “sessions”.

VOIP
An acronym for “Voice Over Internet Protocol.” This technology allows a user to make phone calls (with potential video) via a computer with an Internet connection or a wireless-enabled mobile device. The most famous example of a VOIP provider is Skype.

W

Web 2.0
This complex term covers many dimensions of the contemporary Web, including quick user access to streaming video, audio, images and other popular content. It can be generally used to describe interactive, community-driven content, namely blogs, file-hosting, UGC, and social-networking sites. Web 2.0 is also a philosophy that the Internet should be used more as a public-access platform and less as a vehicle for traditional, one-way publishing. Related concepts include collaboration, crowdsourcing and the use of open-source software.

Webconference
A “virtual” meeting of attendees where audio and visual content (including computer screens or live video feeds) can be shared freely over the Internet, so that attendees can have a close approximation to an in-person meeting despite being in different physical locations. Webconferencing takes advantage of a number of different social tools, including VOIP and instant messaging. GoToMeeting is one popular example of Webconference software. (Full disclosure: Fathom uses GoToMeeting.)

Webinar
A Web-based seminar containing audio and video, often in the form of a slide deck.

Website
A document of group of documents that are accessible on the World Wide Web.

Wetpaint
A UGC website that combines aspects of wikis, blogs, forums and social networks, allowing any user to create and share online content.

White Hat
Term for ethical digital marketers who don’t participate in work that could be viewed as unethical or as spam.

Wiki
Refers to any page or collection of pages on the Internet or an intranet that can be easily edited by the public or a select group of registered visitors. Wikis are examples of collaboration. See “Wikipedia,” the most famous example of a wiki, below.

Wikipedia
A free, open-source, multilingual encyclopedia consisting of heavily edited user-generated content on topics of nearly every sort. The largest encyclopedia in the world, Wikipedia is administered by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit group. One defining characteristic of Wikipedia is its insistence on not publishing original research, but rather being an authoritative clearinghouse of citations of other material already published on the Web.

Wireframe
a cursory layout drawing of a webpage that acts as the first step in the design process.

X

XML
Stands for eXtensible Markup Language. Similar to HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) in that it is primarily used to categorize various data for computers and humans to use more effectively. In basic terms, XML allows for customizable tags for marking up information that is otherwise difficult for computers to understand.

XML Sitemap
An XML file for search engines containing a list of URLs on a particular domain. This file can be used to supplement regular indexing, where a bot/crawler goes out and visits each page of a site by itself.

Yahoo! Advertising
Yahoo and Bing ads are both run through the Bing Ads platform. These search engines share advertising networks.

Yahoo! Answers
An online question-and-answer community where anyone can ask a question on any topic and get immediate answers from real people, which are in turn rated or voted on. These types of communities are popular, and multiple websites follow a similar model of using the “wisdom of crowds” for answers. One example is the more exclusive, sophisticated version seen at Quora.

Yahoo! Search
the third largest search engine in the US, owned by Yahoo. As of 2009, the engine has been powered by Bing.

Yelp
A social review platform and search engine that allows users to leave reviews for businesses. Yelp also offers an advertising program which gives advertisers the ability show their marketing assets to qualified Yelp users based on keyword searches.

YouTube
The most popular video-hosting and video-sharing site, it is also currently the largest search engine after Google (incidentally, also owned by Google). Users can view, upload and comment on video content for no charge, though companies can pay for sponsored promotion of videos or to have enhanced branding and design capabilities on their profile pages, known as “channels.”

YouTube advertising
YouTube offers advertising in 6 different formats. Display ads, overlay ads, skippable video, non-skippable video ads, bumper ads, and sponsored cards. These ads can all be created and run through the Google Adwords platform.