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25 Common Link Exchange & Search Engine Terms

In today's world of website promotion and traffic building, a whole new set of terms and definitions have developed. To be a successful webmaster and/or website owner, it is important to know the meanings of some of the most popular link exchange and search engine terms.

1. Algorithm: The mathematical computation used by major search engines to determine which web pages will be displayed in query (search) results.

2. Click-through rate (CTR): The total number of possible clicks on a web page divided by the actual number of times a link on that same page is clicked.

3. Cloaking: The process of sending a version of a web page to a search engine that is different from the one a user sees on the site. Cloaking is considered to be unethical but is often used to increase the potential ranking of a website. Most of the search engines will penalize a website or web page if they discover it is cloaking.

4. Dead link: A hyperlink that does not lead to a page or site. This usually occurs when a server is down, the page has been moved or deleted, or the site no longer exists.

5. Directory: An index or list of websites compiled by people and usually organized by topic or theme.

6. Doorway page: A page that has been created for the sole purpose of attempting to get a higher ranking in the search engines. Most of the major search engines will penalize websites that use doorway pages.

7. Hidden text: Text that is visible to the search engine robots or spiders, but not to the website visitors. Hidden text is mostly used to add extra keywords to a page without adding additional content. Most of the major search engines will penalize websites that use hidden text.

8. Hyperlinks: Used to link one or more documents or pages together.

9. Inbound link: The links that direct users to another website. When a user arrives at one site from another site, that link is known as an inbound link.

10. Keyword: A word or phrase which is used when searching for a website in the search engines or directories. These are the words or phrases that webmasters use to describe or explain the content of their website.

11. Keyword Density: Represents the frequency that keywords appear on a page. Keyword density is the ratio of a keyword or key phrases to the total number of words on a particular page. This is an important issue for search engine rankings. The more often the keyword appears on a page - the higher its search engine ranking. However, if the keywords are repeated too often, it could lead to the page being penalized for spamming.

12. Link Building: The process of creating inbound links to your website. This can be accomplished by requesting reciprocal links, being listed in e-zines, newsletters, and directories.

13. Link Exchange or Reciprocal Links: The process where two webmasters agree to place each other's link on their website.

14. Link Exchange Program: Most link exchange programs are where webmasters sign up and agree to host and link to a member's only directory or links page.

15. Link Farm: Link Exchange programs that do not offer anything but a bunch of unrelated links. Most link farms collect email addresses and use them for sending unsolicited emails (SPAM) to webmasters that sign up for the program.

16. Link Popularity: The number of websites that link to a particular site. Many search engines use link popularity as a factor in determining the search engine ranking of a website.

17. Meta Description Tag: The tag present in the header of a web page that provides a short description of the contents of the page and/or the website.

18. Meta Keywords Tag: The tag present in the header of a web page that lists words which represent or explain the content in the body of the page and/or the website.

19. Pay Per Click Search Engine: A search engine in which the ranking of the sites is based on the amount paid for each click from that search engine to the site.

20. Outbound link: A link that directs users to another website. When a user arrives at a new site from your site, that link is known as an outbound link.

21. Search Engine: A computerized index of the web pages which creates a searchable database. Examples are Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

22. Search Engine Placement/Optimization: The process of ensuring that a website ranks high in the major search engines.

23. Spider: Also called robots or crawlers. This is a software program used by search engines to crawl the internet, storing URLs and indexing the keywords and text on web pages.

24. Traffic: The actual visitors to a website.

25. URL: (Uniform Resource Locator) is used to designate the address of a website.

Lesley Dietschy is a freelance writer and the creator/editor of The Home Decor Exchange and the Home & Garden Exchange. The Home Decor Exchange is a popular home and garden website featuring resources, articles, decorating pictures, free projects, a shopping marketplace, and more. The Home & Garden Exchange is a unique link exchange directory dedicated to home and garden websites. Please visit both sites for all of your home, garden, and website needs.


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