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Glossary N-S
Optimization

Changes made to a web page to improve the positioning of that page with one or more search engines. A means of helping potential customers or visitors to find a web site. Optimization may involve design/layout changes, new text for the title-tags, meta-tags, alt- attributes, headings, and changes to the first 200-250 words of the main text. A large image map at the top of a page should be moved further down the page. Frames should be avoided (unless navigational links are also provided within the frames).


Portal Site

A generic term for any site which provides an entry point to the internet for a significant number of users.

Positioning

The process of ordering web sites or web pages by a search engine or a directory so that the most relevant sites appear first in the search results for a particular query. Software can be used to determine how a URL is positioned for a particular search engine when using a particular search phrase.

Query

A word, a phrase or a group of words, possibly combined with other syntax used to pass instructions to a search engine or a directory in order to locate web pages.

Referrer

The URL of the web page from which a visitor came. The server's referrer log file will indicate this. If a visitor came directly from a search engine listing, the query used to find the page will usually be encoded in the referer URL, making it easy to see which keywords are bringing visitors. The referer information can also be accessed as document.referrer within JavaScript or via the HTTP_REFERER environment variable (accessible from scripting languages).

Robot

Any browser program which follows hypertext links and accesses web pages but is not directly under human control. Examples are the search engine spiders, the "harvesting" programs which extract e-mail addresses and other data from web pages and various intelligent web searching programs.

Search Engine

The software that searches an index and returns matches. Search engine is often used synonymously with spider and index, although these are separate components that work with the engine.

Server

A computer, program or process which responds to requests for information from a client. On the internet, all web pages are held on servers. This includes those parts of the search engines and directories which are accessible from the internet.

Spam

Spam is generally used to refer to the sending of unsolicited bulk electronic mail.

Spider

That part of a search engine which surfs the web, storing the URLs and indexing the keywords and text of each page it finds. Please refer to the Search Engine Watch SpiderSpotting Chart for details of individual spiders. See also Robot.

SSI

Server Side Includes. Used (for example) to add dynamically generated content to a web page.

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