This section is devoted to clearing up some of those technical terms you may not be sure about, please check back as we will be adding to these and updating the list.
Alt : A description of a graphic, which usually isn’t displayed to the end user, unless the graphic is undeliverable, or a browser is used that doesn’t display graphics. Alt text is important because search engines can’t tell one picture from another. Alt text is the one place where it is acceptable for the spider to get different content than the human user, but only because the alt text is accessible to the user, and when properly used is an accurate description of the associated picture. Special web browsers for visually challenged people rely on the alt text to make the content of graphics accessible to the users.
Anchor Text : The user visible text of a link. Search engines use anchor text to indicate the relevancy of the referring site and of the link to the content on the landing page. Ideally all three will share some keywords in common.
Authority Site : A website which has many incoming links from other related expert/hub sites. Because of this simultaneous citation from trusted hubs an authority site usually has high trust, pagerank, and search results placement. Best of the web is an example as an authority site.
Black Hat : Search engine optimization tactics that are counter to best practices such as the Google Webmaster Guidelines
Cloak : The practice of delivering different content to the search engine spider than that seen by the human users. This Black Hat tactic is frowned upon by the search engines and caries a virtual death penalty of the site/domain being banned from the search engine results
Google Dance : The change in SERPs caused by an update of the Google database or algorithm. The cause of great angst and consternation for webmasters who slip in the SERPs. Or, the period of time during a Google index update when different data centres have different data.
Google Juice : (Trust, authority, pagerank) trust / authority from Google, which flows through outgoing links to other pages.
Googlebot : Google’s spider program
Keyword Cannibalization : The excessive reuse of the same keyword on too many web pages within the same site. This practice makes it difficult for the users and the search engines to determine which page is most relevant for the keyword.
Keyword Density : The percentage of words on a web page which are a particular keyword. If this value is unnaturally high the page may be penalized
Keyword Stuffing : (keyword spam) Inappropriately high keyword density.
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) : This mouthful just means that the search engines index commonly associated groups of words in a document. SEOs refer to these same groups of words as “Long Tail Searches”. The majority of searches consist of three or more words strung together. See also “long tail”.
Site Map : A page or structured group of pages which link to every user accessible page on a website, and hopefully improves site usability by clarifying the data structure of the site for the users. An XML sitemap is often kept in the root directory of a site just to help search engine spiders to find all of the site pages.