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Search Engine Optimization Terms - Glossary

Find Important Search Engine Marketing and SEO Terms

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OCR - Optical Character Recognition

Software used to convert images of text, typically using a scanner, into a format that can be interpreted by a computer. This makes the text viewable as an image on web page.


An abbreviation for the Open Directory Project (http://dmoz.org/)

Off-Page Optimization

Factors contributing to search engine listing that are not part of the HTML or content of a web page or website. Search engines are increasingly using these factors for ranking since they cannot be artificially produced to improve a page ranking. Link popularity for a website is the most important off-page factor. Other off-page factors are linking text, click popularity (“hits”), and link community . Examples of off-page optimization are link building, participation in blogs, ezine articles, adding audio and video to community group sites, and online public relations features for theme targeted key terms.

Online Advertising

Online advertising is any form of advertising on the Internet. This can include Google AdWords, other pay-per-click programs, banner advertising, paid public relations articles, and paid links.

On-Page Optimization

Developing elements that appear on web pages, including heading page title, body headings and text content, to be interpreted with a positive indexing by search engines. This includes developing HTML, CSS, JavaScript, image elements and text relevant to the page and website theme so search engine programs can compute scores for keyword frequency, keyword prominence, keyword weight, and others.

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On-Page and Off-Page Factors

A combination of all factors influencing a website’s ranking. When search engines rank web pages, they use several algorithm formulas called “ranking algorithms.” Search engines evaluate two primary on-page factors for a website: 1.) The content on the page relevant to the search query; the search terms used in a search. 2.) Pages linked to the web page, including the number of links and relevant text in the link.

Off-page elements are an indication of page ‘weight’ compared to other web pages. Search engines look for keywords related to on-page keywords and key phrases. The search engine then locates pages linking to the web page, and records the number of links and the how they link to the page. The search engine analyzes on-page HTML page code and then computes a score based on several page elements, including keyword frequency, prominence, weight, plus several other factors. Off-page factors will include page theme, link popularity score, and important directory listings.

On-Page Optimization

On-page factors in search engine listings consist of the components that appear on the page. These include page title (in the page title meta tag), body headings and text content. The search engine reviews the text on the page for subject matter - and the relevance of that content to the theme. The “theme&rduo;is based on the search engine interpretation of the page title and keywords and text links on the page. On-page optimization is the process of developing these page components so they are recorded in the most positive manner by search engine(s) for targeted key search term(s).

Over Optimization Penalty - OOP

Removal or downgrading a website’s ranking, particularly by the Google search engine, as a result of excessive use of key terms, duplicate meta tags, or meta tag content. Unless a website is using spamming techniques, like doorway pages, this penalty is unlikely.

Open Directory Project

A directory that uses volunteer editors to review and include websites into its database. This is considered an important directory, however, getting acceptance and listing can take several months. This directory was originally named NewHoo, is not part of the Netscape/AOL group. See http://directory.mozilla.org

Open Rate

A ratio indicating the number of emails opened by recipients divided by the number of emails sent. This is an important number of Internet marketing campaigns.


Developing a web page to improve the listing position (rank) for the page on search engines. It is also a procedure that helps potential site visitors locate a web site. Optimization can include site layout design edits, new title tag text, meta tag development, headings, alt tags, and content text development or edits. It can also include moving image, video, audio, and flash elements to a lower portion of the HTML page, while maintaining proper positioning on the viewable browser, and elimination of frames.

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Optimized Pages

Web pages and/or entire website designed and developed for targeted key words and key phrases. Optimized pages contain relevant content for site visitors and relate to the topic(s) within the theme of the overall website. Optimized pages are also considered landing pages for site visitor entry into the website resulting from searches in the search engines.

Opt in Email

A site visitor approval to receive “bulk” e-mail, from a website. The email is usually in the form of newsletter, promotional advertising, or community enrollment. Sending unsolicited emails is considered to be spam.

Organic Listings

Free listings within the search engines. Search engines requiring payment are pay-per-click or pay-for-inclusion. Some search engines, like Google, Yahoo!, and MSN, display a combination of organic and paid listings in the same browser window. Developing a site with organic search engine optimization is the most desirable method for obtaining a high organic listing.

Organic Search Listing

Listings in search engines that are not pay-per-click (PPC), paid-for-inclusion, sponsored, or the result of advertising. Sometimes referred to as “natural” or “algorithmic” search listings or rankings. Organic search listings are the best way to gain new site visitors and the recommended method for developing a search engine marketing program.

Orphaned Files

Web site files that have been found on the servers but have no links pointing to them. This makes orphaned files useless. Orphaned files can be searched for either directly on your Web server by FTP or in the local copy. Typically, you may want to either remove them or restore some navigational links.


Organic Search Engine Optimization. Designing and developing a site so it will rank high in search engines without advertising on pay-per-click, pay-per-inclusion or other paid advertising..

Outbound Link

A link from a page of your site to another site.

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