SEO glossary entries for ‘B’

Two meanings, one broad and popular, the other original, narrower, and more precise. Broadly speaking, a Backlink is just a link which points from a page on someone else's web site to a page on your site, i.e. a conveniently shorter, but somewhat misleading, shorthand for ‘Inbound Link’. The original, narrower, usage conveyed the notion of an inbound link which had been acquired in response to something you had done, e.g. in response to your comment or article on a blog or forum.
Bad Neighbourhood
Bad Neighbourhood is SEO slang for clusters of spammy websites with poor quality content. Having links, or having too many links, from such sites is considered harmful to the trust that search engines will put in your site. Providing ‘outbound links’ to sites in bad neighbourhoods is also viewed as harmful to your own status or ‘Authority’ as a source of quality information.
Synonym for ‘Shopping Cart’.
Big Brand Preference
Big Brand Preference is a component of Google's search results ranking algorithm which privileges pages from big brand sites for search expressions related to the given brand. See ‘Vince Update’.
Bigfoot Update
The Bigfoot Update is an update to Google's SERPs ranking algorithm, launched in early June 2012. Its primary effect was to increase the ‘Domain Diversity’ of SERPs, i.e. a much wider and more heterogeneous range of domain names were present in top SERPs positions after the update than was the case before it. In particular, it would appear that the positive weighting attached to ‘Root Domains’ was reduced relative to that of ‘Non-Root Domains’. In short, sites on non-root domains had a better chance of ranking highly after Bigfoot than they did before. This fact should be born in mind when reading domain registrar publicity about how valuable expensive ‘Top Level Domains’ (‘TLDs’) really are.
Blackhat SEO
Blackhat SEO is the practice of search engine optimisation (‘SEO’) with the intention of circumventing the rules and guidance set down by search engines. Its principal objective is to position links to pages which the search engine would not normally consider to be of high value or quality, towards the top of search engine results. It is a dangerous game which can be highly profitable for the Blackhat practitioner, but usually results in their client websites being demoted within, or entirely removed from, search results, eventually.
See ‘Universal Search’.
A diary published on the web, often responding to, or creating responses from content on other blogs and news websites. The name is contraction of ‘weblog’ or ‘web log’, i.e. a record of web activity.
A person who writes a ‘Blog’.
A list of links to other blogs. Found in the sidebars of most blogs.
The process of constructing a ‘Blogroll’, i.e. a list of links from one blog to others.
An example of a social media monitoring tool.
Shorthand for all the information hosted on and shared between blogs. Not strictly as subset of the world wide web, since a proportion of blog content is propagated by, and only read via, non-web XML-based syndication, e.g. RSS and Atom feeds.
Bookmark Search Sites
See ‘Social Bookmarking’.
A contraction of ‘Robot’, i.e. a computer program which automatically and autonomously gathers data about interconnected websites.
A bounce occurs when a visitor lands on a web page and immediately clicks away from it.
Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is a measure of the proportion of page views on a given website which immediately result in the visitor leaving that site. There is no consensus among SEO specialists about the affect of bounce rates on the ‘SERPs’ ranking of a given page or site. Some will opine that high bounce rates indicate unattractive, poor quality, or irrelevant content. Others counter that an effective SEO strategy will direct visitors to exactly the page they need, meaning that they can immediately realise their goals without visiting any other part of the site. Logic dictates that Google are unlikely to ever use Bounce rate as a discrete measure of page quality. If they use it at all, it's likely to be combined with other measures, such as the time spent on a page before leaving and the characteristics of the next page visited, e.g. if the user goes straight back to the SERP which directed them to the bounce page followed first by lengthy multi-page visits to other sites listed in that SERP and then by direct visits to those alternative sites, it is reasonable to conclude that the bounce was indicative of poor or irrelevant content.
Breadcrumb Navigation
See ‘Breadcrumbs’
Breadcrumb Trail
See ‘Breadcrumbs’
A Breadcrumb is a navigation control found in computer programmes and web user interfaces. On the web, a ‘Breadcrumb Trail’ typically shows the location of the current page at the end of a list hypertext links, which describe a left to right path from the website's homepage, through intermediate topic categories, to the category in which the current page resides. Unlike the trail of breadcrumbs left by Hansel and Gretel in the well-known Grimm fairytale, web breadcrumb trails do not describe the path that a site user has actually followed, but rather, a path which they could follow to access broader categories and, ultimately, the site home page. The navigational benefits of web breadcrumbs are often over-estimated, but their importance for SEO strategy are typically under-estimated. By combining the anchor text and paths shown in breadcrumbs on every page of a website, a search engine can construct a highly accurate model of a site's topical hierarchy. If that model is broad and shallow, the search engine is likely to infer that the site is generalist in nature. If it is narrow, but deep, the inference is likely to be that the site is specialist and possibly expert in a small range of topics. If the breadcrumb anchors indicate large clusters of very closely related topics in a particular area of the site, the inference of expertise in those topics is likely to be greater. See ‘Siloing’.
Bridge Pages
See ‘Doorway Pages’
Broad Head Keywords
A Broad Head Keyword is a ‘Head Word’ targeted by a ‘Broad Head Search’ strategy.
Broad Head Search is an SEO strategy which focuses on the really popular, broad, keywords (‘Head Words’) that most people use to search for given topic. Since such strategies concentrate on the same keywords that virtually all the competitors in a given field want to rank highly for, success is usually hard to achieve, but highly rewarding if it comes. The opposite of ‘Long Tail Search’.
Broad Matching
In SEO, when the content of SERPs not only matches a search expression exactly, but also matches synonyms, plurals, inflections, and other variations of the search terms used. In SEM (web advertising) Broad Matching refers to the option of displaying adverts for all search queries that include a given keyword or phrase, in any order, with or without additional words, including variations like plurals and synonyms. See also ‘Exact Match’ and ‘Negative Match’.
Links that can't be used as intended, e.g. because they cannot be activated, because they point to the wrong resource, or they point to a resource which cannot be found. Typically, the result typos and thoughtless name-changes by link authors or by the curators of the target page. Broken links may your site look bad, even if it was the staff at another site that broke them. More importantly, from a purely SEO perspective, they constitute a loss of ‘connectivity’ or ‘connectedness’. Broken inbound links obviously lose you the ‘Google Juice’, vote, or endorsement that such links constitute for search engines. All broken links make it harder for search engines to identify which other sites and pages you are linked with and, hence, what topical groups you and your content are associated with, i.e. they become less certain of how to categorise or how much to trust your content.
Broken Page
A web page that doesn't function properly in some way, typically because some content is missing/invisible or not actionable, typically because of some coding or styling error.
Browser Add-on
A typically small computer program which adds to the basic features of the browser, and is installed as a ‘plugin’ or ‘extension’ to the browser e.g. a codec for decoding certain video formats, an analytical tool to examine web pages, or an RSS news aggregator. Although many browser add-on writers produce standalone equivalents, the add-on itself cannot run on its own and must be installed within the browser. It is quite common for add-ons to be visible as additional toolbars or accessible via addition context menus within the browser. Most popular browsers have many specialist add-ons for SEO and SEO-related tasks.
See ‘Cookie’.
Is a Google web search parameter which indicates a normal search initiated by pressing the search button (magnifying glass icon) in the web interface.
Is a Google web search parameter which indicates an I'm feeling lucky search when set to I%27m+Feeling+Lucky
Bucket Testing
See ‘Split Testing’.
A suite of 400+ plugins for WordPress that provide practically every immaginable social networking feature. The basic installed BuddyPress platform offers: activity streams, customisable user profiles, group discussion forums, a friend system, messaging, Blogs per user.

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