SEO glossary entries for ‘P’

Peer to peer network.
Page Saturation
The number or proportion of pages on your website that a search engine recognizes and indexes. The page saturation rate for different search engines will vary. Comparing the differences can provide clues as to a particular search engine's inclusion criteria, especially if the comparison controls for robot crawl patterns, e.g. which pages get crawled and how often.
Copying content and style of other people's web pages and achieving a SERP rank for your copy, so that you hijack traffic which wants to go to the original source of the content.
PageRank (PR)
Is the original algorithm that Google used to measure the relative importance of website pages. According to Google: "PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites". Facts about Google and Competition,, on
Paid Directory Review
A Paid Directory Review (PDR) is a paid-for service provided by a ‘Web Directory’ which ensures that a given site or page is reviewed for entry in the directory, more quickly than non-fee-paying submissions would be. A paid review may not guarantee inclusion or rank. Such services essentially follow the traditional revenue model of print-based directories.
Paid Listing
See ‘Paid Results’
Paid Results
Google SERPs items that are bought by bidding on keywords, e.g. AdWords, Google Shopping, etc.
Paid Search is any high ranking on ‘Search Engine Results Pages’ (‘SERPs’) which is achieved by buying the position rather than earning it through providing high quality content or by winning the endorsement implicit in links from other websites. More often than not it consists of ‘Pay for Place’ rankings or 'Pay Per Click'(‘PPC’) advertising.
See ‘Panda Update’.
Panda algorithm
Panda is the code name given by Google to the set of logical rules which Google uses to distinguish between what it considers ‘low quality’ sites. It is just one component of the overall Google ranking algorithm, known as ‘Hummingbird’. See ‘Hummingbird algorithm’
Panda Penalty
The Panda Penalty is the amount that a web site's ‘SERPs’ rank is reduced by a ‘Panda Update’, i.e, by changes in the algorithm that Google uses to distinguish between high and low quality site content.
Panda Update
The Panda Update is the codename given to a series of updates to Google's SERPs ranking algorithm, which are designed reduce the rank of ‘Low Quality Sites’, ‘Thin sites’ and ‘Content Farms’, i.e. these algorithm updates affect the ranking of sites rather than pages. The very first Panda Update, released in February 2011 had dramatic effects on around 12 percent of all search results; with news sites and social networking sites rising significantly and while sites with high proportions of advertising and affiliate marketing content dropped by similar amounts. Subsequent Panda updates have received far less attention from the SEO community, presumably because they have affected smaller proportions of results and because they appear to removed some of the iniquities of the first one (i.e. subsequent Pandas have de-ranked self-evident content farms that actually got promoted by the first update, and have raised many sites which were of obvious high quality to human visitors but were negatively affected by the first update). Perhaps the most useful effect of the first Panda Update from an SEO specialist's point of view was that the controversy it aroused prompted Google to become a bit more forthcoming about its definition of What counts as a high-quality site?. See also The Panda that Hates Farms and Another Step to Reward High Quality.
Pareto’s Principal
For any given event, 80 percent of the results come from 20 percent of the activity. Hence, it is also known as the 80/20 Rule.
Participation Marketing
See ‘Connected Marketing’.
Usually refers to the route that a user follows through a website during in a visit, i.e. the sequence of pages and other resources that they request by clicking links and completing forms. Could also refer to the sequence of pages and other resources that a user follows to arrive at a web site in the first place.
Path to Completion
A Path to Completion is the visual track that a website user must follow to complete all the necessary steps and submit input from a form-driven web page or web application screen. The ideal path to completion for sites or apps written in Western languages is a vertical straight line from the top left of the given form to a submit button at the bottom left of the same form. Any path which causes the user to track from left to right and back again is almost certain to reduce completion times and the quality of user experience, and in many cases it will reduce the proportion of successful completions.
Path to Conversion
See ‘Conversion Path’.
Pay Per Call
Advertiser pays when web users use the toll-free phone number placed in a search-related advert.
Pay Per Click
A form of web advertising on search results pages, where the cost of running the advert is proportional to the number of times users click through the hypertext link in (or around) the advert.
See ‘Payday algorithm’
Payday algorithm
The set of logical rules which Google uses to decrease the rank of spam and spammy websites. It is a component of the overall ‘Hummingbird’ ranking algorithm.
PDF Optimization
See ‘PDF Optimisation’.
See ‘Paid Directory Review’.
See ‘Penguin algorithm’.
Penguin algorithm
Is the code name for a set of logical rules which Google uses to reduce the rank of sites which are deemed to have gamed its search results by buying links or obtaining them through link networks. It has gone through a series of iterations, each of which is typically known as a ‘Penguin Update’.
Penguin Update
Penguin Update is the codename for a change in the Google search results ranking algorithm. The two most obvious effects of this change were that sites received ranking setbacks, if a) the anchor text of their ‘Inbound Links’ was dominated by a single ‘Money Keyword’ and/or b) they received very few links from sites within the same ‘Topical Community’ as themselves. Neither of these should have surprised any SEO consultant worth their salt, since both characteristics are typical of what you would expect to see when link content and provision is directed by a single, self-interested party, attempting to game the Google ranking algorithm. Google themselves estimated that Penguin affected only 3.1% of search queries in English, but it would seem that this was a sufficiently large proportion for them to adjust their public relationship with website owners. In the days after Penguin's release in April 2012, Google published a new feedback form which enabled users a) to report web spam that still ranked highly after the update and b) to report that their own site's was unfairly downgraded by the update, if they believed that to be the case.
A ‘paid link’ which you pay for once, but which will be left on the originating site, unlike a ‘temporary link’. Any traffic or ‘PageRank’ the link provides will continue to benefit you for as long as the link exists. Note that these will not necessarily last forever, since the site might go offline if the company you're paying goes out of business or restructures their web properties.
Permission Marketing
Marketers obtain permission before advancing to the next step in the sales or promotion process, e.g. Asking permission to send email newsletters to prospective customers, or asking web users to subscribe to a blog or news service. The term was popularised, but not coined by, Seth Godwin.
See ‘Personalized Search’.
See ‘Pigeon algorithm’
Pigeon algorithm
The set of logical rules which Google uses to produce better local search results. It is a component of the overall ‘Hummingbird’ algorithm.
Pigeon Update
See ‘Pigeon algorithm’
see ‘Pirate algorithm’
Pirate algorithm
The set of logical rules which Google uses to filter out copyright infringements from its search results. It is a component of the overall ‘Hummingbird’ algorithm.
Placement Targeting
Which site, or position within a site, that you choose to locate promotioal messages for maximum effect.
Pointer Domain
See ‘Cloaked Domain’.
Poison Keyword
An SEO snake-oil salesmen's concept. Pushed by those who licence near-useless SEO software. The concept appears to be founded on the easily falsified hypothesis that search engines will reduce the rank of pages that contain certain words and phrases, e.g. offensive language, words that are too generic to distinguish their different meaning, ‘Stop Words’, words which are over-contested by SEO practitioners. All complete tosh.
Portal Pages
See ‘Doorway Pages’
Positive link velocity exists when a web site or page gains new links faster than it loses old ones. See ‘Link Velocity’
Post-search Advertising
Adverts that are served to users as they exit a website, selected to match interests expressed by the pages and resources that they chose to view while visiting the site.
See ‘Pay per Click’.
Preferential Attachment
See also ‘HOT’.
Product Feed
XML-formatted product information.
Progressive Enhancement
A website design and development philosophy which starts the design and build process from the minimum acceptable functionality and visual appearance, then gradually layers ever-more sophisticated functional and visual enhancements on top of one another, typically ending with a ‘Responsive Design’, i.e. a design which uses the most advanced features in modern browsers, to adapt pages instantly to different users, devices and contexts. For example, a smartphone browser might see a multi-column version of a page when in landscape orientation, then a single-column version of exactly the same page the moment they switch to portrait orientation. Progressive Enhancement is not necessarily the opposite of ‘Graceful Degradation’. Both share the same goal of giving advanced users and software the best possible experience of a site, while ensuring that less capable users and software can still access core features. Arguably, they pursue the same goal, starting from different ends of the problem, i.e. Progressive Enhancement takes what might be a more pragmatic and easier path in building up from minimal functionality, rather than gracefully degrading from the maximum.
Is a Google web search parameter which disables personalized web search when set to zero (0). This is possibly the most important parameter for SEO practitioners, since it prevents results being biased by their own personal profile. That said, it must be used with extreme caution, since it does not disable non-personal profiling factors, e.g. geographical location and other characteristics of the users host machine and its address.

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