SEO glossary entries for ‘S’

Is a Google web search parameter which identifies the search's 'safe search' filtering status. Values can be active (the default) or off. SEO practitioners may want to test pages/sites in both states, since filters of this type are notoriously prone to errors, which can have catastrophic effects on traffic levels.
Scraper Bot
A web crawler designed to copy content that matches given criteria from one or more websites. May be straight forward theft, but may also be a workaround for data that is more difficult to access or process any other way.
See ‘Screen Scraping’ and ‘Content Scraping’.
Screen Scraping
Copying data from a browser's view of a website (i.e. from it's HTML) rather than by directly access the site's back-end files and data stores.
Search Engine
Two common meanings: 1. a software package which allows you to search a data set 2. a website or web application which provides a graphic interface for searching and index of world wide web resources.
Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the promotion and marketing of websites on search engine results pages (‘SERPs’). Its relationship to ‘Search engine optimization (SEO)’ is disputed. In loose usage, SEM may be considered a super-set of SEO, insofar as its practitioners may use SEO techniques, as well as paying for SERPs position through advertising. However, since SEO excludes the use of paid-for positioning (by definition) and SEM is only distinguished from SEO by its use of paid-for positioning, SEM cannot be considered a true super-set in any strict sense.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of web pages and web sites in search engine results pages (‘SERPs’) without paying the search engine directly for those positions. Typically, the higher and more frequently that a site appears in natural search results pages (see ‘Natural Search’), the more visitors it will receive. SEO has many specialist sub-disciplines, some corresponding to specific types of search, others corresponding to the specialist roles and skills within a website's development, marketing and management team, e.g. ‘SEO Copywriting’, ‘Link Building’, ‘Local Search’, ‘Video Search’, ‘News Search’, ‘Vertical Search’, etc. SEO is not ‘Search Engine Marketing’ (‘SEM’), although SEM specialists may offer SEO services.
Search Engine Results Pages
Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) are the HTML web pages that a search engine generates in response to a query; typically containing lists of links to pages with content that matches the user's search expression.
Search Engine Spam
Pages with high ‘SERPs’ ranking, but providing a poor semantic match with the user's search expression, i.e. the page may provide many exact matches with the search terms and have many inbound links, but the text is not informative, meaningful or relevant for the searcher.
Search Engine Strategies (SES)
A series of conferences about search engine optimization and social marketing, hosted in London, New York and San Fransisco.
Search Engine submission
Supplying a URL to a search engine in an attempt to make a search engine aware of the target page or of an update to its content.
Search Expression
Any string of characters that a user types into a search in an effort to find web pages about a specific topic or activity which interests them. Search expressions usually include ‘Keywords’, ‘Search Terms’ and ‘Search Phrases’ but should not be conflated with any of them. Search expressions rarely consist of a single word, and all the words in a complete search expression may not constitute a phrase. The term ‘Search Expression’ may refer to the entire string of characters typed as a query or a substring of the it. But it would be ambiguous to use it to indicate a substring which could function as a standalone word, symbol, term or phrase.
Search Operators
A Search Operator is a word or symbol used to restrict or filter a search, to make it more specific than a Free Text Search. See ‘Google Search Operators’.
Search Phrase
Two or more words used in a specific order within a Search Expression.
Search Term
A single word or symbol used in a Search Expression.
Search, plus Your World
Google's name for their integration of personalized results based on information from your Google+ account into ‘SERPs’, first introduced in 2012.
See ‘URL Seeding’.
SEO is an abbreviation of ‘Search Engine Optimisation’.
SEO Competitor Discovery Tool
A Google Docs-based tool which claims to identify who your ‘real’ SEO competitors are. Written by Tom Anthony.
SEO for E-Commerce Sales
Search Engine Optimisation targeted on sales or sales-related return on investment (ROI). Most appropriate for sites which sell products and services, i.e. where logging software can directly correlate a specific search engine referral to a specific sale. May be closely related to SEM campaigns.
SEO for Ideological Influence
This form of SEO may contain most of the elements of SEO for sales, e.g. getting keyword-related traffic to your site to engage potential converts or to equip and mobilise current supporters. But SEO for Ideological Influence will also contain elements of SEO for Reputation Management, e.g. driving opposition pages down/off SERPs. Perhaps the unique feature of this style of SEO is the degree to which it is likely to deploy alliances and social media, e.g. instant rebuttals in response to turbulence in the blogosphere, or driving traffic to an allied site rather than your own.
SEO for Lead Generation and Direct Marketing
Search Engine Optimisation for sites which sell products and services which are difficult to sell directly over the web, e.g. personal services or products which are too complex and expensive to sell via a shopping cart. Keyword targeting and link building tactics are often similar to SEO for E-Commerce Sales, but the on-page copy (‘calls to action’) will be designed to achieve a different goals.
SEO for Mindshare/Branding
Search Engine Optimisation targeted on raising brand awareness or shaping brand perception. Such campaigns will tend to target ‘long tail’ keywords, e.g. synonyms and words which you wish to associate with a brand/product, rather than the name of the product/brand itself, e.g. provide content and copy which your target web users are interested in, then associate brand/product imagery and messages with that copy.
SEO for Raw Traffic
Search Engine Optimisation targeted solely on maximizing traffic. Easily the most common form of SEO, although it should not be. Really only appropriate for sites whose business goals correlate very closely with the number of page impressions that they receive, e.g. sites financed by page impression based advertising revenue.
SEO for Reputation Management
A form of Search Engine Optimisation designed to ensure that SERPs for keywords associated with your organisation or its products and services are dominated by positive messages. This may, in practice, require you to drive currently high-ranking, but critical results far enough down the SERPs as to be practically invisible.
SEO-Friendly Page
A web page with content and features which search engine software expects to find in pages which match given search terms.
A less geeky name for SEOmoz Labs' ‘Link Intersect Tool’. See ‘Link Intersect Tool’.
A competitive link analysis tool run as a web application by SEOmoz Labs. Its primary purpose is to help link-building campaigns by identifying key link sources in your competitive environment. You give the tool 2 inputs (a URL from your site and 1 form each of 2-5 competitor sites). It identifies URLs that link to 2+ of the sites you've entered, i.e. linker's with a general interest in your topic area and not just a connection to one of your competitors. It also exposes domains, providing metrics on all of the individual pages linking from a domain and metrics on the domain as a whole. In short, the tool allows you to identify who links to your competitors and which of them might be persuaded to link to you. The SEOmoz Link Intersect Tool is also known as the SEOmoz Competitive Link Finder.
See ‘Search Engine Results Page’.
SERP Turkey
A tool for split testing the way results are presented in the SERPs. Written by Tom Anthony.
See ‘Search Engine Results Pages’.
Server Side Includes
Server Side Includes (SSI) is single-purpose scripting language which allows the content of arbitrary text files to be added to a web page when that web page is requested by a browser, i.e. dynamically. Instructions (SSI directives) to the web server, about which text files to include, are embedded in the static HTML of the page. When a request for that page is made to the server, the web server reads the embedded SSI and replaces it with the content of the relevant text files. SSI's provide a simple and very efficient mechanism for SEO specialists to vary and customise the same basic content for different audiences, e.g. to localise, what would otherwise be, a generic and non-geographically specific page.
See ‘Search Engine Strategies’.
Website content which site owners design to be shared by users of social networks.
A person who is paid to help another person or organization to sell goods or services, by pretending to have no association with the seller/group. Typically the Shill will use web forums, comments, and review pages to enthusiastically support for their client's products/services and to criticise competitor products and services. See also ‘Astroturfing’.
Shopping Basket
Synonym for ‘Shopping Cart’.
Shopping Trolly
Anglicisation of the American expression ‘Shopping Cart’.
Short Head
Queries that are short, generic and frequently used.
Signal is the term which Google and SEO specialists use to indicate a factor which influences Google's overall search results ranking algorithm. See ‘Social Signals’
Silo structure
In SEO a silo structure is a website structure which keeps distinctly different topics apart from one another, and hierarchically organises the sub-topics within one topic area so that site users can easily choose between taking in that topic at a superficial level and drilling down to ever deeper levels of detail or specialism.
Siloing is the process of organising a web site structure so that each discrete topic area is constrained within its own part of the site structure and separated from distinct topics dealt with elsewhere in the site. See ‘Silo Structure’.
Single Site Results
Single Site Results is an SEO term which refers to the way in which a single site may get more than the usual one or two listings on a ‘SERP’. This typically happens when the searcher uses domain-oriented or brand-oriented keywords in their search expression.
Site Transcoding
Where a mobile telco or search engine re-styles a page to make it more suitable for a particular mobile device, without requiring the site owner to change their styles in any way.
Is a Google web search parameter which restricts results to a given domain. It is equivalent to using site: in the search box. The URL can be specified with or without the http:// scheme.
See ‘Social Media Optimization’.
Someone who engages in Sniping, e.g. a last-minute auction bidder, or a negative comment writer on websites.
1. Last minute bidding just before the end of an auction. 2. An attack on someone or something in website or blog comments and reviews.
Social Classification
see ‘Folksonomy’
Social indexing
see ‘Folksonomy’
Social Media
Online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives; allowing them to create social networks. Examples of social media include blogs, wikis, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, YouTube, Flickr.
Social Media Metrics Bulk Counter
A tool that collects Social Media metrics for a batch of URLs. Written by Tom Anthony.
Social Media Metrics Chrome Extension
A tool that provides a simplified view Facebook Likes, Tweets, and Google +1s for the current page. Written by Tom Anthony.
Social Media Metrics via Google Docs
Google Docs-based tool and technique for gathering Social Media metrics. Written by Tom Anthony.
Social Media Monitoring
Tracking the activity of users and groups of users on social media websites and applications.
Social Media Monitoring Tool
A software package that allows you to track the activity of users and groups of users on social media websites and applications.
Social Media Optimization
Methods for advancing organisational and website goals through social media, online communities, and community web sites.
A search site/service which uses data from social media to filter or weight results.
Social Tagging
see ‘Folksonomy’
Social Web
Historically this term referred to any set of social relations that linked groups of people together in sustained social interaction and inter-dependency. Today it is more likely to refer to ‘Social Media’ websites or to websites that actively encourage the online social interaction of their members, e.g. through forums, chat, special interest groups, etc.
Unwanted and typically irrelevant marketing messages. Currently, the term most commonly refers to email messages, but it has been widely applied to physically posted mail and to unwanted web or social media content.
Spam Blogs
A spam blog is a blog which exists solely for the purpose of increasing the rank of affiliated pages and sites on search engine results pages (‘SERPs’). It will typically consist of vast quantities of plagiarised content of low semantic value, but with high keyword densities and lots of keyword-stuffed links to affiliate sites. Spam blogs will often make heavy use of programmatic tricks to offset or disguise the poor quality of their content, e.g. extremely rigorous ‘Siloing’.
Spam Bot
Are, essentially, specialist forms of web ‘Spider’ or ‘crawler’ that concentrate on adding spam to pages, typically via comments in blog, forum and review pages. See ‘Comment Spam’, ‘Spider’ and ‘Crawler’.
Spam Comment
See ‘Comment Spam’.
See ‘Spam Bot’.
Only one of many terms for a ‘Web Crawler’, other terms include: crawlers, ants, automatic indexers, bots, robots, scutters, etc. They are all just computer programs that browses the World Wide Web in a methodical, automated, and an orderly fashion, gathering data. They typically do this by requesting the URLs of pages that they find in the HTML code of other pages.
Spider Emulator
Software that purports to present a web page in the way that a search engine would see it, e.g. minus images and CSS styling. Also known as a Spider Simulator.
Spider Simulator
See ‘Spider Emulator’.
Splash Page
A kind of web site ‘Entry Page’ which visitors are required to pass through before accessing the rest of the site. The Splash page will typically contain some kind of rich media presentation which will annoy most potential customers by preventing them from quickly accessing the content or functionality that they have come to read or use . At best, the user will be delayed by the time it takes to find, click and execute an option to skip the presentation. At worst the user will be delayed so long that they will refuse to wait any longer, and simply return to the page or search results that brought them to the site. Splash pages are mostly deployed by site owners and designers who really don't understand that the web a ‘Pull Technology’, over which the user has ultimate control. Any attempt to force them to consume marketing messages, in the way that Splash screens do, is doomed to failure and will alienate more potential customers than it converts. In the worst case scenario, a JavaScript or Flash-controlled Splash screen may completely exclude search engine robots from your site and, hence, exclude your site's content from the search engine's index and results.
Split Testing
A standard technique for testing the effectiveness of marketing messages, by creating two or more versions of what is fundamentally the same message and testing them independently. In advertising this might mean running trials in which two versions of the advert run simultaneously to see which yeilds the best return on investment (ROI). Split testing is also known as ‘A/B Testing’ and ‘Bucket Testing’.
A splogger is the author or owner of a ‘Spam Blog’.
A splog is a neologism for ‘Spam Blog’.
Squeeze Page
A squeeze page is a landing page designed to add site visitors' email addresses to a direct marketeers subscriber list. Strictly speaking, it is more of a ‘direct marketing’ term, than an SEO term.
See ‘Server Side Includes’.
Static Web Page
A web page which exists as a HTML-formatted text file on a web server, and is merely copied to the user's broswer for them to view and interact with.
The extent to which average web site visits are prolonged. A website which has a high average visit time is said to be ‘Sticky’. Many marketers from pre-web backgrounds often assume that stickiness is an overwhelmingly good quality in a site. They typically associate stickiness with greater opportunity to sell or to convey marketing messages. While users often view the extra time spent on particular sites as wasted, e.g. wasted because their visit was extended by poor usability, or wasted by the site's highly distracting, but essentially pointless, attractions. See ‘Sticky Site’.
Sticky Site
A site which holds a user's attention longer than most.
Stop Word
An excessively common, highly generic, word which search engines typically ignore when trying to find a match for a user's search expression. Very often search engines will provide a non-default option to enforce the inclusion of Stop Words in content matching. For example, at the current time, Google does not ignore stop words when they are found inside a search expression surrounded by inverted commas, i.e. a double quoted search expression.
Stub Page
A stub is an article or page deemed too short to provide authoritative coverage of a subject or topic. For example, on Wikipedia, pages which merely defined a term, concept or topic are considered stubs, since they are clearly not ‘encyclopedic’. In a web dictionary or glossary, a page that omitted important, highly relevant, and commonplace definitions of a term might be considered a ‘stub’.
Is a social media website that enables users to discover and rate web pages, photos, and videos that are personalized to their tastes and interests using peer-sourcing and social-networking principles.
Supplemental Index
A secondary Google database containing pages of lower value, judged essentially by ‘PageRank’. The extent to which Google trusts a site's inbound links determines the value that they bring to a page (or detract from it). If Google detects dubious links (e.g, because they have obviously been bought), it will devalue or discount them entirely; such that they pass no PageRank value at all to their target page. Pages in the supplemental index can still appear in search results, but only if there are not enough returns from the main index to answer a given query.
Supplemental Result
Google once presented a Supplemental result label below search results that were returned from its ‘Supplemental Index’. This practice was, however, dropped in July 2007, so it is now impossible to tell whether a particular result is, or is not, from the main index. See ‘Supplemental Index’, and ‘Google Sandbox’.

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