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Glossary

above the fold
The portion of a web page that consumers can see on their computer monitor without scrolling.

ad copy
The words used in an ad listing.

ad listing
Includes the title and description that are displayed for the keyword(s) purchased.

ad profit
The amount of money generated from an advertising campaign after the advertising costs are subtracted from the resulting revenue.

ad sponsor
The advertiser who has purchased an ad. In search engine advertising, it’s the advertiser who has purchased a listing in the search results.

affiliate
An individual or company that markets a merchant’s products or services and is paid only a sales commission fee.

affiliate program
A program that allows other companies, or individuals, to market a company’s products or services for a commission fee per item sold.

algorithm
A mathematical formula used by search engines to determine a web site page’s ranking in the search results.

alternative text
Text placed inside the image source tag of HTML code. This text is shown when images can’t be displayed. It’s often viewable by rolling the computer mouse over an image. Also known as alt tag.

ASP
Abbreviation for Application Service Provider. An ASP leases their product or service generally for a less-expensive recurring fee than selling it at a one-time cost.

bid gap
The amount of money between two advertisers who are competing for top positions on Pay-For-Placement search engine programs.

bid management tool
Third-party companies that manage advertisers’ ad listings on pay-per-click (PPC) search engines. PPC can include Pay-For-Placement and Trusted Feed programs.

brand
The collective consumer concept of a company. Elements such as names, slogans, logos, and URLs are part of brand identification, but they are not “the brand.”

brand awareness
The expansion of a company’s brand in the marketplace.

branded keyword
Names, trademarks, slogans, and URLs are considered branded keywords if they are associated with a particular company.

browser
The software used to view web pages. A browser is generally provided by an Internet service provider (ISP) to their clients who sign up for Internet access. Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and America Online (AOL) are common browsers. Both Microsoft and America Online are ISPs that offer their own browsers to their Internet access clients.

call to action
An activity requested of a consumer. Examples include buying a product, completing a survey, or subscribing to an online newsletter.

campaign components
Campaign components specific to search engine advertising include keywords, listing titles, listing descriptions, and landing pages.

cease and desist letter
This type of letter requests that a company stop the activity mentioned in the letter to prevent legal action.

click fraud
The act of purposely clicking ad listings without intending to buy from the advertiser.

click-through
The action of a consumer viewing a link and clicking on it to visit a web page.

click-through rate (CTR)
The percentage of clicks on a link out of the number of times it was displayed.

comparison page
A web page that compares two competing products or services. In search engine advertising, it’s used as a landing page to enable a company to buy or bid on the trademark keyword of a competitor.

comparison shopping engine
A search engine that enables consumers to find, compare, and buy products within one shopping environment.

contextual advertising
A program in which advertisers’ paid listings appear on web sites containing content relevant to the listings. A keyword search isn’t required for the listings to appear. Approved web site publishers insert code into their web pages to allow the search engine’s technology to determine which ads to serve, based on content relevancy.

conversion
A completed call to action. Typically, a lead or sale.

conversion rate
The number of site visits (click-throughs) that result in a sale or other call to action.

CPA
Abbreviation for cost-per-acquisition, also referred to as cost-per-action. It’s the fee paid to an advertising vendor for each lead or sale generated (or another call to action).

CPC
Abbreviation for cost-per-click. It’s the fee paid to an advertising vendor for each click on a link that sends consumers to an advertiser’s web page.

CPM
Abbreviation for cost per thousand. It’s the fee paid to an advertising vendor for every 1,000 times an ad is displayed (impressions).

daypart targeting
The ability to run an ad campaign by specific times of the day.

deferred conversion
Occurs when a customer visits a site and doesn’t buy at that time, but returns later to make a purchase.

destination page
See landing page.

direct path
The link provided along with an ad that sends consumers to a relevant web page within the site.

directory
A collection of web sites that are organized by topic category and are included in a specific category (or categories) after being reviewed by a human editor. Examples include www.dmoz.org, Business.com, and Yahoo!.

domain name
The name that identifies a web site (e.g., company.com). Also referred to as a URL.

doorway page
Generally refers to a web page that is created for the sole purpose of achieving high organic listings in the search engines. This page offers little or no value to consumers, and therefore is considered spam. Also known as gateway, attraction, envelope, directory information pages (DIPs), and hallway pages.

dynamic page
A page that is generated by a database. This type of page typically contains characters such as ?, =, %, + in the URL. Also called a dynamic URL.

e-commerce solution
A program that includes a variety of tools for managing an online store. These solutions may be purchased or leased, and may include other features such as web site hosting or e-marketing tools.

fixed placement
In relationship to search engine advertising, a specific ad listing position can be purchased for a keyword, for a set fee. Fee structures are based on a negotiated CPM, CPC, or CPA rate. Fixed Placement is a paid placement program.

generic keyword
A general keyword that describes a company and their products or services. A generic term applies to more than one company; it is not exclusive to one company’s brand.

HTML
Abbreviation for Hypertext Markup Language. It’s a text formatting system for developing web pages, including text, images, animation, and page layout design elements.

hypertext link
Text in a web site that takes consumers to another web page when clicked. It’s a word or set of words inside an anchor tag. Also called hyperlink.

inbound link
A hypertext link that points from an external web site to the marketer’s site.

ISP
Abbreviation for Internet service provider. An ISP provides Internet access and often web site hosting services.

JavaScript
A scripting language developed by Netscape and used by web designers to create interactive web pages.

keyword
A word or set of words (phrase) that consumers type into a search engine to find relevant web pages.

keyword density
The number of times a keyword or phrase appears within a web page divided by the total number of words on that page.

landing page
The web page a consumer arrives at once a link is clicked. Also referred to as a destination page, destination URL, or target URL.

link popularity
An important element search engines consider in ranking web pages in the natural search results area. It incorporates both the number and quality of relevant inbound links to a company’s web site.

meta tag
Information within the HTML code of a web page that provides information about the page. Common meta tags are the title, keyword, and description tags.

natural listing
The listing of a web page in the search results produced by algorithm-based (or crawler-based) search engines. Paid inclusion programs can help web sites appear for a natural listing, also called an organic listing.

organic listing
See natural listing.

page copy
The visible words on a web site page.

paid inclusion
A program where marketers pay a fee to submit a web page to a search engine or directory’s database. Top rankings are not guaranteed. Submit URL and Trusted Feed are paid inclusion programs.

paid listings
A web page listing that’s a result of paying a paid inclusion or paid placement fee. This phrase generally refers to the search engines that offer pay-per-click pricing.

paid placement
A program where marketers pay a fee for a specified position, for a specified keyword. Fixed Placement and Pay-For-Placement are paid placement programs.

PFP
Abbreviation for Pay-For-Placement. Advertisers determine their own per-click fee based on what they are willing to pay for each keyword. Ad listing positions are typically awarded to the highest bidder. Pay-For-Placement is a paid placement program.

PPC
Abbreviation for pay-per-click. In search engine advertising, it’s a pricing model that typically refers to Pay-For-Placement (paid placement) and often includes Trusted Feed (paid inclusion) programs.

query
A request for specific information from a database.

ranking
The position of a web page in the search results. “Ranking” generally refers to organic or natural listings achieved through site optimization plus inclusion efforts; specific positions can’t be determined as with paid placement.

regional targeting
The ability to market to a specific geographic region by country, state, city, or ZIP code.

ROI
Abbreviation for return on investment. ROI focuses on the profitability of an advertising campaign. An ROI formula by percentage is: ad profit divided by the ad cost times 100.

search distribution partners
Search engine and content sites that display the natural or sponsored search results (or both) of a search engine.

search engine
Software that searches a database of web site pages to find and then return page matches to the keyword query.

search engine advertising
The process of paying money to search engines or directories to enhance a site’s position; paid placement and paid inclusion programs are included.

search engine marketing
Includes both advertising and optimization efforts to achieve high visibility of a web site for relevant keywords. Also referred to as search engine positioning or search engine promotion.

SEO
Abbreviation for search engine optimization. The process of designing the web site to attract search engine spiders and improve a site’s ranking for relevant keywords within a search engine’s database. This process includes search engine and directory submission, which can require an inclusion fee.

spam
Any activity designed to trick the search engines into giving a site a higher ranking. Common tactics include hiding keywords as white text on a white page background, submitting a web page to a search engine daily, and building doorway pages.

spider
Software used by a search engine to find and retrieve web pages to include in its database (also called index).

static web page
An HTML page, as opposed to a dynamic page, which is generated by a database. Also known as a flat page.

submission
The process of registering a web site, usually a specific page (URL) within the site, with search engines and directories.

Submit URL
This program, offered by some search engines, allows a company to submit their web site pages to be included in the search engine’s database and pay a per-page fee. Submit URL is a paid inclusion program in which web page review is guaranteed, but rankings are not. Sometimes referred to as Add URL, Direct Submit, or Site Submit.

target market
The intended audience of a marketer’s efforts. Demographic and psychographic information are typically included in assessing a target market.

tracking URL
A specific URL with code that identifies information about the resulting clicks. The referring search engine, keyword, ad listing, and landing page can be included in a tracking URL. Tracking URLs can be created in-house or automatically generated by an ROI tracking solution. These URLs must be given to the search engines in order for resulting clicks and/or sales to be tracked.

trademark
Words, phrases, symbols, or designs that identify an owner of the items marked.

trademark infringement
This occurs when a company uses the trademark of another company, which may result in confusion or deception of consumers.

Trusted Feed
This program is offered by some search engines, and allows a company to submit their web site pages to be included in the search engine’s database, and pay a per-click fee. Trusted Feed is a paid inclusion program in which web page review is guaranteed, but rankings are not. Also referred to as Direct, Data, or XML Feed.

URL
Abbreviation for uniform (or universal) resource locator. A URL is the location of a file on the Internet, which may include a web document, a web page, or an image file.

USP
Abbreviation for unique selling point. A differentiating factor that makes a company and their product or service better than a competitor’s.

vertical market search engine
A search engine that focuses on a particular topic. A niche content site that contains a site-based search function could be considered a vertical market search engine.

visibility
The position of a web page in search engines or directories.

visit
Each time a consumer arrives at a web page. A unique visitor can account for multiple visits to a web page. Unless click fraud is present, search engines that charge for click-throughs include all visits, not just clicks from unique visitors.

web analytics
A tool that collects data on web site user behavior.

web ring
A collection of sites that exclusively link from one to another, without linking to any sites outside of this group. A web ring is considered spam.

word stemming
The ability for a search engine to include the root of words.

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