- 200 OK
- This is the standard HTTP status response, a code that says your web page has loaded successfully.
- A server response code that represents a permanently moved page. In these instances, you should use a 301 redirect.
- Status Code Represents a temporarily moved page. In these instances, you should use a 302 redirect.
- The HTTP 403 is a HTTP status code meaning access to the requested resource is forbidden.
- 404 Not Found
- A server response code that represents a page that can?t be found. These aren?t problematic in themselves but (broken) links pointing to 404 pages can hurt your search ranking. These links should be removed or amended.
- The HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) 503 Service Unavailable server error response code indicates that the server is not ready to handle the request.
- Above The Fold
- Above the fold, as it applies to Web design, is the portion of a Web page that is visible in a browser window when the page first loads. The portion of the page that requires scrolling in order to see content is called below the fold. Google’s page layout algorithm penalizes the overuse of ads above the fold.
On a Web page the point at which users have to scroll down is not constant because many variables can affect the way a page displays. The size of a device’s display, for example, changes what content appears above the fold. Other variables include the end user’s choice of browser, browser toolbars, browser custom setting and the operating system (OS) the device is using.
- An absolute link is any link that shows the full URL address. Relative links, on the other hand, use shorter versions of the URL address. Because relative links are more prone to being hacked, using an absolute link is the preferred method.
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
- Accelerated Mobile Pages is an Open Source framework designed to speed up load times for mobile internet users. This article explains what AMP is, looks at why and how it developed, explores its benefits for different stakeholder groups and runs you through how to bring your website up to speed for AMP.
- Status notation on the Google Places for Business dashboard if the listing is live
- Activity Bias
- Activity bias is the act of advertising in certain areas, or websites, where people are more likely to be drawn. One example of activity bias would be advertising vitamin supplements on a health website. All in all, advertising primarily relies on location.
- One of four primary data sources of local business data for all major search engines in the United States. See also: Infogroup, Localeze, Factual
- AdCenter, now called Bing Ads, is a pay-per-click service with a bunch of different cool features, including dayparting and demographic based bidding. Compared to Google Adwords, adCenter is actually pretty new and recent. As a result, most of adCenter?s prices are relatively low.
- Google AdWords app, which is essentially an advertising platform designed to match advertisers? products to users? online search terms. AdWords, which uses a pay-per-click (PPC) pricing model, matches keywords or phrases relevant to your products with your prospects? online search behaviors. See also: PPC (pay-per-click)
- Affiliate Marketing
- Affiliate marketing allows a company or business to expand their growth by paying agents a commission for every member conversion. In other words, the agent gets paid every time they refer someone to the company. Most of those in affiliate marketing make very little. However, there are a few who are extremely successful in this field.
- When it comes to the SEO world, age refers to how long a particular website, website page, user account page or any other document has been around. This allows one to make a more informed decision on whether or not they can trust that particular website.
- A company that maintains and supplies the underlying business database for local search directories. The most important U.S. aggregators are Infogroup, Localeze, Acxiom, and Factual. These companies compile data about businesses from multiple online and offline sources including phone bills, business registration records, chamber of commerce membership rosters, and many other sources. An aggregator is also known as a data aggregator or data provider.
- A special formula used by search engines to rank webpages in order of importance or relevance for a particular keyword search. See also: crawl, spider, local algorithm / local results, organic algorithm / organic results, universal algorithm / universal results
- Alt Attributes
- The alt attribute provides alternative information for an image if a user for some reason cannot view it (because of slow connection, an error in the src attribute, or if the user uses a screen reader).
- Alt Text
- Alt text is optional phrasing you can add to an HTML element. The most common use is for images, where providing search engines with context proves your images are relevant to the content on your page. Eg: your Every image on your site should have alt text, preferably including your main keyword for that page.
- Amazon Home Services
- Amazon’s lead generation program via which is acts as a middleman between service-oriented businesses, like handymen, and homeowners who need to hire a contractor.
- Any tool or program that tracks user behavior, such as traffic to a website, duration of visits, and conversions. Google Analytics is a popular product. Within the Google My Business dashboard, the latest iteration of analytics data is called Insights.
- Anchor links are hyperlinks that send users to a specific place on the page ? either the same page or a separate one. We’re using anchor links in this article to help you navigate from A-Z.
- Anchor Text
- The text contained in a web link. Descriptive words in link text can be used to improve the relevancy of the page to which the link points.
- Angie’s List
- A prominent user review website. An important citation source for many businesses, especially home services.
- Apple Maps
- Apple’s mobile mapping application.
- Arbitrage is the practice of buying and reselling a product or service for profit gain. In fact, ad services, including AdSense, buy traffic from main search engines such as Google then sell it to lower level marketers.
- In local SEO, the term audit if often used to describe a thorough analysis of an aspect of a company’s marketing. This could include a citation audit, a content audit, or a competitive audit.
- An historic term for a single Google Places listing displayed by a large map embedded in a traditional search result page. In the past, considered the holy grail of local search optimization, but not as common today.
- A general term used to describe the influential power of a domain, a website, a citation source, a review, or other entities. Search engines are said to view some resources as being more authoritative than others, meaning that authoritative sources have an enhanced ability to influence rankings.
- Automated Bid Management Software
- For starters, most advertising services are paid in bids. In order to help larger companies with their business growth, advertising companies have created programs that help one spend their advertising budget more efficiently and effectively, which is primarily done by analyzing one’s analytics.
- Business-to-business, when a business’s customers are other businesses.
- Business-to-consumer, when a business’s customers are end-users.
- Also called an inbound link or incoming link, is created when one website links to another. The link between the two websites is the backlink so named because it points back to the linked-to page.
- Bad Neighborhood
- Bad Neighborhood refers to websites that have been severely downgraded by search engines for violating search engine guidelines of for containing terms like gambling, casino, pornography or Viagra.
Bad Neighborhood websites typically appear far down in the search results or not at all.
- Baidu is a Chinese website and search engine that enables individuals to obtain information and find what they need.
Baidu offers functional online search, Tieba community search, industry-based vertical search, mp3 search, portal channels, and instant messaging services. Its products include Baidu Webpage, Baidu Video, Baidu Map, hao123.com, BaiduPedia, Baidu Input, Baidu Toolbar, TTPlayer, Iqiyi, and Sky Software.
The company was formerly known as Baidu.com, Inc. and changed its name to Baidu, Inc. in December 2008. Baidu, Inc. was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Beijing, the People’s Republic of China.
- Bait and Switch
- Bait and switch is the act of attracting customers by advertising really low prices, then encouraging the person to buy more expensive items, goods or services. This is a very common practice throughout the entire business world. Another effective method is to link to information websites rather than commercial, as people are more attracted to them. Bait and switch can also be used with business pages, where a business page takes calls but then farms the service out to a different business.
- While people browse online, they’re bombarded with tons of different advertisements from different companies. At first, these ads may attract some people’s attention. However, a person eventually becomes blind and ignores the ads entirely. Banner blindness can also be applied to websites / business sites that have a scrolling banner above the fold, it may show several slides about the business, ultimately this is what users are becoming blind to.
- Bayesian Average
- A Bayesian average is a method of estimating the mean of a population consistent with Bayesian interpretation, where instead of estimating the mean strictly from any or all available data set, other existing information related to that data set may also be incorporated into the calculation in order to minimize the impact of large deviations, or to assert a default value when the data set is small.
This was relevant to local SEO and reviews management due to the statement by Google relating to how they determine an average star rating.
- Behavioral Targeting
- Best Of The Web
- Best of the Web (BOTW) is local business directory for U.S. businesses. Business owners can create a listing for free.
- Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- Founded in 1912, the BBB publishes reviews of the reliability of businesses in the U.S. and Canada. BBB listings can act as a citation for local businesses.
- When it comes to SEO terminology, bias refers to the behavior of search engines. For the most part, search engines are geared toward giving better content to people. Therefore, non commercial websites, such as informational websites, will typically receive better prominence. Search engines also prefer websites that have been around and are well sited.
- Bing Places for Business
- Bing’s local business component. Users can create listings for their businesses.
- Black Hat SEO
- Refers to practices which are specifically designed to fool search engines into seeing a website as having more value than it really does, almost always in violation of the search engines webmaster guidelines. It’s important to note that the guidelines change rather frequently, so it’s important to remain updated. The hands-down most effective, long terms business strategy is to stay away from tempting quick routes that will have only a short-term impact.
- Blended Search / Blended Results
- An historic term for search engine results that combine both organic factors.
- Block Level Analysis
- This is a process that breaks down a web page into smaller segments, or blocks. Not only does this make it easier for search engines to analyze, but it helps the engines distinguish between content that’s either page or navigational specific, along with many other things.
- A form of web-based publication that allows readers to interact with the publisher via commenting. One of the most popular blog platforms is WordPress. A blog can be a component of a website or act on its own as a complete website.
- Blog Comment Spam
- Because comments on a blog, or any site for that matter, can be used for links, people try to take advantage and post comments for links. This spam commenting can be done either manually or automatically. The latter method requires software.
- Blogger, owned by Google, is a free website that allows people to create their own sites and blogs. Although it’s free, one who’s serious about growing their business should consider that the domains offered by blogger still belong to the website.
- Bold is simply the text format of a word or word phrase, which appears dark black, hence the name. This feature, or format, is most commonly used in subheadings. The main purpose is to grab the reader’s attention.
- Like the old traditional bookmark, an online bookmark keeps tabs on certain websites or pages that one visits. A number of browsers, including Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Mozilla and Firefox, have this bookmark feature. Bookmarks help people be more productive through better organization.
- A bot (otherwise called a spider or crawler) is a piece of software or an application that runs automated tasks. In the case of SEO, these tend to be search bots, which discover and rank new content and updated pages.
- Bounce Rate
- Bounce rate is the number of visitors who leave your site without viewing a second page. In most cases, a high bounce rate is considered bad, but there are times when higher bounce rates could be a good thing (e.g. a user converts right away and leaves).
- Brand Page
- Brand pages are used, well by brands, that typically don?t have a single bricks and mortar premises. They could have thousands or none. Brand pages are not connected to Google maps and they don’t produce a knowledge panel in search like a business page would.
- A branded link includes the name of a brand in the anchor text and normally points to their home page.
- A navigation system that shows users the path they?ve taken through a website. This is particularly important for eCommerce sites and other website setups with a lot of categories.
- In the local search arena, the term brick-and-mortar is used to indicate a business model operating within a physical building. Examples of brick-and-mortar business models include dental clinics, restaurants, and retail shops. By contrast, a service area business is one that serves customers at remote locations (like a plumber, electrician, or housekeeping service) instead of within the walls of a physical business. Different rules have historically governed these two types of business models in the local search arena.
- A broken link is a URL that isn’t working properly normally because it’s pointing to a page that has been moved or no longer exists. The main thing to remember is that broken links on your site can affect your page ranking. Run regular tests to pinpoint any broken links and get them fixed or, better yet, use an automated tool that alerts you as soon as any break.
- A technical flaw in a digital medium. In local search, bugs may arise on major local business platforms like Google My Business. It is then up to the affected platform to resolve the bug.
- Bulk Upload
- Typically refers to the act of creating multiple local business listings for multi-location business models at once, typically via a spreadsheet or other type of form, on a given platform. For example, a business might bulk upload 1,000 of its locations to Google My Business all at once, instead of manually creating 1,000 individual listings one-at-a-time.
- Business Description
- Sometimes simply called description. Describes a field provided for a text description of a business on a local business listing. Length and rules about the types of content one can include in the business description field vary from platform to platform.
- Business Directory
- Business directories are listing of business and details, either by category, location or specialty. Local business directories are the easiest starting point for citations.
- Business Page
- A Google business page is used for a business with a physical address that customers can visit in person during the stated business hours. The business page will appear in Maps, local pack and provide a knowledge panel for the business name in search.
- Business Signals
- The name given to the collection of variables (e.g., proximity, categories, keyword in business title) that relate to the details of the Business’ that are used to determine local search rankings. See Link Signals, On-page Signals, Citation Signals, Review Signals, Behavioral Signals, Personalization, and Social Signals.
- Business Title
- The name of a business specifically the name of a business as registered at one of the major local search engines or online Yellow Pages directories. Combined with physical address and phone number, the business title represents a third of a business’s online identity.
- Buyer Personas
- A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of a company’s ideal customer based on market research and real data about existing and target customers.
When creating a buyer persona(s), companies should consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better.
Buyer personas can provide tremendous structure and insight for your company. A detailed buyer persona will help determine where to focus time, guide product development, and allow for alignment across the organization. As a result, companies will be able to attract the most valuable visitors, leads, and customers.
- Buyer’s Journey
- The buyer’s journey is the process buyers go through to become aware of, evaluate, and purchase a new product or service.
The journey is a three-step process:
1) Awareness Stage
2) Consideration Stage.
3) Decision Stage
During the Awareness stage, buyers identify their challenge or an opportunity they want to pursue. They also decide whether or not the goal or challenge should be a priority.
During the Consideration stage, buyers have clearly defined the goal or challenge and have committed to addressing it. They evaluate the different approaches or methods available to pursue the goal or solve their challenge.
In the Decision stage, buyers have already decided on a solution category. For example, they could write a pro/con list of specific offerings and then decide on the one that best meets their needs.
- CMS (content management system)
- A complex platform of computer code that allows a website to be easily edited or managed by someone with no knowledge of computer code. Popular content management systems include WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
- CSS (Cascading Style Sheet)
- A type of website code which allows for easier page editing by designers and faster processing of HTML by search engines.
- This is the storage of web content in memory, in order to be able to more readily serve them to a user. Caching commonly occurs on both servers and browsers.
- Call To Action (CTA)
- A call to action, or CTA, tells your audience what to do next. This may be as simple as a contextual phrase (Contact us today!) or a graphic site element (a button, for example, labeled, Click Here to Order).
- Call Tracking Number
- A phone number used to measure the success of specific marketing efforts and to determine the source of leads. For local businesses, call tracking numbers are not recommended, as they can lead to multiple problems, including the clouding of clear NAP signals.
- Canonical Tag
- A canonical tag (aka rel canonical) is a way of telling search engines that a specific URL represents the master copy of a page. Using the canonical tag prevents problems caused by identical or duplicate content appearing on multiple URLs. Practically speaking, the canonical tag tells search engines which version of a URL you want to appear in search results.
- In mathematics, when the same data can be represented in multiple ways, it is best to standardize that representation by establishing the data’s canonical form, the one primary form in which it will be used. In the computer science field, the act of defining the canonical form of data is called canonicalization.
- One of a set of approximately 2,000 default business types with which the local search engines try to associate each business in their index. Although each search engine and data aggregator has its own taxonomy, many categories are based on the North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS. The current Google Places for Business dashboard allows business owners to choose up to five categories, all of which must stem from Google’s pre-chosen category choices.
- A concept in the local search industry used to define a central point of geography or activity. Understanding of the centroid has evolved significantly over the years as Google’s weighting of specific ranking factors has changed. The centroid was initially defined as the geographic center of a city, with ranking benefits being perceived for businesses physically located near that point on the map.
The concept of the centroid then broadened to include the concept of industry centroids as a ranking factor, as it was perceived that there could be one centroid located in a city’s auto dealer row and another centroid in an area hosting multiple medical centers. At present, the most common understanding of the centroid is that it has been transformed into a descriptor of human users.
Wherever a user is physically located at the time they search for something local, Google’s results will be customized to display the businesses nearest to the user’s device. This may be referred to as proximity to the point of search? or the ?user-as-centroid phenomenon?.
- A digital announcement of a customer’s presence at a specific physical location, often a business. Check-ins are the key component of many location-based services including Foursquare, Facebook, and Yelp. Check-ins can be used as a vehicle for both tracking customers and rewarding them with special offers.
- A complete or partial web-based reference to a business?s name, address, phone number and other core data. Structured citations can occur in the form of formal local business listings on local business data platforms, or can be of an unstructured nature, occurring as simple mentions of a business on a blog, news site, website, or other online publication. For a complete understanding of the role of citations in local SEO, read Local Listings and SEO.
- Citation Campaign
- The marketing practice of auditing, cleaning up, and building citations for a local business on a variety of local business data platforms. The fundamental impacts of proper citation management have led to the development of citation management software products that reduce manual work while minimizing error.
- City Landing Page
- Most commonly refers to page on a website providing information about a specific location of a business, most typically in the multi-location business scenario. Also called location landing pages, city landing pages can be useful in helping a local business achieve search engine visibility in multiple cities, while also offering content that has been carefully customized to a specific geographic audience. City landing pages may also be used by service area businesses, like plumbers or house painters, to showcase their work in a variety of cities where they offer services, despite lacking a physical location there.
- The act of verifying one’s business information with a local search engine and taking ownership of the business listing at that search engine. Reduces risk of hijacking by spammers or competitors. Often involves a PIN setup process with the search engine, platform, or app.
- Click-Through Rate (CTR)
- The rate at which users click on an advertisement, link, or other search engine result. CTR is one metric used for measuring the success of online campaigns. In the case of local businesses, it’s hypothesized that specific types of clicks on Google My Business listings can positively impact rank. These would include clicks-to-call, clicks-to-website, and clicks-for-driving-directions.
- Content or headlines designed to generate the maximum number of clicks rather than focus on providing the best quality or value for users.
- Cloaking is a black hat SEO technique that tricks search engines into finding information from a website that is not what the end user will see. At one point this was a way to let search engines know what type of information was available in media containers like Adobe Flash or videos, but today, progressive enhancement is used. Unless you are up to no good, there is no reason to use this anymore.
- A search engine’s collection of information about a particular business location from all of its data sources. In some cases, a search engine’s attempt to create a cluster is too aggressive, causing distinct business listings to merge in its index. In other cases, its attempts to create a cluster may not be strong enough, causing multiple listings to appear for the same business.
- Clustering is the act of organizing websites into groups and categories. Not only does this make it a lot easier for search engines to look through, but it offers readers diversity in the top results.
- Competition (keyword) is the measure of how difficult it will be to rank for a particular keyword. The competition for a keyword can vary depending on how popular the keyword is and industry competition and aggregated their answers into one comprehensive guide for competitive keyword analysis.
- A competitor is any website or listing you are competing against for online visibility. Results appearing before and after your business for a given query are your competitors. Online competitors may be different than offline competitors.
- Publishing identical core business details across the web. In particular, the consistency with which local business NAP information is published influences search engines trust in the validity and accuracy of this data. The publication of consistent business information also safeguards against consumer misdirection and customer loss.
- Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- A Content Delivery Network (CDN) uses a global network of hosting servers that you can use to load your site from locations closer to each user. This improves your loading times for worldwide visitors, which is important if you are marketing to international audiences.
- Content Marketing
- This term refers to the use of fresh, engaging and professionally written text on your website, in your blog, on social media platforms and landing pages.The goal of effective content marketing is to engage your prospects with beneficial and relevant information, but also to help increase your search engine rankings.
- The process of convincing a website visitor to call, email, or visit a business offline (i.e., convert to a customer).
- A small file sent by a website and stored in a user’s web browser while browsing the website. It allows websites to remember information about a user and display custom information such as advertisements when the user returns.
- Refers to an apparent relationship between two or more conditions wherein the relationship may or may not be interdependent. For instance, When I stepped outside, I realized I was thirsty. Thirst was not brought on by having stepped outside. It was correlated, but there was no causation in this instance.
- Country Indexes
- Globally operating search engines, such as Google, usually have a separate index for each market. This means that, for example, there is a Google Index for US (google.com), a Google Index for Japan (google.co.jp) etc. Having national indexes helps the search engine tailor results to the search behavior (including but not limited to language) of each market. This provides a more reliable information resource that is more closely related to what users in the country are looking for. An inferior alternative approach would be to base results on what would be a universal index, including data from all markets, but this would make it impossible to meet the specific needs of users in each country.
- A discount that is used to enhance engagement from consumers to increase SEO visibility of a specific web presence.
- The act of a search engine reading a page.
- Crawl Errors
- Crawl errors refer to a number of issues that prevent search bots or other types of crawlers from accessing or parsing web resources. Such errors can include DNS errors, server connectivity issues, code bugs or issues with key files, such as your robots.txt file. Once again, one of your most important SEO tasks is to avoid crawl errors.
- A crawler is a program used by search engines to collect data from the internet. When a crawler visits a website, it picks over the entire website’s content (i.e. the text) and stores it in a databank. It also stores all the external and internal links to the website.
The crawler will visit the stored links at a later point in time, which is how it moves from one website to the next. By this process, the crawler captures and indexes every website that has links to at least one other website.
- When a bot discovers your site, a new page or any updated pages, its job is to crawl them. First, it needs to read the base code, parse it and then index the resource, if there’s any impact on search ranking. One of your most important SEO tasks is to make your resources easy for bots to crawl and index.
- Custom Category
- As of April 2, 2013, the Google Places for Business dashboard ceased to accept custom-written categories. Business owners must select pre-set categories only. Other local business indexes, however, may still allow the business owner to custom-create categories that describe what their business is.
- Custom Field
- A field in a local business listing set aside for adding information not covered by the standard fields, for example, brands carried, years in business, or the availability of on-site parking.
- Data Provider
- A company with an explicit contract to supply local search engines with underlying business information. In the U.S., the major data providers are Infogroup, Localeze, Acxiom, and Factual.
- De-indexing is the process of a search engine removing a web resource from its results pages, either temporarily or permanently. In this case, the resource is no longer accessible from the search engine that de-indexed it.
- A deep link simply directs one to another page within the same website. Well developed websites with typically have plenty of high-quality deep links. Deep links also make it significantly easier for the customer to navigate the website.
- A defective link leads to nothing, often a 404 error page. It could also have no object that it is connected to.
Most defective links have a bad address as its destination. It could also be caused by programming errors.
Defective links will have a negative impact on a website and make a crawler’s job more difficult. This leads to a website appearing lower on search result pages.
- Any website which lists business names and contact information in an organized fashion, typically in alphabetical order or by business type. Directory information is frequently assimilated by the local search engines. For more information see: Local Directories and Citations
- Disavow is an action taken when you want to disassociate yourself with a particular site. As on the internet everyone can link to you, there might be sites you want Google to ignore. Links are a vital part of the ranking algorithm and is important that search engines find mostly high quality and relevant links to your site.
Whether you are doing a proactive backlink audit or cleaning up after a link penalty, you will need a disavow file to upload to Google Search Console.
- Domain Authority is a widely used metric created by Moz, not Google or any other search engine. It assigns a score out of 100 to websites, at the domain level, to represent its performance in search engines.
- Domain Name
- The web address or homepage of a particular business or organization. Examples: JoesPlumbing.com, PortlandDentists.com, etc. Domain names are reserved and purchased from domain name registrars. See also: WHOIS, URL (uniform resource locator)
- Domain Popularity
- Domain popularity denotes the number of backlinks that direct from different domains to a website.
Domain popularity is one of the main criteria for the importance of a website in the eyes of search engines. Excellent domain popularity may thus be an important success factor for good positioning in the SERPs. The former ranking factor of link popularity has been largely supplanted and replaced by domain popularity. Link popularity could be manipulated too easily, which is not the case for domain popularity.
- Doorway Page
- A doorway page is designed to attract SEO traffic but usually, includes very little or irrelevant content. Some contain a lot of ads while others simply aim to lead users on to another page that has nothing to do with what the doorway page ranks for in search engines.
- Driving Directions
- It is speculated that requests for driving directions on applications like Google Maps count as user behavior, and may indicate the popularity of a local business and thus, have some effect on rankings.
- Duplicate Content
- Duplicate content is simply repeated content that appears in different locations or even on the same page. There are instances where duplicate content is justified (eg: translations, different versions of the same product, etc.) but it’s important you know how to deal with these issues.
- Duplicate Listing
- A problematic scenario in which more than one Google My Business (GMB) local listing exists for a single business. Google allows only one listing per location, and intentional or accidental violation of this policy can lead to penalties and ranking issues. Steps must be taken to resolve duplicate listing issues.
- A broad term that refers to the amount of time users spend and/or the number of actions they take with any website, page, resource or application.
- Engaging Content
- Engaging content is content that keeps end users connected to a website for longer periods of time. This is generally done with unique articles or slideshows that provide relevant and interesting information.
- Entities are unique things which exist independently, such as people, places or things, so a company can also be an entity, as can a country or planet.
- Entry Page
- This is the first page that a person sees when they visit a website. For a large majority of websites, this is also called the home page. A website’s choice of entry page can make all the difference when it comes to relevance and the user finding the site/page useful.
- This is one of Google’s most important quality metrics that aims to measure the usefulness and credibility of your site and its pages. Google wants to deliver the most useful possible content to users from sources it can trust and this metric analyses a wide range of signals to determine these factors.
The amount of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) that a webpage/website has is very important. Main content quality and amount, website information, and website reputation all inform the E-A-T of a website.
- External links are hyperlinks within a website that point to an external website or source.
To put it more simply, an external link will link a phrase or button on your site to a page on another site. For example, if you have a review of an iPhone, you would add a link to iPhone that leads to Apple’s iPhone page.
- F-shape refers to the way in which users? eyes would read through Google search engine results pages (SERPs). In 2005, eye-tracking showed that the Golden Triangle was the norm, but by 2014, it became the F-shape.
The F-shape showed that users were spending more time looking through more search results than in the 2005 study. More recent studies are showing that the F-shape is starting to become less common now that Google has redesigned the SERP again.
- A major social sharing platform. Local businesses can create a Facebook business page, complete with location and contact information, and utilize this profile to interact with customers and potential customers. See also: social media (SM), Twitter, Facebook Local Search
- Facebook Graph Search
- Launched in 2013, Facebook‘s internal search providing natural language results. Includes the ability to search for local places.
- Facebook Local Search
- Facebook once had an app and search tool called Nearby which has now changed to Facebook Local Search. This is a mobile search application for local searches. The main goal is to allow users to discover local business based on their current location.
This is especially useful when launching a new location, or for areas with heavy tourist traffic as it can drive the large Facebook audience to find your business which they would likely have not done otherwise.
- One of four primary data sources of local business data for all major search engines.
- A structured, automated list of content or data produced by a website. Feeds were created in order to allow users to subscribe to website updates.
- Fetch as Google
- The Fetch as Google tool enables you to test how Google crawls or renders a URL on your site. You can use Fetch as Google to see whether Googlebot can access a page on your site, how it renders the page, and whether any page resources (such as images or scripts) are blocked to Googlebot.
This tool simulates a crawl and render execution as done in Google’s normal crawling and rendering process, and is useful for debugging crawl issues on your site.
- Most commonly used in the online marketing arena to describe parameters used by search engines to limit the prominence of certain types of data. For example, a review platform might hide reviews containing a certain number of links, or search engine results might filter out web pages associated with undesirable link acquisition pattern.
- A type of website code which allows for complex graphics and animations, but is difficult for search engines to read and understand. In 2017, Adobe announced that by 2020, it would no longer support or distribute Flash.
- Source of reviews for any business but mostly bars and restaurants. Foursquare is a local search-and-discovery service mobile app which provides search results for its users.
- Fragment URL
- Any URL that contains a # character is a fragment URL. The portion of the URL to the left of the # identifies a resource that can be downloaded by a browser and the portion on the right, known as the fragment identifier, specifies a location within the resource.
- Search engines support frames and iframes to the extent that they can. Frames can cause problems for search engines because they don’t correspond to the conceptual model of the web. In this model, one page displays only one URL. Pages that use frames or iframes display several URLs (one for each frame) within a single page. Google and other search engines try to associate framed content with the page containing the frames, but can?t guarantee that they will.
- An adjective describing a piece of text content or other media content tagged with geographic attributes.
- Golden Triangle
- A term that was coined from a 2005 study that tracked eye movements when looking at Google search result pages (SERPs). In the study, researchers found a distinct triangle shape in the upper left of the SERP which showed that users would only look at the first few results. By 2014 the Golden Triangle was not seen as often, as the F-shape was the new norm.
- Google Account
- An email address and password combination that has been registered with Google. A Google Account is required to claim a Google Place Page/Google+ Local page, which may be more trusted if the domain name associated with the Google Place Page/Google+ Local page matches that of the Google Account used to claim it.
- Google AdWords
- Google AdWords is Google’s online advertising service. With AdWords, advertisers are able to pay for a certain number of brief advertising copy to appear, including video content, product listings, or text-based advertisements. These will all appear within the Google ad network to end users.
- Google AdWords Express
- A paid advertising format offered by Google to local businesses.
- Google Algorithm Updates
- Each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500-600 times. While most of these changes are minor, Google occasionally rolls out a major algorithmic update (such as Google Panda and Google Penguin) that affects search results in significant ways.
- Google Analytics (GA)
- Google’s industry-standard analytics tool, which comes in free or premium versions is the most powerful and flexible tool of its kind on the market. The free version is often enough for most users due to the depth and power of the data delivered.
- Google Business Photos
- Interior photography of local businesses taken by Google Trusted Photographers. This photograph can be turned into a virtual tour intended to enhance local business data.
- Google Home Service Ads (HSA)
- Google’s gradual rollout of a paid lead generation program in which Google acts as a middleman between Internet users and service-oriented businesses.
- Google Local Business Information Quality Guidelines
- Listings on Google My Business can only be created for businesses that either have a physical location that customers can visit, or that travel to visit customers where they are.
Creating a successful listing that won’t be suspended requires avoiding prohibited content, accurately reflecting your business, and complying with the rest of the policies below.
- Google Local Guides
- Google program to actively encorage user generated content for local businesses. Local Guides who review, add photos, answer questions or add unverified locations are rewarded with Guide Points.
These contributors can improve their levels and rankings among the Google Local Guide community simply by posting this information. Each level also allows the user to qualify for different events and activities within the Local Guide community.
- Google MapMaker
- An historical term for a former Google application that allowed users to enhance Google Maps by adding and editing mapping information. Google MapMaker was closed down in 2017.
- Google Maps
- Google’s proprietary mapping service.
- Google Messaging
- In local search, a function of the Google My Business dashboard which enables business owners to text message with their customers.
- Google My Business (GMB)
- The current branding of Google’s local product.
Google My Business is a free platform for businesses, brands, artists, and organizations to manage their online presence on Google, including Google Search and Google Maps. Once the My Business account is verified, the business listing can be updated regularly to ensure your customers have the most accurate information about your business.
- Google My Business Community
- The Google My Business Community Forum is a public forum where users can seek and share advice about local SEO issues. The forum is moderated by Google and Your Business Top Contributors and is frequently visited by Google staff.
- Google My Business Top Contributors
- Commonly referred to as TCs, Google My Business Forum Top Contributors are volunteer participants who provide assistance to forum users. TCs have direct contact with Google staff and can sometimes escalate issues toward resolution.
- Google News Sitemap
- A Google News Sitemap lets you control which content you submit to Google News. If you already have a web Sitemap, Google recommends that you create a separate Sitemap for news content.
- Google Offers
- An historic term for a program that allowed local businesses to promote daily deal specials to purchasing customers. Google Offers was closed down in 2014.
- Google Phantom III
- Google’s Phantom III update seems to have taken place around 2015 and addressed low-quality content produced by websites. This would hurt content mills the most, and while Google never officially announced the update, many sites were affected and saw a significant drop in their search rankings.
Due to those sites generally having lower quality content, the Phantom III update is based on conjecture, but with strong evidence. And the lack of Google announcing the update lead to the update being called the Phantom III update.
- Google Places
- For many years the brand name of Google’s Local product, Google Places is a free business listing service offered by Google. Business owners can submit or claim ownership of their business information.
Google Places is intended to represent a broader range of geographic points of interest such as parks or historic sites, in addition to local businesses.
- Google Posts
- A function of the Google My Business dashboard enabling a business owner to instantly post micro-blog-style content to their Knowledge Panel.
Added in 2017, Posts are a relatively new addition. Google API access to Posts was added in November 2017.
- Google Questions and Answers
- A function allowing local businesses to post FAQs to their Google My Business dashboard generating a display of this information on a limited number of platforms. Also allows the public to ask questions directly of the business and receive answers.
- Google Search Quality Evaluators
- Google contracts with over 10,000 search quality raters worldwide to evaluate its search results. Raters are given actual searches to conduct, drawn from real searches that happen on Google. They then rate the quality of pages that appear in the top results hence the quality rater name.
Quality raters cannot alter Google’s results directly. A rater marking a particular listing as low quality will not cause that page to be banned or lose ranking.
- Google Trends
- A tool that enables users to monitor consumer trends and the popularity of targeted keywords. Can be a useful supplementary keyword research tool for local SEO campaigns.
- Google Webmaster Guidelines
- Google provides guidelines to best practice and what to avoid.
- Google’s social network, launched on June 28, 2011. Pronounced and sometimes written as Google Plus. Formerly integrated with Google’s local product, Google+ and the product currently known as Google My Business were formally separated by Google in 2015. Google+ can still be used by local businesses as a social platform.
- Google+ Local
- As of 2012, Google+ Local is the current branding of Google’s local product, formerly known as Google Places. Google’s local results are now comprised of links to Google+ Local pages. Both brick-and-mortar and service radius local businesses are entitled to seek inclusion via a Google+ Local page.
- Guidelines for Representing Your Business on Google
- These guidelines describe Google’s rules and policies for businesses seeking inclusion in Google’s local index. Violation of any element of the guidelines can result in penalties, including removal from the index.
- Geographical targeting, or geo-targeting, is a strategy for optimizing content to appeal to your customers specific location.
- A business, such as a plumbing or house painting company, that serves clients at their own locations, rather than at the business’s location.
- HERE PrimePlaces
- A mobile-focused application to which local business owners can add a listing for their businesses, formerly called Nokia Prime Places.
- HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
- A type of website code which is easily read and understood by search engines. HTML is the original programming language used on the Internet.
- Hawk Update (Google)
- Google’s update, named Hawk, dealt with a specific problem that local businesses would face. If two businesses in the same industry were too close together, they would not show up in local searches.
With Hawk, the geographical location in which Google would check was made much smaller, eliminating many of these issues. That said, there may still be some issues with multiple same-industry businesses in one office (such as medical office buildings) but for most businesses, this will improve the likelihood that they are found through Google searches.
- Head Keywords
- Very competitive, usually weakly targeted keywords with a high number of searches. Usually either one word, or two word phrases, such as ?lawyers,? ?Portland dentists,? etc.
- The bold headlines on a webpage. Also known as H1, H2, H3, or Hx tags. It?s a best practice to include keywords in the overall language of these tags, though their power relative to other on-page SEO elements is believed to have lessened significantly over the years.
- In the local SEO arena, the term highjacking typically relates to usurping control of a local business listing to edit its details with malicious intent. Reports of highjacking have lessened over the past few years, but in the past, instances of highjacking have led to legal prosecution.
- Home Page
- The home page is the first page that surfers see when they visit a website. This page plays a huge roll in developing a company?s brand and reputation. In local SEO there are certain best practices which will help position a site.
- Founded in 2006, HotFrog maintains an index of local businesses. Business owners can create a free business listing at HotFrog.
- Hummingbird (Google)
- Hummingbird is the name of the new search platform that Google is using as of September 2013, the name comes from being precise and fast and is designed to better focus on the meaning behind the words. Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query the whole sentence or conversation or meaning is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.
- An adjective used to describe a website or web content that is extremely specific to a particular neighborhood or town. Hyperlocal content is typically something that a traditional media outlet would not devote resources to cover.
- An early form of microformatting code.
- A special kind of website code for marking up reviews.
- Refers to an HTML attribute that indicates to the search engines the language and geographic region for which the page’s content is intended.
- htaccess file allows you to set server configurations for a specific directory. This could be the root directory for your website or an /images or /downloads directory. It is used on the Apache web server.
- IP Address
- Internet Protocol address. A unique string of numbers separated by decimal points which identify a device and serves as its address point on the internet.
- IYP (Internet Yellow Pages)
- The online version of a traditional Yellow Pages directory. The local search engines frequently crawl these pages to find business information, then use it to form clusters or associate citations with a business.
- A link via code from another website into your own website. Inbound links are a major component of the search engines? organic ranking algorithms and are considered to be influential in Google?s local ranking algorithm as well.
- One of four primary data sources of local business data for all major search engines.
- Information Retrieval
- The systematic process by which information is searched and extracted from the search engine’s index.
- Branding of the analytics component of the Google My Business dashboard.
- Internal Anchor Text
- Anchor text on a link from a page on your own website to another page on your site.
- A link from a page on your own website to another page on your own website.
- KML (Keyhole Markup Language)
- Standardized geographic formatting of an address with corresponding latitude and longitude information. A KML file refers to a set of one or more locations coded in this format.
- Keywords are ideas and topics that define what your content is about. In terms of SEO, they’re the words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines, also called search queries. If you boil everything on your page all the images, video, copy, etc. down to simple words and phrases, those are your primary keywords.
As a website owner and content creator, you want the keywords on your page to be relevant to what people are searching for so they have a better chance of finding your content among the results.
- Knowledge Panel
- When people search for a business on Google, they may see information about that business in a box that appears to the right of their search results. The information in the box, called the Knowledge Panel, can help customers discover and contact your business.
- LBC (Local Business Center)
- An outdated term once used as the branding of Google’s Local product. The Google LBC was rebranded as Google Places in April 2010 and then rebranded again as Google+ Local in May 2012.
- LBL (Local Business Listing)
- Generic term for a page on a search engine, IYP, or directory containing basic and enhanced business information for a local business. Google’s version of a local business listing is now known as a Google My Business listing.
- LBS (Location-Based Service)
- A form of geotagging that facilitates or is facilitated by social interaction. The key action of a location-based service is a check-in. Popular location-based services are offered by Twitter, Foursquare, and Yelp.
- Landing Page
- A landing page is the page that one first sees when they click on an advertisement or search result. One’s choice of landing page has a huge impact on their overall conversion rate. This is the primary page that’ll grab the users attention.
- A link is a clickable reference to another document on the internet. Search engines use links to help establish a website’s authority and popularity.
- The online marketing practice of acquiring inbound links to a given web page. Google’s organic algorithm relies heavily on links as an indication of relevance. Quantity, quality, and velocity of links are thought to have some influence on local search rankings.
- Colloquially referred to with the term link juice, is a search engine ranking factor based on the idea that certain links pass value and authority from one page to another. This value is dependent on a number of factors, such as the linking page’s authority, topical relevance, HTTP status, and more. Links that pass equity are one of many signals that Google and other search engines use to determine a page’s rankings in the SERPs.
- Slang for the organic ranking potential passed from one page to another via a link.
- Load Time
- The speed at which any web page loads onto a user’s browser. It is speculated that load time may have a meaningful influence on organic search engine rankings and, to some extent, on local search engine rankings.
- Local Algorithm / Local Results
- Refers to the specific formula and the results returned by that formula used by search engines for ranking business listings relevance for a particular geographic area. This algorithm is distinct from the search engines traditional organic algorithm.
- Local Conversion Rate (LCR)
- The local conversion rate is a KPI to measure the efficiency of local search result returns (maps and knowledge panels).
One measurement is total actions recorded in the Google My Business for the location (phone calls, driving directions, and website click-throughs) divided by the number of local search results in which the business (or location) return.
- Local Guides
- See Google Local Guides
- Local Indexes
- A local search engine index follows the same principle as a country index, just at a regional or city level. Local indexes are mainly important for searches for local services or places, as they make it possible to return information specific to the location of the user.
The most obvious example is for search queries containing near me or something like phone number taxi, where users in Miami would clearly expect very different answers to users in Portland.
- Local Pack Ads
- Launched by Google in 2017, the ability for local businesses to advertise directly within the local map pack.
- Local SEO (local search engine optimization)
- Local SEO is a strategy and process to optimize a site or pages on your site to show for organic queries in the search engines where the intent of the searcher is to find local information.
In the past few years, local SEO has become more prominent because of the rise of smartphone usage and better connectivity to the web while people are on the go. In fact, mobile digital media time in the U.S. is now higher than any other source.
- Local Search Ranking Factors
- 1) The components that contribute to the rankings of a local business.
2) Created by David Mihm, Local Search Ranking Factors is an annual survey of expert local SEOs. From the survey, an annual report is generated identifying factors deemed to play a major role in local search engine rankings.
- Local University
- A local search marketing seminar with events in numerous U.S. cities. Speakers include recognized experts in the field of local SEO.
Description from localu.org
- Location Prominence
- Technical term used by Google in its local search patent to identify some of the criteria behind its local algorithm. Location prominence is analogous to PageRank in organic search.
- long-tail keywords
- Low-volume, highly targeted, less competitive phrases used by searchers to find businesses or websites at a search engine.
- Machine Learning
- Google’s machine learning system, RankBrain is designed to help process its search results. That makes understanding how RankBrain works essential for SEO success.
- A local business directory with an international presence. Business owners can create free profiles at Manta.com.
- Manual Action
- If during a human review, a web page or site is determined to be in violation of the search engine’s webmaster guidelines, a manual action may be implemented which will have a detrimental effect on rankings. These actions can affect a single page or may be applied across the entire domain.
- A mapping platform with significant early adoption due to its early online rollout. Local business owners can create a business listing in the MapQuest Local Business Center.
- Maps Algorithm / Maps Results
- See local algorithm / local results.
- A local business directory where business owners can create free business profiles.
- 1) The accidental merging of the details of two distinct business listings.
2) The intentional merging of duplicate business listings so that only a single listing exists on a given platform.
- Meta Description
- The meta description sums up the content of a webpage in 160 characters. Like a landing page, the meta description plays a major role if whether or not a person clicks on the website link.
- Meta Keywords
- A list of keywords included in a tag near the top of the code for each web page. Because of susceptibility to spam, major search engines don’t use the meta keywords tag to evaluate the relevance of a page, and these tags don’t influence ranking. Title tags and meta descriptions remain very important, however.
- The generic term for hidden pieces of specially structured code near the top of each webpage that can provide more information to search engines about the content of the page.
- A special kind of code that allows search engines to more easily parse the content inside the code. Popular microformats include schema and hCard for address and contact information, and hReview for rating and sentiment information.
- Typically refers to accessing the Internet through a mobile device such as a cell phone or tablet computer. It is estimated that at least 50% of mobile queries have a local intent.
- Mobile First Index
- In 2016, however, a Google webmaster blog post announced the plan to switch to mobile-first indexing. This will mean that the primary information for Google’s index will come from crawling the mobile versions of websites, with the desktop index set to be an adaptation.
- Mobile Friendly
- The term Google uses to describe sites and pages that meet its criteria of mobile optimization. Mobile friendliness became a ranking factor in April 2015.
- Mobile Optimization
- This term refers to a way of designing your website so that it responds correctly to the type of device your customer uses to find you. The majority of Internet searches conducted today are done via mobile devices (typically a smartphone or tablet).
- Mobile-Friendly Test
- Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test allows you type in any URL and get a quick report on the mobile-friendliness of your page and advice on how to improve it. You can only test one URL/page at a time but it’s a valuable feedback tool for mobile optimization basics.
- Mobilegeddon (Google)
- On April 21, 2015, Google released a significant new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that’s designed to give a boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results. The change is so significant that the date it happened is being referred to by a variety of names. Sometimes referred to as mobilepocalyse, mopocalypse or mobocalypse.
- My Places
- A Google application that enables users to organize content such as maps, ratings, and check-ins that have unique importance to them.
- Google My Maps is a free service launched by Google in April 2007 that enables users to create custom maps for personal use or sharing. Users can add points, lines, and shapes on top of Google Maps, using a WYSIWYG editor.
MyMaps are based on KML and being included in them may improve Local rankings.
- A term used in the internet marketing industry to denote a widely publicized, but faulty, assumption. For example, it is a common myth that stuffing a meta keywords tag with keywords improves search engine rankings.
- NAICS (North American Industry Classification System)
- NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) codes are the identifying numbers used by the federal government to identify and classify companies by industry. When you fill out a business tax return, the Schedule C form requests your company’s NAICS code, and when you apply for small business loans, credit accounts, and other services, you may be asked to provide your NAICS code as well.
- NAP / NAP+W (Name Address Phone + Website)
- The thumbprint of a business online. Local search engines use NAP information found by crawling the web or received from data providers to judge the accuracy of the data in their own indexes. Consistent NAP information is essential to getting more citations and improving search engine rankings and is critical to local customer acquisition.
- Natural Algorithm / Natural Results
- See organic algorithm / organic results.
- Needs Action
- An alert in the Google Places for Business dashboard signaling that the business owner must take further steps to achieve active status on the business listing. Actions might include entering a verification PIN or resolving violations of the Google Local Business Information Quality Guidelines.
- Niche describes the primary topic that a website focuses on, whether it be sports, cars or anything else. However, a niche can usually be broken down into smaller sub-categories, including search marketing, privacy, legal issues and other things of the like.
- At times, it may be considered necessary or even helpful to link out to a resource which is of questionable veracity or dubious quality. Adding a nofollow attribute to a hypertext link essentially tells the search engines that you don?t vouch for the target page.
- This meta tag can be added in a document?s head to tell the search engine that the page should not be allowed to appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Off-listing / Off page
- Adjectives that describe criteria the search engines use in their local algorithm that are not directly associated with a local business listing or with the website specified in that local listing.
- Adjective used to describe criteria that you can control and adjust on your own website to improve search engine rankings
- A type of nonstandard search result embedded within the more familiar ten blue link default results. OneBoxes sometimes show local results, image results, video results, or news results. OneBoxes first appeared at Google when they announced the advent of universal search, which returns all kinds of content relevant to a particular keyword, rather than just web or text content.
- Organic Algorithm / Organic Results
- The mathematical formula traditionally used by search engines to rank websites in order of importance and relevance. Distinct from universal or OneBox algorithms, including local.
- A link pointing from a page on your own website to a page on another website. Although a webpage loses some link juice by linking out, search engines view outbound links to quality websites as a natural occurrence on the web.
- Private blog network. Interlinked websites owned by the same entity. Some PBN’s are considered manipulative because they exist to host content and links as a way to influence the SERPs. Once a highly effective technique, it has become increasingly difficult for such networks to avoid detection.
- PO Box
- A remote mailing address, the use of which can adversely affect your local search rankings. PO Boxes are expressly forbidden by the Guidelines for representing your business on Google.
- PPC (pay-per-click)
- Generic term for paid advertising programs at major search engines in which businesses are charged a fee when a searcher clicks on their advertisements, as opposed to a fee based on the number of times their ad is shown or a flat monthly fee regardless of visibility.
- Page Rank
- A page rank basically measures the importance of different websites pages. This is an internal process with Google. The old Page Rank toolbar that Google used to display for sites has been depreciated and no longer exists.
- First released in February 2011, Panda is an update to Google’s organic ranking algorithm, primarily targeting websites judged by Google to be of poor quality.
- A photo sharing site formerly owned by Google but closed down in 2016. Local business owners used Panoramio to geotag images as an enhanced form of local data.
- Payday (Google)
- Launched on June 11, 2013 the Payday Update was a new algorithm targeted at cleaning up search results for traditionally spammy queries such as [payday loan], pornographic, and other heavily spammed queries.
- Any type of negative action taken by a search engine against a website or profile as a result of violations of published or unpublished policies. In local SEO, violation of any of the Guidelines for representing your business on Google can result in a penalty that can lead to a drop in rankings.
- A status notation in the Google Places for Business dashboard indicating that a listing has yet to be approved. There have been numerous reported instances of listings sitting in Pending status for extended periods of time, sometimes due to technical problems on Google’s part. It is also common for new listings to be marked as pending for several weeks.
- An update to Google’s organic algorithm released in April 2012, primarily targeting link acquisition practices not approved by Google.
- Phone Number
- A key component of making sure your business’s location-based online identity is easily understandable by end-users. Your phone number is one-third of what needs to be available to consumers, alongside your business address and your business name.
- Phone Verification
- One of several methods for claiming a local business listing on a location data platform like Google or Bing. Postal and email verification are other common claiming options.
- Physical Address
- A key component of making sure your business?s location-based online identity is easily understandable by end users. Your physical address is one-third of what needs to be available to consumers, alongside your phone number and your business name.
- Online photo sharing technology owned by Google that was shut down in 2016.
- Pigeon (Google)
- Launched on July 24, 2014 for U.S. English results, the ?Pigeon Update? is a new algorithm to provide more useful, relevant and accurate local search results that are tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals. Google stated that this new algorithm improves their distance and location ranking parameters.
- Pirate (Google)
- An update from Google, that was released in August 2012 as an effort to prevent sites that had too many copyright infringement reports from showing up through searches. This is filed through Google’s DMCA system and has been updated periodically to release sites that had made significant changes by removing their copywritten material and catching new ones that had gone undetected. In addition, it helps release any false positives that may have been captured in the previous round.
- Place Label
- Small graphic icons utilized in the Google Maps interface to indicate restaurants, retail shops, and other features. Local businesses must be selected by Google to be awarded a place label.
- Place Page
- Google’s former branded version of a local business listing. Google Place pages have now been replaced by the term Google+ Local pages, but continue to be controlled via the Google Places for Business dashboard. Includes owner-submitted information about a business, including categories, location, and hours of operation, as well as information Google pulls from around the web, such as ratings, and nearby businesses competitors.
- A trait of a website or business that can be quantitatively measured in a number of ways. For websites, search engines typically measure popularity by the number and quality of inbound links to that website. For businesses, things like the number and quality of citations, reviews, LBS check-ins, or MyMaps might be used.
- Postcard Verification
- One of two methods of claiming a local business listing on Google+ Local and Bing Local, proving you own the business. The other method is via phone, which is much faster and easier.
- Product/Service Keywords
- Terms typed into a search engine by users seeking products.
- The distance between two points. In local search, proximity may describe the distance of a user to a business, of one business to another business in the same industry, or a business to the geographic center of a city.
- When it comes to SEO or search engine optimization, high-quality links count significantly more than low-quality ones. In general, a link is considered of high quality if it’s trustworthy, hard to obtain, aged, related, and has good content.
- Research online, buy offline is a trend in buying behavior where consumers read online reviews to qualify their buying decisions for both products and services before they actually decide to purchase in-store.
- Bare-bones computer code that many content management systems produce when content is created or updated. RSS feeds allow readers to subscribe to websites and receive a ping or an email when they are updated. You frequently see RSS subscription icons on blogs.
- A numerical assessment, often on a scale of 1-5. In local search, most frequently refers to consumers’ star ratings of business quality.
- This is a technique by which a hyperlink to a destination URL is redirected to a different URL. The most commonly used redirects are 301 (permanent) and 302 (temporary), although there are others that are rarely used.
- Regional Expert Reviewer (RER)
- A highly active volunteer reviewer of Google MapMaker data. Google MapMaker RERs have direct contact with Google’s staff and can often escalate or resolve data issues.
- A relative link is essentially a substitute for the absolute. Although both do pretty much the same thing, relative links are much harder to corrupt and hijack. Therefore, most websites and links used today are relative links.
- The degree to which a certain business or certain website matches the intent of a searcher’s keyword. In local search, a particular business must be considered by the search engines to be relevant for a particular keyword in order to rank for that term but typically cannot rank for terms for which it is not considered relevant.
For instance, a popular restaurant may rank first in local results for restaurants or fine dining, but would not necessarily be considered relevant for search terms like bars or pubs even though they are related terms.
- One method of site design which resizes the displayed elements to suit the viewport of the device viewing the site. Thus, a site can be easily viewed and read from a desktop, tablet or phone.
- A customer’s text summary of their experience at a particular business. Reviews can be left on search engines, via location-based services, or on blogs and are often simultaneously assigned numerical ratings.
- Review Generation
- The process of proactively gathering customer reviews for a business. Techniques include local signage reminding customers of review platforms, email invitations, text messages, personal reminders from employees, and notices on receipts.
- Review Generation Manipulation
- The process of seeking feedback from customers to determine their general disposition towards the business. Customers with positive rankings are directed to review platforms where customers with negative sentiments are emailed directly to the company.
- Review Guidelines
- Review guidelines and content policies are set by the review platforms to indicate the content that can and cannot be included in review content. The platforms have varying rules. For example, Yelp doesn’t permit businesses to ask customers for a review, but Google is fine with that practice. vary from platform to platform.
The rules within each platform are also subject to change. In December of 2017, Google began to allow appeals for the removal of past employee reviews.
- Review Management
- The practice of encouraging and responding to consumer reviews, either manually or with the help of software.
- Review Spam
- Illegitimate sentiment published in the form of a review. This can include fictitious positive or negative statements made about a business for the purpose of helping or harming its reputation or rankings.
- Review Station
- Sometimes referred to as a review kiosk, a review station is a computer or other device set up for public use in a brick-and-mortar business for the purpose of encouraging on-site user reviews.
Google, in particular, has fluctuated in its policies regarding the use of review stations, both approving and discouraging their use at different points in time. Review stations are currently not permitted by Google, and reviews left via these devices may be removed.
- Rich Snippets
- Rich snippets are small amounts of data from markup such as microdata or microformats that appear as a component of a search engine result. Rich snippets might include text, star ratings, price ranges, and other factors.
- An automated script created by a search engine to read webpages.
- Rich snippets are small amounts of data from markup such as microdata or microformats that appear as a component of a search engine result. Rich snippets might include text, star ratings, price ranges, and other factors.
- Root Domain
- Your root domain is essentially the main URL of your website ? e.g. yoursite.com. More specifically, a root domain is the highest level of a website that all subdomains and pages fall under.
- A form of markup language added to individual web pages to identify their author. Use of rel=?author? associates a profile photo with a web page and displays it in Google’s search results next to the web page’s entry.
- SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
- An umbrella term for improving the presence of a business and increasing its number of customers via all forms of search, including PPC, organic, local, and universal.
- SERP (Search Engine Result Page)
- A page containing a list of websites and any of the following: paid advertisements, business listings, knowledge panels, images, videos, news, or other media that best match a keyword.
- SERP Features
- A SERP feature is any result on a Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) that is not a traditional organic result (the old 10 blue links).
The 15 main Google SERP features (as of January 2018) include:
People Also Ask
Sitelinks (in rich snippets)
Reviews (in rich snippets)
Thumbnails (in rich snippets)
- SMB (small-to-medium business)
- In the United States, designation as a small business is defined by the size standards found in Title 13 of the Code of Federal Regulations. In the online marketing world, SMB is loosely used to describe both small and local businesses.
- Abbreviation for Secure Sockets Layer. This is the standard technology for establishing an encrypted pipeline between the client (browser or email client) and the server.
- Schema markup is code (semantic vocabulary) that you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users. Local business websites can utilize schema.org markup to ensure that core business data is easily and fully understood by search engines.
- Schema.org is a joint effort, in the spirit of sitemaps.org, to improve the web by creating a structured data markup schema supported by major search engines. On-page markup helps search engines understand the information on web pages and provide richer search results.
As of early 2018, the absolutely dominant vocabulary for mainstream search engines is schema.org.
- Search Console
- Previously called Google Webmaster Tools, Search Console is a suite of free services from Google to check indexing status and optimize a site’s visibility.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is a practice in which webmasters and writers focus on increasing the quality and quantity of the traffic to their website through organic searches. This is the fundamental basis that influences how a website is designed as it will impact how attractive to search engines it will become.
- Search Operators
- As Google puts it, search operators are symbols or words users can include in their search queries to get more specific results.
- Search Visibility
- This refers to the overall visibility of a brand, website, individual page or resource in search engines. High search visibility means you’re turning up in the top positions, while low visibility can mean anything from not appearing on page one to being dozens, hundreds or millions of pages behind, depending on the keyword in question.
- Sentiment / Sentiment Analysis
- The qualitative component of a customer review. Google has experimented over the years with extracting and analyzing reviews for the quality of experience, and for some business types often excerpts phrases like expensive or good service and displays them prominently on that business’s Google My Business listing.
- Server Logs
- One or more automatically generated logs of all actions performed by the server, often helpful in determining what caused a problem to occur.
- Server Side Includes
- Also known as SSI. A way to retrieve portions of a page from another web page.
- Service Area
- Typically used to describe specific neighborhoods, towns, or radii served by go-to-client business models. Some local business listings allow business owners to list cities served in text or to draw a radius of service with a tool.
- Service Area/Service Radius Business
- A term frequently used to describe go-to-client businesses that travel to customers? locations to render services, such as plumbers, electricians, and carpet cleaners. See also: go-to-client, brick-and-mortar
- Common term denoting positive actions or affirmations made by users of a social media site. People can like or share data to express approval of the content.
- Site Architecture
- General term for the organization or hierarchy of a particular website; can also refer to the programming language or content management system that the site is built in. Site architecture, especially a site’s internal linking strategy, is extremely important to consider in organic SEO.
- These appear in some results in the SERPs, where numerous internal links are provided, making it easier for users to navigate directly to the portion of the site that interests them.
- A sitemap is a file where you can list the web pages of your site to tell Google and other search engines about the organization of your site content. Search engine web crawlers like Googlebot read this file to more intelligently crawl your site.
Also, your sitemap can provide valuable metadata associated with the pages you list in that sitemap: Metadata is information about a webpage, such as when the page was last updated, how often the page is changed, and the importance of the page relative to other URLs in the site.
- Refers to linking and navigational structure that is employed on every page of the website, such as in the sidebar or footer.
- Snack Pack
- Different from the Google 3-pack, the ‘Snack Pack’ refers to the local layout that that is missing the links to the business website or driving directions; instead of seeing these (useful) buttons, you get an image.
- Snippet Length Increase (Google)
- November 30, 2017 Note: After testing longer search snippets for over two years, Google increased them across a large number of results. This led us to adopt a new Meta Description limit up to 300 characters from the previous 155 (almost doubling). Google confirmed an update to how snippets are handled but didn’t provide details.
- Media utilized for social interaction on the Internet. This can include blogs; sharing sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, and review sites like Yelp and other interactive platforms. In the local business arena, social media factors are playing an increasingly important role in online visibility
- Soft 404
- Occurs when a non-existent page (a page that has been deleted/removed) displays a page not found message or page to anyone trying to access it but fails to return an HTTP 404 status code. In other words, the content of a web page displayed is entirely unrelated to the HTTP response returned by the server.
- Specialty Field
- Another term for a custom field associated with a local business listing. Often used by owners to list their business specialties.
- Can refer either to the robotic script created by a search engine to read webpages.
- Status Code
- Numeric responses given by web servers in response to a call from a browser. Each different numeric code signifies something different.
- Street View
- An application within Google Maps which provides 360-degree photographic imagery of an area specified by the user.
- Structured Citation
- A mention of a business name and address and/or phone number on an IYP or directory website. Structured citations may or may not be coded in hCard microformat or schema, but typically appear in a pattern that is easy for search engine spiders to read. Differs from an unstructured citation, which may appear as a one-off reference on a blog or other hyperlocal website.
- Structured Review
- A traditional review left on a major local search portal or IYP, accompanied by a numerical rating. Structured reviews may or may not be coded in hReview microformat, but typically appear in a kind of pattern that is easy for search engine spiders to read. Differs from an unstructured review, which may appear as a one-off reference on a blog or other hyperlocal website.
- An internet domain which is part of a primary domain. For example, in the URL https://blog.simplybefound.com/, blog would be a subdomain of the primary domain simplybefound.com.
- A major Internet Yellow Pages website. Local business owners can create a listing at SuperPages.
- A status notation in the Google Places for Business dashboard indicating that a business owner has marked a listing as Suspended in an attempt to prevent its display. An account may also be suspended by Google due to violations of the Google Local Business Information Quality Guidelines or due to bugs.
- seven-pack (7-pack)
- Generic term for the set of specific local business listings within a page of organic results. Over the years, Google and other search engines have experimented with variable numbers of results within the pack, from one to ten results.
- short-tail keywords
- See head keywords.
- Refers to a system of classification and is particularly important in faceted navigation such as is normally present in an e-commerce site.
- Unlike reviews left on third-party platforms, testimonials are typically customer sentiments published by a business on its own website. Testimonials may be marked up with hReview microformatting or schema to enhance the ease with which search engines can understand testimonial content
- Third Party
- 1) Can be used to describe any web-based data about a business that is not published by the business itself.
2) In reference to Google’s local products, third-party is often used to refer to data stemming from any location other than a business? website or its Google Places/Google+ Local listing.
- Title Tag
- A piece of web page code that the search engines pay special attention to when deciding that webpage’s relevance. On a traditional SERP, the text of a webpage’s title tag is contained in the link to that web page. If you’re on a Windows computer, the title tag of a web page appears in the blue bar at the top lefthand corner of your screen when you are browsing the internet.
On a Macintosh, the title tag usually appears at the top middle of the browser screen, in a silver bar. Including keywords in your website’s title tags is very important for organic rankings; many experts feel that including geographic keywords in your website’s title tags is important for local rankings.
- Top Level Domain (TLD)
- The highest level in the hierarchical domain name system of the Internet. For the URL https://www.simplybefound.com the TLD is .com
- Topical Relevance
- With search engines, topical relevance is mainly used in conjunction with backlinks (incoming links). Websites that carry similar content are said to have topical relevance. Backlinks from websites that are topically relevant have more impact on a website’s position in search results than backlinks from sites that are not related.
Search engines assume that topically relevant links are used to offer users additional information that could be helpful. With unrelated links, there is a high probability that they have been paid for or included for the purpose of improving a site’s position in search results.
- Topical Trust Flow
- Topical Trust Flow is a Majestic trademark. This is a Majestic feature that provides website categorization. Majestic has now categorized the web so users can see in which industry sector the website has influence. The Topical Trust Flow helps users find influencers for specific categories and easily determine if a link clear up is required.
Topical Trust Flow provides a series of numbers, on a log-based scale between 0-100. The number shows the relative influence of a web page, subdomain or root domain in any given topic or category.
- Founded in 2000, TripAdvisor is a major review and citation source for restaurants and hotels on an international scale.
- In the local SEO arena, Google provides a small number of troubleshooter wizards that walk users through a short survey in an attempt to identify and resolve data issues.
- An important but hard-to-quantify ranking factor in both organic and local algorithms. Trust can be gained via the following: consistent NAP information, citations from high-authority websites
- Trust Flow (TF)
- Trust Flow, a trademark of Majestic, is a score based on quality, on a scale between 0-100. Majestic collated many trusted seed sites based on a manual review of the web. This process forms the foundation of Majestic Trust Flow. Sites closely linked to a trusted seed site can see higher scores, whereas sites that may have some questionable links would see a much lower score.
- A social media network on which users share short text-based messages.
- ten-pack (10-Pack)
- A historic term describing a once-dominant form of Google’s local results, containing seven businesses. The 10-pack is no longer active, having been largely replaced by the 3-pack, and in some cases, by paid or partially-paid packs
- three-pack (3-Pack)
- Currently, Google’s dominant form of local search results, consisting of three businesses. Note that as Google increases its revenue opportunity from paid search, many formerly-free 3-packs are becoming partially or fully-paid packs of results.
- User-generated content. Content on a web page which is created by users, rather than by the site owner or webmaster. Forums and blog comments are both forms of user-generated content.
- Uniform Resource Locator. Sometimes called the web address. For this site?s home page, the URL is https://simplybefound.com. However, that?s not the actual address. The URL is translated to our IP address by the domain name server.
- Unique Content
- Unique Content, as it relates to search engine optimization (SEO), means the content is original and not duplicated anywhere else. Unique content plays a key role in search rankings because search algorithms rate unique content highly and can penalize websites for posting duplicate content.
- Unique Visitors
- People (searchers) who have visited a web page once during a specific period of time.
- Universal Algorithm / Universal Results
- The term for a SERP containing a non-standard search result, such as video or shopping results embedded within the more familiar ten blue links default results.
Any kind of content relevant to a particular keyword may be returned, rather than just web/text content. In the context of local search, this usually means a 7-Pack, 3-Pack, or Authoritative Onebox.
- Universal Business Listings (UBL)
- A major paid local listing services. Distributes local business data to a large number of search engines and directories.
- Unstructured Citation
- A mention of a business name and address and/or phone number on a website that is not an IYP site or other traditional directory containing standardized listings for many other businesses. Examples would be a newspaper or magazine article, hyperlocal blog, or social media profile.
- Unstructured Review
- A text summary of a customer experience on a website that is not a traditional directory of standardized review information alongside business listings. May not be accompanied by a numerical rating. Examples would be a newspaper or magazine article, hyperlocal blog, or social media profile.
- Useful Content
- Specifically, content that users can take something valuable from. While a funny video counts as engaging content, it doesn?t necessarily count as valuable content in the same way a product review might help users make better buying decisions.
- User Behavior
- Any online action taken by an user, including clicking on search engine results, time spent on a web page, leaving a review, using a check-in service, asking for driving directions, and many other factors. The extent of influence user behavior has on actual search engine rankings remains a matter of speculation and debate.
- The speed at which a local listing or a website accumulates outside references, such as links, citations, reviews, or check-ins. Most experts believe that a consistent velocity for each criterion rather than a flood indicates to the search engines that a business is vibrant without trying to be manipulative.
- Venice Update
- A 2012 update to Google’s algorithm that appeared to increase the number of local results being returned for generic queries, as well as altering the ratio of first page rankings given to distinct local businesses.
- The process of confirming your online business listings.
- Vertical Search
- A vertical search engine is distinct from a general web search engine, in that it focuses on a specific segment of online content. They are also called specialty or topical search engines. Common verticals include shopping, the automotive industry, legal information, medical information, scholarly literature, job search, and travel.
In contrast to general web search engines, which attempt to index large portions of the World Wide Web using a web crawler, vertical search engines typically use a focused crawler that attempts to index only relevant web pages to a pre-defined topic or set of topics.
- Virtual Office
- A purchased address not physically occupied by a business. The most popular virtual office provider in the United States is Regus. The Guidelines for representing your business on Google forbid the use of virtual offices for businesses seeking inclusion in Google’s local index.
- A generic term used to encompass the overall presence a business has established on the Internet. Local businesses seek visibility via search engine rankings, social media profiles, review profiles, and other platforms.
- The contact information kept on file by a domain registrar for the official owner of a domain name. Can be made private, but public WHOIS information may be viewed by the local search engines as a particularly trusted citation. See also: domain name, citation, URL (uniform resource locator)
- Stands for What You See Is What You Get. Usually refers to interfaces in content management systems that allow someone who doesn’t know computer code to create and edit webpage information.
- We Currently Do Not Support The Location
- An error message signaling that Google lacks data about a local business or is choosing not to display it. There have been ongoing issues with this error message appearing due to technical issues on Google’s part, but this message can also stem from violations of the Google Local Business Information Quality Guidelines.
- Web Directory
- While many will use web directory and search engine interchangeably, the two terms mean something very different. A search engine is an automated piece of software that crawls through the internet indexing information.
A web directory, on the other hand, is something akin to the Yellow Pages of the internet. A listing of websites, under a category, put together by humans. A web directory will not be as complete when it comes to results, but it is a more curated listing of sites.
These are generally put into categories that go from broad to narrow, the more you hone in on what you are looking for.
If you want to get on to a web directory either submit your site to the owner of the web directory or hope they find your webpage and add it naturally.
- Web Pages
- A webpage is connected to the World Wide Web and can be viewed or visited using a web browser (e.g., Chrome), a browser on your phone, or a search app. In the 1990s, webpage content was mostly text and links. Today, webpage content includes many forms of media (such as images, videos, etc.) and functionality (such as online shopping features, email, calculator functionality, online games, etc.).
The webpage that first appears when you go to a website is the startpage (frequently a homepage). The website’s other pages are referred to as subpages.
- Web Reference
- See citation.
- Web Watalogs
- Before search engines made it much easier to find websites than when the internet was still in its infancy, web catalogs were the go-to answer for finding a website. A web catalog is a collection of linked web pages that are generally sorted by specific criteria e.g. art.
This was how individuals found web pages before search engines came about, and can still be useful for getting your website some additional traffic. Web catalog entry not only gives you additional eyes on your website, but it gives you a powerful additional backlink.
- Webmaster Central
- The old name of the free service offered by Google for users with a Google account to claim ownership of a particular website. Bing?s and Yahoo?s versions are called Webmaster Center and Site Explorer, respectively. Allows users to submit verified sitemaps for that domain.
As of May 20, 2015, Google rebranded Google Webmaster Tools as Google Search Console. In January 2018, Google introduced a new version of the Search Console, with a refreshed user interface and improvements.
- Webmaster Guidelines
- These are guidelines are published by search engines, describing behaviors and practices which the search engine considers to be acceptable. Failing to comply with those guidelines can result in a loss of rankings or punitive action.
- Website Structure
- When a website is created, a structure is put into place which helps the end-user find what they are looking for. For example, your homepage will likely have links to subpages that cover particular topics.
This is especially important to search engine crawlers as they have an easier time with well-structured web pages. Ensure that your homepage is the landing page that has links to your most important subpages. Your sitemap.xml and robots.txt will help a crawler better understand your page, so don’t forget to make sure those are well laid out.
- Websites and web pages are different. A website is a collection of web pages that are connected to a central unique domain name. The central domain name often called the home page is the first page a user sees when they type in a web address. From there, clickable links, generally single words or phrases like About Us take users to subpages, or web pages, that will have a unique domain name (domain.com/aboutus) and are not directly accessed when typing in a website’s name.
A website can also be a single page, though, if it has no subpages or links to other pages under the same domain, called single-page websites.
- White Hat
- Commonly believed to imply following only practices which are deemed acceptable under the published webmaster guidelines.
- An element of a graphical rather than a textual user interface that prompts users to act or displays information. It is usually a stand-alone element that can be embedded in a web page as an advertisement or interactive experience.
- Originally released as a blogging platform, WordPress has become a popular platform for the development of whole websites
- X-Robots-Tag HTTP header
- The X-Robots-Tag allows you to control how individual pages are indexed in Google. Using the HTTP header you can define these settings, as needed when you create individual pages in HTML.
- eXtensible Hypertext Markup Language. A language which reformulates HTML 4.0 in XML syntax.
- XML (eXtensible Markup Language)
- Bare-bones computer code that is very easy for search engines to read. XML is similar to HTML but is not really intended to be read by humans. Sitemaps are usually uploaded to Google Webmaster Tools and are in XML format.
- XML Sitemap
- An XML sitemap is the list of pages and resources in an .xml file that you submit to Google.
- YMYL stands for Your Money or Your Life pages and is comprised of pages that are important enough that, were they low-quality, they could have a potential negative impact on a person’s life, income, or happiness. As a general rule, the pages that Google requires to be written by experts are known as YMYL pages.
- An Internet Yellow Pages website to which local business listings can be added.
- Yahoo! Local
- The local business listing center of Yahoo.com. As of 2017, it is being managed through a Yext.com partnership.
- Yandex is a technology and Internet services company in Russia. It is the most popular website and search engine in Russia, with traffic close to or surpassing Google.
Yandex started as a Russian search program for MS-DOS called Arkadia, written by Arkady Volozh and Arkady Borkovsky. In 1997, they launched the search engine Yandex.ru and today offer search and other services.
- Founded in 2004, Yelp has become a dominant player in the world of local business reviews. Most local business owners will wish to create a Yelp profile. Yelp has earned both considerable popularity and a measure of criticism for marketing practices that have resulted in legal settlements.
- Founded in 2005, Yodle offers a paid lead generation and advertising service to local businesses.
- A video-sharing platform owned by Google and cited as the second largest search engine in the world. Local business owners may invest in the development of video content which can be published via YouTube as a social media tactic and form of advertising.
- A business rating service purchased by Google in 2011. Zagat ratings on a 30-point scale are currently displayed as a component of local listing data in Google’s search results. As of early 2018, Google is rumored to be trying to sell Zagat.
- A major source of international reviews for the restaurant industry. Zomato is an Indian restaurant search and discovery service founded in 2008 by Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah. It currently operates in 24 countries, including Australia and United States.