Sometimes it gets confusing talking search engine results lingo, even when talking with people in the industry, some terms are easily confused and some have different meanings to different people. For the average web site owner there is no need to know all of the SEO terminology, but I thought that making a list of some common terms will help web site owners to understand what’s going on with their web site in the search engines, and it will help people to choose which web masters, search engine optimizers and internet marketing firms they need to choose.
Understanding a few basic terms will also help us help you.
A few terms that we throw around and hope our customers will come to understand:
- SEO – Search Engine Optimization – this means a lot of things to a lot of people, the basic definition is doing things to get your web site higher up in the SERPs. There are several components to this, including things to do to your web site “on site” and things to do around the web with other web sites to make yours more popular. There is good SEO and black hat SEO. For a more complete overview of this click here for our page all about SEO.
- SERPs – Search Engine Results Page(s) – when you type a keyword or phrase into google, yahoo, msn, or whichever other search engine, the pages that are displayed are the SERPs. It’s best to be on the first Search Engine Results Page. We often go several “SERPs” back looking to find where a web site “ranks in the SERPs” and then track the progress as we optimize a web site for better placement.
- Page XX in the SERPS – You know when you are trying to find your web site in a search engine like google and it’s not on the first page, so you click next, or the number 2. Then you still don’t see when you are looking for, so you click next or 3, and so on. Well if we find your site on page 10 of google (SERPs), then that means you are ranked somewhere around 91 – 100 in google’s index for that particular search phrase or keyword(s). We try to get sites away from page 10 or page 50 and into the top 10 results, which is page 1 in the SERPs – that’s why we are called front page results!
- Keywords, Search Phrases – If you have a limo business in Nashville TN, you probably go to google and type in “Nashville Limo” and see who is number one. The words you type into google or other search engines, are the keywords. We recommend other keywords to consider that your customers may also be typing into the engines, getting in the top of google for “Nashville Limo” is great, but it is even better to be on the front page for other keyword phrases like Limousine Nashville, Nashville Airport Limo, Prom Limo Nashville, and others. Our research can bring you much more business by expanding your keyword reach.
- The front page of google, the top results. We consider the top search engine results to be the top 4 results in google. But even if you are the number one result on google, there could still be other web sites and businesses above you in the sponsored links section, or if google is displaying local maps above, google shopping results, google video and other results can be shown above your listing, even if you have achieved the coveted number one result in google for your targeted keywords. To further explain these places on the google SERPs – we have put together a graphic explanation of these areas. Click here for our graphic explanation of the places on google’s results pages.
- Organic search results, these are the search results you would see if you did not see any ads on the top pr on the right. The organic results include the top ten search results, the front page results, but all the results that the search engines show, excluding the advertising / sponsored ads, are considered “organic” search engine results. Getting to the top, or number one, or on the front page of search engine results, in the “organic” results, is one of the toughest places to achieve, and keep.
- Sponsored search results, otherwise known as PPC (pay per click ads), ads on the side, ads at the top, right side ads, google adwords, adsense, etc.
Understanding these basic terms will help you communicate with your web site marketing people. Knowing what is available and what it takes to get you better placement in these areas is what we do everyday. We’d be happy to help you get the front page search engine results you want, contact us for consultation and availability.
There are many more important terms in the search engine optimization community, words like “url canonicalization” and many others. I don’t believe that the average web site owner needs to know these terms, but I would be sure that my web site designer and my internet marketing team took url canonicalization into consideration when designing the links on my site and when doing any promoting. Not having properly handled that one thing could cost you dearly in search results, along with the other 100 or so ingredients that it takes to bake the perfect google pie.