• Toll-free: 1-800-514-5796
  • In Montreal: 514-400-0852

SEO Glossary

An ever-growing glossary of SEO Jargon

SEO Glossary » a

Above the fold

In Web development, above the fold refers to the top section of a web page which visitors can immediately see without scrolling.

'Above the fold' on a laptop computer Above the fold on a laptop computer

The term above the fold was originally used to describe the upper half of the front page of newspapers; highly prized by editors and advertisers. The area above the fold on a web page is considered to be important real estate, well suited for key messages and calls-to-action.

Absolute URL

The full address of a web page, or other resource on the Internet. An absolute URL includes a protocol type, such as http or https, and the complete network location of the web page or file. The absolute URL for this web page is:


In contrast, a relative URL consists only of the path and page, without including the domain name. From a page on this domain (above the resources directory), the relative URL that links to this page is:

/resources/glossary/a.html Top
See website accessibility Top

Google Adsense is an advertising placement platform that allows website owners to generate income on a per click basis, by displaying ads from third party advertisers. Advertisers enrolled in Google's AdWords program pay Google each time one of their ads is clicked, and a percentage of each click is then paid to the site owner.

Google Adsense ads on a website Google Adsense ads on a website

AdWords is Google's flagship, pay-per-click advertising platform, and main source of revenue. AdWords offers cost-per-impression (CPM) and the more popular cost-per-click (CPC) advertising options. Launched in October 2000 AdWords accounts for 97% of Google's revenue.

Google Adwords example Google Adwords on a search results page

AdWords advertisers have the option of having ads appear with Google's search results, on Google's partner networks, as well as on the Google Display Network. AdWords cost-per-click vary from a few cents to a few dollars, depending on ad placement and competition.

Google AdWords Distribution Channels

Google Search

Ads appear alongside organic, non-paid search results, with top ad placement generally going to highest bidder for keywords at auction, although the relevance of the ad, keywords, and landing page come into play as well.

Google Display Network

The Google Display Network (GDN) consists of millions of websites of those enrolled in Google's Adsense and DoubleClick Ad Exchange programs, as well as other Google properties such as Gmail, YouTube, and Google Maps. The Google Display Network offers all formats of ads, including text, image, video, and interactive media.

Google's Partner Networks

Advertisers also have the option of having ads appear on Google's search network, which consists of several other search engines, including AOL search, Netscape, and Ask.com.

Google AdWords Facts and Figures

  • The average click-through rate for a first position ad is approximately 8%
    (Source: Accuracast)
  • AdWords cost-per-click can be as high $50, for competitive keywords in the insurance, loans, and mortgage industries (Source: Practical Ecommerce)
  • Top position AdWords placement can get 10 times as many clicks as side-position ads
    (Source: WordStream)
  • The average click-through rate of an ad on the Google Display Network is 0.4%
    (Source: WordStream)
See more search engine statistics. Top
Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a form of online advertising where merchants (from small businesses to Amazon.com) have their ads placed on the web pages of site owners (affiliates) who sign up to an affiliate program for a commission. Typically, affiliates earn a commission on results only, usually a sale.

Merchants track clicks through to their websites using cookies, which expire after varying amounts of time, ensuring that commissions go to the correct affiliate.

Alexa toolbar

Alexa Internet, Inc. is a subsidiary company of Amazon.com, and provides web traffic data, which it gathers through its Alexa Toolbar, released in 1997. The Alexa Toolbar is considered by some antivirus companies as adware and trackware, as it runs in the background on browsers a collects data on user behaviour. As of 2013, the Alexa Toolbar ranks 30 million websites.

Alexa Traffic Rank

Alexa Traffic Rank claims to determine how popular a website is; however, data is only collected from those with the Alex Toolbar installed. Alexa Traffic Rank takes into consideration the numbers of visits websites receive, and well as the number of page views. The lower the Alexa number, the more popularity (more traffic) is implied.


A step by step procedure (often computational) for solving a mathematical problem.

See search engine algorithm Top
Algorithm update

In relation to search engines, algorithm updates are periodic improvements made to the procedures, or algorithms, used to rank websites in natural search results.

Learn more about algorithm updates Top
Alt attribute

Sometimes mistakenly referred to as an alt tag, the alt attribute is used in HTML and XHTML documents to specify alternative text to display should a website's image not render. The alt attribute, used in conjunction with the HTML img tag, helps search engines and the visually impaired (using screen readers) to interpret images found on websites. Example usage:<img src="http://www.springboardseo.com/img/red-triangle.gif" alt="Warning!">

The alt attribute has long been abused by webmasters, in an attempt fool search engines into ranking for keywords, often on low-quality websites. Overtly manipulative spamming techniques, such as keyword stuffing, are no longer effective, often resulting in lowered rankings and penalties.

Alt text

The words used inside an alt attribute, which provide a textual equivalent for a web page's image.

See: Web Analytics Top
Anchor text

The clickable, visible text of a hyperlink. The anchor text of the preceding link is 'hyperlink'. The default style of a link's anchor text in most browsers is blue and underlined; however this is usually.

Anchor Text Example

<a href="http://www.example.com">Example Anchor Text</a>

Anchor Text Best Practices

See: Domain authority Top
Get a QuoteOr call us: 1-800-514-5796