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SEO Glossary

An ever-growing glossary of SEO Jargon

SEO Glossary » b

("Incoming link" redirects here)

A Backlink is an incoming, or inbound hyperlink from an external website. Backlinks help increase web traffic, and are considered by many search engines as votes towards increased link popularity, which can result in higher search rankings.

Backlinks are the cornerstone of Google's original PageRank algorithm, an innovation which was instrumental to Google's early success.

Quality backlinks—from trusted, authority websites—play an important role in search engine rankings; however, manipulative link schemes, which offer no value to website visitors, should be avoided.

Search engines have greatly improved their methods of detecting link schemes, particularly with Google's recent Penguin update, which continually removes spammy sites from the search engine's index. Participating in any of the following link schemes is strongly discouraged, as you run the risk of being hit with a search engine penalty.

  • Paid links
  • Excessive link exchanging
  • Low-quality web directories
  • All other types of link spam

The best way to earn backlinks is by offering useful, quality web content, that attracts attention and links naturally.

See also: PageRank, spamdexing Top
Bait and switch

Usually considered to be an unethical practice, the bait and switch technique consists of using link bait or some other viral marketing ploy to accumulate numerous backlinks to a specific page, only to redirect the page to another, less inspiring page, at a later date.


A banner ad is a type of web advertising, in the form of relatively large, rectangular graphic ads that stretch horizontally (leaderboard) or vertically (skyscraper) across the sides of websites. Banner advertising is a popular form of affiliate marketing, where advertisers make payments according to either cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-action (CPA), or cost-per-impression (CPI) methods.

Click-through rates of banner ads are less effective than they once were, due to banner blindness.

Banner ad for Montreal CTV News Banner ad for Montreal CTV News

Banner blindness describes the tendency many people develop of ignoring banner ads on websites, either consciously or otherwise.

Bing (Search engine)

Bing is a search engine that was released by Microsoft in 2009, replacing its former Live Search. Bing also powers the Yahoo! search engine, Apple's Siri, and web searches from within Facebook.

Black Hat SEO
See spamdexing Top

Short for 'Web Log', a blog is a website, or section of a website, where entries are made on a regular basis, in the style of a journal. Many popular blogging platforms are available that make setting up and publishing to a blog simple and enjoyable, notably Wordpress, Movable Type, and TypePad.

Since its emergence in the late 1990s, blogging has made publishing simple, and widely available to non-technical individuals and businesses alike.

Compelling and well maintained blogs help businesses drive brand awareness and traffic, earn credibility, and improve search engine rankings.

Bot (Search Engine)
See Web Crawler Top
Bounce Rate

A bounce rate is generally considered to be the percentage of visits that leave (or "bounce" away from) a website after viewing only one of its pages. Bounce rates are a popular measure of how effective a particular web page is at engaging visitors.

A high bounce rate generally means one of two things:

  1. The web page is deterring visitors from digging further into the site because it isn't satisfying some requirement (confusing design, bad user-experience, annoying ads, etc)
  2. The web page is satisfying visitors' needs, and they are leaving the site after having found what they were looking for

Average bounce rates vary according to industry, type of site, user intent, stage in the conversion funnel, and many other factors. According to Google, the following bounce rates are typical:

  • Blogs: 70-98%
  • Landing pages: 70-90%
  • Content websites: 40-60%
  • Lead generation websites: 30-50%
  • Retail websites: 20-40%
  • Services websites: 10-30%
See Pogo Sticking Top

Breadcrumb navigation in a type of secondary website navigation menu, usually placed near the top of a website, and most often, below the main navigation.

Breadcrumb navigation increases website usability, by giving visitors a sense of where they are in a site's hierarchy, and allowing them users to easily trace their way back to the homepage.

Example of breadcrumb navigation:


A broken link is a hyperlink that points to a web page or some other resource that no longer exists. Clicking on a broken link usually results in a 404 error.

Fixing broken links (both internal links and outbound) is a part of routine website maintenance, increasing both usability and search engine rankings.

See URL Redirection Top
See Web Browser Top
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