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SEO Glossary

An ever-growing glossary of SEO Jargon

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Page authority

Page authority is a concept attributed to a web page's perceived level of importance and popularity. Similar to domain authority, page authority determines how well it is likely to rank in search results, regardless of other ranking signals.

Page authority can be influenced in the short term with less effort than domain authority; generally with quality content that attracts links from popular, authoritative websites.

Page view

A page view or page impression is a request made to a web server each time a web page loads for a visitor. Page views are often mistakenly referred to as hits, which are server requests for any type of file. A page view typically triggers several hits to a web server,

The page view is a basic website performance metric tracked with web analytics software.


PageRank, or PR is an algorithm that Google uses to analyze link distribution and connectivity of every website on the Web. The PageRank algorithm assigns a numeric value from 0 to 10 to every page in its index, which represents how "important" it considers that page. PageRank is calculated by looking at a web page's backlinks, with each link contributing some amount of its own PR.

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PageRank sculpting

PageRank sculpting refers to various techniques used to control the distribution of PageRank within a website, primarily by manipulating how internal and external links are followed by search engines robots.

The concept of PageRank sculpting is based on the assumption that important pages will rank better with more PageRank, and thus, PR should be prevented from passing to unimportant pages or external links, and concentrated where it will most be of most value. The effectiveness of PageRank sculpting has its opponents and proponents; however, regarding crawl and search engine indexing priority, there's no substitution for intelligent information design.

PageRank sculpting was at its most popular before Google changed its interpretation of the rel=nofollow link attribute, rendering that particular technique ineffective.


A paid link refers to a purchased backlink that passes PageRank. Because a website's backlinks are an important Google ranking signal, paid links are considered a manipulative link scheme, and a violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines.

In order to avoid search engine penalties, Google recommends the use of the nofollow rel attribute on any outbound link that has been paid for. This attribute allows for the use of paid text advertisements without affecting organic search results.

Google is continuously improving its algorithms for paid link detection. Many of the companies that sell links automate the process, making use of low quality blog networks which are often profiled by Google as sources of paid links.

Panda (Google algorithm update)

Google Panda is a code name given to an algorithm update first released by Google on February 24, 2011. Originally named the Farmer update, this addition to Google's algorithm aimed to lower the rankings of content farms and other types of low-quality websites.

Google Panda is manually run periodically to filter low quality sites from Google's search results. Some of these updates are improvements to the algorithm, but most are data refreshes only.

Learn more about Google's Panda algorithm

See Cost-per-action Top

Pay-per-click (PPC), also known as cost-per-click (CPC), is an online advertising model whereby advertisers are charged each time textual ads are clicked, which lead visitors to their website. Major PPC advertising networks display the ads in search engine results, and on websites where publishers receive a portion of a the revenue. The most popular PPC program is Google AdWords.

Search engine PPC Advertising

Search engine pay-per-click ads, such as those of AdWords, are triggered by user searches that match keywords chosen by advertisers. Ads appear above, beside, or below organic, non-paid search results, with placement determined mostly by bid amount offered for keywords at auction.

Top ad placement generally goes to the highest bidder, though additional factors come into play, such as relevance and quality of the ad, keywords, and landing page. Search engine average cost-per-click ranges from a few cents to a few dollars, depending on ad placement and competition.

Social media PPC Advertising

Social media pay-per-click ads, such as those offered by Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be useful to target specific demographics, as social media websites collect data on age, sex, interests, location, and more.

Each social media platform has its own strengths and weaknesses; Facebook is better suited to B2C, while LinkedIn is a better choice for reaching business decision makers. Social media cost-per-click is generally less expensive than search engine PPC networks.

Advantages of PPC Advertising

  • Small initial investment: It costs nothing to start a PPC campaign
  • Instant traffic: Ads appear within minutes of starting a PPC campaign

Disadvantages of PPC Advertising

  • Limited exposure: Ads stop appearing once the monthly advertising budget has been reached
  • Bid inflation: On most PPC ad networks, many companies bid for top placement at any cost, consistently raising the per-click cost
  • Doesn't scale: Unlike results from search engine optimization, once you stop paying, you're back to square one, with no improvement to search visibility
  • Fraudulent Clicks: Click fraud is a reality that can result in increased expenses and decrease visibility
  • Low clickthrough rates: PPC ads are clicked less often than organic search results

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Penguin (Google update)

Google Penguin is the code name given to an algorithm update first released by Google on April 24, 2012. Penguin takes aim at spammy websites that participate in blackhat SEO schemes, such as deliberate duplicate content, keyword stuffing, cloaking, and manipulative link schemes.

As with the Panda Algorithm, Penguin is not part of Google's continually running core algorithm; instead, it's periodically refreshed in to reduce spammy sites from Google's search results.

Learn more about Google's Penguin algorithm

Performance metric

A performance metric, often simply known in marketing as a metric, is a measure of an organization's activities and performance that can be expressed as a sum or a ratio. Online metrics that best define an organization's progress are called Key performance indicators (KPIs).

Metric Categories and Examples

Metrics commonly tracked by marketers and analysts include:

  1. Acquisition
  2. Engagement
    • Bounce rates
    • Shopping cart abandonment rates
    • Events per Visit
  3. Outcomes

Web analytics software is used extensively amongst marketers to track and analyze online performance metrics.

Pogo Sticking

Pogo sticking refers to visitors bouncing from a web page due to some unfavourable factor, such as poor user-experience.

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