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Glossary for Internet & Web Design

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A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


A

A/B testing : a.k.a. A/B Split Testing – A/B testing is used to increase conversion, test assumptions and problem solve by changing a Web page (or element of a site or ad) and then measuring the success of the change. Example: change the heading text on an ad, run both ads randomly, and let the better converting ad win. A/B testing is not really a one-shot solution, but rather a series of tests, learning, measurement and iterative change.
Multivariable tests let you change many variables at once and still isolate the impact of each – these are more complex but can be useful if time is short.

Adapter card: Circuit board that enhances the functions of a component of a system unit and/or provides connections to peripherals. Also called expansion card.

Ad click rate : see Click through rate .

Affiliates : Web sites which receive commissions in exchange for sending sales or other desired conversions to ecommerce sites.

Algorithm related to Search Engines and SEO – A SE algorithm is a set of rules used to rank the listings contained within its index relating to an exact keyword query. SE algorithms are black boxes: no one knows exactly how their algorithms function, to protect from competitors and those who wish to SPAM. That said, by observation and experience, there are fairly well know guidelines of how the algorithms work – for instance see SEO.


Authentication: relates to eCommerce and authorization – authentication is the process of attempting to verify the digital identity of the sender of a communication such as a request to log in or purchase a product via credit card. Authentication is a way to ensure users are who they say they are – that the user who attempts to perform functions in a system is in fact the user who is authorized to do so. Credit Card verification for eCommerce Web sites uses authentication and verification is done by a dedicated service that receives the input and returns success or fail indication.

Authentication is the process of verifying a person's identity, while authorization is the process of verifying that a known person has the authority to perform a certain operation. Authentication, therefore, must precede authorization.


Authorization: relates to eCommerce and authentication – authorization is the process of verifying that a known person has the authority to perform a certain operation, while authentication is the process of verifying a person's identity – so authentication must precede authorization.

Animation: Appearance of motion created by displaying a series of still images in sequence; used to make Web pages more visually interesting or draw attention to important information or links


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B

Backlinks: see Inbound Links.

Backup: Duplicate of a file, program, or disk that can be used in case the original is lost, damaged, or destroyed.

Bandwidth: The amount of data, instructions, and information that can travel over a communications channel.


Banner ad: also see Flash Banner ad – online banner ads are the closest thing to traditional advertising as they contain a high degree of creative and reach a large audience. Formats range from static images to rich interactive media such as Flash animation and full video.

Banner ads should carry out a specific campaign advertising goals or contribute to an overall corporate branding goal for your organization. Either way, eye-catching animations alone are not the only considerations for an effective marketing campaign. Banner ads should be part of a marketing strategy to ensure traffic converts. Acro Media will ensure that your banner ads are a direct fit into that strategy for call-to-actions, landing pages, and conversions to sales. Common uses of Flash banner ads include:

  • Branding (corporate or product)
  • Advertising a specific incentive, product or service
  • Call-to-action, conversion and persuasive navigation

Blog : a concatenated version of Web and log, it's an online diary, journal or newsletter that is frequently updated. Generally blogs are public, frank, running commentaries that show the personality of the author or organization. Blogs are a popular source of unabashedly biased opinion in political information and alternative news coverage.
Also see User Generated Content (UGC) and Web 2.0 .

Body Copy : Text set in columns, usually in sizes ranging from 8 to 12 sized font . Also referred to as text or type.


Bots
: see Spiders.

Brand: 1) The combination of a number of visual elements (symbols, logos, signs, names, marks etc.), the whole of which make up a brand. 2) A brand is the perception of an organization (or person, place or thing) – the intangible sum of an organization's makeup (name, reputation, client list, history, packaging, advertising, etc.).

Brand Elements: Primary brand elements include: signature, colors, typography, and secondary graphical elements (if applicable).

Brandmark (logo): A simple graphic element (with or without text) used to identify a company. Notable examples include the Nike "swoosh" and McDonald's "golden arches."

Brand Platform: A summary of all tangible and intangible aspects of a brand: brand name, logo and tagline.

Browser: Application software that allows users to access and view Web pages. Also called a Web browser for example : FireFox or IE7.

Business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce: E-commerce that takes place between businesses.

Business-to-consumer (B2C) eCommerce: Sale of goods and services by businesses to the general public.


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C

Cache: Area of memory that stores the contents of frequently accessed data or instructions, which improves the processing times of a computer. Two types of cache are memory cache and disk cache.

Call to Action (CTA): relates to Conversion – CTA is a specific message/graphic urging the user act. CTA Design is the art of moving visitors from one page to the next, and finally persuading them to take an expected, predetermined action.

The benefit of CTA Design is conversion – the art of CTA design is balanced by the science of Web metrics: specific CTA changes measured over time determine success in terms of hard evidence: conversions. Since dynamite graphics or beautiful aesthetics alone will not persuade or encourage site visitors to your goals if the CTA is not based on insight of the target market's needs.

A CTA must be based on an understanding of the sales process, a well crafted plan, and communication that anticipates all the needs (and objections, questions, etc.) of the customer, rolled into messaging and/or graphics to encourage the user to act.


Cascading Style Sheets: see CSS.

Clickthrough rate ( CTR ): relates to Web Metrics – CTR is a percentage of users – out of the total number with the opportunity to do so – who click on a link in a search engine or ad element that redirects to another Web location or another frame or page within the advertisement. There are three types of ad clicks: 1) clickthroughs; 2) in-unit clicks; and 3) mouseovers. (Ad clickthroughs should be tracked and reported as a '302 redirect' at the ad server and should filter out robotic activity.)


Cookies: a.k.a. Web cookies or HTTP cookies – a small text file sent by a Web server to a browser and then sent back unchanged by the browser each time it accesses that server. "Cookie" is derived from the Unix "magic cookie." HTTP cookies are used for authenticating, tracking, and maintaining specific information about users, such as site preferences and the contents of their electronic shopping carts.


Conversion: relates to CTA – Web site conversion is a specific action related to internet marketing objectives, where a user's behavior is measured when it changes from one state (or more) to a desired state.
Typical Conversions (often reported as a rate i.e. % of total traffic per month):

  • forms filled in
  • phone calls from the Web site (1-800 etc)
  • request for information
  • request for proposal
  • ecommerce transactions


Content Management System
(CMS): A Content Management System provides control over Web sites to add, edit or delete content. A CMS is an alternative to having technically trained staff or depending on a third party – your can change your site regularly and keep it looking great without any technical knowledge.

The term CMS refers to a range of technologies and techniques – from software that allows simple Web page updates to comprehensive Web portal publishing systems. All CMS' at least allow text edits to specific Web pages and the ability to commit the changes to your Web site and see it immediately published. More flexible systems allow for more changes, e.g. formatting styles, adding pages and changing navigation. Enterprise CMS's provide business rules. For example, a process that ensure content creators/editors only create draft content, that a senior person (e.g. marketing manager) most approve before going live.

Benefits of a CMS are ease of publishing, timeliness of publishing and lower publishing costs are all cited as reasons for a CMS. Other benefits include a system for organizing and facilitating collaborative creation of documents and other content. A sophisticated content management system also offers control and mitigates risk: cohesive branding due to templates and other publishing rules; and access/authorization on business rules for content creation, edits and approval.


Cost Per Click (CPC): see Pay Per Click.


Click through rate (CTR): A measurement of the user-initiated action of responding to (such as clicking on) an ad element causing a redirect to another Web location or another frame or page within the advertisement. The rate is the ratio of ad clicks throughs to total ad impressions. There are three types of ad clicks:

  1. click throughs
  2. in-unit clicks
  3. mouseovers

Ad click throughs should be tracked and reported as a 302 redirect at the ad server and should filter out robotic activity, a.k.a. Ad click and Ad click rate.


Corporate Identity: The overall impression that an organization makes on its clients, including, but not limited to, logo, brand names, and corporate colors. It is the visual reflection of an organization and its products and services. The design elements of a corporate identity should be carried over to other corporate assets including Web sites and traditional media, such as printed material. This consistency helps to give the organization the image it seeks as part of its overall strategic direction.


CPC or Cost Per Click: see Pay Per Click.


Crawlers: see Spiders.


CSS: used to format HTML, SGML and XML-based documents. CSS is a stylesheet language used to describe the presentation of such documents, for example Web pages. Its most common application is to style Web sites.


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D

Directory: A searchable index such as DMOZ (a.k.a. The Open Directory Project, which powers the Google Directory) and Yahoo! Directory that are compiled more by human editors than by automation, versus a Search Engine that uses a software algorithm to create indexes of information.

Data: Collection of unprocessed items, which can include text, numbers, images, audio, and video.

Domain name: Text version of an IP address.

Domain Name System (DNS): Method the Internet uses to store domain names and their corresponding IP addresses

Downloading: Process of a computer receiving information, such as a Web page, from a server on the Internet.


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E

eCommerce: a.k.a. electronic commerce – software solution and system for doing business online. Ecommerce software typically includes a front end catalog and shopping cart component and a backend transaction Payment Gateway component that handles the security, authorization and money.

Leading ecommerce solutions come with a full suite of tools for easy ebusiness management and maintenance. In a professional ecommerce package expect include:

  • Upload/download product data, include bulk product & picture uploads
  • Manage products & customer specific prices (B2B or B2C)
  • Manage clients/customers
  • Manage orders, including refunds and returns
  • Manage taxes and shipping
  • Manage prices, coupons, sales and incentives
  • Statistics ecommerce sales
  • Ecommerce hosting
  • Integrated email for marketing and auto-responders (thank-you/confirmation)


Electronic shopping carts
: see Ecommerce.

Encryption: Process of encoding data and information into an unreadable form, which is used to protect sensitive data and information.

Ergonomics: The science of incorporating comfort, efficiency, and safety into the design of workplace items.


Extranet: see Intranet/Extranet.


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F

Firewall: Security system consisting of hardware and/or software that prevents unauthorized access to data, information, and storage media on a network.

Flash: also see Flash Banner Ad – Flash is an Adobe (formerly Macromedia) product, is a universal plug-in Web interactivity and can be integrated seamlessly into most Web pages. While great for dynamic Web page elements and ads, there are challenges the prevent Flash from being ideal for entire Web sites.


Flash Banner Ad: type of Banner Ads – a Flash banner ad is a highly effective, appealing and interactive format to reach your target market – on the Web sites that they frequent.  It is similar to a mini Web page – allowing multiple calls-to-action and relevant results based on the users click-through: secondary in-ad information or redirected to a relevant landing page on your Web site.

The advantages of Flash ads are the opportunity for high creativity, varied messaging and user interaction. In particular, the benefits of this premium ad type offer eye-catching graphics and persuasive interaction – the user becomes involved with your brand.


Flash slideshow: A graphical Web presentations, typically is a series of transitions between images, audio and text. A webcast is a one-way presentation and allows limited interaction (e.g. play, pause & stop) between the presenter and the audience, in contrast to webinars.

The benefits of Flash slideshows are easy creation and relative low-cost – especially when compared to traditional video presentation. Webcasts are considered highly effective for B2B marketing, since they provide eye-catching, animated visuals that are effective at drawing and holding visitor's attention. Common uses of slideshows include:

  • Communicating a competitive differentiator
  • Educating visitors on the purpose of the Web site
  • Drawing attention to a specific section within the Web site
  • Advertising a specific product or service

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions): List that helps a user find answers to commonly asked questions.

FTP: Internet standard that permits file uploading and downloading with other computers on the Internet. Also called File Transfer Protocol


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G

Global navigation: Global navigation consists of the navigational elements that are persistent across the entire site. It is often presented as graphical links at the top of the page, but it can also include textual links or appear on either side of the page. Sites with graphical global navigation at the top of the page often repeat the links as text at the bottom of the page, as a way to meet accessibility guidelines.

Global navigation is important because it provides branding and helps users set the boundaries for a site. It should be consistent across the site and allow access to the major content areas, and the most important tools and features offered on the site, such as login, search, help, supplemental navigation and the shopping cart.

GIF: Graphics format that uses compression techniques to reduce file sizes and works best for images that have only a few distinct colors. Also allows animations and transparency.

GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out): Computing phrase that indicates the accuracy of a computer's output depends on the accuracy of the input.

GUI Graphical User Interface: Computer interface that allows a user to interact with software using text, graphics, and visual images such as icons.


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H

Hardware: Electric, electronic, and mechanical components contained in a computer; include input devices, output devices, a system unit, storage devices, and communications devices.

Hits: also see page views and unique visitors – A hit is created when your Web server delivers a file to someone's browser. A Web page is usually made up of many files. These can include HTML files, photos, background images, Flash movies, ads, and more. As a result of varying (and often increasing) number of page elements, measuring hits is not accurate for.

HTML: Special formatting language that programmers use to format documents for display on the Web. HTML is short for Hypertext Markup Language.

Hyperlink: Built-in connection to another related Web page or part of a Web page. Also called link.


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I

Index: The collection of information a search engine has that searchers can query against. With crawler-based search engines, the index is typically copies of all the Web pages they have found from crawling the Web. With human-powered directories, the index contains the summaries of all Web sites that have been categorized.


Inbound links (IBL's): a.k.a. backlinks, related to Internet Marketing and SEO – IBL's are links on external Web sites that point to a particular Web page (or in general, a whole site). IBL's are one of the most important set of variables in a search engine's algorithm of your site's importance, since SE's look at the whole link network (or link topography) to determine the syntactical relationships between keywords and Web pages.

Input Device: Any hardware component that allows a user to enter data or instructions into a computer; widely used input devices include the keyboard, mouse, microphone, scanner, digital camera, and PC video camera.

Internet: Worldwide collection of networks that connects millions of businesses, government agencies, educational institutions, and individuals.


Internet Marketing: umbrella term for Search Engine Marketing, online advertising and Web site promotion related synonyms.

There are two general parts to Internet Marketing:

  1. Search engine optimization (SEO): the on-site tactics for increasing the potential for high-rankings in the natural search (a.k.a. organic) results for specific keywords. Search engine ranking placement cannot be purchased in the natural search results (e.g. meaning you can't pay Google to be number one in the left hand side of Google results).
  2. Paid Internet Marketing is an all-encompassing term (a.k.a. Web site promotion, online advertising) that brings together all paid strategies and tactics to increase online equity and drive traffic to your site. There are several common ways to describe paid internet marketing strategies. Link building is a common strategy named after the goal of increasing inbound links (IBL's) – since IBL's are one of the single most important variables in a search engine's determination of your site's importance. Traditionally many paid internet marketing methods are described by payment type such as Pay Per Click (PPC), Cost Per Click (CPC), etc.


Intranet/Extranet
: a.k.a. Secure Login and/or Password Protected Area – Intranet, extranet and portal are terms used to designate a private and restricted content area of a Web site, where only registered user can access exclusive content. A login and authentication mechanism limit access to approved users. ‘Intranet' generally refers to employee exclusive content, 'extranet' to customer or supplier content, and ‘portal' to collaborative and user-configurable workspaces – though these terms are flexible.

A password protected area is a useful way for an organization allow specific users to search and access corporate information. It is a single gateway for users, such as employees, customers and company's partners to log into and retrieve corporate information/documents, exclusive product/service information and other interactive resources.

IP Address: Short for Internet Protocol address, a number that uniquely identifies each computer or device connected to the Internet; usually consists of four groups of numbers, each separated by a period

ISP: Regional or national provider of access to the Internet


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J

JPEG: Format that compresses graphics to reduce their file size


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K

Keyboard: Input device that contains keys users press to enter data into a computer

Keyword: relates to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Words, and multi-word phrases, selected for organic SEO and PPC. For instance, targeted keywords are selected by determining a high relevancy to the target market searcher (based on historical search data). Keyword research is the foundation of SEO, and included in a Web page, or in a PPC ad.


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L

Link Building: a primary part of Internet Marketing – Link building typically identifies, qualifies, and then pursues the best link opportunities in your industry. This may include free, paid or reciprocal links. A link building campaign generally includes the following two parts:

  1. Search Engine & Directory Submissions
    Web properties are generally grouped in search engines, directories or other relevant and targeted sites.
  2. Linking Campaign
    Request and/or purchase links for direct 'in-bound links' (IBL's) or reciprocal links (both parties link to each other). Links are typically gained from partners and suppliers, or purchased (essentially like purchasing a text advertising spot).

Quality assurance requires human involvement with each final identified potential opportunity. The end result is more communication points with your targeted community providing inbound traffic and a favorable link network that boosts your online importance.


Local Navigation (Sub Navigation): Local navigation changes between content areas, allowing users to browse within a content area, such as products or services. Local navigation is necessary when an area is important, complicated, or contains a lot of content. Local navigation should be consistent within an area, but it may vary from area to area. It is important that the local navigation reflect the needs of the current section, while working in a consistent manner so users do not have to learn a new system for each area of the site.

Local navigation often provides links to the "local home page" of a section and "sibling pages" (i.e. overview section landing page, or pages on the same level of the hierarchy). Ecommerce sites often do this by allowing users to see the product hierarchy or classification. Well-done local navigation can keep users from having to "pogo stick" back and forth from an index page to all of its lower-level pages by making all of the options available from every page. Like global navigation, it can also use position indicators to show users where they are in relation to the other content that is near-by.


Landing page: The specific Web page that a visitor ultimately reaches after clicking a search engine listing. Marketers attempt to improve conversion rates by testing various landing page creative, which encompasses the entire user experience including navigation, layout and copy.


Local search: Capability of search engines to limit search results to particular geographical area. Examples of local search sites include:


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M

Meta Tag: HTML tag that stores information about a Web page, including keywords for search engine and directory use. Meta tags include: title, description, keywords etc.


Merchant Account: relates to eCommerce – a merchant account is required to collect money via eCommerce. Beyond the most basic online selling such as eBay, an eCommerce vendor must setup a merchant account with a bank.

Mainframe: Large, expensive, very powerful computer that can handle hundreds or thousands of connected users simultaneously, storing tremendous amounts of data, instructions, and information. Mainframes can act as a server in a network environment.

Mouse: Pointing device that fits comfortably under the palm of a user's hand. Mice are the most widely used type of pointing device for desktop computers


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N

Needs Analysis (NA): one of the first processes in a Web or software development project. It identifies the requirements for Web site, software and/or Internet marketing success. Needs Analysis is a review of internal or organizational needs, end-user needs (the client's client) and industry factors (competitors and norms).

In many cases the Needs Analysis process highlights other opportunities or considerations (e.g. after examining some competitors a new Web tool is recommended). A Needs Analysis focuses a project by explicitly listing what is in scope.


Natural Optimization: see Search Engine Optimization.


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O

Organic Optimization: see Search Engine Optimization.

Output Device: Hardware component that conveys information to one or more people; commonly used output devices include a printer, monitor, and speakers.

Operating system: Set of programs that coordinates all the activities among computer hardware devices; also contains instructions that allow users to run application software. Popular operating systems are Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS.

Online Service Provider (OSP): Company that provides Internet access as well as many members-only features, including hardware and software guides, games, travel guides, e-mail, photo communities, online calendars, and instant messaging


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P

Page Views: relates to unique visitors – a page view includes all the embedded images and other files in a Web page. Understanding how many page views and the traffic flow to/from each page is important in gauging the overall popularity of a site, and the popularity of specific pages. Much better for measurement that hits.


Password Protected Area: see Intranet/Extranet.


Payment Gateway: a.k.a. Payment Processor & relates to ecommerce – a Payment Gateway is an ecommerce system component for direct integration with the banking network and fraud prevention tools (address and card verification services). A Gateway Service Provider (GSP) is required to complete pre-authorizations, sales, credits and voids. Examples of Payment Gateways are:


Payment Processor
: see Payment Gateway

Personal Computer: Computer that can perform all of its input, processing, output, and storage activities by itself and contains at least one input device, one output device, one storage device, memory, and a processor.

Pixel: The smallest element in an electronic image. Pixel is short for picture element.


Portal: see Intranet/Extranet.


PPC: see Pay Per Click.


Pay Per Click (PPC): a.k.a. Cost Per Click (CPC), a primary part of Internet Marketing – PPC is a type of paid Internet Advertising. Its name comes from the payment method: the advertiser pays when the ad is clicked on. However, PPC's uniqueness and advantage over other ad medium is that PPC ads (text or image*) are reactive: they are displayed based on a trigger. Most often this is a user's search query (the search engine will match it with a proprietary 'relevancy' algorithm), though they are also displayed on some Web pages based on the theme of the page. The relevant keywords are purchased by advertisers – often via an auction, like Google AdWords. The ads are subsequently distributed by the search engines over their affiliated system of Web sites.

The revolutionary benefit of PPC, compared to traditional adspend, is measurement and flexibility. The ability to measure a PPC campaign is unprecedented – you can see what term was searched for, the Web site on which your ad was displayed, and what page they came to – and if they converted. This clarity is not found anywhere in traditional advertising media. In terms of flexibility, a PPC campaign can be turned on or off at will, and includes the ability to pause specific ads or adjust the ad wording to more effective/persuasive text.

PPC is often recommended for several reasons:

  • You get qualified traffic to your Web site increasing brand awareness and sales that supplements your organic search results
  • You may reach target market people at the end of the buying cycle, when they are ready to purchase and are looking for a business (versus the ‘informational' organic listings)
  • PPC can be targeted to specific geographic locations and for specific periods, making it the ideal promotion tool. For instance, you select for people clicking on your ad in January in the State of California
  • The extra volume of Web traffic and additional inbound links from PPC increases your online equity and indirectly improves your search engine rankings.

Processer: Electronic component on a computer's motherboard that interprets and carries out the basic instructions that operate the computer. Also called CPU or central processing unit.


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Q

Query: Synonym for "search" and relates to search engines.


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R

Referrals: A web page that contains a link to one of your pages that was used by a visitor to get to your site.


Robots: see Spiders.

RAM: Random Access Memory. Type of memory that can be read from and written to by the processor and other devices. Programs and data are loaded into RAM from storage devices such as a hard disk and remain in RAM as long as the computer has continuous power. Most RAM is volatile, which means it loses its contents when the power is removed from the computer. Also called main memory and primary storage.


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S

Scanner: Light-sensing input device that reads printed text and graphics, and then translates the results into a form the computer can process. Also called optical scanner.

Search engine: Program that searches its indices or databases in response to a user's query, retrieving lists of documents containing specific keywords. Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Ask.com are some of the top search engines which use software algorithms to create indexes of information. This is different from directories, which are compiled by human editors.


Search Engine Marketing (SEM): see Internet Marketing.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO): important component of Internet Marketing – SEO is the art of placing highly searched and very relevant keywords into a Web site, PPC campaign, press release etc. Natural SEO, a.k.a. organic SEO, is the on-site tactics of retooling a site so that it fits with the target market's terminology and so that it's more likely to appear high in the natural or organic search results (versus the paid results, as in PPC). An example of natural results are those on the left of Google search results (no one can pay Google to get into this list) – often under a few sponsored ads (PPC) at the top. On the right hand side of a Google search are all sponsored ads (PPC).


Secure Login: see Intranet/Extranet.


SEM: acronym for search engine marketing – see Internet Marketing.


SEO: see Search Engine Optimization.


Shopping cart: see ecommerce.


Site search: Well-implemented search can allow users to jump right to the specific piece of information they are interested in. Like supplemental navigation tools, search gives users alternative ways to access site content. The search results page is an important part of the effectiveness of the search system. Allowing users to filter, sort, and refine search results is important when queries yield too many hits.

Software: Series of instructions that tells a computer what to do and how to do it, existing on storage media such as a floppy disk or compact disc.


Spam: two definitions relevant to the Internet:
1) related to email – virtually any and all email that you don't want, in particular unsolicited bulk email. The use of Spam in email comes from Monty Python's hilarious Spam sketch, which was based on the canned meat..

2) related to Internet Marketing and SEO – Any Internet Marketing method that a search engine deems to be detrimental to its efforts to deliver relevant, quality search results. Some SE's have written guidelines about what they consider to be spamming, but ultimately any activity a particular search engine deems harmful may be considered spam, whether or not there are published guidelines against it. Example of spam include the creation of nonsensical doorway pages designed to please search engine algorithms rather than human visitors or heavy repetition of search terms on a page (i.e. the search terms are used tens or hundreds or times in a row). These are only two of many examples. Determining what is spam is complicated by the fact that different search engines have slightly different standards.


Spiders: Software created by a search engine, a.k.a. crawlers, robots or bots, that automatically scour the Internet, reporting Web page contents back to a search engine's index or database. These are built by search engines to build their index.

Streaming: Process of transferring data in a continuous and even flow, allowing users to access and use a file while it is transmitting.

System Software: Programs that control or maintain the operations of a computer and its devices, serving as the interface between the user, the application software, and the computer's hardware. Two types of system software are the operating system and utility programs.


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T

Trojan horse: Type of malicious-logic program, named after the Greek myth, that hides within or looks like a legitimate program such as a screen saver. A certain condition or action usually triggers the Trojan horse. Unlike a virus or worm, a Trojan horse does not replicate itself to other computers.


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U

Unique Visitors: relates to site visits – This is a more precise way to measure visitors to your site than hits. Each person visiting your site is counted only once, regardless of how many times they visit. This is a way to measure how wide an audience you are reaching. For instance, one person who returns five times to a site is counted as one unique visitors and five visits. Tracking of unique visitors versus visits is often done by cookies.

URL: Unique address for a Web page. Also called Uniform Resource Locator or a Web address.

User Generated Content (UGC) : User-generated content (UGC), which is also known as consumer-generated media, or CGM, is any text, images or videos published generally for free in the public domain (confusingly, some UGC content is from from professionals such as copywriters).
Also see Blog and Web 2.0 .

USB Port: Port that can connect up to 127 different peripherals together with a single connector type. USB port is short for universal serial bus port.


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V

Validation: relates to Web site implementation and quality assurance – validation means Web code (such as HTML) that passes specifications. The goal is running code, that is, code that works. Open standard specifications are set and maintained by organizations such as W3C.org.

The benefits of validation are as follows:

1. Accessibility – validating your code identifies problems that search engine spiders or visitors from accessing your Web site. Running your site through a code validator checks for errors that need to be corrected so your pages will render well.
Why should you do this?
a) Allows your site to be accessible to a larger audience (vision impaired, motor skill impaired, cognitive impaired)
b) Allows your site to be accessed by wider range of devices (hand helds, screen readers, text browsers, search engines)
c) Is a requirement for some United States Federal and State Government sites

2. Search engine (SEO) friendly pages – clean and simple code enables search engines to spider your pages more quickly and completely.

3. Faster Loading – if your Web page contains HTML errors it will take a longer time for the search engines to spider it, therefore slowing the loading time. If your page doesn't display in several seconds your visitors will click away to your competitors' sites.

4. Reduced server load – clean and simple code won't tax your server as much as a site which has complicated code or contain many nested tables. Cascading style sheets (CSS) will greatly reduce the amount of code within your Web pages. This will also cut down on the amount of Web space and bandwidth used thus saving you money for hosting your site.

5. Easier to update and maintain Web site – with no mistakes in your HTML code it is easier and faster to make changes to your Web pages. For Web site designers, this means you will save time and money when maintaining clients' sites.

6. Browser compatibility – validated code ensures your site is compatible with the current browsers and future browsers. You might say "It looks fine in Internet Explorer, so why bother with FireFox? " But the landscape continues to change. Current browsers will continue to update their rules and future browsers will make sure they are HTML compliant.

7. Access more visitors – if you ensure your Web pages appear correctly in all the major browsers you will be able to reach a larger audience which then increases the potential of your site to make more sales.


Visits: relates to Unique Visitors – A visit includes all the pages viewed by a visitor to your site. Visits begin when a person enters the site and end when the same visitor leaves the site or remains idle for a period of time (usually 30 minutes). For instance, one person who returns five times to a site is counted as one unique visitors and five visits.


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Web 2.0 : If you've heard the term ‘Web 2.0' but can't define it precisely, join the club. Since its coinage in 2004, it's become a catch-all term for a truckload of new and not-so-new activities and applications for sharing and collaborating on the Internet. Definition too nebulous? Consult Wikipedia.org ... an excellent Web 2.0 example.

A ‘wiki' lets users create, browse and search information on the Internet. Volunteers contributed Wikipedia's 7.2 million articles, and although anyone can theoretically edit them, volunteer editors/peers must approve changes before they are published to the Web. Apparently, people inherently trust people.

Web Browser: Application software that allows users to access and view Web pages. Also called a browser.

Web hosting service: Companies that provide storage for Web pages for a reasonable monthly fee.

Word Processor: One of the more widely used types of application software, a word processor allows a user to create and manipulate documents containing mostly text and sometimes graphics. Also called word processing software.

Worm: Type of malicious-logic program that copies itself repeatedly, for example in memory or over a network, using up system resources and possibly shutting a system down.

WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get.  Application software that embeds invisible codes around the text and graphics, which instructs the computer how to present the information when printing.


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