ALT Tags — If your browser cannot display an image from a website, then the ALT tag displays the description of the image as text. ALT image tags also make it possible for the visually impaired to understand the images on your website. The ALT tag should be only a few words describing the content of the image. ALT tags contribute to the keyword count on the Web page. So, using relevant images with appropriate ALT tags can increase the overall keyword count on your page.
Backlinks — Links to your page from other sites on the Internet are called backlinks. Search engines use links to indicate general popularity. Search engines take into account where the link is coming from, which page it’s pointing to, and what the actual text of the link says.
Black Hat — In SEO, black hat SEO refers to using deceptive techniques to fool search engines into ranking a site higher than it deserves. These techniques are usually short lived. Search engines are constantly updating their ranking algorithms to eliminate the effectiveness of black hat practices. Search engines ban sites that use black hat techniques.
Hidden Content — This is another technique common among black hat SEO. This practice involves placing content on a Web page that is hidden to normal Web viewers, and is only visible to search engines. The hidden content artificially increases search result rankings. Search engines have gotten very good at detecting these type of techniques. Using hidden content can cause your site to be penalized, including exclusion from search results.
Keywords — Chosen words and phrases that describe what your Web page is about. These keywords are the actual terms people search for in the search engines that relate to your web site. Once you identify the keywords, they should be placed in the Keywords meta tag.
Link Bait — Content that is posted to a web site with a controversial or inflammatory title or content, that is intended only to draw links and traffic. Most of the time this is used as a derogatory term for content that has no value except to get people angry or excited enough to link to or visit the content.
Link Farm — This is another black hat SEO technique. It involves setting up multiple sites whose main purpose is to contain links to other sites. This technique tries to take advantage of the relative importance search engines place on links. Changes to search engine algorithms have been made to detect and devalue these sort of links, rendering them useless from a ranking perspective.
Meta Tags — Contains data that describes your page to other systems, such as search engines or RSS feed readers. This information about your Web page is invisible to the typical user. Some of the common meta tags from a search engine standpoint include keywords, description, and title tags.
PageRank — This is a proprietary measure used by Google to indicate how much authority a page has, based on incoming links (backlinks) from other sites on the Internet. The outwardly-visible PageRank number that Google exposes through its tools no longer has much real-life bearing on rankings. However, it’s still well known and some people mistakenly focus on this number to improve on their search results rankings.
Pay Per Click (PPC) — Sponsored listings on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). These links are contained in a different colored background on Google. These links are not actual search results, but instead are paid listings. The search engines are paid every time people click on these links. While they are paid listings, relevance may still play a part in how high on the page these listings show up. Running some PPC ads can be a good supplement to an SEO campaign.
Redirect — This is a command that a web server can give to a web browser (or search engine) to tell the requestor that the content has been moved. There are different types of redirect, meaning different things such as Moved Temporarily (302) and Moved Permanently (301). When you move content on your site, you need to check with your server administrator to make sure that the old pages are redirected to the new location using a Moved Permanently (301) code.
Robots file — This is an optional file that you include on the root of your web site (in the main domain, not in a sub-folder). This file contains suggestions to the search engines including which pages you would not like the engines to include in their index, which pages you would like them to index, and the location of your sitemap file. This file is also used to block search engines entirely.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — This refers to the process of making your web site more accessible to search engines. This can include optimizing the text content of your site to include proper keywords, optimizing the code structure of your site itself, and finding ways to attract incoming links to your page.
Search Engine Result Page (SERP) — The page on which the search engine displays the results of a visitor’s search.
Sitemap — This is a file that lists the pages on your site, along with each page’s relative importance. This optional file can help search engines find all of your site’s pages. You would use this file during search engine submission.
Spider — A spider is a virtual browser program search engines run to crawl through the links on the Internet and compile information about the pages they find to index and rank the content.
Submission — Most search engines have a form you can use or a Web service you can call to submit your website to them. This is nothing more than letting the search engines know that your website is up and active so that they can add your site to your list of pages to index. Submission does not guarantee search engine listing or ranking. Those factors are decided entirely on the individual search engine ranking algorithms.