Glossary Of Google Terms
bookmark this page

A Glossary of Common Google Terms and Definitions – A Search for Meaning

Search engines are a vital part of the internet, and always will be. After all, as the World Wide Web gets increasingly larger and at the same time more integrated than ever before into our modern society, we will need a way to keep up with it all.

And that is the role fulfilled by the search engines, there are many out there for sure, but the biggest and most often used is Google.

Everyone has surely heard of that word, even people who don’t often use the internet know about Google, it has even become a verb all of its own. Such success may have rivals gnashing their teeth, but for us users it’s a boon, so let’s check out some of the terms associated with this titan of the internet:

  • Adjacent
    When the keywords sought in the search query are adjacent (neighboring) in the text of a web page, this site will gain a higher ranking than those where the same words are distant or separated by other words. This helps to heighten relevancy.
  • Ads By Google
    See below.
  • AdSense
    This is Google’s advertising program for the web, which is based on the relevancy of ads to the sites they are placed in.
  • Advanced Search
    This is an option for more information to be given by the user as to what they are looking for, to help them to find particular documents or pages quicker.
  • AdWords
    This is the name of the ppc (pay-per-click) advertising that shows next to (but separate from) the search results on Google.
  • Algorithm
    This is the differing mathematical formula used when programming all the various search engines so they can establish a ranking order for the displayed list of search results. The word is derived from Algorism, which is a method of numeration, and itself derived from Al-Khwarazmi; the name of a ninth century Arabic mathematician.
  • Allintitle
    A search command on Google which is typed in before a keyword to only show web pages with the specific word in their title on the search results. (See Title).
  • Allinurl
    Similar to above, but this search command on Google will show results with whatever keyword used in the URL. (See URL).
  • Anchor Text
    See Link Text.
  • Audience Reach (of Search Engines)
    This is one of the criteria on which the popularity of the many different search engines is judged. It is the percentage of web users which use a particular search engine, calculated each month.
  • Bait-And-Switch
    Seen as spamming, this is another way of the attempted manipulating of search engine results pages. Here, what is called an optimized page is temporarily created which is highly attractive to spiders, only to be replaced by the regular web page once the optimized page has gained a higher ranking in the search engine’s index. (See Index, Spamdexing, and Spider).
  • Boolean Operators
    These are common words like and, not and or. They can be utilized to alter the parameters of a search by the insistence of either an inclusion or exclusion of other words in the documents or web pages targeted in the search query. (See below).
  • Boolean Search
    A search query using Boolean operators; apples and pears, apples not pears, apples or pears, are three different searches because of the Boolean operators. (See above).
  • Bridge Page
    See Doorway Page.
  • Browser
    This is the software used for accessing the World Wide Web through hypertext and hyperlinks. The Microsoft Internet Explorer is a very commonly used example. (See Download).
  • Burst
    This stands for both a sudden spurt of interest in any subject by search engine users; and also an abrupt increase of web pages that support that interest.
  • Cached
    An option on the results page; this is a web page as the Googlebot spider found it, and cached it in case the most recent page at this site is ever unavailable.
  • Click Through/Click-through or Click-thru
    When your search results are displayed, this is what you do to go to the relevant web page.
  • Click Tracking
    This is a search engine marketing term which denotes what number of users click a link on a results page, and how long their subsequent visit to the web site lasts for.
  • Cloaking
    This practice is not tolerated by Google or any other major search engine. It is where the true content of a web page that will be seen by users is cloaked or hidden from the search engine spiders which will have other content presented to them.
  • Clustering
    This is where only a few pages from any particular site are displayed on the results for a query (with a link to more pages) to prevent one or two web sites from hogging all the top spots in the rankings.
  • Content Rich
    See Keyword Rich.
  • Crawler
    See Spider.
  • Database
    See Index.
  • Dead Link
    This is where a page either no longer exists on a server or has been moved, whilst still having a link to its old internet address in a search engine’s result pages (or elsewhere).
  • De-Listing
    This describes what happens when a site is removed from Google’s (or any other search engine’s) index or database. This usually occurs because the owners of the site have been guilty of some type of spamdexing or other banned activity designed to increase their ranking by unfair means. (See Spamdexing).
  • Description
    This is the text that appears alongside the title and URL of a site on the search results page. (See URL).
  • Don’t Be Evil
    This noble sentiment is Google’s motto.
  • Doorway Page
    These can also be known as a bridge page, landing page or entry page. Using one is a SEO technique for ranking well associated with given keywords, which depending on the method used, can sometimes be considered as spamdexing by search engines. (See also Keywords, SEO and Spamdexing).
  • Download
    The sending of information `down’ from a source like the internet to a pc or other device. Browsers are used to download web pages into temporary internet files. (See Browser).
  • Entry Page
    See Doorway Page.
  • Everflux
    This is a way that Google keeps up to date on a daily basis by refreshing web pages that frequently change, and so may change a dozen or so times between each Google Dance. (See Google Dance).
  • False Drop
    A mistake made on the results pages where a site is listed that is not relevant to the search query.
  • Froogle
    A search engine from Google that only list products. The name is a play on the word `frugal.’
  • G or GG
    Both of these are abbreviations sometimes used for Google.
  • Gmail
    The revolutionary new email service from Google that is currently under development.
  • Google Answers
    When something really obscure is being sought, or you just don’t have the time to search yourself for important info; you can pay a Google researcher to do it for you.
  • Google Bombing
    The term describes attempts to influence the ranking of various sites on the results pages by the intentional misuse of link text. (See Link Text).
  • Googlebot
    The name of Google’s spider. (See Spider).
  • Google Buttons
    You can download these to your browser for free. Clicking on the search button for example, will enable you to run a search on any text on a web page that you’ve just highlighted.
  • Google Dance
    The Google dance is when, near the end of every month, Google refreshes or updates its database (index). (See also Everflux and Index).
  • Google Deskbar
    The Google deskbar is a downloadable search box addition to a desktop that is located in the Windows Taskbar, allowing for searches and other information without launching a browser.
  • Google Directory
    An alternative way of doing a search by working you way through categories of everything on the web.
  • Google Groups
    These are Usenet discussion forums which you can peruse through to see if you agree with a posting, or not!
  • Google Image Search
    It is said a picture can say a thousand words, and here hundreds of millions of pictures are indexed and waiting for your keyword.
  • Google Juice
    This term means all the value that a website has which enables it to hold a high position in Google’s ranking structure.
  • Google Labs
    This is where some of the latest ideas from Google can be tested by users whilst still in development stage, some of these will be taken up fully and expanded, and some not.
  • Google Local
    This allows users to combine a search with a specific geographical area by the input of a zip code, city or state name. It is currently only available for US locations.
  • Google Researchers
    See Google Answers.
  • Google Safe Search
    This is a way of setting the search results to filter out any pornographic material; it is found by clicking on preferences.
  • Google Toolbar
    An add-on that users can add to their browser, so that they can run searches without having to first visit Google’s home page. The Google toolbar also contains other services and information from Google.
  • Google Washing
    This is where a keyword changes its meaning for most people and so the relevancy of search results and rankings must also change to fit in.
  • Google Zeitgeist
    A monthly report from Google that shows trends in user searching habits. Zeitgeist is a German term which means `spirit of the time.’
  • Googol
    A name for a number that is 1 followed by one hundred zeros, the name Google was derived from this word.
  • Hidden Text
    This is a way of increasing keyword targeting by hiding text in the body of the website so that users cannot see it but the search engine spiders can. The most frequent method used is to use a precise match in color between the keywords and the background, but it is a risky tactic as it is classed as spamdexing and the spiders are now much more likely to view it for what it is. (See also Keywords, Spamdexing and Spider).
  • I’m Feeling Lucky
    This button from Google will send a user straight to the web page that was top of the results for the search, without any other results being shown.
  • Inbound Links
    These are links on other sites which lead users to a particular site, as oppose to outbound links, which are the reverse. (See Link Popularity and PageRank).
  • Index
    The database of a search engine that contains billions of web pages. (See below).
  • Indexer
    This is the software that compiles a searchable database containing billions of web pages and documents which is utilized every time a user puts in a query. The indexes or indices of search engines are created by the spider (crawler) and automatically sorted into rankings according to the rules of the particular algorithms. (See Algorithm and Spider).
  • Invisible Text
    See Hidden Text.
  • Keywords
    These are the words used in user queries, and so are important to be contained in web sites so that search engines can regard them as relevant and make a match. (See below).
  • Keyword Rich
    This is where a particular website will gain a higher ranking in the search engine algorithms because relevant keywords are often repeatedly contained within the body of text found there. This means the same thing as keyword dense and content rich. (See above).
  • Landing Page
    See Doorway Page.
  • Link Farms
    These are web pages that consist only of links to other sites. They exist in an attempt to gain link popularity and therefore an increase in search engine ranking. However, most search engines punish sites that use this tactic by lowering their place on the results pages.
  • Link Hoarding
    This is a method of optimization that is regarded as spamming, where web sites try to influence their PageRank order by getting as many inbound links as possible whilst at the same time not giving any outbound links. (See Inbound Links).
  • Link Popularity
    This term stands for the number and value of inbound links that lead to a particular website from other sites. (See also Inbound Links and PageRank).
  • Link Text
    Also known as anchor text, this is the wording used in a text link to a website. Google and some other search engines do include any keywords that may be in this link text when their algorithms sort out the ratings of result pages, whilst other search engines do not.
  • Match
    A match is a document or web page in the search engine’s database that contains words in the user query. Considered then to be relevant, it is shown on the results pages.
  • Optimization
    See SEO.
  • PageRank
    This is the name of the system Google uses to appraise the link popularity of a page of a web site. (See also Inbound Links and Link Popularity).
  • Phrase Search
    This is a search that uses phrases rather than keywords. For the search engine to make a match, the words in the phrase must appear both in the right order and next to one another. On most search engines, simply flanking the phrase with quotation (speech) marks will set off a phrase search. (See Match).
  • Proximity
    See Adjacent.
  • Query
    Every time anyone types anything into a search box, this is called a search query.
  • Ranking
    Worth everything to web sites, it controls in what order web pages are listed on search engines. Sites will try to improve their ranking by hook or by crook, as most users will not go too far down the results pages that show in response to their query.
  • Search Within Results
    A way of narrowing down the search results offered up by putting in a new query that is related to a previous one.
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
    These are many ways that are used in an attempt to get web sites a higher ranking in the results pages of search engines. Some optimization methods are accepted by Google and others, and others are not. The latter are considered spamming and may lead to the site being banned.
    This stands for Search Engine Results Pages. They are the displayed results to a query that are sorted and ranked according to relevancy.
  • Spamdexing
    A term derived from `spamming’ and `indexing.’ This refers to the various techniques that exist for the misuse of search engines. This is often attempted for reasons of gaining an undeserved advantage in rankings for the particular web sites, but can also be done for other reasons as well; such as harming rivals or misleading and misdirecting web users for a number of reasons.

    Spamdexing can also happen by accident, if webmasters/webmistresses do not fully understand the submission rules.

    Google and other search engines have a number of ways of detecting these techniques, which if successful, lead to a lessening of the relevancy and accuracy of the results pages. So any use of them can lead to sites being penalized or banned by de-listing.

  • Spamming
    See above.
  • Spider
    Also known as a crawler, this is the automated search engine software that constantly browses the internet to collect what it finds and deliver it to an indexer, which then sorts and ranks everything according to the controlling algorithms for the index or database of a search engine. Google’s spider is known as the Googlebot. (See Algorithm and Index).
  • Submission/Submitting
    This is when a website is added to a search engine’s database by the process of telling a spider about it. (See Spider).
  • Submission Rules
    Search engines like Google and others have rules which control how a site is to be submitted.
  • Submission Services
    Some web sites use these to help them with their SEO (Search Engine Optimization). But they should be careful as some service providers will use spamdexing methods which if detected will result in the sites being punished or banned by the search engines. (See also SEO and Spamdexing).
  • Title
    Every web page has a title, and this is what appears on the title bar uppermost on a browser window.
  • URL (Uniform/Universal Resource Locator)
    This is a unique internet address that all web sites and pages must have in order to be found and visited.

So that is some of the terms associated with Google and the field of search engines. A must use for us in the ever enlarging world wide web as we search for whatever we are interested in, or feel we might be.

From A-Z and everywhere in between, you might be looking for wine or weddings or maybe the best recommended wine for weddings. Whatever it is; just Google it!

About The Author

Matt Jacks is a successful freelance writer providing valuable tips and advice for those looking for those looking to create an online income while working from home using their computer, affiliate programsand anyone interested in locating one of the Net's best affiliate programs. His numerous articles offer moneysaving tips and valuable insight on a wide variety of topics.

This "Glossary of Google Terms & Definitions" reprinted with permission.

Other Interesting Topics

[ View Entire Index ] [ Reprint Rights ]