Search Engine Dictionary: A complete guide to search engine terminology

 

 

 

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H

hand submission

The practice of visiting each search engine and directory and submitting the registration form by hand as opposed to using a software program. Some systems will not accept automated submissions.

Added - May 31, 2003
by Christian Nielsen of
www.nielsentech.com

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heading / heading tag

An HTML tag of 6 sizes. The syntax is <H1></H1>, <H2></H2> etc., with H1 being the largest. Heading tags have significance in SEO. Search engines normally assign more weight to documents where the keywords used in the query are found inside heading tags. Pages that use heading tags generally rank higher, but excessive use might get the page de-listed. For more SEO techniques and the complete do's and don'ts of SEO, please refer to the Search Engine Yearbook.

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hierarchical clustering

Clusters or groups (of search results) organized into a hierarchy or tree structure instead of a flat list of clusters/groups.

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hidden text

Text on a web page designed to be visible to spiders but not to human visitors. The aim is to load the page with keywords without deterring from the visitor's experience. Of the various techniques of hiding text, the most common is to set the text color to exactly or nearly the background color. Most search engines can now detect hidden text and consider it a form of spamdexing. Pages that contain hidden text are penalized or even de-listed. For more on hidden text and the dangers of using hidden text, please refer to the Search Engine Yearbook.

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hit

One hit is one request for a file on a web server. A visitor opening a page with 5 images will in the process generate 6 hits (1 each for the images and one for the HTML page itself). The term is sometimes also used with reference to the number of results (hits) a search engine returns for a specific query.
Hits are often confused with page views and unique visitors.
Also see log file

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hit-and-run page

A page that gets many hits (traffic) and quickly disappears again.

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HITS

Hyperlink Induced Topic Search. Referring to a search where the search algorithm relies (partly) on hyperlinks to identify topic areas. Not to be confused with "hits" referring to file requests.

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homepage / home page / home

The main "index" page or navigation hub of a web site. The homepage is not necessarily the first page. Many sites use splash pages to welcome visitors and lead them from there to the homepage. At most search engines you can simply submit your homepage and leave it to the spider to crawl the rest of the site from there.

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Hotbot

www.hotbot.com
A fairly popular search engine, although its popularity has declined sharply as Google rose to dominance. Hotbot was once reported to have the largest database of them all. In a study by Pandecta Magazine (4th quarter of 2002) it was estimated to have the 4th largest database after Google, AllTheWeb and Wisenut. HotBot exploits NOW (Network Of Workstations) parallel computing technology in order to achieve both speed and size. NOW is basically interconnected workstations and LANs. When you add up the combined computing power of those smaller components, you get supercomputer-class performance. For more on Pandecta Magazine's comparative study, a more detailed look at Hotbot and all the other search engines worth knowing about, please refer to the Search Engine Yearbook.

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hot linking

The practice of displaying images files, video files etc. on a web site when those files are on another (usually someone else's) server. Effectively the site displays content that uses up someone else's bandwidth. Hot linking is generally considered unethical unless prior permission is obtained.

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HTML

Hypertext Markup Language. HTML is the primary language used to create web sites.

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HTTP

Hypertext Transfer Protocol. HTTP is the most common transfer protocol used to facilitate communication between servers and browsers.

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hub

Coined by Jon Kleinberg during the development of his HITS algorithm. Hubs are sites that link to many other sites that are cosidered authorities in their topic area. For instance, the Ford Motor Company's web site is an authority in the car manufacturing topic. So is Ferrari's web site etc. A site that links to all these manufacturers would be considered a good hub within the car manufacturing topic.
Also see authority.

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hyperlink / link

Clickable content on a web page usually leads to another page, another site or another part of the same page. The clickable content therefore is said to link to the other page / site / part of the same page. Spiders use links to crawl from one page to the next as they index web sites.

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Hyperlink Induced Topic Search

See HITS.

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