Search Engine Dictionary: A complete guide to search engine terminology

 

 

 

Suggest a new term / correction to an existing term. In exchange we will place your name and a link to your site below your suggestion / correction.

M

Magellan

MagellanA discontinued directory. Once listing only the very best of the best web sites, it was considered the "holy grail" of SEO.

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manual submission

The process of manually submitting a web page to a search engine or directory as opposed to using submission software or a submission service. Manual submission is considered by many to be the only reliable form of submission, although some programs and services have begun distinguishing themselves as viable options. We discuss the two programs worth your money in the Search Engine Yearbook.

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mass submission

A service offered by submission services whereby a page is submitted to "thousands of search engines". Most SEO specialists agree that mass submission is not worth the time or money. In truth, there simply are not thousands of search engines. There are about 5 that really matter and another 100-or-so worth knowing about (listed in the Search Engine Yearbook). The rest of the "1000s" are usually obscure directories or FFA pages.

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match

A match occurs when a document in the search engine's index contains terms entered as part of the query. The matching documents, simply called matches, are then displayed on the SERP. It's worth noting that search engines have different criteria for deciding when a document is a match. Most search engines only require that one word in the query match one word in the document. Some search engines (like Google), require all words to appear in the document before that document is considered a match.
Also see begins-with partial word matching and Boolean search

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Match Driver

A system introduced by Overture in 2002, it maps an advertiser's max bid on any form of a search term to the terms that Overture deems to be related to the intent of the searcher. What this means is that you can get traffic from related terms you did not think of, but also that you could pay for traffic you did not intend to target.

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Metacrawler

www.metacrawler.com
A popular meta search engine.

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meta refresh

An HTML tag that is used to reload or refresh the page after a specified interval, often use to automatically redirect visitors to another page. Most search engines penalize pages that use meta refresh or any other type of automatic redirection.

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meta search

A search performed on a meta search engine. MetaSearch is also the name of a meta search engine found at www.metasearch.com.

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meta search engine

A type of search engine. Meta search engines usually do not maintain databases. Instead, they query other search engines' databases and return results from all of them - usually with a mention of the search engine next to the each result. The Search Engine Yearbook discusses meta search engines in more detail and lists some of the more popular ones.

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meta tag

An HTML tag placed in the head section of a web page. The tag provides additional information that is not displayed on the page itself. The initial idea was that webmasters should use these tags to help search engines index the page correctly by providing an accurate description of the page content and a list of keywords associated with the page. Unfortunately this left the door open to abuse. Many webmasters used these tags to gain an unfair advantage, forcing search engines to begin disregarding meta tags. For a detailed how-to on meta tags and an updated discussion on their importance (or unimportance) in SEO, please refer to the Search Engine Yearbook.

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Mining Company

Former name of the About.com web directory.

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mirror sites

Referring to sites that offer authorized duplicates of content also found on other sites. The initial motivation was to ease bandwidth load and increase availability by distributing popular files to many servers. In the context of SEO, the term is mostly used to refer to sites that attempt to deceive search engines into indexing more than one instance of a site by duplicating it on another server and domain. Most search engines now have filters in place to detect mirror sites and many of them penalize these sites by de-listing both the original site and the mirror site.

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Mosaic / NCSA Mosaic

An early web browser developed by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). It was the first cross-platform browser, building on work done by Tim Berners-Lee. Mosaic became the precursor to Netscape.

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most wanted response (MWR)

A term coined by Ken Evoy, referring to the aim of a web site, for example, to generate a sale or to get the visitor to subscribe to a newsletter.

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mousetrapping / circle jerking

The practice of using scripts to prevent a user from leaving a web site. Typically these involve disabling the back button and the close button or using pop-ups that seem to multiply each time the visitor closes one.

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Mozilla

An early, open-source web browser.

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MWR

See most wanted response.

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