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.

T

taxonomy

A set of agreed-upon principles according to which information can more logically be stored in an information retrieval system. The term is used in science to describe the classification of natural elements.

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Teoma

www.teoma.com
A fairly new search engine (compared to oldies like AltaVista).

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term frequency (TF)

A measure of how often a term is found in a collection of documents. TF is combined with inverse document frequency (IDF) as a means of determining which documents are most relevant to a query. TF is sometimes also used to measure how often a word appears in a specific document.

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termination page

According to Chris Sherman's "New Web Map Reveals Previously Unseen ‘Bow Tie’ Organizational Structure", termination pages can be accessed via links from the core (heavily inter-linked part of the Web) but do not link back into the core.
Source: http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb000522-1.htm
For example, most businesses want their sites to be end destinations and do not link to outside pages.
Also see origination page.

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term vectors

In the classic vector-space retrieval model (Salton), documents and queries are converted to term vectors to allow documents to be matched to queries and ranked based on the number of times the search terms occur in each document.

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theme engine

A type of search engine that attempts to automatically classify sites based on the keywords they contain.

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thesaurus

Similar to a dictionary, but containing lists of synonyms rather than definitions. Some search engines use a thesaurus in addition to things like stemming and fuzzy matching in an effort to improve recall.

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throwaway domain

A domain where the name itself has little value to the owner. Throwaway domains are typically used to experiment with. It's common among search engine spammers to rigister throwaway domains to experiment with things like cloaking. Unethical SEO providers sometimes use throwaway domains to build link popularity to a client's site. This can backfire though as search engines are continually finding better ways to combat spam. It's worth noting that Google specifically warns against the use of throwaway domains. See their information for webmasters for details.

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title

The title of a page is displayed in the title bar right at the top of the browser window. Almost all search engines consider the title when determining a document's relevance to a query and most search engines consider the title the most important element. In the page, the title is specified as an HTML element and placed in the header section of the page. For a details on what spiders are looking for when indexing pages and the varying importance of different elements, please refer to the Search Engine Yearbook.

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TLD

Top Level Domain. See domain.

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toolbar

With reference to search engines, toolbars are browser add-ons provided by the search engines. These toolbars often include a search box, shortcuts to the different sections of the search engine, additional page information etc.

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top-level page

Some search engines call your default page (usually something like index.html, index.htm, default.asp etc.) your top-level page. When they say "submit only your top-level page", it means that they probably have a spider that will find the rest of your pages from there. It's always a good idea to have a link from your top-level page to your sitemap.

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traffic

Often used as a synonym for "visitors". The term is used to describe activity on a web site - be it hits, page views or unique visitors.

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traffic-death redesign

This sudden and dramatic loss of traffic occurs when a web site is re-designed and the page names all change. The result is that aside from the main URL, none of the old pages exist anymore, and anyone clicking on a search engine listing gets a 404, or "page not found" error unless other measures are taken.

Added - May 30, 2003
by Christian Nielsen of
www.nielsentech.com

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T-Rex

The name of the Lycos spider.

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Turbo10

www.turbo10.com
A meta search engine that searches both the surface-web (normal documents) and the invisible web or, as they call it, the DeepNet (documents not indexed by normal search engines).

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Type-less search engine

A search engine that perform searches via voice recognition, clicks of a mouse or any means other than typing a keyword.
Example site: http://perfext.com

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