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Web and Internet Glossary ...


A Record
(Address Record)
An entry in your DNS table (zone file) that maps each domain name ( or subdomain ( to an IP Address
Algorithms Search engines use formulas of instructions and directions as to how the information gathered by the spider is to be used to rank a web page on that particular search engine. Each search engine has it’s own unique proprietary algorithms which is why a page may rank high on one search engine while ranking low on another.
ASP Active Server Pages is a server-side scripting language. ASP commands are embedded within HTML documents (with .asp extension) to provide dynamic content. ASP is often supported by webhosts using a NT server.
Autoresponders An e-mail that is automatically send to someone that sent the initial e-mail. An autorespnder can be used as an acknowlegement ("Thank you for your inquiry..."), to let the sender know you are on vacation, or to provide the sender with immediate information (updates, specials, etc.).
Backlinks All the links pointing at a particular web page. Also called inbound links.
Bandwidth The amount of data passing through a connection over a given time. It is usually measured in bps (bits-per-second) or Mbps
A feature in browser software to store direct links to websites you wish to return to in the future in your computer. In Internet Explorer (IE,) they are called "Favorites.", and in Netscape they are called "Bookmarks".

To visit websites and web pages - moving from site to site (or page to page) by clicking links on those pages that may interest you and disocver what's there.

The opposite of browsing is "searching". When you search a page, you find a search box and enter terms specific to what you are looking for.

Browser Software that allows you to view and navigate websites and webpages. The browser translates HTML coding into an attractive, viewable electronic and sometimes interactive document.

A temporary storage area on your computer that holds web pages yu recently visited.. As you jump from Web page to Web page, caching those pages in memory lets you quickly go back to a page without having to download it from the server again.

In order to ensure that the latest page is displayed, the browser USUALLY compares the dates of the cached page with the current Web page. If the Web page has not changed, the cached page is displayed immediately. If the Web page has changed, it is downloaded, displayed and cached.

Cached Link In search results from Google, Yahoo! Search, and some other search engines, there is usually a Cached link which allows you to view the version of a page that the search engine has stored in its database. The live page on the web might differ from this cached copy, because the cached copy dates from whenever the search engine's spider last visited the page and detected modified content. Use the cached link to see when a page was last crawled and, in Google, where your terms are and why you got a page when all of your search terms are not in it.
Case Sensitive

Distinguishing lower case from upper case. In a case sensitive language, "abc" is considered different data than "ABC:. When matching a string of letters, it is case sensitive if capital and lower case letters must match exactly.

Catch-All E-Mail An email account which allows any email of the form,, to be forwarded or placed into a single email address. For example,, and, will all be sent to the same email address.
CGI Common Gateway Interface - the most common way Web programs interact dynamically with users. Many search boxes and other applications that result in a page with content tailored to the user's search terms rely on CGI to process the data once it's submitted, to pass it to a background program in JAVA, JAVASCRIPT, or another programming language, and then to integrate the response into a display using HTML.

A message from a WEB SERVER computer, sent to and stored by your browser on your computer. When your computer consults the originating server computer, the cookie is sent back to the server, allowing it to respond to you according to the cookie's contents.

The main use for cookies is to provide customized Web pages according to a profile of your interests. When you log onto a "customize" type of invitation on a Web page and fill in your name and other information, this may result in a cookie on your computer which that Web page will access to appear to "know" you and provide what you want. If you fill out these forms, you may also receive e-mail and other solicitation independent of cookies.

Cost Per Click is a system where an advertiser pays an agreed amount for each click someone makes on a link leading to their web site.
Crawler Component of search engine that gather listings by automatically "crawling" the web. A search engine's crawler (also called a spider or robot), follows links to web pages. It makes copies of the web pages found and stores these in the search engine's index.
Delisting When pages are removed from a search engines index. This may happen because they have been banned or for other reasons
Dial Up The analog modem service for connecting to the Internet or to the company LAN. For home users, dial-up was the first Internet access service available. It was followed by ISDN, cable and DSL.
Directory A type of search engine where listings are gathered through human efforts, rather than by automated crawling of the web.
DNS The Domain Name System which identifies each computer as a network node on the Internet using an internet protocol address system to translate from domain names to IP numbers and vice-versa.
Data Transfer Data transfer is the amount of information downloaded from a website. For example, let's assume all of the data (pictures, text, buttons) on your homepage totals 25k (the size of Yahoo's homepage). If a thousand people viewed your homepage you'd have 25MB total data transfer for that month (25k multiplied by 1000).
Disk Space Disk space is the storage capacity of your website (for pictures, HTML, graphics, scripts, databases, statistics logs, e-mail, etc.).
Domain Name Registration The process of registering your website address (i.e. with the Internic, the official Internet registry
Download To copy something from a primary source to a more peripheral one, as in saving something found on the Web (currently located on its server) to diskette or to a file on your local hard drive.
E-Commerce Ecommerce (Electronic Commerce) is doing business online - the buying and selling of goods and services over the internet. A website with a shopping cart can be said to be doing Ecommerce.

Short for electronic mail, the transmission of messages over communications networks_ a software application that allows one to exchange messages with someone else.

Email Forwarding An email service in which your email is automatically sent (forwarded) from one or more email address, to another (possibly several) specified email address.
Ethernet A method for directly connecting a computer to a network in the same physical location - much faster connection than SLIP or PPP.
Extension In Windows, DOS and some other operating systems, one or several letters at the end of a filename. Filename extensions usually follow a period (dot) and indicate the type of file. For example, document.txt denotes a plain text file, index.htm or index.html denotes an HTML file. Some common image extensions are picture.jpg or picture.gif .
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions - large websites or websites providing a lot of information will sometimes have a webpage for FAQ's as a convenience to site visitors.

Frames are boxes that surrouns a portion of a web page and allow several mini-pages to display at once on your computer screen.


File Transfer Protocol is the ability to transfer files from one computer to another. FTP is the method used to "Download" things like software, text, pictures or games from the remote computer it's stored on to your computer via the internet.

Homepage A page meant to be the main entry point to a website.
Host When you have a web site, you need a web host (hosting company) to store your web pages on a server that will make your web pages visible to site visitors. The hosting company should provide a secure environment where their computers are protected from damaging elements. All of the files that are required to make up your website (documents, html files, photos, etc.) are stored on a computer with server software at the hosting company's location.

Hyper Text Markup Language - A markup language used to structure text and multimedia documents. Web pages are built with HTML tags (codes) embedded in the text. HTML defines the page layout, fonts and graphic elements as well as links to other documents within the site or on the Web. Each link contains the URL, or address, of a Web page residing on the same server or any server worldwide, hence "World Wide" Web.


HyperText Transport Protocol - The communications protocol used to connect to servers on the Web. Its primary function is to establish a connection with a Web server and transmit HTML pages to the client browser or any other files required by an HTTP application. Addresses of Web sites begin with an http:// prefix; however, Web browsers typically default to the HTTP protocol. For example, typing is the same as typing

If you ever see HTTPS you'll know you're on a "secure" server and can use your credit card online or feel comfortable providing information that you don't want broadcast to the world.


The vast collection of interconnected networks that all use the TCP/IP protocols and that evolved from the ARPANET of the late 60’s and early 70’s. The Internet (upper case I) is the largest network in the world. It is made up of more than 100 million computers in more than 100 countries covering commercial, academic and government endeavors. Originally developed for the U.S. military, the Internet became widely used for academic and commercial research. Users had access to unpublished data and journals on a variety of subjects

An "internet" (lower case i) is 2 or more computers connected to each other (a network), and are not part of the Internet unless they use TCP/IP protocols.


Interactivity is the dialog that occurs between a human being and a computer program where an action by a user provokes an action by the site.

An interactive website would be one in which some action of the user generates a response either from another human being at the other end of the connection or with a program residing on a computer.


An Intranet is a private computer network based on the standards of the Internet. An intranet is a private network inside a company or organization that uses the same kinds of software that you would find on the public Internet, but that is only for internal use. An intranet may be on the Internet or may simply be a network.

IP Address Internet Protocol is a number or address consisting of 4 parts separated by dots, e.g. Every machine that is on the Internet has a unique IP address. If a machine does not have an IP number, it is not really on the Internet.
ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network is a digital telephone network that allows personal home computers to connect to remote networks.

Internet Service Provider is the company that gives you internet access and e-mail. A company that sells Internet connections via modem (examples: aol, Mindspring - thousands of ISPs to choose from).

Java A network-oriented programming language invented by Sun Microsystems that is specifically designed for writing programs that can be safely downloaded to your computer through the Internet and immediately run without fear of viruses or other harm to our computer or files. Using small Java programs (called "Applets"), web pages can include functions such as animations, calculators, and other fancy tricks.
Javascript A simple programming language developed by Netscape to enable greater interactivity in Web pages. It shares some characteristics with JAVA but is independent. It interacts with HTML, enabling dynamic content and motion.

Words people use to search in search engines. For example, if you go to a search engine, type in "pizza" and hit the button, "pizza" is a keyword in your search. If you use "peperoni pizza" as your keyphrase, your search becomes a little more specific - the search engines will give you less results, but the reults will be more targetd to your keyphrase.

When designing your website, you want to target the right market. The way to do this is to choose the right keywords through the Search Engine Optimization process, which involves including your keywords and keyphrases in meta tags and prominerntly in the text of your site.

To achieve a high ranking in the search engines, really means getting a high ranking for the keywords that you've chosen to focus on.

Landing Page The specific web page that a visitor ultimately reaches after clicking a search engine listing.

A link (or hyperlink) when "clicked" on connects one spot on a webpage with either:

  • another place on the same page
  • to another page in the same web site
  • to another web site entirely. or
  • will open your mail window and automatically enter an Email Address of the intended receipient

Banners, buttons or underlined text are usually links. The way to know whether a graphic element or text is a link is to place your cursor over the item and watch it turn from an arrow into a small hand "pointing" and then look at the "status bar" at the bottom of your browser window where you will see the "destination" or "URL" of the link you are pointing at.

Link Building

A process where one increases the quantity and quality of incoming and outgoing links to and from external sources with the intention of increasing a websites link popularity. This helps increase a Web page's position in some of the search engines.

Link Text The text that is contained within a link. For example, search engine is a link that contains the link text "search engine."
Meta Tags

A special HTML tag that provides information about a web page. Unlike normal HTML tags, meta tags do not affect how the page is displayed. Instead, they provide information such as who created the page, how often it is updated, what the page is about, and which keywords represent the page's content. Many search engines use this information when building their index.

Modem A device that allows a computer or terminal to transmit data over a standard telephone line. It converts digital pulses from the computer to audio tones that an analog telephone line is set up to handle and vice versa. The term usually refers to 56 Kbps modems.
MP3 Short for Mpeg Layer 3. MP3 is an audio compression standard for encoding music. MP3 files have a file extension ".mp3".
MX Record An eMail eXchanger is an entry in your DNS table (zone file) that controls where email is sent for the domain name.
MySQL MySQL is an open source relational database management system. Information in a MySQL database is stored in the form of related tables. MySQL databases are typically used for web application development (often accessed using PHP).
Name Server A program or computer that translates names from one form into another. For example, a Domain Name Server (also called a "host server") performs the mapping of domain names to IP numbers.
Network Two or more computing devices connected together by wiring, cable, digital circuit, or other means. The Internet is a network that connects thousands of computer networks.
Organic Listing Listings that search engines do not sell (unlike paid listings). Instead, sites appear solely because a search engine has deemed it editorially important for them to be included, regardless of payment.
A web file (document) usually coded in HTML
.pdf file
Abbreviation for Portable Document Format, a file format developed by Adobe Systems, that is used to capture almost any kind of document with the formatting in the original. Viewing a PDF file requires Acrobat Reader, which is built into most browsers and can be downloaded free from Adobe.
PHP Hypertext Preprocessor is an open-source server-side scripting language. PHP enables the author to create programs (routines) that output code. When a webpage is accessed, these routines are run on the server, and the resulting code is downloaded by the browser.
Plug-In An application built into a browser or added to a browser to enable it to interact with a special file type (such as a movie, sound file, Word document, etc.)
POP3 Post Office Protocol, Version 3 is a set of rules (protocol) by which a client machine can retrieve electronic mail from a mail server. The POP server("post office") holds the e-mail until the user can retrieve it on their computer
PPP Point to Point Protocol is an Internet standard for electronically connectiong a remote computer to an IP network.
Reciprocal Link A link exchange between two sites

Relevancy of search results

How well the different elements of the page content relate to each other is an important part of the search engine algorithms. The higher the relevancy of page content the higher the ‘score’ for that part of the search engine’s algorithms which reflects directly onto the ranking.
Search Engine

Any service generally designed to allow users to search the web or a specialized database of information. On the Internet, a search engine is a coordinated set of programs that includes:

  • A spider (also called a "crawler" or a "bot") that goes to every webpage possible and reads it, using hypertext links on each page to discover and read a site's other pages
  • A program that creates a huge index (sometimes called a "catalog") from the pages that have been read
  • A program that receives your search request, compares it to the entries in the index, and returns results to you

Typically, a search engine works by sending out a spider to fetch as many documents as possible. Another program, called an indexer, then reads these documents and creates an index based on the words contained in each document. Each search engine uses a proprietary algorithm to create its indices such that, ideally, only meaningful results are returned for each query.

SEO Search Engine Optimization is the process of designing webpages to help increase its visibility within the results of one or more search engines for focused search terms or search phrases. SEO helps your web pages become accessible to search engines and helps improve the chances those pages will rank high in the search engine result pages (SERPS)
SERPS Search Engine Result Pages
Search Terms
Search Phrases
The words (or word) a searcher enters into a search engine's search box. Also used to refer to the terms a search engine marketer hopes a particular page will be found for. Also called keywords, query terms or query.

A computer that processes requests for HTML and other documents that are components of webpages and websites. A computer running that software, assigned an IP address, and connected to the Internet so that it can provide documents via the World Wide Web. Also called HOST computer.

Server-side Something that operates on the "server" computer (providing the Web page), as opposed to the "client" computer (which is you or someone else viewing the Web page). Usually it is a program or command or procedure or other application causes dynamic pages or animation or other interaction.
Script A script is a type of programming language that can be used to fetch and display Web pages. There are may kinds and uses of scripts on the Web. They can be used to create all or part of a page, and communicate with searchable databases. Forms (boxes) and many interactive links, which respond differently depending on what you enter, all require some kind of script language. When you find a question marke (?) in the URL of a page, some kind of script command was used in generating and/or delivering that page.

Moving up or down within a document in your screen.

SMTP Simple Mail Transport Protocol is the main Internet protocol used to send email.

Computer robot programs, referred to sometimes as "crawlers" or "bots" that are used by search engines to roam the World Wide Web via the Internet, visit sites and databases, and keep the search engine database of web pages up to date. They obtain new pages, update known pages, and delete obsolete ones. Their findings are then integrated into the "home" database.

The Web is so enormous that it can take six months for spiders to cover it, resulting in a certain degree of "out-of-datedness" (link rot) in the search engines.

SSL Secure Sockets Layer is a transaction security standard that provides data encryption, server authentication, and message integrity. SSL is usually used on sites that accept credit card numbers or other private information.
Stop Words In database searching, "stop words" are small and frequently occurring words like and, or, in, of that are often ignored when keyed as search terms. Sometimes putting them in quotes " " will allow you to search them. Sometimes + immediately before them makes them searchable.
Sub Domain Sub-domains are domain names with the form, By definition, a subdomain should not have the prefix of "www".
Submissions The process of submitting a URL for inclusion into a search engine's index. Unless done through paid inclusion, submission generally does not guarantee listing. In addition, submission does not help with rank improvement on crawler-based search engines unless search engine optimization efforts have been taken.
TCP/IP Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol the suite of communications protocols used to connect hosts on the Internet. TCP/IP uses several protocols, the two main ones being TCP and IP.. Originally designed for the UNIX operating system, TCP/IP software is now available for every major kind of computer operating system. To be truly on the Internet, your computer must have TCP/IP software.
URL Uniform Resource Locator is the web address that defines the route to a file on a Web server. An Internet address (for example,, usually consisting of the access protocol (http), the domain name (, and optionally the path to a file or resource residing on that server.
WAP Wireless Application Protocol is a specification for a set of communication protocols that standardizes the manner in which wireless devices (such as mobile phones, pagers, two-way radios, radio transceivers, smartphones, and communicators) are used for Internet access
Website A collection of interlinked webpages with a related topic, usually under a single domain name, which includes an intended starting file called a "home page". From the home page, you can get to all the other pages on the website.
Whois An Internet utility program that obtains information (such as owner and contact info) about a Domain name or IP number from the database of a domain name registry.
Wireless Network A method using infra-red, ultra-violet or radio waves, of connecting computers into a network.
World Wide Web The World Wide Web (WWW) is a uniform method of accessing and retrieving information on the Internet. This information is almost always retrieved using the HyperTextTransfer Protocol (HTTP).

The World Wide Web is a big part of the Internet

WYSISWG An acronym for "What You See Is What You Get". A WYSIWYG program is one that allows you to create and edit a web page, text, or graphical user interface so that you can see what the end result will look like while the document is being created.
XHTML Extensible Hypertext Markup Language is a hybrid between HTML and XML that is more universally acceptable in Web pages and search engines than XML. A variant of HTML
XML Extensible Markup Language is a dilution for Web page use of SGML (Standard General Markup Language), which is not readily viewable in ordinary browsers and is difficult to apply to Web pages. XML is very useful (among other things) for pages emerging from databases and other applications where parts of the page are standardized and must reappear many times. See XHTML.
Zone File A file on a nameserver that designates a domain name with all of its associated subdomains, IP addresses, and mail server. Parts of the zone file include the A record, CNAME, and MX records. A zone file is also called a "DNS table".




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