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The Search Engine Marketing Dictionary & Primer (part 1)

by | Apr 30, 2010 | Digital Marketing

In the world of search engine marketing there are many commonly used industry terms that are confusing to many outsiders. Whether you are beginning a new paid search program, or have had one for years, you should arm yourself with some basic information. This knowledge will help you make informed decisions as well as make the conversation you have with your PPC manager much more productive. To help demystify your program we have compiled the Search Engine Marketing Dictionary and Primer.

  • 301 Redirect – A tool that allows webmasters to tell search engine crawlers that a page has moved to a new location permanently. It is also useful in canonicalization.
  • 404 Error – An automatic response that is built into a server that tells users that a page cannot be found. This usually occurs when a user arrives at a non-existent page by clicking on a bad link or typing a URL incorrectly.
  • A/B Testing – Also known as split testing, A/B testing randomly displays two different version of the same page. Usually the pages have one minor change allowing advertisers to compare different page elements for effectiveness.
  • Above The Fold – Originally this term referred to the portion of a newspaper that appears above the middle line of the front page where the newspaper would have been folded. It was the first thing a reader would see. In search engine marketing this is the portion of a webpage that the user can see without needing to scroll down the page.
  • Ad Groups – Contained in a campaign an ad group creates a logical grouping of similar keywords or keyword phrases and the associated ads. Campaigns can contain multiple ad groups.
  • adCenter – Microsoft’s paid search platform.
  • AdWords – Google’s paid search platform.
  • Analytics– Also known as analytical tracking, this is a way to measure a websites performance and users behavior.
  • Text Ad – The most common type of paid search advertising used by the search engines. These ads consist of a title, copy, and display URL.
  • Text Ad Copy – The main content of a text ad consisting of two lines of text that contain no more than 35 characters each.
  • Text Ad Title – The opening line of a text ad, which is usually displayed in a larger font size and different color than the rest of the ad.  The title cannot contain more than 25 characters.
  • Text Ad URL – A URL, which is displayed at the bottom of a text ad. This URL is usually a different color than the rest of the ad and cannot contain more than 35 characters of text.
  • B2B – An acronym for business to business. Refers to a company that’s primary customer is other businesses.
  • B2C – An acronym for business to consumer. A business whose primary customer is consumers.


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