Glossary of Internet Marketing Terms

Glossary of Internet Marketing Terms

Every day, new people turn to the Internet as a means of earning income. A new Internet marketer is often a voracious reader, studying as many forums and websites as possible in an attempt to learn how get up to speed and start earning money as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the Internet marketing industry is filled with jargon and acronyms that are not always self-explanatory. This list explains the terms that anyone new to Internet marketing must learn to succeed.

Above the Fold

The portion of a Web page visible in a browser window without scrolling down. Some professionals advise placing advertisements above the fold where they are visible immediately upon loading a page.

Affiliate Marketing

Referring a website user to a merchant in exchange for a percentage of the potential sale. Affiliate marketing generally involves the placement of a cookie on the user’s computer to identify the referring website. If the user buys a product within a time period set by the merchant, the affiliate earns a commission.

Anchor Text

The clickable portion of a link. The keyword phrase chosen as the anchor text for a link can have SEO value for the website linked to.


Using a pay-per-click advertising system such as Google AdWords to send users to a landing page that displays pay-per-click advertisements such as Google AdSense. In arbitrage, the webmaster hopes to earn more from visitors than he spent to acquire them. Arbitrage can result in being suspended from AdWords, AdSense or both.

Article Marketing

Contributing content to article directories to promote a website. When writing an article, the author includes a link to his website in a resource box at the bottom and gives permission to reprint the article if the resource box is left intact. Article marketing is done with the goal of generating many inbound links to the author’s website.

Article Spinning

The act of changing the words in an article to create a new article that contains the same content but is seen as “unique” by search engines. Some Internet marketers use software to spin one article into dozens of other articles. Google’s 2011 Panda algorithm was intended to hurt websites consisting primarily of spun and repurposed content, as such content provides little value to users.

Authority Site

A website that has attracted many high-quality inbound links and is considered a comprehensive source of information about a particular topic.


An inbound link to a website.

Banner Blindness

A user’s tendency to ignore anything on the Web that looks like an advertisement, even if it contains the information he is looking for.

Black Hat Search Engine Optimization

Attempting to exploit a search engine’s algorithms to increase the prominence of a website on search results pages. One example of a black hat SEO technique is serving one version of a page to search engine robots and another to human visitors. Using black hat techniques can cause a website to be removed completely from a search engine’s index.

Bounce Rate

The percentage of users who leave a website after viewing one page.

Call to Action

A message, graphic or link designed to encourage a user to complete an action. Some calls to action include “Sign up,” “Request a free quote” and “Buy now.”

Click Fraud

Encouraging or forcing users to click pay-per-click advertisements without having a genuine interest in the product or service advertised. All pay-per-click advertising networks suspend publishers for click fraud.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The percentage of users who click an advertisement after viewing it.

Content Marketing

Marketing a product or service by providing content that educates potential customers and influences decision-making.

Contextual Advertising

An advertising system that selects an advertisement to display based on the topic of a Web page and keywords appearing within its content.

Conversion Rate

The percentage of users who respond to an offer by completing the desired action, such as purchasing a product or signing up for a mailing list.


A small text file placed on a user’s computer for identification purposes. Cookies are used in Internet marketing to track customer referrals.

Cost per Action, Pay-per-Lead, Pay-per-Sale (CPA, PPL, PPS)

Advertising system in which the advertiser pays the publisher when a user completes an action such as providing an email address (lead) or purchasing a product.

Cost per Click, Pay-per-Click (CPC, PPC)

Advertising system in which the advertiser pays the publisher when a user clicks an advertisement.

Cost per Mille, Revenue per Mille (CPM, RPM)

The average amount of money paid or earned for every 1,000 times an advertisement is displayed. CPM can be calculated as an effective cost or pay rate for a CPA or CPC campaign. Some advertisers also use CPM to describe the pay rate for a campaign that pays the publisher based on the number of times an advertisement is viewed, with no action required from the viewer.

Deep Linking

Creating a link to an internal page on a website rather than the home page. For example, a product review article might include a link to a page where the viewer can immediately purchase the product.

Domain Parking

Displaying advertisements on a domain rather than developing it into a full website. Parking can allow an undeveloped domain to earn a small trickle of income. Some Internet marketers buy and park domains that once belonged to developed websites in an effort to capitalize on inbound links.

Duplicate Content

A Web page with a high percentage of text identical to the text on another page, either on the same website or elsewhere on the Internet. Duplicate content is generally displayed in the “omitted results” section of a search engine results page.

Google Dance

Ranking and algorithm changes that cause a website to rise or fall periodically on Google’s results pages.

Google Slap

A drastic increase in the cost that an advertiser must pay per click after his website is assigned a low quality rating in the Google AdWords program.


The number of times an advertisement is seen by users.


An advertisement that a user must view before seeing the content he requests. An interstitial advertisement is usually accompanied by a prompt such as “please view this message while your page loads.”

Keyword, Keyword Phrase, Keyphrase

The word or phrase a user enters to find information on a search engine. Internet marketers build their campaigns around the keyword phrases most relevant to the products or services they offer.

Landing Page

The first page a user sees after clicking an advertisement.

Link Bait

Content designed to attract attention and encourage inbound links from visitiors. Some examples of link bait include controversial articles, unique tools, humorous videos and informational graphics.

Link Building

Developing a strategy to gain more inbound links from other websites.

Long-Tail Keywords

Very specific keyword phrases. Many Internet marketers develop content based on long-tail keywords because general – or short-tail – keywords are difficult to compete for. “Laptop computer” is a short-tail keyword, and “replace Dell XPS M1210 keyboard” is a long-tail keyword.

Mini Site

A small website, usually less than ten pages, designed to promote or provide information about a single product or type of product.


A small portion of a larger market. Internet marketers often look for niches to target for advertising and affiliate offers because of the competition and expense involved in competing with established companies in larger markets. Hand-built bamboo furniture is an example of a niche within the furniture market.


An attribute added to a link to inform search engines such as Google that the link should not be considered for PageRank purposes. Links with the “nofollow” attribute do not influence the PageRank of the linked website. However, such a link may generate traffic from users.


A proprietary Google algorithm that gauges the trust level of a website according to the number of other websites that link to it. PageRank is a number between 0-10, with 10 being the best. PageRank is one of the factors that influence a website’s placement on search results pages.


The number of total pages viewed by all users of a website within a particular time period.


The codename of a 2011 change to Google’s ranking algorithm. Google instituted Panda with the intention of lowering the ranking of websites that exist primarily to wrap advertisements around low-quality content and reward websites with high-quality original content.

Pillar Post, Pillar Article

A featured post on a website, such as a comprehensive list of resources or a long-form article based on original research. Pillar posts generally contain evergreen content that will remain relevant after several years.

Privacy Policy

A website page explaining what data is collected from visitors – such as IP addresses and pages visited – and what the data is used for. Many advertising networks require publishers to display privacy policies on their websites.

Private Label Rights (PLR)

Articles, e-books and other content sold for republishing. A PLR license often gives the purchaser the right to put his name on the content.


Leveraging a user’s search or browsing history to display an advertisement for a merchant he has visited previously. Google AdSense may use retargeting when selecting an advertisement to display.

Scraper Site, Auto-Blog, Spam Blog, Splog

A website consisting primarily or entirely of content taken from other websites. A scraper site or spam blog may use content imported automatically from the RSS feed of another website, or articles that have been spun to appear unique to search engines. Such websites exist primarily to display advertisements.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Bidding to have an advertisement displayed in the “Sponsored Results” section of search results pages. SEM involves selecting keyword phrases relevant to your product or service and submitting a bid indicating the maximum amount you are willing to pay when a user clicks your advertisement. Google AdWords is the most popular SEM network.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Optimizing the design of a website to give it the best possible chance of ranking well on search engine results pages. The primary aspect of SEO is keyword placement; the presence of an article’s most important keywords in areas such as the URL, title, sub-headings and body text allow search engine algorithms to easily determine the topic of an article.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

The page that a search engine displays in response to a query. Webmasters compete fiercely with one another for high SERP placement, as studies have shown that the first few search results receive the vast majority of traffic from users.


A document containing a list of every page on a website. Sitemaps help search engines discover and index content quickly.

Social Bookmarking

Services that allow users to share interesting links with others. Social bookmarking services typically allow users to vote on their favorite content. When a page receives many votes, it may be featured on the service’s front page. Digg and Reddit are two well-known social bookmarking services.

Social Media, Social Network, Web 2.0

Websites that allow users to create profiles, generate content and communicate with each other. The best known social media websites are Facebook and Twitter.


An unsolicited advertisement sent via email, posted on a message board or left as a comment on a blog. The term “spam” may also be used to describe a website that displays advertisements but provides no value to users.

Squeeze Page

A page designed to encourage the user to provide his contact information. A squeeze page may entice the user to provide this information by offering a free e-book or coupon code in return. A squeeze page typically has no exit links; the user can leave the page by providing the requested information, clicking “Back” or entering a new URL manually.


Keywords and keyword phrases added to an article to summarize its content and allow users to find similar articles easily.

Viral Marketing

A less overt form of marketing that attempts to spread awareness of a product or company quickly through word of mouth. Online games and humorous videos can be used for viral marketing.

White Hat Search Engine Optimization

Optimizing a website for search engines using only techniques the search engines condone.

Top image courtesy of Wikipedia.

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