Glossary – what does all this online stuff mean?

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The Writing Online Glossary

Here we will add information about those frequently used terms that may be a bit perplexing to anyone just starting out Writing Online.

Please use the Contact Link to make suggestions about words and phrases you would like to see explained on this page.

Google Page Rank

Google Page Rank is a number between one and ten which is assigned to websites indexed by Google.

Google Page Rank is determined by assessing the number of trusted, high authority back links a website has, which in turn determines the relevance and importance of a website in relation to other sites on the web.

Therefore, if you are looking for a page about bullying at school, Google tells you that my page Bullying at Primary School is a trusted and authoritative site by awarding it a Google Page Rank of 5.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is simply the process of improving the visibility of a web site or page in search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, MSN etc via natural or un-paid search results.

In general, the higher in the search returns and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more web traffic it will receive directly from the search.

SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search (for your country of residence or another country, international search (global) and video search. (If you do a search on Best Plants for Bees, five images show on the first page that point to my Squidoo lens.)

Good SEO requires some knowledge of how the search engines work and what people are searching for, that is relevant to the topic of the pages you are publishing and promoting. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content and associated coding to increase the use of specific keywords.



Spam is the use of electronic messaging and communication systems to send unsolicited messages trying to persuade people to buy products or visit websites.

Spam is universally loathed (apart from the people doing the Spamming) and has resulted in some lawsuits.

There’s a fine line between promotion and Spam. There’s also a fine line between SEO using keywords and “keyword stuffing”, which the search engines will treat as Spam.

However, now that so many people are setting up their own websites, blogging and publishing articles, including Squidoo lenses and Hubpages, Spam has become well and truly established in internet publishing, not only in content but also through attempts to establish backlinks using unethical methods.

These include:

  • leaving multiple or irrelevant links in Forums
  • leaving irrelevant links in blog or article guest books
  • contacting via email, when you do NOT have permission to do so