SEO glossary entries for ‘G’

Small graphical programs designed to run on a desktop or in a toolbar.
Gateway Page
A gateway page is a standalone web page which is not fully integrated into a website and exists solely for the ability of its content to match a range of similar search terms and expressions. This method of attracting traffic was once used quite widely, and with a limited amount of success, but its use has dramatically declined since it became obvious that the bigger search engines have down-graded on-page content matches in relation to off-page trust-related criteria. See also ‘Doorway Page’ which is another term for more or less the same thing.
Is a google web search parameter which specifies the user's city. To use this parameter gr and gcs must be set to the same value
Labelling media files with location-specific metadata, by encoding the metadata within the datastream of an image/video/recording, by attaching including the metadata in the media packaging format, or by associating the metadata with the data file in some sort of database.
Geotargetting has at least two different meanings in SEO. From the point of view of website owners, Geotargetting refers to focusing a website or web resource on a specific geographical area which contains its target audience. Alternatively, Geotargetting can refer to the way in which Google gives higher SERPs positions to sites with a server IP and country-specific domain name which matches the location of the searcher or geographical details mentioned in their search expression. In this latter case, geographical details can be something as simple as the word “in” contained within an expression like “SEO training in Manchester”, i.e. in this case it is not just the presence of the word “Manchester” which is geographically significant, but also the fact that it is prefixed by the word “in”.
Ghost Bloggers
Shills or astroturfers who concentrate on writing blog posts and blog comments. See ‘Shill’ and ‘Astroturfing’.
Is a Google web search parameter which specifies the searcher's country, e.g. gl=gb indicates the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Is a Google web search parameter which identifies the geo-location of the user as comma-separated values: latitude,longitude.
Global Navigation
The site-wide navigation blocks embedded in every page of a website.
Is a Google web search parameter which identifies a designated metropolitan area in the United States.
Goal Conversion
See ‘Conversion’.
Google Bomb
See ‘Google Bombing’.
Google Bombing
Designing and combining links from multiple sites so as to bias Google search results for a target search term, often for comic effect, e.g. ensuring that George Bush ranks first for the term "miserable failure".
Google Brand Page
Google+ pages for a business, particularly one which doesn't have a physical location (e.g. online only sales), or has multiple physical locations (like a chain of shops). A business with a single physical location can have one of these as well, but can also benefit from a ‘Google Business Page’, although it may not be worth the effort of maintaining both.
Google Business Page
Set up through ‘Google My Business’ to provide Google with information about your business, particularly for ‘Google Maps’. This is appropriate for a business operating out of a physical (geographical) location. See also ‘Google Brand Page’.
Google Caffeine
A new architecture launched by Google in August 2009. Caffeine was designed to return results faster, and to better deal with rapidly updated information from services, especially social media services like Facebook and Twitter. The company claimed it gave 50% fresher results, due to continuously updating the index rather than periodically. Although it was only really supposed to affect the performance/efficient of Google's indexing, many SEO consultants claim to have noticed heavier keyword weighting and greater importance given to the domain age, after its implementation.
Google Keyword Tool
Undefined. See ‘Google Adwords Keyword Discovery Tool’.
Google Knowledge Graph
Data which appears as panels or boxes alongside or above organic results on a Google search engine results page (SERP), e.g. weather, Celebrity Knowledge Panel, etc.
Google Mobile Friendly update
See ‘Mobile Friendly algorithm’
Google Pigeon
See ‘Pigeon algorithm’
Google Pirate
see ‘Pirate algorithm’
Google Plus
See ‘Google+’.
Google RankBrain
See ‘RankBrain algorithm’
Google Sandbox
A term coined by SEOs and webmasters to describe the way in which Google generally ranks the content of new sites poorly, no matter how high the quality of their keyword matching, or the number and quality of their inbound links. Google once maintained a ‘Supplemental Index’ where ‘untrusted’ content was discretely ‘quarantined’, but this was deprecated in 2007. It is more likely that the ‘sandbox effect’ is now produced by a set of anti-spam filters, which legitimate new content will eventually pass through, once its legitimacy is confirmed with confidence. Even with Google's massive processing power, it probably takes quite some time before the search engine can be entirely confident that it has correctly identified the nature of every new site and the nature of its ‘connectedness’ to the rest of the web. For example, potentially millions of pages and links may be checked and analysed over and over again in order to confidently identify a ‘link farm’, then an even bigger set of pages and links has to be analysed to determine whether a particular new site is the ‘accidental’ or deliberate beneficiary of links from nodes within that link farm.
Google Search Operators
A Google Search Operator is a textual symbol or expression which is added to a normal ‘Free Text Search’ in order to constrain the results set produced, e.g. to limit results to a particular domain or page component. Google typically refers to searches which use such operators as ‘Advanced Search’. Google's search site provides a form interface to allow lay people to use such operators without having to learn or memorise their names and syntax. Google Search Operators are tools which every SEO specialist should know and master. They have changed over the years, but at the time of writing this glossary entry, they include: "" (a double-quoted search string), - (a minus prefix to exclude results matching a given string), site: (a search string prefix which limits the search to a given site or domain), link: (a search string prefix which limits the search to pages which link to a given URL), related: (a search string prefix which the search to sites which are similar to the URL given) * (a wildcard placeholder to find pages which contain a variations on a phrase, including phrases you only know or remember partially, OR (is placed between words in a search expression so that Google returns results for either of them), .. (is placed between a pair of numerical values to search for a range of numbers), info: (a search string prefix which returns information about a given site), cache: (a search string prefix which returns a cached version of the page at a given URL).
Google Signals
See ‘Signals’
Google Site Explorer
A misleading term that is occasionally used to refer to Google Webmaster Tools, because of similarities between some of its functions and those of Yahoo Site Explorer.
Google Top Heavy update
See ‘Top Heavy algorithm’.
Google Video Sitemap
Is an extension of the XML sitemap protocol, which enables you to publish/syndicate video content and its meta data via the Google Video index. Its primary purpose is to make your video content more searchable and more easily browse-able/discoverable by Google users and users of Google TV.
Google Webmaster Tools
A free-of-charge web service by for webmasters; enabling them to check their status in Google's search index, and hence to optimize their website visibility. These tools cover, for example: URL/sitemap submission and checking; checking and setting crawl rates, logging Googlebot site access; setting robot exclusion criteria and discovering accidental exclusions; identifying pages that link to a site; what keyword searches on Google led to the site being listed in the SERPs, and their click through rates; statistics on how Google indexes a site, and any errors found; setting a preferred domain to be displayed in SERPs.
Google Website Optimizer
A Google tool designed to help improve conversion rates and increase ROI by testing what users respond to on a site, e.g. by showing visitors multiple versions of a page or page component, you can test which are most effective.
See ‘Google+’.
See ‘Google Bombing’.
Synonym for ‘Google Bombing’.
goRank Ontology Finder
Finds related words using the Google tilde (~) search operator.
Is a Google web search parameter which specifies a postal code. It only works if gl is set to US.
Is a Google web search parameter which specifies the user's global geographical region, e.g gr=gb-eng
Graceful Degradation
The process of enabling a web page, form or application to continue providing all of its informational content and all of its essential functionality, even when its best visual presentation and its non-essential functionality are not technically possible. Graceful degradation is often posed as an alternative to, or even the opposite of, ‘Progressive Enhancement’. This is not necessarily true. Both perspectives aim to give advanced users and software the best possible experience of a site, while ensuring that less capable users and software can still access the site's core information and functionality.
Graphical Text
Text depicted in a bitmap image file format, e.g. a JPG-, PNG-, or GIF-formatted image file. Although much graphical text is theoretically ‘machine readable’ by ‘Optical Character Recognition’, only a tiny proportion of graphical text on the web is ‘read’ by search engine software. For most practical purposes one can treat graphical text as invisible to search engines, and its content/meaning as missing from search engine indexes. This means that old fashioned web design techniques which use graphical text to reproduce specialist fonts for branding purposes, often hide the most important bits of text from search engines, e.g. the overall page heading and the main section section headings in an article. It is better to write real text in an embedded specialist font, using modern CSS. If you must use graphical text to display branded/themed fonts in legacy browsers, also use an ‘image replacement’ technique which ensures that every other piece of software that ‘reads’ the page still gets real text. Delivering plain text alternatives to graphical text is also required by accessibility legislation in many jurisdictions, so there is not additional cost to doing it for SEO purposes.
Guestographics are graphics which you publish on your site and share with others, mostly via social media. The critical technical feature of these graphics is that they contain embedded ‘Backlinks’ designed to direct traffic to your site. From a marketing or SEO perspective, however, the critical feature is that the content of these graphics should be intrinsically interesting, i.e. interesting enough for other people to share and copy them to large areas of the social and non-social web. What type of graphic content you use will, obviously, depend on the type of site you run. For serious sites, ‘Infographics’ providing intriguing and insightful views of important data may be the way to go. For pure entertainment sites, relevant but wacky animated gifs may be the way to go.

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