Vail Tech Bytes: Web words you should know |

Vail Tech Bytes: Web words you should know

Jessie Williams
Tech Bytes
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – In last week’s Tech Bytes column I went over a few terms that all Internet users should familiarize themselves with: browser, domain name, URL and Web hosting. This week I’m going to add a few more buzzwords to the list, centering around search engines and Internet marketing.

Search engine

A search engine is a tool for searching and indexing content on the Internet. There are many different search engines available to users today, with the most popular being Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

Bot/Spider/Web Crawler

A bot/spider/Web crawler (these words are used interchangeably) is a computer program used by search engines to navigate and index Web pages and content on the Internet.

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Crawling is the action employed by the bot/spider/crawler. Crawling is done when the bot follows and indexes all of the links on a Web page, thereby jumping from one page to the next around the Internet.


A cache can be thought of as a snapshot of a Web page as it existed at a specific time in history. Many browsers implement caches of frequently visited Web sites to help speed up page load time. In search engine terms, caches are used by some search engines to store the content that was available on a Web page the last time that a bot visited the site.


A query is combination of keywords that a search engine user inputs into the search engine. The search engine then takes the query and, using a complex algorithm, matches the query to sites that it has indexed. The output is a list of search engine results.

Page rank

The page rank of a Web page is the position of the Web page within the search results for any given query. The higher the page rank, the more relevant the search engine deems the Web page to a query.

Organic search results

Organic search results are the main results that are returned by a search engine. In Google, these are the results that appear in the left column. Web site owners do not pay for placement in these results.

Paid search results

Paid search results are the link placements that appear in search engines, usually designated as “sponsored links” or “sponsored sites.” In Google, these are the links that appear in the right column on a results page. Web site owners pay for placement in these results, usually on a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) or CPC (cost per click) basic.


SEO stands for search engine optimization. This is the process of optimizing the keywords, code and content in your Web site to obtain better page rank in organic search results.


SEM stands for search engine marketing, and is the process of purchasing, managing and optimizing paid search results campaigns.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media can be seen in many different forms, but in the instance of Internet terminology, I’m going to define it as the process of marketing yourself or your business by establishing a two-way dialogue with your audience. Unlike traditional broadcast media that dictates a flow of information from one to many, social media allows for the information to be transmitted from many to many. Popular examples of social media tools are Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Jessie Williams is the owner of Second October Media,, a Web development and graphic design firm in Edwards. Have a tech term you’d like defined? E-mail her at

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