<alt> tag

See image <alt> tag.


Accreditation is a process that allows email senders to be certified as "trusted senders." This process is performed by independent accreditation programs with very firm standards for email sending conduct.

Once a sender is certified, they can email freely, as long as they stay within the rules provided by the accreditation organization — otherwise, they risk losing their accreditation.

Three of the best-known accreditation programs are:


An affiliate is someone who sells another business's product in exchange for a percentage of the profits. Running an affiliate program is a great way to boost your sales revenue. You can recruit affiliates to sell your products — at just a small cost to you!

There are two types of affiliate programs out there: one-tier affiliate programs, where people sell products for another business, and two-tier affiliate programs, where affiliates can sell another business's products and recruit new affiliate members to the program — and whenever one of the affiliates they've recruited makes a sale, they get a percentage of that sale as well!

See also: Referral fee


An algorithm is simply a series of steps that must be taken in a certain order to accomplish a given task. For example, using a cash machine in order to withdraw money can be written as an algorithm:

  1. Put bank card in machine slot
  2. Enter your PIN
  3. Choose the action you wish to take (withdrawal, deposit, transfer, etc.)
  4. Choose the amount you wish to withdraw
  5. Collect money and bank card and paint the town red!

Computer programs are made up of algorithms. Programmers generally like to create algorithms that require as few steps as possible to accomplish the desired goal — there's less room for mistakes that way!

Anchor text

Anchor text is the clickable text in an HTML document that links to another web page or site. For instance, this anchor text Internet Marketing Center, links to another page via this source code:

<a href="">Internet Marketing Center</a>

Search engines look at anchor text to try to figure out what kind of information will be found on the site the link points to. For this reason, placing your keywords in your anchor text is a highly-effective search engine optimization strategy.


ASCII stands for "American Standard Code for Information Exchange." Simply put, it is unformatted text. All email programs can receive and display email written in ASCII (whereas some cannot display email written in HTML).

See also: Text format


An audioblog is a blog that's presented as an audio file, so people can listen to it instead of reading it. Bloggers record themselves expressing useful or interesting information and then post the audio file on their website.

The files are normally saved as MP3 or WAV files, so they can be played with Windows Media Player, Real Player, iTunes, or other audio players their visitors may have on their computers.

Some audioblogs can be downloaded onto MP3 players, or other devices that play MP3 files, like cellular phones.

See also: Podcast

Auction site

An auction site, or online auction, is a commercial website that allows people to post listings about items they want to sell. Potential buyers bid on those items within a specified period of time. When the auction is over, the person who has bid the highest amount of money wins the right to buy the item.

By far, the largest and most popular auction site on the Internet is eBay (


Authentication is the term given to a set of processes that allow email senders to confirm to email providers and ISPs that they are who they say they are. This allows them to sidestep junk email filters and make sure that their messages arrive in inboxes, where they belong!

See also: Domain Keys Identified Mail and Sender ID Framework.


An autoresponder is a program that automatically sends an email message at a set time or in response to an action taken by a computer user.

For example, when a visitor to your website requests information by sending you an email or clicking on a link, your autoresponder may automatically reply with a predetermined email message.

You can set up autoresponders to send out sales information, letters, follow-up inquiries, or notices. For example, if you will not be able to answer your email inquiries right away, you can simply set up an autoresponder that will send the following message to anyone who sends you an email: "I am not able to answer my mail right now. However, you will receive a reply within 48 hours."

Some web hosts offer autoresponders for a fee. However, you can set up an unlimited number of your own autoresponders using software such as Mailloop (

Backend products

Backend products are items you sell to your customers that relate in some way to products they've already bought. They're a great way to boost your profits!

For example, let's say you sell DVDs that teach people how to do yoga. Some good backend products to sell would be yoga mats, yoga balls, and DVDs or books about advanced yoga techniques.

You already know your customers are interested in yoga because they bought your first DVD, so chances are really good they'd also be interested in any other yoga-related products you offer.


In Internet terms, bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transmitted between computers over the Internet in a fixed amount of time. Many web hosts measure your bandwidth usage in gigabytes and charge accordingly for excess use.

For example, if you have a website that is limited to using five gigabytes of bandwidth a month, they may charge a specified fee for every gigabyte over and above the five allowed. Audio and video require a great deal of bandwidth because they contain so much data.

Banner ads

A banner ad is simply an advertisement displayed on your web page in a traditional banner shape. A banner can display virtually anything, although in e-commerce it is primarily used as an advertising tool that acts as a link to an advertiser's website.

If you publish a newsletter or e-zine, you may choose to include banners that promote another company's product or service.

The standard horizontal banner size is 460 pixels wide and 60 pixels high.

See also: Skyscraper ads

Black hat tactics:

Black hat tactics are manipulative search engine optimization strategies that are frowned upon or forbidden by search engines. One such strategy is keyword spamming.

Use of black hat tactics can get your site booted from the search results — sometimes permanently.


A blacklist is a list of known or suspected senders of spam. Blacklists are maintained by ISPs and spam-fighting organizations — and if your name gets on a blacklist, it can be very difficult to have it removed. Legitimate email marketers can stay out of trouble with blacklists by following these guidelines:

  • Use a confirmed opt-in system for collecting email addresses
  • Include an unsubscribe link in every email you send
  • Send only materials that reflect the relationship you have established with the people on your list


Basically, blogs (short for "web logs") are a type of online journal. Blogging is a form of online communication that is taking the Internet by storm. "Bloggers" use their sites to express their thoughts, opinions, or any other information they think people might find interesting or useful.

Bloggers update their entries frequently so that visitors will regularly return to their site to see what new information they've posted, and to optimize their site for search engines.

Bloggers often encourage their visitors to comment on their entries, then post these comments on their site, so people can discuss the information they have provided. A well-written blog can become a popular hangout for its readers.

See also: Audioblog, Podcast, Videoblog


A bookmark is a feature offered by most browsers that allows you to save the address (URL) of a favorite website or web page, so you can easily revisit it later on. Many browsers call the bookmark feature “Favorites” or “My Favorites.”

Bounce back

A bounce back occurs when an email that you've sent to someone is returned to you ("bounced back") without ever showing up in the intended recipient's inbox.

There are two kinds of bounce backs: "hard" bounces and "soft" bounces.

A hard bounce is mail that has been returned because it was rejected by the recipient's mail server. This can happen if the email address is incorrect or if the domain name is unknown. If your domain name or "From" address is blocked by the recipient's mail server, you may or may not get a hard bounce (depending on how each mail server is configured).

A soft bounce is mail that has been returned after it was accepted by the recipient's mail server. This usually happens because the recipient's inbox is full. It can also happen if your domain name or "From" address has been blocked by the individual recipient, though as with a "hard" bounce, you may or may not receive the bounced message.

"Brick-and-mortar" business

A brick-and-mortar business is simply one that exists offline, in the "real" world.


A browser is a type of software that can locate and read a web page at an Internet address like The browser reads computer code (HTML, Javascript, CGI scripts, etc.) that looks like this...


... and displays it like this on your computer:


The most common browsers are Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. They can be downloaded for free at and respectively.

Call to action

A call to action is the copy on your site that encourages your visitors to take a specific action. For example, "Click here to discover how you can have a weed-free lawn, all year long!" is a call to action.


In 2003, the United States Congress created the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act to curb spam. This act required the FCC to adopt rules preventing the sending of commercial email messages without permission.

This ban took effect in March 2005. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) adopted detailed rules that restrict the sending of unwanted commercial email messages to computers.

For more information on the Act, check out:

You can check out a complete listing of anti-spam regulations at

CGI script

CGI stands for "Common Gateway Interface," and a CGI script is a "mini-program" that resides on the server of your web host. "Common" means that it is compatible with any browser. CGI scripts are commonly used to process information that users enter into a web form.

For example, on your website you might have a small opt-in form that asks for the names and email addresses of people who want to subscribe to your newsletter. A CGI script would read the subscriber's information from the website and send it to you, so you could add it your newsletter subscriber database.

You can search and download hundreds of free CGI scripts at

Chat room

A chat room is an online forum where people gather to talk about their interests or hobbies, or simply to meet new friends online.

"Click-and-mortar" business

A click and mortar business is one that has both an offline and an online presence, and generates income from both. For example, Borders is a "click and mortar" business. You can buy their books in a store or you can purchase them over the Internet., on the other hand, has no offline stores where you can go to make a purchase. It exists solely as an online business.

Click fraud

Click fraud occurs when someone fraudulently clicks on pay-per-click ads to run up the costs of pay-per-click advertising. The reasons for this are usually to either:

  1. Increase an ad publisher's revenues. (Google AdSense publishers for example get paid when someone clicks on the AdWords ads on their site.)

  2. Put competing site owners at a financial disadvantage by upping their pay-per-click costs (since they pay every time someone clicks on their ads).


A click-through occurs when a user responds to an online advertisement by clicking on a link that takes them to the advertiser's website. Counting click-throughs gives advertisers a better measurement of website traffic than recording hits (also called "pageviews").

Although click-throughs are an important measurement of the success of an online promotion, they do not reflect the quality of site visitors (i.e., How long did they stay? Which pages of your site did they view?).

Banner advertising is typically sold on a "per impression" basis, which is based on the number of hits a site receives. However, purchasing advertising on a click-through basis is usually more profitable for the advertiser.

Click-through rate

The click-through rate is a measurement of the success of an online promotion. It expresses the percentage of viewers of a web page who click through to an advertiser's site.

Currently, the advertising industry average is 0.7% — which means that out of every 143 people who view an ad, one viewer can be expected to take action by visiting the advertiser's site.

If you want to achieve a high click-through rate in your promotions, you need to carefully consider many factors, including your promotion design, your target market, and so on.


A code is a set of symbols that represent something else. The written instructions that computer programmers use to design websites are usually referred to as code.

See also: CGI Script, HTML, JavaScript, Scripts

Confirmed opt-in

"Single opt-in," "notified opt-in," and "confirmed opt-in" are ways to collect opt-in email addresses and protect yourself from accusations of sending spam.

Up until a few years ago, everyone used single opt-in web forms to collect email addresses for marketing campaigns. Visitors to a web page entered their name and email address, and that was it — it was understood that they had given their permission for the owner of the web page to send them email.

"Single" opt-in can be open to abuse, however, so many marketers now take steps to confirm new opt-ins.

"Notified" opt-in helps you avoid these problems by adding an extra step to the opt-in process — a notification email. Each time someone enters their name and email address at your site, you send them an email informing them that they have been added to your list — and giving them an unsubscribe link if they do not actually wish to receive email from you.

"Confirmed" opt-in takes the process one step further. It occurs in three steps. The recipient receives the notification email and then must click on a confirmation link or reply to the message. Only then is their email address added to your opt-in list.


Copy is simply another word for "text" or "writing." The words you use on your site, salesletters, newsletters, and advertisements are all referred to as copy.

Salescopy is the words you write to persuade potential customers to buy your product. It comes in two main forms: short copy and long copy.

Short copy is used in brief product descriptions on a catalog site and in concisely written ads, such as banner ads and pay-per-click ads. It's usually just one or two paragraphs long.

Long copy is used in salesletters and can run anywhere from eight to 20 pages long, or even more.

See also: Salescopy


Cost-per-action is a relatively new advertising program in which pay-per-click advertisers pay for clicks only after a site visitor completes a specified action, such as opting in to a newsletter or purchasing a product.

Google launched a Beta version of a new cost-per-action advertising program in 2006 as a possible means to stamp out click fraud.


A database is a sort of electronic filing system that lets you store and organize information. Customer information stored in a database is often organized into separate fields according to name, email address, types of products purchased, and so on.

You can search for specific information in a database by using queries, then organize the information to create powerful, targeted marketing campaigns.

For instance, if you were planning an online promotion, you could target specific customers by searching your database for all the customers who have bought one product but not another, or who live in a certain geographic area, or who have not made a purchase for more than three months... or all of the above.

Direct-to-desktop technology

Direct-to-desktop technology is a way to deliver information straight to other people's desktops — without using email! The sender uses an application — like Desktop Marketer, for example — that formats and sends the information straight to a "reader" that's been installed on the recipient’s desktop.

It's a great way to deliver information without having to worry about spam filters or people accidentally sending your unread mail to the recycling bin without reading it.


A directory is a listing of millions of websites — Yahoo ( and LookSmart ( are two examples.

Directories are not search engines, though many people confuse the two. In a directory, sites are reviewed by editors who organize them into categories like "Business," "Education," and "Entertainment."

Discussion forum

A discussion forum is a website where people gather to discuss a particular topic — an interest or hobby, perhaps, or something related to a specific industry. Discussion forums can be free for anyone to join, or they can be members-only subscription sites.

Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM)

This is one of two complementary processes used to authenticate email as trustworthy. DKIM verifies that a message has not been altered between sender and receiver, and that the sender has not been identified as a "bad sender."

See also: Sender ID Framework

Domain name

A domain name describes one or more IP addresses. Domain names are used in URLs to identify specific web pages. For example, in the URL "," "" is the domain name.

Every domain name consists of two or more parts separated by dots. The suffix indicates which "top-level domain" it belongs to (for example, the address has the top-level The top-level domains used on the Internet include:

.gov (government agencies)
.edu (educational institutions)
.org (nonprofit organizations)
.mil (military)
.com (commercial business)
.biz (businesses)
.info (informative)
.net (network organizations)

and country-specific domains, such as:

.au (Australia)
.ca (Canada)
.ch (Switzerland)
.cn (China)
.eu (European Union)
.jp (Japan)
.us (United States)
.uk (United Kingdom)


When you download a file, you transfer the file from another computer to your own. While there are a number of ways you can do this on the Internet, FTP, and email attachments are the most common. When you view a web page in your browser, you are essentially downloading the page from the server that it is hosted on.

Drop shipping

Drop shipping is a business arrangement in which someone sells brand-name products on behalf of a manufacturer or distributor, in exchange for a percentage of the sale. The seller advertises the product through his or her site while the drop-shipper is responsible for fulfilling the order — warehousing the stock, packing the orders, and shipping the product to the customers.

Dynamic content

Dynamic content is content that changes on a regular basis. A news site, for example, is filled with dynamic content — its articles change on a daily, and sometimes even an hourly, basis. Blogs are characterized by having frequent content updates.

Dynamic IP address

A dynamic IP address is an "address" made up of of random numbers assigned to your computer by your ISP each time you access the Internet. If you have a dynamic IP address, the number will change each time you access the Internet. However, for a fee, you can request a "static" IP address from your ISP.


An eBook (electronic book) is simply a book written in an electronic format so that it can be downloaded to your computer. Depending on the format of an eBook, you can either read the content on your computer or print a portable hard copy. eBooks are revolutionizing the world of online publishing because they are easy and affordable to publish and distribute.

To learn how you can quickly and easily create your own eBooks to sell your products, promote an information product, or give away as free bonus to add value to your offers, check out

Electronic products

Electronic products, also referred to as electronic information products, are digital pieces of information that can be delivered instantaneously through the Internet. Software products, eBooks, MP3 files, streaming video, and even members-only discussion forums are all examples of electronic products.

Email program

An email program (also referred to as an email client) is the system you use to send and receive email. There are a number of different free and paid email programs on the market. The most popular paid ones include Outlook, Eudora, Entourage, and Netscape Mail; the most popular free email programs include Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, and AOL.

Email promotion

An email promotion is a sales promotion that you introduce to your mailing list via email. For example, if you have a new product to offer, or if you are running a sale, you can alert your leads and customers to this by sending them an informative email message that explains the product or sale and encourages them to visit your site to learn more about it.

Email service provider

Services like Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL and GMail email are all web based, which makes them different from ISPs, although the terms are often used interchangeably. You can access these types of programs away from your own personal computer, since all your information and email exists on their servers, and not on your own hard drive.

Because they offer free email accounts, most people have one — or a few! — and they generally make up the bulk of most email marketers' lists.


An e-zine is an "electronic magazine" that is emailed to a list of subscribers or posted on a website. Many e-zines offer advertising space that is both highly targeted and affordable. And publishing your own e-zine is an excellent way to establish your credibility as an expert in your field and to win the trust (and business!) of your readers.


In the terminology of email marketing, a field is a space in a web form where a user is required to enter information. For example, an opt-in form for your free newsletter will require that users fill in at least three fields: one for "First Name," one for "Last Name," and one for "Email Address."

The information that users enter into a field on your web page is transferred to your database of subscriber information using a CGI script.


A filter is a program that is set up to process incoming information. Email filters can be set up to sort your incoming email and block messages you may not wish to receive.

For example, if you block certain names or addresses from your email account, your incoming messages will be "filtered" to remove any messages that contain these names and addresses. These messages will be bounced back to the account of the person who sent them.

Many email programs allow you to adjust your filter levels. The higher the level of your filter, the more messages will be blocked. Higher-level filters will check messages for certain words or phrases that are often found in spam (e.g., "order today," "100% satisfied," and "money-back guarantee") and then block these messages. With a high filter setting, you do run the risk of losing messages that you want to receive.

Most email clients come with some sort of filtering capability included. If yours does not have one, you can use a number of free and paid filters for superior spam filtering. Some of these include:


A firewall is a program that protects a computer or network from unauthorized access through the Internet. If you're not using firewall software, web surfers may be able to access (through your Internet connection) information that is stored on your computer.

Most companies that do business on the Internet install firewall software to prevent outsiders from accessing private company data.


A flame is an insulting or offensive message, usually sent in response to someone who has broken the rules of "netiquette" (Internet etiquette). If you are running an email marketing campaign, you may unintentionally offend someone at some point — and as a result, you may receive angry email or be treated rudely in a public discussion.

If you are "flamed" like this, it is best to avoid attacking back and starting what is sometimes called a "flame war." If you feel that you have made an error and should apologize, do so. If you do not feel that an apology is necessary, the best response is no response at all.


FTP stands for "File Transfer Protocol," which is a method of uploading and downloading files through the Internet. FTP used to be the only method available, but now there are simpler methods such as email attachments, PDF files, and HTML files. Owners of websites usually use FTP to upload new files to their sites.


GIF files (GIF stands for "Graphics Interchange Format") are the most common type of image files used on the Internet. These files are compressed so that they take up a minimum amount of space, and can therefore be downloaded much faster than other graphics files.

GIF files are limited to 256 colors, but can be animated (like a short video clip) or transparent (to blend in with the background of a web page).

They are typically used in web pages as backgrounds, banners, advertisements, and buttons.


A gigabyte is a unit that describes the storage capacity of a computer's memory or hard disk. One gigabyte of information is the equivalent of about one billion text characters (i.e., letters or numbers).

<h> tag

An <h> tag is like a brightly colored post-it note within your HTML source code that alerts search engine spiders to your headline and subheads — places that contain important information according to the search engines.

HTML <h> tags look like this:

<h1>, <h2>, <h3>

As you can see, <h> tags always contain a number, since the search engine spiders view them in order of importance — an <h1> tag is more important to note than an <h2> tag, for example.

Framed around a headline, an <h> tag looks like this within your source code:

<h1>Looking for a great selection of discount yoga supplies for all yoga levels and all types of yoga?</h1>


Traffic to a website can be measured in "hits," which describes the number of times a file (like a page or a graphic) is downloaded from a web server. However, counting hits is a poor way to measure web traffic.

Here's why:

If your web page has five graphics, you'll count six hits every time someone views the page (one for the page, plus one for each graphic). Therefore, when someone claims that their web page has received over 1,000 hits, it may actually have received 100 actual visitors, if not fewer. Counting click-throughs provides advertisers with a far more accurate measurement of the effectiveness of a campaign.


HTML stands for "Hypertext Markup Language." It is the code that browsers read and translate into a viewable web page. HTML tells the browser where to put text, graphics, forms, tables, sound, video, color, etc.

It's easy to see the HTML code behind any web page on the Internet. In Internet Explorer, select "View Source" under the "View" menu; other browsers like Firefox or Safari use similar technology. A great online HTML tutorial we recommend can be found at


A hyperlink, or "link," is a piece of text or a graphic that is "linked" to a web page (or to a specific location on a web page). When you click on a hyperlink, you are automatically transferred to its target page or location. Hyperlinks are usually blue and underlined like this.

When they are activated, they change color and become purple (the colors and formatting can be easily changed from these defaults by the website designer, but we recommend that you stick with the standard so that links are obvious on your website.)

Hyperlinks also appear in the form of arrows, buttons, or graphics.

See also: Link

Image <alt> tag

Image tags are placeholders within your HTML source code that tell the browser where your images are located. They ensure that your images will get loaded to your web page so your visitors will see them.

Image tags typically look like this:

<img src="myimage.jpg" height="120" width="476">

Because search engine spiders can only index text, they skip over non-textual elements in your source code, like image tags. By including an <alt> tag within this image tag, like this:

<img src="myimage.jpg" alt="your keywords" height="120" width="476">

... you transform it into something the spiders can index. Image <alt> tags are also good for search engine optimization, since they increase the number of times a keyword can be featured on a web page.


The number of times a banner ad is downloaded from a server (and possibly viewed) is referred to as the number of "impressions" it receives. Banner advertising is usually sold on a cost per thousand (CPM) basis.

Advertisers use impressions to measure the effectiveness of an advertising campaign — but impressions, like hits, give a relatively inaccurate measurement of how many times a downloaded ad has actually been viewed. Users may be viewing web pages in a text-only browser, or they may not scroll far enough down a page to see the ad.

Instant messaging (IM)

Instant messaging is a type of communication service that allows you to communicate instantaneously with other people over the Internet. You can alert other people using the same instant messaging service that you're online and want to chat with them, and they can respond immediately.

It's like talking over the telephone, only using text instead of talking. Three popular instant messaging services are the AOL Instant Messager, Microsoft Messenger, and Apple iChat.


Inventory is the quantity of products you have available for sale at any given time.

IP Address

IP stands for "Internet Protocol." An IP address appears as a set of four numbers separated by periods (e.g., and acts as a unique identifier for your computer when you are connected to a network or the Internet. IP addresses are unique sets of registered numbers and are often referred to as "Internet addresses."

The InterNIC Registration Service assigns Internet addresses that identify a particular network and a particular web host on that network. Your web host then provides you with an IP address that is linked to your domain name.


ISP stands for "Internet Service Provider." Your ISP is the company that provides you with access to the Internet.

The ISP is (or should be) connected to the Internet 24 hours a day. If you have telephone dial-up access, your computer's modem dials the phone number of the ISP, which then connects you to the Internet and allows you access to your email and the World Wide Web. If your ISP provides high-speed cable or DSL service, you have access to the Internet 24 hours a day — whenever your computer is turned on.


JavaScript is a programming language that allows web designers to incorporate dynamic, interactive graphics and other elements into the layout of a web page.

Joint venture

A joint venture is a mutually beneficial partnership between two or more businesses. For example, the businesses might work together to create a product they can all sell and profit from. Or, they might enter into an agreement where each promotes the other's products.

Junk email

Junk email, also called spam, is the same as the junk mail you receive via snail mail — except that it is delivered electronically.

Many email programs offer spam filtering, which sorts your mail so that unsolicited mail goes to a "junk mail" folder, where you can review and delete it quickly.

KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index)

KEI is a measurement used by the keyword selection tool Wordtracker to determine how useful a particular keyword will be. A high KEI indicates that a lot of people are searching for information related to that keyword in the search engines, but not finding many useful results. That means the keyword is very popular and will drive lots of traffic to a website that uses it strategically on its website.


A keyword is simply a word or phrase that people type into a search engine when seeking information. The results generated will include websites that include content related to those keywords. For example, when searching for websites about dogs, you might use the keywords "dog," "puppy," "pet food," "beagle," and so on.

Keyword density

This refers to the number of times your keywords appear throughout your website as compared to all other words.

For example: if your keyword is “dog” and your entire web page content is composed of the single sentence “I love my dog,” then the keyword density of “dog” would be 25%.

(Keyword Density = 1 instance of “dog,” divided by 4 words, multiplied by 100 = 25%.)

Keyword spamming

This is the term given to the excessive use of the same keyword on a single web page. For example, here's a piece of text that includes the keyword phrase "bubble gum" a few too many times:

“Here at Blowing Bubbles Bubble Gum Factory, our homemade bubble gum kits include everything you need to make your own bubble gum. Making bubble gum is great entertainment for the whole family! With our homemade bubble gum kits, you can make bubble gum of different flavors: cherry bubble gum, root beer bubble gum, and of course, bubble-gum flavored bubble gum!”

Site owners who use this tactic hope that by increasing the number of keywords on their web pages, they'll boost their ranking in the search engines.

However, most search engines forbid keyword spamming since the content offers little value to human readers, and site owners who use this black hat tactic run the risk of being penalized by the search engines.


A link, or "hyperlink," is a piece of text or graphic that is "linked" to a web page (or to a specific location on a web page.) When you click on a hyperlink, you are automatically transferred to its target page or location. Hyperlinks are usually blue and underlined like this.

When they are activated, they change color and become purple (the colors and formatting can be easily changed from these defaults by the website designer, but we recommend that you stick with the standard so that links are obvious on your site.)

Links also appear in the form of arrows, buttons, or graphics.

Link relevance

Search engines consider "link relevance" — the quality of content of any sites that link to yours — when ranking your site in their search results.

Link relevance takes two main factors into account:

  1. Is the site linking to your website similar (or relevant) to yours?
  2. Does the site linking to yours contain keywords that people are using to find your site?

The more relevant the linking site's content is to your site's topic, the higher you are likely to rank in the search results.

Mailing list

Your mailing list is the list of customers and subscribers who have given you their email addresses so that they may receive email from you. This list is one of the most valuable components of your business — and it should be treated as such! Never give or sell your list to anyone.

To avoid being accused of sending spam when sending email to the people on your list, always make sure that they know these three things:

  1. Who you are
  2. The nature of your relationship with them
  3. Why you are sending them email

Mail server

Your mail server is the computer (and the software it uses) that transmits, receives, and stores your email messages. It is located at your email program and/or your ISP.

"Members-only" site

A members-only site, or subscription site, is one that allows only registered subscribers to access the content available on the site. Most members-only sites cost money to join.

Merge field

A merge field is basically a place-holder in an electronic file. It allows you to input information from another electronic file. When you're word processing or writing emails, you can use merge fields to generate form letters by combining one file that contains a list of names, addresses, and other relevant information with a second file that contains the text of the letter or email.

For example, if your email contains the field "Dear [name]," then all the names in a second file will automatically be inserted into the [name] field when you merge the two files together.

Meta search engine

A meta search engine is one that searches the results listed in other search engines. The position of a website is calculated using its combined ranking in all of the engines included in the meta search engine's search.

For example, if you search a term on the popular meta search engine, you'll receive the results that are listed on regular search engines like Google, Yahoo, Ask, About, FindWhat, LookSmart, and more.

Meta tag

Meta tags provide keywords and other information to search engines, allowing the search engines to suggest relevant pages when a user enters a keyword. The meta tags on a web page are not visible to web surfers unless they view the source code.


When we talk about your site metrics, basically we're referring to the numbers that reflect how your site is performing. Examples of site metrics include the following: the number of visitors to your site, the number of page views you get, how long your visitors spend on each page, and the percentage of visitors that convert into buying customers.


MIME stands for "Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions." MIME allows you to send email with multiple components (like graphics and HTML code) that will appear differently on the recipient's computer. When the email arrives, the recipient's computer displays the most appropriate version.

Most email programs are now MIME compliant.

MP3 file

An MP3 file is an electronic audio file that can be downloaded from the Internet. Music is often stored as an MP3 file, as the sound quality of an MP3 is comparable to what you'd get on a regular CD track.

Natural listings

Natural or "organic" listings are the sites a search engine provides in its search results in response to the search query.

These listings are called "natural" as they are generated and ranked according to relevancy, not the amount a site owner has paid to have them listed, as with sponsored listings.


A newsgroup is an online discussion forum where users post and reply to messages from other users. Newsgroup members regularly receive the latest postings by email.

Niche market

A niche market is a group of people who are searching the Internet for a solution to a problem and not finding many relevant search results. They share a need related to a common interest and, therefore, are the perfect group of people to develop as a customer base. By developing a product or service that satisfies their shared need, you can build a profitable business!

On-demand merchandising sites

On-demand merchandising sites allow people to sell products through storefronts that are part of the site's online "real estate." The products are designed by the seller but supplied, created, stored, and delivered by the on-demand merchandising site.

Sellers select products from a catalog of available merchandise and then have those products imprinted with a graphic or catchy logo that they've designed themselves. They can then sell their custom-designed items through an online "storefront" they've set up through the on-demand merchandising site. It's also possible to publish and sell books, CDs, and DVDs in the same way.


When you opt in to a mailing list, you give someone your email address, usually by entering it into a web form. By opting in, you give them permission to add you to their opt-in mailing list and send you email - usually in the form of a newsletter or e-zine. You might also fill out an opt-in form in order to be entered in a contest, or to receive a free eBook or whitepaper.

For the three types of opt-in procedure, see confirmed opt-in.

Organic listings

Organic or "natural" listings are the sites a search engine provides in its search results that appear to contain information relevant to the search query.

These listings are called "organic" as they are generated and ranked according to relevance, not the amount a site owner has paid to have them listed, as in pay-per-click.


Overhead is a term that's used to describe the daily costs of running a business — such as employee wages, office rent, electricity, hot water, and computer supplies, among other things.

Pay-per-click (PPC)

A pay-per-click search engine is a lot like an auction — it allows you to bid for top-ranking positions under keywords of your choice. For each visitor who searches the keyword(s) you rank under and then clicks through to your website, you pay whatever you bid.

Prices typically range from five cents to numerous dollars per click-through for popular keywords. The top two pay-per-clicks are Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing.


PDF stands for "Portable Document Format." Like HTML or text format, it is a way of formatting a file. PDF is promoted and marketed by Adobe Systems Inc., and is widely used with eBooks, newsletters, e-zines, and other online versions of print publications.

Both Windows and Mac users can read PDF files using Adobe Acrobat Reader. For a free copy of Acrobat Reader, go to:


Perl stands for "Practical Extraction and Report Language." It is one of the most popular programming languages for writing programs and scripts (like those used for web forms).


A podcast is a music or talk show, or other audio recording, that is delivered to listeners who subscribe through an RSS feed.

A subscriber can access feeds through a "feed reader" or "aggregator" like Juice ( or iPoddder ( that downloads them all to the user's computer, and then transfers them directly to their digital MP3 music player. This process became known as "podcasting" because one of the most popular MP3 players around at the time was Apple's iPod.

See also: Audioblog


A pop-up is a small window that appears on top of a website, covering the information behind it. Pop-ups are often used to advertise products or services, or to encourage website visitors to subscribe to a newsletter or sign up for some other free service.


A portal is a website that offers its visitors a wide range of information, resources, and services. A typical portal will feature regularly updated news articles, discussion forums, search engines, online-shopping malls, and free email service. Two of the Web's most popular portals are Yahoo and

Portals can be either "horizontal" or "vertical" in nature. Horizontal portals feature resources and information that span a wide range of different topics and purposes. Vertical portals, or vortals, on the other hand, tend to cater only to a particular industry or interest group. An example of a vortal is It offers an extensive catalog of resources and articles related to the law and legal issues.

Privacy policy

A privacy policy is an essential tool for every email marketer. It is a public statement declaring that you will never share, sell, or give away the email addresses that the people on your mailing list have trusted you with. If you will be sending email to a mailing list, you must develop a privacy policy and post it on your website. The following is an example of a typical privacy policy:

"[Company name] supports the right to personal privacy and corporate security on the Internet. [Company name] will never sell or market names, email addresses, or any other privileged information about our clients or subscribers."

You can get a free, customized privacy policy at

Profit stream

A profit stream is simply a source of revenue for your business. If you sell a product on your site, that's one profit stream. If you sell any backend products on your site, they represent additional profit streams.

Qualified traffic

Qualified traffic is traffic that is highly likely to be interested in and capable of buying what you're selling. For example, if you sell high-end tennis gear, then qualified traffic would consist of skilled tennis players who are willing to spend more money than the average person on high-quality tennis equipment.

You find qualified traffic by listing your site with the 'Net's major search engines and advertising your site in places where members of your target market are likely to hang out, such as discussion forums and industry-specific portals.

Reader application

A reader application is a piece of software that allows people to "read" information that's sent to their computer via an RSS feed, direct-to-desktop technology, and other forms of direct file transfer technology.

Readers are used to access audio and video files, as well as text files that are sent through direct file transfer technology.

Real audio file (.ra)

A real audio file is an audio file that has been specially formatted to play on the audio software application Real Player. Real Player — along with Windows Media and QuickTime — is one of the most popular audio players.

Reciprocal linking

Reciprocal linking is an arrangement in which site owners agree to link to each other's sites in an attempt to benefit from the other site's traffic and drive more visitors to their own site.


A redirect is a link that automatically sends a visitor from one site to another site. For example, if you have recently changed your URL, you would probably want to set up a redirect that sends people who visit your old address to the new location of your site.

Referral fee

A referral fee is a sum of money paid out to someone who refers a new lead or customer to a business. Some businesses only pay referral fees when the referred customer makes a purchase; others will pay a referral fee for each new visitor to their site.

See also: Affiliate

Reprint rights

When you buy the reprint rights to a product, you can sell the product and keep 100% of the profits. You're able to reproduce and sell as many copies of the product as you wish.

If you buy the master rights to a product, in addition to reproducing and selling that product and keeping 100% of the profits, you can also sell its reprint rights to other people.


The reputation attached to your Sender ID is a record of the types of mail you've sent, your opt-in practices, the number of end-user complaints you've received, the number of messages that are caught in spam traps, etc. It tells ISPs receiving your email how good (or bad!) an email sender you are. This affects whether or not your messages will be filtered or blocked by email providers or programs.

It used to be possible only to build a bad reputation, but by following agreed-upon best practices and authenticating your email, you can now build a good reputation, which will improve your delivery rates.

See also: Accreditation, Authentication, Domain Keys Identified Mail, Sender ID Framework

Resell rights

If you buy the resell rights to another person's product, you are given permission to sell that product in exchange for a percentage of each sale. However, you are not allowed to reproduce the product yourself — new stock is supplied by its owner, who retains the right to cancel production or alter the product if he or she so desires.


ROI stands for "return on investment," and is a measure of how much money a sales strategy generates in relation to how much it cost to implement. For example, if you spend $1,000 on a sales promotion that generates $10,000 in sales, then your ROI is ten times your original investment, or 1,000% (10 x 100% = 1,000%).

RSS feed

RSS stands for "Rich Site Summary" or "Really Simple Syndication," depending on who you ask. It's a format that allows you to take the content from your website, blog, or email newsletter and "feed" it directly to a reader application that your recipients install on their computer desktops.

The reader application allows them to access the information you send through the RSS feed — without ever opening their Internet browser or email program.

RSS feeds allow you to add syndicated dynamic content supplied by other sites to your site. You can also syndicate your own content and so it can be delivered dynamically to other sites in the same fashion.


Salescopy is the words you write to persuade potential customers to buy your product. It comes in two main forms: short copy and long copy.

Short copy is used in brief product descriptions on a catalog site and in concisely written ads, such as banner ads and pay-per-click ads. It's usually just one or two paragraphs long.

Long copy is used in salesletters and can run anywhere from 8 to 20 pages long, or more, and can be a very effective sales tactic.


In computer programming, a script is a program or list of instructions that is interpreted or carried out by another program. A script language is a programming language, like Perl or CGI, with which you can write scripts.

A common example of a script is the Perl program used to indicate local time on a computer running Microsoft Windows.

See Also: CGI Script, HTML, JavaScript, Perl

Search engine

Search engines are essential Internet tools, used for locating websites related to particular subjects. When you visit a search engine website, you type in keywords or key phrases, and the search engine locates websites that match your keywords.

Each search engine has different criteria by which it searches and lists websites — so you will get different results by searching for the same keyword combinations in different search engines.

Search engines compile huge databases that contain millions of records, including the URL of a particular web page and information about its content. They also rank websites according to various criteria, such as the overall popularity of a site, or the number of pages on the web that link to that site. Getting a high search engine ranking is an important part of bringing traffic to your site. Popular search engines include...

Search engine optimization

Search engine optimization, or "SEO", is the process of making your website attract the search engine spiders in order to maximize its rankings in the search results. It includes many separate strategies, including using keywords that people are searching for and getting other relevant sites to link to yours.

Search engine spiders

At their most basic level, search engines are computer programs that use spiders — also known as crawlers, robots, and ’bots — to “crawl” the Web and index, or record, the content of each web page they encounter.

"Googlebot," Google's spider, indexes an estimated 100 web pages per second!

Secure server

If you are planning to conduct credit card transactions or collect personal information at your website, you will need access to a secure server. A secure server encrypts personal information (i.e., converts it into a secret code) to make sure it cannot be viewed by unauthorized users.

There are a couple of ways to know whether you are on a secure page. Your browser might display a picture of a lock or key to indicate that the page is secure. Another sign of a secure page is a URL that starts with https rather than http.

Check with your web host to see if they have secure server capabilities. If you have yet to choose a web host, this is a feature that you may want to ask about. Look for a web host with low or no additional setup fees. Note, though, that your entire site does not need to be secured — just your order page.

Sender ID Framework (SIDF)

Sender ID is the primary method of authentication used by email providers to decide whether to approve or filter email messages for their users. The process includes publishing your domain records so your IP address can be approved for each email you send, proving it is a genuine domain and that the message is really coming from you.

SIDF is not compulsory, but if you have a static IP address, it is worth your while to implement SIDF to build your reputation


A server is a computer dedicated to storing files. Web hosting companies store (or "host") websites on their servers for a monthly or annual fee.

Shopping bot

Shopping bots are a kind of specialty search engine designed to help shoppers find the products or services they are looking for on the Internet. They list specific product information so shoppers can compare features and prices. Some shopping bots also allow consumers to leave reviews about particular products.

The term "bot" comes from the search engine "robots" that comb websites looking for information to index — in this case, product and pricing information and direct links to the corresponding sites where consumers can make a purchase. Four of the 'Net's top shopping bots are (formerly known as BizRate),,, and

Shopping cart

No, we're not talking about the carts you push around the aisles of your local grocery store! An online shopping cart is simply a software application that "collects" the products you want to purchase on a sales site and places your orders for them.

The shopping cart stores information such as product details, customer data, and ordering information, and displays this information to store visitors. It also includes an administration area that allows the site owner to manage the store, i.e., add new products and set up shipping and payment options.


A sitemap is a web page that lists and provides links to all the pages on a website. Sitemaps can be organized alphabetically, in order of importance, or however the webmaster chooses. They help visitors — as well as search engines — to find individual pages on a website.

Skyscraper ads

Skyscraper ads are banners that run vertically down the side of a web page.

Snail mail

The regular postal system — complete with stamps, envelopes, and standing in line.

Source code

Source code is the original program instructions (usually written in HTML) that make up a web page. You can view the source code of any web page in Internet Explorer by selecting "View Source" from the View menu.

Other browsers, like Firefox and Safari, also let you see the source code (although the labeling is a bit different.)


Spam is unsolicited commercial email. You are "spamming" people if you send email to people who have not given you permission to do so.

If you send spam, be prepared for serious consequences: Your email messages may be caught in spam filters, your email account may be blacklisted by spam-fighting organizations (or shut down by your ISP), and your web host may suspend your service.

See also: Junk email, UBE, UCE


Split-testing (also known as A/B testing) refers to the process of testing out slight variations of the same element at the same time to test out which one gets the best response.

You can use split-testing to test out elements of your salescopy, or variations of pay-per-click ads or email promotions.

Sponsored listings

Sponsored listings are ads that a search engine places adjacent to its organic listings. Sponsored listings generally appear in a highlighted area on the top or bottom of the organic listings, and also down the right hand side. Their position on the listings page is based on how much the site owner has paid to be included for specific search terms.

When a searcher clicks on a sponsored listing, the site's owner pays the search engine for driving traffic to his or her site.

Static content

Static content is web page content that remains the same for long periods of time without changing, as opposed to dynamic content, which gets updated and changed frequently.


A site's "stickiness" is the degree to which it entices visitors to stick around to check out its content and resources and encourages them to return regularly to see what new features are being offered.


Streaming is a method of transferring data over the Internet in such a way that it's processed by the end user as a steady and continuous stream. Unlike downloading, which can take a long time if you're trying to access a large multimedia file, streaming allows you to access the data before the entire file has been transferred.

Subscription site

A subscription site, or "members-only" site, is one that allows only registered subscribers to access the content available on the site. Most subscription sites cost money to join.

Text format

Text format, otherwise known as ASCII ("American Standard Code for Information Interchange"), is simply unformatted text. No special fonts, no bolding, no italics, no underlining, no color — just plain text. All email programs can receive and display email written in text format, whereas some cannot display email written in HTML.

Text messaging

Text messaging is a type of communication service that allows you to send brief text messages to a mobile device, such as a cell phone, PDA, or pager. Text messages are usually limited to just a few hundred characters.

<title> tag

A <title> tag is a simple piece of HTML code that's located in the "head," or top bar, of your Web page. You can find your <title> tag at the top of the source code of your web page inside the <head></head> tags. It looks something like this:

<title>Insert keyword-rich site site description here</title>

A <title> tag is as important to a web page as a title is to a book. The <title> tag tells both search engines and people searching what they can expect to find on a web page.


When we talk about "tracking your results," we're talking about monitoring things like...

  • The number of visitors who come to your site, where they go on your site, how long they spend there, and what page they're on when they decide to leave your site
  • The number of people who visit your sales page after receiving an email promotion, and the percentage of those people that actually make a purchase
  • How your sales improve or decrease after you make a change to your sales copy and site design

... and more. It's important to track your results because tracking arms you with the valuable information you need to improve your sales process and make sure you're getting the highest ROI possible!


Nope, we're not talking about the congestion you have to deal with during rush hour! Traffic is simply the term that refers to the people who visit your site. A high-traffic site is one that gets a lot of visitors.

Transactional email

Transactional email is email sent in response to a transaction or an ongoing relationship (e.g., order confirmations, shipping information, customer service messages, account information, bills.)

These messages present an outstanding opportunity to build a relationship by providing more information, and to upsell by suggesting further products or services the customer might be interested in.


UBE stands for "Unsolicited Bulk Email." In other words, spam — just a different way of saying it!


UCE stands for "Unsolicited Commercial Email." It's — you guessed it — spam!

Unique visitor

This term simply refers to the number of first-time visitors who come to your site during a given period of time. A person is only counted as a "unique visitor" the first time he or she visits your site — repeat visits aren't tallied.

Unique visitors to a website or web page are tracked by their unique IP addresses, which are much like online fingerprints. However, a person's IP address can change over time. The number of unique visitors can be misleading for this reason. Repeat visitors can sometimes be counted as unique visitors because their IP addresses have changed.

Unsubscribe link

If you are sending email messages to an opt-in mailing list, you MUST include an unsubscribe link in the body of each and every message. An unsubscribe link sends a message to the list owner (in this case, to you) requesting that the recipient of the original email be removed from the sender's list. If you send a promotional email without including an unsubscribe link, you may be accused of sending spam.


You upload information when you transfer it from your own computer to another computer. For example, after you create a web page on your own computer, you upload it to the server of your web host, where it is posted on the World Wide Web.


Upselling is the practice of persuading someone in the process of making a purchase to add another item or two to their order. For example, when you go to a fast-food restaurant and order a burger, the person behind the counter is trying to upsell you when he or she asks, "Would you like fries and a drink with that?"

Done properly, upselling can really boost your revenues. The key lies in trying to upsell the customer on items that relate to their purchase and are likely to interest them.


URL stands for "Uniform Resource Locator." Your URL is the online address of your website or web page. For example, the URL of the Internet Marketing Center is


You add value to a sale by offering your potential customers something extra in addition to the product or service you offer. For example, a value-added offer can be a free eBook for customers who buy your main product.

Vertical portal

Vertical portals, or vortals, are websites that focus on a specific topic and allow you to search for information on that topic. Many vertical portals are directory-based, but some even have their own internal search engines that search the Web looking for sites related to their topic.

See also: Vortal


A videoblog, or "vlog," is a weblog that has video-based content. These video posts are usually accompanied by text or images that provide context for, or analysis of the video presentation.

Videoblogs are created by "videobloggers" or "vloggers," while the act itself is referred to as "videoblogging" or "vlogging."

Viral marketing

Viral marketing is any type of advertising that is "self-perpetuating," compelling people to share it with others via email or word-of-mouth so that it spreads through a community like a virus — but a good one!


Vertical portals, or "vortals" are websites that focus on a specific topic and allow you to search for information on that topic. Many vortals are directory-based, but some even have their own internal search engines that search the web looking for sites related to their topic.

WAV file

A WAV file is an audio file that has been specially formatted to play on all Windows and IBM audio software applications.

Web form

A web form (also called an opt-in form) is an HTML form that contains fields for collecting information. To subscribe to an online newsletter or e-zine, you are generally required to fill in the "Name" and "Email Address" fields on a web form.

In order to send the collected information to the owner of the form, a web form needs to incorporate a programming script (usually a CGI script).


A webinar is a seminar or workshop that's conducted over the Internet. It doesn't have to take place in "real time." Its participants can log in to join the webinar whenever they have time to do so.

Web host

A web hosting company sells online "space" where websites are stored (or "hosted"). A web host's computers are (ideally) connected to the Internet 24 hours a day, so that web surfers around the world can access your page at any time of day or night.

It is important that you choose a reputable, dependable web host - because a web host can literally make or break your business! Unfortunately, most people do not realize exactly how serious choosing their web host is. Look for a web host that offers:

  • Fast servers
  • Full domain name support and registration services
  • Static IP addresses
  • No charges for access, bandwidth, or hits
  • Unrestricted CGI access
  • Public and private FTP access
  • Telnet access and Cron jobs
  • Web-based administration
  • Access to raw server logs
  • Secure server capability
  • Full email services
  • Power and daily server backups
  • Unlimited customer support
  • No minimum contracts

The difference between a mediocre web host and a high-quality one will only be about $30 per month. And this is not an area where you should pinch pennies — because it could end up costing you your business! To learn more about a web host that we highly recommend, visit:

Web log

A web log is a summary of all the activity that has taken place on your website over a given period of time. It can show you how many visitors have come to your site, where they went, how long they spent there, and where they were when they left. It's a rich source of valuable information!

If you don't already have access to your web logs, get in touch with your web host.


A whitepaper is a detailed, authoritative report on any aspect of a certain field or industry. Offering a free whitepaper on your website is an excellent way to collect opt-in email addresses.


Widgets can be whatever you want them to be. It's a generic term used to refer to a product of some kind.


A wiki is a website that allows multiple users to add and edit content easily. The term is thought to come originally from the Hawaiian word for "quick" or "fast," although some people also claim it to be an acronym for the phrase "what I know is... "

Wikis are similar to regular websites in that they exist at a static URL, can show up in search engine results (if the wiki is "public"), and have content that can be updated or changed, but unlike static websites, the process of changing the content is open to a community of users, rather than just the website owner.