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Glossary of Internet Terms

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Copyright © 2010 Ivana Katz

Ivana Katz photoIf you've been on the internet for a while, you've no doubt come across new words, whose meaning may have baffled you. It's difficult to keep up with the latest computer and internet lingo, but here are a few of the new commonly used terms on the internet today.

Affiliate Program

This is a program where a person (an affiliate) is paid a commission to advertise a particular product, service or web site. The affiliate is given a special link to refer customers to the target web site. The company pays commission based on hits and/or sales from these links. The amount of commission paid varies. Most programs pay for sales; some programs pay for clicks on their site. Some programs even pay for finding new affiliates.


An icon or graphic that represents you on message boards, chat rooms, IM programs, 3-D chat rooms and virtual worlds. Your avatar can be whatever you want it to be. There are graphic elements, animals, cartoons and pictures used as avatars on the Internet.


A blog is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse - chronological order.

Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (artlog), photographs (photoblog), sketches (sketchblog), videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), audio (podcasting), which are part of a wider network of social media. As of December 2007, blog search engine Technorati was tracking more than 112 million blogs.[2] With the advent of video blogging, the word blog has taken on an even looser meaning - that of any bit of media wherein the subject expresses his opinion or simply talks about something.


A breadcrumb or breadcrumb trail is the part of the navigation that shows you where you are. Breadcrumb trails are often found near the top of Web pages and define both the current location within the site hierarchy as well as primary pages above the current page.


A message given to a Web browser by a Web server. The browser stores the message in a text file. The message is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.

The main purpose of cookies is to identify users and possibly prepare customized Web pages for them. When you enter a Web site using cookies, you may be asked to fill out a form providing such information as your name and interests. This information is packaged into a cookie and sent to your Web browser which stores it for later use. The next time you go to the same Web site, your browser will send the cookie to the Web server. The server can use this information to present you with custom Web pages. So, for example, instead of seeing just a generic welcome page you might see a welcome page with your name on it.

Deep Linking

This is when you link to a page other than the homepage of a website.

Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay Per Click Advertising, or PPC, is an online advertising payment model in which the payment is based on the number of "clicks" that are generated. PPC can also be called "cost per click."

As an advertiser, here's how it works. You bid for certain keywords that are related to the content of your site (the information or products that you offer). When a user searches with these keywords in a search engine, they are shown your listing, as well as others that are bidding on the same keywords. If the user clicks on your listing, you pay the amount that you have bid. The highest bidding advertisers will appear first in the search results, and the subsequent listings are ranked by the amount of their bid.

Bids for keywords can be anything from a few cents to a few dollars per click. Part of managing a PPC advertising campaign well is determining how much needs to be spent per click in order to get a good balance between visibility (your listing showing on the first page of the search results) and the advertising budget.


A podcast is a series of digital-media files, which are distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and computers. The term podcast, like broadcast, can refer either to the series of content itself or to the method by which it is syndicated; the latter is also called podcasting. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster.


RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication". It is a way to easily distribute a list of headlines, update notices, and sometimes content to a wide number of people. It is used by computer programs that organize those headlines and notices for easy reading.

Search Engine Optimisation

This is the method of optimizing your website content, meta tags, linking structure, etc. in order to ensure good website rankings.

Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet with the help of metadata.

In a social bookmarking system, users save links to web pages that they want to remember and/or share. These bookmarks are usually public, and can be saved privately, shared only with specified people or groups, shared only inside certain networks, or another combination of public and private domains. The allowed people can usually view these bookmarks chronologically, by category or tags, or via a search engine.

Most social bookmark services encourage users to organize their bookmarks with informal tags instead of the traditional browser-based system of folders, although some services feature categories/folders or a combination of folders and tags. They also enable viewing bookmarks associated with a chosen tag, and include information about the number of users who have bookmarked them. Some social bookmarking services also draw inferences from the relationship of tags to create clusters of tags or bookmarks.

Social Networking

Social Networking means exactly the same thing online as it does offline. It is a social structure made up of relationships and links, whether strong or weak, to people we have something in common with. Apply this to the web and you have a series of websites where people gather to interact with other like-minded individuals. Just like offline social networking people are given a forum where they have the opportunity to meet others in a familiar environment, to chat, participate in events, combine temporarily to form sub-networks, create private networks or interact in public networks.


A term meaning "quick" in Hawaiian, that is used for technology that gathers in one place a number of web pages focused on a theme, project, or collaboration. Wikis are generally used when users or group members are invited to develop, contribute, and update the content of the wiki. Wikis can be passworded in various ways to control or allow contributions. The most famous wiki is the Wikipedia.

The recent growth of Social Networking online has been seen in the proliferation of sites such as MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Bebo, Flickr, Friends Reunited being among the more well known ones.

For more internet and computer related terms visit Webopedia, Internet Marketing Definitions or Wikipedia.

Ivana Katz of Websites 4 Small Business makes it easy for you to get your business on the internet. If you're looking for a professional and affordable website designer, visit and download a free website plan.



See also: Internet-related terms glossary

Published - March 2010

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