a page that serves as an index to a group of pages that you would like the search engine spiders to find. Once a search engine spider indexes the hallway page, it should also follow all the links on that hallway page and in turn index those pages as well.
Heading Tags – The heading element briefly describes the subject of the section it introduces, and are generally used to denote places of importance on any given web page. If your website were a book, heading tags would closely resemble chapter headings.
Heading elements go from H1 to H6 with the lower numbered headings being most important (H1 = most important, H6 = least important).
An H1 element source would look like:
Heading elements may be styled using CSS [link:]. Many content management systems [link:] place the same content in the main page heading and the page title, although in many cases it may be preferential to mix them up if possible.
Tip: You should only use a single H1 element on each page, and may want to use multiple other heading elements to structure a document.
Hidden Text – SEO technique used to show search engine spiders text that human visitors do not see.
While some sites may get away with it for a while, generally the risk to reward ratio is inadequate for most legitimate sites to consider using hidden text.
Hits – This generally means all requests from a webserver including requests by a web browser for html pages, jpeg’s, gif’s and other images. Hits is an outdated phrase often thrown around when referring to website traffic, but is generally not very meaningful in quantitfying actual search engine traffic.
Homepage – The main page on your website, which is largely responsible for helping develop your brand and setting up the navigational schemes that will be used to help users and search engines navigate your website.
As far as SEO goes, a home page is typically going to be one of the easier pages to rank for some of your more competitive terms, largely because it is easy to build links at a home page.
You should ensure your homepage stays focused and reinforces your brand though, and do not assume that most of your visitors will come to your site via the home page. If your site is well structured many pages on your site will likely be far more popular and rank better than your home page for relevant queries.
Home Directory – The directory in which your site’s main index page is located. usually named /public_html/, or /www/ or /web/.
.htaccess – Apache directory-level configuration file which can be used to password protect or redirect files.
As a note of caution, make sure you copy your current .htaccess file before editing it, and do not edit it on a site that you can’t afford to have go down unless you know what you are doing.
HTML – HyperText Markup Language is the language in which pages on the World Wide Web are created.
Some newer web pages are also formatted in XHTML.
HTTP – HyperText Transfer Protocol is the foremost used protocol to communicate between servers and web browsers. Hypertext transfer protocol is the means by which data is transferred from its residing location on a server to an active browser.
Hubs – A document that links out to many other documents devoted to a single topic. Think of any category page in a major directory like Yahoo! or DMOZ. All the documents linked to are assumed to be authorities (sort of a circular logic).
Topical hubs are sites which link to well trusted within their topical community. A topical authority is a page which is referenced from many topical hub sites. A topical hub is a page which references many authorities.
- SEOBook’s Hub Finder
- Mike Grehan on Topic Distillation [PDF]
- John Klienberg’s Authoratative Sources in a Hyperlinked Environment [PDF]
- John Klienberg’s Homepage
Hyperlink – Also known as link or HTML link, a hyperlink is an image or portion of text that when clicked on by a user opens another web page or jumps the browser to a different portion of the current page.
Inbound links [link:] with keyword-relevant anchor text [link:] are an important part of SEO strategy.
Code for a hyperlink looks like this:
- An HTML tag that is often used to denote a page or section heading on a web page. Search engines pay special attention to text that is marked with a heading tag, as such text is set off from the rest of the page content as being more important.
- Keywords that are placed in the HTML source in such a way that these words are not viewable by human visitors looking at the rendered web page.
- Hidden Text is a SEO spam tactic to hide contextual html text from human visitors to a webpage, however making it available to search engines to spider the text.
The theory is that if you place more relevant html text content on the page rich with targeted keywords, then it will assist the page gaining ranking within search engine results. Some website owners do like text content on their page because they believe it negatively affects their brand and user web experience. So, they hide the text in the hope that the page will still rank for targeted keywords.
Hidden Text is an illegal technique as search engines consider it search engine spam. By undertaking this practice, it will eventually harm natural search performance of a website.
Google Quality Guidelines specify to �Avoid hidden text or hidden links�.
Yahoo!�s Search Content Quality Guidelines also considers �the use of text or links hidden from the user� unwanted.
- Hijacking of websites is a practice that makes search engines believe that a specific website resides at another URL. It is a form of search engine spam and cloaking. The reason why this method is undertaken by spammers is to increase rankings in search engine result pages. Webpage Hijacking is an illegal spam tactic.
When spiders crawl websites and they discover two pages with the same content, the search engine will decide which is the main url while the other is not indexed. Spammers will use tactics to ensure that their page is the one that is chosen by the search engine.
An example of website hijacking is where there are two pages with exactly the same content but at different addresses � company.com (the real site) and company.net (the rogue site). Spammers use tactics to ensure their site ranks above the real site.
- a download of a file from a web server. Hits do not correlate with web page visits. Every graphic on a web page counts as a hit. Thus, a single access of a web page with 20 unique graphics on it register as 21 hits – 20 for the graphics and 1 for the HTML page. Web metrics guru Jim Sterne says hits “stand for How Idiots Track Success.” People who talk in terms of hits are usually either ignorant or are trying to snow their boss into thinking the website is doing better than it really is.
- A homepage is the main page of a website. Like a cover of a book or the front of a store, its function is to welcome people and to inform them of the overall purpose of the website. The homepage offers an index of navigation that organizes content and leads to other parts of the website.
The homepage usually accumulates the most PageRank score since its url is usually where other sites link to the most. The url of a homepage usually ends in a domain name extension such as .com, .org, .edu, etc.
Other terms used to describe a homepage are front page, main web page and webserver directory index.
It�s interesting to note that in some countries such as Japan, Korea and Germany, the term �homepage� usually refers to the whole website, not just the first page.
Even though the home page is designed to be the entry point of the website, people can go directly to other pages within the site without ever seeing the front page.
- Stands for HyperText Markup Language. The programming language used to mark up web content and display it in a formatted manner. It’s up to the web browser software, e.g. Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape, to render HTML source.
- The raw, unrendered programming code. It can be accessed in Internet Explorer by going to the “View” menu then selecting “Source”.
- The 301 status code means the URI requested has �Moved Permanently� and has been assigned a new URI. Any future requests should use one of the returned URIs.
It is best practice to use 301 Redirects when multiple copies of the same document reside on different URIs. This will ensure that duplicate content is removed from the site and each and every unique page will only have one URL.
- The 302 status code means that the document requested is �Found� however temporarily resides under a different URL. Since a permanent redirect has not been used, the client should continue to use the original requested URL for future requests.
- The 400 status code means a �Bad Request� stating that the server is not able to understand the document request due to a malformed syntax. The user is required to modify its request prior to repeating it.
- The 401 status code means �Unauthorized�. This server requests user authentication prior to fulfilling the document request.
- The 403 status code means �Forbidden�. The server understood the request, however is refusing to fulfill it. The webmaster may wish to alert the user why their request has been denied. If the organization does not wish to provide this reason then a 404 (Not Found) status code can be displayed instead.
- The response error message �404� represents a document �Not Found�. This means that the client was able to communicate with the server, however could not find the requested document. Alternatively, the server could be configured to not fulfill the request and not provide a reason why.
- Similar to a 404 Not Found error message, the 410 status code states that the requested document is �intentionally gone�, is no longer available and there is no forwarding address.
The 410 status code is usually used for limited display documents such as promotional information. It is up to the discretion of the web master to determine at what point to remove the 410 status message.
- The 500 status code error message states that there was an internal server error which has prevented the document from being fulfilled. 
- The 501 status code message is displayed when the server does not recognize the document request method. The server is not capable of fulfilling this request and states the request was �Not Implemented�.
- HTTP stands for hypertext markup language and is the main markup language for creation of web pages. It defines how data is structured and informs the web browser how the page is to be displayed with the use of formatting text and images.
Some of the page elements that can be coded with HTML include Page Titles, Text (paragraphs, lines and phrases), Lists (unordered, ordered and definition lists), Tables, Forms, Basic HTML Data Types (character data, colors, lengths, content types, etc) and much more.
The source html code of any webpage is available by simply clicking �Page Source� in a web browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer.
HTML is not a programming language and therefore is quite static in nature. It is considered to be a subset of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language).
Tim Berners Lee first described HTML and it was publicly available in 1991 via a document called �HTML Tags�.
HTML became an international standard (ISO/IEC 15445:2000) and its specifications are maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) of which commercial software vendors offer input.
- Hubs are a range of centralized websites linking to many related topical Authority websites. Characteristics of a hub are:
1. Many outbound links to sites (typically Authority sites) that contain relevant content
2. The content on the hub site is highly focused
A site can either be a hub, an authority, both, or neither. An authority or hub site will get preferential treatment by a search engine algorithm that incorporates �topic distillation�.
- see “links”