Every month, I will feature 5 words and provide its definition. The words will be terms that I think small businesses should know, but find that many of them do not! Here is last month’s 5 Web Terms in case you’ve missed it.
A Site map functions like a table of contents for a website, except instead of being a tool specifically for human readers, it is a tool for search engines. It tells search engines about pages they may miss otherwise. Certain types of website content may be missed by a search engine’s web crawlers and Site Maps can help to remedy this. Site Maps are typically in the form of an XML document that lists all the pages on a website. Site maps may also include various types of information on files used in the website. For example, it may list a video’s running time and format. It may also include other types of information on the website itself, like the last time there was new content added. Some human readers may find a listing of every page on a website useful as well.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
This form of marketing uses social media networks (like Facebook and Twitter) to get publicity for a product or service. The goal is to get people to share information about a product with their contacts. The idea being that members of a social network are more likely to trust content from someone they know than directly from a corporation. Hopefully, the contacts with whom the content gets shared will themselves pass it on, causing it to “go viral.” The term viral indicates a situation where certain content has become immensely popular and is being widely shared. The goal of social media marketing is to have marketing content go viral. This form of marketing is considered a less expensive way for businesses to promote what they sell.
Web Crawler (Web Spider)
“Web crawler” is the term used for the software that search engines use to index new content. These programs are also often called “spiders” or “bots.” Web crawlers surf through pages on the internet and add them to a list of searchable sites. When the web crawler finds a page it will follow all the URLs it contains, eventually indexing all the pages that have been linked to, then collecting and following all the URLs on them. The job of Search Engine Optimization is essentially optimizing a site for these crawlers.
Open source is a principle that allows users to modify a design. It is best known as a type of software license. With open source software, users have permission to view and alter the source code of the software, thus creating a different product from the original. They are also permitted to distribute works derived from the open source software. For any software to be considered truly “open source” there must also be a well-publicized way of obtaining the source code as well as the compiled program.
File Transfer Protocol is a method of sending data from one computer to another. FTP users may complete file transfers using a client designed specifically for file transfers, such as the open source program FileZilla. Websites are often uploaded to servers using this method. Files on a web developer’s computer are uploaded to a web host’s server so that other people can access them via a web-browser. The reason for using FTP to do this is that files can get corrupted if they are uploaded by other means.