5 Web Terms You Should Know (But May Not Know) #4

Sinoun Chea

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.


Hosting, commonly referred to as web hosting, is a type of service available on the Internet. Hosting allows people and businesses to make their website available across the entire web.

ShiftWeb provides hosting services. Click here for more info.


Canonicalization is the process of picking the best url. For example, most people would consider these the same urls, but technically all of these urls are different:

  • www.example.com
  • example.com/
  • www.example.com/index.html
  • example.com/home.asp

Canonicalization, often abbreviated c14n, is the process of converting complex data in a canonical “standard” form. Usually the data being converted has more than one possible representation. This process is important for comparing the different representations for equivalence, to count distinct data structures and to improve the efficacy of many algorithms by removing duplicate calculations and creating a meaningful sorting order.


Nofollow is the term used to describe a value that can be assigned to the rel attribute of an HTML. When assigned to an HTML, this value can signal that a particular hyperlink should not be considered when determining a link’s target ranking. This value is often used to improve search engine results by decreasing certain types of spam. Here is an example of how to implement a nofollow link:

<a href="http://www.example.com/" rel="nofollow">Link text</a>



Cloaking is a black hat SEO technique that tricks search engine spiders by displaying different content to web browsers than is shown to the spiders. Prior to 2006, cloaking was used to provide information to spiders that it wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Cloaking is considered a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Check out this video from Matt Cutts, head of webspam at Google.

Alt Tag/Alt Attribute

Whenever you hover over an image, do you see notice the little box of text that comes up? This is the alt tag that provided for the image. Alt Tag/Alt Attribute is commonly used in XHTML and HTML documents to denote alternative text. It is also used by screen reader software, so that people who are listening to a web page can easily interact with it. In some areas, such as HTML 4.01, this attribute is required for area and img tags. For input tags and deprecated applet tags, this attribute is optional.


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Sinoun Chea

I help small businesses Do Better Online™. When businesses thrive, people also thrive. #morethanjustbusiness

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