SEO

SEO Glossary

SEO Jargon Explained in Language You Can Understand

Why do an SEO glossary?

I am often asked what does that mean – so I thought I’d put together a listing of pertinent phrases, terminology & lingo together with my own common sense explanation to demystify that which was previously causing confusion. I trust that this will make me more understandable to SEO clients! I have intentionally tried not to give overly elaborate explanations – merely the crux of what each term means.

Additionally I have limited the terms to ones which are either intrinsically important to the matter of search, SEO & PPC or at least kind of important/commonly used. Terms will be added (or even removed) as time goes by & new topics and jargon comes in and out of usage in the SEO industry.

Glossary

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200

Status OK – loaded successfully.

301 HTTP response status code

Moved permanently to new destination.

302

Found but temporarily elsewhere.

404 Not Found

Not Found.

A

Above the Fold

Content you can see without scrolling.

AdSense

Google’s contextual/embedded ad network. Publishers embed relevant ads near their content and share ad revenue.

AdWords

Google’s ad auction network.

Affiliate Marketing

Merchants pay agents by cost per action.

Alt Attribute or Alt Text

An image alt attribute helps search engines understand images with text.

Analytics

Software to track page views, conversions & more statistics with a tracking code on your site.

Anchor Text

The text that a user clicks on to follow a hyperlink.

Android

Google’s operating system for smart phones & other devices.

ASP

Active Server Pages – a dynamic programming language.

Authority

The ability of a domain to rank based on link equity, site age, traffic, and publishing unique quality content.

Authorities

Sites trusted and cited by experts within a topical community.

Automated Bid Management Software

Pay per click software to control ad spend.

B

Banner Blindness

The ability of users to block out online advertising.

Behavioral Targeting

Ad targeting based on recent user actions and activities.

Bing

Microsoft’s search engine, also provides Yahoo! Search results.

Bing Ads

Microsoft’s paid search option.

Black Hat/Unethical SEO

Techniques not considered within search engine’s guidelines.

C

Chrome

Google’s web browser.

Cloaking

Showing one thing to a user and another to a search engine.

CPA

Cost per action.

CPC

Cost per click.

CPM

Cost per thousand ad impressions.

Crawl Frequency

How often a website gets crawled.

D

Deep Link

A link to an internal page.

Dedicated Server

Server which serves only the website/s owned by a one person.

Disavow

A way to not vouch for inbound links to your site.

E

Everflux

The constant, never-ending, updating of the Google index.

External Link

Link pointing to another domain.

F

Favicon

Small icon next to URLs in web browser.

Firefox

Open source web browser.

Fresh Content

Creating new content.

G

Google

The world’s number one search engine.

GoogleBot

Google’s search engine spider.

H

Home Page

The main page on your website.

Hummingbird

Google algorithm update which refined conversational search.

I

Internal Link

Link from one page to another on the same website.

Internet Explorer

Microsoft’s web browser.

IP Address

Internet Protocol Address which is unique to each computer accessing the internet.

K

Keyword

What your customers are searching for to find your product or service.

Keyword Density

Percentage of total words on a webpage which are the targeted keyword phrase.

Keyword Not Provided

After Google shifted to https the vast majority of keywords are not known or provided to webmasters via Google Analytics anymore.

Keyword Research

Finding relevant keywords to focus on.

Keyword Research Tools

Tools to find relevant keywords to focus on.

Keyword Stuffing

Overuse of targeted keyword in copy.

L

Landing Page

The page on which a visitor arrives your site.

Landing Page Quality Scores

Quality of landing page according to Google AdWords.

Link

A citation from one web page to another or another position on the same web page.

Link Baiting

Content that provokes quality links to your site.

Link Building

The process of building high quality linkage data that search engines will evaluate to trust your website is authoritative, relevant, and trustworthy.

Link Burst

Rapid increase in the number of links to a site.

Link Churn

Rate a site loses links.

Link Equity

Strength of a site’s inbound link popularity and quality.

Link Farm

Website or group of sites with no editorial control when linking out.

Link Hoarding

Not linking out to other sites.

Link Popularity

The number of inbound links to a site.

Link Rot

Percentage of site’s links that are broken.

Link Velocity

The rate a site gets awarded new inbound links.

Long Tail

Lower volume, less predictable keywords that cumulatively add up to a significant volume of keyword searches.

M

Manual Penalty

Penalties applied to sites after a Google engineer decides they have violated Google Webmaster Guidelines.

Manual Review

Manual review process to weed out search spam and improve relevancy algorithms.

Meta Description

Description of the content of the web page.

Meta Keywords

Obsolete tag once used to highlight the keywords which a page is targeting.

Meta Tags

Meta descriptions and meta keywords.

N

Negative SEO

Adversely impacting rankings of a competitor’s site.

Nofollow

Attribute which prevents a link from passing on any authority.

O

Opera

A fast web browser.

Organic Search Results

Unpaid search listings.

Outbound Link

A link from a website pointing to an external site.

P

PageRank

A logarithmic scale based on links which calculates the worth of a webpage.

Paid Inclusion

A method to buy exposure on someone else’s site.

Panda Algorithm

Google algorithm update/s focused on quality.

PDF

Portable Document Format.

Penguin Algorithm

Google update which targeted (severely) unnatural link patterns.

POGO Rate

The percent of users who search click on a result then return to the search engine very quickly because the initial search result was irrelevant/otherwise poor.

PPC

Pay Per Click.

Precision

How close a search engine gets to providing perfect search results to the user.

Proximity

How close words are to one another on a web page.

Q

QDF

Query deserves freshness – the way Google’s algorithm reacts when there is a fast increase in a given query – usually because of breaking news.

Quality Content

Content that is link worthy.

Quality Link

A link from a high quality, authoritative, website or a highly relevant source or, ideally, both.

Query

What a user enters into a search engine.

Query Refinement

When a user changes their search query – often being more specific – because first search resulted in unsatisfactory search results.

R

Rankbrain

Google search relevancy algorithm signal.

Reciprocal Links

Link exchanges.

Registrar

A company you register domain names with….

Referrer

Where a user came from.

Relevancy

How useful users find a search result.

Repeat Visitor

User who has visited site before.

Retargeting

Targeting people who visited a website previously via PPC.

Robots.txt

A file which tells search engines what not to crawl (if anything).

S

Search History

Most search engines store user search histories.

SEM

Search engine marketing – both SEO & PPC.

SEO

Helping search engines understand your site is relevant to relevant search queries.

SERP

Search Engine Results Page.

Search Marketing

Marketing a website via search engines.

Server

Computer used to host files and serve them to the internet.

Site Map

Page which lists all urls on a website.

Social Media

Websites where users create the content.

Spam

Unsolicited email.

Spamming

Distributing unsolicited email.

Spider

Search engine crawler to find pages to index.

Static Content

Content which does not change often.

Stop Words

Common words (ex: a, to, and, is …) unimportant to a search query.

Supplemental Results/Index

Documents which rank lower than documents in the main search index.

T

Text Link Ads

Advertisements written as text links.

Title

The title element describes a page.

Top Heavy

High ad density above the fold.

Topic-Sensitive PageRank

Topic related PageRank score.

TrustRank

Search relevancy algorithm with premium on links from major trusted websites.

U

Update

Search engines update algorithms to help keep their search results relevant.

URL

Uniform Resource Locator – unique address of web page/document.

URL Rewrite

Making URLs more descriptive relative to relevant search queries.

Usability

How easy it is for users to use your site.

Usage Data

If loads of people come to your site; spend a long time on your site & return to your site – this data can be used by some search engines to denote a quality user experience.

V

Viral Marketing

Marketing whereby consumers are encouraged to share information about a company’s products and/or services.

Virtual Domain

Website on a virtual server.

Virtual Server

Server at third party location shared by multiple site owners.

W

Whois

Ownership data for a domain.

White Hat SEO

Techniques considered within search engine’s guidelines.

Wiki

Collaborative editing software.

WordPress

Open source blogging software.

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