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.
0 – 9
Status OK – loaded successfully.
301 HTTP response status code
Moved permanently to new destination.
Found but temporarily elsewhere.
404 Not Found
Above the Fold
Content you can see without scrolling.
Google’s contextual/embedded ad network. Publishers embed relevant ads near their content and share ad revenue.
Google’s ad auction network.
Merchants pay agents by cost per action.
Alt Attribute or Alt Text
An image alt attribute helps search engines understand images with text.
Software to track page views, conversions & more statistics with a tracking code on your site.
The text that a user clicks on to follow a hyperlink.
Google’s operating system for smart phones & other devices.
Active Server Pages – a dynamic programming language.
The ability of a domain to rank based on link equity, site age, traffic, and publishing unique quality content.
Sites trusted and cited by experts within a topical community.
Automated Bid Management Software
Pay per click software to control ad spend.
The ability of users to block out online advertising.
Ad targeting based on recent user actions and activities.
Microsoft’s search engine, also provides Yahoo! Search results.
Microsoft’s paid search option.
Black Hat/Unethical SEO
Techniques not considered within search engine’s guidelines.
Google’s web browser.
Showing one thing to a user and another to a search engine.
Cost per action.
Cost per click.
Cost per thousand ad impressions.
How often a website gets crawled.
A link to an internal page.
Server which serves only the website/s owned by a one person.
A way to not vouch for inbound links to your site.
The constant, never-ending, updating of the Google index.
Link pointing to another domain.
Small icon next to URLs in web browser.
Open source web browser.
Creating new content.
The world’s number one search engine.
Google’s search engine spider.
The main page on your website.
Google algorithm update which refined conversational search.
Link from one page to another on the same website.
Microsoft’s web browser.
Internet Protocol Address which is unique to each computer accessing the internet.
What your customers are searching for to find your product or service.
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.
Finding relevant keywords to focus on.
Keyword Research Tools
Tools to find relevant keywords to focus on.
Overuse of targeted keyword in copy.
The page on which a visitor arrives your site.
Landing Page Quality Scores
Quality of landing page according to Google AdWords.
A citation from one web page to another or another position on the same web page.
Content that provokes quality links to your site.
The process of building high quality linkage data that search engines will evaluate to trust your website is authoritative, relevant, and trustworthy.
Rapid increase in the number of links to a site.
Rate a site loses links.
Strength of a site’s inbound link popularity and quality.
Website or group of sites with no editorial control when linking out.
Not linking out to other sites.
The number of inbound links to a site.
Percentage of site’s links that are broken.
The rate a site gets awarded new inbound links.
Lower volume, less predictable keywords that cumulatively add up to a significant volume of keyword searches.
Penalties applied to sites after a Google engineer decides they have violated Google Webmaster Guidelines.
Manual review process to weed out search spam and improve relevancy algorithms.
Description of the content of the web page.
Obsolete tag once used to highlight the keywords which a page is targeting.
Meta descriptions and meta keywords.
Adversely impacting rankings of a competitor’s site.
Attribute which prevents a link from passing on any authority.
A fast web browser.
Organic Search Results
Unpaid search listings.
A link from a website pointing to an external site.
A logarithmic scale based on links which calculates the worth of a webpage.
A method to buy exposure on someone else’s site.
Google algorithm update/s focused on quality.
Portable Document Format.
Google update which targeted (severely) unnatural link patterns.
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.
Pay Per Click.
How close a search engine gets to providing perfect search results to the user.
How close words are to one another on a web page.
Query deserves freshness – the way Google’s algorithm reacts when there is a fast increase in a given query – usually because of breaking news.
Content that is link worthy.
A link from a high quality, authoritative, website or a highly relevant source or, ideally, both.
What a user enters into a search engine.
When a user changes their search query – often being more specific – because first search resulted in unsatisfactory search results.
Google search relevancy algorithm signal.
A company you register domain names with….
Where a user came from.
How useful users find a search result.
User who has visited site before.
Targeting people who visited a website previously via PPC.
A file which tells search engines what not to crawl (if anything).
Most search engines store user search histories.
Search engine marketing – both SEO & PPC.
Helping search engines understand your site is relevant to relevant search queries.
Search Engine Results Page.
Marketing a website via search engines.
Computer used to host files and serve them to the internet.
Page which lists all urls on a website.
Websites where users create the content.
Distributing unsolicited email.
Search engine crawler to find pages to index.
Content which does not change often.
Common words (ex: a, to, and, is …) unimportant to a search query.
Documents which rank lower than documents in the main search index.
Text Link Ads
Advertisements written as text links.
The title element describes a page.
High ad density above the fold.
Topic related PageRank score.
Search relevancy algorithm with premium on links from major trusted websites.
Search engines update algorithms to help keep their search results relevant.
Uniform Resource Locator – unique address of web page/document.
Making URLs more descriptive relative to relevant search queries.
How easy it is for users to use your site.
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.
Marketing whereby consumers are encouraged to share information about a company’s products and/or services.
Website on a virtual server.
Server at third party location shared by multiple site owners.
Ownership data for a domain.
White Hat SEO
Techniques considered within search engine’s guidelines.
Collaborative editing software.
Open source blogging software.