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100+ SEO Terms to Know About

By October 2, 2020March 2nd, 2021SEO

Learning the SEO terms and jargon can be a bit boring. However, these terms are worth knowing, making maneuvering the ins and outs of SEO will be as smooth-sailing as possible. This is more so when availing SEO services for the first time.

Here are the must-know SEO terms and definitions.

A

Algorithm

A computer program that search engines use in retrieving data and delivering results for a query; the combination of algorithms also used in ranking webpages based on the presence of ranking signals and factors

ALT tag

An HTML attribute used in providing alternate text for images when the images cannot be displayed

Analytics

The science of the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data to take future action based on what worked and did not work historically

Anchor tag

An HTML tag used in creating a link to another webpage or when bookmarking the current webpage

Anchor text

A clickable word or phrase with a link, directing to another page when clicked; aims to provide contextual information on what the linked page is about

Authority

The the combination of search engine signals used in assessing a website and its pages for the purpose of ranking them; also, the status of the website and its influence on the users

B

Backlink

A link that originates from other website and points to another webpage or website

Black hat SEO

An online content publication reflecting either personal or corporate interests; started as a weblog, which was shortened to simply blog, it can be written by a person or a group

Blog

The science of the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data to take future action based on what worked and did not work historically

Bounce Rate

The percentage of website visitors who leave without visiting another page on that website. Bounce rates range widely depending on industry and niche. Although bounce rate can indicate potential content or website issues, it is not a direct ranking factor, according to Google.

Branded Keyword

When a user’s query includes an exact match, or variation, of a specific company or brand name. For instance, “Search Engine Journal”, “SEJ”, “SearchEnginejournal.com”, and “Search Engine Journal SEO 101 Guide” are a few examples of branded keywords.

Broken Link

A link that leads to a 404 not found. Typically, a link becomes broken when: a website goes offline, a webpage is removed without implementing a redirect and the destination URL is changed without implementing a redirect.

C

Canonical URL

An HTML code element that specifies a preferred website URL, when multiple URLs have the same or similar content, to reduce duplicate content.

Click Bait

Content that is designed to entice people to click, typically by overpromising or being intentionally misleading in headlines, so publishers can earn advertising revenue.

CMS

Stands for Content Management System. A web-based application that lets people create, upload, and manage digital assets.

Content

Any audio, visual, and textual content, or the combination thereof whose main purpose is to convey information to a target audience, that then consumes the said content; one of the two critical Google ranking factors—the other one being links

Conversion

Happens or occurs when one user completes the desired action(s) while on the website, e-commerce store, app or social page

Conversion Rate

The rate at which users complete the desired action(s), calculated by dividing the total number of conversions by traffic and multiplying by 100 and, thus, expressed in percentage

CPA (cost per acquisition)

The fee paid to the marketer for driving a specific action like a lead, subscription, or sale

CPC (cost per click)

The typical rate for measuring the spending involved in acquiring traffic

CRO (conversion rate optimization)

The process of optimizing conversions occuring on the website, e-commerce store, social page, and app—in terms of both volume and quality; improvements may include testing changes to design, copy, image and image placement, price points, and call to action

CTR (click-through rate)

The standard method for measuring an online campaign’s success, obtained by dividing the total number of users who clicked an ad by the total number of times the ad was displayed (or the impression); The rate (expressed in a percentage) at which users click on an organic search result. This is calculated by dividing the total number of organic clicks by the total number of impressions then multiplying by 100.

Crawling

The process of generating, gathering, updating, adding, and organizing billions of web pages into a working search engine index, using a crawler, spider, or bot

D

De-index

The process of removal of a web page, web pages, or the entire website from the index either temporarily or permanently as a violation of the search engine’s guidelines; a manual action against the webmaster and the digital asset(s) on hand

Disavow

The process of telling a search engine, mainly Google, to ignore specific links, including spammy, artificial, and low-quality inbound links, because these links harm the site’s ranking and, thus, traffic

Do-follow

A link that uses a “follow” attribute as opposed to the “nofollow” attribute, which means that the search engine bots, spiders, or crawlers may also crawl the said link

Domain

The website address, which ends in an extension such as .com., .org, .net, .blog, or any custom extension

Domain Authority

The site’s “overall strength,” which is usually built up over time; a score from 0 to 100 that Moz, an SEO company, utilize in predicting the ability of a web page or the entire website to rank in search results while not earning any links or engagement yet

Duplicate Content

Happens or occurs when a significant amount of the website’s content matches with the content already existing on the same website or elsewhere (another site)

Dwell Time

The amount of time the user spends on the website elapsing from the moment the user clicks on the search result to enter the website and leave it; indicative of the quality of the content since high-quality content often leads to long dwell time compared with low-quality content leading to short dwell time

Dynamic website

A website with flexible contents wherein a page only shows the user-selected activities

F

Featured snippet

Google features displayed as special blocks atop the organic results; usually, a box containing a paragraph, list, table, or video summary that may also include information such as publication date and link to the page to answer question queries such as who, what, where, when, why, and how

Findability

The discoverability of the website's content internally (within the website) and externally (on the search egines)

G

Googlebot

Google's web crawling system that is mainly used in finding and adding new sites and pages to its index or the database of indexable sites and pages; also called crawlers and sipiders

Gray hat

In between white and black hat SEO techniques, this technique technically adheres to the Webmaster Guidelines but putting some more elements that others may perceive as bending the rules

Guest blogging (or posting)

A link building tactic wherein SEO Specialist looks and submits content to other websites for backlink exchange purposes

H

Heading

Separation of the content sections based on their importance and denoted by heading tags H1 to H6 wherein H1 is the most important while H6 is the least important heading tag; must be used naturally albeit containing the target keyword for the page where the tags are found

Homepage

The default or introductory page of the website; usually, the domain (website ending in .com, .ph, or other extensions)

I

Inbound link

A link on a page originating from an external site or page

Index

A database where all information gathered through the crawling process are stored and retrieved; utilized for displaying and ranking purposes on results pages

Indexability

The quality of being indexable by search engines; the easiness of understanding and adding a page to the index

Indexed page

A page discovered by a crawler and added to the index, which means it may appear in search results for relevant queries (or when the target keywords are used when searching); could be penalized through a de-indexation

Information Architecture

The manner by which a website is organized including textual and visual content and navigational elements found on the site

K

Keyword

A word, words or phrase that the search engine uses in determining the topic of any particular page for matching and ranking purposes depending on relevance; usually represents an idea, topic, or question

Keyword cannibalization

A self-competition ocurring when multiple pages on the same website target the same keyword and ranking on the same query on results pages, resulting to lowered CTR, diminishied authority, and lowered conversion rates

Keyword density

How often or the number of times a keyword or key phrase appears or is used in the webpage compared to the total word count; considered an outdated approach yet website owners still operate based on keyword targeting in content either exactly or partially; has no known ideal percentage

Keyword research

A link building process that involves the discovery of relevant terms, subjects, or topics and their monthly search volume and competition levels as well as the use of free, freemium, and paid SEO tools

Keyword stuffing

The practice of repeating keyword or adding irrelevant keyword to a page to increase its ranking on results pages; manipulating and going beyond what is natural may results in manual action

L

Landing page

A content and keyword-rich webpage or main navigation discussing a specific topic or traffic with the goal of conversion; can be a standalone webpage designed for generating conversions such as capturing high-value leads

Link

Connects and ensures navigability between two websites, web pages, apps, or social networks created using HTML code; used in evaluating and ranking websites

Link building

An SEO process that involves obtaining a link or links from other trusted and relevant sites to one’s own website to help improving the said site’s organic ranking and visibility

Long-tail keyword

A highly specific keyword that has multiple terms, demonstrating a higher purchase intent since it is more targeted; considered as less popular keywords because of their lower search volume yet easier to rank the website for

LSI (latent semantic indexing)

A Google algorithm used in determining the relationship between words as used contextually on any given webpage

M

Manual action

A Google penalty imposed after a manual review of the website, confirming it failed to adhere to Google Webmaster guidelines, especially in terms of quality; may lead to demoting the website, page, or pages to lower rankings or de-indexing it/them complete depending on the extent of non-compliance

Meta description

An HTML tag that describes the content of a page; also the snippet the appears underneath the title and URL of the page in results pages capable of increasing organic CTR

Meta tag or metadata

A descriptive text or information on a webpage that helps search engines in identifying the topic and purpose of such a page; appears in the HTML source code

N

Negative SEO

A malicious SEO practice that involves spamming; technically hurts the rankings of other websites targeted for this process, which are usually competitors

Nofollow attribute

A meta tag telling search engine crawlers to skip following a particular outbound link; implemented when the site does not favor passing authority to another site or page, especially that Google is wary of paid links

Noindex tag

A meta tag telling search engine crawlers or bots not to index a particular page and, thus, exclude it on the database

O

Off-page SEO

Link building techniques taking place outside the website; promotion, brand awareness, and demand generation tactics may include content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, influencer marketing, and other traditional marketing channels like TV, radio, and billboards

On-page SEO

Optimization techniques that occur within the website, including optimizing HTML codes such as title tags, description, and headings; URL structure, IA, and site navigation

Organic search

Unpaid search results or those results that come up naturally on results pages because of indexing within the search engine; analyzed, indexed and ranked by algorithms based on the relevance to the query

Outbound link

A link directing the visitors to a page on another website

P

Paid search

A paid strategy that is also known as pay-per-click advertising, so that the page appears above the organic search results; opposite of organic search

PageRank™

The numeric value, which represents the importance of a page online; was used to refer to as Google juice or simply the value afforded to the web links

PPC (pay per click)

An advertising method where the advertiser pays for displaying the ads if a user clicks on a specific ad; determined by bid, relevance, competition, and search volume

Page speed

The amount of time until a page loads completely; a ranking factor

Pageview

When a page loads entirely in a browser

Paid link building

A link building practice wherein websites link back to the site for a fee

Q

Quality backlink

An authority website that links to another site

Quality content

Content that helps achieve digital marketing goals more successfully, including driving organic traffic, generating top positions in SERP, boosting social shares, generating sales, generating leads, etc.

Query

A word, words, or phrase that is entered in the search field of any search engine and is usually followed by a magnifying glass icon

R

Rank

Indicative of the placement of the page within the organic search results, appearing on a particular query

Ranking factor

An individual component contributing to the displayability and rankability of a page concerning a query; also contributes to an algorithm that is used in determining where the page should appear within the organic search results

Reciprocal link

The practice of placing the link on a website so the website will link back to the website; technically, an agreement between two websites to exchange links with one another

Redirect

A technique used in sending the bot or crawler or user requesting a page to a different yet equally relevant page to the one being accessed

Relevance

A measure of the close connection between the content of a website or page and the search; aligns to match the context of the query

Rich snippet

Structured data (or schema) added to the website’s HTML to provide contextual information to the crawlers, bots, or spiders; displayable in SERPs appearing to be an enhanced listing version of the website

robots.txt

A text file placed in the site’s root to tell crawlers, bots, or spiders which areas must be crawled and which must be skipped or ignored; technically known as Robots Exclusion Protocol (or Standard)

S

Schema

Microdata added to a page to enhance its appearance on SERPs; also referred to as rich snippet

Search engine

A website whose or main business or function is helping users find relevant webpages regarding any given search term or topic; enables a user to enter a query and retrieved information based on that query within its own index

SEM (search engine marketing)

The act of marketing or promoting a website through a search engine including, but are not limited to the organic listing, paid listing, and the combination of the two

SEO (search engine optimization)

The act of modifying a website or webpage so it will appear on search listings of the search engines when a relevant keyword is searched for; optimization applies to all textual and visual content of the site

SERP (search engine results page)

The listing of websites or webpages that the search engines display once a user searches for a term; shown in 10s and sorted by relevance

Sitelinks

Links algorithmically-chosen appearing below the actual SERP listing; show up to eight links, though pages can also be blocked from appearing as a sitelink

Sitemap

A list of all pages on the website; can also be an HTML sitemap denoted by a file sitemap.xml

Spider

A program written for automatically scouring the web for various purposes, including indexing, aka crawlers or bots

Splash page

A graphics-heavy introductory webpage that purports to grab the attention of the user

Static website

A website with fixed content thus manual changes are required if changes are needed

T

Title tag

A metadata element with which the search engine used in determining the title of any given webpage showing on the top bar of the browser and the hyperlink that shows in the SERP

TLD (top-level domain)

The three primary domain extensions namely .com, .net and .org

Traffic

Users, which can be humans and bots, visiting the website

Trust

Applies to the domain’s history, including who previously owned it and whether it was previously de-indexed or not

U

Unnatural Link

Any link that can be identified as suspicious, manipulative, or deceptive; may result in a manual action on the website

URL (uniform resource locator)

A web address; the uniform resource locator characterized by a specific string of characters

V

Visibility

A website’s prominence as indicated by its position or ranking on organic search results

W

Webpage

Or simply page; a document existing on the World Wide Web viewable through the browsers

Website

A collection of web pages hosted as one entity on the World Wide Web

Website navigation

The organization of the website and how it connects all the pages on it for better user navigability

White hat SEO

The use of accepted SEO methods and practices so the site will get more traffic and higher ranking, among others; optimization tactics that comply with Google Webmaster Guidelines

Word count

The total number of words on a copy or page; thin content or content with less than 300 words, signals the page’s low-quality