Glossary of essential search engine optimization (SEO) terms 

Do you ever wonder what hell they all going on about?


In this glossary I have clearly explained the terms and jargon of search engine optimization, SEO, used by practitioners that you need to be clear about, whether you intend using a marketing agency or do it yourself. In either case it will save you money and time as a reference point, providing a better understanding when communicating with your team or a marketer.





Above The Fold adapted from reference to newspapers when folded, refers to top of the page, web page or post, that you can see right away without scrolling down to “below the fold”.

AdSense advertising placement by Google that allows for placing other peoples ads on your website and earn money.

AdWords Googles advertising services for businesses to place ads on Googles network.

Affiliate Marketing when you receive a commission for advertising and selling another online company’s products on your website. Such as Amazon, large online retailers.

Algorithm computer programs, processes and formulas used for calculating or resolve problems. The program Google uses as to clues and analyses for ranking websites and other factors such as user behavior and providing search related results, etc.

ALT text is added to an image to describe that image. It is an SEO technique that helps google understand the image, its relevance to the searchers query and the topic of a particular page or post that image is displayed on.

Analytics result of various data analysis of your website. For example number of visitors, how many pages they visited, the bounce rate, where the search was generated from, load speed of the website, etc. Google provides a handy data analysis tool in its console.

Anchor Text is a clickable text within your content for easy navigation taking the user to other relevant pages for further information with just a click. Its can be placed on any part of your text or/and as footer at the bottom of the page.

Authoritative websites Are established popular sites that offer high quality content with great usability experience. A reputable, trusted website in their niche. Google recognizes the authority of a site by their quality links from other sites, by way of endorsement, the increase in visitors and their engagement, length of time they spend on that site.


Backlinks link building is an off page SEO technique, and Backlinks refer to links that point to your website from other sites. These are considered endorsements of your website and the higher the quality of sites pointing your direction the better for your ranking. One authoritative site pointing to your website is better than having many low quality ones.

Below The Fold is part of web page or post that you need to scroll down to see.

Black Hat SEO are considered as unethical SEO techniques that will boost false short term ranking. Google will penalize the websites for using these methods. You can lose all your ranking gains using black hat tactics over night and your site disappearing.

Blog website or web page updated regularly allowing others to contribute and make comments. Now days, blogs can be on any subject, sharing life and travel stories to complex technical advice.

Bot also know as web robot is referred to software application running automated, repetitive and comparatively simple tasks on internet.

Bounce Rate is the percentage, the rate, of visitors that will navigate away from a site quickly without visiting other pages beyond the homepage. Bounce rate is one of Google’s ranking factors.

Breadcrumbs have navigation elements that allows you to track back to the homepage of a website from your current viewing page, keeping track of your location within a website.


Cache In SEO terms is used to see cache status of your website, indicating that web crawlers are visiting your site regularly and actively updating changes you may have made. If you can not see your updates, this means your website has not been cached, not noticed. For effective SEO your site should be cached frequently.

Call To Action (CTA) forms, buttons or anchor text that require the user to take your desired action on you page or post. Clicking on a link, making a purchase or registering to your blog for updates. A way of collecting your visitor’s email and generating leads.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a computer language that is used to write formatting rules of how HTML elements are displayed on screen, controlling the layout of multiple web pages.

Click Through Rate (CTR) the ratio, the rate, between the total number of visitors to a specific link viewing an advertisement, to the number visitors clicked on the advert in that link. Normally to measure the adverts success rate.

Content Management System (CMS) software application used to upload, edit, and manage content displayed on a website, such as text, images and videos. WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are some examples of CMS.

Content Spinning taking a piece of content and changing the words to produce a variation of the same or similar content. As you look around the internet for answers you will see spinning is practiced by the best and the worst.

Conversion is when your (CTA) call to action form has worked and visitor takes your desired action. Signing up for blog updates or purchasing a product. Then visitor has converted.

Conversion Rate Is the percentage, the rate, of visitors to your site that have taken the desired action.

Copywriting is creating high quality, compelling, relevant and informative piece of text that grabs the visitors attention in the first place, used for conversion.

Cost Per Click (CPC) its the cost of each click of your ad by users visiting your site. Rate you are charged for Paid Per Click advertising (PPC).

Crawler also called a spider, is an Internet software which constantly browses around the World Wide Web, used by search engine, such as Google, collecting data for indexing and updating their web content.


Dedicated Hosting dedicated server, is an internet hosting where you will have an exclusive server that is not shared with anyone else. In this way you have more choice and control over type of hardware used and operating systems etc.

Deep Linking It is the use of hyperlink, linking to any page or searchable content, other than the home page of a website.

Description Tag HTML or XTHML tag that are used to provide a description, information about the content of a web page for search engines and the users.

Disavow advance feature in Google Search Console tools. It allows you to inform Google which links to your site should be ignored. If you think spammy or low quality links are harming your Google ranking and you can’t get rid of them, then use this tool.

Domain Name name or abbreviation, that you have given to your website. Its your WWW name, or that of your business.

Doorway Page a page made specifically to attract visitors for search engine ranking purposes. Its a doorway that visitors pass through and redirected to another page or post, but not the web crawlers.

Duplicate Content its meaning is clear, two pages with the same or very similar content. Google may or may not penalizes a site using the same content, however only the site that search engine considers original will get the attention and trust. The original one.


Ecommerce (EC) website A site that facilitates business transactions. Buying and selling goods or services on internet.

E-A-T Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness of a webpage.

External Link a link pointing from you website to another site.


Feed data format that provides the users with content updates. For example, RSS feed makes content distribution easy, or News feed provides news in real time.

Funnel is a predefined guide or steps in users journey, taking the desired actions along the way. This could be signing up for blog updates to purchasing a product.


Gateway Page same as “Doorway Page” A page made specifically to attract visitors for search engine ranking purposes. Its a doorway that visitors pass through and redirected to another page or post, but not the web crawlers.

Googlebot Google’s web crawlers, spiders searching and collecting data on WWW for updating the search engine and indexing.

Google Bomb Normally done for the fun of it, is collective of webmasters intentionally set out to change Googles search results. For example when you searched for “French Military Victories” the results showed “Did you mean; french military defeats”, for more click here

Google Bowling maliciously attacking competitors site by sending it spammy links to lower their standing, ranking and trust, with Google.

Google Dance when suddenly rankings jump all over the place, in periods when Google either is updating its algorithm or overhaul of its index.

Google Juice refers to value that Google places on links in either direction, trusted, valued with authority.


Hit each time someone visits your website is a hit.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) language used for tagging plane text files, add formatting and functionality to create websites. It is the language that search engines understand.


Impression is made each time a user views a page or an advert, and whether the ad is clicked or not.

Inbound Link when a link from another website is pointing to your site. A “Back Link” to your website is made.

Indexed when a web page is added to search engine index.

Internal Link a link from one page to another on the same website.


Keyword Word or phrase that a user inters on browser to search for specific content. Words that are optimized for search engine ranking.

Keyword Cannibalization excessive use of the same keyword or phrase on the pages of a website. It is confusing for the search engine to determine which page is more relevant to the users query.

Keyword Density the percentage keywords on a page in comparison to the total amount of words. Google may penalize for unnatural or over use of keywords.

Keyword Research to find out which keywords are of high value for targeting. It is one of the most important activities in a search marketing campaign.

Keyword Spam or Stuffing When a keyword is repeated many times unnecessarily increasing density to manipulate search engines.


Landing Page the first page the user lands on when they click the link on their browser. Its where the users journey begins.

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) or Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) They mean analysis of your content and its keywords to understand the concept of your document.

As each word in English language doesn’t mean a particular concept, its necessary to use a combination of relevant words to clarify your contents subject matter, for both the search engines understanding of content for indexing and its relevance to the users query. So keywords, and long tail keyword selection is crucial in making your content understood.

“For example, the word bank when used together with mortgage, loans, and rates probably means a financial institution. However, the word bank when used together with lures, casting, and fish probably means a stream or river bank”.

Link a clickable action, anchor text, hyperlink, jumping between different websites, different pages on the same site or even the same page.

Link Bait refers to content of a page designed for purpose of attracting links.

Link Building is the process of obtaining links from other websites to your own site.

Link Condom are methods used to protect your website from unwanted, unwelcomed links to your site.

Link Farm creating number of web pages to link to a targeted website to increase its search engine page ranking artificially.

Link Juice refers to the quality, trustworthy websites that are linking to yours, and passing on their recommendation by way endorsement of your site. One of the factors in your page ranking.

Link Popularity refers to amount of links pointing towards a particular website and an indicator for search engines of where to rank that website. Bare in mind we are talking about ethical and relevant links.

Link Spam, blog spam, comment spam are unwanted links such as the ones you may find in the comment section of your blog, where the comment just displays the web address of the spammer with no comment in relation to your post.

Long Tail combination of relevant words for more specific search queries. For example entering search for “SEO” which is a broad query and entering targeted search for “SEO jargon” which is longer but more specific query.


MC main content of a webpage, “is any part of the page that directly helps the page to achieve it’s purpose”. 

Meta Description (Meta Tags) description of a webpage, content related, that appears in search engine results pages (SERPs) that may not be visible on the page. It is an important description tag both for search engines as they may use it to define what your page is about, also is important for users to see if the page is related to their query.

MFA Made For Advertisements are purpose built websites designed for advertising. For example sites that are made for AdSense or TV programming.

Mirror Site a website hat is a replica of an already existing site. It can be used to improve availability of the original site by reducing serve traffic of a popular site.

Monetize a website that has features allowing it to make money. Such as affiliate marketing sites, AdSense advertising etc.


Natural Search Result or organic search results Are results that have not been paid for, sponsored or achieved through advertising etc. Result from an ad with Google AdWords is not a natural search result.

Negative SEO using unethical tactics to damage your competitors websites reputation, trust and standing with Google. “Google Bowling”.

Niche refers to specific targeted market, product or topic. Online marketing is a niche, so is the market for electronic gadgets.

NoFollow is a command added in the link code of a specific site informing the search engine crawlers no to follow that link. Example, say you have used a website to show how NOT to design a website, and of course you wouldn’t want to promote or give that site any weight by endorsing it. Here you would use NoFollow command.

NoIndex a command in the Head of a page telling search engines not to index. Reasons could be a large database, webpage has a temporary purpose, or it has a private element.


Offsite SEO or Offpage SEO are search engine optimization techniques that are achieved with out changes to the website. Such as social media optimized traffic or link building activities.

Online Marketing all marketing activities, campaigns that are carried out on internet. Including paid advertising and affiliate marketing.

Onsite SEO or Onpage SEO Search engine optimization of a website by making the required changes to the pages of that site.

Opt In is a CTA call to action function. Such as form to subscribe to your newsletter or receive blog updates, where the user agrees by providing their email address.

Organic Link are links that a webmaster considers valuable to the user for doing so.

Outbound Link a link from your webpage pointing to another page in a different website that you consider of value to your visitors. For example by anchor text for further information on particular subject that visitor may find useful.


Page Rank is Google’s search algorithm used to rank websites in their search engine results. It measures the authority of a page based on different factors, such as user query relevant content, link popularity, user experience to mobile usability and page load up speed. The values 0 to 10 determine a page’s importance, reliability and authority on the web.

Page Title title of a webpage taken from the Meta Title tag on the top of the page. Its one of the most important ranking factors in terms of SEO benefits.

Pay Per Action (PPA) similar to Pay Per Click, but here you pay only when the action is completed, converted to sales.

Pay Per Click (PPC) Adwords is an example of PPC advertising. Where you pay a set amount for every click your advert receives.

Plugin software file you can easily install to add new functionality to your website or content management system. Usually with very limited or no coding requirements.


Reciprocal Link when a webpage you have linked to, link back to your site, returning the favor.

Return On Investment (ROI) a term used widely. Is the measure between cost and benefits of any investment scheme. The percentage of profit made above the investment.

Redirect when visitors are redirect to another page for variety reasons. Such as domain change or in case of Gateway.

Rich Snippet structured on page data markup that you can add to your existing HTML, allowing search engines to better understand what information is contained on each web page. As additional text they will appear under the search results. They help your listing stand out and be noticed.

Robots.txt is a text file in the root directory of your website that controls and ristrict the behavior of the search engine crawlers/spiders.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) or Rich Site Summary is a data feed system to publish frequently updated information from websites. Such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, video.


Sales Funnel is a process that companies lead, taking customers through a pre planned journey, from first visit to conversion, selling their products.

SC supplementary content “contributes to a good user experience on the page, but doesn’t directly help the page to achieve it’s purpose”.  

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Internet marketing, with positioning a website within search engines to achieve maximum visibility and increase share of paid and/or organic traffic.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers optimizing a website to achieve higher visibility on search engines results, by variety of onpage and offpage techniques for organic ranking. SEO tecniques are part of any successful online marketing campaign.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP) the page that comes up on your screen showing the results of your specific search on Google or other search engines.

Shared Hosting where web hosting service provider serves pages for multiple websites, from a single server, each having their own domain name,. Most hosting companies provide shared hosting.

Site Audit analysis and review of a website to ensure its functionality and usability form the users point of view, providing smooth user experience and its visibility on search engine results, by carrying out an SEO audit.

Site Speed how quickly your website loads on desktop or mobile is a Google ranking factor.

Sitelinks links to related inner pages that show below some of Google’s search results. They are meant to help users navigate your site through shortcuts that allows them to find the information they looking for quickly.

Sitemap is a list of pages of a website accessible to crawlers and users. Normally a page that lists and links to all other pages on a website. Also see XML Sitemap.

Social Media Marketing (SMM) using variety of social media channels for marking to your targeted audience. Instagram, twitter, facebook etc.

Social Share when visitors share your posts on social media, using the share buttons on your site.

Social Signals are the likes, comments, shares, votes, pins, views, tweets, retweets on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social media sites that filter out to the various search engines. An offsite SEO measurement that can determine popularity of a specific webpage.

Spider or crawler is an Internet software which constantly browses around the World Wide Web, used by search engine, such as Google, collecting data for indexing and updating their web content.

Spinning or content spinning taking a piece of content and changing the words to produce a variation of the same or similar content. As you look around the internet for answers you will see spinning is practiced by the best and the worst.

Split Testing is a way of comparing multiple versions of a web page (homepage or landing page) to find out which preforms better. The results are measured by conversion rate, click trough rate and ROI


Target Audience are people that you want to interest in your products and services. You build your website, you blog with them in mind. Targeting your efforts in their direction.

Traffic the number of visitors to your site.

Traffic Generation marketing strategy aiming to increase traffic to you website.


Uniform Resource Locator (URL) web site address on the internet. is my site address on the web.

User Generated Content (UGC) is any kind of content that is generated by visitors on your website such as blogs, discussion forums, posts, chats, tweets, podcasts, digital images, video, audio files, etc.


Web 2.0 websites that encourage user interaction, changing from static webpage allowing sharing, comments etc.

Webmaster is the website owner who has control to make necessary changes.

Webmaster Tools in general it refers to Google’s Webmaster Tools that provide site analysis, data, indexing etc.

White hat SEO ethical search engine optimization techniques that conform best practice guidelines.


XML Sitemap file listing URLs of pages for a site, that search engines can find. It allows you to include additional information about each URL.


YMYL Your Money or Your Life webpage, that “could potentially impact the future happiness, health of financial stability of users.” Google helds these pages to the highest standard in its Search Quality Guidelines. they include, shopping or financial transaction pages, medical, financial or legal pages and news articles.

Are there any other SEO terms that should be included? 

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