The Right SEO Glossary of Terms

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SEO terms can be a tricky topic for the new business or blogger entering the world of online marketing. In the past, terms were divided, and strictly were defined to a specific aspect of SEO. With the enormous amounts of algorithm updates, several of those lines have blurred, and many terms fall under the same umbrella. Knowing how each of these terms applies to your website will help increase your SEO presence, and enhance your brand. If you are a seasoned veteran to SEO, these are terms you will know, but a refresher read is always great to invigorate the mind!


200 The status of the page is OK, images were found, and they loaded into the browser properly.

301 – Page has been permanently moved to a new location.

302 – Page has been temporarily moved to a new URL.

404 – Page not found, the server cannot locate the URL.

Above the Fold – The fold is the area of the website or search that is visible when the page first loads. When scrolling down, the new areas of the webpage that are exposed are the areas “Below the Fold” of the website. In SEO terms, this is the best place to be in search, and where you want the bulk of your content on your webpage.

Alt Tag – This is an “alt attribute” or “alt description”, this is a HTML attribute that is associated with an image, that gives a text alternative to search engines.

Analytics – The historical data that is researched through a platform such as: Google Analytics. Having in-depth knowledge of the historical search data will give insight to future advertising campaigns, and content for the website.

Anchor Text – Visible text that consist of characters and numbers that link to another page on the website, or outside source. Typically, the hyperlink will be underlined and have a different color than the surrounding text.

A/b Testing – Creating two different versions of a webpage in order to check the performance side by side. Also referred to as split testing.

Backlink – Anchor Text or a hyperlink that links to another website from a web page.

Black Hat SEO – Referring to SEO strategies that are a known disapproved method. Black Hat SEO practices can get a website banned, and or trigger Manual Penalties through the search engine. These techniques are typically used on a website for a quick buck, instead of letting rankings grow organically.

Blacklist – A penalty triggered by an email or IP address that originates from spamming. This commonly happens to websites that contain malicious software or deceitful content.

Blog – A web page that contains information, personal experiences, or opinions. Blogs are typically written at least once a week,and should contain no less than 500 words.

Bread Crumbs – Typically utilized as “path based” reflecting the structure of the site and notifying users of where they currently are on the site.

Bot – A “robot” or “spider” that browses or crawls a website’s content.

Bounce Rate – When referring to a bounce, this is the time and depth that someone spends on a given web site. A higher bounce rate means a user is spending less time on your website, and not continuing to other pages associated with the site.

Broken Link – A web page that leads to a dead link, or to a page that is no longer working.

Canonical URL – The URL in which you want a visitor to see, this is the search engine friendly link that you want to have authority.

Canonical Tag –  If there are multiple pages that might be considered duplicate content, the rel=”canonical” tag that tells search engines which of those pages to “look at” as the original to be indexed.

C-Block – Referring to IP addresses within very close range that might be interpreted by search engines as coming from the same location.

Child Pages – Web Pages that are organized in a hierarchy, and are subordinate to a related parent page.

CMS – A Content Management System is the platform that a webmaster uses to build and maintain a website through.  

Conversion – If the user made the desired action that the owner of the site considers of value. Conversions could include everything from a sale, a sign up to a newsletter, obtaining contact/personal information of the user, etc.

CPC – The Cost Per Click is the cost of a consumer clicking on an advertisement.

CPI – Cost Per Impression is calculated by dividing the total cost of the CPC campaign, by the number of times the ad was viewed.

Crawl – A bot or program that is used by search engines to read content, and identify new content.

CSS – Cascading Style Sheets is the computer language that is used to format the layout and styles of a webpage.

CTR – The Click Through Rate is the number of times, or clicks that a web advertisement receives. The CTR is calculated by clicks divided by impressions.

Dead Link – The URL to of a webpage that no longer exists or has moved to an alternate URL.

Deep Linking – A link that takes users to a specific page and content that is not the homepage of the website.  

Do-Follow Link – A link that passes “link juice” from one site to another.

Directory – A website that contains NAPW information for multiple services, products, or companies.

DNS – Domain Name System is the way internet domains are located and converted to numerical IP addresses.

Domain Authority – The authority of a domain often influenced by the age of domain, number or authoritative links, and many other factors.

Domain Age – The actual age of the domain from conception. The longer the domain has been around, the more authority and trust it has.

Duplicate Content – Where two or more pages are exactly the same, or very close to it. Search engines will not index what they consider duplicate content.

Dynamic Content – Animations or video that frequently changes and is engaging for a visitor.

Ecommerce – A website that’s purpose is to collect a payment for services, or a product.

Ethical SEO – See:

Evergreen Content –  The practice of not putting a date stamp on content that is still relevant no matter what the current date. The thought process of if the user does not know it is dated 10 years ago, they might be inclined to stay on the page longer.  

Exact Match Domain (EMD) – A domain that contains a specific keyword or key phrase in the domain itself. Examples would include or

Frames – An embedded section of a site, an obsolete design technique. Search engines often have a hard time crawling this sort of content, most of the time not indexing it at all.

Google Adwords – Searched advertised keywords that are targeted by the Google Search Engine, these keywords are then utilized to give a recommendation to a webpage that has the desired search content.

GoogleBot – Google’s web crawling bot or spider that crawls billions of pages to determine if there is new content, relevant content to searches, or improper SEO practices.

Google Sitemap – A list of pages to tell Google the organization of the site. Allows more intelligent crawling of the site.  

Google Webmaster Tools – Now known as Google Search Console, is a free service provided by Google for webmasters. Alerts and manual penalties will be visible through this tool. Knowing if your website is infected with malware is crucial to the security and health of a website.

GUI – A Graphical User Interface is a dashboard or design that allows a user or visitor to interact with applications or electronical devices through graphical icons.

H1 Tag – HTML headings that mark the importance of text for a specific webpage.

Header – The topmost section above the fold that includes a company’s logo, and the main navigation bar.

Home Page – The front page and main URL of a website.

HTML – Hypertext Markup Language is the language and system used to build websites, web applications, documents, etc… on the World Wide Web.

HTTP – Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the way information is formatted and transmitted.

HTTPS – HTTP over SSL or TLS for security purposes. This is becoming a standard in Google as a recognized SEO practice, and is recommended for websites that require a login or accept payments.

In/Outbound Links –  Referring to links that are either pointing to the site from other websites (in) or pointing to separate site (out).

Indexed Pages  –  How many pages search engines have crawled and decided to keep to reflect for the site in the search engine results.

Internal Link –  A link that connects one page to another on the same domain.

IP Address – Internet Protocol is unique identifying address that is used for computers connected to a network, and the method in which data is transmitted from one device to another that is connected to the internet.

JavaScript – OOP that is used to enhance HTML pages, and create interactive effects.

Keyword – A word, or group of words that is used as a key, to a sentence, phrase or similar word in contextual meaning.

Keyword Density – How often the same keyword is shown on the same page. Often thought to help rankings, if written correctly in a user reading friendly fashion.

Keyword Research – The method of researching relevant keywords for a web page, posting, or advertising campaign.

Landing Page – A page design dedicated to make the user take a certain action. Examples could include a conversion, signing up to a newsletter, inquiring about a service, etc.

Link Bait – The practice of making something of value in order to create back-links to the site.  

Link Building – Gaining outside links that lead to a URL outside of a given website.

Link Juice – Refers the amount of value a do-follow link passes from one domain to another.  

Listings – Other websites that have different websites NAPW information listed on them. The more consistent and numerous, the higher in search engine results the site will be.

Local SEO – The SEO practice that employs Social Media, Reputation Management, and NAPW records to increase to local visibility in the Map Results. An example would be performing a Google search for “Pizza Near Me”.

Long Tail – Combining multiple different keywords in a search query. Example – searching for “black leather dress shoes” instead of just “shoes”.

Manual Penalty – A penalty that is the result of an algorithm change, or Black Hat SEO practices.

Map Results (pack results) – Often referred to as “the pack”, this is where a domain or website shows up in the local map results.

Schema Markup –  A markup language to help the search engines return more specific and informative information in the search engine results. Examples would be pricing of a product or a schedule of upcoming events.

Meta Description – A snippet that summarizes a pages content that reflects in the search engine results below the title tag link. Very useful for targeting clicks users.

Meta Keywords – Widely accepted as a obsolete and worthless practice, a meta tag that you are able to put keywords to for visibility.

Meta Referrer Tag – Although being around for several years, not highly implemented. Especially useful when solving the traffic decrease when switching from a HTTP site to a HTTPS site.

Meta Tags – Meta tags exist only in the actual code of a website and help tell what the page of site is all about.

NAPW – A webpage that contains the Name, Address, Phone Number and Website for a business.

Negative SEO – SEO that is implemented via Black Hat techniques.

Nofollow – A link that does not pass any authority, trust or “link juice” to another domain.

Off-Page SEO – All the tactics one does in order to build the presence of a website offline. Basically link building and building relationships.

On-page SEO – The content in a webpage, and the implementation of SEO through factors such as H1 tags, Title Tags, URL’s, and Meta Description Tags.

OOP – Object Oriented Programming is a software design that that is oriented around objects that may contain data rather than logic.

Organic Search Results – Displayed in the SERP, the organic search results typically lay above the fold, and below the advertisements.

PageRank – The position a given web page is from the top of the SERP, the best page rank is number 1, and difficult for most websites to achieve.

Page Authority – The online authority of a specific page of a domain.

Page Views – How many times a specific page or site  has been visited by users by time frame – day, month, year, etc.

PHP – Recursive acronym PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. A scripting language that is utilized to create dynamic content or images on a website. Especially suited for to server-side web development.

PPA – Pay per action – only gets paid if result is conversion

PPC – Pay per click advertising. Pricing varies greatly, but the owner pays X amount if a user clicks on a link that goes to their website or landing page.

Query – The actual word or combination of words that is typed into the search engine by the user to find a specific result.

Redirect – Sends a visitor from one URL to another.

Referrer – A webpage that sends a visitor to another URL, commonly misspelled as “referer”.

Reputation Management – Managing information that directly affects a person or business online. Reviews, correct NAPW listings, a content on a website that mention a person or business in either a negative or positive manner. Incorrect phone numbers and addresses can affect a company’s reputation.

Retargeting – Also known as remarketing, is the method of showing advertisements to a visitor based on their browsing history.

Robots.txt – A guideline for search engines and the do’s and dont’s of crawling a site. Dictating if certain pages are crawlable or not up to not allowing certain bots to crawl the site at all.

ROI – Return On Investment – Basically how much money put in to get X amount of money back. Used to gauge the effectiveness and usefulness of online tactics or SEO.

Scraping – A black hat technique to “scrape” a website to copy the content for use on another website.  

SEM – Search Engine Marketing is the promotion of a website by increasing Search Volume, and increasing the visibility of the web page in the SERP. This is achieved primarily through PPC and advertising.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization is the process of getting a page to rank better in the SERP.

SERP – Search Engine Result Placement. Where the domain/site is ranked in the search engine results.

Site Map – Typically an XML document or organization chart that search engines navigate a website. A Site Map provides information and instructions to crawling search engine Bots.

Site Loading Speed – How fast a site or page loads. When was the last time you waited more than five seconds for a site to load? Be honest now. Faster the better. Mostly concerns user usability but also affects bounce rate which could affect rankings.

Site Trust – The amount of trust a site has with the search engines and therefore reflects in rankings. Linked up to a bunch of spammy sites? Good luck with the engines trusting you.

Site Authority –  How much authority the site has. Links to the site with high authority or reputation, domain age and other factors play into this.

Social Media – A social platform in which visitors can post text, pictures and videos to followers, friends, and specific audiences.

Static Content – Content that is delivered to a user, and has not been changed in any way.

Title Tag – A HTML tag that defines the title of a web page.

TLS – Transport Layer Security, also referred to as an SSL, are protocols that provide additional layers of security over a computer network.

Traffic – The amount of users that visit a site.

URL – A Uniform Resource Locater is simply described as a website address.

UGC – User generated content – content that is created and supplied through the users and not the owner of the site. Blog posts, comments, forum posts, etc.  

Whois – A search that can be performed to find the location and owner of a URL. A great resource for this search is:

White Hat SEO – Moral and ethical SEO practices.

Widget – The generic term for a GUI or stand-alone piece of software that can be embedded into a website by a user.

XML – Extensible Markup Language is a language that defines, or describes a set of rules for sharing structured data across the internet.

3 thoughts on “The Right SEO Glossary of Terms

  1. Great info! I’ve been using a few different sites to refer clients to for particular definitions, but you seemed to put them all in one place! I cant wait to see what info your next blog has in it! Also, very clever name for your company “The Right SEO”, keep the great information coming.

    1. Thank you for the kind words, we will have new weekly information, don’t forget to share our content!

      The Right SEO

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