An A-Z SEO Glossary with all the terms you could possibly think of

So you want to become an SEO expert, is that it? But first, you need to understand what all the other smart people in the room are talking about?

You’ve come to the right place. Below is a [in]complete list of all the SEO/Digital Marketing terms we could think of and their easy to understand definitions.
Home SEO A-Z SEO Glossary (all the SEO/Digital Marketing terms and definitions)
0-9 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

0-9
301 Moved Permanently (301 Redirect, 301 HTTP Status Code) – A status code or message for a website or web page that has been redirected permanently.
302 Found (302 Temporary Redirect, 302 HTTP Status Code) – A status code or message for a website or web page that has been redirected temporarily.
404 Not Found (404 HTTP Status Code) – A “Not Found” status code for missing, deleted, or moved web resources.
410 Gone (410 HTTP Status Code) – A status code that alerts search engines about permanently removed web resources.
500 Internal Server Error (500 HTTP Status Code) – A status code that indicates server encountered an unexpected issue and therefore couldn’t complete the otherwise valid request.
A
Above The Fold, see also Below the fold – Content that appears on a web page before a visitor scrolls.
Absolute URL (Absolute link, Absolute path), see also Relative URL – When a complete page URL is used instead of just using a part of it.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) – An Open Source framework that helps to speed up loading times on mobile devices.
AdSense – A contextual advertisement placement program run by Google.
Advanced search operators – A string of characters or commands that help to narrow and filter the focus of search engine results for certain queries.
AdWords (Ads, Google Ads) – An advertising service run by Google for businesses that want to display ads on Google or its huge advertising network.
Affiliate Marketing – A business model where independent marketers promote and get paid for referring web users to 3rd party sites/businesses.
AJAX – A type of programming technique that allows users to request or send data without loading a new page.
Algorithm – A complex system that search engines use to retrieve, organize, and deliver results for a query.
Algorithm update (Algorithm Change, Google algorithm update) – Changes that search engines make to certain signals of an existing algorithm.
Algorithmic Penalty, see also Manual Penalty – The sanctioning of a website by one of the algorithm updates released by Google.
Alt Attribute (alt tag, alt text, alternate text) – HTML code that search engines and visually impaired people use to understand the contents of an image.
Analytics (see Google Analytics) – The process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting web data to help with forecasting and planning.
Anchor Text – The clickable word or phrases of a hyperlink.
B
B2B – Shorthand for business-to-business which is the commerce between businesses rather than end consumers.
B2C – Abbreviation for business-to-consumer which is a form of commerce transaction where businesses sell products directly to consumers.
Backlink (Inbound link, Incoming link) – A link coming from another website to your site.
Backlink Tool (backlink checker tool) – A tool that helps you check and analyze backlinks going to a website.
Below the fold (see Above the fold) – A section of a web page that’s only visible after you’ve scrolled down.
Bing Ads – Presently known as Microsoft Advertising, this is a service that offers PPC advertising on both Bing and Yahoo! search engines.
Bing Keyword Research Tool – A tool by Bing to help you find keyword suggestions and query volumes based on organic search data.
Bing Webmaster Tools A free website management service offered by Microsoft for Bing users.
Black Hat (black-hat SEO) – SEO tactics that don’t particularly follow the approved guidelines of Google or other search engines.
Blog Comment Spam (Blog Commenting) – A shady SEO tactic that involves posting irrelevant (and often automated) comments to a blog to acquire links.
Blog Network (PBN) – See Private Blog Network
Blogroll – A list of blogs or websites that a webmaster endorses or is affiliated to.
Bot (robot, spider, crawler) – A script or program used by search engines to perform various automated tasks like crawling web pages for indexing.
Bounce Rate – The percentage of web visitors that leave without visiting another page on your site.
Breadcrumb (Breadcrumb Navigation, Breadcrumb trail) – A navigational element that shows users exactly where they are within a site.
Broad match (Broad match keyword) – A keyword option that allows your Google ad to appear when users search for variations of your primary keywords and related topics.
Broken Link (dead link) – A link that leads to a 404 Not Found error page.
C
Call to action (CTA) – A website trigger that calls for immediate response from visitors using compelling words like Sign Up Now, Buy, or Register.
Canonical Tag (rel=canonical), see also Canonical URL – An HTML code that tells search engines which URL to crawl when multiple pages have similar content.
Canonical URL – An HTML link element that contains the rel=”canonical” link attribute to help specify to search engines your preferred URL for pages with closely similar or duplicate content.
Carousel (SERP feature) – A sliding row of images that usually appear at the top of search results when users search for items like best movies, colleges, etc.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) – A language that determines how web elements like font and color appear on a web page.
ccTLD (Country Code Top-Level Domain) – Top-level domain extensions usually reserved for countries or sovereign states and which are identified with a country code, e.g. .uk for United Kingdom and .de for Germany.
Churn and burn SEO (Rank & bank SEO) – A blackhat SEO strategy where a site owner seeks to maximize rankings and ultimately profits within a very short time using spam links.
Citation – A common term in local SEO that refers to the name, address, and phone number (NAP) of a local business.
Click Bait (Clickbait) – A curiosity-arousing link meant to entice users to click on it.
Click fraud – The act of illegally clicking on PPC ads usually using an automated program to increase the number of payable clicks to the advertiser.
Click-Through-Rate (CTR) – The percentage of users that click on an organic search result after seeing it.
Cloak / Cloaking – The practice of showing different URLs or content to search engines and web visitors.
CMS (Content Management System) – A web-based system that allows users to create and manage their web properties online.
Content – Words, images, sounds, or videos that communicate to or inform web visitors about a given topic.
Content Delivery Network (CDN) – A distributed network of hosting locations that serve web resources based on the location of the user.
Content Marketing – A marketing strategy that entails creating and distributing content to attract new customers.
Content spinning (Article spinning) – A black hat SEO strategy where content is rewritten with the sole aim of avoiding being flagged as duplicate by Google.
Contextual Advertising – A form of targeted advertising where a promotional message or ad is matched to relevant digital content using machine learning technology.
Conversion – When a web visitor completes a desired action like buying, clicking a CTA button, etc.
Conversion Rate – The percentage of website users who complete the desired action vis-à-vis the total number of visitors.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) – The process of improving conversions on a website using tactics like use of new web copy, images, and CTA elements.
Cookies – A small text file that websites leave on a user’s device to help track them over a given duration.
CPA (Cost per Acquisition, Cost per action, Pay per acquisition, Pay per action) – A marketing metric that measures the average amount you’re charged by Google and Bing ad networks every time a web user takes a specified action on your ad.
CPC (Cost per click, Pay Per Click, PPC) – A payment method used by Google to calculate the average amount to pay based on the clicks you get on your ad.
CPM (Cost per thousand impressions, Cost per mille) – This is the price you pay to have your ad displayed to 1000 searchers.
Crawl / crawler / bot / spider – A process where search engine bots analyze the content or code of a website for indexing.
Crawl Budget – The number of URLs and elements that search engines bots crawl in a site.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
CTA (Call to action)
CTR (Click-through rate)
Customer Journey – Potential points of interaction that a prospect is exposed to before they can finally be persuaded to buy from a brand.
D
Data – All the information you need regarding your customers and business to make informed decisions.
Deep linking – The process of linking to pages within a website or mobile app.
Description (Meta-description) – See Meta-description tag
Direct Answer (aka Quick Answer, Answer Box) – A SERP feature that’s usually displayed at the top of search results in a light grey box to provide direct answers to certain queries from Google Dictionary.
Direct traffic – Number of visitors that come to your site by typing the exact URL into the browser.
Directory – A free or paid service that lists websites categorized according to industry and maintained by editors.
Disavow – The use of Google’s Disavow Tool to tell Google to ignore spammy or low-quality backlinks.
DNS (Domain Name System) – A hierarchical naming system that translates domain names into IP addresses thereby making it possible to access an internet location by its domain name.
DNS server (Domain Name System Server) – A server that stores, maintains, and processes the DNS records for a domain.
Dofollow – A link that’s without a no-follow rel attribute and therefore passes link juice/equity.
Domain – The location of a website on the web that’s typically displayed as a domain name or IP address.
Domain Authority (DA) – A metric for measuring how a website compares to its industry competitors for performance on search results.
Domain Name – The text users type into a browser to reach your website.
Domain name registrar – A company accredited to provide domain registration and reservation services.
Doorway Page (Gateway Page) – A webpage created to manipulate search engines to rank it for certain keywords but which redirects visitors to a different web resource.
DuckDuckGo – A little-known search engine founded in 2008 and which puts a lot of emphasis on user privacy.
Duplicate Content – Text content that appears on more than one resource on the web.
Dwell Time (Time Spent On Page)
Dynamic Content – The average time a visitor spends on your site after clicking it on search results.
Dynamic Serving – A setup whereby a web server serves different HTML and CSS codes on the same URL depending on the device being used to access the content.
Dynamic URL (Dynamic link) – A web address of a page whose content is fetched from a database based on a specific user query. URLs change every time that database is queried.
E
E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, Trust) – Factors that Google use to measure the quality of a page and determine its rankings.
E-commerce – Selling and buying of goods and services online.
Editorial backlink (Natural backlink, Organic backlink) – Naturally acquired backlinks that are placed within the body of content.
Email marketing – A form of online marketing where commercial messages are sent to a group of people using email.
Entity – A singular, unique and well-defined thing or concept.
Entry Page – The first page that a visitor sees when they enter your site.
Ethical SEO – SEO techniques that search engines consider to be acceptable and which comply with their webmaster guidelines.
Exact match – A keyword match type that allows you to reach users searching for that specific keyword alone when using Google or Bing Ads.
Exact Match Domain (EMD)
Exact match keyword – A domain name that contains your target keywords.
F
Favicon – A little piece of graphic that serves as a visual representation of your brand and website on browser tabs, search ads, and bookmark lists.
Featured Snippet – A special block that appears above organic search results and which usually contains answers for who/where/how/when/what types of queries.
Feed – A web document that includes a list of links to various sources of web content.
Feed Reader – A browser add-on program that gathers and displays feeds according to the user’s preferences and subscriptions.
Fetch as Google (Fetch as Googlebot) – A tool found within Google Search Console that allows you to submit a web page and also check how the resource is rendered in Google.
Footer– The bottom section of a website
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) – A protocol designed to help web users to transfer and exchange files over the internet.
G
Google Ads – A paid advertising service provided by Google for webmasters looking to place ads in Google and its extensive advertising network.
Google Alerts – A notification service by Google that allows you to track specific keywords and phrases as soon as the content containing them gets indexed on Google.
Google Analytics – An analytics service by Google that shows you detailed data of whatever is happening on your site.
Google Analytics Tracking Code – Automatically generated JavaScript code that tracks the activity of web users and helps to collect and send data to Google Analytics tool.
Google Bomb – The process of manipulating search engine results to have certain queries return a result that’s completely unrelated to that keyword.
Google Dance – A term used to describe a volatile period when Google’s search results change frequently.
Google Home Service Ads – A relatively new ads program by Google that targets local services with a combination of sponsored local listings and a Google service guarantee.
Google Hummingbird – A major algorithmic update released by Google in 2013 to improve search results by matching queries to user intent.
Google Keyword Planner (Google Keyword Tool) – A keyword research tool that Google offers as part of its Google Ads service.
Google Mobilegeddon – A major algorithmic update released by Google in April 2015 to de-rank websites that do not optimize for mobile.
Google My Business – A Google service that enables you to create and update your business listing so that it appears on local search results and Google Maps.
Google PageSpeed Insights – A Google tool that analyzes your website to determine its load speeds while also showing you ways to improve it.
Google Panda – A major algorithmic update that Google rolled out in 2011 to penalize sites that publish low-quality, thin, or duplicate content.
Google Penguin – A major algorithmic update released by Google in 2012 to penalize websites that manipulate their link building.
Google Pigeon – A major algorithmic update rolled out in 2014 to include location as one of the key ranking factors.
Google Pirate – A major algorithmic update released in October 2014 to penalize websites that serve pirated content to visitors.
Google Possum – A major algorithmic update released in September 2016 to build on the Google Pigeon update. It gives even more relevance to the location of the searcher.
Google Quality Guidelines – A set of instructions that Google gives its contracted search quality evaluators to evaluate the quality of its search results.
Google RankBrain – A major algorithmic update that fine-tuned Google’s search and ranking system by including machine learning and AI to interpret search queries.
Google Sandbox – A kind of “waiting period” where new websites do not enjoy the full benefits of their optimization efforts until when they’ve gained enough authority.
Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools) – A Google service that incorporates useful features like website monitoring and site speed tools.
Google search operators – See Advanced Search Operators.
Google Sitelinks – A feature in Google Ads that allows you to list additional hyperlinks to other website subpages on your listing for improved navigation.
Google Sitemaps – A file where you list web pages, media, and other files available on your site to help search engines crawl and index your web resources better.
Google Supplemental Index – A secondary database that Google uses to store pages it deems to be of less importance to its main search engine results.
Google Tag Manager – A powerful free tool that Google offers webmasters to implement and manage their site’s code snippets, pixels, and tags in one place.
Google Trends – An online tool that shows you the popularity of certain keywords or phrases over a period of time.
Google Webmaster Guidelines – Recommended best practices that if followed, makes it easier for search bots to crawl, understand site content, and finally index it.
Google Webmaster Tools, go to Google Search Console – Old name for Google Search Console.
Google+ (Google Plus)
Googlebot – An algorithm used by Google to scan and analyze sites for indexing and ranking.
Grey hat SEO – Tactically allowed but ethically questionable SEO tactics.
Growth Hacking – The practice of leveraging data-driven and related strategies like viral marketing to build brand exposure and increase sales.
gTLDs – Shorthand for generic top-level domains, this is one of the categories of top-level domain in the Domain Name System that comprises of domain name extensions with three or more characters including .com, .net, .org. etc.
Guest Blogging – Also known as guest posting, this is a popular link building method where you create content for another website in exchange for a link to your site pages.
H
H1 Tag (H1 element) – This is the most powerful and most important heading element that describes the content of a web resource.
Hamburger Button – A popular button that comes with a hamburger looks-like icon with three horizontal lines and which typically opens up into a navigation drawer or a side menu.
Header – An HTML code and important SEO element that enable you to make certain words more conspicuous when on a web page.
Heading Tags (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6) – These are HTML elements that help to define different types of titles of a document starting with H1 which is the most important heading tag to H6 which is the least important.
Hilltop Algorithm – An algorithmic update adopted by Google in 2003 to decide how relevant a document or web resource is for a given search query based on its reference to an authority webpage.
Homepage – The default front page of a website.
Hosting – The process of allocating space on a web server to store website files while making them available to computers connected to the internet.
Hreflang attribute – HTML tags that tell search engines there are international versions of your website while also indicating the respective languages intended for affected countries.
htaccess (.htaccess file) – A hidden server configuration file that help to rewrite or redirect URLs on sites running on Apache.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) – Abbreviating for Hypertext Markup Language, this is the standard markup language used to create web pages and applications today.
HTML Sitemap – A list of all pages in a website that helps to improve navigation for both the users and search engine bots.
Hyperlink – A link pointing from one page to another or from one part of a page to another on the same page.
I
Impression – The number of times a web page is seen by users on search results.
Inbound Link
Incognito Mode (Private Browsing) – A private browsing mode that prevents your browsers from storing your browsing history or cookies.
Index – The complete database that search engines use to store and retrieve information for web resources during the crawling process.
Index Coverage report – A detailed report found within the Google’s Search Console to show all webpages that Google has tried to crawl and whether it has encountered any errors.
Indexed Page – These are pages that have already been crawled and processed by search engine bots for indexing.
Infographic – A popular method of presenting information in a visual or graphic way to make content easier to read and make it more engaging.
Informational queries – Search queries that seek to find information about a specific subject.
Internal Link – A link pointing to a different web page within the same website from which it originates.
J
JavaScript (JS) – A popular programming language that’s used to create and insert dynamic elements on web resources.
jQuery – An open-source JavaScript library that helps developers automate web pages and design applications.
K
Key performance indicator (KPI) – Metrics that help to measure the performance of a digital marketing campaign.
Keyword – A word or phrase that tells search engines about the most important content found on a webpage.
Keyword Cannibalization – A form of self-competition that occurs when several webpages on the same site rank for the same keyword on search results.
Keyword Density – This refers to how many times a keyword appears within a web page.
Keyword Difficulty (Keyword Competition) – A metric that shows how easy or difficult it is to rank for a given keyword in the SERPs.
Keyword Explorer – A keyword research tool by Moz that helps you find profitable yet easy to rank keywords for your website.
Keyword Planner – A Google service that enables you to find keyword ideas as fetched from its Adwords service.
Keyword prominence – This refers to how important a keyword is to a web page.
Keyword proximity – This refers to how close keywords are close to each other on a web page.
Keyword rank (Keyword ranking) – This is the position of your web page on SERP results for a given keyword.
Keyword Research – The process of finding relevant and easy to rank keywords that suit your business
Keyword Research (Keyword Analysis)
Keyword Stuffing – A black hat SEO practice that entails increasing keyword density and using irrelevant keywords to manipulate search engine results.
Keyword stuffing (Keyword spam)
Knowledge Graph – This is a knowledge system that Google uses to provide structured and summarized information about places, people, etc.
Knowledge Panel – The info box that appears at the top of page one of search results and which contains facts and information about people, places, and links to related Google searches.
Knowledge Vault – This is a Google’s knowledge base project where you can find millions of facts that have been collected on different subjects from around the web.
L
Landing Page – This is the page a user is directed to after clicking a link. It can also be a standalone page that’s designed to collect leads.
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) – An information retrieval method that Google uses to index commonly associated keywords or group of words in a page.
Link Acquisition – An important SEO tactic that involves increasing the number and quality of backlinks to a site.
Link Bait – A high-quality piece of content that other websites naturally want to link to.
Link building (Link acquisition, Linkbuilding) – See link acquisition.
Link Exchange – A grey hat SEO tactic that involves exchanging backlinks with other website owners, usually in the same niche.
Link Farm – A network of websites whose sole purpose is to link to other websites to artificially increase search rankings.
Link Juice (Link Love) – A slang used by a section of SEO professionals to refer to the value that passes from one site or page to the other through a backlink.
Link profile (Backlink profile) – An SEO term that refers to the different types of links that point to a website.
Link Velocity – The speed at which a website creates or acquires new backlinks.
Local Citation – This refers to any mention of a local business’s name, physical address, phone number, or website address on the web.
Local pack – A feature that appears at the top of search results where a few chosen local businesses are listed for a specific query.
Log File – A web file that records crucial information of a user including their IP address, browser type, date/time stamp, and clicks.
Long Tail Keyword – Longer keywords comprising more than two words. They are often more specific and easier to rank.
LSI Keywords – Keywords and phrases that are semantically related to your primary keyword.
M
Machine Learning – A subset or application of Artificial Intelligence where a system learns from historical data to execute human-like tasks without human intervention.
Manual Penalty (Google manual action penalty) – This is Google’s penalty by human reviewers which is triggered by a site’s gross violation of webmaster guidelines.
Meta Keywords – These are HTML tags that contain the most important keyword of a page.
Meta Tags – These are code snippets that are added to a web page’s head section including the meta title meta description, and meta robots.
Meta-description tag – A short snippet (150-160 characters) that search engines display in their listings to describe the contents of a web page.
Minification – The process of removing unnecessary elements and codes including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files to reduce the size of web resource files.
Mobile optimization – The process of improving and readjusting a website so that mobile users can view and interact with its content better.
Mobile-first indexing – Google rolled out the mobile-first indexing update in March 2018 to crawl and index mobile versions of websites by default.
Mobile-Friendly – A website that’s optimized for mobile by either using a responsive design or has a separate mobile version.
Mobilegeddon
MozBar – A browser extension by Moz that allows you to analyze and compare site metrics like domain and page authority.
MozRank – A metric by Moz that indicates how a web page is for a particular keyword based on its backlink profile
N
NAP – Abbreviation for Name, Address, and Phone number which are the three key details that serve as the reference to your local business listing on the web.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) – A form of artificial intelligence that search engines use to establish relationships between words to decipher the intent of content in web pages.
Natural Link – Also known as organic links, these links are gained naturally and not built using any link building method.
Navigation – This is a combination of hyperlinks and other auxiliary web elements that help web users find their way around your site.
Navigational queries – Internet searches aimed at finding specific web pages or websites.
Negative SEO (Negative SEO attack) – Unethical and black hat SEO methods used to lower or harm the rankings of a competitor.
Nofollow Attribute – This is a value assigned to a rel attribute to ensure that a link doesn’t pass on SEO value.
Noindex Tag – A signal or HTML order telling search engine bots not to index a certain web resource.
Noopener – A value assigned to the rel attribute to tell browsers not to leak any HTTP referrer data to protect users against reverse tabnabbing.
Noreferrer – Noreferrer is used in conjunction with noopener for security and performance reasons.
not provided – Before Google moved to secure search in 2011, it was possible to know which queries visitors used to find your website. However, that has since changed with Google now replacing this information with the “not provided” note.
O
Off-Page SEO – All SEO practices that take place outside of your website to increase its rankings.
Offsite SEO – See Off-page SEO
Online Reputation Management (URM) – The practice of monitoring and managing public perception and image of a business, organization, or individual on the web.
On-Page SEO – All SEO practices that take place within a website to boost visibility and search engine rankings.
Onsite SEO – See On-Page SEO
Open Graph Protocol / Open Graph META Tags – A structured data platform created by Facebook to share information about a web resource to Facebook as well as other online platforms.
Organic Search Results – Unpaid listings that appear on SERPs for specific queries.
Organic traffic – Web visitors that originate from non-paid search engine queries.
Orphan Page – A webpage that doesn’t have any links pointing to from it within the site.
Outbound link (Outgoing link, External link) – Links coming from your site and pointing to other websites.
Over-optimization – A shady SEO tactic that aims to please or even trick search engines to rank websites for particular keywords without minding user experience.
P
Page Authority (PA) – A metric created by Moz to estimate how a web page will perform on SERPs based on its link power compared to other sites.
PageRank – A computer algorithm developed by Google in 1996 to help the search engine determine which sites rank for certain queries.
Pageview (Page impression) – The number of times a page is loaded on a browser by web visitors.
Pagination – A navigation technique that involves dividing web content into multiple pages and segmenting links to improve user experience.
Paid Search – Per-per-click (PPC) ads that appear above or below the organic listings on SERPs.
Paid traffic – Incoming traffic that results when visitors click on ads you’ve paid for.
Pay Per Click (PPC) – A paid marketing model where you’re charged a certain amount every time a user clicks on your ads.
PBN (Blog network, Private Blog Network) – A network of websites usually created on expired domains with authority to build links for purposes of SEO.
Penguin
Permalinks – Permanent URLs of pages and posts in a website.
Plugin – An application or software that you install in your site’s backend to extend and expand its functionality.
Pogo-Sticking – Happens when a searcher bounces back to the search results immediately after landing on a web page.
Poison words (Forbidden words, Filter words) – Words that, when used on a page or site, trigger loss of trust and respect in the eyes of search engines.
PPC (Pay Per Click)
Press Release – A written communication submitted to PR websites to announce new products or newsworthy events that a company wants to popularize.
Primary keyword (Main keyword, Head keyword) – The most important keyword that drives the biggest traffic to a specific web page.
Proximity – See Keyword proximity
Q
Query (Search Query) – The words or phrases that a searcher enters into a search engine.
Query Deserves Diversity (QDD) – A Google algorithm that tries to match user intent by providing broader but relevant match results.
Query Deserves Freshness (QDF) – A Google ranking algorithm that ensures searchers get the freshest content for queries for latest news, trends, and hot topics.
R
Rank (Ranking) – The position of a website on search engine results for a specific query.
Rank Checker Tool (Rank Tracker Tool) – A tool that provides data regarding a site’s positions on search engine results for particular queries.
RankBrain – Google’s machine learning algorithm that determines the relevant results to show after a search query.
Ranking Factor – Standards that a search engine follows to determine the rank of webpages for particular search queries.
Reciprocal Links – When two of more websites with mutual agreement exchange backlinks.
Reconsideration Request – A request made by a site owner to search engines for review of a site that was previously hit with manual action.
Redirect – A way to show users and search engines where to find web content and resources whose location has been changed on the web server.
Referral – Denotes traffic that originates from other domains (referrers) other than the search engines.
Referral Traffic – See Referral.
Relative URL (Relative link, Relative path) – A URL that consists of the path and resource but doesn’t explicitly specify the protocol or scheme.
Render-blocking scripts – Strings of code that control how a page loads and parses content on it.
Responsive design – A design that allows a website to load its content optimally on different screens sizes and devices.
Return on Investment (ROI) – A metric of performance that indicates the percentage of profit made from a particular investment opportunity including SEO.
Reviews (Stars) – Appraisals submitted by users of a product/service in a website indicating the level of satisfaction after purchase or use.
Rich Snippets – Pieces of information about data in a webpage that can include its publication date, review ratings, thumbnail image, or location in a website.
Robots meta tag – Instructions to the search engine from a website telling it how to crawl and index its web page content.
Robots.txt (robots exclusion standard) – A text file that instructs search engine bots on how to process information on each webpage.
Root domain – This is the parent indicator of every URL and subdomain in a website that’s useful in outlining its data structure.
RSS Feed – Really Simple Syndication (RSS) Feed refers to a web feature that allows users and applications to obtain information from a website every time it’s updated.
S
SAB (Service Area Business) – Businesses or entities that do not have a distinct location but move around offering their services. A good examples is plumbing service providers.
Sandbox – A filter commonly used by Google search engine to limit new websites from ranking in SERPs for a while.
Schema (Schema Markup, Schema.org) – Also known as rich snippet, this is a markup code that enhances your search listing by directing search engines to return more informative results for searchers.
Scraping (Web scraping, Content scraping, Scraped content) – The technique of copying site data, content, or information (mostly by search engines) to facilitate building of website indexes.
Screaming Frog – A software that crawls a website to analyze and audit the SEO status of its resources.
Scroll depth – This refers to the percentage of a web page that a visitor sees. It can be used as a measure of user engagement on a site.
Search engine friendly (SEF) – A webpage is considered to be Search Engine Friendly if it contains descriptive characters and symbols that are relevant to its subject topic.
Search engine marketing (SEM, Search Marketing, Search engine advertising) – The process of increasing web visitors to a site using both paid and organic traffic generation methods.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Techniques and practices that help to organically increase the visibility of a site and ultimately visitor numbers by ranking high on search results for targeted keywords.
Search Engine Penalty – The negative impact on a site’s rankings after a search engine changes its ranking algorithms.
Search Engine Result Snippet – See Featured Snippets.
Search Engine Results Page (SERP) – The page that a search engine displays to a web user after they’ve searched for a specific query.
Search Engine Submission – The process of requesting a search engine to index a website or a newly created webpage.
Search History – Search history is the list of queries made by web users on search engines by use of text strings or voice input.
Search Quality Rater Guidelines – Sets of instructions that offer insight on what search engines consider relevant and quality while evaluating websites to list on SERPs.
Search Term / Search Query – Refers to the string of words (keywords) entered by the user of a search engine on the search box.
Search Terms Report – A report that contains a list of search terms (keyword list) that web users entered in a search box to find and click the link to your website.
Search traffic – Refers to visitors who reach a website after clicking a link leading to it from a search engine results page.
Search Volume – Number of search queries by web users on a particular keyword/term over a given timeframe.
Seasonal trends – Keywords that have varying search volumes as a result of rise or drop of demand of the items that they point to.
Secondary Keywords – Search terms that are highly relevant to your primary keyword and which help to attract more search traffic when included in the content.
Seed keywords – Also known as primary keywords, these are search texts and characters that websites use to better their rankings and relevance to the search engine for specific queries. They are often used as the foundation of keyword research.
Semantic Search – Refers to the technique that search engines use to generate relevant search results by analyzing the actual meaning of search terms in a particular context.
SEO Copywriting – A form of writing that entails combining traditional copywriting techniques with search engine optimization practices to create compelling content that ranks highly on search results.
SEO Toolbar – Tools that help you with various SEO processes including keyword research, competitor analysis, and link building among other tasks.
SEO tools
SERP feature – Any result displayed on search engine results page that’s not part of traditional organic result e.g. a rich snippet or sponsored ad.
Server – A computer or program that shares web resources contained in a website with the target network, group, or audience.
Server Logs (Server Log Files) – Files generated by a server and which contain a list of activities by websites and services in it.
Short tail keywords – Search phrases that consist of only one word that are less specific to a searcher’s context and intent when entering a query.
Silo – A type of website structure that involves grouping similar or related content to make it easier for users and search engines to navigate the site.
Sitelinks (Google site links)
Sitemap
Site-wide link – A hyperlink that appears on every webpage, usually due to its position on the header, side, or footer sections.
Skyscraping (Skyscraper technique, Skyscraper SEO) – A link building technique that involves improving already popular content to attract even more backlinks to it.
SMM (Social Media Marketing) – Use of social platforms to reach out and connect with target audience with an aim of improving a website’s traffic or building a brand.
Social Signals – All actions that define user engagement of a website on social media including likes, reviews, shares, votes, and even links.
Soft 404 Error – A URL that loads when a page is non-existent. It indicates the absence of a web resource from the server queried.
Source code – A list of instructions that are compiled and assembled to generate an executable computer program.
Spam – Mass messages with resources or instructions shared on the internet for purposes of advertising, spreading malware, phishing, etc.
Spam Score – A rating system developed by Moz to determine the quality of a backlink coming from a particular site.
Spamdexing – An intentional manipulation of a search engine’s indexes to change the relevance or prominence of certain web resources.
Spider – An internet bot run by a search engine provider to read, analyze and store info for purposes of indexing web resources.
Splash Page – A branding or introductory page that welcomes visitors to a website before they can proceed to view other parts of the site.
Split Testing (A/B testing) – An approach where controlled or random experiments are conducted to improve website SEO metrics such as clicks or form completions. This type of testing helps to analyze and compare webpages with better conversion rates.
SSL Certificate – A small data file that facilitates secure connections from a web server to a browser by binding a cryptographic key to the data of a website on the internet.
Static Content (static page, static URL) – A web address of a webpage with never-changing content that can include keywords which are easy to remember by the user.
Status code (HTTP status code, HTTP response status code) – Response by a server following request of a particular web resource. The search engine uses this information to determine the health and availability of a website.
Stop Word – A regularly used word such as “the”, “of”, “at” etc. that a search engine normally ignores when parsing search queries and results.
Structured data / (Schema) – See Schema
Subdomain – Part of the domain that exists within the main one. For example, mail.google.com is part of google.com.
Subheading – A piece of information summarizing the content that falls below it for easy skimming through a section of an article.
T
Tag – See meta tag.
Target audience – A set of people for whom you’re creating a product or service in your business.
Target Keywords – Specific words or phrases that your potential visitors and customers are looking for in search engines.
Technical SEO – The practice of a site’s technical aspects including its structure, performance, and images to make it easier for search engine bots to crawl and index it.
Text to HTML Ratio – The amount of text that a page contains compared to the amount of HTML code needed to display it.
TF*IDF (Term frequency x Inverse document frequency) – A metric used by search engines to determine the topical relevance of a web page for a particular keyword.
Thin content – Content that offers little or no value to the user.
Time on Page – Time spent by a visitor on a web page before moving to another page on the same site or leaving the site altogether.
Title Tag (title, page title) – An HTML tag that indicates the title of a web page.
Top Level Domain (TLD) – This is a domain name with the highest level domain extension in the hierarchical domain name system. They include .com, .net, and .org extensions.
Top-Level Domain (TLD)
Traffic – The total number of visitors (human and bots) going to your website.
Transactional queries – A special type of query that communicates to search engines about the searcher’s intent to complete a transaction or direct purchase.
Trust Flow (TF) – A metric coined by Majestic SEO tool to indicate the trustworthiness of backlinks pointing to a web resource.
TrustRank – A technique that Google uses to differentiate between useful pages from spammy ones.
U
UI (User interface) – Everything visible on your website and which users interact with when visiting.
Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) – A globally scoped string of characters that helps to identify the name and location of a web file or resource in a uniform format.
Unique content – Text that has never been used or published anywhere on the web before.
Universal Search – Search results that Google pulls from multiple specialty databases to include additional media like videos, images, and maps.
Unnatural Link – Any link that Google identifies to be deceptive and manipulative. Unnatural links often lead to manual action.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator, web address) – A unique string of characters that provides a way to locate a web resource on the internet.
URL Parameter – Dynamic values added to a link to help track the source of traffic to a page.
URL Rewrite – The process of altering or modifying the appearance of URLs to increase site visibility or to redirect users without their knowledge like in the case of hacking.
User Agent – This is a software that can crawl the web to gather information.
User Experience (UX) – A ranking factor that describes the overall feeling that a user is left with after interacting with your brand or product.
User interface (UI)
UTM parameters – Tags added to the end of your URLs to identify the source of traffic like in the case of marketing and promotional efforts.
V
Vertical (Vertical Search, Vertical search engine) – A type of search that focuses only on specific type of content or topic. A vertical search engine serves people interested in a particular area or topic e.g. Google Scholar for scholarly articles.
Viral Content Web article, video, social media post, or image that gets read/viewed/shared widely in a short time.
Viral Marketing – A business promotion strategy that leverages social media by encouraging users to spread information about a product, usually in return of an incentive.
Virtual Assistant – A programmed tool that uses natural language processing to perform user-requested tasks.
Visibility – The position and prominence of a website on search results for specific queries.
Voice Search – A form of technology that enable searchers to speak into their smart devices to request for information online.
W
Web 2.0 – A term used to describe the transition from use of static HTML web properties to the dynamic websites that are more usable.
Web Scraping – See Scraping.
Webmaster guidelines – See Google Webmaster Guidelines
Webmaster tools – See Google Webmaster Tools
Website architecture (site structure) – The planning and design of a website’s functional, technical, and visual components.
Website Navigation – Every feature on a website that makes it easy to move from one web page to the other or from one part of a page the other.
Webspam – Any SEO tactics that are meant to deceive or manipulate search algorithms and even site visitors.
White-Hat SEO – SEO methods that follow the stipulated Google Webmaster Guidelines.
Word Count – The total number of words that appear on a web page.
WordPress – The world’s most popular blogging and content management system.
X
XML – Abbreviation for Extensible Markup Language which is the language search engines use to understand website data.
XML Sitemap – An XML file that contains all URLs that you’d like search engine bots to crawl.
Y
Yandex – The most popular search engine in Russia.
Yelp – A business directory service that provides information (most of which is crowd-sourced) on local businesses.
YMYL pages – An abbreviation for “Your Money or Your Life”, YMYL is a phrase that Google uses to refer to pages where quality matters a lot as information shared here can have a significant impact on the well-being of readers. Some of the topics that fall under YMYL include physical health, safety, and financial education.
Yoast (Yoast SEO) – A popular WordPress SEO plugin that helps you check among other things the readability of your web content, set your focus keyword, manage internal links, etc.
Z
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