SEO Glossary

Search Engine Glossary / Dictionary

Comprehensive list of SEO glossary or terminology commonly used by SEOS and Marketers. Know about SEO terms, jargon, SEO abbreviations, terms, phrases & definitions.

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Search Engine Glossary – 0-9

301 Redirect: 301 is an HTTP status code a web server sends to a browser. A 301 signals a permanent redirect from one URL to another. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that passes full link equity (ranking power) to the redirected page.

404 Error: A 404 error is the standardized HTTP status code. 404 and other response status codes are part of the web’s Hypertext Transfer Protocol response codes. The 404 code means that a server could not find a client-requested webpage.

Search Engine Glossary – A

Affiliate: A relationship between a product seller and an advertiser (Website owner) in which advertising is placed on the site for a particular company or product. The advertiser is paid on the basis of clicks, leads, or sales. This agreement is often commission-based. The best site is CJ

Agent Name: Also known as a “User-Agent”. This is the name of either a browser or spider, defined by the software owner. These often get mentioned when talking about weblogs for a particular site.

Algorithm: A mathematical formula that is used in order to rank websites and web pages on search engines such as Google, Yahoo or MSN.

Alt Tag: The alternative text that is shown by a web browser when images are switched off. This is also used for text readers (for the partially sighted). Alt tags are part of the W3C accessibility compliance regulations.

Anchor Text: The actual words that are hyperlinked on a page.

Search Engine Glossary – B

Bing: Bing is a Microsoft search engine that replaces its previous Live Search, Windows Live Search, and MSN Search capabilities. In May 2009, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the search engine. In June 2009, Bing was completely operating.

Back Link: These are basically links from one site to another. Backlinks are an integral part of SEO as they play a heavy part in determining where a website is ranked for particular searches. This is especially true for Google. Google considers a backlinks profile for ranking a webpage or website

Bridge Page: Also known as a “Doorway Page”, this is a specifically designed entry point of a website designed only for search engines. Bridge pages often contain content written by a computer and are frequently very keyword-rich.

Bingbot: Bingbot employs a variety of user agent strings. Bingbot is a crawler used by the Microsoft search engine bing is our go-to crawler, and it takes care of most of our crawling needs every day.

Blogger Outreach: Blogger outreach refers to the practice of reaching out to influential bloggers within a specific industry or niche to establish relationships, collaborate on content, and promote products or services. It involves contacting bloggers to pitch ideas, request guest posts, or negotiate sponsored content partnerships, to gain exposure, building brand awareness, and driving traffic to a website or blog.

Search Engine Glossary – C

Click-Through: A click on a hyperlink that leads to another website or page within it.

Click-Tracking: The use of server-side scripts in order to track the frequency and location of outbound links.

Cloaking: Cloaking is the *art* of delivering different pages of content to particular site visitors or spiders. These are normally mutually exclusive. Like doorway pages, cloaked pages often contain content written by computers for computers in order to gain higher rankings in search engines.

Comment Tag: A tag used in HTML to comment on parts of code within a page. These are often abused by people who believe them to contain some hidden value in terms of search engine results; these people are however wrong. Comment tags can be very helpful when you create code, as it allows you to see what each part is doing. Comment tags can not be seen until the source code for a page is viewed.

Counter: A program or script that makes a record of the number of visitors/hits a web page receives.

CPA: Cost per Action. Where you pay for a specified action such as a purchase.

CPC: Cost per Click. A set amount of money is charged when a link is licked on. This is often spoken in context with PPC campaigns and Affiliate sites.

CPL: Cost per Lead. A set amount of money is either charged or paid when leads toward a sale are generated either for a particular product or company. This is often spoken about with regard to Affiliate sites.

CPM: Cost per Thousand. A set amount of money is charged for displaying 1000 banner impressions to site visitors.

Crawler: Also known as a spider, a crawler is a piece of software designed to visit different types of documents found online. These documents are then stored on a hard drive and indexed. Crawlers are often used by search engines to gather data about the website on the internet.

Cross Linking: Multiple sites linking to each other.

CSS: Cascading Style Sheets. The first web design language was designed to separate style from content. When used in conjunction with XHTML, CSS can produce some really fantastic results in terms of clean website code.

CTR: Click Through Rate. The ratio between the number of impressions an advertisement receives and the number of clicks it gains. This is valued in terms of Percentage (%).

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. Also known as canonicalization.

Cache: A technology that temporarily stores web content, such as images, to reduce future page loading times.

Cached Page: A snapshot of a webpage as it appeared when a search engine last crawled it.

Search Engine Glossary – D

Dead Link: A hyperlink on a website that leads to nowhere. These links automatically throw up a 404 – Page Not Found Error. Dead links often occur as a result of pages being moved from a website or purely as a result of the negligence on the site administrators’ part. (I am in no way saying that I have never left a few dead links on my sites BTW ; )

Directory: A database of Web sites. Yahoo! and Open Directory are major examples. They are similar to search engines, except that the database is organized in a meaningful way by human beings. Many search engines use a directory as well as their own robots.

Domain: A domain name, (also referred to as URL or URI) is the naming given to a website. For instance ; )

Dynamic Page: A page that generates content taken from a database. This is done *on the fly* as and when a website visitor requests that page.

Directory Submission: Directory submission is an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) technique that involves submitting a website URL and related details to online directories or web directories. These directories categorize websites based on their subject matter, industry, or geographical location.

Search Engine Glossary – E

Error Log File: A server log file which records errors encountered.

Search Engine Glossary – F

FFA Free For All: FFA pages (Also known as Link Farms) are basically pages full of links submitted by site visitors. They hold no benefit is terms of anchor text or PR, as Google quickly recognises this type of page and penalizes or removes it from searching the index. Now in 2022 this concept is almost over

Search Engine Glossary – G

Google: Google is the world-leading Search Engine. Site owners claim that 90% of their site traffic is received from Google. Google is currently dominating in terms of usage when compared to other Search Engines like Yahoo! Or MSN.

Google Bot: The Google Web page Crawler. The web crawler used by Google is known as Googlebot. Googlebot is the umbrella term for two sorts of crawlers: a desktop crawler that mimics a desktop user and a mobile crawler that mimics a user on a mobile device.

Guest Posting: Guest posting services a great way to increase visibility and reach for your website or blog. By featuring other bloggers’ content on your own site, you can attract new readers and boost your SEO. By writing quality guest posts, you can also develop valuable relationships with other bloggers and create goodwill that could lead to future collaborations.

Google Ads: The Google advertising network. Google Ads is a product that you can use to promote your business, help sell products or services, raise awareness, and increase traffic to your website.

Search Engine Glossary – H

Header Tag: An HTML tag, placed at the top of a web page’s code. Inside this Tag, you will find information normally designed for Search Engines or Browsers to help determine the number of things, such as – the type of code being used, to the frequency at which the page should be crawled.

Hidden Text: A poor way to try and spam Search Engine results. This can be done in a number of ways, ranging from changing the colour of the copy so it matches the background, all the way to reducing the font size to 1px high. Search engine algorithms easily catch these methods and often result in the site in question being either penalized or banned from the Search Engine Index.

HTML: Hyper Textual Markup Language. The Language used by 90% of websites to code the pages. HTML is a Static web publishing format (As opposed to Dynamic).

Hypertext: Generally, any text that contains links to other documents – words or phrases in the document that can be chosen by a reader and which cause another document to be retrieved and displayed.

Search Engine Glossary – I

Impressions: Impressions are similar to page hits. The main difference is that impressions are counted per page – not per image or any other file that is linked to the HTML.

Inbound Link: Inbound links are often spoken about when people are talking about backlinks. If you were to talk about an inbound link, you would refer to a link on someone else’s website, pointing to your own.

Indexing: Search Engine Indexing is the process that occurs after a search engine crawler has visited your site. When the site is being indexed, it is entered into a database and organized to match the other documents previously indexed.

Inktomi: Inktomi is another Search Engine. It was once the engine for many search engines such as MSN, HotBot and IWon.

IP Address: IP numbers are unique 4-digit numbers separated by dots. IP numbers are assigned to every computer connected to the internet and are often related to domain names. An example IP number might be – – 255, which is the highest number in an IP number.

IP Spoofing: IP Spoofing is a method of connecting to the Internet or a particular website while reporting a different IP Number than your assigned one. IP Spoofing is used in SEO in order to trick a spider into indexing one site while site visitors view another. In this sense, it is similar to Cloaking.

ISP: An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is a company or organization that provides a service for people to access the Internet. Examples of ISPs might be Wannado, Freewire or AOL.

Influencer Outreach: Influencer outreach refers to the practice of connecting and collaborating with influential individuals on social media platforms to promote products, services, or brands. It involves identifying relevant influencers within a specific niche or industry and contacting them to establish partnerships, sponsorships, or endorsements. The goal of influencer outreach is to leverage the influence and reach of these individuals to increase brand visibility, generate buzz, and drive engagement. This can be achieved through sponsored content, product reviews, brand mentions, or influencer-led campaigns.

Search Engine Glossary – J

Javascript: Javascript is a popular scripting language developed by Netscape which allows for better interactivity with web pages.

Search Engine Glossary – K

Keyword: A Keyword is a word that a user types into a search engine in order to find pages related to that particular phrase. For example, the Keyword that this section of the site is being aimed for is *Search Engine Glossary*

Keyword Density: The frequency of keywords within a particular page. This is measured in Percentages.

Keyword Stuffing: Keyword stuffing is when someone places as many words as possible (Often Keywords) on a particular page in the hope that it might confuse The Search Engines into listing them highest.

Search Engine Glossary – L

Link Farm: A series of websites linking to each other in order to increase rankings. (See FFA)

Link Popularity: Link Popularity is a factor taken into account by Search Engines when considering where to list a particular page within the search results. Link popularity is the measure of hoe *Popular* A particular web page is in terms of the number of hyperlinks pointing to it (Backlinks).

Search Engine Glossary – M

Meta Search: A Meta Search Engine (Where this term will most commonly be used) is a search engine that makes use of a number of different search indexes to produce results that are hopefully more relevant. Examples of a Meta Search Engine include and

Meta Tags: Meta Tags are used to tell search engines and browsers several things, all the way from what the title of a particular page is, all the way to how frequently the page should be indexed. Meta tags can be found within the parts of the code of a page.

Search Engine Glossary – N

Northern Light: Northern Light is a now-extinct Search Engine that was once very popular.

Search Engine Glossary – O

Open Directory Project: The Open Directory Project (Also known as DMOZ) is the biggest online directory of websites, that have been all verified by humans (not a computer). The ODP data is open source and free for all to use.

Optimisation: The act of *tuning* a web page to perform well for it’s desired key phrases within a search engine’s results.

Outbound Link: The opposite of an inbound link. The term *outbound link* would be used in context when talking about link exchanges or page structure.

Overture: Overture is the most widely used PPC (Pay per click) Search engine. Its results are displayed on many search engines and portal sites, including AltaVista, GO, HotBot, iWon, Lycos, MSN Search and NBCi.

Outsourcing SEO: SEO Outsourcing is a business practice in which a company hires a third party to perform search engine optimization tasks, handle operations or provide services for the company. SEO Outsourcing can benefit a company because it allows them to focus on their core business while someone else takes care of the details. Outsourcing SEO can also be risky for a business because they may be unable to find a replacement for the third party once they are no longer needed. Outsourced SEO services have existed for many years and are still a popular business practice.  Outsourcing can also be a cost-effective way to improve efficiency and increase profits.

Search Engine Glossary – P

Pop Up: An annoying form of advertising in which a new browser window is opened after the page you intended to view has been uploaded. These *Popups* contain advertising usually for a particular website or product. Opoups are particularly common among Adult websites.

PFI: PFI, also known as Pay for inclusion, is when a site has to pay to be included either in a particular search engine’s results or directory. Examples of this include the Yahoo! Directory and Site Match.

Pop Under: The same as a Popup, except instead of the ads opening on top over your browser window, they open underneath.

Portal: Portal is a marketing term usually used to describe a site that has been designed to be the first opened by someone’s browser. Portals are often used as the Home page for someone and nearly always contain a search function of some kind. There are portals for all types of industry, ranging from Marketing all the way to Online Auctions. Yahoo! And MSN are good examples of a Web portal.

PR: PR, also known as Page rank is a scale based from 0 – to 10 in order to try and determine the importance of a web page on the internet. A high PR used to be a sure way to get a site listed #1 for a particular key phrase with little or no other effort required. PR is based on link popularity and calculated by an extremely complex algorithm called the Checksum. PR still plays quite a large part in the SEO world. Page Rank is a registered trademark owned by Google (The inventors of the Ranking System).

Search Engine Glossary – Q

Query: A query is a request from a search engine to find a list of websites related to a particular keyphrase.

Search Engine Glossary – R

Reciprocal Link: Where two sites exchange links (See Link Exchange)

Referrer: A referrer is a page from which a user at your site has just come. Referrals are often spoken about in context with Search Engine Results and where site traffic has been gained from.

Refresh Tag: The meta refresh tag is a device used to redirect a user to a different page of your website. The Refresh tag does have its practical uses but is most commonly used when implementing Spam techniques such as doorway pages.

Robot: Also known as a spider or a crawler, a robot is a piece of software designed to visit different types of documents found online. These documents are then stored on a hard drive and indexed. Search engines often use crawlers to gather data about the website on the internet.

Robots.txt: A file produced by the webmaster of certain sites to try and tell a search engine spider or robot how to behave within a particular site. This is often used when people would rather that the information on their site is not displayed in search engine results.

Search Engine Glossary – S

Scooter: The AltaVista Spider (or robot or crawler – whatever you want to call it ; ). Note – This bot is no longer active under the name “scooter”.

Search Engine: Search engines are websites designed to index web pages and regurgitate them to site visitors when a request is made for a topic or keyphrase. There are hundreds of Search Engines, the 3 main ones being MSN, Yahoo! And Google.

SEO: Sort hand for the Phrase Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is a process that can improve the visibility of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs). It can help to increase website traffic and leads, and it can also help to improve the overall ROI for a business.

SERP: Shorthand for the term Search Engine Results Page. This is often discussed when people are talking about the effects of SEO on their site, or when talking about how well (or badly) their site is performing in the Search Engines.

SEMrush: Semrush is a powerful online tool used for SEO analysis. It can help you improve your website’s ranking on search engines, and provides valuable insights into your competitor’s strategies. I highly recommend trying Semrush if you’re looking to boost your website’s traffic and performance.

Slurp: The Yahoo! Spider (or robot or crawler – whatever you want to call it ; ).

Spider: Also known as a robot or crawler, a spider is a piece of software designed to visit different types of documents found online. These documents are then stored on a hard drive and indexed. Search engines often use crawlers to gather data about the website on the internet.

Search Engine Glossary – T

Traffic: Traffic is a defining part of SEO. It is the term used to discuss how many visitors a website receives. It is often spoken about when people discuss how well a site performs.

Search Engine Glossary – U

Unique Visitor: A unique visitor is, in fact, A unique visitor to a particular website. This is often discussed when people discuss how much traffic their site receives. Looking at unique visitors is a good way to judge how well a site performs.

URL: Uniform Resource Locator. (See domain Name)

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