SEO Glossary

Understanding the language of search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for anyone looking to succeed in digital marketing. Our comprehensive SEO glossary is your go-to resource for mastering essential SEO definitions, terms, and terminology. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced marketer, this guide will provide valuable insights and knowledge to navigate the ever-evolving SEO landscape.

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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.

a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r | s | t | u

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 based on 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 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 to rank websites and web pages on search engines such as Google, Yahoo or MSN.

Alt Tag: The alternative text that a web browser shows when images are switched off. Alt tags are also used for text readers (for the partially sighted). They 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. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the search engine in May 2009, and It was completely operational in June 2009.

Back Link: These are links from one site to another. Backlinks are an integral part of SEO as they heavily determine where a website is ranked for particular searches. This is especially true for Google. Google considers a backlink profile to rank a webpage or website.

Bridge Page: A “Doorway Page” 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 and is a crawler used by the Microsoft search engine. It is our go-to crawler, and it takes care of most of our crawling needs every day.

Blogger Outreach: Blogger outreach refers to 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, build brand awareness, and drive 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: Using server-side scripts to track the frequency and location of outbound links.

Cloaking: Cloaking is the *art* of delivering different content pages to particular site visitors or spiders. These are normally mutually exclusive. Like doorway pages, cloaked pages often contain content written by computers for computers 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 they 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 they allow 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 records the number of visitors or 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 clicked on. This is often used in the context of PPC campaigns and Affiliate sites.

CPL: Cost per Lead. A set amount of money is charged or paid when leads toward a sale are generated for a particular product or company. This is often discussed about 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. Search engines often use crawlers to gather data about websites 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 with XHTML, CSS can produce some fantastic results regarding 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 due to pages being moved from a website or purely due to 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 name given to a website. For instance ; )

Dynamic Page: A page that generates content from a database on the fly, as and when a website visitor requests it.

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

Google Bot: The Google Web page Crawler. Google uses a web crawler 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 are a great way to increase the visibility and reach of your website or blog. By featuring other bloggers’ content on your own site, you can attract new readers and boost your SEO. Writing quality guest posts can also help you 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 tags, 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 and the frequency at which the page should be crawled.

Hidden Text is a poor way to spam Search Engine results. It can be done in several ways, ranging from changing the colour of the copy to match the background to reducing the font size to 1px high. Search engine algorithms easily catch these methods, often resulting in the site 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 linked to the HTML.

Inbound Link: Inbound links are often spoken about when people talk 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 indexed, it is entered into a database and organized to match the other previously indexed documents.

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

IP Address: IP numbers are unique 4-digit numbers separated by dots. They are assigned to every computer connected to the Internet and are often related to domain names. An example IP number might be – 255, 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 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 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 that 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 to find pages related to that 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 as high.

Search Engine Glossary – L

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

Link Popularity: Search engines consider Link Popularity when deciding where to list a particular page within the search results. Link popularity measures the popularity of a particular web page 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 uses many different search indexes to produce hopefully more relevant results. Examples of a Meta Search Engine include and

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

Search Engine Glossary – N

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

Niche Edits: Niche edit is a link building strategy where a website’s URL is inserted into an existing, relevant article or blog post within the same industry. This technique improves search engine rankings, boosts authority, and drives targeted traffic by leveraging high-quality, established content. Niche edit services and guest posting services are almost the same except in guest posts; the content is provided

Search Engine Glossary – O

Open Directory Project: The Open Directory Project (also known as DMOZ) is the biggest online directory of websites verified by humans (not computers). The ODP data is open source and free for all to use. It is closed now.

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 by allowing it to focus on its 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 popular.  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 Pop-Ups 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 must pay to be included in a particular search engine’s results or directory. Examples of this include the Yahoo! Directory and Site Match.

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

Portal: Portal is a marketing term usually used to describe a site 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. There are portals for all industries, ranging from marketing to online auctions. Yahoo! and MSN are good examples of web portals.

PR: PR, also known as page rank, is a scale based on 0 – 10 to determine the importance of a web page on the internet. A high PR was a sure way to get a site listed as #1 for a particular key phrase with little or no other effort required. PR is based on link popularity and is calculated using 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 key phrase.

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 redirects a user to a different page on your website. It has practical uses, but it is most commonly used when implementing spam techniques such as doorway pages.

Robot: Also known as a spider or a crawler, a robot is 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 websites on the Internet.

Robots.txt: A file produced by the webmaster of certain sites to try to tell a search engine spider or robot how to behave within a particular site. This is often used when people would rather not have the information on their site 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 how well (or badly) their site is performing in the Search Engines.

SEMrush: Semrush is a powerful online tool for SEO analysis. It can help you improve your website’s ranking on search engines and provide valuable insights into your competitors’ 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)

As we reach the end of our extensive list of SEO terms, it’s clear that the world of search engine optimization encompasses a diverse range of concepts, strategies, and techniques. By familiarizing yourself with these essential terms and their meanings, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the complex landscape of SEO and digital marketing.

Remember, the field of SEO is constantly evolving, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends, best practices, and terminology is crucial for achieving success in your online endeavours. Use this glossary as a valuable resource to deepen your understanding of SEO and confidently apply these concepts to your own strategies.

Whether you’re a seasoned marketer, a business owner, or simply someone looking to improve their online presence, the knowledge gained from our SEO glossary will serve as a solid foundation for future growth and achievement. As you continue to explore the vast world of SEO, remember that mastering the language of this field is the first step toward unlocking its full potential and driving long-term success in the competitive digital realm.

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