Let we know how many times you fail when starting to SEO terms.
Does it sometimes feel like you are learning a new foreign language with all the technical jargon? Is the world of SEO confusing?
Luckily, we have put together a list of the most common terms, definitions you are likely to hear and will definitely need to understand during your SEO process.
With the updated list of SEO related terms, you will have the most extensive internet marketing, SEO terminology, abbreviations, and acronyms – 103 Essential SEO Terms You Have To Know 2019.
Above The Fold
Content is on the upper area of a webpage before users scroll down. Google developed the Page Layout Algorithm in 2012 to drop the rankings of websites promoting too many ads in this space.
Absolute URL (Absolute link, Absolute path)
A link is used for an absolute (or full) internal link when you want to connect a file, HTML page, image or a page within your website. There are two kinds of paths, Absolute Path, and Relative Path
Example of an anchor tag using an absolute path:
<a href=”https://www.catsplugins.com/blog/seo-glossary”>SEO Glossary</a>
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Mobiles have a great influence on people today. Hence, Google focuses on building fast loading pages for mobile users.
The purpose of “AMP” pages is to load rapidly, while still including quality contents. The pages are provided by the AMP HTML framework.
Adword or Google AdWords
First launched in 2000, Google AdWords is a Google’s Pay Per Click Online Marketing program. Marketers can buy advertising through the Google network of web properties and also on other third-party websites across the Google Display Network.
An AdWords site is a created for Google AdSense Advertisement or MFA (Multi-factor Authentication) website.
In terms of SEO, an affiliate site boots services or products that are actually from by other websites or businesses in exchange for a commission or fees. The well-known affiliate program is Amazon Affiliate.
Ahrefs is a famous SaaS SEO platform for its backlink discovery tool Site Explorer, in 2011 by Dmitry Gerasimenko.
Almost everyone who does SEO hears and knows Ahref, this is a great tool to support most of the activities necessary for making SEO easier and more effective.
An algorithm or “algo” is a program utilized by search engines to retrieve data and deliver results for a query.
Search engines, especially Google, use a combination of algorithms to rank web pages based on a number of ranking factors. Some famous algorithms like Google Panda, Google Penguin, Google Pigeon, Google Hummingbird, Google Payday Loan, Google Fred.
Algorithms change regularly. Some algorithmic changes go entirely unnoticed. One minor change can have a big impact on your rank and sometimes may take a few weeks to complete. There are 3 forms of algorithmic changes
- Update: New rules or adjustments for existing algorithms.
- Refresh: Existing algorithms are run again by using the exact same signals as last time.
- New: New algorithms launched to improve search quality such as Google Panda, Google Penguin.
This is one of the factors that you must keep up to date if you do not want your efforts to be useless because you do not follow the rules set by Google’s algorithm.
The process of your website is suppressed in the SERPs. Google will reduce the ranking of your page or even no show it. This may happen when you don’t follow Google’s policies.
For Google’s Algorithms, you’ll see in the second part of this article.
ALT Attribute (Alternative Attribute)
Search engines can’t really see images like our naked eyes so it needs something to read and is able to show the results when having a query.
Alt attribute, also known as alt text, alt tag is in an image tag in HTML and used to specify alternate text for the image.
By using keywords in your image alternate text, you can optimize them for Google’s image search service.
For instance, <img src=”/WordPress-SEO-Keyword-Tool-1.png” alt=”WordPress SEO Keyword Tool” />
Google analytics is a program which addresses collecting, analyzing and interpreting data regarding a web site’s usage. With the statics, you will have a future strategy based on what has (or hasn’t) worked historically.
Anchor text is the visible and clickable text of a link to a website or page. This text will help people and search engines process to destination page; it describes what you will see if you click through.
The anchor text is found inside the <a href=”http://www.catsplugins.com”> Cat’s Plugins </a>
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
An AI computer system is basically a digital brain which doesn’t follow a set of programmed rules and can make decisions without human intervention.
The term presents an amount of trust of a site. The website is majorly evaluated by a variety of metrics and different services.
An authority site is a high-quality website with many incoming links from other related experts and trusted by the users. It has a higher page rank and search results placement. The most famous authority site is Wikipedia.
Business to business. In B2B, the customers are professional businesses. Therefore the buying cycle is longer, products and services are more expensive.
Business to customers. Contrary to B2B, the buying cycle is relatively shorter, products and services are less expensive.
Backlink (Inbound link, Incoming link, Citation, External link)
Backlinks are links from an image, an anchor text or anywhere else that can link to a website. The number of backlinks to a specific website is one of the most significant elements when determining its page rank.
Baidu has almost services similar to Google. It is a Chinese search engine, founded in January 2000 by Robin Li and Eric Xu.
Its Chinese market share is approximately 69.54% (the next in line are Shenma and Sogou) and a market share of 1.37% worldwide.
Bait and Switch (Code Swapping)
This SEO phrase relates to a black hat SEO technique where you use specific content on your webpage to get high ranking in the SERPs. Then, after you are satisfied with the rank, the content will change with something else (content which usually wouldn’t be able to rank well).
Banner blindness is a well-known phenomenon that describes people consciously or unconsciously ignore banner-like information on web pages that they believe to be advertisements.
Launched in June 2009, replacing Microsoft Live Search (previously MSN Search and Windows Live Search), a search engine is owned by Microsoft with a market share of 3.18% worldwide.
According to research
- 85% of Bing users live in the USA
- 87% of the users use it because of Internet Explorer,
- Bing is for people who are the most part 35+, less tech-savvy and are more likely to have children.
- Bing users spend 25% more than users on other search engines.
A complex computer program that is hardly understood, such as Google’s algorithms. We can perceive inputs and outputs, but there is no approach to the penetrate itself due to its private nature.
Black Hat SEO
This term refers to unethical or manipulative SEO tactics to improve page rankings in the search engine results.
Black hat SEO frequently uses combinations of spam link acquisition and bulk site creation methods to manipulate Google. These techniques go directly against the rules dictated in Google’s best practices and ignore the human audience and their experience.
Black hat SEO includes keyword stuffing, cloaking, using paid links, doorway pages, over-optimization, hidden text, bait and switch and much more.
It can seriously hurt your site and even Google can prohibit it.
A publication of content or multiple posts, which is on a regular basis often and usually displayed chronologically.
Blogs vary from individual users’ perspective to informational corporate interests and are written by an individual or a group of contributors.
Blogger outreach is the process of connecting with bloggers as a portion of a marketing campaign.
Blog commenting was a very popular link building tactic in the past where you find an article that relates to your niche and then leaves a comment with a link.
Nowadays this tactic leads to an argument as more and more people abuse massively with spam, links and irrelevant comments everywhere.
To prevent this issue, comment sections now enforce a nofollow to links. Google will penalize links from irrelevant websites and reduce the link equity of pages that have massive amounts of links.
However, there are still cases where this is appropriate. A precious comment can help you build relationships and give rise to guest posting opportunities. You might expect a traffic increase.
Users will bookmark websites in web browsers if they would like to go back to the site later.
Social bookmarking sites enable users to share different websites with others. Owning links to your site on social networking sites improves your SEO.
Using boolean search operators is able to connect search words together to widen or narrow a set of results. The three basic boolean operators are AND, OR and NOT.
Normally, search engines apply AND for each part of a query unless specified otherwise.
A robot, spider or crawler find and add sites to their search indexes autonomously.
The percentage of visitors who come to a site and then leave it without viewing any other pages on that website. For example, if 8 in every 10 users leave a website after viewing one page, bounce rate is 80%.
According to Google, although it can highlight potential content or website issues, bounce rate is not a direct ranking standard.
When a user’s query includes exact keywords and phrases, or variation, of a specific company or brand name. For instance, “Apple inc”, “AMZ”, “moz.com”, and “Search Engine Journal SEO 101 Guide” are a few examples of branded keywords.
In terms of anchor text, a branded link contains company brand or similar derivative in the anchor text.
Brand Mention Link Building
This is a link building tactic when web pages mention your brand, service, product or personal name, without linking to you.
You then reach out to these websites (or those that are relevant and have a decent domain authority to be precise) and have them add a backlink. This tactic has a high return on investment as the website you are contacting will give you a premium backlink.
You can track any mention of your brand, service or product by using Google Alerts.
Breadcrumb (Breadcrumb Trail)
A navigational element that helps users easily figure out root areas and categories of a resource within a website.
Links appear horizontally providing a link to each previous page on the website.
Example: Home>Plugin detail>WordPress Pro SEO Tool> (https://catsplugins.com/plugin-detail/wordpress-pro-s-e-o-tool/)
Breadcrumb is useful for both user experience and crawling as it provides an upgrade internal link structure for large sites and displayed in the SERPs rather than the usual site URL. It generates readable and user-friendly links. You can set up with Yoast plugin if you are using a WordPress platform.
Broad Match Keyword
Basically, broad match is a keyword match type that search engines use to decide which search terms your ads are eligible to match against.
It’s called “broad” because it allows your ad to match the widest range of possible keyword searches that are still somewhat related to your keyword.
Broken link (Dead link)
Generally, a broken link is a link that doesn’t work and leads to a 404 not found.
Typically, a link is broken when:
- A website goes offline.
- An improper URL
- A webpage is removed without implementing a redirect.
- The destination URL is changed without implementing a redirect.
It can negatively affect your SEO and decrease your rankings when it can block crawlers from indexing your website. Always use support tools or Google Search Console to track, detect broken links from that fix as soon as possible.
A technology that temporarily keeps web content like images to reduce future page loading times.
A snapshot of a webpage as it came out when a search engine last crawled it.
Call to action (CTA)
A website trigger (usually a button) to get an immediate response like Buy, Register, Call, Sign Up from a visitor.
Basically canonical issues related to duplicate contents. It is difficult to avoid, especially with a CMS like WordPress due to the fact www.site.com and site.com are seen as duplicates but can be resolved by using the noindex meta tag and 301 server redirects.
A canonical tag, rel=”canonical”, is an HTML link element that can be used to specify the canonical URL of a webpage.
The canonical tag is put in the HEAD section of the HTML structure and tells the search engine that the current page is a copy of the page located under the address set in the canonical tag. The tag conveys all rankings to the canonical page.
This URL is the best address on which a user can locate information. By identifying clearly which URL is canonical, search engines understanding which address directs a user to the best source of information and reduce duplicate content.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
CSS is a language that describes the appearance of the HTML document and people can view on different devices. Every website has one or more CSS files which determine in size, color, layout, fonts, links, text, headers, etc.
A country-code top-level domain. For example, a company based in Canada would have a domain like this: www.example.ca, where ca is the ccTLD.
Churn and Burn SEO (Rank n’ bank)
It is a Black hat SEO strategy where you constantly spam a website with unnatural links in order to rank it as high as possible in a very short time. The website will get penalized eventually, after that the owner deletes it. However, the website earns revenue until then.
Citation (Local SEO)
When looking at local SEO, a citation is usually a reference to the name, address and phone number (NAP) of a business.
Attractive content that can draw people to click and encourage them to interact and engage with a website through a link. The link either uses anchor text or headline tags which can play on users’ curiosity.
Click bait will increase traffic to the website but always make sure it is appropriate for your site.
Click Through Rate (CTR)
The rate (usually expressed as a percentage %) at which users click on an organic search result or an ad in PPC (Pay Per Click).
It is calculated by dividing the total number of organic clicks by the total number of impressions then multiplying by 100.
This term refers to irregular clicks on Pay Per Click (PPC) Ads that are typically done by the publisher for the purposes of undeserved profit.
Telling people to simply click on the ad in order to collect clicks and profit lowers the advertiser confidence that they will be getting a return on the investment they have made in their advertisement space purchase.
Cloak / Cloaking
Cloaking is a Black hat SEO practice. Building a website fools people and search engines by showing different content or URLs. This way will help in getting ranking for some keywords but giving users completely unrelated content.
This action is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and will be totally banned from search engine results.
How frequently two websites are mentioned together by a third website, even if they don’t link to (or reference) each other.
This is a way search engines can found subject similarity.
This type of bait and switch practice is when a developer changes the contents of a website after getting high ranking.
Poorly written comments, frequently under a specific post for something that definitely does not relate to content above.
Spam often entice users to a different site.
There are two different kinds of competitions:
- Direct Competitors: Companies that sell similar products and/or services, with the same needs, target and similar audience both online and offline.
- SEO Competitors: Companies that fight for the same keywords and organic search visibility, no matter the same products/services or customers.
Analyzing the competitors that rank for the same keywords you do or belong to the same niche.
A competitor analysis will help you find out which strategies work in your niche and which areas you should prioritize.
It is a very advantageous method for:
- Detecting keywords that you could use
- Exploring new backlink opportunities
- Getting more content ideas
- Having ideas for optimizing your search result title and description
Words, images, videos, or sounds (or any combination thereof) that carry valuable information to audiences.
Google always highly appreciates useful, informative, credible, unique and engaging content and give better traffic and visibility.
Content Management System (CMS)
A web-based application supports the creation and customization of digital content.
The most famous CMS is WordPress which doesn’t require too much coding skills and website development.
A marketing tactic which marketers focus on creating relevant and valuable information to gain interest from customers, and establish authority and increase brand awareness. Eventually, a website can achieve traffic and convert to sales.
Content Spinning (Article Spinning)
An affordable SEO technique where people rewrite the same article by using synonyms or changing the word order in the sentence. In this way, many articles are made in hopes Google won’t consider them duplicates.
However, this way will be a risky black hat SEO practice when all articles are posted all over the webs and link back to the original. Only controlling similarity ratio carefully, writers can spin content in their articles to reduce the ratio.
Content Syndication (Article Syndication, Syndicated Content)
A technique where users can republish content on another site, so we can reach new audiences, increase traffic and build links.
This method only works well in the area of non-duplicate content. It means that no other sites could very likely rank better than your own post if it has more authority.
This type of advertisement is related to the content on the site.
A way of seeking users to completes their desired action on a website such as
- Completing a purchase.
- Adding items to a shopping cart.
- Completing a form (requesting a demo, signing up a webinar/event).
- Downloading premium content (ebook, whitepaper).
- Subscribing to an email newsletter.
- Video views
The developer will collect information about the site visitors and follow up with the leads you get from users clicking on your site
A percentage rate of users complete a desired action out of all users have visited a website.
The rate is calculated by dividing the total number of conversions by traffic then multiplying by 100.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
The process of improving the quantity and quality of conversions that occur on a website to increase the percentage of website visitors that convert to customers.
Some popular CRO tactics include changing words, website design, images, price, call-to-action, and messaging.
SEO and CRO go hand in hand and preferably complement each other. SEO can drive traffic to the website while CRO converts traffic to generates revenue.
Content has been copy-pasted from another source.
Sometimes they are just a piece of content and other times whole pages have been chopped up and then pasted together creating something seemingly new by replacing with synonyms or changing sentences.
This is a high-risk version of duplicate content when it can have the purpose of deceiving the search engines and a website probably receive a warning.
The most substantial contents on your website with high quality, easy to read and cover everything that is important in a specific topic.
They are usually key articles that are at the center of your link structure linking and linked to many of your web pages.
If you are using a WordPress website, you can mark a post as cornerstone content with the Yoast plugin.
The extent to which a connection exists between two or more elements. SEO researchers use correlation to conclude relationships of variables on search rankings due to the black box nature of algorithms.
Cost Per Acquisition – Cost Per Action (CPA)
The price you pay when a certain action is performed by a user such as a download, sign up, visit your site or something else.
Cost Per Click (CPC)
This term refers to the actual price you pay for each click in your pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns.
Cost Per Mile (CPM)
The price you pay for every one thousand times your ad has been displayed. CPM is also a statistical metric used to quantify the average cost or value of a PPC advertisement.
Crawl / Crawling
The process by which a bot (search engine crawlers) visit a website and analyze contents/code of it and then if required index the website.
Crawling happens all internal and external links. You can check to crawl stats, Errors, … through Google Search Console.
The procedure of allowing the crawlers to easily navigate, understand and efficiently find content and index your website.
Site crawlability can be improved by creating an XML and image sitemap, avoiding orphan pages, efficient internal linking, optimizing site speed, images, and videos.
A program is used to scan, collect data and evaluate websites in order to rank and update index by way of the link structure.
The popular crawlers are Bot, Spider, Web crawler, Googlebot.
Crawl budget is the total number of your website URLs that Google can and want to craw during a specific time period. It is made up crawl rate and crawl demand.
Errors take place when a search engine bot or a crawler is unable to crawl URLs and then return a status code error.
Errors could be DNS errors, server connectivity issues, or errors caused by the unavailability of a resource such as the Robots.txt file.
The extent to which the search engine indexes a website. The deeper the page’s location, the harder it will be for it to rank well in the SERPs.
You can test your page depth by checking how many clicks you need to reach a page starting from the home page and can decrease this problem by using breadcrumb navigation and internal linking.
Part of the crawl budget, the crawl demand relates to how much importance the search engine places on a specific URL.
The deeper the page is in the link structure, the less important it is.
Crawl Rate (Crawl Rate Limit)
Crawl Rate is a part of the crawl budget, describing a technical limitation in the algorithm.
The crawlers will index a specific number of pages and if it doesn’t find your website particularly relevant, the number will decrease.
Linking domains are owned by the same company or person.
You don’t create contents, but you find them very relevant and valuable for your visitors, and then you organize and present them.
The purpose is to create a knowledge-center that the users will visit frequently to get information and make you become an influencer or an expert.
All of the touchpoints at which websites persuade users to be exposed to or engage with a brand. Eventually, potential customers will become customers, clients, or subscribers.
Though customer journeys can differ greatly based on business type and industry, typically it has four main stages
📑 Awareness > Consideration > Decision > Retention
or according to Google’s Avinash Kaushik, we have an alternative framework
📑 See > Think > Do > Care
Various pieces of information represent who your visitors and how they interact with your websites. All data is needed to bring about decisions for SEO strategies.
A webpage has no connection to other web pages and creates a dead-end. Your visitors and crawlers have no choice to move forward then leave your site.
You can avoid the issue by including navigational links in your header/footer, breadcrumbs or links suggesting the next step for the visitor.
Deep Link (Deep Linking)
Deep link is a hyperlink, using internal links within a website content. Generally, a deep link from one web page on a website points to any webpage on the same site, excluding homepage. It is in Calls to Action or in articles which lead visitors to informative pages and improve the ranking of them.
Deep link is an essential SEO strategy to spread link equity and make visitors stay longer and engage in your website.
A process when search engines remove a web page either temporarily or permanently, from search engines index or search results.
Sometimes you don’t want search engines to index the ranking of pages such as login or thank you page, you can have search engines provide a remove URLs tool in the Search Console and set the value of the HTML robots meta tag to “noindex”.
The number of users reach your website where they type in the exact web address (URL) into the browser or click a direct link.
A list of websites, like phone books for websites, is usually separated into related categories and maintained by human editors.
You submit your site to a directory and people will find it easier. In the past, links from directory were highly evaluated. However, this caused widespread abuse and overall devaluing.
The famous directories are Dmoz and Yahoo! Directory.
Disavow links are backlinks which are not beneficial to your site. They are spam, artificial, untrusted or low-quality inbound links that may harm your ranking and have a negative effect on your SEO.
You don’t have the ability to remove them on your own instead of using Google’s Disavow Tools to notify Google to ignore those links and exclude them when your page is being ranked.
A Google’s tool for disavowing links. Webmasters can upload a file including URLs/domains to disavow.
The Open Directory Project launched June 5, 1998 and closed March 17, 2017.
A link is standard HTML and doesn’t have the rel=”Nofollow” attribute applied to it. In other words, a link allows crawlers to follow and help a page’s position in the SERPs.
In SEO perspective, dofollow links are very precious.
A unique web address for a website, typically displayed as a domain name or an IP address. Search engines rankings prefer a website with longer registration domain because of stability.
Domain Authority (DA)
Domain Authority is a metric created by MOZ. It is a score out of 100 which shows the relevance of a website for it industry area and predicts how well a website rank on search engines, perform in SERPs and competition.
The text people type in the browser address bar in order to browse a website (www.domainname.com).
Domain name is one of the ranking factors in Google’s algorithm, so it should be SEO-friendly.
Doorway Page (Gateway Page, Entry Page, Jump Page, Bridge Page, Portal Page)
A web page is designed mainly to attract traffic from a search engine for specific keywords. A doorway will redirect users to another site or page rather than crawlers.
This kind of web page is for generating revenue from ads and affiliate links. It normally has low-quality content.
A search engine was founded September 28, 2008 and heavily focus on user privacy and not use filter bubbles (search personalization). It means that users are not being profiled and get the same SE results for a specific keyword.
DuckDuckGo relies on more than 400 sources for search results. It has its own crawler, DuckDuckBot, Bing and Yandex.
In 2016, 4 billion searches were conducted on DuckDuckGo. Today, DuckDuckGo has 4.7 million daily users, 50% of them are from the USA and 45% are European.
Several web page or websites have the same or similar contents. The content can appear in more than one location or replicates partially/fully.
Search Engines always aim to give users the best search results for keywords. With duplicate contents, it is greatly hard to determine which is the best results relating to the keyword.
Duplicate content will reduce the trust of websites as Google doesn’t like any websites using the same content repeatedly.
The amount of time that elapses between users spend on a website and then returns to the SERP.
Long dwell time means the visitors are interested in the content. In contrast, short dwell time (less than 5 seconds) can be a bounce and shows low-quality content to search engines.
Dynamic URL (Dynamic Link)
A web address of a web page where content is kept in a database and carried out by a user query.
Contents on the web page are unique everytime the database is queried, and this result in a change of URL although it has only one HTML file.
This is a combination of SEO terms that we have studied and synthesized from many different sources. We hope it will help little for you, especially SEO people.
I hope that when you look at this article, you will get basic knowledge about the terms to apply when learning and doing SEO.
However, this article contains a portion of our list. To continue, you can click SEO Glossary Part 2 ↪️