A Simple SEO Dictionary
Looking for a specific SEO term? Our SEO dictionary provides you with the vocabulary to make it easier to translate industry jargon and simplify SEO terms. We've compiled the important terms, buzzwords, and abbreviations with their definitions that you can easily find using the search box below. Start talking like an expert with these quick and simple explainers.
Fowarding the user to a new site address different from the one they originally searched for.
Temporarily fowarding the user to a new site address different from the one they originally searched.
404 page (custom 404)
Refers to when a browser cannot find the page of the data to render. This also allows a user to select an activity to do when a page is not found.
501 not implemented
Refers to a hypertext transfer protocol response code that means the server does not support the functionality required to fulfill the request or the server does not recognize the request.
503 server unavailable
Refers to a hypertext transfer protocol response code telling the user or visitor that the server is not available at the moment or an ongoing maintenance is being done.
above the fold
The part of the page users first lay eyes on when they land on your website or landing page. It's the portion they see before they scroll.
In SEO, an algorithm is a set of instructions that search engines use to organize the information on the web.
Any new rules or adjustment set to Google's search algorithms to improve search results. These can range from little updates that a few to none notice, or the ones that can hugely impact your rankings. Examples of impactful updates are Panda's 1 to 25, Penguin 2.0, Penguin 3.0 etc - new "updates" of the same algo
Text that is used for hyperlinks, or the clickable text in the content. A word or phrase that carries a link to specific URL.
Usually the box positioned at the right side of the screen producing the top organic result. This is also known as 'ranking zero' and capturing this spot can lead to increased clicks & traffic.
Authentication online is the process of validation of identity for functions such as user logins, or for transactions.
An authority site is a website with a high reputation, generally trusted by customers, users and industry experts as a source of truth.
When one website links to another
The largest Search Engine in China and the world's second most popular search engine. China's 'Google', since Google is blocked in China.
bait and switch
A black hat technique where after a quality content effectively ranks a page in the SERPs, it is then changed or swapped for another content , one which wouldn't be able to rank. The intent of this is to gain traffic.
Microsoft's Search Engine that comes as the default preferred search engine for Microsoft Windows' ecosystem.
black hat seo
Black Hat SEO is defined as a disapproved practice that nevertheless could increase a page's ranking in a search engine result page. Black hat SEO is designed to game the algorithm of search engines.
The metric that determines how many users came to your website then either closed, or went back to the search engine results page.
A mapping system that allows users to keep track and maintain awareness of their locations within websites, programs and documents. Example: to be at the services page of a website, the user might be in domain>category>page.
This reveals the user's location along a path within a website. Inspired by the fairytale Hansel & Gretel where in they leave breadcrumbs to track their trails back to their home.
Also called 'dead link', a broken link does not direct the user to the intended page. Common causes include mistaken hyperlinking of text, or the page no longer exists.
call to action
Usually a button meant to persuade user to perform certain actions like "buy", "register" etc. The best practices for call to actions are generally personalized or personified.
This is for differentiating multiple pages with content which are (or almost) identical. Canonical URLs make it easier for search engines to index and provide the user more precise results, based on the origin of the content.
cascading style sheets (css)
CSS is a programming language used by web designers and web developers to control how web elements such as text, image or videos are displayed.
A citation is an online reference to your business's name, address and phone number
click through rate (ctr)
This is the percentage of users that clicked your result versus those that saw your site as a search result
A black hat method of hiding the actual content from search engine bots in hopes of getting high rankings despite providing different content for human visitors.
It gives webmasters an idea of how competitive or easy it will be to achieve SEO goals.
content management system
A content management system (CMS) is a software or framework that is designed to control and contain content online. Examples include WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace, and Shopify.
A marketing strategy utilizing content as the main force to attract and increase traffic. This strategy is highly used in inbound marketing, and compliments search engine optimization (SEO).
The process by which a website visitor completes another action like signing up or making a purchase.
Also called bots, spiders or spiderbots. It is an internet bot that systematically browses the world wide web, usually for web indexing purpose.
Refers to the function of search engines "scanning" your website
Also know as syndication, is channeling content through multiple online publishers, social media channels and publications.
A score from 0 - 100 that measures the quality of a domain. DA or "Domain Authority" is founded by Moz, and became the external page score trusted by search engine optimization practitioners when Google's PageRank was no longer supported publicly.
Pages which are removed from search engine result pages (indexed pages). De-indexing can be performed either by the website owner, or by Google for breach of their guidelines. De-indexing is not neccessarily a bad thing, as it may improve the perception of quality of your other web pages.
Direct traffic are visitors of your website who have come directly to your URL without needing to be directed by a search engine or a link found elsewhere online.
Unlike the No Follow Link, the Do Follow Links are type of links that passes "link juice". By default, all links are Dofollow unless a "rel='nofollow'" tag/code is specified.
Refers to the address of your website. A domain name must be registered by a registrar and renewed on a regular basis (typically annually). Each domain name is unique and comprised of three parts seperated by a period: sub-domain, domain, and top level domain (TLD) in respective order left to right - for example: account.seoreseller.com
These pages are indexed by the search result. However, when users enter a doorway page, they are redirected to an unrelated Web page.
A popular search engine that emphasizes user privacy. DDG has over 50 million searches daily and is a competitor to Google's search engine.
Content or text that is found across multiple websites or domains that matches other content. Often used to boost keyword count, Google now uses an algorithm to detect and penalize appreciably similar content. Google uses duplicate content as a strong indicator of poor quality
When a website generates pages based on the functions users execute in a session.
Business transactions done online. Ecommerce is also an umbrella term used to describe the online buy/sell economy.
A method of contacting people via email to generate leads, create partnerships, promote your services, find investors or network.
The process of protecting data by converting it into a scrambled text string that can only be deciphered/decoded with a decription 'key'.
On a webpage, this is the amount of user generated interaction generated. On social media, it is the amount of actions or reactions a post acquires.
An external link is a directive link to a web page / website outside of the domain it appears on.
A dogma of copyright law that provides legal and unlicensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author's work without having the need to acquire permission from the copywright holder. Some websites such as freepix.com will require you to credit the image author, while sites such as unsplash.com will not require you to credit the author. Each property owner has different fair use policies to protect their intellectual property.
A URL's icon. Usually displayed in a browser's address bar or beside the website's name. Standard sizes include 64x64, 128x128, 256x256 and 512x512 pixels, and formatted as an ICO filetype.
The direct answer you see on top of seach results. It screams: See me!
A feed is a scrollable page with dynamic content appearing based on category, freshness or filtered by a user. Also called web feed or news feed.
A tool that accumulates content feeds from multiple sources and websites, then displays them in a single flow.
file transfer protocol (ftp)
Refers to a standard network protocol used to transfer files between computers through a network or internet connection.
A software used to create animation that can be viewed online. In 2019, Google announced that flash will no longer be supported by Chrome, which is the foundation of most modern website browsers.
free for all (ffa)
Any webpage that allows any user to submit links to them for free. This is read as a spam technique by Google and considered to be unhelpful by users.
Content that is new and unique. Most SEO professionals believe that creating fresh content will make search engines crawl their site more often. This will also add to the reason why more users will visit your website.
A gatekeeper is a company, individual or software that controls the information and who can access it.
The procedure where information is filtered to the public, or kept private.
Google is a leading tech company that started as a search engine before migrating to multiple technology ventures including Android (mobile operating system), Gmail (Email provider), Gdrive (cloud storage) and more.
A black hat SEO technique where users build bad backlinks for their competitors in order to harm the competitor's website or sabotage their page. Highly unethical and difficult to pin-point the person(s) involved.
A Google dance describes a fluctuation in Search Rankings of pages against specific queries most likely caused by Google index updates.
google my business (gmb)
This is a tool used to manage how businesses appear on Google search. This allows you to manage your business location on Google Maps so people can easily find you.
google my business listings
It's your business information appearing on Google when potential clients are searching for your business or service. Google My Business listings appear in the Google Snack Pack, and on Google Maps.
Google's way of penalizing your website by suppressing or de-indexing it in SERPs reducing search rankings. This happens when a website neglects to follow Google's guidelines due to a new algorithm update or used black-hat SEO techniques.
google search console
Formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, this is a web tool by Google that helps users measure their site search performance. Google Search Console gives webmasters a central location to source Impressions, Positions, Queries, Click Through Rates based on user demographics. It's the search engine's portal for search engine optimization specialists to communicate site improvements to Google.
Gray Hat SEO is an SEO practice that is technically compliant to Google Webmaster Guidelines but may be frowned upon as they are less than "natural" or "ethical".
Headers that people see on the website and used to denote sections names or headers. By default, h1 has the highest heirachy for relevance with the biggest text, while h6 with the smallest text and the least relevant one.
A way for people to navigate through a website in a well-designed index that is easy to navigate.
A centralized location for navigation online.
Also referred to as a link. A hyperlink is a clickable text, photo or an icon in a file or website that connects to another website, file or downloadable.
The text written inside the hyperlink. Also considered as "anchor text".
hypertext transfer protocol (http)
The main protocol used in the World Wide Web, and now evolved to Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). The secure, comes from an encryption from a secure socket layer (SSL) key and is now considered essential for all websites to maintain security with.
A database of websites and their content used by search engines. To index means to add a certain page to search engines
This is a report system found in the Google Search Console, showing the user indexing reports and ways on how to fix pages that weren't indexed.
An indexed page is a page that is capable of being displayed in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
The process of storing and organizing the content found during the crawling process.
Links that are going from one page to another within the same domain are called internal links. The process itself is referred to as internal linking or interlinking.
The internet archive, also known as The Wayback Machine (archive.org) is a great resource for researching historical and old versions of websites stored in a database.
internet service provider (isp)
An internet service provider (ISP) is the company that enables you to connect to the internet. Typically they're also a telecommunications company. Examples of this includes AT&T in the USA, Telstra in Australia, and Vodafone in the UK.
Hidden text refers to text that is no perceptible to the human eye. Typically, hidden text is either hidden behind an image, or displayed as the same color as the background.
A high-level interpreted programming language most commonly used for interactive effects read in web browsers.
The most important measures. Key metrics can be defined as numeric data, that can be influenced by marketing, sales or operational success and failure.
key performance indicators (kpi)
Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are main metrics that indicate progress towards a specific goal or result. Most companies will adopt KPI's as the measure of performance for teams, individuals and external parties.
Any word that a user enters in a search engine. Each keyword will have a variance in search volume (how many users search for a particular keyword over a period of time).
Loading extensive keyword lists into alt tags, metatags, and comment tags in text that is invisible to human eyes.
Enhanced results from Google by gathering information from different sources and presenting it in a box above search results, or to the side of the search results. Also known as the 'knowledge panel'.
The method of promoting your website by constructing links on high-authority websites back to your website. A good link building strategy, will have links that appear natural, contextual and vary in anchor text.
Link equity is the perceived value of a link based on the intent, context, placement, and relevance. External factors impacting the quality of link equity also include the authority of the site which a link is directed from.
Posting a website URL to a site that consists of a link directory with many links to other websites with completely unrelated content.
When a webpage links to any of your articles or your website’s inner pages, it passes “link juice”. This link juice helps with the ranking of the webpage, and also improves the domain authority.
Local keywords are search queries related to a primary keyword, but differ based on a location based search modifier typically a city, state or country (ie. "electrian New York").
Local SEO refers to the process of ‘optimizing’ your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches.
local snack pack
This is a listings box containing the top three business listings in your local area.
Long-tail keywords are search queries related to a primary keyword, but differ based on a search modifier such as how, what, where, when and why. For example, a primary keyword might be "apple computer" and a long-tail keyword variant would be "what is an apple computer" or "where to buy apple computer".
A snippet that can be seen in the SERPs at the bottom area of each displayed webpage. It has a character range limit of 150-160 (but has varied overtime, showing a longer limit).
The larger blue text that can be seen in the SERPs at the top area of each displayed webpage. The meta title has a character range limit of 60-70 and is also a ranking factor that SEOs take advantage of by inserting an exact match keyword.
A meta data consists of different snippets that can be seen in the SERPs. This is commonly made up of the meta title, page URL, and meta description.
A popular search resource and SEO Tool originally known as SEOMoz and rebranded to be simply known as "MOZ".
no follow link
When a "rel='nofollow'" tag/code is added to the link, that link will not pass "link juice" and will not contribute any endorsements, or influence to the ranking of a page being linked to externally.
This tag tells search engines to ignore the endorsement to pass link juice to the link. Displayed as "rel=nofollow"
A directive code that can be added to the HTML source code of a webpage to prevent Search Engines from storing your content and to exclude a particular page from their search results.
Anything that is done outside your website that affects traffic on your website.
Any activity that is done directly on your website.
organic search results
Any search result that's unpaid and relevant.
A method by which a website partners with another website for link building purposes.
An authority score that Google attributes to a website and represents how trustworthy and authoritative a web page is and is scored from NA, 0 to 10.
A dangerous black hat SEO technique involving paying another site to link to a content in order to increase ranking. This is a breach in Google's Webmaster Guidelines and will result to penalties.
A major Google algorithm update release in February 2011, targeting to lower the ranks of low-quality websites, specially those involved in content farming.
A major Google algorithm update released in mid-April of 2012. This update penalizes websites practicing keyword stuffing and those who use unnatural links or artifical links made to manipulate a page's ranking.
This is the priority keyword or most important keyword in your webpage.
Any inquiry or question that users want to look for and type into a search engine bar. Example, if a user wants to look for brown shoes, they will open their chosen search engine and type 'brown shoes'.
rank n bank
Blackhat seo strategy designed to get a website ranked in a very short time, also known as Churn and Burn.
This means capturing the answer box spot or the box automatically shown at the top of each search result. Also known as position zero, securing this spot allows for increased clicks & traffic.
A machine learning algorithm that adjusts the weights of different ranking factors based on the search behavior of search users specifically around the context of a search.
Refers to the position of a website on the SERPs.
Robots.txt is a text file webmasters create to instruct robots (typically search engine robots) how to crawl & index pages on their website.
Content you get from other websites without giving due credit.
The method of extracting or getting data from websites.
A way of tracking how far visitors are scrolling down your page.
Refers to the system that allows you to search the web for any query. Popular search engines include Google, Bing, Duckduckgo and Yahoo.
search engine optimization
The method of increasing traffic to a website by increasing the website's ranking and visibility on search engine page results.
search engine result pages (serp)
stands for Search Engine Results Page. This is the page you see when you enter a keyword on search engines like Google.
Any inquiries or words a user types into the search box.
Refers to how visibile your website is on the SERPs. The higher you rank the higher your search visibility is.
search visibility score
A metric that determines the number of clicks a page receives based on your organic ranking position.
Google's estimate of how many people will type a specific search query or keyphrase in a month based on a 12 month search volume average and trend.
Secondary keywords are terms closely related to the primary keyword.
secure hypertext transfer protocol (https)
An extension of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), used over a computer network for secure communication.
Seed keywords are primary keywords, also known as 'head keywords' or 'main keywords'.
This refers to a more special form of result similar to a snippet but more targeted towards images, shopping results or reviews.
A method of contextually organizing ideas on your website.
An analysis report of your entire website. There are varying levels of how detailed a site audit can be, with the basic site audits covering page speed and rank performance, and complex audits including page crawl reports.
An improved search result where Google also links important pages in your site and not just one url. In Adwords, this is an extension feature, Organically, this is enabled in Search Console.
site wide links
A hyperlink to a url that appears on every page in your site and is typically in a header element or footer element.
A sitemap is a file placed on your website in which you list the individual pages of your website. Search engines use sitemaps to index and understand your site and its architecture, while web users can utilize them to quickly find specific pages on your site.
Also called the Skyscraper technique in content marketung. This is where you search for high ranking keywords, trends or existing articles and make a whole new content out of them.
Local search results that usually feature GMB profiles of the most relevant local businesses associated with a query.
Search features that help searchers with their query. Usually located at the top of SERPS.
social media marketing
This is a marketing strategy to gain traffic using social media. Popular social media platforms used are Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
software as a service (saas)
Refers to a distribution of software where it is accessed by the user or customer over the internet. Examples of this are Dropbox, MailChimp, Google Apps and Zendesk.
A black hat practice to avoid duplicate content by rewriting an article while only swapping the words or finding synonyms.
Refers to a website with plain and fixed HTML codes or the content of the pages remain the same. Common blogs are a great example of static URLs. The counterpart would be dynamic URL where content varies according to the user's preference.
Technical SEO is based on non-contextual improvements to a website including but not limited to: page speed, external requests, hosting, and site structure.
Keyword dense content that is not generally helpful to users.
Refers to the title of the webpage that people also see in the SERPs.
A Google algorithm update aimed at sites with too many ads and preventing them from ranking on Google.
This is the term for all the visitors who landed on your website. Catergorized in four catergories: direct, organic, paid, referral
The ranking of your website against other websites on the internet.
User Interface. It's the layout of a program or application consisting of everything a user sees and interacts with. From the buttons they click on, to the screen layout, transitions, animation to the text they read.
uniform resource locator (url)
Also termed as a web address, is a reference to a web resource that specifies its location on a computer network and a mechanism for retrieving it.
Like the name suggests these are users who have only visited your website for the first time.
These are artificial links used in black hat SEO made to manipulate a page's ranking.
Refers to anything that's easy to uunderstand, use and operate.
Also known as user-created content (UCC). This is content that users post online from social media to platforms like Quora or Reddit. UGC can range from photos, videos, texts and audio.
User Experience. This is what a user experiences while using a product. The goal is for your product to provide the user with the best possible experience by providing them with a UI that's easy to use.
vertical search engine
These are special search engine segments that focuses on a specific online content. This can range from narrowed searches for images, videos, shopping, medical content and more.
Refers to gaining mass popularity through internet sharing.
A virtual server is like a computer accessible through the cloud.
In software terms, it refers to multiple operating systems on a single machine.
Method of creating and developing websites.
Also called an internet forum or message board, it's a way for readers or users to interact with each other
It's the hosting site for your website. It hosts all the pages of your website so that they are available over the internet.
They are the people who make sure that everything on a website is operating smoothly. They can be website owners, website coordinators, developers or web architects.
Is your domain accessible over the internet. A website is composed of several webpages. For example, ebay.com is your website and inside it are thousands of webpages.
Website traffic refers to web users who visit a website.
White hat SEO refers to any practice that improves your search rankings on a search engine results page (SERP) while maintaining the integrity of your website and staying within the search engines' terms of service.
Wiki.com is the perfect search engine for those who appreciate community-led information as found on sites like Wikipedia.
One of the most popular eCommerce content management systems online. WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress.
Refers to the most popular website CMS and blogging site as of 2020, its system is based on PHP and MySQL.
Short for "Extensible Hypertext Markup Language", this allows web developers more control over the appearance and organization of their web pages.
This provides search engines with an efficient list of the URLs on a site.
Yahoo is considered an internet portal, rather than a search engine. With web search as one of the portal’s key features, Yahoo is focused on trending news and media.
Yandex is the most popular search engine in Russia, which is used by more than 53 percent of Russian Internet users. It is also used in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Turkey, and Ukraine.
Yandex Metrika is a great alternative to Google Analytics, with heat maps, recorded sessions and user behaviour analytics.
The most popular WordPress SEO Plugin. It helps optimize your content and website for search engines. Alternatives to Yoast include All-In-One SEO.
A simplified software integration tool for dummies that connects data between two or more data bases to perform actions, functions and to provide information to the user.
zero cost strategy
Refers to a strategy that doesn't involve any cost to run. For example, SEO is known to be a zero cost strategy because there's no ad spend.
Refers to content that's lifeless, lacks value and has the main purpose of eating up keywords in order to rank for it. Focusing on quality content is more advisable if you plan on strengthening your SEO strategy, since zombie content won't lead to conversions.
These are pages in the website that has no unique or interesting content in them. It can be a navigation page that has no purpose for the website other than to send users to other pages in the site.
Refers to a file system that stores your DNS records.