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Glossary of SEO Terms

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Glossary of SEO Terms

  Sam Carr       Feb 03, 2017    

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There is no doubt a lot of jargon used in the world of SEO - which, if you're just getting started, can be quite confusing at first. This is why we have created a handy A-Z guide to some of the most commonly used terms you might come across below. Of course, if you have any questions or think we missed something important, let us know in the comments section below.


200 HTTP Status Code: The file request was successful. For example, a page or image was found and loaded properly in a browser.


301 HTTP Status Code: The file has been moved permanently to a new location. This is the preferred method of redirecting for most pages or websites.


302 HTTP Status Code: The file has been found, but is temporarily located at another URL. Generally, it is best to avoid using 302 redirects.


404 HTTP Status Code: The server was unable to locate the URL.


Above the Fold: In email or web marketing it means the area of content viewable prior to scrolling.


Absolute Link: A link which shows the full URL of the page being linked at.


Algorithm (algo): A program used by search engines to regulate what pages to suggest for a given search query.


Alt text (alternative text): Alt text is a description of an image that cannot be seen by a sighted user but is available to blind users via screen readers.


Anchor text: The visible text of a link the user sees. Search engines use anchor text to indicate the relevancy of the referring site and of the link to the content on the landing page.


B2B: Business to Business.


B2C: Business to Consumer.


Backlink (or inlink, incoming link): An incoming hyperlink from one web page to another website.


Black hat: The use of aggressive SEO strategies, tactics and techniques which focus only on search engines and not a human audience, and usually do not obey search engines guidelines.


Blog: A website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group that is written in an informal or conversational style.


Bot (robot, spider, crawler): A program which performs a task autonomously. Search engines use bots to find and add web pages to their search indexes.


Bounce: When a website visitor leaves a site without clicking through to a second page.


Branded Keywords: Keywords or keyword phrases associated with a brand or entity.


Breadcrumbs: Website navigation in a horizontal bar which helps users to understand where they are on the site and how to get back to the root areas.


Broken Link: A hyperlink on your site which is not functioning i.e. does not lead to the desired location.


Cache: Copy of a web page stored by a search engine.


Conversion (goal): Achievement of a quantifiable goal on a website, for example sign ups, form completion, etc.


Disavow: The link disavow tool is a way for a webmaster to state they do not want to be associated with a collection of inbound links to their website.


Duplicate content: Content which is similar or identical to that found on another website or page.


Google Analytics: A free web analytics service that provides statistics and basic analytical tools for SEO and marketing purposes.


Google Panda: An update to Google’s search algorithm that targeted low quality web pages containing thin or duplicate content.


Google Penguin: An algorithm update aimed at decreasing search engine rankings of websites that violate Google's Webmaster Guidelines.


Headings: The heading element describes the subject of the section it introduces. The Heading elements are from H1 to H6 with the lower numbered headings being the most important.


HTML Site Map: A page or structured group of pages which link to every user-accessible page on a website and help improve users.


HTML: HyperText Markup Language is the language in which pages on the World Wide Web are created.


Keyword density: The percentage of words on a web page which are a particular keyword. If the value is unnaturally high, the page is likely to get penalised.


Keyword research: The hard work of identifying which keywords are appropriate for targeting.


Keyword: The word or words you type into the search box when using a search engine to find useful websites.


Landing page: The page that a user lands on when they click on a link in a SERP.


Link bait: A webpage with the designed purpose of attracting incoming links, mostly via social media.


Link building: The process of getting external pages to link to a page on your website.


Link: An element on a web page that can be clicked on to cause the browser to jump to another page or another part of the current page.


Long Tail Keywords: A keyword consisting of multiple words which is often more relevant to a user’s search term. A large percentage of all searches are long tail searches.


Meta Descriptions: HTML attributes that provide explanations of the contents of web pages.


Meta Keywords: A tag which can be used to highlight keywords and keyword phrases which the page is targeting.


META tags: Snippets of text within the HEAD section of an HTML page that describe a page's content.


Natural search results: The search engine results which are not sponsored, or paid for, in any way.


nofollow: A command which instructs robots not to follow any links on the page or the specific link.


noindex: A command which instructs robots not to index the page or the specific link.


Offpage optimisation: The measures that are taken outside of the actual website in order to improve its position in search rankings.


Onpage optimisation: The measures that are taken directly within the website in order to improve its position in the search rankings.


Pogo Sticking: When a website visitor leaves a site within a few seconds, without clicking through to a second page.


Quality Content: Content which is link worthy in nature and keeps your audience engaged.


robots.txt: A file in the root directory of a website used to restrict and control the behaviour of search engine spiders.


SEO: Search Engine Optimisation – the process by which rankings on search engines are achieved for a website.


SERPS: Search Engine Results Pages – the pages returned when you type a query (keyword) into a search engine.


Spam: Usually applied to low-value content or techniques that are aimed at high volume activity, where quality is sacrificed for quantity.  A bad thing.


Time on page: The amount of time that a user spends on one page before clicking off.


Title tag: The title element is used to describe the contents of a document.


Web content: The textual, visual, or aural content that is encountered as part of the user experience on websites.


White Hat: SEO techniques, which conform to best practice guidelines, and do not attempt to manipulate SERPs.


XML Site Map: Kept in the root directory of a site to help search engine spiders to find all of the site pages.


If you are still confused, or couldn’t find the definition you were looking for, leave us a comment below and we'll do our best to help.

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