SEO Glossary

PRIME Legal SEO knows how important it is that our clients are able to understand the terms that are used throughout the website analysis, audit and SEO process.  Our SEO glossary provides you with easy-to-understand definitions of the latest terms being used across the internet.

SEO GLOSSARY

A

Above the Fold

The content of a web page positioned so that it can be viewed without the user scrolling up or down.

 

Adsense

An advertising placement service by Google that positions ads on website pages that can generate revenue for the website owner.

 

Adwords

An advertising network service by Google for businesses wanting to display ads on Google and its advertising network. The AdWords program enables businesses to set a budget for advertising and only pay when people click the ads. The ad service is largely focused on keywords.

 

Affiliate

A company or service that associates with your company or service usually by selling and/or advertising products or services for a commission on sales.

 

Affiliate Marketing

A type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

 

Alexa Traffic Rank

A rough measure of a website’s popularity, compared with all the others out there on the internet, taking into account both the number of visitors and the number of pages viewed on each visit.

 

Algorithm (As in Search Engine Algorithm) 

A set of rules, or a unique formula, that the search engine uses to determine the significance of a web page. Each search engine has its own set of rules that it uses to determine whether a web page is real or just spam, whether it has any significant data that people would be interested in and many other features to rank and list results for every search query that is begun, to make an organized and informational search engine results page. The algorithms, as they are different for each search engine, are also closely guarded secrets, but there are certain things that all search engine algorithms have in common.

 

ALT Text

A word or phrase inserted into the HTML code for an image that allows website viewers to hover over the image to get its description.

 

Analytics

Information resulting from the systematic analysis of data or statistics. Google Analytics generates detailed statistics about a website’s traffic and traffic sources and measures conversions and sales.

 

Anchor Text

The text that appears highlighted in a hypertext link and that can be clicked to open the target web page.

 

Article Spinning

Rewriting or rewording an existing article to post across various web sources to gain backlinks to a website.

 

Authority / Page Authority / Domain Authority

Calculated metric by Moz for how well a given domain is likely to rank in Google’s search results.

 

Authority Site

An authority site is a very high quality website that is respected by knowledgeable people in its industry.

 

Authorship / Google Authorship 

Google Authorship is a solution Google came up with to connect a piece of content with the Google Plus profile of its author.

 

Automation

A manual task with a internet bot such as filling in a web form, signing into website, etc.

B

Backlink

A link from a website to your website.

 

Below the Fold

The area of a web page that cannot be seen by the user until they scroll down the page.

 

Black Hat SEO 

The use of aggressive SEO strategies, techniques and tactics that focus only on search engines and not a human audience and usually do not obey search engines guidelines. This can result in Google penalties.

 

Blog

Aa regularly updated website or web page that is written in an informal or conversational style.

 

Blog Network

A group of blogs that are connected to each other and are usually owned by the same company.

 

Blogosphere

The blogging community.

 

Bot

A software application that runs automated tasks over the internet that can typically perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive at a much higher rate than a human alone.

 

Bounce Rate

The percentage of people that leave a site without visiting any other pages.

 

Breadcrumbs

The breadcrumb is a means of getting back to previous pages without having to use your browsers back button. It is useful on some websites where previous pages have expired and you cannot access them with the browsers back button.

 

Broken link

A link on your website that no longer exists and returns a 404 error.

C

Cache / Internet Cache

Data saved in your internet browser of the web pages you have visited. This information is used to speed up searches by accessing relevant content based upon your past browsing history.

 

Call To Action / CTA

Words or buttons positions on a web page that encourage users to take a certain action such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form.

 

Canonical URL

The preferred/main page of a website, usually the homepage of a website.

 

Captcha

A program used on a web page to distinguish human interaction from a bot/spam. It typically asks users to type characters they see in an image or solve a simple math problem.

 

Cascading Style Sheets / CSS

Web language used to apply styles to web pages, such as fonts, font sizes, colors, backgrounds and alignment.

 

Citation

Mentions of your business name and/or information on another web page, with or without a backlink to your web page.

 

Click Through Rate / CTR

The rate that measures the success of an advertisement by comparing the number of times an ad was seen with the number of times the ad link was clicked. If an ad was seen 100 times and had 50 clicks, the CTR would be 50%.

 

Cloaking / Website Cloaking

The practice of showing different content to search engines than website users. This practice is frowned upon by search engines and can result in the removal from their search engine index.

 

Content Management System / CMS

A computer application that manages the content of a website or blog. WordPress is an example of a CMS.

 

Content Spinning

Rewriting or rewording articles with the same content to post across various web sources to gain backlinks to a website.

 

Conversion

When a user takes the desired action on a web page such as signing up for an email list or completing a contact form.

 

Conversation Rate

The number of users that complete a conversation on a web page. For example if 5 out of 10 visitors completed a contact form, then the conversion rate would be 50%.

 

Cookie

A message given to a web browser by a web server. The browser stores the message and message is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.

 

Copywriting

Writing copy for the purpose of advertising or marketing that is meant to persuade someone to buy a product, hire a service, or influence their beliefs.

 

Cost Per Click / CPC

The amount of money you will pay or have paid for each click on your link or advertisement.

 

Cost Per Mille / CPM

The cost for 1,000 impressions or views of your advertisement.

 

Crawler / Web Crawler

A bot or piece of software used to extract data from a web page and create an index.

 

Cross Site Scripting / XSS

A type of computer security vulnerability typically found in web applications that enables attackers to inject client-side script into web pages viewed by other users.

D

Dedicated Hosting / Dedicated Server

When a client leases an entire server not shared by anyone else to host their website.

 

Deep Linking

When you create a backlink to a web page on your website that is not your homepage.

 

Disavow / Google Disavow Tool

The Google Disavow tool is available through Google Webmaster Tools that asks Google not to take low-quality backlinks and spammy backlinks into account when assessing your site.

 

DoFollow Link

A link that has a special HTML Markup inside that tells the search engines like Google to follow the destination inside the link.

 

Domain Name

A unique name used to identify a website.

 

Downsell

Trying to sell a more affordable product to a user who has rejected a more expensive product.

 

Drip Feed

The practice of creating a small amount of links on a daily basis to avoid Google black hat penalties.

 

Duplicate Content

Two web pages that feature either duplicate or very similar content. Duplicate content can result in a Google Panda penalty.

E

Ebook

A digital version of a book that can be delivered in PDF format or can be viewed on a computer or handheld device.

 

Ecommerce

Commercial transactions conducted electronically via the internet.

 

Email List

A list of email addresses of existing customers/clients and/or potential ones used for marketing purposes.

 

Email Marketing

Direct marketing to email addresses that may alert consumers of special offers, a new blog post, or new services.

 

Expired Domain

A domain that was registered to someone else who chose not to renew it and let it expire.

 

External Link

A link on a web page that points to another web page on a different domain or website.

F

Feed / Web Feed

A data format used for providing users with frequently updated content. Some examples are news feeds on social media or blog feeds on blog home pages.

 

Footprint / Digital Footprint

A trail of data left behind by internet users such as emails and downloads.

 

Funnel

Directing or guiding users through a series of calls to action, for example homepage>buy product>buy upsell>join email newsletter.

G

Google Bot

The search crawler/bot software used by Google to spider the web and index it.

 

Google Bomb

The practice of causing a web page to rank highly in search engine results for unrelated or off-topic search terms by linking heavily.

 

Google Bowling

The malicious practice of knocking a competitor out of the search results by pointing hundreds or thousands of low trust low quality links at their website.

 

Guest Post

When you publish an article or blog on someone else’s website or blog with their permission. This is usually done to create a backlink to your own website.

H

Hacker

A person who uses computers and the internet to gain unlawful or unauthorized access to data.

 

Hits / Website Hits

The total number of times a website has been accessed.

 

Htaccess

The default name for a file that is used to indicate who can or cannot access the contents of a specific file directory from the internet.

 

Hypertext Markup Language / HTML

A standardized system for tagging text files to achieve font, color, graphic, and hyperlink effects on World Wide Web pages.

I

Internet Marketing

Advertising and marketing efforts that use the internet and email to sell good or services.

 

Impression

The number of times an advertisement is seen. Each time an ad is displayed, it counts as an impression.

 

Inbound Link

Another term for a backlink. A link from a website to your website.

 

Income Report

A website’s earnings and expenses compiled in a report format to track progress and growth.

 

Index Status

Whether a website and/or web pages are included in the search engines index of pages to be referenced during a search.

 

Internal Link

A link on your website directing the user to different website or domain.

K

Keyword / Keyword Phrase

The crucial word or group of words used to describe your website or web page that optimizes your rank with the search engines.

 

Keyword Density

The percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on the page. This density is used by search engines to determine the relevant content on a webpage.

 

Keyword Research

Research performed by SEO professionals to determine which actual keywords are being used by people to find a product or service on the internet.

 

Keyword Spam

When you repeat a keyword multiple times on a page through a variety of methods not relevant to the content to manipulate the search engines.

 

Keyword Stuffing

The practice of loading a web page with the same keyword out of context in an attempt to manipulate the search engines.

L

Landing Page

A page designated for the user to arrive at first when clicking a hyperlink. Landing pages are typically usually have a clear call to action and are used for CPC (Cost Per Click) Ads.

 

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)

An algorithm used by search engines to determine what a page is about outside of specifically matching search query text. The LSI algorithm doesn’t actually understand the meanings of words on the page but it can spot patterns of related words. LSI will may return relevant results that don’t contain the keyword at all, but those pages with related words.

 

Link

A highlighted or colored word or phrase located on a web page that can be clicked on to visit another web page.

 

Link Bait

Content on a website that is designed to attract attention and encourage users to create a link to the website or share the web page on social media.

 

Link Building

The process of creating backlinks to a website you own and are in control of.

 

Link Pyramid

The internal structure of how many links are pointing indirectly through each website consecutively pointing to your website. For example, if your site has 10 backlinks with 10 websites and each of those websites have 10 backlinks from 10 websites, your link pyramid will have 110 complete direct/indirect backlinks.

 

Link Velocity

The measurement of the quantity of backlinks that are effectively indexed in a specific period of time or the number of links that are de-indexed/destroyed in that time period.

M

Made for Adsense (MFA)

Websites that are specifically made to lure visitors to the website to make money with the Google Adsense program.

 

Meta Description

A snippet of information in the header of a web page that summarizes the content of the page.  Meta descriptions play an important role in search engine optimization.

 

Meta Keywords

The keywords that tell a search engine the description of the relevant content of the web page.

 

Meta Robots

A tag added to the header of a web page that directs search engine spiders whether to index or follow that specific page.

 

Meta Tags

HTML code placed in the header of a web page to communicate certain data to the search engines, such as location or language.

 

Meta Title

The title of a webpage as it is displayed in a browser’s taskbar or on the search engine’s result pages.

 

Monetize

Website monetizing is the practice of capitalizing from the traffic to a website by generating revenue per click, such as banner advertising or affiliate marketing.

 

Money Site

A website that is used to generate an income.

N

Negative SEO

Formally known as Google Bowling, it’s the malicious practice of knocking a competitor out of the search results by pointing hundreds or thousands of low trust low quality links at their website

 

Niche

The specific topic, market or service that a website targets.

 

No Follow

A tag that is added to a link instructing the search engine spiders not to follow them or give them any weight when calculating website rankings.

 

No Index

A tag that is added to a link instructing the search engine spiders not to index the current web page.

O

Offsite SEO

SEO optimization techniques that are applied without making any changes or additions to a website, such as social medical optimization or link building.

 

One Way Link

A backlink that is pointed to a website that does not contain a backlink back to that site.

 

Online Marketing

Marketing that is created and utilized on the internet to promote goods or services.

 

Onsite SEO

SEO optimization techniques that are applied by making changes or additions to a website.

 

Opt In

When a user joins an email list or subscribes to a blog.

 

Organic Link

A backlink to your website that is created by another webmaster naturally.

 

Outbound Link

A link on a web page that points to a web page on another website/domain.

P

Page Rank

A link analysis algorithm used by Google to help determine the relative importance of a website. Every website is given a Google PageRank score between 0 and 10 on an exponential scale.

 

Page Title

The title of a web page from the Meta Title tag.

 

Panda / Google Panda Update and Penalty

Google search engine’s ranking algorithm that is aimed to lower the rank of “low-quality sites” or “thin sites”, and return higher-quality sites near the top of the search results.

 

Pay Per Action (PPA)

When an advertiser pays for each action on your website, such as click, contact form submission, etc.

 

Penalty / Google Penalty

A negative impact on website’s rankings based upon a search engine’s algorithms or manual review of a site.

 

Penguin / Google Penguin Update and Penalty

Google search engine’s ranking algorithm that is aimed to fight against web spam.

 

PHP

A server-side scripting language designed for web development but also used as a general-purpose programming language.

 

Plugin

A software component that is installed to a website to add a function to a site or page.

 

Popunder

An additional window, usually an advertisement, that is under a web browser’s main or current window and appears when a user tries to exit.

 

Popup

An additional window, usually an advertisement, that is automatically triggered to appear on top of the current web browser.

 

Private Label Rights (PLR)

A license where the author sells most or all of the intellectual property rights to their work.

 

Private Proxies

A proxy that is not publicly accessible and requires a private login to use. It is much faster and more reliable than a public proxy.

 

Proxy

A proxy server is a server (a computer system or an application) that acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers.

 

Public Proxy

A proxy that is free to use publicly. It is often slow and shared with thousands of people.

R

Reciprocal Link

An agreement between two webmasters to create a link on each of their sites in exchange for a link.

 

Return on Investment

The percentage of profit that is made above the initial investment amount.

 

Redirect

A code that is used to redirect a user automatically from one website URL to another.

 

Rich Snippet

Text that is created to give a small sample of what a webpage content is about and is displayed when the page appears in a search engine query.

 

Robots.txt

A text file that is uploaded to a website’s root directory and linked in the html code of the site. The robots.txt file is used to provide instructions about the site to search engine robots and spiders.

 

Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

An XML-based standard and format used to distribute recent news and other frequently updated content appearing on a website.

S

Sales Funnel

The buying process that companies lead customers through when purchasing products. A sales funnel is divided into several steps, which differ depending on the particular sales model.

 

Scrape

A software that is used to scrape data (Text, URLs and Images) from web pages and save the scraped content in different formats.

 

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Utilizing the search engines to market to your target audience either through SEO or paid methods such PPC.

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Optimizing your website both onsite and offsite to gain higher organic search engine rankings.

 

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

The listing of results returned after a search query in a search engine.

 

Shared Hosting

Website hosting that is shared with other websites on the same server.

 

Site Audit

Conducting a full review and analysis of a website to determine if the site meets the intended goals, find any and all errors to be corrected so that the site functions at its capacity and to determine what can be completed or amended both onsite and offsite to optimize the site.

 

Site Speed

The amount of time it takes for a website to load.

 

Site links

A list of links related to a website that appear underneath specific search engine results.

 

Social Bookmarking

The practice of saving bookmarked web pages to a public website as a way to share the links with other Internet users.

 

Social Media

A website or application that is used for social purposes, such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

 

Social Media Marketing

Utilizing social media websites to target your audience by advertising, posting and sharing other social media content.

 

Social Share

When a user shares your webpage, post or other social media on their profile page.

 

Social Signals

An offsite SEO measurement that is used to determine the popularity of a specific webpage based upon how many times it has been shared, viewed or discussed via social media sites.

 

Spider

A bot or software used by search engines to crawl the internet and webpages to index data.

 

Spinning

Taking a subject or topic and writing and rewriting articles using alternate text to create unique articles.

 

Split Testing

Testing different websites, usually competitive websites, to compare their performance.

 

Spun

When an article has been reformatted with a spinning markup, it is “spun.”

Subscriber

A user who voluntarily signed up either through email subscription, RSS subscription or other forms of social media to your website.

T

Target Audience

The group of people that a website concentrates promoting its good or services to.

 

Tier 1 Backlinks

The first layer of backlinks pointing to your website in a link pyramid.

 

Tier 2 Backlinks

The second layer of backlinks pointing to your website in a link pyramid.

 

Tier 3 Backlinks

The third layer of backlinks pointing to your website in a link pyramid.

 

Tiered Link Building

A backlink structure that takes on the form of a link pyramid.

 

Traffic

The number of people that visit your website.

 

Traffic Driving

Marketing to drive users to your website.

 

Traffic Generation

Marketing created for the purpose of generating more traffic to a website.

U

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

The address of a webpage on the internet.