SEO Glossary

Here’s a Glossary of 70+ SEO terms to sharpen your understanding of SEO terminology and enable you to converse like a true SEO specialist!

  • Algorithm Update

An algorithm update refers to a change or modification to a search engine’s ranking algorithm that determines how search results are displayed to users. Search engines like Google and Bing use complex algorithms to determine the relevance and quality of web pages, and they regularly make updates to their algorithms to improve the accuracy and relevance of search results.

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is an HTML framework that is open-source, which enables a desktop-oriented page to be loaded faster on mobile devices.

  • Anchor Text

This is the clickable text in a hyperlink

  • Backlink

A backlink is when one website links to another with an anchor text

  • Black Hat

Unethical methods that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

  • Bounce Rate

The percentage of website visitors who leave without visiting another page on that website.

  • Breadcrumbs

A navigational element that helps users easily determine their location within a website.

  • Broken Link

A broken link is a hyperlink that is either non-functional or leads to a web page that does not exist. It often shows “error 404”

  • Canonical URL

The HTML tag used to indicate the preferred URL of a webpage, especially when there are multiple URLs with similar content, is called the “canonical tag” or “canonical element.” This tag helps with canonicalization, which is the process of selecting the preferred URL to avoid duplicate content issues.

  • Clicks

How frequently someone clicked on a link from Google that directed them to your site

  • Cloaking

This refers to the practice of presenting different content or URLs to users and search engines, which is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

  • CMS

CMS stands for “Content Management System,” which is a web-based application that enables individuals to create, upload, and manage digital assets.

  • Content

Content refers to information in the form of words, images, videos, or sounds that is intended for distribution and consumption by an audience. It is one of the two most critical Google ranking factors, alongside links. Search engines aim to boost the visibility and traffic of valuable, credible, unique, informative, and engaging content.

  • Conversion

This can be defined as when a user performs an action such as buying a product or signing up for a newsletter etc.

  • Crawling

Crawling is the process of search engines using a team of robots (commonly referred to as crawlers or spiders) to discover new and updated content.

  • CTR

This is the percentage of users who click on an organic search result, calculated by dividing the total number of organic clicks by the total number of impressions, then multiplying by 100.

  • Do follow

A dofollow link is a type of hyperlink that allows search engine bots to follow and pass link equity or “link juice” from one web page to another. In other words, when a website links to another website with a dofollow link, it signals to search engines that the linked-to website is reputable and trustworthy, and the link can help improve the linked-to website’s search engine rankings.

  • Domain Authority

Domain Authority is a metric developed by Moz that evaluates a website’s search engine performance based on its link profile. It considers both the quantity and quality of links to a domain.

  • Domain Name

This is simply your website’s name ie,

  • Duplicate Content

This refers to having substantially similar or identical content on multiple web pages or websites. When search engines encounter duplicate content, they may have difficulty deciding which version is the original or most relevant, which can lead to lower rankings or exclusion from search results.

Duplicate content can occur for various reasons, such as:

  • Republishing content from other websites without proper attribution or original value-added
  • Printing multiple URLs for the same content (e.g., through faceted navigation or sorting parameters)
  • Creating multiple versions of the same page (e.g., for different languages or regions) without specifying canonical tags or hreflang attributes.
  • Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that allows website owners to track and analyze their website traffic and user behavior. It provides detailed statistics about the number of visitors, the source of traffic, user engagement, and other metrics that help website owners to optimize their site’s content, design, and marketing strategies.

  • Google Hummingbird

Google Hummingbird is a major algorithm update to the Google search engine, released in 2013. It was designed to improve the ability of the search engine to understand the intent behind search queries and provide more accurate and relevant search results. With Hummingbird, Google also introduced the Knowledge Graph, which displays information related to a search query directly in the search results. This helps users to get quick answers to their questions without having to click through to a website.

  • Google Panda

This is a significant algorithm update to the Google search engine, first released in 2011. It was designed to improve the quality of search results by penalizing websites with low-quality or “thin” content and rewarding websites with high-quality, original content.

  • Google Penguin

Google Penguin is a significant algorithm update to the Google search engine, first released in 2012. It was designed to improve the quality of search results by penalizing websites that engaged in manipulative link-building practices, such as buying links, participating in link schemes, or creating low-quality or spammy links.

  • Google Rankbrain

Google RankBrain is a machine learning-based algorithm that is part of Google’s core search engine algorithm. It was first introduced in 2015 and is designed to help Google better understand the meaning behind search queries and provide more relevant search results.

  • Google Search Console

Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools) is a free tool provided by Google that allows website owners and webmasters to monitor and maintain their website’s presence in Google search results. It provides a variety of tools and reports to help website owners identify and fix issues that may affect their website’s visibility and performance in search results.

  • Google Webmaster

Google Webmaster is the former name of Google Search Console. See Google Search Console

  • Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is a practice where a person writes and publishes a blog post on another website or blog. The goal of guest blogging is to provide valuable content to the website’s audience while also promoting the author’s own website or brand and acquiring backlinks.

  • Heading

A heading is a text element that is used to create a hierarchy of content on a web page. Headings are important for SEO because they help search engines understand the structure and organization of the content on a web page. There are 6 headings ranging from H1 – H6.

  • HTML

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is a standard markup language used to create and design web pages. HTML consists of a series of tags and attributes that are used to define the structure and content of a web page. Tags are used to mark up and define specific content elements, such as headings, paragraphs, images, links, and forms.

  • HTTP

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is an application protocol that is used for transmitting data over the internet. It is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web and allows web servers and web browsers to communicate with each other.


HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is a secure version of HTTP, the protocol used for transmitting data over the internet. It is designed to provide a secure and encrypted connection between a web server and a web browser, ensuring that the data exchanged between them is private and secure.

  • Hypertext

Hypertext is a type of text that contains links to other documents, web pages, or information within the same document. In hypertext, links or “hyperlinks” are typically presented as underlined or differently coloured text that users can click on to access related content.

  • Hyperlink

A hyperlink, also known as a link, is a clickable element in a digital document or webpage that takes the user to another location within the same document or to a different document or webpage. A hyperlink can be text, an image, or any other element that can be clicked on.

  • Impressions

How frequently someone saw a link to your website from Google

  • Indexing

Indexing refers to the process by which search engines organize information and websites that they are aware of.

  • Keyword Density

The number of times a keyword appears on a given webpage or within a piece of content as a ratio or percentage of the overall word count

  • Keyword Difficulty

This is an estimation of the level of difficulty to rank for a particular keyword on Google’s first page.

  • Keyword Research

Keyword research refers to the method of identifying and examining search queries that individuals enter into search engines. This is typically done for a particular objective, such as search engine optimization (SEO) or broader marketing purposes.

  • Keyword Stuffing

The practice of adding an excessive amount of keywords into web content and meta tags, with the intention of unnaturally boosting a page’s SEO, but actually has a harmful effect

  • Keyword

A term or expression that is linked to a specific web page and depicts its content.

  • KPI

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are measurable values that indicate how well an organization, team, or individual is achieving its goals and objectives. KPIs are used to track progress and measure success.

  • Landing Page

A landing page is a standalone web page that is designed specifically to receive and convert traffic from a marketing or advertising campaign. The primary goal of a landing page is to encourage visitors to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or signing up for a service.

  • Link Building

Link building is the process of acquiring links from other websites to your own website with the goal of improving your website’s search engine ranking and driving more traffic to your site.

  • LSI

LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing, which is a technique used by search engines to analyze the relationships between words and concepts on a web page to understand its context and relevance to a particular search query. LSI keywords are not synonyms but rather terms that are semantically linked to the main keyword or topic.

  • Meta Description

A meta description is an HTML tag that provides a summary of a webpage’s content. It is the small piece of text that appears beneath the page title in the search engine result pages and is often 160 characters long

  • Meta Tags

Meta tags are HTML elements that describe the content of a web page. They are positioned near the top of a page’s source code and utilized by search engines to categorize pages by subject for indexing purposes. An example is the<title> element

  • Monthly Search Volume

Assesses the frequency of how many times a specific search term or keyword is searched for in search engines like Google each month.

  • Negative SEO

Negative SEO is a practice of using black hat SEO techniques to harm a competitor’s website’s search engine rankings or reputation. Negative SEO tactics may include building spammy links to the target website, hacking the website, creating fake social media accounts to spread negative comments or reviews, and other malicious actions that violate search engine guidelines and could result in penalties or even removal from search engine results.

  • No follow

A nofollow link includes the rel=”nofollow” attribute in the HTML code, which tells search engines not to follow or pass any link equity to the linked-to website. See Do follow.

  • No Index

A noindex tag is an HTML meta tag that instructs search engines not to index a specific web page.

  • Organic Search Results

Organic search results are the listings of web pages that appear in the main body of search engine results pages (SERPs) in response to a user’s search query. They are called “organic” because they are not paid for and appear based on the relevance and authority of the web page to the user’s search query, as determined by the search engine’s algorithms.

  • Organic Traffic

This refers to the people who arrive on a website through organic/natural search engine results, rather than through a paid means AKA advertisements.

  • Page Speed

Page speed refers to the amount of time it takes for a web page to load and display its content to a user. It is an important factor in user experience and search engine optimization, as fast-loading pages are more likely to keep users engaged and satisfy search engine algorithms.

  • Paid Search

Paid search is a type of digital advertising in which advertisers pay search engines to display their ads in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords or phrases. When users perform a search for a particular keyword, the search engine displays relevant ads alongside the organic search results.

  • Query

A query often refers to a user’s search request entered into a search engine, database, or software program.

  • Rankings

This refers to the position of a website or web page in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for a particular keyword or phrase. When a user performs a search query using a search engine, the search engine algorithms evaluate the relevance and authority of the various websites and pages that contain content related to the query, and then present the results in a list format.

  • Robots.txt

Robots.txt is a file that website owners can create to instruct web robots (also known as “bots,” “spiders,” or “crawlers”) on how to crawl and index their website. The robots.txt file is placed in the root directory of the website and contains instructions for web robots about which pages or sections of the site to crawl and index.

  • Search Engine

A software tool that scans a database for items matching specific keywords or characters provided by the user, primarily utilized to locate particular websites on the internet. Examples are Google, Bing, YouTube etc.

  • Search Volume

Search volume refers to the total number of searches conducted for a particular search term within a specific timeframe on a search engine like Google.

  • SEO Campaign

An SEO campaign is a planned and organized effort to enhance the search engine rankings of a website.

  • SERP

SERP stands for “Search Engine Results Page”. It refers to the page that is displayed by a search engine in response to a user’s search query.

  • Sitemap

A sitemap is a file that lists all the pages and content on a website and provides information to search engines about the organization, structure, and content of the site.

  • Snippets

Snippets are small pieces of content or information that are displayed on a search engine results page (SERP) in response to a user’s search query. Snippets can take many different forms, such as text, images, videos, or other media, and are typically designed to provide a quick and concise answer to the user’s question or search intent.

  • Traffic

The visitors that visit your website.

  • URL

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is a string of characters that provides the address or location of a resource on the Internet. A URL is used to locate and retrieve resources such as web pages, images, videos, and other files.

  • User Intent

The intention a user had when searching for a specific keyword ie to purchase something or get more information or go somewhere

  • Visibility

This measures the level of visibility a website has in the organic search results when search queries are entered into search engines.

  • Webpage

A webpage is a single document or file that is displayed on the internet and can be accessed through a web browser.

  • Website

A website is a collection of web pages that are organized and linked together to form a cohesive online presence for a person, organization, business, or other entity. A website typically has a unique domain name and can be accessed through a web browser using the Internet.

  • Whitehat

This refers to ethical and legitimate techniques and strategies used to optimize a website for search engines. White hat SEO techniques are in line with search engine guidelines and focus on creating high-quality content and providing a positive user experience.

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