For someone who is new to the world of SEO, understanding the key SEO terminologies and definitions is the first step towards building a career out of it. Learning and improving your SEO vocabulary will help you understand advanced SEO techniques faster and also will help you communicate better with people in the industry.
This SEO glossary of terms compiles the most important SEO abbreviations and SEO terms for beginners. It might be hard to remember all of these at one go; you might want to bookmark it and use it as your SEO dictionary!
The most common SEO terms & SEO words
● 10 blue links
10 blue links is an SEO term used to represent the traditional 10-links-a-page format search engines use to display search results.
● Alternative Text Attribute (ALT)
ALT is the SEO acronym for Alternative Text Attribute. ALT text or ALT attribute is an HTML tag used to add text descriptions to websites’ images. It helps people who cannot see, as well as search engines, understand the contents of the image.
● Anchor Text
The clickable text displayed on the website for a link is called anchor text. Search engines use anchor text to understand the content of the webpage it is linking to.
Authority refers to the combination of signals search engines use to determine the relevance and quality of a website. The content quality and the link profile are the two major factors that determine the authority of a website.
Backlinks are links from other websites that point to pages on your website or your root domain. Having more backlinks from authority websites improves search engine rankings.
● Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEO is an SEO terminology that refers to the search engine optimization practices that violate Google’s webmaster guidelines. Black hat SEO may help websites rank better than they actually deserve, but it leads to penalties or manual actions from search engines.
● Bounce Rate
The percentage of website visitors who close the page or leave the website without interacting with it. Bounce rate depends on the niche, but a high bounce rate generally indicates low-quality content.
● Branded Keyword
The keyword that includes an exact match or variation of a brand name or a company name. Keywords like ‘Samsung led tv’ and ‘Bing SEO’ are branded keywords.
● Broken link
A link that leads to a ‘404 not found error’.Broken links can have a negative impact on SEO and user experience.
A technology that stores website content temporarily to reduce page load times. When a page is visited for the first time, the server generates temporary, static content and serves it to the next visitors instead of loading the resources again.
● Canonical URL
A canonical URL is a line of code that specifies whether the content on a page is original or duplicated from other sources. If the canonical URL is the same as the webpage URL, it tells search engines the content is original. Canonicals help avoid content duplication issues within a website.
● Click Bait
The act of designing content, especially headlines, to entice or trick people into clicking on it, typically by misrepresenting or overpromising.
Cloaking refers to the act of showing different content to search engine bots than what is displayed to a visitor. It is a black hat SEO technique and negatively impacts SEO.
Competitors in SEO terms refer to the websites that are trying to rank for the same keywords.
The process of accessing web pages, analyzing the content, and gathering information by search engine bots to update their index.
De-indexing is the process of removing a web page or URL from a search engine index. It allows web admins to tell Google not to index certain pages or posts.
Websites may get backlinks from spammy and low-quality websites, and web admins may not be able to delete those links since they’ve no control over such websites. Disavowing is the process of manually telling Google to ignore specific backlinks.
Any hyperlink without the ‘rel=nofollow’ attribute is a dofollow link. If your website gets a dofollow backlink from an authority website, it indicates your website is trusted by a quality website. These links pass authority between websites. Having many dofollow links from authority domains will help you rank better on search engines.
● Domain Authority
Domain authority is a scale introduced by Moz to predict how well a website will rank on search engines. It is measured 0-100, 100 being the most easily rankable domain.
● Doorway Page
Web pages designed to rank well on search engines for specific keywords but redirect users to other web pages are known as doorway pages.
● Duplicate Content
A web page content that matches or is incredibly similar to another web page content published earlier. Content duplication can happen between websites or between pages on the same website. Duplicate content negatively impacts SEO.
● Dwell Time
The SEO definition of Dwell Time is ‘the time spent by a user on a website before going back to the search engine results page(SERP)’. Short dwell time is an indicator of low-quality content.
● External Link
A link on a website that points to a web page on another domain.
● Featured Snippets
Highlighted text excerpts displayed at the top of Google’s search engine results page as quick answers to common queries. Users get the information they are looking for without visiting the website.
How easy it is to find the content on a website, both for search engines and users.
● Google Analytics
A free website analytics platform by Google. By inserting a few lines of code in the HTML of a website, the web admin can track user behavior, content performance, traffic sources, etc.
● Google Bot
The bot by Google that crawls websites and updates the index.
● Google Search Console
A tool by Google that lets web admins see how their website is crawled by Google. The search console shows the backlinks, performance on Google, mobile usability metrics, indexed URLs and allows web admins to disavow links.
● Google Trends
A tool offered by Google to understand the interest and trends in keyword search terms.
● Guest Blogging
The act of creating content for other websites in exchange for a backlink that points to the content developer’s website for better visibility on search engines.
● Image Carousels
The left to right scrollable image results displayed on some search engine results pages.
● Inbound Link
A link on an external website that points to your website. Also called a backlink.
The process of updating a search engine’s database with new websites and web pages.
Intent or search intent refers to what users actually are looking for when typing a keyword into the search bar. Understanding the search intent helps attract the right traffic to your website.
● Internal Link
Hyperlinks that point to pages within the same domain are called internal links. Good internal linking helps search engines find and index new pages faster.
A word or a combination of words or phrases that people write into a search engine when they want to find something specific.
● Keyword Density
How often a keyword or phrase appears within the content of a web page.
● Keyword Research
The process of finding the words and phrases people type into a search engine and extracting the best of them based on the volume and competition.
● Keyword Stuffing
The act of using irrelevant keywords or repeating keywords too many times in the hopes of increasing search engine rankings. It is against Google’s webmaster guidelines and may invite a penalty.
● Landing Page Optimization(LPO)
The process of improving a landing page performance in terms of visits, conversions, and sales.
● Latent Semantic Indexing(LSI)
LSI is an SEO abbreviation used to represent the search engine indexing method that analyzes the combination of words and phrases used on a web page to understand the context better. It helps search engines serve more precise results to users.
● Link Building
Since backlinks are a major ranking factor, websites need to build as many relevant backlinks from authority websites as possible to improve search rankings. The processes involved are called link building.
● Link Profile
A link profile is the cumulative quality of the inbound links a domain has.
● Local Pack
A pack of local business listings that appear for local searches on Google such as ‘mechanics near me.’ Typically, a pack of three local businesses is shown for local searches.
● Long-Tail Keyword
Long-tail keyword refers to keywords that are longer in length. They usually have low search volume, but they are very specific and are used by search engine users who are likely to perform an action like purchasing a product or downloading a file.
● Manual Action
Google takes actions against websites that do not comply with their guidelines, and this is often done by human reviewers. The penalty or action taken by human reviewers is called manual action.
● Meta Description
Meta descriptions are tags added to the HTML header to describe what the content on the web page is about. These descriptions are often shown as snippets that appear in the search results.
● Meta Keywords
A tag added to the HTML header of a web page to tell search engines the relevant keywords. Search engines do not use meta keywords anymore for determining relevance due to keyword stuffing.
● Meta Tags
Tags added to the HTML header like meta description, meta keywords, etc., are altogether known as meta tags.
An attribute used with hyperlinks to tell search engines not to pass the link equity to the domain to which the hyperlink is linking.
● Noindex Tag
A meta tag that tells search engines not to index the web page.
● Nosnippet Tag
A meta tag that tells search engines not to show a description with the result on the search engine results page.
● Off-Page SEO
The SEO techniques and tactics that take place outside of the website. Link building and social signals are part of off-page SEO.
● On-Page SEO
The SEO techniques and tactics that take place within a website. It includes the URL structure, content SEO, information architecture, etc.
● Organic Search Results
The non-paid, natural listings in a search engine. Organic search ranking is based on content quality, authority, and various other factors.
● Organic Traffic
The website traffic coming from natural listings on search engines.
● Outbound Link
A link that points to a web page that is not in the domain of the original website. Outbound links are sometimes called external links, and they can improve the SEO rating of a website.
A link equity-based algorithm used by Google to determine the quality of a website. A website that is well connected to other high authority websites through backlinks gets a higher PageRank.
The word, words, or phrases typed into a search bar are called queries.
The position of a web page on the search engine results page for a specific keyword.
● Ranking Factors
Ranking factors are components that affect the rank of a web page on the search engine results page.
● Reciprocal Links
When two websites link back to each other, it is called a reciprocal link—websites exchange links for better SEO.
It is a URL parameter that identifies the source of a website visitor. It helps web admins identify their traffic sources.
How close the content of a web page is with respect to the search query.
● Responsive Website
A website that automatically adapts to the user’s screen size. Responsive design is critical when it comes to search engine rankings.
● Rich Snippet
Special result snippets that show additional information alongside the listing. The ‘People also ask’ section on the Google results page is an example of a rich snippet.
A text file placed at the root of the website that tells search engines to ignore certain areas of the website.
● Schema Markup
A method of structuring data on a web page to help search engines better understand the contents. Google uses schema markup to show rich snippets.
● Search Engine Results Page(SERP)
The page search engines use to display the results after the user makes a query.
An XML file or a page on a website that lists all the pages on that website. Sitemap helps search engines find all the pages of the website, especially the pages which do not have links pointing to them.
● Sitewide Links
Links that appear on every page of a website. Header links and footer links are usually sitewide links.
● Social Signal
Social signals are the social media engagement metrics like likes, shares, and comments that tell search engines your content is relevant and valuable. Social signals act as an endorsement for quality content.
● Title Tag
An HTML tag that specifies the title of the web page. The title tag can be different from the H1 tag of the web page.
The users who visit a web page are altogether called website traffic.
● Webmaster Guidelines
The guidelines set by search engines for website owners and managers. Websites must comply with the webmaster guidelines to avoid penalties and manual actions.
● White Hat SEO
White hate SEO, in simple terms, refers to the SEO techniques that comply with webmaster guidelines.
● Word Count
The total number of words in an article, blog post, or page. Shorter content generally indicates poor quality as it might not have enough information.
That’s it, we’ve covered all basic SEO terms, and you should be able to understand SEO techniques and SEO buzzwords better now!