A Comprehensive Web Optimization & SEO Glossary for 2022

In this 300+ concepts Comprehensive SEO Glossary, you’ll find definitions for the most essential and popular SEO terms of 2022. The idea of this glossary is to be a consultation document and is not intended to be read like a “normal” article.
Due to its extension, we’ll add an Index so you can find the term you’re looking for fast and efficiently. You can also look for keywords using control+f in Windows or command+f on IOS and find the word via its description or name.
If you think that some of the definitions are wrong or there is an essential term we didn’t include, please leave us a comment on our social networks or contact us at contact@scalater.com.

SEO Glossary

SEO Glossary Symbols and Numbers

10 blue links: The list of the first ten website SERP results on with each one having a blue link. The phrase is often contrasted with other formats of displaying results, such as rich snippets and universal results.

301 redirect: A 301 redirect is an HTTP response code that indicates a permanent URL change. It’s used in SEO to preserve the authority of the original page when it is moved.

302 redirect: A 302 redirect is an HTTP response code indicating a temporary URL change. If you want temporarily redirect to an URL, you should use a 302 redirect instead of a 301 redirect.

404 error: A page not found error, also known as an “HTTP 404” or a “404.” This means that when users, crawlers, and other agents try to access a requested resource at a given URL, they encounter an error instead. These errors can occur for many reasons, including mistyped URLs, deleted pages, and misconfigured servers.

10x contentUsed by Rand Fishkin to talk about content that’s ten times better than its competitors.

2xx status codes: 2xx status codes are HTTP response codes indicating that the request was successful.

4xx status codes: 4xx status codes are HTTP response codes indicating an error with the request made by the client. This could mean lousy syntax, unauthorized access, or other issues with the client.

5xx status codes: 5xx status codes are HTTP response codes indicating that there was an error with the server.

Glossary Letter A

Glossary Letter A

A/B tests: Tests in which two versions of a page are shown to different groups of users who are randomly selected. The original version is called the control group, and its performance is compared against an alternative version (the treatment group). The experiment randomly assigns different pages versions to users. The result is used to determine which version performs better. A/B tests are also known as split tests or bucket tests.

Above the fold: Portion of a webpage visible without scrolling. It’s an essential part of a page, as it determines if a user will stay on the page. Most users who don’t find what they’re looking for above the fold will immediately leave the page.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): A form of HTML that loads fast and well on mobile devices to increase user experience and decrease bounce rates.

Accessibility: A broad term for a web developer’s ability to make a website usable by everyone, regardless of device, browser, and bandwidth.

Accuracy: The degree to which a tool or resource provides accurate results.

Ad rotation: the process by which search engines rotate different ads for the same keyword to avoid ad fatigue and test the effectiveness of ads.

Adsense: A Google advertising program where users can advertise their website on third-party websites and then pay a fee if a visitor clicks on the link.

Advanced search operators: When on a Search Engine, you can type these special characters or operators on the search bar to change or specify the query you imputed.

AdWords: A pay-per-click (PPC) advertising service offered by Google allows businesses to display ads on the SERP.

Algorithms: Search engines use formulas, processes, and rule sets to rank and display content. These Algorithms are based on an immense amount of information, and no one knows 100% how they work.

Alt-Text: Attribute of an image tag that describes what is in the image; often displayed as placeholder text if an image fails to load. —also known as Alt attribute, Alt Tag, and Alt Description.

Ambiguous intent: When it’s unclear what a user is searching for or when there are multiple possible ways to interpret a query.

Amplification: Spreading the word about your brand; usually used on social media, paid ads, and influencer marketing. Its content is written with authority and power (think Neil Patel). Amplified content increases your chances of appearing on the SERP and social media.

Analytic or Web Analytics Tools: Analyze data generated by the activity on websites or mobile apps to discover ways to improve websites and marketing campaigns. Analytics tools help track, measure, and analyze user behavior, which helps companies understand their customers and online marketing efforts.­

Anchor text: The clickable text portion of a hyperlink to another page; usually blue and underlined on a webpage. It’s intended to provide contextual information to Search Engines and people about the content or the page linked on the hyperlink.

API (application programming interface): A set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications that specify how software behaves. Allows one software to talk with another software to execute a task ultimately.

Application (App):­ An app is software for devices to perform specific functions. Designed to run on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices., they can’t be installed on desktops.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI is a term used to describe any computer program that makes decisions and completes tasks utilizing the logic of human decision-making. AI can be used in many different ways, including to help companies manage their websites, help users find products, and support customer service.

Asynchronous (Async): Loading scripts non-blocking; if an async script is loading, other scripts can work simultaneously rather than waiting for the async script to finish loading first.

Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX): A programming language used to create a better user experience on a website by allowing for dynamic content without refreshing the whole page.

Authority: Is the quality of a website or webpage related to search engines. Authority is determined by how many other websites link to a particular site or page. The more links pointed at a site or page, the more authority it will have with the search engine’s algorithm.

Auto-generated Content: This is the content created without manual intervention or human intelligence, such as scraper sites or spun content.

SEO Glossary Letter B

B2B: Acronym for business to business, or the transaction of products and services between two companies. Generally, the buying cycle is longer, the trades are more significant in numbers and value, and the audience is usually professionals.

B2C: Acronym for business to consumer, or the transaction of products and services between a company and an individual. These transactions are generally cheaper, faster, and smaller in volume.

Backlinks (Inbound Links): Links from other websites that point to your website or a specific page on your website. It also refers to the act of obtaining these links by link building. Backlinks are essential for SEO because search engines interpret them to indicate trustworthiness and credibility.

Baidu: China’s most popular search engine, Baidu has more than 70% market share in China and often ranks as the fourth most visited website globally. Baidu is similar in many ways to Google, with one major exception: it uses Chinese symbols rather than English words to create its algorithms. It was founded in Jan 2000 by Eric Xu and Robin Li.

Banner Ad: An advertisement format found on web pages and mobile applications. Its usually featured in one of the top corners of the page and typically links to the advertiser’s website. Banner ads can be static or animated images, but they are generally all rectangular in shape.­

Bing: Launched by Microsoft in 2009, Bing is a search engine designed to serve as a direct competitor to Google. Bing uses a proprietary algorithm called “Decision Engine” to help users make quick decisions based on their searches and then predict what they are looking for next and offer suggestions based on those predictions.

Black Box: A black box is a term used to describe a data or information source that can’t be understood or is kept from view. Sometimes the word is used to describe a website’s inner workings, but sometimes it can be used about a competitor’s internal workings (such as backlink sources).

Black hat SEO: SEO practices that go against best practices for ethical optimization. These practices will likely penalize your website on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Blog (weblog): A blog (short for “weblog”) is a website that contains dated entries that are presented in reverse chronological order (the most recent entry appears first). Blogs can also be considered online journals; they focus on a single subject (or group of related topics) or theme and often feature links to other blogs and related material.

Bot: Short for robot, a bot is an application (or script), an automated software program used by search engines to index websites. They’re also known as “crawlers” or “spiders,”

Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page. High bounce rates may indicate that visitors are not finding what they need on your site, that your content is not easily accessible, or that there isn’t enough content to keep them interested. A low bounce rate is considered ideal for SEO purposes since it.

Bounce Rate: The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave a website after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate can mean that your content isn’t relevant enough to what people are looking for or that your website design isn’t user-friendly and has bad UI or UX.

Branded Keyword: A branded keyword is a search term that includes the name of a brand or company. An example would be “Google.”

Breadcrumbs: This is a navigational element. Hyperlinks allow users to navigate back through their previous pages without using the browser’s back button. Breadcrumbs also help search engines understand the structure of the site and the relationship between pages on it.

Broken Link: A link on your site that leads nowhere; it’s “broken.” This can happen when you delete pages without updating the links pointing to them. Broken links are generally bad for SEO because they prevent users from navigating your site and create a poor user experience. They can also lead to 404 errors.

Browser: Software used to access the World Wide Web, such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari. Most browsers allow users to navigate from one web page to another via hyperlinks embedded in the documents. They also usually include a bookmark feature and home buttons for ease of navigating back to your favorite pages. The most popular browsers are Chrome (25%), Internet Explorer (22%), Firefox (20%), and Safari (12%).

Bundling: Bundling is an e-commerce strategy where items are sold together at a discount, often in groups of three or five.

Glossary Letter C

Cache: A way of making your website load faster by storing specific elements in a user’s browser or on the server so the browser or server doesn’t have to load those elements repeatedly. Caching is used to speed up websites and make them more responsive.

Cached Page: A saved copy of a web page. Search engines collect cached pages as part of their search results and show the user whether or not they have a cached version of a particular page (and when it was last updated).

Caching: A process that stores a copy of a file that has been previously loaded to your computer, so it will appear faster when you call for it again. 

Caffeine:  A Google update released in 2010, this update focused on indexing speed and efficiency rather than content quality. It affected 35% of Google’s queries, and it was rolled out over several months to ensure stability.

Call to Action: The main seller message to encourages users to buy a product or service on a web or app. These are texts, images, buttons, Ads, and others.

Canonical URL: A pages’ preferred version you want Google to recognize as authoritative. When you specify your canonical URL, it helps search engines understand which versions of similar pages are most important for users and eliminates low-quality versions from our search results.

Canonicalization: When you decide which page on your site you want to rank for a particular keyword or phrase, make sure that version of the page is what gets indexed in Google’s search results. It’s done by adding an HTML link element to the head section of your pages, using a 301 redirect, or using rel=canonical tags.

Channel: Vehicles through which you can send your messages and attract attention and traffic to your products and services. These are such as organic search or direct channels.

Citations: Citations are references to your business name, address, phone number(NAP), and website on other websites. It helps search engines verify your business’s contact information and categorize it correctly. Citations can also help improve your local SEO rankings. It is also known as a “business listing,”

Click Bait: Knowingly send misleading messages to attract clicks and conversions. Usually by misleading images, copy, and declarations.

Click-through rate (CTR): A measure of the ratio of people who see your ad compared with those who click on it. CTR is measured for ads as whole or individual keywords. The higher the CTR, the better. A higher CTR improves your quality score with Google and lowers cost-per-click (CPC).

Client-side & server-side rendering: client-side rendering refers to code executed by the user’s browser, which means that the user’s device will display any content after it has downloaded all necessary HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. Server-side rendering is when content is rendered by the webserver before being sent to the user’s browser and displayed.

Cloaking: A black hat SEO practice designed to trick search engine bots into seeing different content than human users see when they visit a web page. The goal is usually to manipulate rankings in the SERPs. Cloaking can be accomplished by IP delivery, user agent detection, and other methods.

Content Management System (CMS): A CMS is a piece of software meant to help manage and organize the content of a website or blog. Many are designed to make it easier to publish content and manage multiple users and make it easier for those who aren’t programmers to create and edit websites. Some examples include Drupal, WordPress, Magento, and Joomla.

Co-Citation: A way of measuring link popularity for a page without considering the anchor text of the links pointing to it. Co-citation analysis considers what other pages link to each page, regardless of anchor text, to determine how relevant it may be. This can be useful for determining if someone paid for a link from a high-quality site or if a link was earned through creating high-quality content.

Comment Spam: A black hat SEO practice involves leaving comments on blogs and forums with links back to your website to boost your rankings. Comment spam is generally done automatically with software rather than by hand so that it can be done at scale quickly and

Commercial Investigation Queries: A simple search query meant to learn more about a product or service—for example, “[product name] reviews” or “[company] complaints”.

Competition: A measurement of how many advertisers target a particular keyword in an advertising program. This is an essential metric to consider when choosing keywords because it can impact how much you pay per click or what position your ad appears in on the search engine results page.

Content: Content is any text, images, video, audio, or other digital files consumed on the web. It’s one of the most critical SEO factors for search engines to rank a page. Therefore, they reward helpful, unique, valuable, and engaging content with the best traffic. Bill Gates used to say that “content is king”, referring to its importance for SEO, SEM, and online success in general. (January 3, 1996)

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): A practice used by marketers to improve the performance of their website by testing various elements on the site’s pages to increase revenue, leads, or other key performance indicators that matter for their business.

Conversion Rate: The percentage of people who visit your website or app and do what you want them to do (your conversion goal). For example, if you have 100 unique visitors and 5 of those visitors sign up for a free trial, your conversion rate is 5%.

Conversion is the desired action that a visitor to your site performs. A good example is when someone fills out and submits a contact form on your site. This indicates that they’re interested in hearing more about your products or services and have taken steps toward becoming a customer.

Correlation: Two things are correlated if they change together predictably. If you want to measure whether something affects conversion, you’ll want to look for correlations. For example, do people who spend longer on your site tend to convert at higher rates? Are people who view more pages more likely to buy?

Cost per Click: The amount of money charged to the advertiser for each person clicks on the advertisement.

Country Code Top Level Domain: ccTLD: Is a top-level domain that corresponds with a particular country. For example, the ccTLD for the United States is .us.

Crawl Budget: The number of pages Googlebot can and wants to crawl relative to its available time. The crawl budget encompasses both bot’s crawling capabilities and its desire to crawl certain pages at certain times.

Crawl Error: A crawl error happens when a bot can’t access or find a page on a site, either because the URL changed or because it doesn’t exist. If a crawl error persists after fixing it, you can ask the search engine to recrawl it by submitting an updated URL in Search Console.

Crawlability: The likelihood of a crawler visiting your website. Achieving good crawlability requires that you allow crawlers to reach your site in the first place and then make the experience as straightforward as possible for the crawler. You do this by ensuring that your site loads quickly and that you don’t have broken links.

Crawler directives: If you have a file called robots.txt, web crawlers will follow its instructions when they crawl your website. These files are typically used to tell search engines not to crawl certain links or entire pages on your site, for example, if they’re under construction or not ready for public consumption.

Crawler: A program that browses the World Wide Web in a systematic manner and indexes websites for a search engine to use. They are also known as Bot, Spider, and Web Crawler. The main crawlers are Googlebot, Bingbot, and Baidu Spider.

Crawling: Crawling refers to searching for new websites and new content on already-indexed sites by following links throughout the internet to update, add, and organize webpages in a search engine’s index.

Critical rendering path: The critical rendering path refers to the steps that a browser takes to render a web page, from when it starts to load a page until it displays the content on the screen. The goal of modern web performance optimization is to ensure that pages load as quickly as possible by minimizing the length of the critical rendering path.

CSS: Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a stylesheet language that can describe the presentation of an HTML document, including font, color, and spacing. It also controls how elements display on different devices, such as mobile and desktop computers. CSS is often used in conjunction with responsive design techniques, which allow websites to adapt to different screen sizes.

Customer Journey: A journey map represents every step and interaction a customer has with your brand—from their first discovery to purchase. Customer journey mapping relies upon data insights and provides actionable steps for improving your customer’s experience by reducing friction and increasing delight across each point in their journey. The main, but not only, steps are: Awareness > Consideration > Decision > Retention.

SEO Glossary Letter D

Data: The information collected from a website’s analytics tool. The data can be gathered on any number of metrics—including, but not limited to, clicks and page views—and can be used to identify how visitors are interacting with the site to inform web content creation, marketing, and user engagement strategies.

De-indexed: A status that describes a website or web page that has been removed from a search engine results page (SERP). When a website is de-indexed, it no longer appears on the SERP for relevant keyword searches. Search engines or users can do de-indexing.

Dead-End Page: Any webpage whose only link back to the rest of the site is its logo or home button. Dead-end pages are flawed for SEO because they are problematic for search engines to crawl through.

Deep Link: Deep linking means linking to specific pages within a website rather than the home page. Deep linking helps users and search engines find more relevant information on your site and increase overall site authority.

Directory Links: These are links acquired by listing a site in a directory. Although these directories can be an excellent way to build backlinks, you should ensure that you only use directories that have authority and are relevant to your site. Make sure that you update your directory listings frequently.

Directory: This is an organized list of websites categorized by subject matter. It’s an older form of Search Engine because it relies on human editors to maintain and update the listings. Nowadays, people use general Search Engines instead of directories.

Disavow: To prevent your website from being negatively impacted by links from other websites, you can disavow those links. You tell Google that you don’t want to be associated with the pages that link to your website. You can do this through Google Search Console.

Distance: As it relates to SEO, it refers to the number of words between keywords, or one keyword and another conceptually-related term, when performing a search query. If there is a significant distance between two terms, then the search engine will assume that the two terms are not conceptually related.

DMOZ: This is an open-source directory of websites. The focus on specific categories and subcategories makes it a good option for users looking to find a particular type of website or resource. It’s an excellent way to get backlinks and increase your site’s visibility.

DNS: It’s the internet’s phone book. It converts the URL you put in your browser into an IP address that can be read by servers, which allows you to connect with the website you’re trying to visit.

Do-follow: Link that passes authority from one page to another. When a bot comes across a do-follow link, it follows it so that it can view the linked page for indexing purposes.

Document Object Model (DOM) is the structure your browser uses to organize, connect, and modify all web page parts. It’s what makes it possible for you to interact with the content on a website, like clicking on links or filling out forms. The DOM allows the browser to take a bunch of code and turn that into a web page—it’s always there in the background, connecting everything to do its work.

Domain Authority (DA): A score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. Use Moz’s Link Explorer to check the Domain Authority for any website.

Domain name registrar: An organization that registers domain names, maintains the registry for those domains and sells them to others who want to register a particular domain name.

Domain: The complete address for a website, including the protocol and any subdomains. For example, “http://www.example.com “is the website’s full address at http://example.com, including the subdomain www.

Doorway Page: A doorway page is an eye-catching webpage that entices users to click on it to view another page with less engaging content or features. Doorway pages are often used to increase traffic to a particular web page. It’s not a recommended SEO practice.

DuckDuckGo: A search engine founded in 2008 and focuses on protecting user privacy and providing a “clean” search environment without targeting users with advertisements. With over 35 billion searches in 2021, DuckDuckGo is one of the most popular search engines in the world.

Duplicate Content: Duplicate content is when multiple versions of the same content appear on a website. This can be due to several factors, including using URL parameters or accidentally publishing the same piece of content in different areas of your website. Duplicate content can negatively affect your website’s performance by decreasing rankings and traffic.

Dwell Time: The amount of time someone spends on your website after clicking through from a search results page. Your goal should be to optimize your website so users will spend as much time as possible on it.

Desktop: Desktop refers to any computer or laptop with a larger screen size than a mobile device or tablet. They’re usually more potent as well.

Data Layer: A JavaScript object to pass your website or app information to Google Tag Manager. A data layer is the foundation of a data layer implementation supported by Google Tag Manager (GTM) and Google Analytics (GA).

Glossary Letter E

E-commerce: Any business or transaction that transpires through the internet. It’s also known as Internet Commerce.

Editorial Link: A link obtained organically (not bought/paid for). The website’s owner has linked to it because they think it’s relevant and valuable to their readers. This is a precious kind of link because search engines see them as a vote of confidence in favor of the linked site by the linking site.

Email Marketing: Using email to connect with customers and build a relationship. Email marketing can nurture leads, send out newsletters, share promotional offers, and make re-marketing.

Engagement Metrics: Data that describes how users interact with a website; metrics like bounce rate and time on site help web admins better understand how users interact with their websites to provide more valuable user experiences.

Engagement: A measure of the depth of a visitor’s interaction with a website, calculated by dividing pageviews by visits. For example, if a user visits your site and views only one page (your homepage), your engagement for that visit is 1/1 or 100%. If that same user views five pages, your engagement is 5/1, or 500%.

Entities: An entity is a person, place, or thing that can be referred to in an article. Entities can include people, cities, states, organizations, etc. Properly defining entities is crucial for search engine optimization because the search engine needs to know who/what/where you are writing about to rank your page correctly.

Exact Match Domain (EMD):  A domain name that has been purchased to exact match a keyword. For example, if your company sells bird feeders, you might buy “http://birdfeeder.com” as your domain name to target the keyword “bird feeder.”

External Link: An external link is a link that goes from one website to another (as opposed to an internal link). External links play an essential role in SEO because they provide websites with more credibility and increase search engine visibility, helping them rank higher for desired keywords.

SEO Glossary Letter F

Faceted Navigation: Web pages usually have a primary topic, but it’s easier for visitors to find what they want if they can narrow down their options from the start. This is the role of faceted navigation, which uses filters to help users sift through content and find what they’re looking for faster.

Featured Snippet: A featured snippet is a box that appears at the top of search results pages, giving extra information before users click through to a site. They’re intended to provide users quick answers without having to leave Google’s SERPs (search engine results pages).

Fetch and Render tool: Let you see how Google bots render your website for mobile and desktop versions. This option can be found in GSC under the “Crawl” section. Once you click on the Fetch and Render button, you will receive a status report showing how Googlebot viewed your page, resource loading issues, and other errors (if they exist).

File compression: The process of reducing file size to reduce bandwidth consumption. This is done by removing redundant data from the file without affecting its quality.

Findability: Refers to the ease with which a target audience can find a specific website, product, or service. High visibility and findability on search engines is the primary goal of web optimization and SEO.

Follow: This term has three meanings in SEO. First, you are willing to receive regular updates from someone or something on a social network (see: friend). Secondly, you are willing to receive updates from someone or something without reciprocating with regular updates of your own (see: subscribe). Thirdly: Do-follow: A hyperlink that points to a specific website and allows search engines to follow it and use it as a ranking signal in their algorithms.

Footer: A footer is a section at the bottom of a page—often containing copyright information, contact information, and links to other relevant pages—that appears on every page in a website’s template. To optimize your site for better findability, include keywords in your footer’s textual content.

Glossary Letter G

Geo-targeting: The practice of tailoring Internet content to reach its intended audience in a specific geographic location. An example of geo-targeting would be displaying advertisements for products only available in a particular country.

Geographic modifiers: A type of keyword that tells search engines which geographic locations you want your content to appear for in search results. These keywords include “near me,” “in [city/state],” etc.

Google Ads Quality Score: Google Ads Quality Score evaluates three critical aspects of your ads: expected click-through rate (CTR), ad relevance, and landing page experience. Google Ads Quality Score is based on your historical performance and account history. Your score will determine how high your ad is ranked in search results.

Google AdWords: This is a service that allows you to create ads that will appear in Google search results. Because users already intend to make a purchase, AdWords advertising can drive traffic directly to your site and increase your revenue.

Google Analytics: A free-to-use software tool that tracks your website’s traffic and provides valuable data about user behavior. It gives you information about how many people visited your site, what pages they viewed, how long they spent on each page, etc. This potent tool can inform website development strategy, identify what content resonates with users, and troubleshoot problems on your site.

Google Bomb: When people link their websites to a specific search term to manipulate Google’s algorithm and cause that term to show up higher in the search results when people search for it. Google has been able to keep these efforts from being successful.

Google Dance: A term coined in the early days of Google’s search algorithm, when the company would update its index every few weeks or months, causing a ‘dance’ of rankings and results as websites rose or fell in popularity. The process was automated years ago and no longer involved any human intervention.

Google Hummingbird Update: this was the most significant change to Google’s algorithm since 2001, and it was released in 2013. The update improved semantic search and focused on providing users with relevant content instead of just relevant keywords.

Google Mobile-first indexing Update: Google officially announced in March 2018 that it would switch its search index from being primarily based on desktop pages to being based on mobile pages. This change will not impact how Google ranks web pages; instead, it will influence which web page Google uses in its index. Web designers should prioritize mobile user experience when designing websites to ensure they are at the top of Google’s index.

Google My Business: This is where businesses can register their business information with Google to include it in local Google searches. If you want your business to show up when someone searches for a “vegan restaurant” or “plumber” in your area, you need a Google My Business listing.

Google Panda Update: An update released by Google in 2011 intended to penalize websites with shoddy or spammy content. It penalized websites with too many ads, poor grammar and spelling, duplicate content (like content copied from another website), and no original research or reporting.

Google Penguin Update:  An update released by Google in 2012 intended to make it harder for websites with manipulative practices (like keyword stuffing) to rank well in searches. The Penguin update succeeded by making it harder for such businesses to rank as highly as they once did.

Google Pigeon Update: An update to the Google search algorithm was released in July 2014. The Pigeon update aimed to increase the accuracy of local search results by using traditional web ranking signals and focusing on location proximity and traditional relevance (such as keyword usage on a website) rather than hyperlocal and geographical factors.

Google Quality Guidelines: These guidelines are intended to help businesses create a high-quality website. They provide detailed instructions on avoiding practices that can lead to your site getting penalized.

Google RankBrain Update: In October 2015, Google released an update called RankBrain, which aims to make search results more valuable and relevant by using artificial intelligence to sort through search results. RankBrain is part of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm and affects all searches.

Google Sandbox Update: In 2004, a rumor emerged that Google was implementing a penalty that prevented new websites from ranking highly for several months after their launch. This penalty was dubbed the “Google Sandbox.” Google never confirmed it, but enough people reported seeing it become a prevalent topic in the SEO community.

Google Search Console: Formerly known as Webmaster Tools, this is a free service provided by Google where you can submit your sitemap and monitor activity on your site related to crawling, indexing, and other factors that affect your search ranking.

Google Search Operators: Used to search effectively using Google, it’s essential to know how to use the right search operator. These operators allow you to filter out search results for content that isn’t relevant to what you’re looking for and find exactly what you need. Some examples of search operators are:

  • Cache
  • allintext
  • Intext
  • Inposttitle
  • Allintitle
  • Intitle
  • allinurl
  • Inurl
  • Site
  • Filetype

Google Tag Manager: Software that helps you efficiently manage your tags and scripts for your website. You can use Google Tag Manager to deploy and update custom tags, including those for Google Analytics, AdWords Conversion Tracking, Floodlight, and other re-marketing tags, without editing the code on your site.

Google Trends: A free tool from Google that shows the popularity of a keyword or topic over time in a given country or worldwide. You can use it to gain insights into how frequently people are searching for your product or service and how that frequency changes over time—information that can help inform your business’s strategic planning.

Google Webmaster Guidelines: A set of best practices to help search engines find websites like Google. They include making sure your site is mobile-friendly and checking to make it accessible to users with disabilities.

Google: The most popular search engine on the internet, Google processes billions of searches every day.

Googlebot / Bingbot: The program used by Google (Googlebot) or Bing / Yahoo! (Bingbot). These programs crawl web pages and index them to include them in search results.

Gray Hat: An SEO strategy that involves using both white hat and black hat techniques simultaneously or sequentially.

Guest Blogging: Guest blogging, also called guest posting, is a digital marketing strategy that includes writing content for other websites to build backlinks and increase brand awareness. Guest blogging is done through sites where a company already has an existing relationship or an entirely new site.

SEO Glossary Letter H

Header Tags: HTML tags that classify the structure of your page. They make it easier for search engines to crawl individual page components and, thus, more likely to rank your page more highly. The most important headers are H1 (usually used for the title of your article) and H2 (used for the headings within your piece).

Heading: A heading is a subheading under the main title (or “header”). Headings are typically used to help organize content and make it easier to read. Headings have many uses in search, including helping to inform the search engines what a page is about.

Headline: A short phrase or sentence describing what you expect the user to see on that page. Headlines are usually written in title case (the first letter of every word capitalized) rather than sentence case (the first letter of each sentence capitalized).

Hidden Text: Text that is deliberately made to be invisible by changing the color of the font or placing it behind an image. Hidden text is often stuffed with keywords to influence search engine rankings. This practice is illegal and can penalize your website or ban you from search engines.

Hilltop Algorithm: A method by which the relevance of a web page is determined by evaluating its inbound links. Any web page with a link from another highly-ranked page will also be considered valuable, as this indicates that the content on the linked page is relevant and vital.

HITS Algorithm: an algorithm used to determine the relative importance of certain websites within a network. HITS stands for Hyperlink-Induced Topic Search and searches for hubs (pages that have many inbound links) and authorities (pages that are linked to by many hubs).

Home Page: The main page of a website.

Hreflang: This attribute helps indicate to search engines that a page is intended for users in a specific geographic location or speaking a particular language. This attribute helps ensure that the right searcher sees the correct version of your site, and it also helps search engines return the most relevant sites in their results.

Htaccess File: A configuration file found on Apache servers. It controls permissions, redirects, and other functions. These files can block bots and crawlers from accessing certain parts of your site.

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML): This language is used to structure and present the World Wide Web content. It’s also the core technology used for creating web pages and web applications. Its primary function is to organize text and images into a structure displayed in a web browser.

HyperLink: A hyperlink is a clickable link on a page. They can be internal, which takes visitors to another page on your website, or external, which takes visitors to an entirely different website.

HTTP: is the communications protocol used between browsers and websites. It stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol, and it enables a web browser to send requests (to load a page, for example) and receive responses from the server that hosts the website you’re interacting with.

HTTPS: is an encrypted version of HTTP that utilizes Transport Layer Security (TLS). The “S” stands for secure. HTTPS is used on sensitive sites where information such as credit card numbers or other personal data need to be protected.

Hub Page: A hub page is a page on a website that serves as a starting point or destination for the other pages on the site. It is generally an umbrella topic where the reader can find relevant links to various issues.

Glossary Letter I

Image Carousels: Feature that rotates images in a designated spot on a website’s homepage or landing page. Carousels can help draw users’ attention and direct their eyes to specific content on the site or provide a quick overview of information.

Image Compression: The process by which an image’s file size is decreased without compromising its quality. Images can take up much space on a webpage, making loading slower for users, so image compression shrinks the file size without changing how it looks so that it takes up less space and loads more quickly.

Image Sitemap: An XML document that helps search engines index the images on your site. It gives search engines extra information about each image, such as where it should be listed in the search.

Impressions: The number of times a page appears in Google search results. This can include multiple impressions if the same user performs multiple searches that show your page.

Inbound Link: An inbound link is like a vote for your website. The more votes (a.k.a. links), the higher it ranks for its topic or keyword phrase in search results. When another page links to a page with high authority or trust, it’s considered a better link than one from a less authoritative site, so you want to target those types of sites when getting links built back to your own site!

Index Coverage report: This is where we can see how Google views our site’s pages and if any issues need to be addressed before submitting them for indexing again or requesting

Index: A search engine’s database contains the keywords and key phrases for every document in its collection. The index also includes a list of the documents where each keyword or key phrase occurs.

Indexability: When you create a new web page, you can tell Google to ignore it by using the “no-index” meta tag. Alternatively, if you want Google to include your page in its index, you can either use the “index” meta tag or not use any tag since not using any meta tags is equivalent to using the “index” tag. If Googlebot comes across a web page and it’s not indexed, it won’t appear in Google’s index. The following example shows a “no-index” meta tag:

Indexed Page: An indexed page is one that’s been added to Google’s index. When a page is indexed, it can appear in organic search results for queries related to its content.

Indexing: The process by which search engines crawl websites for information and add that information to their database

Information Architecture:  the way that information is presented on a website, including where it’s placed, how it’s organized, and the way that users can navigate through the site. It can be visualized as a flowchart of the site. Information architecture aims to create a structure that makes it easy for users to find what they’re looking for without getting frustrated or confused.

Informational Queries: Queries made by users seeking knowledge about a topic, often to inform themselves on a purchase they want to make. They’re usually longer and more specific than navigational queries.

Intent: The intent of a search query is what the user hopes to accomplish by doing that particular search. Intent can be broken down into four categories: navigational (finding a specific site), commercial (finding information about products or services), transactional (purchasing something), and informational (gathering more information about something).

Internal Link: A link on a website that points to another page on the same site. Internal links can improve user experience and increase search engine optimization (SEO) to help users navigate your site more efficiently. Google’s crawler can find all of the pages on your site.

IP Address: Every internet-connected device has a unique identifier called an IP address. It’s a string of numbers that represent your location and allow websites and other online services to know where you are connecting from. Your IP address is not the same as your physical address or location, although it can often be used to estimate those things based on what service provider you are using.

SEO Glossary Letter J

JavaScript (JS): A programming language used to make web pages interactive. It runs on the client-side (i.e., the user’s browser) rather than the server (i.e., the website). JS is often used to validate forms before submitting, animate page elements, and many other customer-facing applications.

JSON-LD: JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data. A lightweight data-interchange format based on JavaScript syntax with semantics based on linked data principles. JSON-LD is designed to be “readable” both by humans and machines and can be used to serialize RDF (Resource Description Framework).

Glossary Letter K

Kanban: A Japanese term for “visual card.” Concerning web optimization, it refers to a system that sites use to manage their workflows, where cards are used to represent tasks and prioritize them. Toyota developed Kanban to control and optimize its manufacturing. In the context of web optimization, this would mean using Kanban to manage the workflows of designers, developers, copywriters, and others who contribute to optimizing your site.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI): is a metric that you use to measure how well your company or site achieves its goals. You can use KPIs to count how many products you’ve sold, how many people are on your site at any given time, or how much time people are spending on your site.

Keyword Cannibalization: when multiple pages on a website are optimized for the same keyword, there are fewer clicks for that keyword and weaker SEO results overall.

Keyword Density: How often a keyword appears in a text. Today, Google uses LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) instead of keyword density to determine what a text is about and its relevance for specific queries.

Keyword Difficulty: How hard it is to rank for a given keyword relative to other keywords. The difficulty is calculated algorithmically and depends on how many sites are trying to rank for that term and how relevant those sites are to it.

Keyword Explorer: A tool used in keyword research that helps you discover new keywords and organize them into groups based on common themes. The tool also provides historical data about search volume and competition, among other things.

Keyword Research: The process of finding popular terms people are searching for, usually so you can optimize your site for them. This helps you understand what your target audience is already looking for so you can create content that meets their needs, and it’s also helpful in coming up with blog post ideas and other types of content marketing.

Keyword Stuffing: This is an old SEO trick that once worked but no longer did. It involves inserting a keyword repeatedly on a page to rank for that keyword. In the past, this was effective because search algorithms were not sophisticated enough to discount such pages. However, search engines can now detect which pages are full of keyword stuffing and will not rank them well.

Keyword: A keyword is any word or phrase with significant search volume on Google. It can be used in SEO to help target specific audiences for your business. For example, if you own a windmill business in Amsterdam called “Windmillz,” you might decide that “windmills” and “Amsterdam” are important keywords for your website because many people search for them online (and, therefore, may also be interested in your business). 

Knowledge Graph: Google’s knowledge baseGoogle’s knowledge base enhances its search engine’s results with information gathered from various sources. This information is presented to users in an infobox next to the search results. When relevant, data from the Knowledge Graph is automatically added into the mix of search results by Google algorithms, not by human editors.

Knowledge Panel: A box that appears on a Google search results page when a user searches a specific topic. It contains information on the subject, such as an overview, key facts, and related issues, and is meant to help users answer their questions quickly.

SEO Glossary Letter L

Landing Page: On a website, a Landing Page is any page that users arrive on after clicking on a link or advertisement. Typically, this isn’t the home but another page—such as a product page or blog post—with content relevant to what they were looking for. When optimizing landing pages, it’s crucial to think about what they are looking for and ensure that your content matches their expectations!

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI): LSI is a way for search engines to understand the relationship between words by using statistics to analyze how often certain words appear near each other. For example, when analyzing the word “horse,” LSI can identify related terms like “hoof” and “tail.” This allows search engines to understand better what content is about.

Lazy loading: A technique used for web optimization that allows content on a page to load only as it’s needed. For instance, if you have ten images on your website, but only one is visible when the page loads, lazy loading allows only one image to be loaded initially. As the user scrolls down and more pictures become visible, they will load in. 

Lead: A person interested in a company or product and therefore may one day become a customer. Leads are qualified based on their ability, willingness to spend money, and interest strength in your company or product.

Link accessibility: describes how easily search engines can crawl through links on a page. A navigation bar at the top provides links to all pages on your site that would be very accessible to search engines; if all of the links are buried in JavaScript code, they may not be accessible to search engines. 

Link Bait: Content written or created specifically to attract links from other websites. Usually, link bait is content that offers value in entertainment or information—such as a listicle or an infographic—that promotes sharing by external sites.

Link Building: An SEO strategy focused on acquiring backlinks and specific links from other websites that point to your site. This technique is a significant component of off-page SEO and is often regarded as the most challenging part of the process.

Link Equity: Also known as “link juice”, it is one of the critical components of Google’s algorithm. Equity is distributed across all links on a website and impacts search rankings.

Link Exchange: When two sites agree to include links to each other’s sites.

Link Explorer: A tool created by Moz that allows users to find backlinks for any website and analyze them for various SEO-related metrics such as Domain Authority, Page Authority, IP location and domain country data, anchor text distribution, and linking domain statistics. It also provides information about MozRank and MozTrust.

Link Farm: Is a group of websites that all have the sole purpose of linking to other websites to help improve their search engine rankings. Farms are considered spammy and should be avoided at all costs.

Link Juice: A link’s ability to provide value to a site. Most commonly, this is a measure of the link’s authority. 

Link Profile: The distribution of links based on the ranking factors. For example, if an anchor text link has a high trust rank and a low authority rank, it is considered to have a higher link profile rank than a link with a low trust rank and a high authority rank.

Link Velocity: The rate at which new links are added to your site. This is important because the more links you have, the more link juice you have, resulting in better SEO rankings. However, adding too many links at once could look suspicious, so it is important to add links gradually.

Link volume: The total number of links connected to a website or piece of content. The higher the link volume, the stronger the website’s ability to rank highly and pass link juice on to other websites

Link: refers to a hyperlink. (See hyperlink)

Local business schema: Local business schema is a type of structured data markup that can be used by local businesses to provide information about themselves on their websites. Search engines automatically detect the schema and inform them of essential details about your business and local listings.

Local pack: This is a collection of three businesses that appear in a box at the top of Google’s local search results. The companies are sorted by distance from the searcher’s location. Companies can choose to optimize for the local pack by improving their local SEO.

Local queries: A local query is any query that contains at least one location indicator (e.g., city or zip code) or is made from a device with location services turned on. If I typed “pizza near me” into Google on my desktop computer, I would still be making a local query because my pc has location services turned on.

Log File Analysis: This is the process of going through log files—a record of all the traffic your site receives—and pulling insights from them so you can make improvements to your website.

Log File: A file that records user activity on a Web site. It stores information about each visit to the site, including the visitor’s geographical region, IP address, browser type, device type, operating system type and version number, and what pages of the Web site the visitor saw.

Login Forms: These are where your users enter their usernames and passwords to access their accounts on your site. A login form should never be located in plain sight or unsecured so that only authorized users (the ones who know the password) get access to it.

Long-Tail Keyword: A keyword phrase that is more specific and targeted than standard, single-word terms used for search queries. Long-tails are often used for SEO purposes and are less competitive than traditional ones because they are more focused and targeted; however, they typically have lower search volumes than single-word ones.

SEO Glossary Letter M

Glossary Letter M

Machine Learning: An advanced form of artificial intelligence (AI) allows computer programs to learn from the data exposed. The more data a program is exposed to, the better it retains and the more it can do. Machine learning has many practical applications in SEO and other marketing fields.

Manual Action: A manual action refers to an action taken on a website by a human reviewer at Google rather than as a response to algorithmic signals. For example, if Google finds evidence of spammy links on a site, it will respond with a manual action rather than an algorithmic demotion.

Manual penalty: A manually issued penalty is similar to an algorithmic penalty in that it results in lowered rankings in SERPs; however, unlike algorithmic penalties (which are issued automatically), manual penalties are issued by human reviewers at Google and tend to be triggered when they find violations of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Meta Description: This is a snippet of text that describes what your page is about. It appears under your page title on search results pages. While they’re not used in rankings directly, they affect how many people click on your page and how many visitors your website has, so it’s essential to write an accurate and descriptive meta description.

Meta Keywords: A tag that provides information about a web page for search engine optimization–specifically, it includes keywords that describe the page’s content.

Meta robots tag: A tag that specifies how search engines should index and crawl your website. It’s placed in the <head> of your website (usually within the <meta name> tag) and can be used to tell search engines not to index or crawl certain pages on your site.

Meta Tags: are code used in a webpage’s header section to provide information about the page. Meta tags do not appear on a webpage itself—they only appear when you look at the “source code” of a website.

Metric: data points used to measure performance against goals. Conversions are one example of a metric; however, many others include bounce rate, time on site, pages per session, and more.

Minification: the practice of removing or replacing unnecessary text or markup from a web page to reduce total file size and increase load speed. Minification can be applied to CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files.

Mobile Device: computing device that users can use on the go. Mobile devices include smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and other portable computing devices. A mobile device can also refer to a desktop computer connected to the internet via a cellular connection instead of a Wi-Fi network.

MozBar: A free download offered by SEO software company Moz for Chrome and Firefox browsers. Mozbar enables users to compare the metrics of different websites side by side without leaving their web browser.

SEO Glossary Letter N

SEO Glossary Letter N

Natural Listings or Organic Listings ­ Results: Results are listed at the top of SERP based on the search engine’s algorithm; they appear naturally based on their relevance to the query.

Navigation: Navigating your way around a site or navigating from one site to another. Navigation also gets from one page to another within site or from one place to another in an application.

Navigational queries: Queries visitors use to navigate a website, such as brand-related searches, domain name searches, and site-specific product searches. These types of queries often result in “no-click” traffic since users know precisely where they want to go after searching (for example: searching for “Facebook” instead of typing http://facebook.com directly into their browser).

Negative SEO: A tactic used by some unscrupulous SEOs to negatively impact another website’s rankings in the search engines. Negative SEO tactics include creating bad links pointing at your competition’s websites from bad neighborhoods on the web.

Niche: is a sub-section of a market. In the context of SEO, it refers to the area where you and your competitors fall on the spectrum between broad and highly competitive keywords and terms and precise, long-tail keywords that are more likely to convert because they are more likely to be typed in by people who have an intent to buy.

Noarchive Tag: An HTML tag indicating that a web page should not be cached. Noarchive is used to prevent users from seeing outdated information on a webpage, but it also means that the search engines will keep crawling the site more frequently and use more of their resources to do so.

NoFollow Tag: Rel= “nofollow” is an HTML that tells search engines not to follow certain links on a page. These links may be paid links, so this attribute conveys to the search engine that it is not an editorial link (a link placed consciously by a site owner) but rather an advertisement and should not be counted as part of the site’s content and ranking.

NoIndex tag: A NoIndex tag is a meta tag that prevents search engines from indexing a page. Some use it to keep their work in progress out of the search engine results while still working on the page, and others use it to prevent duplicate content issues or avoid having information indexed that is no longer relevant.

Nosnippet Tag: tells search engines not to generate a search snippet for a given page or set of pages. This can be useful in cases where the snippet would be inaccurate, incomplete, or otherwise undesirable for a particular page.

Not provided: is a value that shows up in place of actual keywords when those keywords are not passed on to Google Analytics. It can occur in two ways: 1) when a user is signed into Google while visiting your site and 2) when data is encrypted (HTTPS). “Not provided” keywords are unavailable in your Google Analytics keyword reports and cannot be used as part of your SEO strategy.

SEO Glossary Letter O

Glossary Letter O

Off-Page SEO: refers to everything you do outside your website that affects its search engine rankings, including social media marketing, guest blogging, and links from other websites. It’s also known as off-site SEO.

On-Page SEO: refers to all the factors you can control on your website. This includes the content itself, structure, and the internal links between pages and URLs.

Organic Search: A type of search where the user sees a list of results, each with its title, brief description, and URL. These results are free and appear based on the search engine’s assessment of the content’s relevance and trustworthiness.

Organic Traffic: Refers to visitors who arrive at your website or app through unpaid search engine results instead of paid advertisements. This term is also used to refer to foods grown without pesticides or other chemicals.

Orphan Page: A page on your website that is not linked from any other page; users cannot find these pages unless linked from another site or if users type in the exact URL.

Outbound Link: Any link on your website that leads to an external site. For example, if you have a link in your blog post for “Learn more about [company]” that takes the reader to another page on your site, that’s an outbound link.

SEO Glossary Letter P

SEO Glossary Letter P

Page Authority: a metric based on data from Moz, and it is an estimate of how well a given web page will perform in search engine results. This metric is calculated using the Mozscape web index data and includes linking root domains, number of total links, MozRank, MozTrust, etc.

Page Speed: This refers to the time it takes for websites or web pages to load when a user visits them ultimately. According to Google’s PageSpeed Insights guidelines, website performance should be measured by “time to the first byte,” meaning the time it takes for the first byte of data from the server to reach the user’s browser. Page speed is not directly associated with search rankings, but it impacts user experience, affecting SEO.

PageRank: A measure of how important a website is based on how many other websites link. This was created by Google and has since been replaced by other methods of determining ranking importance, but it’s still often used as a shorthand.

Pages per session: how many pages a user visits on your website before exiting. If you want to determine the success of a specific page, pay attention to this metric. Pages per session will show you how long users stay when they reach that page and what other pages they visit afterward.

Pageview: The metric that shows how many times a page has been viewed. Pageviews are counted every time any user loads the page. This is done through automatic reloading by computer programs or through refreshing by users.

Pagination: Refers to the navigation tools at the bottom of a web page or blog post that helps you see previous or later entries. Pagination systems usually include numbered links to other parts of the site and menu items to go to the next and last pages.

Paid Search: A form of online advertising where advertisers bid on keywords to display their ads as paid results on a SERP. Ads are triggered when a user searches for a specific keyword or phrase. Paid search, also called pay per click (PPC), allows the advertiser to control which pages the searcher will be directed towards after clicking. Paid is typically more targeted than organic search because advertisers can choose which keywords they want their ads to show up for. Yahoo and Yandex are examples of paid search platforms.

Pay­ Per ­Click (PPC): A type of paid search, pay­per­click is an advertising model where users are charged for the number of clicks they receive from the search engine results. It’s a model that allows advertisers to pay for their ad only when it gets clicked on and does not charge for their ad being displayed in the results.

People Also Ask boxes: Also known as PAA or related questions boxes, they are a part of Google’s SERPs that display relevant questions users have searched for similar to the one they just searched. They appear after the first query result and can be expanded by clicking “more questions” at the bottom.

Performance-Based Navigation (PBN): is a way to improve your website’s rank in organic search results by improving its domain authority. This is done by purchasing expired domains with pre-existing high levels of domain authority and linking them to your website.

Persona: A fictional representation of a group of users who use the site at different times. The persona represents the needs and desires of a specific type of user, which helps web developers design experiences that cater to those needs.

Personalization: s the practice of using data to adapt a website or platform to serve individual users better. For example, a website might personalize content by offering an article in French if a user visits from France. Or it might personalize content by providing a piece about tennis if a user’s past behavior indicates that he is interested in tennis. Personalization can be based on many things, including location, historical behavior on your site or platform, and other factors (e.g., time of day).

PHP: A server-side scripting language commonly used in dynamic sites. Code processes on the server rather than in the browser, allowing for more secure and robust websites. PHP is implemented in HTML by using unique tags that indicate where PHP code should be processed.

Pogo-sticking: When a user clicks on a result in a search query and returns to the results page without visiting any other pages. Mismatching search queries can cause a high pogo-sticking rate with the content on a landing page or a poor user experience on the landing page.

Portable Document Format (PDF): A file format used for documents that are not intended to be edited but instead viewed and printed. While PDFs are not ideal for use as web pages, some websites use PDFs for their online marketing collateral (for example, white papers and case studies).

Position: how high your web page appears on the search engine results page for a specific search query. The place is calculated using various signals, including quality of content, page’s relevancy to the search query, functionality of the site, and the domain authority.

Programming language: A set of rules tells your computer what to do with data put into files or other types of storage on your computer’s hard drive. Programming languages are commonly used to make websites work appropriately by telling browsers how to display them.

Prominence: is a way to measure how visible something is. For example, if you were to Google “best ice cream,” the first thing that pops up at the top of your search results is the most prominent result.

Protocol: A protocol is one of the ways that computers communicate with each other. Protocols determine what kind of communication can be used and how information can be transmitted and received.

Pruning: s when you remove parts of something that are no longer useful. For example, if you have many pictures on your computer that you don’t need anymore, you can delete them to make more space on your computer—this would be pruning.

Purchased links: are links that exist on one website but lead to another website. For example, if you were reading an article about cleaning products and there was a link in the middle of the article that said, “Click here to find out more about [company name] cleaning products,” this would be an example of a purchased link.

SEO Glossary Letter Q

Glossary Letter Q

Qualified Lead: A person or business has indicated that they’re interested in buying your product. There are many ways to qualify leads, but generally, you have to have contact information (email address, phone number, etc.) and a statement that you believe they intend to purchase your product soon.

Qualified Traffic: This is the audience you’ve identified as interested in your products. You can locate qualified traffic by seeing how people interact with your company’s content, email campaigns, or other marketing and outreach methods.

Quality Content:  is content that’s not only well-written but also relevant and useful to the reader. Quality content gets straight to the point and provides value beyond entertaining or informative. To get quality content, you need to focus on writing content that your audience would be interested in reading instead of writing whatever you think would do best in search engines or other algorithms.

Quality Link: link from one website to another determined to be authoritative and trustworthy, usually by a third party. Links from high-quality websites will benefit your website more than links from lower-quality websites.

Query or Search Term: A query is a word or group of words used to search for information. Queries can be primary keywords, long-tail keywords, or even questions. A query is not synonymous with a search engine but refers to the words or terms a user enters when searching.

Quicken Data Format (QDF): the file extension format used by Quicken, Intuit’s financial software. The QDF file format is used to store financial records, such as budgets and transactions, organized. Quicken can open PDF files, but they are not compatible with other programs.

SEO Glossary Letter R

SEO Glossary Letter R

Rank: In SEO, rank is where a website falls within search engine results pages (SERPs). Rank is ordered according to relevance and calculated using algorithms that consider hundreds of factors. The higher a site ranks, the more likely users will see it.

Ranking Factor: Google uses a ranking factor to determine where your website should be ranked for a given search query. Some of the most common ranking factors include having content that matches the user’s intent, having an external link from another reputable site, having pages that load quickly, and having a mobile-friendly design.

Ranking: The position of a webpage or website on the list of search results shown by a search engine. The higher the ranking, the more likely users will find and use the page or site.

Reciprocal Links: A link exchange between two sites, where each site links to the other to boost its ranking on search engines. Google now penalizes sites that use reciprocal links for ranking purposes.

Redirect: A redirect sends users and search engines to a different URL than they initially requested. The two most commonly used methods are 301 and 302 redirects, which will be explained later.

Referral Traffic: Referral traffic is traffic from outside sources or links. It is vital to monitor referral traffic because it can help you determine if your website is being linked to other websites. This will help you determine if your SEO efforts are working with other websites.

Referrer: A referrer is the site URL that indicates where a user has come from before landing on your page. For example, if a user clicks on your link from Facebook, Facebook would be their referrer.

Regional keywords: Regional keywords are keywords that include a geographical location. For example, “Los Angeles dog groomer” would be a regional keyword.

Reinclusion: In web optimization, reinclusion refers to bringing a website back into an Internet search engine’s index after it has been removed.

Relevance: In the context of web optimization, relevance is a term that refers to how closely any given page or piece of content matches up with what a user is searching for.

Render-blocking scripts: These are computer codes that prevent a webpage from being viewed until they have been completely downloaded. Render-blocking scripts can lead to users abandoning a website because it takes too long to load.

Rendering: The process performed by a computer to make plain text (like HTML) into a readable, interactive display for users.

Reputation Management: This is the process of tracking and improving or restoring a brand or public image. This can be done by frequently monitoring and responding to commentary through social media.

Resource pages: Resource pages are designed to provide value to readers. They typically link out to other websites, and they’re often used as a marketing strategy for getting links from other websites.

Responsive Website: A responsive website detects the size of the screen it is being displayed on and changes its format accordingly. This way, it can be viewed optimally on phones, tablets, and desktop computers without requiring separate applications for each platform.

Return on Investment (ROI): Is a performance measure that evaluates the efficiency of an investment. ROI calculates how much profit was gained from an investment compared to how much money was invested.

Rich Snippet: A Rich Snippet is a piece of HTML code that enhances the presentation of search engine results. They are usually used to mark up data about specific objects such as movies or recipes, but they can also display other kinds of data like events and reviews.

Robots.txt: A document that lets search engines know which pages on a website crawlers should access and which pages they should not. It functions as a guide to tell Google’s crawlers which parts of your website they should crawl and index and which features they should ignore.

SEO Glossary Letter S

Glossary Letter S

Schema.org: a set of public schemas (or structured data) that web admins can implement to help their websites get better search visibility in Google Search results. Schema.org originated as an initiative between Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and Yandex to make it easier for site owners to provide more detailed information about their sites to enable rich snippets in search engines.

Scraped content: An exact copy of all or part of another Web site. Scraped content is generally considered bad for search engine optimization, as it doesn’t add value for a user—it just creates more results with the same information as other results.

Scroll depth: A measure of how far down the page the user has scrolled during their visit. This can be used to improve page design and to identify where users are abandoning their visits.

Scrum board: A visual way of tracking progress on a project in an agile environment. It typically includes cards with tasks, which can be moved from one stage of development to another as the process moves forward.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Advertising on the search engine results page (SERP). SEM campaigns focus on improving visibility on the SERP through advertising to drive users to your website. You can then convert them into customers or leads by giving them a reason to take action on your site once they’re there.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO):  a set of practices and strategies designed to improve the ranking of a website in search engine results. This is achieved by enhancing a website’s technical architecture and content, ensuring it is relevant to the terms people search for. The goal of SEO is to improve rankings for relevant keywords.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP): The page a search engine displays when an end-user enters a query. The results are made up of paid listings and organic listings. Paid listings are shown on the SERP because the advertiser purchased them; organic listings are those that appear naturally because they match the user’s query.

Search Engine: A software system that indexes information on websites so that users can perform keyword searches and find relevant websites. Search engines such as Google and Bing use spiders, or web crawlers, that visit websites on the internet, retrieve their content, and index it in a database. When a person enters a query into a search engine, the search engine uses algorithms to determine which sites to show.

Search Forms: are boxes on Web pages that let users enter keywords for searches. Site visitors can then click “search” to a SERP with all results matching their keywords.

Search History: A record of searches a person has made in the past. Information about a user’s search history delivers personalized results, such as new information about topics the user has searched for recently or predictions of what the user is searching for based on past behavior.

Search Quality Rater Guidelines: Used by Google to train its search evaluators and used as a general guide for best SEO practices. The guidelines provide users with a positive experience from their search engine results page (SERP) visit.

Search traffic: This phrase is used to refer to the amount of traffic that goes to a site through organic searches. There are other types of traffic in SEO, but this one relates explicitly to organic searches. The ranking of a page changes its traffic level.

Search volume: The number of times a phrase or word is searched over time in search engines. This can be measured over varying periods, from daily or monthly trends to long-term research for general trends. It’s essential to figure out which search volumes are most significant for your content planning process.

Seasonal trends: These keywords have strong usage spikes or dips over the year. Maybe your products are only popular during certain seasons, or perhaps you want to maximize returns by ramping up advertising for certain products during peak seasons. Either way, you want to make sure your campaigns capitalize on seasonal trends in your industry when they arise.

Seed Keywords: These are the starting points you use to build a keyword list to help you achieve your optimal SEO goals. Typically, these words are relevant to your business and describe a product or service you offer. You can find seed keywords by running a query through Google Autosuggest and using their suggested search terms as your starting point for further research. 

Sentiment: Sentiment is the feeling or emotion associated with a piece of content. Advertisers generally want positive sentiment around their products and services to drive sales, but it’s also vital for them to identify negative sentiment to address any issues with their offerings before it hurts their brand reputation too much.

SERP Features: Aree elements on search engine results pages (SERPs) provide users with additional information about their query without leaving the results page. Common examples of SERP features include knowledge panels and local packs.

Session or Visit: A visit is a single engagement (of any length) with a site by a user. A session is a total of time spent on a website during a visit.

Share of Voice: The percent of impressions won in search results for a specific keyword, brand name, etc., compared to others in the industry. This metric can also be used as a competitor metric to determine who wins in the search. Not to be confused with Share of Market.

Sitelinks: Search results are displayed below a Web page’s title, link, and meta description. Typically only displayed if Google determines these links are relevant to the user’s search query.

Sitemap: A complete list of all pages available on a website. Sitemaps are helpful for SEO as they make it easier for Google to crawl through your site and index all available pages.

Sitewide Links: A sitewide link is a link that appears on every page of a website. These links are often found in the site’s header or footer, and they are usually used to direct visitors to the highest-priority pages on a site, such as the home page or “About” page.

Social Media Platforms (websites and apps): These websites and apps allow users to create and share content and interact with other users. Common examples of social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Telegram, WhatsApp, Tumblr, Reddit, Flickr, TikTok, and Viber.

Social Media: The many platforms that enable people to communicate via the internet. Social media is a crucial part of modern life for many people worldwide; it also plays a vital role in business marketing efforts. These platforms are constantly changing as new social media sites emerge and trends shift toward different types of content or functions.

Social Network: A social network is a group of people who interact through various channels. Social networks exist in person as well as online. Online social networks include platforms like Facebook and Twitter that allow people to connect over the internet.

Social Signal: Online activity that shows a person’s interest or preference for something. Search engines frequently use social signals to determine the popularity of content and sites, which are then used to rank them in search results.

Spam Score: A percentage that describes how closely a given site resembles known spam sites. The score is calculated by running a series of algorithms on the site’s pages and can be generated by free online tools.

Spam: Unsolicited or unwanted information (usually email) sent in bulk to several recipients. The term “spam” was derived from a skit on Monty Python’s Flying Circus. In this skit, customers at a restaurant repeatedly order a meal called spam, which appears throughout the scene without explanation. The name “spam” caught on as a term for unwanted email because it is frequently repeated without context.

Spammy tactics: Unethical SEO practices designed to manipulate or trick search engines into boosting keyword rankings or site visibility. This includes using automated programs (“bots”) to simulate traffic, using misleading page titles or meta tags to trick readers into clicking through, and running link farms (networks of sites that are all linked together).

Spider: A spider is a program that automatically browses the internet to index its pages for search engines. The process of a spider locating and indexing pages is called crawling.

Split Testing: Split testing (aka A/B testing) compares different versions of a web page or other marketing material to see which version performs better. This is done by randomly showing different visitors different versions of the content and then measuring metrics such as click-through rates, bounce rates, or time on page to determine which version performs better in terms of the goals of the content.

SRCSET: is the URL where your images, GIFs, and videos will be stored on your site. The default setting is usually /images for pictures and /gifs for GIFs. We recommend constantly changing this so it’s not something like /images/hi-res.gif (which could go anywhere in the world) or, worse, like /gifs/hi-res.gif (they’re very hard to find).

SSL certificate: used to encrypt data on a website before it’s sent from the server to the browser. SSL certificates are also required for secure connections when connecting to an online store like Amazon or eBay.

Status Codes: A status code can be a number or a message displayed in response to an error or other issue. The first digit of the status code indicates the class of response and is used as the general indicator of whether a request was successful. For example, a 2xx code means the request was successfully received and processed; a 4xx code means there was an error in the client’s request; and a 5xx code means there was an error on the server’s side of things likely because of something the client did.

Stop Word: A stop word is a word that search engines ignore when crawling content. Stop words are often prepositions, conjunctions, pronouns, and articles. For example, “and,” “the,” “or,” and “but” are all stop words in English. Stop words are ignored because they provide no semantic value for understanding the meaning of a phrase or sentence.

Structured Data: Refers to any data in a fixed field within a record or file. This includes relational databases and spreadsheet files. A data model usually defines the data that is found in these fields. This model may be associated with a database or one or more files.

Subdomain: A subset of another domain. It is usually used for organizational purposes (e.g., http://blog.website.com ). This can be helpful for sites with large amounts of content because it allows you to segment content into different sections or subsections of your site (e.g., careers section or product pages).

SEO Glossary Letter T

SEO Glossary Letter T

Taxonomy:  A taxonomy is a way of categorizing content. A taxonomy is usually hierarchical so that each category contains subcategories, and each subcategory contains more granular types. In the context of Web Optimization, a taxonomy helps visitors find the content they’re looking for by allowing them to break down their search into smaller categories.

Thin content: Content that provides little value, either because it has no accurate information or is so short that there’s not much for readers to consume. Thin content can signal that you’re trying to stuff keywords into your text; search engines are increasingly wary of this practice and likely push down pages with narrow content.

Thumbnails: A miniature version or preview of a larger image. Thumbnails are typically used to display a preview of an image before clicking on it to view it at full size. They are also used as links to open something in another window, such as clicking on a thumbnail for an item for sale to see details about that item on a new page.

Time on page: Time on-page is the amount of time a user spends viewing a particular web page before navigating away. This metric can help you determine the quality of your content and whether visitors are finding it engaging enough to read through it entirely.

Title tag: The title tag helps search engines understand your page better. It’s also the first thing people see when they search for something relevant to your page, so take some time to think about what will get people to click on it. They’re usually 50-60 characters long and include the keywords you want your page to rank for.

Top-Level Domain (TLD): A TLD is the domain extension at the end of a URL (like .com). There are lots of different ones, and they have different meanings. For example, a .edu means that the site belongs to an educational institution, while a .gov means a government site.

Traffic Acquisition: How visitors arrive at your website. Some examples include direct traffic (someone types your URL into their browser), referral traffic (someone clicks a link to your site from another site), social traffic (people visit your site after clicking a link on social media), and paid traffic (visitors come to your site through an ad).

Traffic: The volume of visitors to a website or webpage over a period of time. Traffic metrics can evaluate how successful a web page attracts visitors from search engines over time.

Transactional queries: this is a search term indicating that the user intends to complete an online purchase or other commercial transaction. A typical example of a transactional query would be “buy blue shoes.” It is commonly theorized that users who conduct transactional queries are further along in the buyer’s journey and, therefore, more likely to convert.

Trust: the way search engines decide whether your page is authoritative and worthy of ranking high for specific keywords. This is, of course, complicated, but it’s based on things like backlinks, internal linking, domain age and authority, and more.

TrustRank: A method of determining which pages on the web should be trusted and therefore presented first in results pages. It categorizes trusted seed pages, then propagates that trust throughout the web graph. Pages with the highest TrustRank are considered the most trustworthy and are shown at the top of SERPs.

SEO Glossary Letter U

Glossary Letter U

Uniform Resource Locator (URL): The unique address of a web page on the internet, which includes the protocol (for example, http://), server name (for example, www.), and path (for example, /glossary).

Unique visitor: The number of unique visitors to a website, calculated by looking at a selected period (e.g., one month) and counting the number of individual clients who visited the site.

Universal Search: A feature on search engine results pages displays results from different entities within the engine’s index (e.g., videos, news, images) and traditional organic search results.

Unnatural link: Link that appears to have been created to manipulate search engine rankings rather than creating value for a user. This is often done by spamming links on external sites or making a large number of links within the same website. Links are considered unnatural when they are not part of a regular linking pattern expected in typical circumstances.

URL folders: Directories where you can find content on a website. For example, if you want to view all of the content on the topic “glossaries,” you would go to the URL folder “/glossaries”. This will give you an organized list of glossaries that can be sorted by date, author, or keyword.

URL Parameter: The URL parameter is a set of characters following the question mark in a URL that communicates information that the server will need to provide the correct content to a web server. It is often used in dynamic websites built with a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla. The parameter helps the server determine what kind of content to display for a given page. For example, if you visit a news site and click on an article about dogs, the URL parameter would let the website’s server know which piece you meant. A URL parameter can be as simple as “id=5” or more complex, depending on the amount of content and features available on your site.

Usability: The ease with which users can navigate through and accomplish tasks on your website. Many variables affect usability, including page load speed, sound and video quality, clarity of text, user-friendliness of buttons and other interactives, and so much more. Usability issues can create obstacles between your customers and their goals when using your site; good usability makes it possible for them to find what they need quickly and easily.

User-Agent: A string of text that identifies the web browser to the web server, enabling the webserver to send data about the web browser’s capabilities back to the browser.

User Experience (UX): The overall experience users have with a product or service, considering all aspects of their interactions with it (including accessibility) from start to finish and beyond—even after the product has been purchased or consumed.

User-Generated Content (UGC): Content created by online users rather than companies or brands. UGC can be found on websites, social media platforms, and other online channels. An example of UGC is a customer comment about a product on a retailer’s website.

UTM code: A line of text added to the end of a web page URL that identifies the traffic source to that page. For example, if you post a link to your website on Facebook, you could add a UTM code at the end of it to tell Google Analytics exactly where the traffic is coming from.

SEO Glossary Letter V

SEO Glossary Letter V

Vertical Search: Vertical search engines are specialized search engines that focus on specific topics or industries rather than providing general results across all possible websites. For example, Google Shopping and AllRecipes are vertical searches for shopping results and recipes. Vertical search engines can sometimes give better results.

Virtual Assistant: Virtual assistants are programs that automate specific tasks for you. You can ask them questions or give them commands like “show me my schedule for tomorrow” or “create a new appointment at 2 pm with Delilah.”

Visibility: refers to the number of people who visit a website. Monthly visitors generally measure visibility, and it can be improved by increasing the number of links to a website, optimizing web pages for search engines, and using social media platforms to increase brand awareness.

Voice Search: Voice Search is a relatively new feature that allows users to speak their search query instead of typing it into a search bar. Voice Search will enable users to search more quickly and perform searches while engaged in other tasks.

SEO Glossary Letter W

Glossary Letter W

Webmaster guidelines: Webmaster guidelines are effective rules for how to design a website so that it appears on search engine results pages (SERPs). These rules include making sure that titles are clear and page content matches its title or that web pages have working backlinks and meta tags. Following webmaster guidelines increases the likelihood of a site’s web pages appearing on SERPs.

Webpage: A webpage is a single page within a more extensive website. It can be reached directly through its unique URL (or Internet address). Webpages are often grouped cohesively based on common themes or general topics, which help visitors navigate between pages and find what they’re looking for more easily.

Website Navigation: The user interface allows users to interact with a website. It is the primary means of navigation through a website and gives users access to all the site’s information. Web navigation can be done in various ways, such as using clickable buttons, drop-down menus, or links. It also includes the text and images to indicate what you’re clicking on.

Website: A website is a collection of web pages (or documents) that can be viewed online. It usually consists of text and images but may also include other media such as video or audio files and hyperlinks to other websites. You may have heard it being “on the internet,” which means it’s accessible through any device with an internet connection (such as your computer).

Webspam (or spamdexing): The deliberate manipulation of search engine results in pages to get higher rankings for particular websites, often by using black-hat techniques such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, and link farming.

White Hat: The term “white hat” refers to SEO techniques that align with the guidelines from search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! White hat techniques include creating high-quality content and building relevant links.

Word Count: The number of words in a text document or website. This is particularly important in blog entries. The most successful word entries have at least 700 words.

WordPress: WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL that runs on servers and allows users to create, edit and manage their websites. It was created in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg, who continues as the project’s chief executive officer (CEO). WordPress powers approximately 43% of the websites today, including millions of blogs.

SEO Glossary Letter X

SEO Glossary Letter X

XML Sitemap: A file that contains the URLs for a website and additional metadata (such as page update frequency and importance) about each URL. This allows search engines to crawl the site more intelligently.

XML: is an acronym for eXtensible Markup Language. It’s an open standard for encoding data in XML format. It was created by an international group of companies, including IBM and Microsoft. Still, it gained wide popularity when adopted by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversees web standards.

SEO Glossary Letter Y

Glossary Letter Y

Yahoo: a web services provider that offers paid search advertising through its network of websites and apps. They provide users with email addresses and portals for news, sports, entertainment, games, and finance. Yahoo! has become a subsidiary of Verizon Communications since 2017 but still operates independently through its brand name.

Yandex: Yandex is a Russian corporation that was founded in 1997. It provides Internet-related products and services such as an internet portal, an email service, an information retrieval system (Yandex Search), and many other web resources, including maps, videos, translations, etcetera.

YMYL pages: pages whose content can potentially affect a user’s future happiness, health, or wealth. These pages are considered to have high authority and must be vetted by Google engineers to ensure they meet a certain quality standard. They are often used in conjunction with the term E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness), representing the qualities that makeup YMYL pages.

Yoast SEO: A WordPress plugin that helps optimize your website for search engines. Yoast SEO analyzes your web page’s content and improves it to make it more likely to be found by the type of users searching for that content.

YouTube: The second most popular search engine (the number of searches per month) after Google. Google owns YouTube but maintains its algorithm, updated multiple times since it was first launched in 2005. The most recent update was named “October 2021 Core Update” and focused on EAT and user experience signals. YouTube also announced plans to introduce a new ranking factor called “brand signals” later this year or early next year.

SEO Glossary Letter Z

SEO Glossary Letter Z

Zero-Click: A zero-click search is when someone finds what they need in the knowledge panel without visiting any websites from the SERPs. Zero-click searches are becoming more common as Google adds features like featured snippets, videos, images, and other types of content to their results page (known as SERPS).

This SEO Glossary it’s the last entry of our Web Optimization Saga of articles. Of course, we’ll continue to write about these subjects in the future. Here you can find all the pieces.

First article: Why is web optimization so important

Second article: A Practical Guide to Managing SEO on Your Website or E-commerce

Third article: A Step-By-Step Guide to Create a Successful Blog for your Web or E-commerce

Empower Your Store
with Scalater

At Scalater, we excel in delivering top-tier development services for both Shopify and WordPress platforms. Our skilled team crafts custom themes, apps, and plugins to create unique, high-performing websites tailored to your business needs. Whether you're looking to enhance your Shopify store or build a robust WordPress site, we prioritize user experience, seamless functionality, and innovative solutions. Partner with Scalater to transform your online presence and drive your business forward with exceptional, tailored web solutions.

Scalater Development Request