113+ SEO Glossary Terms & Definitions
JustRank is going to introduce the SEO glossary and give a comprehensive list of definitions for common terms.
It will include a glossary of basic SEO concepts and more advanced/generalized terms in alphabetical order.
For those who want to learn more about the concepts and how these terms are being used.
Make sure you check out our articles in our learning section with more in-depth explanations of some terms on this list.
Above The Fold (ATF)
- This means your pages are visible and readable at a single glance by the user. It is the top portion of the page where information can be read, seen, and clicked by a user.
- A specific part of your URL will be used to direct users to a specific section of your website. For example: “Click here for more info on…”, “Click our links below to learn more about…”, etc.
- This is the text that describes/represents an image on a page. It is embedded in the image code and is only visible to the search engines, but can be seen by everyone who visits your website. Alt tags are important to fill out so that you can tell the search engines what to expect when they crawl your site. They can also be used as keyword fodder for your website.
- The text that is used to direct users to a specific section on your website/blog. There are two different types of anchors: Internal and External. The internal anchor points to a specific part of the page, while the external anchor points over/to a specific section on an external website.
- The program used by the search engines to decipher and measure content on a website. The search engine algorithms use “spiders” (programs that run through websites) to analyze how a website is coded, how it is designed, what it contains (text, images, videos), and where it ranks on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).
- This is created when you develop a website with a lot of high-quality content. The more links that point to the website, the higher its authority will increase. If your website has been around for a long time and has been consistently updated and posted to, it will start to gain authority over time.
- Backlinks are links that point to your website from an external website. These links can either be internal or external, but they determine the amount of authority and trust you have for ranking on the SERPs.
- Search engine by Microsoft.
Black Hat SEO
- This refers to SEO strategies that aim to gain ranking movement by manipulating the algorithms. Black Hat SEO mainly focuses on positioning your website in a way that brings it to the top of the SERPs in a short time frame. It also involves creating spammy sites and/or purchasing links (the more links, the better), producing low-quality content, and more. Black Hat SEO can be harmful to your actual website and business.
- A blog is a type of website that contains news and updates for an audience. You can share topics and articles that you would like your readers to see, and you can post these updates at a specific time frame. This is good because it allows you to keep your audience up-to-date on current events in your industry.
- Bounces are when users leave your website. Bounce rate is a percentage that shows how much of the time that the user actually spent on your website. A high bounce rate is bad for your landing page because it indicates that most people are leaving your page quickly after they arrive, and it also suggests that you have a relatively low conversion rate, i.e., visitors leave before they can interact with your page’s content.
- The breadcrumb is usually located in the left corner of your website’s header, and consists of a list of phrases that determine the path/route to your specific page. In order to find the breadcrumb, you have to move up from your page through each level of navigation until you find it. This is helpful for users because they can easily see where they are on your site if they do not know where exactly they want to go.
Broken Link (404 Error)
- When a link that you have posted on your site does not work anymore, or it is no longer valid, this is what you will see at the end of the sentence. If a link is broken on your website, then there is most likely a problem with the coding or programming. Search engines will also know if your links are not working and they can devalue your site for having “bad links.
- The cache stores all the search engine results and web data so that they can be accessed at a later time. With the cache, your websites can load much faster because it takes less time for the search engines to look through them.
- Cannibalization is when you have two or more copies of the same content on your website. This creates a problem because Google will only index one version of the content, and it will split the links for all versions. This is not good for SEO because Google will not rank it as highly.
Click Through Rate (CTR)
- The click-through rate is a metric that shows how many visitors click on your website’s link. Formula for CTR = click/impression x 100%
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
- Conversion Rate Optimization is when you optimize your landing page to increase the likelihood of conversion of your users. For example, you can create a landing page for the “Contact Us” form so that if someone clicks on it, they will be taken directly to the form.
- This is the code used to verify whether or not a user is a human or not (spam bot).
- This can be a “main” URL or a “hierarchical” URL depending on what you want to do with it. It is important to set your canonical URL so the search engine bot knows which version carries the most important weight.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- The Content Delivery Network is used to “host” your website’s content on a server in order to make it more available from many different places on the internet. This allows for faster loading speed and a lower chance of the page being down when someone visits it.
Click-Through Ratio (CTR)
- The click-through rate is calculated by dividing the number of clicks through your site and divide it by the number of impressions.
- The ccTLD (country code top-level domain) is a unique domain suffix for a country in the world. Each country in the world has their own ccTLD, for example, .us is used for the United States of America and .my is used for Malaysia.
- Cloaking is a way to hide text in images. The website visitor is unaware that text exists inside the webpage. Cloaking can be used as a form of spamming and to hide malware or other web-based threats.
Click-To-Action Button (CTA)
- The Click-To-Action button is the button that needs to be clicked in order for the visitor to take an action on your website. It may be a link, a form, an icon, or anything else that prompts site visitors to take action on your website.
- Content Management System. A web-based application used to develop and manage websites. It allows users to create pages and content.
- A citation is a reference to another source. Citations should be in the reference list of any paper or project that uses other sources. If it is not, most commonly used referencing styles will require that you cite the source in the body of your paper to prevent plagiarism.
- The schedule of crawl frequency and the total number of an URL for a live site.
- Describes issues found during the crawling of your site. For example, missing links (links in your content that do not actually link to another page) are crawl errors.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheet)
- CSS is the part of a web page that controls what formatting is done to the text and images on the page.
Core Web Vitals
- Core Web Vitals is a way of measuring your website’s performance by analyzing three factors: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
- Distributed Denial of Service attacks involve multiple compromised systems that use a single Internet connection to flood a targeted server with bogus requests and consume its resources.
- A disavow link is a link that you have instructed the search engines not to use. This can be done by submitting it for removal or submitting it to a website blacklist. This could be used when you think your competitors are selling rankings, trying to manipulate links, or using spammy tactics.
Domain Name Server (DNS)
- A specific server that groups together all the websites on the internet and keeps them unique so that they do not look like one another.
Domain Authority (DA), Domain Rating (DR)
- Domain authority / Rating is a metric that ranks the quality of a website. It measures the quality of the content, external linking, usability, etc. It combines all of these factors into one number. The higher DA score, the more authority it has on the web and the better it will be at ranking. DA was created by Moz, while DR by ahrefs.
- Duplicating content is when your website has the same/very similar content as another website. Having duplicated content with multiple sources (i.e., multiple websites) will lower your page ranking because Google does not like to show the same information on multiple websites.
- The link that gives credit to the person who wrote the content on your website.
- Each entity is about a person, place, or thing. The more entities that you have on your website, the easier it becomes for Google to recognize your page and rank it.
- Featured snippets are answers to questions that are directly pulled from web pages and shown in the top section of your search results. These are also called “rich answers,” and these appear mainly for informational queries.
Footer (or footers)
- The section of a document that appears at the bottom, usually consisting of credits and copyright information. Footers can also be used as a place to put essential links on your website, such as your website address, email address, contact form, etc.
Google Page Speed
- The Google page speed tool tells you how fast your website loads in different browsers. It grades your website on how well it performs, and it tells you some easy steps you can take to help boost its speed.
- Google Analytics is the most widely used program for tracking website movements. Most analytics programs work with websites that have membership subscriptions or require manual tracks.
- The Google bot is the name given to the search engine robots that crawl and index your website. It helps to find errors and botches on your site, ensuring that it is as accurate and fast as possible.
Google Search Console
- GSC is an extension of Google Analytics. It allows you to track every single aspect of your website’s performance. Find out where you can improve, who’s leaving (spamming), the number of times a page has been visited, etc.
- The Google RankBrain is a machine learning engine that works with Google’s search algorithm. It is designed to improve the quality of search results and help the user find the information they are looking for.
- The Google SandBox is a place where new websites are placed for a certain period of time. The purpose of the sandbox is to help filter out spam and poor-quality sites by limiting their exposure until they have been evaluated. Some claimed Google SandBox is non-existence.
- Headings are used to break up sections of the text on the page. Using heading tags (H1- H6) helps Google understand the structure of your website, and it improves the search engine results by increasing relevancy.
- The .htaccess file is used to control certain aspects of your website. .htaccess files contain server-side instructions that are executed inside the web server.
- This is an extension of SSL that encrypts all traffic between your browser and the website, therefore making it “https” safe. This protects your information while it is traveling across the internet and helps keep you safe online.
Hyperlink Markup Language (HTML)
- HTML is what you use to define what your website should look like. Using HTML, you can control how links are created on your website by creating an anchor tag that connects other pages to each other.
- IMG is an acronym for “image.” IMG tags are used to embed images on a web page.
- When a link from one website goes to another website, it is considered an inbound link. This is used for SEO, and it makes a page more valuable by giving it extra weight.
- A web page that has been crawled by a search engine crawler, added to the search engine index, and is eligible to appear in search results.
- The keyword density metric shows how often a specific keyword appears throughout your content.
- Keyword targeting is the process of choosing which keywords to focus on. These keywords are used throughout your page, from your title tags to your meta description and content.
- Google collects information from a variety of sources to improve the results in its search engine. Knowledge Base is one of these sources.
- The knowledge panel is a mobile-friendly carousel that displays specific information about your business. It shows up as a result when someone searches for your business name, and it pulls information from Google My Business.
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)
- Latent Semantic Indexing is a technique that combines multiple words or phrases into a single keyword. For example: if you search for “cars,” you will receive results from the “car,” “vehicle” and “automobile” keyword metrics as well.
- A landing page is a web page designed to capture the attention of your website visitors, and it usually contains a form. Landing pages are used for many different marketing strategies such as direct sales, opt-in, lead generation, etc.
- Link juice is a term used to describe the value of a link. Links can have different types of link juice associated with them. For example, there are three types of link juice: backlinks, PageRank, and social media links.
- A Link Profile is an important part of SEO that helps Google determine how relevant your content is to the keywords it has found on your website.
- Link Farms are groups of websites that link back to each other. This is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, and it will stop Google from ranking your site in the future. Avoid at all costs.
- The Link Velocity is the amount of new links that are coming into your website over a certain period of time. This is a way for Google to see how quickly your website is gaining popularity, and it helps determine if your website will rank well.
- link building is the process of getting other websites to link back to you by creating relevant content that people will want to share.
Long Tail Keyword
- The Long Tail Keyword is a type of keyword that is more specific than the main keyword your site is targeting. It can be used to increase your website’s ranking and to improve user experience. Searches will be lower but it was very targeted and specific.
- The meta description contains a short description of the web page. It appears when someone searches for your website in the search engine and it is also used in the advertising listings on the search engine results pages.
- Meta keywords are used to describe what your website is about using a few keywords. These are invisible keywords that only search engines can see, and they do not always provide any SEO benefit.
- A website that is optimized for mobile devices and can be accessed by the user with ease.
Mobile Site (also known as a Responsive Site)
- A mobile site is a site that has been developed specifically for mobile devices. Some search engines recognize this, and it can help to boost your ranking in their search results.
- A manual action is a site-wide block that is placed on your website by Google. It can be for very specific reasons such as cloaking, spam, etc.
- The meta robots noindex tag lets you control when and where pages will show up in the search engine results. This tag tells them to not index the specified pages, therefore not showing them in the search results.
- Negative SEO is the practice of lowering your website’s ranking on the search engines in order to harm your website’s traffic and rankings.
- The nofollow tag makes it so that a link does not affect your page’s rankings or visibility in the SERPs. This means that there are no links to this page from the linking websites, but it may still be seen by the search engine spiders.
- “Not provided” in Google Analytics is a way to hide information from the users. It was to protect searches’ privacy according to Google.
- On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing your website content for search engine optimization. By using keywords, heading tags, etc., you can improve your page ranking.
- Off-page SEO usually refers to link building or activities that are off from your own site.
- A page that has no link pointing to it from other pages on your website.
- Organic search refers to a search performed using the search engine’s free search option, i.e. without any paid advertisements.
Page Authority (PA)
- The page authority metric shows how important your content is compared to every other site on the internet. This is one of the most important metrics that you should track when it comes to SEO according to MOZ.
- The page layout is everything on your web page from how you layout your content, to how it looks visually. It is what makes your website appealing and helps users navigate through to see how the content appears or where things are located.
- PageRank is a link analysis algorithm developed by PageRank. It is used by Google for ranking web pages in its search engine results. The PageRank score can be found on Moz and other SEO tools, and it is a measurement between 0-10. 10 being the highest rank.
- Permalinks are URL names that show up in the search engine results pages. Permalinks are used because they make it easy for users to locate the specific page or post they are looking for.
- Panda is a series of updates released by Google that affect rankings. Panda updates target sites with low-quality content and overused keywords, and it can lower both your website’s traffic and ranking.
- Penguin was a major algorithm update by Google in the summer of 2012. This update had a huge impact on SEO, and it stated that less competitive websites were punished and those that were paying to get higher rankings would be rewarded.
- Pingbacks are notifications that are sent from one website to another site when someone posts a comment on the other site. This helps you keep up-to-date with what others are saying about you and your business.
- A page view is a website visit. It is counted by the number of times a website has been visited.
Plagiarism (also known as Copying)
- Plagiarism is the practice of taking someone else’s work and publishing it as your own without crediting them for their work.
Private Blog Network (PBN)
- A Private Blog Network (PBN) is a website that is created by a third party website to create a link building opportunity to your company. The owner of the PBN will place links to your site throughout their own blog posts.
- PHP is a programming language that is used in Web Development. PHP is used to process and interpret user input to display dynamic content on your website.
PPC (Paid Per Click)
- PPC, or paid per click, is a paid advertising website that is used to advertise your website in the search engine results pages.
- A search query is what a user types into the search engine to look for a specific site.
- Quality raters are Google employees who review the quality and relevance of a website. They take note of all the pages on the website, especially lower-quality pages. Low-quality pages or content can be penalized in search results if it is found to be misleading or not helpful.
- RankBrain is a new addition to Google’s search algorithm that was released in 2015.
- A robots.txt file is a file that gives instructions to search engine spiders so that they know how they should crawl your website.
- A reciprocal link is a link that goes back to the same site as the original one.
- Rich snippets are metadata that are added to your web page. This lets search engine results pages show a preview of the content. It makes it easier for users to see the information that is relevant to them.
- Schema markup is a way to add additional information to your website. This helps search engines better understand your content, which can help your website rank higher in the search engine results pages.
- A sitelink is a set of links that can show up in Google’s search engine results pages.
- A sitemap is a file that you create to tell search engine spiders how your website is organized. This helps them crawl through your website without getting lost.
- Trust is the factor that cannot be measured with a Google algorithm. It’s hard to assess for certain websites, but it is something that is important when it comes to SEO.
- Traffic is the number of visitors who have come to a website over a certain period of time.
- URL redirections are files that tell search engine spiders where they should take the users when they are searching for your website.
- The URL structure is the way that your website’s URL name is organized. It includes the outline of how you want your search engine results pages to be organized.
Unique Content (U-Content)
- Unique content refers to pages on a website that are not duplicates, or copied, from other websites. This can boost your ranking on search engine results pages because it shows Google that you are updating and improving your website.
UX (User Experience)
- UX is an acronym for User Experience. It refers to the ease of use and usability of a website or application.
- Voice search is an interactive technology that allows users to search for something using their voice. This type of technology usually works on mobile devices, but it can sometimes be found on desktop computers and smart TVs.
- Website visibility is the probability of amount of people that see your website when they go to the search engine.
- Webmaster tools are a suite of tools that are created by Google to help webmasters better manage their websites. These tools allow you to check for broken links, do content analysis, track keywords and SEO metrics, and much more.
- A website review is a process that helps you find areas of your website that you need to improve or update. Here’s our advanced technical website audit services.
Webmaster Tools Account (Google)
- Google Webmaster Tools gives you a variety of information about your website, including how Google sees it, and what they think about it.
- A white hat refers to a search engine optimization strategy that uses the search engine’s algorithm for ranking content. Although it may not be immediate or as fast, it is a good strategy to use so that you don’t get penalized.
- WordPress is a web publishing software that is easy to install and use. It is used by many websites to build their sites and write content. It uses PHP in web development, which may be confusing for some of the new users.
- An XML Sitemap is a file that provides search engine spiders with a list of all the pages on your website. The XML sitemap helps to ensure that all of your pages are indexed and found by users in search results pages.
Note: this article is not intended to present the full picture of SEO, but rather present the major points that are commonly used. Please note that Google publishes new SEO algorithms on a varying monthly basis.