SEO Terminology: A Glossary of the Most Popular SEO Terms

You have probably noticed slang and abbreviations in the SEO world. We’ve compiled and categorized all important SEO terms and their definitions below.

Click to discover a particular term you are interested in or read on for all definitions from A to Z.

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10x content

Content that is ten times better than current content, in the rankings, with the highest ranking for a given keyword.

200 response

HTTP code indicates that the server successfully requested access to a particular page or resource.

301 redirect

Redirection takes the user to a new URL link and tells search engines that a page has been permanently moved to another location.

302 redirect

Redirection takes the user to a new URL link and tells search engines that a page has been temporarily moved to another location.

304 not modified

HTTP code that is an implicit redirect to a cached resource.

404 Error

HTTP code indicating that the server was unable to find the desired/searched page or resource.

410 gone

HTTP code indicating that the requested resource is no longer available on the server and no forwarding address is known.

The

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Open source HTML frameworks to create simplified versions of web pages that load faster on mobile devices.

Ahrefsbot

A tracker that powers Ahrefs’ backlink index and related SEO tools.

Alt Text

Descriptive text that appears instead of an image when it was failing to load.

Anchor Text

Clickable word or phrase that connects one web page to another.

Article spinning

Writing technique is considered spam and that turns a single article into several others.

Article syndication

When a website publishes content that originally appeared on another website.

Auto-generated content

Content that is automatically generated using a program or code.

B

Backlinks

Links to pages belonging to other websites.

Bing Webmaster Tools

Free service from Microsoft that helps you monitor and identify issues with your website’s appearance in Bing search results.

Bingbot

A system that powers and sustains the Bing search engine.

Black Hat SEO

The use of SEO strategy and tactics that violate search engine guidelines.

Bounce rate

The percentage of visitors who take no action after entering a website.

Branded keywords

Words and phrases associated with a brand, product, or service.

Breadcrumb navigation

Internal links that give users (and search engines) a clear navigation path within a website.

Bridge page

Page designed to get performance under a keyword and redirect users to another different destination.

Broken link

Link on a website that points to a non-existent resource. These can be internal or external links.

C

Cached page

State of a page, visually, the last time Google visited it.

Canonical Tag

HTML code that tells Google what you consider to be the parent version of a page.

Canonical URL

Link URL that Google sees as the “parent” of a page or group of pages.

Co-citation

When a website is mentioned by two other websites.

Computer-generated content

Content is created by a program that is equated with a human creating it.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Globally distributed, a networked server that makes it easier for users to access your website.

Content hub

Collections of content, linked together, on a similar topic.

Co-occurrence

When keywords appear together on pages about a certain topic.

Core Web Vitals

Metrics that are part of the Google experience page and that are used to measure user experience (UX).

Cornerstone content

The most important pages or posts on your website.

Crawl budget

How fast and how many pages a search engine wants to crawl on your website?

Crawlability

The ability of a search engine to access content on a web page.

Crawler

The “robots” that search engines use to discover drifting web pages.

D

Dofollow link

A link that transfers PageRank, better known as the link being “followed”.

Domain Rating (DR)

The power and authority of a website are based on its backlink profile.

Doorway page

Pages were created to obtain results and good performance in similar searches.

duplicate content

Content that appears on the website in more than one location.

Dwell time

Time elapsed between when the user clicks on a search result until they return to the page listing the search engine results.

Dynamic URL

Link URL that contains content that depends on variable parameters.

And

Editorial link

A link pointing to your website (which you didn’t ask for or aren’t paying for).

Email outreach

The process of getting your product or content in front of a relevant audience by sending personalized emails.

Entry page

The first page a user visits on your website.

Evergreen content

Content that has no “expiration date” or expires = timeless content.

External link

Link from your website to another website.

F

Faceted navigation

Type of navigation found in a category/file page on websites dealing with various listings and topics.

G

Gated content

Content that visitors can only access after providing their contact information.

Gateway page

Pages were created to perform specific and similar searches. Also known as “doorway” pages.

Google Alerts

Free Google service that monitors when content changes, matching a specific search with certain keywords.

Google algorithm

Set of rules used by Google to match search results when a user performs a search.

Google Analytics

Google’s free service tracks and monitors traffic to a particular website.

google autocomplete

Search suggestions were given by Google when trying to perform a new search.

Google bombing

When a website gets a high performance on Google for an irrelevant and unrelated search, using SEO techniques known as black-hat.

Google Business Profile

Free business listing, by Google, that appears on maps and various search results.

Google Caffeine

The search index was introduced by Google in 2010, which allowed it to index even more content and provide search results in a faster and more up-to-date way.

Google dance

Slang term that describes the vulnerability of a new website or page experience, when Google is still determining its performance and ranking in searches.

Google Hummingbird

An algorithm was launched in 2013 by Google to return better search results. This algorithm emphasizes the search direction rather than individual-level keywords.

Google Knowledge Graph

The knowledge base of entities and degrees of relationship with each other.

Google Knowledge Panel

Search engine results (SERP) functionality that provides information about the main topic of a given search.

Google My Business

Free Google service that allows business owners to create, manage and optimize their Google business profile.

Google Panda

An algorithm update released in 2011 by Google, rewards high quality websites and penalizes low quality websites in their search results.

Google Penalty

A penalty was taken by Google to demote a page or website in its search results. Such a penalty can be through the algorithm or done manually.

Google Penguin

Google algorithm update was made in 2012 to lower the quality of websites that relate to manipulative content links and keyword misrepresentation.

Google Pigeon

Google algorithm update was made in 2013 to improve search results for local constituency keywords.

Google Sandbox

Google filter that prevents new websites from appearing at the top of search results.

Google Search Console

Google’s free service helps to monitor and identify problems with the appearance of the website in a given search result by the user.

Google Top Heavy Update

Google algorithm update was made in 2012 to reduce the quality of websites with too many ads at the top of their pages.

Google Webmaster Guidelines

Google best practices to help find, index, and evaluate your website.

Google Webmaster Tools

An old name for Google Search Console ( Google Search Console ).

Googlebot

A web crawler that powers Google’s search engine.

Grey-hat SEO

The use of SEO strategies and tactics that draw the line between white-hat and black-hat.

Guest blogging

Create content for another website.

Guestographic

Infographic created by yourself but published on other websites.

H

H1 tag

HTML character title is commonly used to mark the main title of a page.

Header tags

HTML elements are used to define titles and subtitles on a page.

Hilltop algorithm

The algorithm was created by Google in 2003 to identify authority pages on the web so that they have results.

Holistic SEO

The practice of improving all aspects of a website to achieve high performance in search engines.

Hreflang

HTML attribute that informs Google about alternative versions of a web page, adapted for different languages ​​and geographic regions.

HTTPS

Encrypted version (HTTP) that protects communications between your browser and the server from being intercepted and targeted by a computer attack.

I

Inbound link

Link from another website to your website.

Indexability

The search engine’s ability to analyze and save a web page in its files.

Informational query

Query where someone wants to find information, not products.

Internal link

Link to another page within the same website.

Interstitial ad

Interactive ads that take up the entire screen and cover the interface of a website or application.

J

Javascript SEO

A part of SEO that seeks to make heavier websites (made in JavaScript) easier to find in a search result.

K

Keyword cannibalization

When a website unintentionally targets the same keyword across multiple posts or pages.

Keyword density

Percentage of the total words on a page that are a specific keyword or phrase only.

Keyword Difficulty

Metric is used by SEO tools to estimate the ranking difficulty of a given keyword.

Keyword ranking

The position in an organic search for a particular keyword.

Keyword stemming

Process of reducing a word to its “root” or “genesis” (example: flowers, flowery -> flower).

Keyword stuffing

Repeating the same keywords (or similar phrases) in your content when trying to manipulate rankings.

Keywords

Words and phrases that people type into search engines to look for what they want.

L

Link bait

Content specifically formulated to attract other links.

Link building

Process of getting other websites to link to pages on your website.

Link equity

Authority’ is passed when one page connects to another.

Link exchange

Consent for two websites to link to each other.

Link farm

Group of websites created to connect in order to improve their joint performance in search results.

Link popularity

The number of backlinks pointing to a particular website.

Link profile

Evaluation of all backlinks (in quantity, quality, diversity, etc.) that a website has.

Complaint link

The process of trying to recover lost backlinks.

Link rot

Natural tendency for links that appear corrupted on the web over time.

Link scheme

Links to manipulate the page ranking ( PageRank ) or ranking of a website in Google search results.

Spam link

Irrelevant linksare  placed on pages to try and improve search engine rankings.

Link velocity

The growth rate for a backlink associated with a website.

Local business schema

Structured data type to help local businesses optimize their SEO with a focus on their geographic area.

Local citation

Any mention that is made of your business name, address and online phone number.

Local pack

Search Engine Results Page (SERP) functionality that appears for localized searches and that shows local profiles on Google Business.

Local search marketing

The process of improving your presence in local searches using SEO tactics or paid ads.

Local SEO

The process of ‘optimizing’ your online presence for high performance in Google searches in your geographic area.

Log file analysis

In server logs, you analyze the behavior of search engine bots to discover opportunities to improve SEO.

Long-tail keyword

A search term with a low traffic volume.

LSI keywords

Incorrect name for semantically related words and phrases. (LSI keywords do not exist.)

M

Manual action

Removal of websites/web pages, performed by Google, for websites that do not comply with the so-called webmaster guidelines.

Meta description

HTML attribute used to describe what that particular page is about/what it is about.

Meta keywords

Meta tags give some search engines (not Google) more information about a page’s content.

Meta redirect

Code that tells the browser to redirect the user to a different URL after a certain period of time.

Meta robots tag

HTML snippet that tells search engines how to crawl or index a page.

Meta tags

Pieces of code that communicate important information about your page to search engines.

Mirror site

A copy of a website hosted on a different server.

Mobile-first indexing

Google’s move to use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking.

No

Natural link

A link that is created organically.

Navigational query

When someone is looking for a specific website.

Negative SEO

When someone uses black-hat tactics (SEO) to try to sabotage the rankings of a competitor’s website or page.

Nofollow

Tag that tells Google not to take a link into account for ranking purposes.

Noindex tag

Tag that tells search engines not to index a page.

No-referrer

HTML attribute that prevents referrer information from going through another link.

Not provided

Keyword data that Google does not share with you via Google Analytics.

O

Off-page SEO

Any extraordinary efforts (and not directly related to the website) to improve your search engine rankings.

On-page SEO

The practice of optimizing a page’s visible content and source code to rank higher in search engines.

Open Graph meta tags

Bits of code that control how URLs are displayed when shared on social media.

Organic search results

Unpaid search results that cannot be bought or influenced by advertisers.

Organic traffic

Traffic is generated from an organic search on search engines by a user.

Orphan page

Page without internal links pointing to itself.

Outbound link

A link pointing to a page that is not on your website.

P

Page speed

The time it takes for a page to load and/or open.

PageRank

A formula that evaluates the value of a page by looking at the quantity and quality of other pages that link to it.

Paid link

backlink that you pay to get.

People also ask

Search engine functionality that answers questions related to a given user search.

pogo-sticking

The process between search engines and the results showed, that which occurs when a user cannot find the desired content.

Private Blog Network (PBN)

A network of websites specifically designed to link to and improve the rankings of others.

R

RankBrain

Component of Google’s algorithm that uses sophisticated algorithms to understand the meaning of unfamiliar words and phrases.

Reciprocal link

When two websites are connected to each other.

Reconsideration request

Request for Google to review your website after fixing identified issues with a manual action or notification of security issues.

Related searches

Search suggestions related to your query that appear at the bottom of the results pages.

Resource pages

Web pages that select and link to useful resources.

Rich snippet

Google search results with additional data, usually coming from structured data on the page.

Robots.txt

The file informs search engines where they can get information or not from your website.

S

Markup schema

Code that helps search engines better understand and represent your content in search results.

search algorithm

List of rules used by search engines to rank matching results when a user performs a search.

Search engine poisoning

When malicious hackers create bogus websites that appear to be legitimate search results. The aim is to steal personal information or install malware on affected users’ devices.

Search intent

The reason behind a search.

Search query

The words and/or phrases people type into search engines to find what they want.

Search Visibility

The visibility of your website and related pages in organic search engine results.

Search volume

How many times a month, on average, do people in a given country search for your main keyword?

Secondary keywords

Terms related to the keyword you want to target.

Seed keywords

Keywords that define your niche market and help you identify your competitors more accurately.

IF THE

The practice of optimizing a website or webpage to get more high-quality traffic from organic search results.

SEO audit

The process of evaluating a website to see how it performs in search engines.

Silo SEO

The grouping of topic-related web pages via internal links.

Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)

Search engines show pages in response to a particular user’s search on search engines.

SERP features

Non-traditional search results provide information directly to search engines so users don’t have to click through.

Share of voice

Brand visibility in the market.

Short-tail keywords

Terms with a high search volume.

Site links

Links to other pages or sections of a page that appear in some Google search results.

Sitemap

XML file that lists all the important and main content on your website.

Sitewide link

The outbound link that appears on every page of a website.

Spamdexing

Deliberate manipulation of results that come up in search engines, using techniques that go against guidelines.

Sponsored link attribute

The attribute of a link that shows that a link is a paid, sponsored or affiliate link.

Srcset

HTML attribute that allows displaying different versions of an image for different screen sizes and resolutions.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

Protocol for securely establishing a private connection between networked computers.

ADDITIONAL NOTE.

SSL is an old technology that has been replaced by Transport Layer Security (TLS). However, people often still use old terminology (SSL) when referring to TLS.

Structured data

A standardized way of providing information about a web page.

Subdomain

A part of the URL left in the root domain, for example, help .ahrefs.com

T

SEO taxonomy

Search engine optimization through content structure organization.

Technical SEO

Making technical tweaks to help search engines find, crawl, understand and index your pages.

TF-IDF

Statistical measure that aims to judge the importance of a word in a given document.

Thin content

Content that has little or no value to the user.

Title tag

An HTML element is used to specify the title of a web page.

Top-level domain (TLD)

Last segment of a domain name, such as .com or .org.

Transactional query

A query that tells you when someone wants to buy something but hasn’t decided where to buy it.

Transport Layer Security (TLS)

An updated, more secure version of an SSL link, is used interchangeably with SSL.

TrustRank

The algorithm parses links to separate useful pages from pages created for spam.

U

UGC link attribute

The attribute of a link shows when it is user-generated content (UGC). It is used for comments, forum posts, or any other content section where users can add new content themselves.

Unnatural links

Links in the content of a page that are not editorially placed or approved by a website owner.

URL Rating (UR)

The strength of a page’s backlink profile is on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the strongest.

Slug URL

The final part of a URL that (usually) explains the content of a page.

V

Vertical search

Search engine dedicated to a specific area in focus.

Voice search

The use of voice to interact with a search engine (instead of searching using text).

W

Website structure

The structure indicates how a website is organized and its pages are interconnected.

Webspam

Pages were created to manipulate search engine rankings.

Website authority

A metric of SEO tool providers that measures the relative strength of a website. (Ours is Domain Rating.)

White Hat SEO

The use of Google-approved SEO strategies, techniques, and tactics.

X

X-robots-tag

HTTP header sent by a server that controls the indexing of a page.

And

YMYL pages

Pages on topics that could affect a person’s happiness, health, financial stability, or security in the future.

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