SEO Glossary 2023
SEO Basic Terms
Crawling forms the foundation of Indexing. Also known as “Search Engine Crawler,” “Bots,” “Web Robots,” or “Web Spiders,” they traverse websites and determine their content so that it can be added to the search index and evaluated for its relevance to a user’s search query.
With crawling management, you can direct the search engine’s bot to examine all the pages as frequently as possible, i.e., the links essential for Indexing and Ranking. The indexing management then determines which crawled pages are indeed indexed, i.e., should be included in the search results for relevant queries. After a search engine has indexed a webpage, it will rank it based on the ranking standards. It will determine where it appears on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP).
Google Indexing is the process through which Google’s search engine categorizes and saves websites in its massive database. Consider it a large library that Google consults when consumers do searches.
By indexing your website, it becomes eligible to appear in search results, exposing it to a larger audience and boosting the likelihood of getting organic visitors.
The ordering of indexed web pages based on their relevance to a specific search query.
A web crawler bot is an automated program that navigates through websites, collecting data and indexing web pages. A search engine crawlers main objective is to collect data in order to compile an index of online sites that will allow for speedy and effective searches. Essentially, web crawlers copy pages and store their information through indexing.
Web crawler bots employ algorithms to determine which pages to crawl and how frequently to revisit them. Web crawlers start their journey by identifying a set of seed URLs, which are the initial web pages from where the crawling process begins. These seed URLs can be manually provided or generated through various means.
The process a customer goes through, from becoming aware of a product or service to making a purchase decision.
A set of rules and calculations used by Google to determine the relevance and ranking of web pages
A search engine results page, commonly known as a SERP, is the outcome presented by search engines in response to a user’s query. Google SERP displays a combination of organic google search results, paid advertisements, and other relevant elements to provide users with the most useful and comprehensive information related to their search.
When a user enters a query into a search engine, the search engine algorithm scans its vast index of web pages to find the most relevant results. It takes into account various factors such as relevance, authority, and user experience to determine the order and content of the SERPs. Once that is done, the search engine returns the most relevant pages on it’s SERP.
A metric that measures the number of clicks on an email to the total number of delivered emails used to evaluate the effectiveness of an email campaign.
Product listings displayed on a SERP, usually with images, pricing, and a link to purchase.
Additional links under a search result leading to specific pages within a website
A group of images related to a search query displayed on a SERP.
Long-form, high-quality articles featured on SERPs for certain queries.
Rich information snippets displayed on SERPs, usually providing quick answers or facts.
Sidebars on SERPs displaying information about entities, such as businesses or public figures.
A section on a SERP displaying news articles related to a search query.
A list of questions related to the search query displayed on a SERP.
Technical SEO is the process of improving a website’s technical components to increase its exposure and effectiveness in search engine results. It ensures that search engine spiders can crawl, index, and understand a website’s content effectively, leading to higher rankings and increased organic traffic.
Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol, used to encrypt data transmitted between a user’s browser and a website.
Page speed is the period it takes for a web page to load all of its information and open up to users. It is an important indicator that gauges how quickly and effectively a website delivers material to users. The time it takes for pictures, text, scripts, and other multimedia elements to load is one factor that makes up page speed.
How fast people can access and engage with the material on a web page is directly impacted by page speed. A quick page speed makes surfing easy and fun, but a slow-loading website may cause annoyance and higher bounce rates. Websites with quicker page loads have a greater chance of retaining visitors, performing better overall, and achieving higher search engine rankings.
On the other side, websites with sluggish page speeds run the danger of losing user visits and could need assistance with search engine positioning. Therefore, improving page performance is essential for both SEO and site development.
A robots.txt file or Robots Exclusion Protocol is a plain text file placed on a website’s server that serves as a communication tool between the website owner and search engine crawlers (also known as robots or spiders). It provides specific instructions to these bots, guiding them on how they should interact with the website’s content.
The robots.txt file uses directives to define which parts of the website the search engine crawlers can access and index and which parts they should avoid. Website owners use these directives to control the crawling behavior of search engine bots and protect sensitive or private content from being exposed in search engine results.
A sitemap is a file, sometimes in XML format, that includes a list of all the web pages on your website. It serves as a roadmap or directory for search engine crawlers, allowing them to discover and navigate through your website’s content more efficiently. Essentially, a sitemap provides a concise summary of the structure and organization of your website.
The URL, the most recent modification date, and each page’s relative relevance in your website’s overall structure are all included in a sitemap. This information is crucial for understanding each page on your website. This information helps search engines understand the organization of your website and index its content more effectively.
The Hreflang attribute is like a special code that websites use to talk to search engines. Imagine you have a website that speaks different languages. You want to make sure that when someone searches for something, they get results in the same language that they understand.
Human-readable sitemaps often used for website navigation.
Machine-readable sitemaps used by search engines to discover and index web content.
XML sitemaps specifically for video content.
XML sitemaps specifically for image content.
Uniform Resource Locators – unique addresses used to locate web pages.
Core Web Vital is a set of data that Google created to measure how well websites work and how well users like them. These statistics reveal a lot about how users perceive how quickly, vibrantly, and steadily a web page loads. Core Web Vital is made up of three main parts:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): The most considerable Contentful Paint rates how quickly a website loads. It tells the user how long it takes to see the site owner’s most significant information, like a picture or a block of words. When LCP times are faster, users have a better time.
First Input Delay (FID): First Input Delay is all about interaction and being able to respond. A page with a smaller FID is more flexible.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Cumulative Layout Shift checks the security of how things look. It counts the number of odd layout changes while the page loads. Fewer working parts improve the user experience when the CLS number is low.
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Content that appears on multiple web pages, which can cause SEO issues.
Markup added to a webpage’s HTML that helps search engines understand the content and display it as rich snippets.
A standardized form of structured data used by major search engines. Schema markup uses special tags or properties defined by Schema.org, a group of big search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex.
These tags describe different information, like events, products, reviews, articles, recipes, and more. By using schema markup, web admins can give more specific details about their webpage’s content. This includes things like attributes, relationships, and properties.
Search engines use this structured data to understand the content more accurately. They can show it in special ways, like rich snippets, knowledge panels, and other enhanced search results.
Adding schema markup helps in improving your website’s SEO performance.
A type of structured data markup used to provide additional information about web page content.
Status Codes / Response Codes
Numeric codes indicating the result of an HTTP request, such as 200 (successful)
200 Response Code
HTTP status code indicating a successful request.
301 Response Code
HTTP status code for a permanent redirect, used when a web page has moved to a new URL.
302 Response Code
HTTP status code for a temporary redirect, used when a web page has moved to a new URL temporarily.
404 Response Code
HTTP status code indicating that a requested web page was not found on the server.
500 Response Code
HTTP status code indicating a server-side error.
503 Response Code
HTTP status code indicating that a server is temporarily unavailable.
Off-page SEO (or Off-Site SEO) refers to the optimization strategies and activities that are performed outside of a website to improve its visibility, authority, and rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs). While on-page SEO focuses on optimizing elements within a website, off-page SEO focuses on external factors that influence a website’s perception and reputation by search engines and users.
Off-page SEO primarily involves building high-quality backlinks from authoritative and relevant websites and web pages, establishing brand authority, and increasing online exposure through various channels and platforms. It involves activities such as link building, social media engagement, influencer marketing, content promotion, online PR, and more.
Backlinks, also known as inbound links or incoming links, are hyperlinks from external websites that direct users to your website. They are an essential component of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), especially your Off-Page SEO strategy, and play a crucial role in determining your website’s authority, visibility, and rankings in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
A link that enables search engines to follow it from one website to another is known as a “Do Follow Backlink.” It’s like endorsing the connected site when a website connects to another with a Do Follow Backlink. It tells search engines that the linked material is worthwhile and should be considered when ranking the search engine results pages and results.
No Follow Backlinks are a unique type of hyperlink that plays a different role than their DoFollow counterparts. While Do Follow Backlinks pass on SEO value and influence search engine rankings, No Follow Backlinks operate differently.
When a website links to another using both a dofollow backlink and a No Follow Backlink, it adds a small code called the “nofollow” attribute. This code signals search engines not to follow the link or consider it when calculating a website’s authority or rankings. In other words, No Follow Backlinks do not pass on the same SEO “link juice” as Do Follow Backlinks do.
Editorial Backlinks are like prized gems coveted by website owners and marketers alike. These backlinks hold a special place because they are entirely organic and earned through the merit of your content. But what exactly is Editorial Backlinks, and why are they so valuable?
Editorial Backlinks are linked naturally earned when other reputable websites or authoritative publications reference your content as a valuable resource. Unlike other types of backlinks, you don’t have to request or manipulate the process to get them. These links come to you naturally when your content is seen as informative, valuable, and trustworthy.
Guest Blogging Backlinks have emerged as a powerful and effective way to enhance a website’s authority and visibility. This unique link-building strategy involves contributing valuable and relevant content to other websites in exchange for high-quality backlinks to your site.
Guest blogging offers a win-win situation for both parties involved. The website hosting the guest post gets fresh and informative content for its audience, while the guest blogger can reach a new audience and gain a valuable backlink.
The clickable text within a hyperlink that directs viewers to another web page is called “anchor text.” or link text. The anchor text is the word or phrase you can click on when underlined or highlighted on a website. The content of the text is linked to another page or resource when you click on the anchor text.
Both users and search engines are guided by the anchor text, which describes what they can access when they click the link. Additionally, it gives search engines valuable details about the connected page’s content. Search engines use anchor text to determine the context and applicability of the linked page to particular keywords or subjects.
Links from other websites pointing to a specific web page.
A factor used by search engines to determine the relevance of a web page to a specific search query.
The process of contacting website owners or editors to request backlinks.
Link Building Campaign
A coordinated effort to acquire high-quality backlinks to improve a website’s search engine rankings.
Link Building Processes
Techniques and strategies used to acquire backlinks.
Link velocity is the frequency at which backlinks to your domain or website become established over an interval period. It is the measure of how many links you develop directed to your website every month. The metric most commonly used is the number of new links gained every month. It is referred to as link-building or backlinking, which are precisely the same process.
A lead with a higher level of interest or engagement with a brand is considered more likely to become a customer than other leads.
Private Blog Networks – a group of websites owned and controlled by a single entity, used to manipulate search engine rankings through artificial backlinks.
A manipulative link-building technique where websites link to each other in a circular pattern to increase search engine rankings.
Official statements issued by a company or organization, often used as a link-building tactic.
The practice of rewriting existing content to create a new, unique version, often used for low-quality link building
Websites that accept and publish user-submitted articles, often used for low-quality link building.
Unwanted promotional messages posted on online forums, often used for low-quality link building.
Blog Comment Spam
Unwanted promotional messages posted in the comments section of blog posts, often used for low-quality link building.
A hyperlink that leads to a non-existent or inaccessible web page.
Broken Link Building
A link building tactic where a website owner is notified of broken links on their site and offered a replacement link to a relevant web page.
A high-quality, relevant backlink that can positively impact a website’s search engine rankings.
Instances where a website or brand is mentioned online without a hyperlink, which can be converted into backlinks through outreach.
Keywords and Keyword Research
Words and phrases that users enter into search engines to find information
The number of times a specific keyword is searched for within a given time period.
Highly competitive and popular keywords with high search volume.
Long tail keywords are longer, more descriptive, and potentially attract relevant traffic. The phrases typically consist of more than three words and specifically serve the searcher’s own search intent here.
Since long-tail keywords are highly specific queries, they tend to have a lower search volume or a low search volume. However, these phrases can bring a valuable audience to a website, boost conversion rates, and further enable a business to expand and prosper. According to facts, the average conversion rate for a long-tail keyword is about 36%. These phrases are designed to accurately mirror how individuals conduct searches, allowing a business to reach focused audience segments.
Latent Semantic Indexing LSI keywords are related phrases or words used with your primary keyword to give your content more meaning and make it more relevant to search engines.
LSI keywords are, in a nutshell, words and sentences that have the same meaning as your primary term. For example, if your main term is “dog food,” some LSI keywords might be “best dog food brands,” “dog food ingredients,” “pet nutrition,” and so on. Based upon the latent semantic analysis, these words are semantically related keywords.
Short Tail Keywords
Broad, more competitive keywords with high search volume.
These search terms suggest that consumers seek information or solutions to their problems. The questions often take the shape of “how to,” “what is,” or “why” statements.
Informational keywords include “how to lose weight” and “benefits of meditation.” Informational content should meet the user’s search intent by offering useful and thorough information.
Users use navigational keywords to find a certain website, company, or online location. These terms are often connected to branded searches.
For instance, navigational keywords like “Facebook login” or “YouTube” are used. To make it simple for consumers to locate them, websites should ensure they are optimized for brand-related navigational keywords.
Commercial keywords imply that people are investigating goods or services while still in the purchasing process’s contemplation stage. Frequently, these keywords will include the phrases “best,” “top-rated,” or “reviews.”
Commercial keywords include “best smartphones under $500” or “top-rated laptops.” In this stage, businesses should optimize their content to provide consumers with insightful comparisons and insights.
Users who employ transactional keywords are prepared to purchase or carry out a certain activity. Frequently, these searches include the phrases “buy,” “order,” or “subscribe.”
The term “buy Nike Air Max 2023 online” is an example of a transactional keyword. Websites should focus on transactional keywords to attract people prepared to make purchases.
Google Keyword Planner
A tool provided by Google Ads to help users research and analyze keywords for search engine marketing campaigns.
A keyword research tool that provides keyword suggestions, search volume, and other data.
Answer the Public
A visual keyword research tool that displays search queries as questions, prepositions, and comparisons.
Keyword Difficulty Tool
A tool that estimates the level of competition for a specific keyword, helping users identify which keywords to target.
A popular all-in-one SEO and digital marketing platform that offers tools for keyword research, competitor analysis, site audits, and more.
Keyword Magic Tool
A keyword research tool within SEMrush that provides keyword suggestions, search volume, and other data.
The study of meaning in language, often used in SEO to understand the relationships between words and phrases.
Seed keywords are basic and general phrases describing a website’s main subject, concept, or specific content. They are the basis of any Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plan and the basic starting point for keyword research. Seed keywords often cover various relevant subjects and are brief and general. If your website is all on health and fitness, for instance, your seed keywords may be “fitness,” “health,” or “exercise.” These keywords are a starting point for future keyword research and refining and provide a basic overview of the website’s primary emphasis.
Keywords by Search Intent
Keywords grouped based on the user’s intent, such as informational, navigational, or transactional.
Low Competition Keywords
Keywords with lower search volume and competition are often easier to rank for.
Niche keywords are specific, laser-focused search terms that target a small part of a bigger market or area.
These terms are aimed at a small group of people with specific hobbies, needs, and reasons for searching. Instead of using broad or general keywords, websites can use niche keywords to target a smaller, more involved audience.
Known as branded keywords, they identify a particular business, item, or service. They are utilized by customers searching for or are already acquainted with a brand since they are closely related.
Branded keywords often signal consumers’ intentions to visit a particular website or interact with a particular brand and have strong search intent.
Unbranded keywords, however, don’t include any particular brand names. They are broader and more representative of the wider range of goods, services, or subjects that people are drawn to.
Users who use unbranded terms are still considering their options or researching before purchasing. Thus, they may still need to have a brand preference.
Keywords that your competitors are targeting or ranking for, which can be used for competitive analysis and strategy.
Primary and Secondary Keywords
The main keyword(s) targeted on a web page (primary) and additional, related keywords (secondary) that support the primary keyword and provide additional context.
On-page search engine optimization, also known as on-page optimization, is the practice of increasing the visibility and rankings of specific web pages inside search engines’ results pages. It entails improving numerous features and facets of a web page to make it more relevant, reachable, and appealing to both people and search engines.
On-page SEO focuses on improving a webpage’s content, organization, and HTML source code. Website owners and digital marketers want to increase the likelihood of better ranks and enhanced organic traffic by employing on-page SEO tactics. These techniques give search engines clear signals about the content and relevancy of their web pages.
Components of a web page, such as headings, images, and links, that can be optimized for SEO.
Title Tags, also known as, page title or HTML title tag, define the title of a document or a web page in HTML. A title tag is an HTML code that resides in the header section of every webpage. Another similar HTML tag is the meta description that is also found at the top of the page’s HTML code.
Their primary purpose is to let search engines and website visitors know what to expect from the webpage’s content. To see a title tag in action, open a web browser and navigate to any website. The title tag is the text you see in the tab at the top of your browser.
A component of a web page, such as an image, link, or heading.
An HTML element used to define headings and subheadings on a web page.
HTML elements that define the hierarchy of headings and subheadings on a web page, ranging from H1 (most important) to H6 (least important).
The H1 tag is an HTML component that specifies a webpage’s primary heading.
All primary internet browsers, like Chrome, Android, Firefox, Edge, Opera, Safari, etc., align well with the H1 tag. Search engines use the H1 tag, the most fundamental component of a webpage, to comprehend the page’s subject matter.
For example, if your website is about ‘data visualization tools,’ you should use the H1 tag given below:
<h1> Data Visualization Software </h1>
The H1 tag has a straightforward syntax. The text you want to appear as the main page header should go between the opening and closing h1 tags – <h1>…</h1>.
H2s and H3s
Heading tags used for subheadings and subsections within a web page.
Text used to divide and organize content within a web page, typically formatted using heading tags.
A group of words or phrases used as a search query.
Keyword cannibalization is a common SEO problem when multiple website pages target the same or similar terms. Search engines need clarification due to the website’s pages competing, which diminishes each page’s chance of ranking well. It is two or more pages competing with the same keywords.
It’s similar to having many cooks attempting to prepare the same dish in a kitchen. The effect is chaos and waste; no cook can make the meal excellent. In the world of SEO, keyword cannibalization causes search engines to lose focus and direction, making it hard for them to figure out which page is the most important and deserves a better rating.
A method of matching web page content to the intent behind a user’s search query.
Alt text, short for alternative text, or alt tags is crucial in web design and accessibility. It is a descriptive text that is added to an HTML image tag or the image file to provide a textual representation of the image’s content. Alt text is primarily used to assist individuals with visual impairments understand the purpose and context of an image on a website.
When an image fails to load or is disabled, the alt text replaces the image, allowing users with visual impairments to access the information conveyed by the image. Alt tag is also beneficial for search engine optimization (SEO) as search engines rely on it to understand and index images accurately.
An image that is inserted directly into a web page’s HTML code.
Keywords that are specifically chosen to be optimized for a web page’s content.
A meta descriptions are a summary or snippet of text that provides a concise overview of the content on a web page. It is an HTML meta description tag in the head section of a webpage’s HTML code.
A meta description gives search engines and users a preview of what the page is about before they click on it in search engine results pages (SERPs). Meta descriptions appear below the title tag in search results and are usually limited to a specific character count.
Meta Descriptions can easily be changed in CMS such as WordPress using Yoast, RankMath and AIESEO plugins.
The URL (Uniform Resource Locator) structure for SEO refers to how URLs are organized and formatted on a website to optimize its search engine rankings and improve its visibility in search results. It involves creating URLs for your web address that are user-friendly, descriptive, and relevant to the content they represent.
Search engine optimization is based on how well the URL is set up. It helps search engines figure out what a web page is about and why it’s important, which can affect where it ranks on SERPs (search engine results pages). A clear and brief URL can also improve the user experience by letting people know what the page will be about before they click on it.
A meta description that is too long, causing it to be truncated in search engine results.