99 SEO Terms Every Marketer Should Know

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  • # 301 REDIRECT a method of telling web browsers and search engines that a web page or site has been permanently moved to a new location. 404 NOT FOUND the error shown when the server was unable to locate the URL. 404 error pages can negatively affect search engine rankings.

  • A AFFILIATE a site that markets products or services provided by another site in exchange for monetary compensation. ALGORITHM a program used by search engines to determine what pages to suggest for a given search query.

  • A ALT TEXT (alternative text) is a word or phrase that can be inserted as an attribute in an HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) document to tell Web site viewers the nature or contents of an image.

  • A ANCHOR TEXT the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. In modern browsers, it is often blue and underlined. AUTHORITY SITE a very high quality, trusted website that ranks higher than others with similar content.

  • B BACKLINK an incoming hyperlink from one webpage back to your own webpage or website. Also called inbound links. BLACK HAT SEO the use of SEO tactics that do not follow search engine rules designed to increase page rank in search engine queries.

  • B BOOKMARK a link to a website saved electronically in a browser to enable quick access in the future. BOT programs, also called spiders or crawlers, used by search engines to run autonomously and gather information across the internet to use in search engine indexes.

  • B BOUNCE RATE the percentage of people who leave your website after viewing only a single page. BREAD CRUMBS website navigation that typically appears horizontally across the top of the webpage to provide links back to previous pages or lists other pages on the website to find more information.

  • CCANONICAL ISSUE the problem that arises when 301 redirects are not properly placed and creates duplicate content allowing the same piece of content to be accessed by more than one URL. CLOAK a black hat technique of delivering different content to the search engine spider than that seen by actual users.

  • C CMS (Content Management System) a computer application that allows users to create, edit, and publish content from a central interface (such as WordPress) and eliminating the need for content creators to have sophisticated coding skills.

  • C CONTENT the writings and images associated with a brand that appear on the webpage and offsite that are designed to inform, entertain, and engage target audiences. These may include landing pages, blogs, podcasts, videos, ebooks, webinars, case studies, infographics, white papers, and other materials.

  • C CONVERSION the transformation of a website visitor to a person that has completed a measurable goal such as filling out a form, signing up for a product demo, ordering a product, or any goal established by the website owner. CONVERSION FORM a form used on a website to collect information about site visitors in order to target them for additional follow-up.

  • CCONVERSION RATE the percentage of website visitors to complete the desired action such as filling out a form. CRAWLER a program that browses websites systematically looking for information to include in search engine indexes.

  • C CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) the coding language that determines how pages will appear on the website and includes things like headers and links.

  • D DIRECTORY a site created to provide links to websites. Yahoo! Directory and DMoz are two examples. DOMAIN the main web address for a website, commonly referred to as a domain name.

  • D DOMAIN AUTHORITY a measure of the power of a domain name. One of many search engine ranking factors. DOORWAY (or gateway) a black hat technique of creating web pages to attract web crawlers using specific phrases with the intention of sending visitors to a different page.

  • D DUPLICATE CONTENT identical or significantly similar content that appears on the internet in more than one place. DYNAMIC WEBSITE a web page that displays different content each time its viewed. What is shown on the page is based on user interaction or pre-set conditions, such as time of day.

  • F FINDABILITY the ease with which information on a website can be found on the internet either from within the website or from search engines. FRICTION anything that gets in the way of conversions and can include slow loading pages, typos on a form, pages not optimized for mobile, or anything that impedes a visitor from concluding your desired action.

  • F FRAMES a web page design element that allows two pieces of content to appear on the same page, each inside its own box. FOLD the place on a website page where the page is cut off by the bottom of the users monitor or screen. Search engines place priority on content above the fold.

  • G GIZMO small applications installed in webpages to use information fetched from other websites and displayed locally. Also known as a widget, gadget, or portlet. GOOGLE JUICE the imaginary substance that allows web pages to rank higher in Google SERPs. Google juice is associated with links from high authority websites.

  • H HEADINGS the text on your website that is placed under one of the heading tags. H1 to H6. Since these are more prominent that regular text, keywords and phrases should be included in headings to improve search engine rankings.

  • H HTML Hyper Text Markup Language - the formatting and layout code that search engines read. SEO best practices include keeping HTML as clean as possible to allow search engine crawlers to find your content easily and often. HUB a highly trusted web page that links out to other quality pages relating to the same topic.

  • I IMPRESSION the number of times a website has been visited or viewed by a user. INBOUND LINK a link from one site into another. Links from high authority sites can boost site rankings for the receiving site. INDEXED PAGES the pages on a site which have been indexed.

  • I INTERNAL LINK a link from one page on a website to another page on the same website. INDEX (NOUN) a database of web pages and their content used by the search engines. (VERB) to add a web page to a search engine index.

  • J JAVASCRIPT a scripting language designed to allow web designers to include interactive content.

  • K KEYWORD or key phrase - the word or phrase a user enters when searching on the internet. KEYWORD CANNIBALIZATION the excessive use of the same keyword on a website making it difficult for search engines and users to find the best page for specific information.

  • K KEYWORD DENSITY the percentage of the same keywords on a single page. A page with too high of keyword density will be penalized by the search engines. KEYWORD RESEARCH the process of finding relevant keywords and keyword phrases to use in content marketing and advertising efforts.

  • K KEYWORD STUFFING a black hat SEO technique to increase the density of keywords on a page to get the attention of search engine bots.

  • L LANDING PAGE the page visitors first land on when they find your website through the SERPs. LATENT SEMANTIC INDEXING also known as long-tail searches - search queries that use three or more words strung together to resemble the way people commonly look for information.

  • L LINK a hypertext link reference that takes you to another document or another position in the same document when you click on it. LINK BAIT website content designed to attract attention and encourage others to create hyperlinks from their own sites or via social media in an effort to improve SERP rankings and increase authority.

  • L LINK BUILDING the process of actively cultivating more inbound links to your site. LINK CONDOM any of several methods used to protect outgoing links and prevent them from endorsing a bad site or to discourage link spam in user generated content.

  • L LINK EXCHANGE an agreement between two sites to provide inbound links to each other with the goal of increasing search engine rankings. Link exchanges are often facilitated by sites with directory pages. LINK TEXT the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink that signals to the search engines the relevancy of the landing page associated with it.

  • L LONG TAIL KEYWORD keywords with two or more words in a phrase representing a more targeted search query by the user. Long tail keywords are more targeted, less popular, and less competitive than single, generalized terms.

  • M MARKETING INTELLIGENCE data, such as that provided by GinzaMetrics, that provides brands with the insights they need into marketing channels, content, and competitors to drive strategic decisions about what content to create and which channels to pursue.

  • M MASHUP mixing at least two applications or other small programs on a single page. METADATA the data that tells search engines what your website and content are about. Metadata includes meta description, meta keywords, and meta tags.

  • M META DESCRIPTION a brief description of the contents of a page stated in less than 155 and more than 5 words that helps search engines and users determine the relevancy of website content.

  • M METRICS the data used to understand the activity on a website. Basic metrics include things like the number of visitors, bounce rate, page views, and average session duration. MIRROR SITE a nearly identical or duplicate website that uses a different IP address. Creating mirror sites or mirror pages is in violation of search engine rules and can result in severe penalties.

  • NNATURAL SEARCH RESULT also known as organic results. These are the search engine results that are not sponsored or paid for in any way and are organized by relevancy. Organic search results can be improved by following good SEO practices and including relevant keywords in metadata and content.

  • N NEGATIVE SEO a form of sabotage using links and anchor text in an attempt to manipulate search results and lower the ranking of competing pages. Using an analytics tool that provides daily crawl data to your site will help you to identify and remove negative SEO before it causes damage to your site through search engine penalties.

  • N NOFOLLOW a command placed in the code of a page to prevent a link from passing SEO credit to another site. One form of a link condom used when linking to external pages that you do not want to endorse. NOINDEX a code which tells search engine crawlers not to index a page so that it cannot be found in search. A form of link condom.

  • O ORGANIC LINK links to your content and website from other websites that consider the content of value.

  • P PAGE TITLE the name you give your webpage. Page title is viewed at the top of the webpage and in search engine listings. Target, relevant keywords should be included in the first few words of the title. PAGE RANK a value between 0 and 1 assigned by Google to rate the value of your web page in terms of popularity, trust, authority, and overall SEO value. Note: page rank relevancy is changing.

  • Q QUERY the actual words a user enters into the search engine, usually in a form of a question. The most common queries begin with How to, What is, What does, Where is, Who is, Why is, Why do, etc..

  • R RANKING FACTOR one of many factors Google and other search engines take into account when ranking a web page including the number of inbound links, the contents of the title tag, and relevancy to the search query. RECIPROCAL LINK two sites that link to each other in the hopes of raising SEO value. Search engines dont consider reciprocal links as high value links because of their mutually beneficial nature.

  • R REDIRECT a method of alerting browsers and search engines that a page has moved when a site has moved to a new domain or when a doorway page has been employed. 301 redirects are used for a temporary change of location and 302 redirects are used for permanent changes. ROBOTS.TXT a standard used by websites to direct and control web crawlers and other bots.

  • R REFERER STRING a piece of information that follows a user from page to page on the web. Marketers and SEOs use this information to determine the customer journey and to know how target audiences are finding their websites. RSS FEED Really Simple Syndication - RSS feeds are a way to get automatic updates from a website. Setting up an RSS feed for your blog will allow your audiences to get updates as you post


  • S SCRAPE a technique of using bots to copy content from one website to another. The practice is illegal and used by spam websites to fill their pages with content from legitimate sites. SEARCH ENGINE a website designed to match user queries to the most relevant content available on the internet. Google and Yahoo are examples of search engines.

  • S SEO Search Engine Optimization - the practice of making sure that a website and its individual pages are easily crawled by search engine bots. SEO best practices ensure that pages are well structured, landing pages and other content on the site have the necessary metadata and use relevant keywords wisely, and that no 404 errors, or other coding errors, exist.

  • S SERP Search Engine Results Page - the page users are sent to after entering a query in the search bar. Typically a SERP contains 10 results on the first page, which makes website and content optimization critical to being included in these top results. SITE MAP a page, or specially structured group of pages that provide a map of all the webpages on the site to help search engine spiders index the website and

    find all the site pages.

  • S SOCIAL BOOKMARK a practice of saving bookmarks to a public site as a way to introduce others with similar interests to relevant sites. SOCK PUPPET a fake identity created in order to anonymously promote a person or brand through blogs, wikis, forums, and social sites.

  • S SPAMDEXING also known as search engine spamming and black hat SEO. Spamdexing is the practice of deliberately modifying web pages to manipulate search engine indexes into ranking them higher in the SERPs. SPIDER a specialized bot used by search engines to find and add web pages to their indexes.

  • S SPIDER TRAP a set of web pages designed to create an infinite loop of links that prevent automated scraping or email address harvesting and may cause a poorly designed spider (crawler) to crash. SLASH PAGE often animated, introduction pages to a website. Although splash pages look attractive to users, they have very little SEO value because they lack textual content and crawlers can only navigate through text links.

  • S STATIC PAGE a page on a website with fixed content that delivers the same content to every visitor every time. A static page does not contain dynamic programming languages. Static pages provide good SEO value for a site.

  • T TEXT LINK an HTML link that contains only text and does not include graphic or special codes. Text links are most easily read by crawlers. TIME ON PAGE the amount of time a visitor spends on any one webpage. The longer users engage in content on a page, the higher the relevancy of the content.

  • T TOOLBAR RANK not the same as page rank. Toolbar rank is a value between 0-10 given...


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