Wording in SEO can be an extremely difficult thing to understand - We use a ton of terms in SEO that very small, or no other industries use at all.
To help those who are looking to get an easy understanding of these words and terms.. I've created a huge SEO Glossary for you to check out.
Click the "Next Lesson" button and be taken to the next lesson whilst leaving this page open in another tab. You can simply click back and forth when you come across a word you don't understand.
My SEO Glossary of Terms
Simply press cntrl+F then type in the word you don't understand to be taken straight to the definition.
This is a type of redirection which forwards a user from one URL to an alternative URL. A 301 is a permanent redirection, often used in SEO as it passes on the majority of the link juice from the original URL to the other.
This is again a type of redirection. A 302 is temporary and therefore won’t pass the link juice to the new URL as a 302 is generally used when you will return to the first URL.
A 404 is a standard “page not found” error message which means that the URL is not active and has been removed or moved or never existed in the first place, for example, if you put a spelling mistake in URL.
3 pack AKA ‘snack pack’ or ‘local pack’
The 3 pack is googles recent change to local searches which now instead of showing 7 business listings below the map it shows 3. This has always been the case while on mobile devices but since August 2015 desktop users started to receive the same view as mobile devices.
If you search ‘plumber+(your location)’ you will most likely see an example of this.
Affiliate marketing is an SEO technique where you promote a third-party product for a commission on each sale. This is also referred to as cost per action (CPA).
An affiliate network is a company which advertises products that are looking for affiliate sellers.
This includes the likes of:
- Amazon affiliate scheme where you receive a percentage of each sale depending on the product category, ranging from 1.0 to 10% commission
- Clickbank’s affiliate network which can be up to 75% commission for selling their product
- eBay’s partner network
An agency is generally an in-house digital marketing team covering SEO, web design and PPC marketing.
This is part of HTML which tells users (and search engines) what an image is. If an image didn’t load it would display the alt text instead.
Analytics tells you details about your website such as how much organic traffic a page receives, how long they stay on the page and the bounce rate.
Anchor text is the blue underlined text displayed as a clickable hyperlink on webpages.
The bolded part is the anchor text.
Anchor Text Distribution
This is how a websites anchor text is spread out. This can be viewed through tools such as Majestic or ahrefs.
For example for https://www.paydayloansnow.co.uk/ their anchor text distribution looks like this.
This is a website which is a leader in the niche, for example for bodybuilding www.bodybuilding.com would be an authority site. They rank for many terms, have a high domain authority and are the big players in each niche.
Business to Business (B2B)
Is a type of business which is based on products or services being sold from one business to another.
Business to Consumer (B2C)
Is where transactions are between company and consumer. The consumer is generally the end user of the product. For example, someone buying a playstation from a shop.
A backlink is a hyperlink which links from another web page back to yours. This is also known as an inbound link (IBL).
Blackhat is a branch of SEO which many people claim to be the unethical side of SEO. It focuses on search engine positions by manipulating algorithms as well as on-page tricks to rank webpages, not end user experience which is ultimately what google is trying to rank.
These techniques include:
- Private blog networks
- Negative SEO
Is the process of commenting on blogs generally with generic comments containing a link. This is because a lot of blogs auto publish comments and it gives the person commenting a backlink.
While google has reduced the effectiveness of blog commenting some SEOs continue to do so.
Bookmarking is a way for a reader to tag a page, much like favourite page on your browser. Some SEOs believe that search engines will start to use this metric as a ranking factor in the future.
An example of a bookmarking site is Del.icio.us
This is a way of blocking crawlers from your site, an example of a crawler could be the likes of majestic or ahrefs. It can be done by plugins or htaccess and robots.txt.
It is a debated topic amongst SEOs whether you should block bots for your money sites or PBNs. As not blocking bots could reveal your PBN to competitors.
Bounce rate is an analytic used by google analytics which shows what percentage of users leave your website after visiting just one page.
This relates back to anchor text, an example of branded keyword would be any combination of your businesses name.
For google these would be considered as branded keywords
- Google inc
A broken link is a link website which leads to a 404 or “page not found” error page. They are often an outbound link from a website to another website.
Acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart” which does as the name suggests attempts to tell if you are a human or a computer program. These are typically a textbox where you have to type the words shown above them in but there are many variations of CAPTCHAs.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
CSS is used to determine how HTML elements are to be displayed on screen. It controls the layout of webpages.
Churn and Burn SEO
Churn and burn SEO is where riskier SEO methods or spam is used to rank a site, there is no thought into the longevity of a site. It is typically done for sites with high competition and make a lot of money and even a day of ranking on the first page could mean making £100s.
Is where a business’s name, address and number (NAP) and sometimes a link is mentioned anywhere on the internet.
Popular citations include the likes of yelp, facebook or niche specific citation sites such as urbanspoon.com
Refers to a title which uses your natural curiosity to entice you to click the link. You will often see these on facebook news sites.
They often contain text like you’ll never believe what happened next at the end.
Cloaking is a blackhat SEO technique which shows different content to users than googles robots.
Is a service that protects webpages against DDoS attacks. It was recently acquired by google.
SEOs will often use cloudflare on their PBNs as it hides their real host as it allows you to put multiple PBNs on the same host without anyone knowing.
Cold Calling (Phone)
Calling someone without their permission to do so, generally trying to sell to them.
Cold Calling (Email)
Emailing someone without their permission to do so, again generally trying to sell them something.
Looking to see what level of competition there is to rank in the SERPs against a competitor for certain keywords. This can be done using tools to compare how many backlinks they have, what their anchor text distribution looks like.
This has a few different definitions depending who you are talking to, some will consider a conversion to be turning a site visitor into a customer a conversion. Some people will consider other things such as turning a site visitor into an email list member a conversion.
A cookie for retargeting is used by facebook and google for remarketing to people who have already used your website. It allows you to create a custom audience of these people, the main benefit of this is that not only do they normally already know who you are the cost per click (CPC) is often a lot lower.
The art of writing promotional pieces for conversions, a copywriters whole aim is to increase conversions and return on investment (ROI). A good piece of copy gets into the mind of a reader, whether it’s their insecurities or makes the reader nod their head and agree as they read.
Cost Per Action (CPA)
Much like affiliate SEO, you get paid per action as the name suggests. The action could be someone downloading an app or joining an email list or a product purchase to name a few.
Cost Per Impression (CPM)
This means how much it cost per 1000 impressions. The M stands for 1,000 in roman numerals.
This is often used in banner advertising.
Click Through Rate (CTR)
How many people click on a specific link, generally displayed as a percentage. Often used in landing pages, emails and displaying data for organic search data.
For example 1st position in google receives roughly a 30% CTR.
This means for every 100 people searching the term they will receive roughly 30 clicks.
(this is a made up example)
A server which is limited to hosting a generally a single site although can be used for a small collection of sites.
A directory is a website which keeps a database of other websites sorted by categories and subcategories. You can find niche specific directories or general directories which cover many niches.
For example jayde.com
Domain Name Servers (DNS)
The DNS transfers domain names into IP addresses. Although domains are letters the internet is numeric. When you type in a URL the internet redirects your internet to the correct IP address.
Domain age is as the name suggests, how old a specific domain is, this can be found by googling ‘domain age tool’ and inputting the domain in question into one of these tools.
This is a score developed by Moz which predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. You will often use this as part of your competition analysis and used in the expired domains market a lot.
Domain Authority Stacking (DAS)
Is a technique where you link high domain authority webpages for example social properties and web 2.0s in a random pattern to each other and to themselves (most but not all the time).
This is where rather than sending everything at once you do it over a period of time, this can be done with backlinks and social signals. So rather than getting a sudden spike in backlinks which may look unnatural and spammy they come all at once.
This is content which appears on the internet in more than one place. This can lead to a google duplicate content penalty if done in a spammy way.
Earning Per Click (EPC)
How much each click to your site is worth.
For example if you get 1000 visitors and from those 1000 visitors you make £1000 your EPC is £1
Embedding a video (or any other iFrame based property) on webpage so the video is part of the webpage, rather than linking out to the video by hyperlink.
This is a term used often when discussing youtube/video SEO.
Exact Match Domain (EMD)
This is where the domain name is the keyword you are targeting.
For example keyword “plumber London”
To explain a follow link it is easier to set a scenario.
Lets assume that google ranks off backlinks alone.
Each backlink is worth a certain amount of link juice. A follow link passes on this linkjuice to the domain it is linking to and help the domain rank.
This is why authority site backlinks compared to a random blog is worth so much more as the authority sites have so much more link juice that they pass on.
This is a tag to add locations to your photos, it’s not actually supported by google any more but it is still often the term used by SEOs. Instead it is done through a locations.kml file or through tools like geotagmypic or flickr.
Google’s software that is used to track engagement data for websites. Such as visits, page views, bounce rate and time spent on page.
It can be found here https://www.google.co.uk/analytics/
Is an SEO tool / service which will make backlinks for your website. The hardest part of using GSA is having a strategy to avoid being penalised as it is spam. Most people do this by not sending GSA directly to the money site but instead to their teir 2 and 3 sites.
H1 H2 H3 H4 (etc..) tags
This is a HTML header tag that will make the text larger and more defined from a wall of text. H1 will usually be the title of the post and H2 through to Hx will generally be sub headings.
Is a space on the world wide web, you rent it from the web hosting provider. Much like a property rental it comes without anything on, you provide the filling (content).
There are different types of web hosting including:
Stands for If This Then That it is a software where you create ‘recipes’ to automate processes.
Inbound link (IBL)
These are links from other sites that have linked back to your webpage. Also referred to as backlinks.
Site A links to Site B, site B has an IBL and site A has an outbound link (OBL)
This is a term used in reference to a search engines database. If a page is not indexed it will not be found on the search engine. Indexing can be done through a few methods.
(Be sure to check out Holly Stark’s webinar on BH.C)
And this article by Matt Diggity: http://diggitymarketing.com/quick-indexing-with-this-simple-trick/
An internal link is a hyperlink which points at the same domain as the domain you are creating the hyperlink. This is used in silo structure for sites to attempt to pass link juice flow around the site, to rank the pages.
has a hyperlink which links back to
Is where you collaborate with someone or a group of people to work towards a project / release a product or service. You generally will pair with someone who has a particular skillset you do not have such as an SEO with PPC specialist or a copywriter with a traffic specialist.
These are the specific search words or phrases you want to make it possible for people to find your website from. So when they type in a search engine these specific words your content is on the first page.
How often your keyword is used on your page compared to the total number of words.
A tool provided google to analyse search data, how many monthly searches there are and the average cost per click are popular ones. It can also be used for keyword research, looking to find long tail search terms with less monthly searches but lower competition.
Can be found here:
This is an important part of finding a niche to enter as an SEO. It is where you evaluate if a niche can be profitable and how much you think you’ll need to invest to rank for this term.
People will often use a selection of SEO tools for this, I would recommend checking out the article here first to get a good overview:
This is a term to describe when a webpage is stuffed with as many keywords as possible onto a page. This isn’t only done on the content of the page but also behind the scenes on alt and meta tags.
Landing Page (or squeeze page)
A landing page is the name of a page used a lot with pay per click (PPC) advertisers it is a page visitors first open. It has been designed for a single objective, often this will be to get someone’s email or to entice them to buy a product. A squeeze page is often a term used if you are only collecting information rather than a sale eg. Email and name.
A popular landing page builder is leadpages which allows you to split text and integrate with your email provider amongst other things. Although you can often do this with a normal wordpress site using a few plugins.
This is where you attempt to gain inbound backlinks to your website. It can be done through white hat methods such as guest blogging and getting your customers to link to you or blackhat methods such as PBNs and Sape links.
This is a term used by SEOs used to explain the power of ranking factors. It could be used when discussing backlinks in the marketplace someone might talk about how their high domain authority links from forbes / BBC / huffington post will pass on more link juice than someone’s PBN links.
How quickly you add backlinks to your site, a fast link velocity would be adding a lot of backlinks over a small period of time.
This is the optimisation of local search engines, often its main aim is getting local keyword terms to rank such as “service +location” and getting in the google map pack (3 pack)
Longtail is the term for a search term generally with low competition, low search volume and over a few words. They are often overlooked terms.
[wel]An example would be the keyword “plumber ohio”[/well]
A long tail search term for this could be “sink replacement in Columbus ohio” it is a specific job in a specific location and will have a lower search volume but probably lower competition also.
A term used to describe a Google employee checking over your website by hand rather than just a google bot or ‘spider.’ Often will be used when discussing PBN building as a lot of SEOs will ideally have PBNs that they believe can pass manual reviews.
The whole process step by step of acquiring a client or sale.
A popular funnel for SEOs is:
Facebook ad to squeeze page which collects name, email,phone number and web domain.
Then do a video review of their SEO and email it to them and book them in for a time to discuss an SEO strategy over the phone which is when you sell to them.
This is a cookie which is used in remarketing. It allows you to market to the people who have already viewed your site. See cookie (re-targetting).
A meta description is a HTML attribute used to explain a websites content on a search engine. It will appears like this:
HTML attribute which helps let search engines know what your page is about so it can rank it for the correct terms.
HTML attribute that will show at the top of your browser as well and on the search engine as the title.
Money Hat SEO
This was first coined by Jacob King, he basically says that everyone is too worried about if they’re black, grey or white hat but instead should be focused on being money hat. Where you focus on making a return on investment (ROI) using SEO as the vehicle to drive the profits.
This is the site you want to rank to make money from whether it’s from affiliate, product sales or ad revenue. This is the site you are sending back links to try and rank. It is generally a lot better quality than your PBN sites as it is a site you want people to visit and purchase from.
A rating developed by Moz which represents link popularity.
You can find more here :
Is the use of blackhat unethical techniques to try and sabotage a competitors search engine rankings.
A topic or subject a website is focused on.
For example www.eastbay.com is in the sporting goods niche
Is a backlink which doesn’t pass on anywhere near as much link juice from the page. If this wasn’t in place it would mean that you could comment on a forbes post with your URL and it would be considered a backlink.
Outbound Links (OBL)
Is as the name suggests, a link from a website going out to another.
Site A links to site B. Site A has an OBL site B has an inbound link.
Off page SEO
SEO which isn’t done on the website itself like content and HTML. Instead it is stuff done off the page for example link building and social signals.
SEO which done on the content and HTML code of a page in an attempt to get it to rank better in the search engines.
Is generally referring to a page where you agree to be part of something. Most frequently this is an email list, you enter your email and confirm that you wanted to ‘opt in’ to receiving emails from this person.
Is traffic that is received from natural placement on search engine results pages, it is generally any form of traffic to a website that isn’t paid.
Outreach is trying to communicate with a target market, it can be done through different mediums such as email, phone and social media.
Page Authority (PA)
A measurement created by Moz to calculate how likely a page is to rank in google’s search results.
Learn more here:
Is how fast a webpage loads, it is a ranking factor used by google. This is because they are focusing on providing their users with a good experience, you want to ensure your page load speed is less that 3 seconds.
There are many tools to check your speed such as :
Page Rank (PR – PR can also refer to Press Release)
The score Google assigns (though hasn’t updated since 2013) to a page as the “value” a page holds to get a link from.
Another name for traffic, how many times a webpage has been viewed.
The name given to part of google’s ranking algorithm. It focuses on on-site quality. Google refreshes Panda monthly in general.
Is when SEOs use someone’s site who already has large authority to build pages and uses spammy backlinks which would normally be at risk of getting a site peanalised to get it to rank. This works because the sites are so established they can tank the spammy links as it is such a tiny minority of their backlink profile.
Often people use webpages like facebook and youtube.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
A form of advertising which as the name suggests you pay for each click you receive to your webpage.
Pay Per Lead (PPL)
A popular form of SEO where you get paid a set amount per lead (enquiry) to a business. This can be done through CPA networks but more commonly working with local businessed.
Private Blog Network (PBN)
A PBN is a group of domains that you or someone owns for the purpose of using these sites to send links at their web pages they want to rank. Often they use expired domains which have previously had traffic and back links so they have some link juice.
Check out :
Putting PBNs into groups in an attempt to not leave footprints which could lead from one money site to your other money sites. This is so if one site gets taken down or one PBN cluster gets taken down you don’t lose all your sites and the income along with it.
A google penalty is a negative impact on a websites search ranking. While google rankings dancing about is not the sign of a penalty if your traffic suddenly plummets and stays plummeted then you may be dealing with a penalty.
Is another part of Google’s algorithm, the primary focus of Penguin is unnatural links.
Ping (your site)
Pinging is notifying search engines to let them know there was a recent update and it should be recrawled. Pinging is used mainly with sites that are social properties like forums, blogs and web 2.0s to increase the chance of getting the backlink indexed.
Partial Match Domain (PMD)
A PMD is a domain which partly contains your keyword.
An example of this is:
If the keyword is “plumbing new York”
A domain name could be www.theplumbingguys.com
It contains the keyword plumbing but not the full keyword.
Refers to hosting that you would use to host a normal website, they are the big names in the industry for example bluehost, host gator ect. Opposed to SEO hosting which are almost entirely used for PBN hosting.
They are typically more expensive than SEO hosting solutions but have a less downtime and less sites on their IP that are de-indexed.
Matt Diggity talks about PBN hosting here
Press Release (PR – PR also can be referenced to PageRank)
A press release is recent news of a company being released to news publishing companies. In SEO this is often used to ‘pillow’ your anchor text or to make a new website seem more natural and reduce the length of a sandbox.
More about using PRs to reduce the sandbox time of a site can be found here:
Is the first part of the sale process, it is attempting to find new prospects for your product and/or services.
Generally used to describe hand written unique content that will be used on a site which will receive traffic.
Referring domains (RD)
Is a domain that backlinks are coming from. A site with a high amount of RDs is a site that has backlinks coming from a lot of sites.
For example sometimes you will see a site with
100 backlinks but 10 RDs this means that on average each RD has 10 links from it.
You want to pay attention to backlinks : RD ratio.
A registrar registers a desired domain and makes it so it is unique to you and no one else can register it.
There are tonnes of registrars you can choose from.
Is a term used to describe a theory that for a period of time after a new domain is registered that Google does not allow links that are sent to the site to have an effect on the search engine ranking as they normally would.
At one point you could send links straight to a brand new site and see the ranking improvements within a few days.
Sandboxing, which has never confirmed by Google is supposedly an attempt to reduce spam.
A Russian link network where you can purchase very authorative, aged links for your websites at a small cost
It is found at:
and here is a guide on how to buy SAPE links
Is used to describe an SEO technique to find expired domains, it is done through software such as Lazarus Scraper.
This is hosting which is generally low cost used to host PBN sites.
Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
Is the page displayed in response to a query by a user. So when you search something on Google the page with the various options is the SERP.
A software used to create mass pages for long tail search terms which require little effort to rank for due to their low competition and low monthly searches not many people target the keywords.
Silo structure is an SEO technique used to allow link juice to flow throughout your website in order to utilise the power of your best pages.
Is the structure of your site, to allow search engines to crawl your websites more efficiently.
Are signals that indicate you have user engagement such as facebook likes and comments and shares, the amount of tweets and the number of people you have in your Google+ circles.
Is sharing content you’ve published whether a blog, video or anything else and pushing it out to third-party sites. The idea is to drive more traffic and engagement to your content.
This could be as simple as starting a discussion on www.reddit.com or the other end of the spectrum is paid content syndication such as www.outbrain.com/
Here is a guide on growing your traffic using reddit:
Is a way of posting unique content to your website, using someone else’s content. It changes small parts of text to words which have similar meanings such as good to great or excellent.
Is talking about what a desktop user sees when they open a webpage without any scrolling. It is the top part of the webpage they see and is very important for capturing their interest or attention.
These are links pointed directly at a money site.
These are links that point at your Tier 1 links and so on, Tier 3 links are links that point at your Tier 2 links.
Time on page
Is an analytic by google which looks at how much time each user spends on your page, on average.
Topic relevance is usually used when talking about inbound links to a website. A website receiving links from another website in the same or similar niche is said to have topical relevance.
Traffic is a word to describe the amount of visitors coming to a site. A lot of traffic means a lot of users.
Are areas that could be improved to reduce the amount of people leaving a page.
Think of traffic like a bucket, each person leaving the website for a particular reason is a leak in the bucket, patching up these leaks would increase the traffic.
An example of a traffic leak could be something as simple as not having a phone number as some users are not comfortable ordering online and would rather speak to a person before they do so.
Is a metric used by Majestic SEO, it will often be used by domain sellers. You can find more information on trust flow here:
Check this video to see why you shouldn’t rely just on Majestic stats
Is similar to domain authority stacking coined by Matt Diggity in his article which can be found here:
Is talking about content which has been handwritten and not plagiarised.
Is the amount of individuals visiting your website. If someone visits your site 10 times this would count as 10 visitors but only 1 unique visitor by google analytics.
Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
Is essentially a file name for the internet.
Is made up of two components, the protocol identifier and the resource name.
The http is the identifier and the resource name is the bbc.com
Is a term used to explain users interacting with your website, whether this is facebook commenting, blog commenting or emailing you questions.
Is the amount of people visiting your website, it doesn’t take into account if these are unique visitors or the same person visiting your website over and over.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Is a network connection which allows you to create a secure connection over the public internet, using a private network at a remote location.
Is found at:
It is used to see previous versions of a website, what it looked like in the past. It can be useful when checking a domain for spam during the buying purchase and also for creating content once you have registered the domain.
Web 2.0s are free blogging platforms that rely on user based content such as wordpress and blogger.
Is an SEO who follows all of google’s guidelines and does so in an ethical way.
Is generally used by SEOs to describe whois protection which means that a it a protection from a random person using https://who.is/ to find out you are the owner of the website.
Is a popular content management system used by millions of websites worldwide.
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