The Ultimate Guide to Search Engine (SEO) Terms

SEO terminology can often be very confusing for small business, website owners or any one of the billions of people that use the Internet.

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So many people understand the importance of Search Engine Optimization but with all the terms being thrown around online today, it is difficult for even an experienced web technology and SEO expert to keep up. To help clear away the SEO cobwebs, the following is a SEO terminology glossary just for you.


  • 301 Redirect (Permanently Moved) – URL redirection, also called URL forwarding and the very similar technique domain redirection also called domain forwarding, are techniques on the World Wide Web for making a web page available under many URLs.
  • 302 (Found) – Temporary redirect method used to move a URL to a different location but it will found at original location in due course.
  • 404 (Not found) – Frequently seen status code that tells a Web user that a requested page is “Not found.”


  • AJAX –Shorthand for asynchronous JavaScript and XML. It is a web development technique use for updating a specific section of content on a web page, without completely reloading the page.
  • Absolute URLs Link – Absolute URLs specifies the exact location of a file/directory
  • Algorithm – It is a procedure or formulas that search engines uses to index listings and returns relevant results in response to a search query.
  • ALT Tag – The ‘alt’ attribute, often called the ‘alt tag’ is a text attribute added to the image tag to describe the image contained in the tag.
  • Anchor Text – Text used as link label or link title or clickable text in a hyperlink to a page is known as anchor text.


  • Backlinks – Backlinks (or back-links [UK]) are incoming links to a website or web page.
  • Bots – Refers to search engine’s software programs that scan the web world, also known web crawlers, spiders.
  • Broken Links – Hyperlinks that are not functioning or not leading to the desired location.


  • Canonicalization – The process of establishing a single URL as the location of a web document. Ensuring that although you may be able to arrive to a page via multiple paths or addresses, there is only one final address, which will be resolved by the server.
  • Cloaking – A black hat search engine optimization (SEO) technique in which the content presented to the search engine spider is different to that presented to the user’s browser.
  • Copyright – The set of exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work.
  • Crawler – See ‘Bots’
  • Crawl Depth – How deeply a website is crawled and indexed.


  • DHTML – Stands for Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language.
  • Deep Linking – The practice of linking to a specific page or file within a website so as to bypass introductory pages.
  • De-Listing – A website temporarily or permanently getting out of search engine index.
  • Description Tag – This tag is used to give brief description of web page and the information provided is displayed as snippet in search engine result pages.
  • Domain –Web site address.
  • Doorway Page – Web pages that are created for spamdexing, this is, for spamming the index of a search engine by inserting results for particular phrases with the purpose of sending visitors to a different page.


  • Entry Page – The page which a user enters your website is known as Entry Page.
  • External Link – Link which point to other domain or website


  • F.F.A – Stands for Free for All link pages i.e. anyone can add link to them.
  • F.T.P – Stands for “File Transfer Protocol.”
  • Feeds – XML formats used to publish frequently updated content.
  • Flash – Flash is a technology used to add animation and interactivity to web pages.
  • Frames – HTML technique used to display multiple smaller pages in one browser window


  • Gateway page – See Doorway Page.
  • Geo-Targeting – Delivery of ads specific to the geographic location of the searcher.


  • Headings – Heading elements go from H1 to H6 to display titles or subtitle, where the H1 being the most important.
  • Head Terms – The short and popular search term are known as head terms.
  • Hidden text – Black hat SEO technique used by which text is only visible to search engine bots not the visitor.


  • Index – A search engine’s index is gathering of data crawled by a search engines robot on the web.
  • Inbound Link – Link pointing from other website to your website.
  • Internal Link – Link from one page on a site to a different page on the same website.


  • JavaScript – A scripting programming language most commonly used to add interactive features to webpages.


  • KEI – Keyword Effective Index
  • Keyword – A single word that is used to search a specific subject or topic.
  • Keyword Phrase –Combination of keywords that a searcher uses in search field.
  • Keyword Density – How significantly a keyword or keyword phrase is used in the body of a webpage.
  • Keyword Research – The process of searching significant keyword and keyword phrases to focus your SEO campaign.
  • Keyword Stuffing – Where a keyword or phrase is used excessively in page content or alt tags in an attempt to gain higher rankings.
  • Keyword Tag – Refers to the META keywords tag within head section of web page.


  • Link Building – The process of getting high quality inbound (incoming) links for a website.
  • Landing Page – A web page where people go once they click on an online advertisement or search listing.
  • Link Farming – Any group of web sites that all hyperlink to every other site in the group.
  • Link Popularity – Link popularity generally refers to the total number of links pointing to any particular URL.
  • Linkbait – Something on your site that people will notice and link to.
  • Long-tailed Keywords – Keyword phrases with at least 2 or 3 words in them.


  • Meta Search – Search engines that pull results from other major search engines and rearrange them.
  • Mirror Sites – Multiple copies of web sites or web pages, often on different servers.
  • Meta Tags – Meta descriptions and Meta keywords as referred as Meta tags.


  • No Follow – No Follow is an attribute webmasters use to tell search engine not index particular link.


  • Organic Results – Listings on search engine result pages (SERPs) that are not paid for and found routinely as per search engine indexing.
  • Organic Search Rankings – Search engine ranking of web pages found on search engine result pages (SERPs) .
  • Outbound Link – A link from one website pointing at other website.


  • PageRank (PR) – PR is the Google logarithmic scale based on link popularity for placing importance of web pages and web sites
  • Paid Inclusion (PFI) – Paying to be included in a search engine or directory index.
  • RSS – Real Simple Syndication, a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format.
  • Reciprocal Link – Two different sites that link out to each other.
  • Robots.txt – A text file present in the root directory of a website which is used to direct the search engine crawlers to which files not to crawl.


  • SEM –Search Engine Marketing, a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs).
  • SEO –Search Engine Optimization, process of optimizing a web site’s content and code in order to found in organic search engine result pages.
  • SEO Copywriting – Writing or editing content in a way to make the content appear significant to search queries.
  • SERPs –Search Engine Results Pages
  • Search Engines – A search engine is a database of many web pages, used to find information about anything.
  • Search Query – The word or phrase a searcher types into a search field.
  • Site Map – A list of pages of a web site accessible to crawlers or users.
  • Siloing – A site architecture technique used to split the focus of a site into multiple themes.
  • Spamming – The abuse of electronic messaging systems (including most broadcast media, digital delivery systems) to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately.
  • Spider – See bots
  • Splash Page – A preliminary page that precedes the regular home page of a Web site and usually promotes a particular site feature or provides advertising.
  • Sponsored Listing – Paid listing that appears on top of the search engine result pages (SERPs).
  • Stemming – The process of determining root words.


  • Tier I Search Engines –Top three, search engines i.e. Google, Yahoo and Bing.
  • Tier II Search Engines – Smaller, vertical and specialized engines, such as and AOL
  • Tier III Search Engines – Small providers of pay per click advertising that usually do not feed other search sites with PPC results.
  • Title Tag – HTML tag appearing in the tag of a web page that contains the page title
  • Trackbacks – A method to keep track of links to content, especially blog entries.
  • Traffic – No. of visitors a website receives.


  • Usability – This term define how much a website and its functionality is user friendly.
  • URL – Uniform Resource Locator is the unique address of any web document.
  • URL Rewrite – Technique used to make URLs more unique and descriptive for better indexing by major search engines.
  • User Agent – Identity of a web site visitor, spider, browser, etc.


  • Web analytics – A program which assists in congregation and analyzing data about website usage.
  • Wiki – Software that allows people to contribute knowledge on a particular topic.
  • Word Count – The total number of words contained within a web document.


  • XML – Extensible Markup Language, a data delivery language.


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