SEO Glossary


Sometimes we forget that not everyone comes from a digital background. To aid newcomers, we’ve compiled a comprehensive SEO glossary detailing all of the most frequently used digital marketing and SEO terminology.

SEO Glossary 2020: Touch up on your SEO knowledge

We’re frequently updating this list with new terms. Don’t forget to bookmark or save this page for future reference. For easy navigation, click on one of the letters below for the page to instantly relocate you to the desired section.

Last updated: 9th September 2020.

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X



.htaccess: The .htaccess file is a configuration file that allows webmasters to control cache settings, URL redirections as well as many more advanced website commands.

404 Not Found: A 404 code is a response code which indicates that a page is unavailable or not found. The page may have been deleted, moved or is just temporarily unavailable.

301 Redirect: A 301 redirect diverts a user from an existing URL to a new URL. A 301 redirect tells a search engine that the URL has been permanently moved. 301 redirects are most commonly the most used type of redirect as they hold the ability to transfer existing link juice to the new web page.

302 Redirect: A 302 redirect acts an additional type of redirection command. However, unlike a 301 redirect the 302 does not pass link juice to the new web page.




Above The Fold: Above the fold is a term used to describe the top portion of a web page viewable without scrolling.

AC Rank: AC Rank stands for A Citation Rank. This ranking score is calculated based on the number of root linking domains a website possesses. The score is scaled from 0-15, 15 been the highest. AC Rank had initially originated from Majestic SEO.

Alt Attribute: An Alt attribute is text used to provide information about a particular image. Search engines aren’t capable of adequately understanding what an image is about without the utilisation of an ALT image tag.

Eg. The HTML code of an image of a Black Porsche 911 Turbo would look like so: <img src=”” alt=”Black Porsche 911 Turbo” />

Anchor Text: An anchor text can also be also referred to as a link label, link text or link title.

An anchor text is the visible, clickable text that appears as a hyperlink. Best practice states that the anchor text should be used to describe best the content of the page it is linking to.

Eg. Say we can linking to a page about an Apple iPhone 11. The anchor text would appear like so: Apple iPhone 11. Using a clear and descriptive anchor text provides the end-user with a general idea of what the linked-to page is about.

Arbitrage: Arbitrating is the process of exploiting market inefficiencies by taking advantage of the price difference between two or more markets.

Some webmasters use spun articles with the intent to build bulk amounts of new backlinks. This practice is a direct manipulation of search engine quality guidelines and may result in a Penguin penalisation by Google.

Authority: Authority typically refers to a website or web page’s ranking potential on the SERPs. There are five key factors which contribute to a site or page’s authority. The factors include link equity (quality and quantity), website age, traffic trends and web content.

Authority Site: An authority site refers to a website which is an established figure within its respective industry. An authority website is most likely to have excellent online visibility, high SEO rankings and many quality pages.




Backlinks: The term backlink or links is one of the most used terms in the SEO industry. A backlink is an inbound or incoming link from an external site.

A healthy amount of high-quality backlinks is a good indication that a website is an authority within its field. This may also signify that the website contains quality content that people in the industry are actively looking for and would link to.

Bad Neighbourhoods: Bad neighbourhoods refer to a website or a group of websites who engage in unethical or black hat practices. Been associated with any form of linking activities with bad neighbourhoods can put your website on high alert when detected by the search engines.

Black Hat SEO: Black Hat SEO refers to specific SEO practices and techniques which directly violate search engine guidelines – Google, Bing, Yahoo. Such techniques are a direct attempt at manipulating search engines to achieve higher search engine rankings. Black Hat SEO techniques include but are not limited to the cloaking of text, excessive keyword stuffing, automated link schemes, article spinning and more.

Blog: A blog, short for weblog, is the discussion section of a website which consists of informational posts. Blogs are a good way to engage with readers actively. Blogs are also considered to be powerful communication tools used to distribute content and attract large viewership.

Blogroll: A link listed on a blog which typically links out to other related blogs within the same industry or field.

Branded Keywords: Branded keywords are keywords which are associated with the brand name. Eg. The keyword “Apple phones” is a branded keyword because the brand name has been included as a part of the overall word.

On the other hand, “New phones” would be deemed as an unbranded keyword as the keyword contains no mentions of a brand name. The process of SEO typically aims to attract organic traffic via unbranded keywords.

Broken Links: Broken links are links which no longer direct the user to the designated page requested. Websites should be regularly checked for broken link occurrences and should be fixed ASAP. By having a healthy site with minimal broken links, this ensures a high level of user experience and may even result in improved conversion rates.

Bounce Rate: Bounce rates refer to the percentage of users who enter a web page and then leave without any additional form of action.




Cache: A cache is a component which stores data so future requests for page content can be served at an even faster rate than the first request. There are numerous cache plugins for WordPress which do an excellent job at serving faster page content. The following two plugins have been known to work exceptionally well: W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache.

Call to Action: A call-to-action is a marketing term used to encourage or persuade users into completing a particular task. Use of call-to-action keywords is highly encouraged when trying to sell or market a particular service or product. Such keywords may include: call, contact, purchase, buy or get in touch. It’s recommended at least one call to action keyword be used in the meta description. This increases the chances of higher click-through-rates from the search engine result pages.

Cannibalisation: Cannibalisation is a term used to describe two or more web pages on the same website trying to rank for the same keyword. Two or more pages unintentionally optimised for the same keyword could see themselves ranking and been de-ranked for the same search query.

Canonical Tags: A canonical tag is the use of rel=”canonical”. The canonical tag is used to hint to Google that there is a preferred version of a set of pages with very similar content. Many websites have several pages with very similar products and content. For search engines, to best crawl and index the correct page, the most preferred page should be tagged with the canonical parameter.

CDN: CDN is an acronym for either content delivery network or content distribution network. CDNs are large systems of servers deployed across multiple data centres of the internet with the goal of serving content to users in the fastest and most efficient manner. There are both paid and free CDN providers offering

There are both paid and free CDNs offering different levels of service. Pricing structures may vary considerably depending on the amount of bandwidth and features required.

Our recommendation is to use either MaxCDN or Cloudflare for faster website loading times.

Citations: A citation is any reference you can provide about your local business. Citation metrics include business name, address, contact number, fax and any other relevant information you can provide about your business.

Citations are a vital part in contributing to a website’s credibility and local search engine rankings. Local businesses should be taking advantage of citations by submitting their business to local websites such as Hot Frog, Yellow Pages, Local and Yelp.

Click Fraud: Click fraud is the term used to describe the process of intentionally clicking on an ad with the purpose of wasting an advertiser’s budget. This occurrence is most frequent on Google AdWords, as the platform uses a Pay-Per-Click system.

Click Through: Click through is used to describe the actions of a user clicking on a link and is taken to the destination page.

Cloaking: Cloaking is a form of Black Hat SEO technique which involves presenting content to a search engine spider which is, in fact, different from the content presented to a user.

CMS: CMS is an acronym for ‘content management system’. CMS are programs created with the purpose of providing webmasters with an easy navigational back-end system – without needs to learn complex coding languages.

Examples of content management systems include WordPress, Magento and Joomla.

Content: Content is the term used to describe all relevant information and materials on a website. Content can be made up of text, images, buttons and more.

Content Marketing: Content marketing is the process of utilising content with the focus of distributing it rapidly across multiple online channels such as social media, forums and news websites.

The primary aim of content marketing is to entice users with content so they can then navigate back to the website and be converted into a purchasing customer.

Conversion: A conversion refers to a user who has taken action on what the website is built to achieve. This may involve purchasing an item, signing up to a program or subscribing to a newsletter.

Conversion Rate: A conversion rate is the percentage measurement detailing the number of converted users.

Eg. If a website receives 100 visitors, and 10 visitors end up making a purchase, this would equate to a 10% conversion rate.

CPA: CPA is an acronym for cost per acquisition. This is a term used to describe the business-related expense used in trying to convert a new customer.

CPC: CPC is an acronym for cost per click. This term is used to describe the cost spent when a user clicks on an advertisement link or image.

Crawl/Crawling: The term crawling refers to the process of search engine spiders analysing and gathering information about a web page and sending the data back to the source (search engines). After a web page has been crawled, the search engines gather all relevant data to index the page into its search result pages. The web page then gets ranked accordingly in terms of its relevancy with the search query been searched.

CRO: CRO is an acronym for conversion rate optimisation. Much like search engine optimisation, CRO is focused on improving the conversion rate of a website by optimising and changing different components of the site to ultimately have it driving more sales or leads.

CSS: CSS is an acronym for cascading style sheet. A CSS is used to control the styling and appearance of a website.

CTR: CTR is an acronym for click-through-rate. A click-through-rate defines the percentage of exactly how many times an ad has been clicked in relation to the amounts of impressions (views) the ad has received. Eg. An ad receives 1000 views and there have been 100 clicks that equal to a CTR of 10%.




Deep Links: A deep link is a web page which is located deep within the hierarchy of a website. Eg. You’ve got your root domain, an example of a deep link within the Blue Monkey website would appear like so:

De-Index: De-indexation is when a site or web page has been excluded and removed from the search engine result page. De-indexation is most likely to occur as a result of implementing Black Hat SEO or unethical optimisation techniques.

Directory: A directory or a web directory specialises in linking out to relevant websites by having webmasters submit their website to be categorised within its database. There are many paid and free web directories which offer opportunities for backlink building. Check out our post we’ve compiled detailing some of the best Australian business directories.

Dofollow Links: A dofollow link is a link which passes along link equity to the target URL. Dofollow links are links which directly contribute to the increase of a website’s authority as well as increasing page rankings on the SERPs.

Domain Age: A website’s domain age refers to the amount of time a website has been registered. Search engines typically prioritise older sites in comparison with newly registered websites.

Domain Trust (DT): Domain trust is a term used to identify how trusty-worthy search engines deem your website. Various factors are taken into consideration when determining a website’s DT. They include domain age, a website’s incoming link diversity, the percentage of high-quality links in comparison to low quality and structure of internal linking. Moz’s famous MozTrust is a great metric to use to determine domain trust.

Duplicate Content: Duplicate content refers to content which has been copied or matches content from another website. Search engines view duplicate content as been untrusted and in return will most likely contribute to the page ranking very poorly within the search engine result pages.




EMD: EMD stands for exact match domain and refers to the domain name being of exact match with a website’s primary keyword. Eg. An EMD for Sydney Lawyers would be EMDs have long known to play a huge part in increased ranking positions for the matching keyword. Over time, Google has implemented updates to devalue the priority of EMDs.

Educational Links: Educational links are .edu domain names. Educational links are highly regarded as links that transfer one of the highest amounts of link equity when having linked to an external web page. Because of the complicated nature of acquiring an edu backlink, search engines typically deem these domains to be of higher ranking value.

Evergreen Content: Evergreen content refers to content that is naturally timeless and ever-useful. The idea behind the word comes from being forever green – forever fresh. Eg. The informative content of abdominal workouts will forever stay relevant in comparison to a news report which would only stay fresh for a few days. Search engines have incorporated updated algorithms throughout the years to consider the effects of evergreen web pages and how they should be appropriately ranked on the search engine result pages. Case studies have also shown the effects of evergreen content and how they contribute to branding, user engagement and conversions.




Feeds: A feed is a web document that is a shortened version of a web page used for syndication purposes.

Footer: A footer is the bottom section of a website. The footer is usually filled with navigational links to relevant web pages and business contact information.




GoogleBot: GoogleBot is Google’s very own search engine spider responsible for the data collection of all the websites across the web.

Google Analytics: Google Analytics is Google’s free website data tracking service. The platform tracks and monitors all relevant statistics including website traffic, traffic sources, organic search queries, conversion rates and integrated Adwords data.

Google Bowling: Also known as negative-SEO is the process of decreasing a competitor’s website on the search engine result pages by linking very high volumes of low quality links to their website.

Google Dance: Google dance refers to the constant change in SERP rankings. This is mostly caused by indexation updates of Google’s database or algorithm.

Geo-Targeting: Geo-Targeting describes the process of targeting specific users based on their location. The location could be a country, state, city or postcode.

Google Webmaster Tools: Google Webmaster Tools is a free website analysis service. The tool allows webmasters to check many health and indexation status of their websites. The tool has received many updates from 2012-2014, such as the implementation of Link Disavow and Rich Snippets, allowing webmasters to understand their websites better.

Grey Hat SEO: Grey hat SEO refers to practises and techniques that aren’t completely ethical, however, at the same time are also not considered to be black-hat practices.

Guest Posting: Guest posting is the practice of writing for a related blog within the same niche or industry. Guest posting is mainly used as a foundation for brand awareness, self-promotion, PR and link building.




Header: The header is the top section of a website. Usually comprised of the website’s logo and navigational bar, the header acts as the primary source of navigation when attempting to browse through a website.

Heading Tags (H1, H2, and H3): Heading tags are marked-up page headings which describe the content of the web page. Search engines use heading tags as a means in deeming the relevancy of a web page.

Home Page: A home page refers the page which is situated on the root domain – the main page of a website.

HTML: HTML stands for hypertext markup language. HTML is a form of computing programming language used to create web pages and all other relevant materials which can be used to be displayed on a web browser.

Hyperlink: A hyperlink is the HTML term for a basic link, primarily directing you to the new page after having been clicked on.




IM: IM is the acronym for Internet Marketing and may also be referred to as online marketing or web marketing. Internet marketing includes marketing strategies such as affiliate marketing, search engine optimisation, search engine marketing, Pay Per Click advertising, content marketing, lead generation, email marketing and Facebook advertising.

Impression: An impression is equivalent to one view or display of a webpage or ad. Typically, SEO data tracking tools will provide the total amount of impressions achieved on a website in specific time-frames.

Inbound Marketing: Inbound Marketing is the process of advertising your business through the means of SEO, social media marketing, videos, blogs and all relevant forms of content marketing. Inbound marketing is considered to be earning the trust and attention of a customer rather than having to convince them of your company’s worth (Outbound marketing – cold-calling, radio, television, PPC). Inbound marketing creates numerous foundations for the company to be found on and draws the customer in by providing or offering something which they find of interest.

Indexed/Indexation: Indexation is the process of having a webpage registered within the SERPs. To check the number of pages indexed, type in the following command within Google’s Universal Search:

Infographic: Infographics are visual representations of data, graphs and text content all fused together to be presented in a quick, clear and highly efficient manner.

Internal Linking: Internal linking is the process of linking to another inner page. Internal linking helps to increase search engine crawling efficiency and will also improve navigational abilities for users.

Inbound Link: An inbound link is an incoming link, coming from a 3rd party website to yours.




Keywords: Keywords are search queries used in an attempt to find a relevant web page. Different keywords serve different purposes. Long and highly descriptive keywords have higher chances at conversions, in comparison with shorter keywords which have high amounts of volume but may contain very poor conversion ratios.

Keyword Density: Keyword density refers to the number of times a keyword has been used in the body of a web page. While Google has stated in the past that no more than 2% of the body content should contain the target keyword, any more would be considered as spam. However, Yahoo and Bing, on the other hand, have stated that they’ll allow up to a 5% keyword density. For best practice, we recommend optimising for anywhere from 2-4%.

Keyword Research: The process of keyword research involves the analysis and careful selection of specific keywords which would work the best in accomplishing website objectives. In most general cases, keyword research is conducted to select the best keywords to increase a website’s online visibility.

Keyword Stuffing: Keyword stuffing is the unethical optimisation technique of over-using keywords in the body section of a web page. Keyword stuffing is usually the case when the keyword density is above 5%.




Landing Page: A landing page refers to a page which has been strategically set up to capture leads and generate sales. Landing pages are typically used as the destination page when users click on an online ad or SERP result.

Latent Semantic Indexing: LSI for short, is used by search engines to identify key phrases related to a web page, and to understand better what the page is about.

Link Bait: Most commonly created by search engine marketers and content marketers, link bait is content designed specifically to gain attention and attract users into linking to the website. Forms of linkbait may include online hoaxes, eBooks, guides, memes and infographics.

Link Building: Link building is the process of building backlinks to a website. The number of backlinks a site possesses is a clear indication of its popularity and value in the eyes of search engines. This directly contributes to its ranking positions on the SERPs.

Link Disavow: Google’s Link Disavow is the process of submitting links to Google that you want to be ignored. By having a link/s submitted, Google will no longer transfer link equity from the submitted external link through to the host website. The Link Disavow tool allows for single link submissions to disavowing links from an entire website. Google recommends that link disavows be completed only by experts as freely submitting links could harm your website’s rankings.

Link Equity: Link equity, also known as link weight, link value or link juice, is the amount of value a link passes through when linking out to another web page. Google has deemed that every link holds a unique value based on the authority of the website linking out. An incoming link from a highly authoritative website would hold more link equity compared to a website with minimal credibility and authority online.

Link Exchange: Link exchange is the process of negotiation between two webmasters to establish an incoming link on either side.

Link Farm: Link farms are groups of websites that contain an overly excessive amount of external links. Link farms typically have no actual real content of their own and exist for the sole purpose of linking out to as many websites as choose be. Automated programs create many link farms. Many are set up for the purpose of increasing the number of backlinks to the target website.

Link Hoarding: Link hoarding is the method of the unwillingness to link out to other websites. This is often done to keep all link equity circulating within one’s own website.

Link Profile: A link profile refers to the different types of sources of incoming links to a website. A variety of different metrics can be incorporated into building a link profile. The most common types of link profile metrics include the number of backlinks, quality of backlinks, the number of linking root domains, PageRank and the different types of linking websites whether it be from blogs, blog comments or forums.

Linking Root Domain: Linking root domains refers to the number of root domains that are linking to your website. Eg. A link linking out from to would be classified as a linking root domain. On the other hand, if links to, this would not be classified as a linking root domain.

Link Velocity: Link velocity is commonly described as the speed in which a website attains incoming backlinks. A high spike in link velocity may call for an alert of unnatural links or very spammy links and may lead to penalisation from search engines.

Long-Tail Keywords: Long-tail keywords are key phrases which are typically over three words long. Eg. How to build a treehouse, best dentist in eastern Sydney.




Meta Descriptions: Meta descriptions are short paragraphs which appear on the search result pages briefly giving the searcher an idea of what to expect before entering a page. For best performance, meta descriptions should be no more than 155 characters in length, contain the page’s primary keyword and should have a call to action.

Meta Keywords: Meta keywords were originally HTML tags used on websites to hint to search engines about what keywords they would want to be ranking for. Due to the advance growth of most search engines, the meta keywords tag is no longer considered when deeming the relevancy of a web page.

Meta Tags: Meta tags refer to the three different types of HTML tags. They are the title tag, meta description and meta keywords.

Monetize: Monetizing is the process of building, maintaining or optimising a website with the sole interest of making money from it. Methods of monetization include the incorporation of CPM ads, CPC ads or affiliate marketing.




Niche: A niche is a market which specialises in a particular product, subject or topic. Eg. A website about weight loss is a weight loss niche.

Nofollow Links: Nofollow links are opposite to dofollow links. Nofollow links are links embedded with a unique parameter, rel=”nofollow”. This parameter instructs search engines not to allow the passing of link equity when linking out to another page.

Noindex: Noindex is a command inserted into the header of page signifying to search engines not to have the page indexed into the search result pages.




On-Page Optimisation: On-page optimisation refers to optimisation practices that can be implemented to a web page. This is usually done by accessing the back-end of the website. Eg. Meta optimisation, content optimisation and internal linking.

Off-Page Optimisation: Off-page optimisation refers to all optimisation practices and techniques which can be incorporated without the need to access the back-end of the website. Eg. Link building, content marketing and article submissions.

Organic Search Results: Organic search results are listings on the search engine results pages that appear because of their natural relevancy to the user’s search query.

Organic Traffic: Organic traffic is known as natural web traffic coming from the organic listings within a search engines’ result pages.




Panda: The Google Panda update is a Google’s algorithm update first released in 2011. Panda was released with the focus of targeting low-quality websites, websites that contain minimal content and spammy websites. This encouraged website owners to improve the quality of their websites to rank higher in the search results.

PPC: PPC is an acronym for pay-per-click. Pay-per-click refers to the advertising method of allocating an advertising budget per day and having only pay when a user directly clicks on your ad. Each ad click is calculated to cost differently depending on the users country of origin and the competitiveness of the industry.

Paid Links: Paid links are links which have been paid for usually with the intent to build backlinks and gain a higher ranking position with the search engine result pages. Paid links are against search engine guidelines and could lead to website penalisation. Google’s Penguin update is hugely focused on tackling websites with paid links.

PageRank (PR): PageRank is a part of Google’s ranking algorithms, named after Larry Page, one of Google’s founders. PageRank is calculated and scaled on a basis of 0-10, 10 been the most important. A website’s PageRank is defined through a mathematical algorithm based on the authority value of all incoming links that link to it. A page that is linked to by many other websites with high PageRank would in return receive a higher PageRank itself. Increased PageRank means a greater chance of your web pages ranking higher within the SERPs.

Persona: A persona is the creation of a group of online consumers who are a representation of a company’s target market. Key metrics involved in creating a persona may include identifying their age, sex, salary, marital status and job.

Penguin: The Penguin update is a Google algorithm update first announced in 2012. The Penguin update is focused on penalising websites that contain unnatural link profiles. Penalisation may include being de-indexed from Google’s search results or a decrease in rankings.

Penguin 2.0: First released in May 2013, Penguin 2.0 is the 2nd generation of the Penguin update. Penguin 2.0 affected about 2.1% of all English queries and was set out to target a website’s internal pages as opposed to just a website’s homepage. Websites with unnatural link profiles were penalised with big brands been given an increased priority in the search results.

Press Release: A press release is an article directed at news websites or news outlets with the intent of raising awareness for its brand or in SEO terms, providing highly relevant content with the addition of receiving a high PR backlink.

Profile Links: Profile links are incoming links usually coming from forum profile pages. Profile links are considered a popular form of link building as most forum profile pages allow at least one profile link to be dofollow.




Query: A query is a keyword or key phrase used in the search field of a search engine. The purpose of the query is for the search engines to serve related results on both organic and paid search listings.




Reciprocal Links: Reciprocal links refers to two websites which have returning links linking to each other. Reciprocal links serve the purpose of mutually directing traffic to one another and also act as a form of link building.

Reputation Management: Reputation management is the method of ensuring all top 10 results with the SERPs relate to your own website or brand name. Reputation management also involves the practice of ensuring all well-known review websites found on the SERPs are positive and do not contain unattended negative reviews about your business.

Rich Snippet: Rich snippets are small summaries of data compacted into various forms to appear in the SERPs. Rich snippets include authorship, video markups, review markups and more. The primary goal of rich snippets is for the SERPs to provide more information about the relevancy of the page as well as serving the most appropriate results to meet the user’s expectations. Implementation of rich snippets usually results in higher CTR for the marked-up page.

Robot.txt: A robot.txt is a file usually found in the root directory of a website. The robot.txt can be edited to instruct search engines to not crawl and index certain pages of the website if need be. This can be used to ensure the crawling efficiency of the rest of the website while avoiding unnecessary pages.

ROI: ROI is an acronym for return on investment. RIO is used to measure the cost difference or cost benefits as per each marketing strategy or scheme used.

Root Domain: A root domain is the top-level page of a website.

RSS: RSS is the acronym for rich site summary. An RSS may also be referred to as a feed or webfeed, and is used as a way of compiling up a website’s most frequent published works. This may include new blog posts, audio and videos. Users can then subscribe to the RSS feed to receive the latest feed updates straight to their email inbox.




Sandbox: Known as the Sandbox Effect or Google Sandbox, the sandbox is the effect of a new website ranking really well and then having suddenly dropped all rankings. Many myths have been circulating this effect in the past, but nothing has ever been confirmed.

Scraped Content: Scraped content refers to web content which has been automatically grabbed and published on another site by automated software. This is most commonly done to index new web pages at a very fast and high rate, further increasing chances of driving additional traffic to a website.

SE: SE is an SEO acronym which stands for search engine.

SEM: SEM is an acronym for search engine marketing. Search engine marketing is a form of online marketing which involves increasing a website’s online visibility within the SERPs by maximising its ranking potential.

SEO: SEO is the acronym for search engine optimisation. Search engine optimisation is the process of increasing a website’s online visibility by maximising its ranking potential on the SERPs. Countless practices and techniques are conducted to ensure a web page is ranking as high as they possibly can. Such practices include but are not limited to on-page optimisation, link building, website loading speed, quality of web content and a website’s architecture.

SEOs: SEOs is a noun and stands for search engine optimisers. Search engine optimisers are search engine marketers who conduct the entire process or partial processes of SEO services to ensure a website is maximising its online visibility and ranking potential.

Search Engine Spider/Spider: A search engine spider is a bot which conducts the crawling of web page. The spider crawls a web page in order to collect information it deems relevant. The information collected then gets the web page indexed into the SERPs and ranked accordingly depending on its authority and relevancy to the search query initiated by a user.

SERP: Potentially the most frequently used term by an SEO, SERP is an acronym for search engine result pages. SERP refers to the website results which are displayed after conducting a search on a search engine page. A search engine’s primary goal is the serve the most relevant web pages to the user after they’ve conducted a search. The most relevant website would appear on the top of the SERP where most users would bare eyes on first. SERPs most commonly only display up to 10 results per page. In the past, Google has undergone changes to its SERP, displaying only 7 search results per page for specific search queries. This was a direct part of their strategy in serving more relevant results in the most effective way possible since then there has been no official news confirming site-wide changes.

Sitemap: A sitemap is a page which is strategically structured into grouping key pages together to provide easy navigational ability to both users and search engine spiders. A special sitemap called the XML sitemap is often created to assist search engine spiders in finding all relevant website pages.

Social Media: Social media are online social networking websites. Mostly used as a primary way of socialising and sharing public or personal content, social media has risen to become a key way in helping businesses build brand presence, increase social engagement and for link building purposes. Examples of social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

Social Media Marketing: Social media marketing is the promotion of a brand or company through the use of social network sites.

Spam: Spam is the use of sending or publishing unsolicited content usually with the intent of contributing worthless or irrelevant information.

Spamdexing: Spamdexing, also known as search spam, web spam or search engine spam. Spamdexing is the deliberate manipulation of search engine indexes by using a number of techniques into tricking the search engines into indexing certain content which is deemed irrelevant, with the sole purpose of increasing its ranking within the SERPs.

Subdirectory: A subdirectory is a page located on a deeper level within the root domain. Eg. is a subdirectory.

Subdomain: A subdomain is a domain which is a part of the root domain. Eg. is a subdomain within the root domain – Subdomains are created with the main purpose of segmenting its topic of choice into an entirely new subcategory. One of the most important features of a subdomain is that they hold their own authority and PageRank.




Taxonomy: A taxonomy is a way of grouping certain subjects or topics together.

Title Tag: A title tag is an HTML tag used by search engines to display a web page’s title on the SERPs. Search engines treat the title tag as a primary indicator in identifying the relevancy of the page. Title tags should contain no more than 70 characters and should contain relevant page keywords for best-ranking performance within the SERPs.

Traffic: Traffic refers to incoming visitors who are entering a website.




Unique Visitor: A unique visitor is a website visitor tracked by its unique IP address. If a visitor was to enter a website 100 times, he/she would be recorded as 1 unique visitor.

Unnatural Link Warning: Google’s unnatural link warning is a warning notice provided through Google’s Webmaster Tools. This warning is a message alerting webmasters that their website has been associated with unnatural incoming links. As a result of having received this message, a website’s page ranking may be severely penalised until they can rectify the situation. Google enables webmasters the ability to submit reconsideration requests upon fixing all unnatural, paid or spammy incoming links.

URL: URL is an acronym for uniform resource locator, most commonly referred to as a web address.

User-Agent: A user agent is used to describe the identity of a site visitor, search engine spider or internet browser. Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are two popular examples of an internet browser user agent.




Viral Marketing: Viral marketing involves the practice of creating content and marketing it in a way in which it will reach vital status online. Social media, in this modern-day and age has contributed greatly in the rise of content going viral.




Webinar: A webinar is an online term for a seminar. A webinar is basically a seminar hosted live online.

Web 2.0: The term web 2.0 refers to websites which allow users to actively interact and engage with online communities. Web 2.0 sites include social booking sites, forums and social networking sites. Eg. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit and StumbleUpon.

White Hat SEO: White Hat SEO refers to SEO practices and techniques that are within webmaster quality guidelines. Typically, white hat SEO is done through an ethical and natural manner where serving highly relevant content and attracting high-quality links is the primary goal of achieving long-term organic success.

Widgets: Widgets are sidebar blocks that contain easy navigational links or content. Widgets are mostly used by online blogs and typically contain a website’s list of popular items, recent posts, search bar, subscription form or advertisements.

WordPress: WordPress is a content management system (CMS) used as a platform for creating a website or blog. WordPress is commonly known for its SEO-friendly setup and is considered one of the most popular blogging platforms used on the web.

Word Count: The total number of words used on a web page.




XML: XML is the acronym for “Extensible Markup Language”.

XML Sitemaps: XML Sitemaps are special types of pages used to properly format web pages. XML Sitemaps are generated and then submitted to search engines for them to better understand the structure of the host website. This increases crawling efficiency and will give the search engines a better understanding of how to rank your pages.

If you’ve read this far, we’re sure you would’ve become an SEO genius. So, thank you for taking the time to read up our SEO glossary!

If you think our glossary may do with additional terminology, or feel that it is missing anything that would provide more value to SEO practitioners, then we encourage you to contact us on We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

Daniel Law
Written by

Daniel Law

Daniel Law is Managing Director at Red Search, an SEO agency based in Sydney. With over 10 years of experience in SEO, he has a burning passion for helping Australian businesses achieve their growth goals by leveraging innovative SEO and content marketing strategies.

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