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Learn SEO: SEO Glossary of Terms

Algorithm- algorithms are the systems used by search engines for data retrieval. Algorithms help search engines rank keywords to give searches the most relevant results.

Alt Text/Alt Tag/Text Attribute- ALT text, also referred to as “text attributes” adds text descriptions of images. ALT text is commonly used to create accessibility for visually impaired users and is sometimes used by websites when an image fails to load.

Analytics- Analytics refers to the systematic data analysis used to find and interpret recurring data patterns. Analytics are often used by businesses and search engines to optimize marketing tactics.

Anchor Text- Anchor text is the displayed, clickable part of an HTML hyperlink.

Authority Site- An Authority site is a site people refer to as an authority on a given subject.

Backlinks- Backlinks, sometimes referred to as incoming or inbound links, are created when a website mentions and links back to another website.

Bing- Bing is a search engine created by Microsoft and is the second most popular search engine worldwide.

Black Hat SEO- Black Hat SEO are strategies used to increase a site’s ranking in ways that violate the search engine’s terms of service. When caught, using these practices can cause a site to be removed from the search engine or permanently lowered in ranking.

Blog- Blogs are websites usually run by individual writers or small groups. Blogs are often used as a sort of journal or to provide information on specific topics in a conversational style.

Broken Links- Broken links are outdated links that route to an incorrect or unavailable


Canonical Link/Tag - Canonical links or tags are HTML elements that prevent duplicate copies of a web page from being created by identifying the preferred or “canonical” copy of a web page.

Call To Action (CTA)- In marketing, CTA refers to directives used by a website or marketing campaign meant to elicit an immediate action from visitors.

Click Bait - Click bait is the practice of using misleading or sensationalized titles and content to increase user engagement.

Cloaking - Cloaking is a technique used in SEO where content is seen differently by site users and the search engine. Cloaking is considered a black hat strategy and violates the terms of service of most search engines.

Content- Content is the subject matter of any given media.

Crawler- A web crawler, sometimes called a spider, is a bot or computer program used by

search engines to find and index a website's content.

Crawl- Crawling is the action performed by search engine crawlers to determine if a website’s information has been updated and should be re-indexed.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)- CSS is the description of a website’s visual presentation that allows you to understand and optimize the look of your website on different device types.

Content Spinning – Spin Content- Content spinning is the use of software to change the content or writing of a webpage enough that search engines will identify it as new content. Content spinning is considered a type of black-hat SEO and is penalized by most search engines if discovered.

Copywriting- Copywriting is writing created for advertising or marketing.

Deep Link- Deep links send users directly to content or an app rather than to a website homepage.

Dedicated Server- A dedicated server is a type of internet hosting where the client leases the entire server rather than the server being shared among multiple clients.

DA – Domain Authority- DA is a search engine score developed by Moz given to a website from 0-100 based on how likely that website is to appear on search engine result pages.

DR – Domain Rating- Domain rating is a score generated by Ahrefs ranging from 0-100 based on the strength of the website’s backlink profile.

Duplicate Content- Duplicate content is a term used in SEO referring to content that is either exactly the same or very similar to content on other webpages.

E-Commerce Site- E-commerce sites are websites created to sell goods and facilitate monetary transactions over the internet.

External Links- External links are links that direct you from one website to another.

FootPrint (SEO)- SEO footprints are elements detected across multiple websites that can be traced back to one person or company. Some types of footprints, such as the detection of duplicate content or multiple blogs using the same IP address can hurt the SEO of your websites.

Google- Google is an American technology company and the world’s leading search engine.

Google My Business- Google My Business is a type of Google account allowing you to create a business profile to find and connect with customers.

Grey Hat SEO- Grey Hat is a SEO method using a combination of accepted and banned techniques. Grey hat methods are considered riskier and more frowned upon than “white hat” techniques but less likely to face penalties compared to “black hat” techniques.

HTML- HTML is the code websites use to structure and display their content.

Headings- Headings are short phrases or statements typically used at the beginning of long documents to describe the subject matter of the following paragraphs.

Hidden Text- Hidden text is text contained in documents meant to be hidden to the viewer, usually done by using white text or placing an image over text. This tactic is commonly used to increase a site’s SEO while hiding added keywords from the site’s visitors.

Hosting- Hosting is the providing of a server and the software needed to run a website.

Impressions- Impressions in digital marketing occur when a user views an advertisement. Impressions are often tracked by websites or companies to measure ad engagement.

Inbound Link- Inbound links are links on other web sources that route back to your website.

Index - An index is the compilation of all web page results that can be found in a search engine.

Internal Link- An internal link is a hyperlink from one website that routs to images or documents found on another site.

Keyword- Keywords are phrases and sentences commonly typed into search engines to find the users desired results.

Keyword Cannabism- Keyword cannibalization occurs when multiple articles or posts on your site cover the same content or use similar keywords and end up in the same search query rank. The similar articles will end up competing with each other for search optimization.

Keyword Density- Keyword density is how often a given keyword appears compared to the total words on a web page. Keyword density can help SEO determine which web pages are relevant to the searched keyword.

Keyword Research- Keyword research is studying and learning the best keywords for your target market.

Keyword Stuffing- Keyword stuffing is a black-hat SEO technique where keywords are purposely overused on a web page in its tags or inside its content to appear more relevant than it really is to search engines.

Landing Page- A landing page is a page created for a specific ad campaign. It’s usually reached by clicking a link from an email or ads found on other web pages.

Link- An electronic link is a connection on any web page that brings you directly to other web pages or resources.

Link Bait- Link bait is web content created specifically to be shared widely and become a popular backlink.

Link Building- Link building is a SEO technique meant to increase web traffic by increasing the amount of your web page’s inbound links.

Link Farm- Link farms are groups of websites containing hyperlinks to each other to attempt to increase their SEO rankings. Link farming violates the terms of service of most search engines.

Long Tail Keyword- Long tail keywords are a type of keyword search containing more words than usual. This type of keyword search is often used by customers looking for specific products and is the most common type of web search.

Meta Description- A meta description is an HTML element that condenses the contents of web pages to improve user experience and SEO.

Meta Tags- Meta tags are small pieces of text used to help search engines find relevant web pages. Meta tags are only visible in the page’s code.

Meta Keywords- Meta keywords are a type of meta tag in a web page’s HTML source code to describe the contents to search engines.

Natural Link- Natural links are acquired when many other web pages have links to your content. Natural links have high traffic and SEO rankings.

No Follow- Nofollow is an HTML tag that instructs search engines to ignore a link.

No Index- Noindex is an HTML tag that prevents a page from appearing in searches.

Off Page SEO- Off-page SEO are efforts to increase a page’s search engine ranking that are done away from your web page such as social networking and link-building.

On Page SEO- On-page SEO is content and search engine optimization done through the web page such as keyword optimization and improving the sites content.

Outbound Link- An outbound or external link is a link on your website that routes to other web pages.

Page Rank- PageRank is a google algorithm that ranks its web pages. The higher the ranking, the higher the page will appear in search results.

PBN (Private Blog Network)- PBNs’ are website networks that exist purely to link back to another website to increase its traffic. PBNs’ violate the terms of service of most search engines.

Panda (Google)- Google Panda was a change in Google’s ranking algorithm meant to lower ranks of web pages with low-quality content and prioritize websites containing higher-quality content.

Penalties (Google)- A Google penalty will result in a site no longer being displayed in search results or a severe drop in the site’s search engine rank. Most Google penalties are caused by a site violating Google’s terms of service.

Penguin (Google)- Google Penguin was an update to Google’s SEO algorithm designed to target webspam.

RSS Feed- RSS is a web feed that continually checks websites for updates and alerts users when changes have been made.

Reciprocal Link- A reciprocal link is created when the owners of two sites agree to provide hyperlinks to each other’s sites.

SERPs (Search Engine Result Page)- SERPs are the page results displayed by a search engine in response to user queries.

SEO- SEO is the practice of increasing search engine ranking through adding keywords, link building or any other technique meant to drive traffic.

Sitemap- A sitemap is a file containing important information about a website. Google uses sitemaps to help search engines find and index the site’s content.

Spider- Spider, sometimes called a web crawler, is a bot or computer program used by search engines to find and index a website's content.

Traffic- Traffic is the measurement of a website’s engagement.

Trust Rank- TrustRank is an algorithm used by search engines to filter out spam pages from SERPs.

White Hat SEO- White hat SEOs are any tactics used to improve your web page’s search ranking that follows the search engine’s terms of service.

WordPress- WordPress is a publishing software used to create websites and blogs.

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