SEO Glossary & Terms

We know that not everyone is familiar with SEO terminology and that sometimes it may be confusing. We encourage our clients to learn important elements of SEO so that they can better measure success and help with improvements and recommendations.

SEO Glossary

Browse or click on the letter of the term you are interested in understanding. You can always call us at 1.800.399.8850 for questions or discussion.


301 Redirect: A 301 Redirect is a code placed in the .htaccess file that redirects the user from an old page that has been removed or modified to the new location. When a page URL changes and a 301 Redirect is not in place, you will have a 404 error in addition to losing the link equity that the page previously had.

404 Error: A 404 error is a response when a user attempts to go to a page on your website that does not exist. It is wise to design a custom 404 page that is useful to the user to decrease frustration of landing on a page that doesn't exist.


Affiliate Marketing: Affiliates are people and companies that promote your product on their website and/or blog in exchange for a split in revenue or a flat fee. Affiliate Marketing is the process of reaching out to those affiliates and promoting your product across the web to reach a new audience and increase sales.

Aging Content: Aging Content is content that is no longer relevant due to changes in society, technology, culture and many other reasons.

Algorithm: An Algorithm is a procedure for solving problems using mathematical formulas. This relates to SEO because all search engines use an algorithm to determine your site’s rankings.

Alt Tag: An Alt Tag is an HTML element for images that tells the browser what text to display in circumstances when an image cannot load. It also is the text that displays when you hover over the image.

Anchor Text: Anchor Text is the visible text in a hyperlink. Anchor Text is an element that Google evaluates with the hyperlink in your link profile.

Article Spinning: Article Spinning is an SEO tactic that is outside of Google's quality guidelines. Article Spinning is the act of taking an existing article that was written and changing words so that it appears unique to Google. This has also become an automated tactic where people write an article manually, then programmatically change certain words to create many articles, essentially saying the same thing. Google can detect Article Spinning and does not tolerate it.

Automated Submissions: Automated Submissions became a popular link building tactic years ago. This was a way to get a lot of links from low quality sites in a short period of time. These programs would submit your information and a link back to your site to hundreds of websites and hope for a percentage to be accepted. This is a bad tactic and will get your site penalized.


Backlink: A Backlink is a link on a website where the destination URL is your website.

Black Hat SEO: Black Hat SEO is a term that the SEO industry uses for unethical SEO practices. Such practices include, but are not limited to link schemes, link farms, paid links and article spinning.

Blog: A Blog is an online resource section of a website where the webmaster and/or others representing the website post articles, news, and other information for the public to view.

Blog Spam: Blog spam is when people go to blogs around the web and post comments with the only intention of getting links. They have no intention of adding to the conversation. In many cases this is an automated process with bots that find blogs and post comments through the use of software.

Blog Networks: Blog Networks are similar to link farms in the sense that they are built for unnatural use of building links. These Blog Networks link to one another passing unnatural link equity. Google sees this as a trend with guest posting growing in popularity and frowns upon these sites.

Brand Mention: A Brand Mention is when a website refers to your brand, company or tagline on their website. This is useful to monitor for potential link reclamation for mentions of your company that do not link to your website.

Brand Monitoring: Brand Monitoring is the activity of following these brand mentions and making sure that any positive or negative comment referring to your company is monitored and responded to if necessary.

Broken Link: A Broken Link is a hyperlink on a website where the destination URL no longer exists and displays a 404 error.


Canonical: Canonical is a method to inform Google where the origin of the content is on the website. This is used for pages on a website with similar content where you want to inform Google which is the original source.

Citations: Citations are mentions of your business online. Local SEO utilizes citations because it is a great indicator to Google where you are located and the area your business serves.

Cloaking: Cloaking is a tactic where a website displays a different version for Google as it does the rest of web. This is a tactic that is outside of Google's guidelines and will get your site penalized or de-indexed entirely.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): Cost Per Acquisition or CPA is a measurement of what the cost per closed business is. This is mostly used in paid search management, but can be applied to other marketing efforts as well.

Cost Per Click (CPC): Cost Per Click or CPC is an advertising method where the company advertising pays a per visit fee. Historically, advertising was performed on a cost per impression methodology and with the web has changed drastically in favor of Cost Per Click.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS): Cascading Style Sheets or CSS is a document for the website that dictates how the HTML appears on the website. This determines the look and feel.

Click Through Rate (CTR): The Click Through Rate is the measurement of how many times an ad has been clicked versus the amount of impressions it has.


Deep Linking: Deep Linking is when links are acquired to your website where the destination URL of the link is to an inner page. Often this is a product or service page. Deep Linking increases your domain authority and overall strength of the website.

Deindex: Deindexing is when your website no longer is displayed in search engine results. Deindexing is often how Google will penalized websites that have participated in SEO methodology that is outside of their guidelines. When a site has been deindexed for a penalty, it has to be a major offense.

Directories: Directories are websites that contain lists, often profiles of businesses categorized for quick reference. There are good directories as well as low quality directories that we published for the sole purpose of link building that do not assist your site.

Do Follow Links: Do Follow Links are hyperlinks that allows link equity to pass to the destination URL.

Domain Authority: Domain Authority is a measurement for SEOs provided by that provides the level of trust and how well your website will rank. Moz provides the metric on a 0 - 100 scale and is often used in competitive analysis and link acquisition efforts.

Duplicate Content: Duplicate Content is when your website has identical copy as another website. Google knows which site had the content published fist and if you copy another site, your site will be affected negatively because of it.


Embed Code: HTML code that allows other users to embed content from your website onto theirs. In many cases this will provide a backlink to your website and increase your site's domain authority.

Evergreen Content: Evergreen Content is content for your website that will always be relevant. This is often a strategy for blogs because the post your write today will still be searched and relevant years from now.

Exact Match Anchor Text: Exact Match Anchor Text is anchor text that has a specific searched phrase as the copy. For example an Exact Match Anchor Text would be "Mexican Food Scottsdale" instead of "Brand Name's website". Previous methodology was to acquire links with exact match phrases to increase rankings for those specific phrases, however Google made modifications to stop overoptimization.

External Links: External Links are hyperlinks on your website that links to an outside website. This passes link equity to the destination site from your website.



Google Algorithm: Google's search algorithm is a mathematical formula on how the determine a website's rankings for a specific keyword phrase. The algorithm's primary goal is provide the best natural search results for its users.

Google Analytics: Google Analytics is web-based software developed by Google to analyze website traffic on a very detailed level. This includes, but is not limited to referral sources, time on site, conversions and many other statistics that are valuable to the website and determining if your marketing efforts are working and what the return is.

Guest Blogging: Guest Blogging is when you write a blog post for a website that is not yours. Guest Blogging is a good way to acquire backlinks, while getting more exposure of your brand. Often times site owners will reach out to other industry experts to write content or vice versa.


HTML: HTML or Hypertext Markup Language is the standard markup for websites to render in your website browser.

Hyperlink: A Hyperlink is text on the website that when clicked directs the user to a new and/or different page or website.


Inbound Link: An Inbound Link is a hyperlink from another website that links to your site. This link from the referral source will pass link equity to your site and assist in your site's rankings depending on many factors and the quality of the referring site.

Infographic: An Infographic is a visual representation of data, information or other content. This is often used in marketing efforts to present ordinary information that would most likely get overlooked, into a stunning visual that will grab attention and drive traffic to the provider. Often, infographics provide an embed code with a link to your site.

Interactive Media: Interactive Media is any visual asset or media that is interactive and allows a user to take action or requires the user's feedback. This media is a scalable link acquisition tactic.

Internet Protocol (IP): IP or Internet Protocol is the method how data is sent from a computer to another on the Internet.

IP Address: An IP Address is a series of numbers that identifies the location of a website. Not only are IP Addresses used for web servers, but are used for your device as well and depending on the service provider the number will be changed.



Keyword Density: Keyword Density is the amount of times a keyword is mentioned on the web page. Too many instances of the keyword phrase may result in overoptimizing and result in your site's rankings decreasing. If you have too few of references, Google will not see it to be relevant. It is important to maintain a natural, balanced approach to implementing keywords into your site copy.

Keyword Phrase: A Keyword Phrase that is used in the content of your website that indicates to Google what the subject matter of the page is, so that they can provide revelant results.

Keyword Research: Keyword Research is research conducted to determine what keyword phrases a website should seek. This includes search volume of certain phrases and competition analysis.

Keyword Stuffing: Keyword Stuffing is an SEO tactic that is outside of Google's Webmaster Guidelines. Keyword Stuffing is when an unnatural amount of keywords are implemented in the site, trying to outsmart the algorithm and increase relevancy unnaturally.

Keyword Volume: Keyword Volume is the amount of times a keyword phrase is searched by the user. This information comes from Google and their record of queries by users. Keyword Volume is imperative in determining the keyword phrases your website should focus on.


Link Acquisition (Link Building): Link Acquisition most commonly known as Link Building, is the act of marketing your website in some methodology to acquire links in order to increase the website's rankings. There are many different methods to acquire links.

Link Bait: Link Bait is content that is created in a clever or creative way to acquire links. This is often a scalable link acquisition method. Tools and other useful content is often created to acquire links.

Link Equity: Link Equity is the amount of value that is passed from a link to your website. The actual amount of Link Equity that your website has is the collection of links in your link profile. One metric to measure this is domain authority provided by

Link Profile: Your website's link profile is the collection of inbound and internal links. Google evaluates your link profile algorithmically to determine the strength of your website so that can rank your site accordingly.


Meta Description: A Meta Description is a meta tag in the header of the page that provides a brief description to search engines to inform them what the page is about. The Meta Description is displayed beneath the Title Tag in the search engine results.

Meta Keywords: Meta Keywords is a meta tag that is a list of keywords that you find relevant to your page. This is no longer used by search engines and is often discouraged because it is an easy way for your competitors to do keyword research.

Meta Tags: Meta Tags are HTML tags which define metadata about the specific page. They include descriptions, keywords, authors, and more. Meta Tags are used in many different circumstances, but mostly focused for search engines.


Nofollow Links: Nofollow Links are links from a website that do not pass any link equity to the destination URL. The HTML markup for a nofollow link will be the following: rel="nofollow"


Organic Search Results: Organic Search Results are the results provided by a search engine for a specific phrase. These results are determined by the algorithm of the search engine. These are the natural results that the search engine deems most relevant to the keyword phrase.


Page Authority: Page Authority is a measurement for SEOs provided by that provides the level of trust and how well your specific page will rank. Moz provides the metric on a 0 - 100 scale and is often used in competitive analysis and link acquisition efforts.

Panda: Panda is a term that Google and the SEO industry uses for a series of algorithm changes that focus on content. These changes were aimed after sites that provide low quality content for the sole purpose or ranking for specific phrases. Google continues to modify this part of their algorithm in hopes that they will be able to smartly determine if content is useful to a user or not.

Penguin: Penguin is a term that Google and the SEO industry uses for a series of algorithm changes that focus on inbound links. Originally introduced in April of 2012, Google has determined that links from low quality sites are not valuable and in certain circumstances will hurt your rankings more than help them.

PPC: PPC or Pay Per Click is an online adversing method based on a cost per click model. The company paying for the advertising will only be charged when the advertisement is clicked.



Reciprocal Links: Reciprocal Links are links that are exchanged from one site owner to another to pass link equity to eachother's sites. This link acquisition tactic was popular years ago and since has been considered outside of Google's guidelines. This is a method that you want to stay away from.

Relevancy: relevancy in this context is when an inbound link to your website is on a site that is relevant to yours. Google finds more value in links when they are on sites that are similar in content as yours, they feel as thought it is a more natural and honest vote for your site.

Robots.txt: The Robots.txt file is a file on your website that advises search engines and other bots what to index and what not to index on your site. This is often used for content that websites do not want to be made public or found organically. There are many other uses for this document.

Root Domain: The Root Domain is the top level domain, for example the Root Domain for Tide Interactive is, not


Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO is the practice of increasing site's rankings based on a set of keyword phrases that will drive traffic to the website and increase revenue.

SEM: SEM or Search Engine Marketing is marketing that is conducted through search engines as a medium. This includes SEO, paid search, retargeting, etc.

SERP: SERP or Search Engine Results Page are the actual results pages where websites are listed by the search engines.

Sitewide Link: A Sitewide Link is a hyperlink on a website that is on every page of the site.

Social Signals: Social Signals are the metrics by which the search engines determine the influence your social media has on your website.

Spam: Spam is anything sent, posted or published to your website that is unsolicited.

Spider: A Spider is the term coined for the actual software and hardware that indexes the web.


Title Tag: A Title Tag is the title of a page that dictates the title of the webpage. The Title Tag also is displayed in the SERPs and is a prominent element in ranking factors.


Unnatural Link Warning: An Unnatural Link Warning is a warning provided by Google in your website's Google Webmaster Tools that will inform the webmaster that the site has links on other websites that are low quality and suspicious of participating in link schemes or link farms. When given this warning, action needs to be made immediately to iradicate the problem.



Widget: A Widget is a tool or resource that can be embedded on other websites.




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