SEO Glossary


301 Redirect - Noun. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one page to another. It is used when you've moved your site to a new domain, you need to merge two websites or people are able to access your site from multiple URLs such as a and

404 Error - Noun. A 404 or Not Found error is a message is an HTTP response indicating that the webpage is inaccessible because the client was able to communicate with the server, but the server could not located the request.

Adwords - Noun. Google' s advertising system that allows advertisers to bid on keywords in order to show their ads in allocated areas within the search results and on Google partner sites. Advertisers pay for their ads based on the amount of impressions or the amount of clicks they receive.

Algorithm - Noun. An algorithm is a set of rules or formulas that process data in such a way as to return the most relevant answer. The Google algorithm consists of over 200 unique signals that help determine what a searcher is looking for when they type a keyword or phrase into the search bar.

Alt Text - Noun. Alt text (short for alternative text) is a descriptive word or phrase that is commonly inserted as an HTML markup into non-text elements on a webpage such as an image. It's purpose is to describe those elements to users who can't view images in their browsers but, they also serve a purpose for SEO.

Analytics - Noun. The tracking and reporting of website traffic and other data that provides insights into the performance of your site and marketing efforts.

Anchor Text - Noun. Anchor text refers to hyperlinked text that often shows up highlighted, underlined or bold so as to alert the reader that the text is a clickable link.

Authority - Adjective. Refers to the quality of a page, meaning that a particular page provides high quality content that is relevant to its main topic. In terms of links, it refers to the trust associated to a link from a search engine in that it offers high quality, relevant content and is placed on or leads to a trusted domain.

B2B - Noun. Business to business.

B2C - Noun. Business to consumer.

Backlink - Noun. A backlink is a link from to one website or web property to another. Backlinking - verb. The act of building links to your website from other properties around the web.

Bing Ads - Noun. Microsoft's ad program, similar to Google AdWords. It shows ads on Yahoo! as well as Bing.

Black Hat SEO - Noun. A practice designed to help a website rank using methods that are against the terms of service of the search engines, such as link spam, link cloaking and doorway pages. Partaking in such practices can result in your website being penalized or even banned.

Blog - Noun. A blog is a frequently updated portion of a website that is run by an individual or business. Initially, blogs were a place for individuals to share their personal experiences and opinions, but they are also commonly used as a lead generation and relationship building tool by businesses and entrepreneurs. Blogging - verb. Refers to the act of adding new content to a frequently updated portion of a website on a consistent basis with the intent of building an audience.

Bot - Noun. A bot is a software application that runs automated tasks over the internet. Bots can be programmed to perform a variety of tasks such as crawling your site (as is the case of the search engines) to collecting data (usually without someone's consent).

Bounce Rate - Noun. Bounce rate refers to the amount of time a user spends on your website before navigating away after viewing one page. Through Google analytics, you can view the bounce rate for your entire site or on a page-by-page basis. A high bounce rate indicates that viewers may find your content boring or irrelevant to what they were searching for.

Branded Search - Noun. Branded search refers to a search query that includes a brand name or variation thereof. An example of a branded search would be: Traffic Jams, Traffic Jams Marketing, or Traffic Jams Digital Marketing.

Bread Crumbs - Noun. Breadcrumbs refer to a secondary navigation that shows the user where they are on a website. It is typically shown below the main navigation menu and provides links to previous pages on the site.

Canonicalization - Noun. Canonicalization is an SEO best practice that indicates to the search engines which version of a webpage to use when there are multiple versions of that specific page. The practice can help eliminate duplicate content on a website as well as provide more accurate analytics results.

Click Fraud - Noun. Click fraud is the practice of intentionally clicking on an ad (such as an AdWords ad) in order to either generate income for oneself (in the case you have AdSense on your website) or draining the revenue from the advertiser (perhaps a competitor). The search engines have algorithms in place that can help detect instances of click fraud and do not reward/charge advertisers who engage in this practice

Comment Spam - Noun. Comment spam refers to unwanted comments that are left on a blog or social post solely for the purpose of linking back to a website, social account, affiliate link or blog. Spam comments are easy to spot because they often are irrelevant to the content on your page or post and may contain suspicious links.

Content - Noun. Also known as text or copy, content is the part of a webpage or other web-based asset such as an email, video or eBook that offers value to the reader. Good content is original, informative and entertaining.

Conversion - Noun. A conversion is the point at which a person performs a specific and desired action - usually in reference to a call-to-action. A conversion could be the result of filling out an email form, calling a phone number, or making a purchase.

Conversion Rate - Noun. Conversion rate refers to the percentage of users who take a specific and desired action. Examples of conversion rate could be how many people out of those who opened an email signed up for your webinar or how many out of those who visited your site made a purchase.

CPC - Noun. CPC is a term that applies to pay per click marketing and stands for "cost per click". It is the average amount that an advertiser is charged for a keyword each time a user clicks on their ad for that search term.

CPM - Noun. CPM refers to cost per one thousand impressions. It is used in reference to online ads such as those in the AdWords program.

Crawler - Noun. A crawler or web crawler is an automated script that combs the web or even a single website in a methodical, automated manner in order to update data.

Directory - Noun. A directory or web directory is a website that specializes in listing websites and businesses based on their category, location or industry. Like the phone book, they often provide contact information as well as a link back to the website. Directories are a small portion of overall backlinking strategies and are particularly important for local SEO.

Do Follow Link - Noun. A do follow link is a link which does not have the "no follow" attribute attached to it. Do follow links allow web crawlers to acknowledge the destination page of that link, which in turn offers more trust and authority (and a small SEO boost) to the page that is being linked to.

Doorway Page - Noun. Doorway pages are pages that are specifically created for the purpose of ranking for a particular term or phrase but, often lead to a different page or site entirely through the use of a redirect.

Duplicate Content Noun. Duplicate content refers to content that is found in more than one URL on a website or on the internet and can consist of an entire page or a few sentences. Duplicate content can make it difficult for the search engines to determine which version of that content to serve users meaning, that only the best version (according to the algorithm) will be shown. The downside to this is that the version shown may not be the one on your site or the one that you prefer.


Feed - Noun. A feed is script that automates syndication of a website's or group of websites' content such as a blog. Readers can subscribe to a feed and each time a new posts are uploaded they will appear in the feed without the user having to visit the site in order to see the new content, though they may have to visit the site to read the entirety of the content.


HTML - Noun. HTML stands for hyper text markup language and is one of the languages used in web development to specify font, color, graphic and hyperlink effects on a webpage.

Hub - Noun. A hub is a an authoritative page with expert content on a topic that links out to other related pages either across the internet or within a website.

Hummingbird Update - Noun. A Google search engine algorithm first introduced in 2013. Hummingbird's algorithm focuses on synonyms and their context within content, it's main goal being to judge the intent of the person carrying out a search.

Impression - Noun. Also known as a page view, when a user views your webpage, it counts as an impression.

Inbound Link - Noun. An inbound link is a hyperlink from another website to your website. Having a wide variety of inbound links is part of a good marketing strategy.

Index - Noun. An index is a database of webpages in the search engines that contains information on the contents of each site so that they are easier for users to find. Webmasters can help get their pages indexed by submitting their site to the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

Internal Link - Noun. An internal link is a link on a website that points to related page on the same domain.


Keyword - Noun. Keywords are the words or phrases that users type into the search engines when they want to find specific information. Keywords can be as short and general or long tail and highly specific. Typically, the more specific the keyword, the less competition there is in the search engines for that term.

Keyword Cannibalization - Noun. Keyword cannibalization happens when you have two or more pages on a single website competing against each other for the same or similar terms. It can result in decreased content quality, weak linking structure and lower conversion rates.

Keyword Density - Noun. Keyword density refers to the number of times a keyword or phrase appears on a webpage as a percentage of the content on that page. There is debate among SEOs as to what the best percentage of keyword density is and if it is even considered relevant today compared to the quality of content.

Keyword Research - Noun. Keyword research is a process used by SEOs to help determine the most relevant and cost effective keywords to use when targeting terms for a web page or PPC campaign.

Keyword Stuffing - Noun. Keyword stuffing (aka. keyword spam) is the practice of purposely inserting a specific keyword or set of keywords into a webpage with the intention of ranking higher in the search engines. The idea is that, by mentioning the keyword more often, the search engines will find your page more relevant for that particular term. However, since there are over 200 factors that determine the relevancy of a page for any given term, keyword stuffing is much more likely to end up in a penalty than a top ranking.

Landing Page - Noun. A landing page is a stand alone webpage that is independent of the main content of your website and has a clear and focused objective such as collecting information in exchange for a free or discounted offer, downloading or purchasing something. Good landing pages do not contain navigational links, offer something of value and have a clear call to action.

Link - Noun. A link is string of hypertext on a web page that sends the user to a new page when clicked on.

Link Bait - Noun. A webpage that is designed for the purpose of attracting incoming links, usually through funny or controversial headlines and content.

Link Building - Noun. The actual of process of acquiring more incoming links to a website.

Link Cloaking - Noun. Link cloaking is a controversial term that refers to the process of turning a long, somewhat messy looking URL into a cleaner, shorter link. The controversy around this stems from the fact that some marketers use cloaking to disguise a link and make it look like it goes somewhere it doesn't. Link cloaking is also a technique that can be used to track the activity that a link receives (how many clicks it gets) by using a service such as

Link Juice - Noun. The authority or power that a link passes on to a website or page. A do follow link from an high ranking, trusted and authoritative site will provide more link juice than a no follow link from a less authoritative site. Also known as trust, authority or PageRank.

Long Tail Keywords - Noun. Long tail keywords are longer, more specific keywords that are typically easier to rank for because they have less competition in the search engines. Because they are so specific they are often used by marketers to target consumers further along in the buying cycle.

META Tags - Noun. Meta tags are found in the HTML portion of a webpage. They are used to provide information to both the search engines and users about a webpage such as it's title and description.

Metric - Noun. A metric is a method, system or standard of measuring data.

Monetize - Noun. To monetize your site is to turn it into an asset that generates income. This is typically done by through a number of methods such as affiliate marketing, ad programs, selling products or offering services for a fee through your site.

Negative SEO - Noun. Negative SEO is the process of attempting to lower a third party site's rankings by using tactics that search engines consider as untrustworthy or spammy. Some of these tactics will not only lower a site's rank, they can also penalize websites and get them removed from the search engine altogether.

Niche - Noun. A niche is topic, subject or industry that your website covers. In the digital marketing space, a website that covers a specific topic is usually called a niche site.

No Follow Link - Noun. A no follow link is a link that has an attribute in the HTML markup of a page that indicates that web crawlers should not acknowledge its destination. Links that are "no follow" still offer SEO benefits to the pages they link to, just at a much lower rate which means you will need more of them and a greater variety of them from different sources in order to make a significant impact.

No Index - Noun. No index is an HTML markup that is found on a webpage that indicates to web crawlers that they should avoid indexing that specific page (i.e. not show that page in the search results).

Non Reciprocal Link - Noun. Non-reciprocal links refer to one-way inbound links from one website to another - meaning a website links to a page on your site, but you do not link back to them. Non reciprocal links from high quality websites are considered some of the best links you can have from an SEO perspective because they typically indicate your site as a source of authoritative information.

Organic Link - Noun. An organic link is a link to your website that has not been solicited by you or anyone else.

Organic Search Results - Noun. Organic search results are the results that appear for a search based on their relevance, quality of content and authority as opposed to paid search results.

Outgoing Link - Noun. Also known as an external link, these are links on a website that point to pages on a different domain.

Page Rank - Noun. Page rank is a number between 0 and 10 that Google assigns to a page to indicate it's relevance for a particular search term. Most SEOs consider page rank a now defunct factor by which to base the relevancy of a page on because Google has stated that it is no longer updated.

Panda Update - Noun. A series of ongoing Google search engine updates first introduced in 2011. The focus of these updates is to weed out websites with poor quality content from the top search results and reward sites with high quality, relevant content with top or first page placement for their targeted key phrases.

Payday Update - Noun. A Google algorithm update that appeared in 2013 that targeted spammy content such as payday loan and adult material sites. The update specifically goes after sites that are part of complex link schemes.

Penguin Update - Noun. A Google algorithm update which first appeared in 2012 aimed at decreasing the visibility of websites that violate Google Webmaster's Guidelines. The penguin update specifically targeted well known black hat SEO techniques used to manipulate a website's placement in the search engine's rankings.

Pigeon Update - Noun. Google's pigeon update first appeared in 2014 and targeted local search results. It improved results based on distance and location as well as tying into Google's web search capabilities.

Portal - Noun. Also known as a web portal, it is a website or service that offers users a variety of services such as search, email and news in order to entice the user to make it their home page. Popular and well known portals include Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

PPA - Noun. PPA stands for pay-per-action. With PPA marketing advertisers only pay when a click through on their ad results in a conversions and publishers only get paid when someone converts through the an ad which is located on their web property.

PPC - Noun. PPC stands for pay-per-click. With PPC marketing advertisers only pay when someone clicks on their ad and publishers only get paid when someone clicks on the ad which is located on their web property.


Reciprocal Link - Noun. A reciprocal link is a link that is based on an agreement between two sites. Basically it says "if you link to me, I'll link to you". This is a practice that looked down upon in the SEO community because Google see's these types of links as less authoritative (in most cases) since the sites are usually unrelated to each other in terms of content or industry.

Redirect - Noun. A redirect is an instance where a URL directs traffic from one webpage to another, typically bypassing the initial webpage's URL altogether. An example would be where a user types in but gets redirected to

Regional Long Tail - Noun. A long tail keyword which also includes a city or region name such as "Chicago attorneys for child support". These types of keywords are an important component of local SEO for small businesses.

Robots.txt - Noun. A text file often found in the HTML of a web document that includes instructions for web crawlers about the website. For instance, the robots.txt file can tell the search engines not to index a specific page, block traffic from a certain country or not to follow a link.

ROI - Noun. Return on investment.

Scrape - Verb. The automated copying of content from a website or group of websites for the purpose of using it on another website or spinning it to make it look unique. The scraping is usually performed by a bot or script and can range from content to URLs.

Search Engine - Noun. A search engine is a program that uses a specific algorithm to identify the most relevant results to a user based on a string of keywords called a "query".

Search Engine Spam - Noun. Also known as "spamdexing", search engine spam is a black hat SEO technique designed to deliberately manipulate a web page's rankings.

SEM - Noun. SEM or search engine marketing is a component of SEO and involves the promotion of websites in the search engines through meta descriptions and paid advertising.

SEO - Noun. SEO stands for search engine optimization and is a set of best practices that webmasters use to help them increase the rank of a webpage or website in the search engine's unpaid results.

SEO Copywriting - Noun. SEO copywriting refers to content that is created to satisfy both users and search engines. The main components of SEO copywriting focus on key phrases, quality content and other on-page optimization factors.

Site Map - Noun. A sitemap is a representation of a site's content that is designed to help web crawlers and users navigate the site. It helps web crawlers do so by indicating the structure and content on the site, while it helps human users easily find content based on categories and tags.

SMM - Noun. SMM stands for social media marketing. Basically a form of marketing that utilizes social media platforms to share content, engage with users and drive traffic to a website or web page.

Social Bookmark - Noun. A social bookmarking refers to sites that allow users to publicly save and share webpages on the internet. They typically require a user to create an account and enable users to organize their content with tags.

Social Media - Noun. Social media refers to online platforms that allow users to network and connect with others while sharing content. Social media sites allow users to create online communities to share a variety of information from personal interests to career related networking.

Spammer - Noun. A spammer is someone who sends out unsolicited emails or attempts to manipulate the search engines through the use of high quantities of low quality links and content.

Spider - Noun. See "Bot"

Splash Page - Noun. A splash page is page that a user see's before continuing onto the content of a website. The splash page might contain an offer to signup or purchase something, or it could also offer the user a choice to visit one area of the site or another as a means to allow users to pre-qualify themselves.

Static Page - Noun. A static page is a webpage that is delivered to the user exactly as is, meaning it does not change over time unless the webmaster manually changes it. Static pages are different from dynamic pages that change such as a news or blog feed that may have different content on it from day to day.

Stickiness - Noun. Stickiness refers a website's content. To say that a website's content is sticky is to say that it is relevant and valuable enough to keep visitors returning to it and using it as a resource or reference material.

Submission - Noun. A submission is the process of making the search engine's aware of your website so that it includes your pages in the results. In the early days of online marketing webmasters would submit their sites to the search engines.

Taxonomy - Noun. Taxonomy is a classification system based on vocabulary that is used to organize information based on its topic and is typically hierarchical in nature.

Title Tags - Noun. The title tags or elements of a page are used to describe the topic of the content. Title tags that are user friendly are unique, descriptive and to the point. Page titles appear as anchor text in the search results and often make use of keywords or emotions in order to entice users to click.

URL - Noun. URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator and refers to an internet address.


White Hat SEO - Noun. White hat SEO refers to the use of ethical search engine optimization tactics to increase a website's position in the search engines. Unlike black hat SEO which relies on gaming the system, white hat SEO is focused on producing quality content and gaining legitimate links based on relevancy.