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SEO & SEM Glossary

Search Engine Optimization & Marketing Glossary – A to Z

RankIntent SEO & SEM Glossary compiles more than 500+ of the most common terms you are likely to hear and will need to know during your Digital Marketing career. To help you get a handle on digital marketing vocabulary and jargon, we’ve compiled this comprehensive SEO & SEM glossary with definitions and helpful links.


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Numbers 0 – 9


200 OK: The 200 HTTP status code is used to indicate that the request of a webpage ( was successfully received, understood, and accepted.


301 (Moved Permanently): If you have a page that’s permanently changed URLs (e.g. has changed to, you should implement a 301 redirect and relink all previous resources to the new URL.


A 301 HTTP status code indicates that the requested resource has been permanently assigned a new URI (Uniform Resource Identifier).


302 Found (Moved Temporary): If you have a page that’s temporarily under maintenance, you’d implement a 302 redirect. Take note that search engines may not index the redirected URL as a 302 signals temporary redirection. If your page is moving permanently, you should use a 301 instead.


403 (Forbidden): A 403 status code forbids the user from viewing the content on the resource page and indicates why the valid request has not been fulfilled (e.g. due to not having the necessary permissions).


404 (Not Found): The requested resource could not be found and may have either moved or may be available in the future.


500 (Internal Server Error): A 500 status code is a generic error message given when the server encounters unexpected conditions, preventing it from fulfilling the request.


503 (Service Unavailable): The server is currently unavailable due to a scheduled maintenance or is temporarily overloaded.


Alphabets A to Z




Above The Fold: Having the content is above the fold of the page means the content is immediately displayed without scrolling down further on the page.


Absolute URLs: An absolute URL takes the full form of the URL e.g. and is recommended for proper on-page SEO.


AdCenter: The old name for Microsoft’s cost per click ad network, later rebranded as Bing Ads.


AdSense: Google’s contextual advertising network. Publishers large and small may automatically publish relevant advertisements near their content and share the profits from those ad clicks with Google.


Adwords: Google Pay Per Click contextual advertisement program, very common way of basic website advertisement.


Affiliate: An affiliate site markets products or services that are actually sold by another website or business in exchange for fees or commissions.


Ahrefs: One of the best backlink checker tools in the SEO industry. Ahrefs suite of tools also expand to keyword research and popular content explorer.


AJAX: AJAX stands for Asynchronous Javascript and XML. It is a client-side script that exchanges data with a server/database without reloading or refreshing the page.


Alexa: owned search service which measures website traffic.


Algorithm: A set of rules that a search engine uses to rank the listings contained within its index, in response to a particular query. No search engine reveals exactly how its own algorithm works, to protect itself from competitors and those who wish to spam the search engine.


Algorithm Change: Some algorithmic changes go completely unnoticed. However, the impact of a major algorithmic change can usually be seen quite quickly, though the change sometimes takes a few weeks to completely roll out.


Algorithmic changes come in three forms:

  • Algorithm Update: The search engine changes certain signals of an existing algorithm.
  • Algorithm Refresh: The search engine re-runs an existing algorithm using the exact same signals as last time.
  • New Algorithm: The search engine adds a new algorithm to improve search quality. For example: Google Panda, Google Penguin.

Algorithmic Penalty: If you see your rankings drop heavily overnight (like from #3 to #59), you might have received an algorithmic penalty. Check your Google Webmaster Tools Search Console to verify whether you might have also received a manual penalty.


Sites that receive algorithmic penalties typically resolve on their own (regain their rankings) after fixing any issues that may have triggered well known algorithms such as Panda or Penguin.


Algorithm Update: Google updates their algorithms 500 – 600 times a year on average to combat spam. Once in awhile Google releases public statements when they make major changes to their algorithms. Notable algorithmic updates in the recent years include Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Mobilegeddon, and RankBrain.


Algorithmic Results: Organic Listings are the results shown to users based on certain rules and software programs.


AllTheWeb: Search engine which was created by Fast, then bought by Overture, which was bought by Yahoo. Yahoo may use AllTheWeb as a test bed for new search technologies and features.


AltaVista: AltaVista was a Web search engine established in 1995. It became one of the most-used early search engines, but lost ground to Google and was purchased by Yahoo! in 2003, which retained the brand but based all AltaVista searches on its own search engine.


Alternate Text/Alt Tag: The alternate text or shorthand term “ALT tag” refers to the attribute within an image tag (e.g. alt=”description”). ALT tags should be descriptive of the image to tell search engines and users the nature of the image.


Amazon A+ Pages: A+ Content integrates detailed product descriptions, rich images, charts and narrative copy to help customers make informed buying decisions.


Analytics: The science of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data to take future action based on what has (or hasn’t) worked historically.


Anchor Text: The anchor text is the text within a hyperlink that is clickable. Upon hovering the cursor over and clicking on the anchor text, the user will be taken the destination URL specified in the hyperlink code.


Artificial Intelligence (AI): The science of making computers perform tasks that require human intelligence. Rather than following a set of programmed rules (like an algorithm), an AI computer system is basically a digital brain that learns.


Average Monthly Searches: The average monthly searches are the average number of times people have searched for that exact keyword over the previous 12 months on search engine.




B2B: Short for business-to-business. In B2B SEO, the buying cycle is longer, products and services are more expensive, and the audience is professional decision-makers.


B2C: Short for business-to-consumer. In B2C SEO, the buying cycle is typically shorter (though it still varies by industry), products and services are (mostly) cheaper, and consumers are the audience.


Backlinks: All the links pointing at a particular web page. Also called inbound links. Backlinks are a major ranking factor in Search Engine Optimization and that means having more backlinks correlate to higher rankings.


Backlink Checker Tool: Backlink checker tools help you analyze your backlink profile to see which websites linked to your website. Here are a few recommended ones:

  • AHrefs
  • Moz Pro
  • Majestic
  • SEO Spyglass
  • Semrush

BackRub: BackRub was the initial name of the gigantic search engine Google.


Baidu: The most popular search engine in China.


Banned: When pages are removed from a search engine’s index specifically because the search engine has deemed them to be spamming or violating some type of guidelines.


Bing: Bing is one of the most popular search engines in the world after Google. It is currently owned and operated by Microsoft.


Bing Keyword Research Tool: A keyword research tool by Bing to get keyword ideas and data from Bing’s organic and paid search.


Bing Webmaster Tools: A webmaster dashboard by Bing to provide webmasters reporting tools, diagnostic tools, notifications, and a summary view of how their websites are performing on Bing’s organic search results.


Black Box: A complex computer program that is poorly understood. Inputs and outputs can be observed, but there is no access to the process itself due to its confidential nature.


Black Hat SEO: Black hat SEO refers to the use of shady practices, automated programs, and aggressive techniques aimed at manipulating search engines to drive a site’s rankings up.


Block-Level Link Analysis: This approach of link analysis sprung from the idea that links from different sections of the page or webpage blocks are weighted differently. In layman terms, a link in the footer may not count as much as a link in the header.


Blog: A web log or weblog, more commonly known as a blog, consists of entries/posts/blogposts listed in reverse chronological order (most recent entry appearing first).


Blog Commenting: A great way to build relationships and increase personal branding/brand awareness. Most blogs allow readers to post their comments and include a link back to their own websites.


Blog Comment Spam: A black hat SEO technique where “black hatters” aggressively post irrelevant comments that include links (usually with over optimized anchor text) back to their websites in hopes of manipulating search engine ranking signals.


Blog Network: A network of blogs, usually privately owned by an SEO agency, SEO consultant, or in-house, in effort of manipulating search engine rankings through off-page SEO techniques such as pointing exact match anchor text links to a target domain.


Bot: Also known as search engine spiders, robots, crawlers. These automated software agents crawl content on the web for the purpose of understanding and indexing the content in order to pull the most relevant results to a searcher’s query.


Bounce Rate: The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors landing on a single page of a website and leaving without viewing any other pages of the same website. There are certain default conditions set by web analytics tools such as Google Analytics and several modifiable conditions that constitute to a bounce such as page inactivity for 30 minutes or more.


Brand Keywords: Branded keywords are queries that include a brand’s name. For example the search term “amazon web services” is a brand search query of the company Amazon.


Brand Mentions: A brand mention is any mention of a brand name in any web document. It is also a link building strategy known as Link Reclamation, where brand mention tools are used to track and alert a brand of any brand mentions across the web.


Breadcrumbs: The internet equivalent of Hansel and Gretel’s trail of breadcrumb navigation method. Breadcrumbs are used as a navigational aid for users to keep track of their location when browsing a website.


Broken Link: Any link that leads to a 404 page not found, bad gateway, or internal server error. Link equity is also lost when a hyperlink leads to a 404 page, unless the 404 page redirects to a live URL (200 OK).


Buyer’s Guide: Publication that some firms (such as insurance companies) are required to give to the prospective buyers in certain jurisdictions to appraise them of all the terms and conditions involved in the purchase.




Cache: A computing term in which data is stored into a hardware or a software (e.g. browser) so that future requests can be served faster.


Cached Page: A snapshot of a webpage as it appeared when a search engine last crawled it.


Canonical URL (rel=canonical): The rel=canonical tag is used to tell search engines that various URLs have essentially similar content. Search engines will then only index the canonical URL. This takes care of duplicate content issues which confuse search engines as to which content they should rank.


Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD): Two-letter internet top level domains designated for specific countries.


The letters marked in red are ccTLDs. Having a ccTLD signals to search engines and users the geographic location in which a site originates. Google uses this signal to rank a local site higher in local search results.


Click Bait: Content that is designed to entice people to click, typically by overpromising or being intentionally misleading in headlines, so publishers can earn advertising revenue.


Clickthrough Rate: The percentage of those clicking on a link out of the total number who see the link. For example, imagine 10 people do a web search. In response, they see links to a variety of web pages. Three of the 10 people all choose one particular link. That link then has a 30 percent clickthrough rate. Also called CTR.


Cloaking: A deceptive search engine optimisation technique in which content is presented to search engine spiders is different than that returned to a user’s browser. Cloaking is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.


CMS: Stands for Content Management System. A web-based application that lets people create, upload, and manage digital assets.


Co-Citation: How frequently two websites (or webpages) are mentioned together by a third-party website, even if those first two items don’t link to (or reference) each other. This is a way search engines can establish subject similarity.


Comment Spam: Poorly written comments, often off-topic and self-promotional, posted by spambots in the hopes of getting a free (but ultimately worthless) link.


Competition: There are two types of competition:

  • Direct Competitors: Companies that sell similar products and/or services, serve the same needs, and target a similar audience both online and offline.
  • SEO Competitors: Companies that vie for the same keywords and organic search visibility, but with unalike products or services that address different needs and/or target audiences.

Content: The currency of online marketing and SEO. Quality content is essential for influence and maintaining SEO rankings.


Content Delivery Network (CDN): A network of servers that speedily deliver web content to users based on their geographic locations.


Content Hub: A one-stop destination where web users can find any type of content (guides, ebooks, branded, curated, user generated, faqs) related to a particular topic.


Content Marketing: Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.


Content Uniqueness: The uniqueness level of a piece of content. We all know that duplicate content usually doesn’t bode well when it comes to rankings.


Conversion: A conversion is an important action that takes place in a customer’s buying journey. It could range from anything from a contact form enquiry, view of a key page, average time spent on a page, to a sale.


Conversion Rate: The ratio of the number of total visits to the number of conversions in terms of percentage.


Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): The process of improving the number or quality of conversions that occur on a website. Some popular CRO tactics include testing changes to website design, copy, images, price, call-to-action, and messaging.


Cost Per Click: System where an advertiser pays an agreed amount for each click someone makes on a link leading to their website. Also known as CPC.


CPM: System where an advertiser pays an agreed amount for the number of times their ad is seen by a consumer, regardless of the consumer’s subsequent action. Heavily used in print, broadcasting and direct marketing, as well as with online banner ad sales. CPM stands for “cost per thousand,” since ad views are often sold in blocks of 1,000. The M in CPM is Latin for thousand.


Crawl: A term used when search engine spiders discover and process information of web documents.


Crawler: Component of search engine that gather listings by automatically “crawling” the web. A search engine’s crawler (also called a spider or robot), follows links to web pages. It makes copies of the web pages found and stores these in the search engine’s index.


Crawl Budget: The number of pages of a website and the number of times a day a search engine will crawl a website. It is important that all pages of a website that intends to rank on top of Google get discovered and crawled, otherwise they would not be indexed and ranked in Google’s search engine results pages.


Crawl Error: URLs that a search engine bot is unable to crawl.


Cross-Linking: Reciprocally linking between two different websites or two separate webpages within the same website. This signals to search engines that the linked content are somewhat related to one another.


Curated Content: Curated content is relevant information on a particular topic that has been gathered and presented in an organised and meaningful way.


CSS: CSS = Cascading Style Sheets – A plain text file saved with the extensions .css that is used to style and format web elements in a presentable way.


CTR: See Clickthrough Rate.


Customer Journey: All of the potential moments (or touchpoints) at which a prospect is exposed to or engages with a brand. All of these interactions are designed to eventually persuade, influence, and convert that prospect to become a customer, client, or subscriber.




Data: All the hard numbers that represent real customers – the who, what, where, when, why, and how – all of which is needed to make informed decisions about SEO strategies and tactics.


Dead-End Page: A webpage that links to no other webpages. So called because once a user or bot arrives on this page, there is no place to move forward.

De-Indexed/Delisting: Refers to the process of a website vanishing from search engines result pages. This may happen because they have been banned or for other reasons, such as an accidental glitch on the search engine’s part.


Deep Linking: On the World Wide Web, deep linking is making a hyperlink that points to a specific page or image on a website, instead of that website’s main or home page. Such links are called deep links.


Directories: A type of search engine where listings are gathered through human efforts, rather than by automated crawling of the web. In directories, web sites are often reviewed, summarized in about 25 words and placed in a particular category.


Disavow: A method of dealing with spammy backlinks that were not intentionally acquired by a webmaster. Google launched the disavow tool in October 2012 to provide an avenue for SEOs to vouch against low quality links that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and prevent a manual penalty.


DMOZ: The Open Directory Project. This human-edited directory of websites launched June 5, 1998 and closed March 17, 2017.


Dofollow: A dofollow link is a hyperlink without the rel=”nofollow” attribute.


Domain Authority: An SEO metric created by SaaS company Moz. Domain authority or DA can be used to predict the ranking ability of a website using a scale of 0 – 100, with 0 being the lowest and 100 being the highest.


Domain Name: A domain name e.g. represents an Internet Protocol (IP) address e.g. and is mapped to a computer server so that it can be accessed from anywhere in the world on the World Wide Web.


There are different top-level domains such as .com, info, net, org, edu (gTLDs) and country code top-level domains such as .sg, my, ca, us, au (ccTLDs).


Doorway Page: A form of cloaking or spamdexing. Doorway pages or websites are created with the objective of ranking highly for specific queries, which may lead a user to multiple similar destinations instead of one useful final destination.


DuckDuckGo: A search engine that was founded September 28, 2008. It is often praised for its heavy focus on user privacy and a lack of filter bubbles (search personalization).


Duplicate Content: Duplicate content is showing similar content on multiple locations (webpages/URLs). This causes problems when search engines don’t know which version to show to users and can result in 1. dropping all versions of the content from the search results pages and 2. ranking the wrong version.


Dwell Time: Dwell time is measured starting from when a user clicks on a search result, spends time on the page, and ends when the user goes back to the search results pages.


Dynamic Content: Dynamic content, the opposite of static content, serves content that changes based on the user (e.g. browsing behaviour).


Dynamic URL: Dynamic URLs may change based on the session id which typically looks something like this or includes any of these characters: ? = &. Contrast to static URLs which look like this



E-commerce: The buying and selling of products, all conducted online.


Editorial Link: A hyperlink embedded within a page’s main content e.g. a blogpost.


Egobait: A link building technique used by SEOs to acquire backlinks. An egobait is essentially a link building asset created to stroke the ego of the target linker with the purpose of increasing visibility among influencers and hopefully acquire backlinks in the process.


Engagement Metrics: Methods to measure how users are interact with webpages and content.


Entities: People, places, organizations, websites, events, groups, facts, and other things.


Everflux: Everflux essentially means constant fluctuation and refers to the way Google updates its index – by continuously crawling the web for new content and integrating it as quickly as possible into a separate index.


Exact Match Domain (EMD): An exact match domain refers to a keyword targeted domain. For example if you wanted to rank for the keyword phrase “how to create a server”, you would buy and you would rank on top of Google.


External Link: An external link is any hyperlink that points to a destination URL other than its own domain. If your website (e.g. links to another website (e.g., the link is known as an external link.



Featured Snippet: For certain queries, usually questions (i.e., who/what/where/when/why/how), Google sometimes shows a special block above the organic search results. This box contains a summary (in the form of paragraph, list, table, or video), as well as the publication date, page title, link to the webpage from which the answer originated, and URL.


Findability: How easily the content on a website can be discovered, both internally (by users) and externally (by search engines).


FLASH: A programming language that search engines have difficulty crawling and understanding content built with it.


Footer Link: Links that appear in the bottom section (or “footer) of a website.


Frames: Using frames on a page is the act of dividing the screen into different windows, displaying content from different URLs in a single view. Not a recommended technique as this may cause search engines to rank the wrong page on their search results.



Gateway Page: See Doorway Page.


Getstat: A Search Analytics and Rank Tracking Tool.


Google: The search engine founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in September 1998. Google marked a radical departure from human-edited web directories, relying on web crawling technology and a complex algorithm to analyze hyperlinking patterns to rank websites. Google is the most-used search engine in nearly every country in the world.


Google AdWords Keyword Tool: Google Keyword Planner was previously referred to as Google AdWords Keyword Tool.


Google Alerts: Is a free tool provided by Google which allows you set up email alerts to monitor the web for interesting content and mentions of your brand, your competitors, and any particular entity.


Google Analytics: A free web analytics program that can be used to track audience behavior, traffic acquisition sources, content performance, and much more.


Google Bombing: A practice whereby webpages are optimised to rank highly for irrelevant search terms. One of the most famous Google bombs in history was bomb targeting US President George W Bush for the keyword “miserable failure”.


Google Dance: Refers to an algorithmic fluctuation of Google’s search results pages as a result of rebuilding its rankings for a period of time.


Googlebot: Google’s web crawling robot, also known as a “search engine spider”.


Google Keyword Planner: A keyword research tool provided by Google. You need a Google AdWords account in order to use this tool.


Google My Business: A free Google business listing service that will enable a business to be found on Google Search and Google Maps.


Google Sitelinks: Links shown below some of Google’s search results to help users navigate directly to various sections of a website. At this point in time, sitelinks are automatically analysed and selected by Google’s algorithms, therefore a webmaster won’t be able to control them directly.


Google Slap: Google slap has two references. One for their paid search results and the other for their organic search results.


Receiving a Google Slap on the paid search results means you haven’t been adhering to the Google AdWords guidelines and best practices, resulting in a significant drop in the Quality Score of your target keywords, or an account ban.


For the organic search results, getting a Google Slap means you haven’t been abiding by Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines (e.g. building spammy backlinks and keyword stuffing), resulting in a significant drop in keyword rankings or complete removal of your website in Google’s index.


Google Suggest: Suggested search terms that show as you type in your search queries on Google.


Google Supplemental Index: Contains supplemental results which reside in a secondary database that are deemed less important by Google.


Google Trends: A free tool by Google that allows you to explore trending search topics.


Google Webmaster Guidelines: A set of general guidelines, best practices, and principles for webmasters to reference in order to avoid getting penalised by Google.


Google Webmaster Tools: A free tool for webmasters to track their website’s search performance with Google, get support on site issues, and perform a variety of actions such as fetching Googlebot to crawl a page, submitting a sitemap, and targeting a website to a specific country.


Graphical Search Inventory. Banners, and other types of advertising units which can be synchronized to search keywords. Includes pop-ups, browser toolbars and rich media.


Gray Hat SEO: A supposed “gray” area between techniques that adhere to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, but then add an element that bends the rules a little.


Guestographics: Guestographics is a link building technique in which a link builder posts an infographic on his/her site, reaches out to other bloggers that published similar content, and offers the infographic to visually represent their content, possibly earning links in the process.


Guest Blogging / Guest Posting: A marketing method whereby a blogger contributes an article to another blog.



Headline: An H1 tag.


Head Term: A popular keyword with high search volume that is usually difficult to rank for.


Hidden Text: Any text that can’t be seen by a user that is intended to manipulate search rankings by loading webpages with content-rich keywords and copy. This technique is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can result in a manual action.


Hilltop Algorithm: Influenced by the HITS Algorithm, and added to Google’s algorithm in 2003, Hilltop assigned “expert” status to certain websites or webpages published about a specific topic that also link to unaffiliated pages about that topic.


HITS Algorithm: Hyperlink-Induced Topic Search is a link analysis algorithm that assesses a value not just based on content and inbound links (authorities), but also its outbound links (hubs).


Homepage: The default, or introductory webpage, of a website.


.htaccess File: A server configuration file that can be used to rewrite and redirect URLs.


Hummingbird: As Google moved toward semantic search, focusing on user intent and returning contextually relevant results, Hummingbird represents a newly revamped version of Google’s algorithm.


HTML: Hyper Text Markup Language or HTML is a set code or markup language used to create structured documents on the World Wide Web.


HTML5: HTML5 is another SEO-friendly markup language that delivers several improvements from HTML such as increased user experience (audio & video) and provides a good alternative to less SEOfriendly languages like Flash and Silverlight.


HTML Sitemap: A HTML sitemap, unlike an XML sitemap which is specifically catered for search engine spiders to crawl, is more user-friendly where users can find on a site and navigate to different pages by clicking on the links provided.


HTTP: The Hypertext Transfer Protocol is how data is transferred from a computer server to a web browser.


HTTPS: HTTPS or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure signifies that all sending and receiving of information are encrypted and secured.


Hub Page: An authoritative central resource (e.g., page or article), dedicated to a specific topic (keyword), that is continually updated and linked to, and also links out to topically-relevant webpages.



Image Filename: The text before the extension of an image file e.g. (image001.jpg). It is recommended for the image filename to include your target keywords for SEO purposes, provided it is contextually relevant.


Image Sitemap: A sitemap listing images available on your website which increase the chances of your images getting picked up by Google and displaying on Google Image search results.


Image Title: The image title and caption is the content surrounding the image and provides search engines with information about what the topic and content on the page is about.


Impression: The number of times a search result is seen regardless of whether it is clicked or not.


Inbound Link: A hyperlink from another website to your website. An inbound link may be “followed” or “nofollowed”. See Backlinks.


Index: A search engine’s index is similar in concept to a library’s index of books, whereby information is sorted and organised by predefined parameters so that it is easily retrievable when a search is conducted. Additionally, indexing refers to the process of adding webpages to a search engine’s index.


Indexability: A page’s indexability refers to how easily or likely that a page can be included into a search engine’s index. It is dependent on a variety of factors such as the coding language used and how unique and authoritative the content is.


Indexed Page: A webpage that has been discovered by a crawler, has been added to a search engine index, and is eligible to appear in search results for relevant queries.


Infographic: An abbreviation of the phrase “information graphic”. An infographic is a graphical representation of information, data, or knowledge and is designed to be visually appealing.


Information Architecture: How a website is organized and where various content and navigational elements are located on webpages.


Information Retrieval: The process of searching for information (e.g., text, images, video) from a large database and then presenting the most relevant information to an end user.


Internal Linking: A method of hyperlinking different pages within a site to one another in efforts to signal to search engines the relevancy between the linked pages.


International SEO: The process of optimising a website to improve its search engine rankings in multiple countries. A few methods include:

  • The use of rel hreflang tags
  • The use of ccTLDs
  • Geo-targeting your website through Google Webmaster Tools

Interstitials: Interstitials are ads that appear in a form of a popup, lightbox, or a separate browser window when you are browsing or waiting for a page to load.


IP Address: IP stands for Internet Protocol and the address refers to the unique blocks of numbers (e.g. which uniquely identifies devices on a computer network.



JavaScript: A lightweight programming language that can add dynamic interactivity to your website (for example, clicking on a button to display hidden content).


jQuery: jQuery is a fast, small, and feature-rich JavaScript library. It makes things like HTML document traversal and manipulation, event handling, animation, and Ajax much simpler with an easy-to-use API that works across a multitude of browsers



Keywords: See Search Terms.


Keyword Cannibalisation: A bad occurrence whereby multiple pages target the same keyword (e.g. duplicate page titles), causing confusion to search engines and negatively affecting search engine rankings.


Keyword Categorisation: The process of grouping multiple keywords that are related to a specific topic into a section of a website or a single webpage. This enables you to develop more targeted content to rank for a group of related keywords.


Keyword Density: The percentage of a keyword or phrase to the total number of words mentioned in a web document. There isn’t a set rule on the ideal keyword density percentage required to achieve good rankings. However keyword density does shape what search engines think about the overall topic of your content and this can influence your rankings.


Keyword Difficulty / Keyword Competition: Keyword difficulty or keyword competition is a measurement of how much effort would be required for a webpage to rank for a particular keyword.


Keyword Optimisation: The process of including target keywords in specific locations of a web document (for example the title tag, meta description, and URL) to increase search engine rankings.


Keyword Rankings: The position of a webpage on the organic search engine results pages (SERPs).


Keyword Research / Keyword Analysis: The process of discovering what keywords your prospects are using and understanding their intent to better optimise your pages for both users and search engines.


Keyword Research Tool: An online or offline instrument that enables you to retrieve keyword data and insights.

Suggested keyword research tools:

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

Keyword Stuffing / Keyword Spam: A black hat SEO technique whereby the same keyword is repeatedly mentioned in a web document with little regard for a meaningful user experience.


Knowledge Graph: An enhancement to Google’s search engine which delivers new information quickly and easily by deeply understanding the meaning of the search query.


Knowledge Panel: A box that appears at the top of, or on the right rail (desktop only), of Page 1 of Google’s search results for relevant queries. This panel contains facts and information on people, places, and things, as well as links to related websites or Google searches.


KPI: Stands for key performance indicator. A measurement method businesses use to gauge whether marketing and business objectives, targets, and goals are being reached.



Landing Page: The specific web page that a visitor ultimately reaches after clicking a search engine listing. Marketers attempt to improve conversion rates by testing various landing page creative, which encompasses the entire user experience including navigation, layout and copy.


Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI): Latent semantic indexing or LSI is a formula used by search engines to determine whether a page’s content is semantically relevant to a keyword by looking for synonyms of the keyword or words that are related to the subject.


Lead: A person who may or may not be interested in your product(s) and/or service(s). A lead willingly shares their email address (and usually other personal or contact information) in exchange for something they deem of value from the website.


Link: Any hyperlink (clickable text, button, or image) that takes users to another section (internally or externally) of a website or webpage.


Link Age: The total time a link exists in a search engine’s index.


Link Acquisition: The process of acquiring a backlink to increase search engine rankings.


Link Bait: A piece of content (infographic, case study, research paper, blogpost, image) designed with the purpose of attracting content creators to hyperlink to it.


Link Building: The process of acquiring backlinks through outreach, submission, and PR.


Link Burst: A significantly rapid increase in the quantity of backlinks pointing to a website, especially new websites.


Link Buying: The act of buying or selling links that pass PageRank. I.e. putting a rel=”nofollow” tag to the hyperlink on a sponsored link is fine.


Link Diversity: Link diversity refers to the assortment of the kinds of links in a website’s link profile.


These attributes can be classified into:

  • Diversity of anchor text
  • Follow vs. nofollow
  • Location of the link on the page

Link Juice / Link Authority / Link Equity / Link Love / Link Popularity: Link authority refers to the amount of value a link passes to the destination page. This includes:

  • Dofollow links
  • Links from topic-related pages pass topical relevancy signals
  • Redirects (301, 302, 307, meta refresh)
  • Links from pages with high PageRank

Link Exchange: Also known as reciprocal linking. Reciprocal linking is perfectly “legal” if it is naturally acquired. For example if website A links to website B from the footer with the anchor text “visit our sister company”, it is considered natural.


Link Farm: A network of websites that link to one another although the content is often unrelated and of low quality.


Link Reclamation: A link building technique of reaching out to someone who has mentioned your brand or referenced your content, but did not link to you, and asking them to link to you.


Link Relevancy: A measurement of how relevant a link is to the destination URL. Some clues search engine algorithms look for include:

  • Are the target keywords found in the anchor text?
  • What is the URL of the page where the backlink was found?
  • Is the topic of the page where the backlink was found relevant to the link destination?

Link Rot: Link rot refers to any hyperlink on the web that is no longer functioning as it was intended. It may come in the form of broken links (links that lead to 404 pages) or the page in which the link was found was taken down.


Link Sculpting: By using the “nofollow” attribute of a link you can make some of the links on your site unimportant from an SEO point of view. Therefore, by using this attribute skillfully you can “sculpt” the PageRanks of certain pages within your website.


Link Spam: Any form of link building which goes against Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines – Link Schemes.


Link Text: Also known as “anchor text”. The clickable text of a hyperlink.


Link Velocity: The rate (how fast or how slow) in which links are acquired within a span of time.


Listings: The information that appears on a search engine’s results page in response to a search.


Local Citation: Where your company’s Name, Address, Phone number (NAP) is mentioned on other websites such as directory listings.


Local SEO: The method of optimizing a local business to rank on the local search results. This includes building local citations, earning Google My Business reviews, and building the website’s Page Authority.


Log File: A file that records users information, such as IP addresses, type of browser, Internet Service Provider (ISP), date/time stamp, referring/exit pages, and number of clicks.


Log File Analysis: The process of exploring the data contained in a log file to identify trends, administer the site, track user’s movement around the site, gather demographic information, and understand how search bots are crawling the website.


Long Tail Keywords: Keywords phrases that are longer and more specific to the searcher’s intent. The reverse would be short tail keywords which are more generic in nature.



Machine Learning: A subset of Artificial Intelligence in which a system uses data to learn and adjust a complex process without human intervention.


Manual Penalty: A manual action whereby a human engineer from Google or Bing has manually reviewed a site flagged for spammy activities relating to Search Engine Optimisation and purposefully prevents the site from ranking highly.


Meta Description Tag: Allows page authors to say how they would like their pages described when listed by search engines. Not all search engines use the tag.


Meta Keywords Tag: Allows page authors to add text to a page to help with the search engine ranking process. Not all search engines use the tag.


Meta Robots Tag: Allows page authors to keep their web pages from being indexed by search engines, especially helpful for those who cannot create robots.txt files. The Robots Exclusion page provides official details.


Meta Search Engine: A search engine that gets listings from two or more other search engines, rather than through its own efforts.


Meta Tags: Information placed in a web page not intended for users to see but instead which typically passes information to search engine crawlers, browser software and some other applications.


Metric: A way to measure activity and performance in order to assess the success (or lack thereof) of an SEO initiative.


Mirror Site: A mirror site is a replica of another existing website. It is commonly used for the following reasons:

  • To increase speed by serving identical sites that are located closer to the user’s geographical region
  • For SEO purposes – Setting up multiple identical sites to build an online presence, and then diverting the traffic back to the original website.

Mobile-Friendly: Describes how accessible a webpage is to users who are browsing the page on a mobile device.


MozRank: MozRank represents how important a webpage is by calculating the number and quality of webpages that link to it (link popularity).


Multiple Keyword Optimization: The method of optimising SEO tags and contents on a webpage (images and text) for a variety of keywords.



Natural Language Processing (NLP): In SEO context, NLP or Natural Language Processing is the ability of a computer program to interpret human language and understand the meaning behind a query, and then be able to return relevant answers.


Natural Links: Backlinks that are acquired through non-spammy techniques such as one to one outreach, quality guest blogging, and submission of webpages to high quality web resources.


Negative SEO: A deliberate act of spamming black hat links to a competitor’s website with the aim of sabotaging its rankings through a search engine penalty.


Newsjacking: A creative link building technique whereby SEOs ride on a trending news story and contribute their own piece of the story, in efforts to drive links back their content. This usually involves a lot of participation in popular social media channels.


Niche Keywords: Groups of keywords and keyword phrases that contain keywords related to a particular niche.


Noarchive Tag: A meta tag that tells search engines not to store a cached copy of your page.


Nofollow: A HTML attribute that can be added into the code behind hyperlinks to tell search engines not to pass PageRank to the destination URL.


Noindex: A HTML attribute to tell search engines not to index a particular webpage.


Nosnippet Tag: A meta tag that tells search engines not to show a description with your listing.



Off-Page SEO: Refers to external website related activities (mainly link building and content marketing) in order to boost a website’s search engine ranking positions.


On-Page SEO: Refers to internal website activities such as keyword, site speed, mobile, and content optimisation in order a boost a website’s search engine ranking positions.


Online Reputation Management: Online Reputation Management refers to the practice of monitoring and attempting to positively influence the public perception of a brand or a person on the web.


Organic Search Results/Organic Listings: Listings that search engines do not sell (unlike paid listings). Instead, sites appear solely because a search engine has deemed it editorially important for them to be included, regardless of payment. Paid inclusion content is also often considered “organic” even though it is paid for. This is because that content usually appears intermixed with unpaid organic results.


Orphan Page: Any webpage that is not linked to by any other pages on that website.


Outbound Links: Links on a particular web page leading to other web pages, whether they are within the same web site or other web sites.



PageRank: A ranking algorithm created by Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to calculate the importance, authority, and reliability of a web page from a scale of 0 – 10, with 0 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.


Page Authority: Page Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engines.


Page Loading Time / Page Speed: The amount of time it takes for a webpage to load.


Pageview: A pageview (or pageview hit, page tracking hit) is an instance of a page being loaded (or reloaded) in a browser. Pageviews is a metric defined as the total number of pages viewed.


Pagination: The process of segmenting content onto multiple pages and including paginated links to those pages. Google recommends that you indicate paginated content as this will help them index your content better on their search engine results pages.


Paid Links/Paid Inclusion: Paid inclusion refers to the act of transacting in order to acquire a link back to one’s website. In other words, buying links.


PPC: Stands for pay-per-click and means the same as cost-per-click. See Cost Per Click.


Paid Search Results/Paid Listings: Listings that search engines sell to advertisers, usually through paid placement or paid inclusion programs. In contrast, organic listings are not sold.


Panda Algorithm: A Google algorithm focusing on penalizing websites with low quality on-page content. As of 2016, the Panda algorithm is now part of Google’s Core ranking signals.


Pay-for-Performance: Term popularized by some search engines as a synonym for pay-per-click, stressing to advertisers that they are only paying for ads that “perform” in terms of delivering traffic, as opposed to CPM-based ads, where ads cost money, even if they don’t generate a click.


Pay-Per-Click: See Cost Per Click.


Paid Placement: Advertising program where listings are guaranteed to appear in response to particular search terms, with higher ranking typically obtained by paying more than other advertisers. Paid placement listings can be purchased from a portal or a search network. Search networks are often set up in an auction environment where keywords and phrases are associated with a cost-per-click (CPC) fee. Overture and Google are the largest networks, but MSN and other portals sometimes sell paid placement listings directly as well. Portal sponsorships are also a type of paid placement.


Penalty: A Google penalty is the negative impact on a website’s search rankings based on updates to Google’s search algorithms or manual review.


Penguin Algorithm: A Google algorithm focusing on penalizing websites with spammy backlink profiles. As of 2016, the Penguin algorithm now runs in real time within the core search algorithm.


Pigeon Algorithm: A Google algorithm aimed at providing more accurate and relevant local search results.


Pogo-Sticking: Refers to the act of clicking on a search result and clicking back to the search engine results pages because they did not find what they were initially searching for.


This is often discussed to be a bad ranking signal as it is one of the factors that show a page did not serve its intended purpose.


Position: See Rank.


Press Release: A publicity technique usually involving a compelling news story that is distributed to news sites.


Primary Keywords: The primary keywords are high priority keywords that are included in more prominent areas within a page such as the title tag, when optimising a webpage for rankings.


Private Blog Network (PBN): A PBN is a network of sites usually created and maintained by an SEO or SEO agency. It is then used to manipulate the rankings of targeted websites by creating keyword-optimized anchor text links to them.


Proximity (Local search): An important local ranking signal used by Google to determine the local ranking position of a business based on its proximity to the searcher.



Quality Content: Content that helps you successfully achieve business or marketing goals (e.g., driving organic traffic or social shares, earning top search rankings, generating leads/sales).


Quality Link: An inbound link that originates from an authoritative, relevant, or trusted website.


Query: See Search Terms.


Query Deserves Diversity (QDD): A ranking system used by Google to return diverse search results to search queries, particularly generic queries, branded search terms, and news search terms.


Query Deserves Freshness (QDF): A “freshness” algorithm created by Google to return fresh results for search queries revolving around a trending topic.


Query / Search Query: Keywords or keyword phrases entered into a search engine with the intention of getting relevant results.


Query Refinement: Query refinement refers to the process of correcting or refining a search query to return more relevant results. Query refinement can be done by either the search engine or the user.



Ranking: The ranking positions of a website’s target search queries, also commonly referred to as keyword rankings.


RankBrain: RankBrain is a machine learning algorithm created by Google to help process and sort through search queries and return more useful and relevant results.


Rank Checker Tool: A software that allows you to check your search engine ranking positions for selected search phrases and keywords.


Reciprocal Link: Reciprocal linking refers to two or more different websites linking to one another.


Reconsideration Request / Re-Inclusion: A submission-based appeal to Google or Bing to lift a manual penalty as a result of spamdexing a website (failing to comply to Google Webmaster Guidelines and Bing Webmaster Guidelines).


Redirect: The instance of sending users and search engines to a different URL than the one initially requested.


There are various types of redirects such as:

  • 301 permanent redirect
  • 302/307 temporary redirect
  • Meta refresh

Referral: Refers to the referral traffic sent from other websites to yours typically through hyperlinks. The more quality backlinks earned, the more referral traffic from these sources.


Registration: See Submission.


Reinclusion: The process of asking a search engine to return a website or webpage(s) to its search index after de-indexing.


Relevance: A way search engines measure how closely connected the content of a webpage is aligned to match the context of a search query.


Rel=”alternate” hreflang: A HTML tag used to markup pages that are similar in context but targeted to different countries and/or languages.


Rel=”nofollow”: A HTML attribute attached to the code behind the hyperlink to signal to search engines that page does not endorse the destination URL. Also commonly referred to as “nofollow links”, these links do not pass PageRank or link juice.


Relative URLs: Relative URLs are much shorter than absolute URLs, displaying only the path e.g. /resource-page and omitting all other details such as the protocol e.g. https:// or domain name e.g.


This may cause on-page SEO problems such as:

  • Spider traps
  • Protocol-relative URLs
  • Relative canonical URLs

Reputation Management: The practice of crafting a positive online perception of a brand or person – including in search results and on social media – by minimizing the visibility of negative mentions.


Responsive: Used to describe how flexible or fluid the contents of a webpage are when it is requested from various devices of various screen sizes such as mobile phones, smart phones, and tablets.


Results Page: After a user enters a search query, the page that is displayed, is call the results page. Sometimes it may be called SERPs, for “search engine results page.”


Reverse Engineering: Reverse engineering is an SEO link building technique by which you run your competitor’s domain through a backlink checker tool like Ahrefs and analyse their backlink profile.


Once you’ve identified websites (who’ve linked to your competitors) that may also potentially link to you, you’ll go out there and get links from these websites or similar-themed websites.


Rich Media: Rich media is a digital advertising term for an ad that includes advanced features like video, audio, or other elements that encourage viewers to interact and engage with the content.


Rich Snippets: Rich snippets or structured data markup are a type of microdata markup (using the vocabulary) that are added to webpages, with the purpose of making the webpage result on the search engine results pages more visually outstanding, and also display information related the query.


Robots: Robots, also referred to as search engine spiders, are computer robots programmed by search engine engineers to crawl webpages and process information for data storage and retrieval purposes.


Robots.txt: A text file that website owners use to provide instructions to search engine spiders about which files and directories to ignore when crawling a website. The robots.txt file is stored in the root of the domain.


ROI: Stands for “Return On Investment” and refers to the percentage of profit or revenue generated from a specific activity. For example, one might measure the ROI of a paid listing campaign by adding up the total amount spent on the campaign (say $200) versus the amount generated from it in revenue (say $1,000). The ROI would then be 500 percent.


Roundups: A curation of the best content on a related topic or industry in a blogpost. Also used as a link building technique by SEOs.


RSS Feed: RSS feed stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. It is an XML-format file in which web authors can update the feed list by adding new stories/blogposts and readers can access this list by subscribing to it.

S is a set of vocabulary types, properties, and enumeration values that can be used with a variety of encodings including RDFa, Microdata and JSON-LD to markup webpages, emails, and many other applications.


Scraped Content: Scraped content is content that is copied and/or slightly modified from other sources and published on your own site.


Search Console: Previously known as Google Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console is a free web service help website owners monitor their site health and maintain their search presence on Google.


Search Engine: A program designed to allow users to search for and retrieve information on the World Wide Web.


Search Engine Marketing: The act of marketing a web site via search engines, whether this be improving rank in organic listings, purchasing paid listings or a combination of these and other search engine-related activities.


Search Engine Optimization: The act of altering a web site so that it does well in the organic, crawler-based listings of search engines. In the past, has also been used as a term for any type of search engine marketing activity, though now the term search engine marketing itself has taken over for this. Also called SEO.


Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs): SERPs are pages displaying links to webpages in response to a query entered by a search engine user. It contains two main types of results – Paid search results (ads) that advertisers have to pay search engines for every click, and organic search results which are ranked by algorithms based on dozens of ranking factors.


Search Engine Result Snippet: A summarised version of a webpage that is displayed on the search engine results pages. This snippet can be customised by editing the meta description of the page.


Search Engine Penalty: A form of punishment dealt by search engines to websites that implement spammy web activities in effort to manipulate their search engine rankings.


Search Engine Submission: The process of submitting a website to the search engines and one of the ways to get into a search engine’s index.


Search History: A collection of search queries recently performed by a search engine user. Based on a user’s search history, search engines may tailor search results to individual users, thus the results may appear different from user to user.


Search Operators: A set of vocabulary that can be added to search queries in order to filter the search results.


Search Terms/Search Query: A keyword or phrase entered into a search engine for the purpose of retrieving information (search results) related to the search query.


Search Terms Report: A report generated by Google AdWords that displays the exact keywords a user searched for and clicked on a paid ad result.


Search Volume: The specific number of searches performed for a particular keyword or keyword phrase. Search volumes for specific keywords can be research through keyword research tools such as:

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

Secondary Keywords: Keywords that are of a lesser priority than primary keywords that need to be optimised on a website or webpage.


SEM: Acroymn for search engine marketing and may also be used to refer to a person or company that does search engine marketing (i.e.., “They’re an SEM firm).


Semantic Search: Semantic search is a scientific method of seeking to accurately understand the intention and context of a search query in effort to return highly relevant search results to the searcher.


SEMPO: Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, a non-profit, formed to increase the awareness of and educate people on the value of search engine marketing.


SEMRush: SEMrush is a software as a service company based in Philadelphia that sells marketing analytics software subscriptions.


SEO: Acronym for search engine optimization and often also used to refer to a person or company that does search engine optimization (i.e., “They do SEO”).


SEO Audit: An on-page and off-page review or assessment of a website to identify any issues that may cause a website to be “unfriendly” to search engines, such as blocking search engines from crawling and indexing an important web resource.


SEO Copywriting: SEO copywriting is writing copy that is keyword-optimised for search engine ranking purposes.


SERPS: see Results Page.


Share of Voice (SOV): How many impressions a brand receives in the SERPs for search terms when compared to the total impressions that the brand’s competitors receive for those same search terms.


Shopping Search: Shopping search engines allow shoppers to look for products and prices in a search environment. Premium placement can be purchased on some shopping search indices.


Site Architecture: The site plan of a website’s navigational structure.


Sitemap: A sitemap can be in HTML or XML format. HTML sitemaps are included on the front end of the website for users to gain a birds-eye-view and easily navigate through a site. Whereas XML sitemaps are created to submit to search engines for better site crawling and indexation.


Sitewide Links: Sitewide links are hyperlinks that are found on the same location of multiple pages of a website.


Sneaky Redirects: A redirect is the action of sending a user to a different URL other than the one they requested. A sneaky redirect on the other hand is intended to deceive search engines by displaying different content to search engines and cloaking. This is also known as cloaking.


Social Bookmarking: Social bookmarking involves the act of bookmarking, annotating, and sharing web documents through online bookmarking platforms such as Delicious,, and Digg.


Social Media: Social media are interactive Web 2.0 Internet-based applications. User-generated content, such as text posts or comments, digital photos or videos, and data generated through all online interactions, is the lifeblood of social media.


Social Signals: As Google evolves its algorithms, social signals as a ranking factor becomes a hot topic for discussion in the search engine community.


Google representatives have suggested and reiterated that Google does not use social signals as ranking factors.


Great content that’s shared heavily on social media networking platforms tend to rank well on search engines. However it may not suggest a direct causation.


Spam/Spamdexing: Spamdexing is a form of spamming search engines to manipulate a page’s rankings on the search engine results pages.


Spider: A spider or a search engine robot is a computer program that discovers web pages/documents and process their contents for search engine indexing and sorting purposes. See Crawler.


Splash Page: A splash page is a webpage a visitor first sees upon visiting a website, and allows the visitor to select an option to continue further into the site. For example, choosing a country/region or language to view the site in.


Splog: A Splog is a shortened term for a Spam Blog (Spam + Blog = Splog). It is a blog created for spammy purposes.


Split Testing: A controlled experiment used to compare at least two webpages to measure the effects of a different variable on conversions. After the pages are shown for a long enough period of time to site visitors to gather an adequate amount of performance data, a “winner” can be declared.


Static Page / Static URL: A static page delivers content to visitors exactly as per developed. The URL does not change as well.


Structured Data Markup: Structured data markup is a text-based organisation of data that is used to increase the visibility of pages in the search result snippets.


Subdomain: A subdomain is another part of a website. It takes the following form


Subheading: The subheading is a heading given to a subsection of a page. It should include your target keywords when possible.


Sub Navigation Menu: The sub navigation menu are the links that take the user to another section of a website when clicked on. It is a best practice to keyword-optimise (do not over optimise!) the sub navigation anchor text links.


Supplementary Content (SC): The supplementary content as mentioned repeatedly in Google’s Quality Rater’s Guidelines refers to content that supports the overall content of a page in providing a good user experience.


Supplemental Results: Supplemental results are URLs that are considered less important and are placed in Google’s supplemental index (a secondary database).


Submission: The act to submitting a URL for inclusion into a search engine’s index. Unless done through paid inclusion, submission generally does not guarantee listing. In addition, submission does not help with rank improvement on crawler-based search engines unless search engine optimization efforts have been taken. Submission can be done manually (i.e., you fill out an online form and submit) or automated, where a software program or online service may process the forms behind the scenes.



Target Keywords: The keywords or search terms you intend to optimise your website and webpages to rank well on the the search engines results pages.


Taxonomy: Organizing and categorizing a website to maximize content findability and help users complete desired on-site tasks.


Term Frequency: The term frequency refers to the number of times a term is repeated on a document. It is a metric (as part of a weighting system) that is used by search engines for page ranking purposes.


Thesaurus: A resource that lists related terms or synonyms of a word. It can also be used as a tool to aid in keyword research.


Time on Page: An inexact estimation of how long a user spent looking at a particular webpage. Pages with high exit rates can greatly skew this data.


Title / Page Title: The title of a page is generally visible near the top of the page, and is usually surrounded by the H1 tag. It is a best practice to include your target keywords in the page title.


Title Tag: The title tag is used by browsers to display at the top of a browsing tab and is also often used by search engines to display on the search engine results snippets.


Top Heavy: A Google search engine algorithm used to filter or downgrade webpages that place too many ads above the fold of the page.


Top-Level Domain (TLD): The top level domain is appended after the domain name e.g., where example is the domain name and .com is the top level domain.


Touch Element: A touch element refers to a button or link on a mobile device. It is one of the signals used in Google’s Mobile ranking factors.


Trackback: A trackback is a notification sent automatically by one website (website A) to another website that it (website A) has linked to.


Trust Flow: Trust Flow is a metric created and trademarked by Majestic. It is a quality score assigned to webpages on a scale of 0-100, and is calculated by analysing a site’s backlinks from trusted third party websites.


TrustRank: A metric for determining the trustworthiness of a link.



Uniform Resource Locator (URL): The Uniform Resource Locator or URL is commonly referred to as the website address and is used to locate and access webpages (HTML, Javascript, FLASH), documents/files (PDFs, video, images) on the World Wide Web.


Unnatural Link: Used to describe links that are obtained or created unnaturally for the purposes of manipulating a website’s search engine rankings.


URL Parameters: URL parameters, also known as query strings, are dynamic URLs and are appended to the back of the Uniform Resource Locator after the ? symbol (e.g.


User Experience (UX): User experience (UX) is a person’s overall experience when interacting with your website or webpage.


User-Generated Content (UGC): Any form of content – videos, blog posts, comments, reviews, etc. – that is created by users or customers.


Universal Search: When search engines pull data from multiple speciality databases to display on the same SERP. Results can include images, videos, news, shopping, and other types of results.



Vary: User-Agent HTTP Header: The Vary: User-Agent HTTP header indicates to servers, caches, and search engines that there is a different version of a webpage served to mobile and desktop users.


Vertical Search: A specialized type of search where the focus is only on a specific topic, type of content, or media. For example, YouTube (video), Amazon (shopping), Kayak (travel), Yelp (business reviews).


Virtual Assistant: A bot that uses natural language processing to perform tasks, such as conducting web searches. For instance, Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana.


Visibility: The prominence and positions a website occupies within the organic search results.


Video Optimisation: The process of optimising a video for search engine rankings.


Viral Content: Viral content or contagious content refers to content (infographics, blogposts, controversial articles, memes) that spreads on the web (social media networks, community blogs, forums, news/PR sites) like wildfire.


Voice Search: A type of voice-activated technology that allows users to speak into a device (usually a smartphone) to ask questions or conduct an online search.



Webpage: A document that exists on the World Wide Web and can be viewed by web browsers.


Website: A collection of webpages hosted together on the World Wide Web.


Website Navigation: How a website connects its webpages to help visitors navigate that site.


Webspam: Any methods that exist solely to deceive or manipulate search engine algorithms and/or users. Also known as: Black Hat SEO, Spam, Spamdexing, Search Spam


White Hat SEO: White Hat SEO refers to the act of optimising a website for search engine rankings while abiding by search engine guidelines such as Google Webmaster Guidelines and Bing Webmaster Guidelines.


Word Count: The total number of words that appear within the copy of content. Too little (or thin) content can be a signal of low-quality to search engines.


WordPress: A popular blogging and content management system.



XHTML: XHTML stands for Extensible Hypertext Markup Language and is quite similar to HTML, the basic language for constructing web pages on the World Wide Web.


XML Feed: A form of paid inclusion where a search engine is “fed” information about pages via XML, rather than gathering that information through crawling actual pages.


XML Sitemap: An XML sitemap is a type of sitemap that contains metadata about each URL and is added to the root directory of a website and submitted to search engines (e.g. submit an XML sitemap to Google Search Console) where it will be crawled and processed by search engines.



Yandex: A popular Russian search engine.


Yahoo!: Yahoo! is a web search engine that was merged with Bing in December 2009.


Yelp: An authority business directory that houses a community of reviewers of businesses, publishes events, and more.



Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT): The Zero Moment of Truth represents how consumers shop and make purchase decisions throughout the customer buying journey in this day and age.

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Search Engine Optimization & Marketing Glossary – A to Z
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Search Engine Optimization & Marketing Glossary – A to Z
RankIntent SEO & SEM Glossary compiles more than 500+ of the most common terms you are likely to hear and know during your Digital Marketing career.
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