Do you have trouble communicating with the technical people who are running your website? You need a glossary.

Jargon should not stop you from making your site a powerful marketing tool.

This is a list of the most important search engine terms to help marketers communicate with developers and understand how to improve their websites.

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

40 SEO Terms You Must Know!


The code was sent by the server to say that the request was successful.

The process of permanently redirecting a website from one URL to another.

The process of temporarily redirecting a website from one URL to another.

The code was sent by the server to say that the request was unsuccessful.

There is a code sent by the server to say there is a problem.


The Accelerated Mobile Pages project is an open source project that helps publishers create webpages and content for all devices.

A description of an image in your site'sHTML is called an alt text/ alt attribute. The images themselves are not read by the search engines. Whenever possible, add an alt text to images.

The anchor text is the text of the link. If you have visited the link in the past, the text is usually dark blue and purple. Search engines understand what the destination page is about by using anchor text.

The authority is how reliable a website is.


A link pointing to a website.

Black Hat is practices that go against webmaster guidelines.

A website that contains posts related to specific topics and/or industries.

You can save a link to a website in your browser or computer.

A bot is a software application that is programmed.

The bounce rate is how many people leave a page after only one visit.

Branded Keyword - A search query (keyword) that refers to a specific brand. E.g.: "Nike shoes"

A web link that lets you know where you are on a website and how far away from the home page.

A broken link leads to a 404 error page. If a website is removed without a redirecting, this can happen.

You can access information and data on the internet with a browser. FireFox is one of the most common browsers.


cache is a storage location that helps websites, apps, and browsers load faster

The best address for a user to find a piece of information is the canonical URL. Sometimes the same page content can be accessed at more than one address. Search engines understand which address is the best for a piece of content by specifying the canonical URL.

A country-code top-level domain is known as a ccTLD and is used to define the domain for a specific country or region.

A black hat practice used to display different information than what was expected.

The conversion form collects information about the site visitor. Traffic is converted into leads by conversion forms. You can follow up with these leads by collecting contact information.

A program used by search engines to gather information on websites.

The part of your code that defines how different elements of your site look is called theCascading Style Sheets.


A link pointing to a mobile application or a link pointing to a website other than a home page are referred to as Deep Link.

When a search engine removes a website from the results.

Disavow is when you tell the internet search engine to ignore links because they are low-quality or artificial.

A hyperlink that instructs search engines to follow the link instead of the no follow attribute.

The main web address of your site is called the domain.


An external link is a hyperlink that points to a website. This is also called a backlink.


The highlighted excerpts appear at the top of some search results.

The Fold is the point on your website where the page gets cut off by the bottom of a user's monitor or browser window. It isn't seen right away below the fold. Search engines place a lot of importance on the content above the fold since it will be seen by a lot of new visitors.


A local business directory from the internet giant.

You can use the free tool to monitor how a website is performing.

The practice of publishing a post on a website owned by another person.


The code is used to designate headings and subheadings.

Section headings on your website are placed inside of a tag, such as an H1 or H2. The text is presented in a larger and stronger style than other text on the page.

Search engines read the code of your website. Search engines like to read your site easily and often, so keep it clean. If you can, put as much layout-related code in yourCSS as possible.


The practice of reducing the file size of an image is called image compression.

Search engines use indexing to analyze the content of websites and catalog files.

A link from another website to yours.

Internal Link is a link from one page to another on the same website.

Search engines index the pages of your website.


Javascript is a script language that allows website administrators to change the content of their website as users browse it.


A user enters a word in a search. The goal of each page is to draw in visitors who have searched for the same thing.

It's a description of how difficult it will be to rank for a certain word.

The process of searching for the right words to use in your content is called a "Keyword Research".

The use ofKeywords in your content is a form of Keyword Stuffing.

A method used to improve page speed is called lazy loading. The infinite scroll on websites is an example of this.

Link building is the process of getting more inbound links to your website.

Link Juice is the value or authority a website gains when receiving a backlink.

Link schemes are tactics used to trick the PageRank of the internet search engine and increase search rankings.

More specific queries that include more than three words are called long tail.


Data that tells search engines what your website is about.

A brief description of less than 160 characters is what the Meta Description is. The sample content on the page is displayed below the title on the search engine results pages.

The metaKeywords tag is no longer used by major search engines to help determine what a web page is about.

Minification is the practice of removing unneeded characters from the source code to help a page load faster.

Mobile-first indexing refers to the use of the mobile version of a website for ranking and index. desktop was the go-to in the past


No follow is when a link from one site does not show up in another.


Refers to visitors who discover your website on the SERPs instead of a paid ad.


Page speed is how quickly a page loads. fluencing factors include file sizes, source code, and the web server.

The page title is the first thing you see when you open your browser. The page titles should be related to your business. Words at the beginning of your page title are more important than words at the end.

A number from 0-10 indicates how good your overall search is. It is called Toolbar PageRank.

A multi-page list is when a series of content is broken up. There are category pages on e-commerce sites.

The panda was previously a separate program to track down black hat tactics, but now is part of the core program.

A feature that can show up on the SERP is People Also Ask.

Pay-Per-Click is an advertising method in which an advertiser puts an ad in an online advertising venue and pays that venue each time a visitor clicks on his/her ad. This is the case with the classic example of this.


A query is when a user enters words into a search engine.


The Rank Brain component is part of the machine learning component.

The factors that influence a website's ranking on search engines are called the Ranking Factor.

Redirection is when a URL is moved from one location to another.

Referrer is a piece of information sent by a user's browser when they navigate from page to page on the web. Information on where they came from previously helps webmasters understand how users find their website.

When there are more than one page with the same content, there is a tag that tells search engines which version is original and which is duplicate.

Responsive design is a design practice that allows a website to adapt to any device it is viewed on, making it a better user experience.

A text file that tells search engine crawlers which areas of your website are accessible and which ones they should ignore.

RSS Feed is a subscription based way to get updates on new content from a web source. When you release new content, set up an RSS feed for your website to keep your followers up to date.


Search intent is the reason why a user conducts a search.

Search volume is the number of times a word is searched in a month.

Natural increase and decrease ofKeyword are seen during certain times of the year. The Halloween costume sees an increase in the fall months and a dip in the spring and summer.

The umbrella term is also known as a root keyword, which is the primary one you want to rank for.

The tactics used to reach and maintain a high ranking on search engines for particular words are referred to as "seo", which stands for search engine optimization.

The page that you are sent to after you run a query in a search engine is called the SERP. Depending on the query and search engine in question, it typically has 10 results.

A Sitemap is a document created by a webmaster or piece of software that shows a map of all the pages on a website to make it easier for a search engine to index that website.

Online social networks were used to create online communities.

Spider is a computer program that browses the internet and gathers information about websites.

TheSecure Sockets Layer is used to protect data that passes between a web server and the browser. A website with no certificate is vulnerable to hackers who can gain access to confidential information.

The status code is the response code sent by the server. See common status codes.

Search engines understand structured data if it is organized and tagged.

Subdomain - A subsection of a primary domain used to better organize your website and allow easier navigation.


The amount of visitors to your website.

The title of a page on your website is enclosed in a title tag.

The traffic rank is the ranking of how much traffic your site gets compared to other sites.


Unnatural links are links that a site owner doesn't vouch for or place for editorial reasons.

The URL is the web address of a page on your site.

User Experience is the feeling users have when interacting with a product, service, or website.


White Hat is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation that complies with best practices and doesn't manipulate search engines.

Website navigation is the elements and components on a page that allow you to easily access the various webpages on a website.


Search engines use the XML language to understand website data.

A file that lists a website's important pages so that search engines can easily find and crawl them.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in Dec. 2011 and has been updated for comprehensiveness. 


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Originally published on April 26, 2022.