Blog / Top 51 SEO Glossary in 2024
Top 51 SEO Glossary in 2024

Do you ever feel like SEO jargon is beyond your understanding? Or have you felt lost trying to make sense of the terminology used in search engine optimization? Worry not; we all have been there. 

Understanding SEO terminology is easy; you just need the right guide to break down the concepts clearly and easily. Hence, this glossary provides clear definitions and explanations that help you navigate the world of SEO. 

So, let’s get started in alphabetical order. 

Algorithm

Algorithms refer to complex systems used by search engines like Google to determine the rankings and relevance of web pages. In simple words, algorithms are systems that consider hundreds of factors, such as user experience, quality, and content relevancy, to rank pages on SERPs.

When you publish content with images, links, and UI/UX design, search engines use algorithms to evaluate your content quality, user experience, and page authority. Based on this analysis, the algorithm ranks your page by rewarding quality content and penalizing low-quality material. 

Anchor Text

Anchor text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink that typically appears as bold, blue, underlined text that users can click on. 

Achor text example snapshot

Moreover, Anchor text is part of an interim SEO strategy that helps improve contextual relevance and user navigation by guiding visitors to related content. This text is seen at the beginning of the content in the middle or in the author bio section. 

Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website. They’re like votes of confidence, showing search engines that your site is valuable and trustworthy.

For example, if a popular blog links to one of your articles, that’s a backlink. This link tells search engines that your content is credible and relevant, which can improve your search rankings.

Bounce rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing just one page. A high bounce rate may suggest that users need help finding what they’re looking for on your site.

For example, if someone clicks on a link to your website, reads one page, and then leaves without interacting further, that counts as a bounce. To improve bounce rate, ensure your content is engaging and relevant to what visitors are searching for.

Call to Action

Call to Action (C.T.A.) prompts users to take a specific action, such as signing up for a newsletter or purchasing. C.T.A.s are often buttons or links with phrases like “Buy Now” or “Subscribe.”

For example, a C.T.A. might appear as a “Learn More” button at the end of a blog post. When readers click it, they may be directed to a page with more information or an offer. A strong C.T.A. can guide users through your website and improve conversions.

Citation

Citation is an online mention of a business’s name, address, and phone number (often called N.A.P.). Citations can appear on directories, websites, or social media platforms.

For example, if your business is listed on a local directory like Yelp or Google My Business with your name, address, and phone number, that’s a citation. Citations help improve your local search visibility and build trust with customers.

Content

Content is anything you put on your website, including text, images, videos, and audio. It helps communicate information and engage your audience.

For example, a blog post with valuable tips for your readers is a type of content. It can also include images, infographics, and videos to make the post more engaging and informative. High-quality content keeps visitors interested and can improve your site’s search engine ranking.

Domain Authority

Domain Authority (DA) is a score that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. It ranges from 1 to 100, with higher scores indicating better chances of ranking well in search results.

In the SEO industry, a website with a high Domain Authority is considered more trustworthy and authoritative. The score is calculated based on several factors, such as the quality and quantity of backlinks pointing to the site, its content quality, and other SEO metrics. A higher DA can lead to better visibility and ranking in search engine results, driving more organic traffic to the site.

De-indexing

De-indexing is the process of removing a webpage from a search engine’s index. When a page is de-indexed, it will not appear in search results. If a page violates search engine guidelines (e.g., using spammy or manipulative tactics), it may be de-indexed as a penalty.

When a page is de-indexed, it loses its visibility in search engines, affecting organic traffic. Following search engine guidelines and maintaining quality content is essential to prevent unwanted de-indexing.

Do-follow

Do-follow is a link that passes “link juice” or authority from one website to another. When a link is set as do-follow, it signals to search engines to consider it as an endorsement of the linked content.

Having do-follow links pointing to your site can be a significant benefit. These links can boost your website’s credibility and improve its ranking potential in search engine results. 

They act as a vote of confidence from other sites, showing search engines that your content is valuable and trustworthy. Building relationships with reputable websites that give you do-follow links can be an intelligent strategy for improving your site’s visibility and authority.

Engagement

Engagement in SEO refers to how much and how well users interact with your website and its content. It includes metrics such as users’ time on your site, the number of pages they view, and how often they interact with elements like links, buttons, or forms.

When you have high engagement, it indicates that visitors find your content valuable and relevant. This can positively impact your search engine rankings because it shows search engines that your website provides a good user experience.

E.E.A.T 

E.A.A.T. stands for Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It’s a concept that search engines, especially Google, use to evaluate the quality of a website’s content.

In terms of SEO, focusing on E.A.A.T. means creating content that demonstrates the following:

  • Expertise: The knowledge and skill in the subject area of the content.
  • Experience: The amount of experience you have in the field.
  • Authoritativeness: Being recognized as a credible and reliable source.
  • Trustworthiness: Ensuring your website and content are reliable, honest, and transparent.

Content that shows high levels of E.E.A.T. can rank better in search results because search engines want to present users with information they can trust. 

Error 404

Error 404 is a standard web error message, meaning a requested page cannot be found on a website. When users try to visit a URL that doesn’t exist, they encounter this error.

There are a few reasons why an Error 404 might be shown:

  • Broken Links: If a link on your site or another site that points to a page no longer exists, users will see an Error 404.
  • Mistyped URLs: If users mistyped a URL, they might encounter this error.
  • Removed Content: If a page has been deleted or moved without a redirect, users trying to access it will see an Error 404.

Addressing Error 404 issues on your site is essential to avoid frustrating visitors and losing potential traffic. 

A Featured Snippet is a summary of an answer to a search query that appears at the top of Google search results, above the regular listings. It’s also known as “position zero” because it ranks even higher than the first organic result.

Google Featured Snippet Snapshot

Featured Snippets can take various forms, such as a paragraph, list, table, or even an image or video. They provide concise answers to user questions directly on the search results page. Having your content appear as a Featured Snippet can greatly increase your visibility and drive more traffic to your website. 

Footer links are links placed in the footer section of a website, which is usually at the very bottom of the page. These links often include important navigation options such as contact information, privacy policies, terms of service, and site maps.

For example: 

Footer link Example

Google

Google is a multinational search engine company well known for its market dominance and diverse range of services. 

Google search engine snapshot

The services that are offered by Google are: 

  • Advertising platform – Google Ads
  • Productivity tools – Google Workspace
  • Mapping services – Google Maps
  • Video platform – YouTube
  • News and media – Google News
  • Entertainment – Google Play
  • Artificial intelligence – Gemini 

Importantly, Google also offers a platform where users can search images, videos, and content using relevant keywords. For example, if you want to know how to bake a cake? You just need to open Google and search “How to bake a cake?” 

Open Google and search How to bake a cake

Google will show thousands of results in terms of content, video, and images. 

Open Google and search How to bake a cake-2

Google Analytics

In simple terms, Google Analytics is a service that is offered by Google to gauge your website’s performance. It is a system that provides insights on website performance and tracks various data points to help you understand how visitors interact with your website. 

Google analytics snapshot

Google Search Console

It is a free tool offered by Google to check, analyze, and monitor your website’s presence in Google search results. This powerful tool provides valuable insights into how Google views your website and helps you improve your rankings. 

Google Search Console snapshot

Google Search Console integrates numerous features, including performance tracking, URL inspection, search appearance, and index coverage. These features help you make your website more visible and identify areas for improvement. 

Heading  

In SEO, heading refers to using HTML header tags (H1, H2, and H3) to structure content on a webpage. Headings organize text hierarchically, with H1 as the most important and H6 as the least important. 

Headings are essential in SEO because they streamline the user experience by providing a clear content outline. It help users and search engines understand the main topics and subtopics. 

Header tags explaination
Source: data-flair.training

Hence, search engines can better understand the content’s context when relevant keywords are used in headings and subheadings. Convincingly improves your rankings and webpage performance. 

HTTP

HTTP stands for hypertext transfer protocol. It is a standard protocol used to transfer data between users and web servers. It enables communication between a web server and a browser, allowing users to access websites.

How HTTP works

Noticeably, HTTP is replaced by HTTPS, which is a more secure version of the protocol. Above that, HTTP/2 is the latest version of the protocol, which offers improved and faster loading times, which positively impacts user experience. 

HTML

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is the standard language used to create and structure web pages. HTML provides a framework for web pages that define elements like headings, subheadings, images, dates of publication, and more. 

HTML code snapshot

Simply put, HTML is the backbone of web pages, providing the structure and formatting for content like text, images, and links.

Inbound links are also known as backlinks that point towards your website or act as a vote of confidence from other sites. Convincingly, these votes of confidence signal SERPs that your content is valuable and trustworthy. The inbound links are important because: 

  • It increases authority and trust 
  • Improves rankings 
  • Brings relevant traffic 

Indexed page

An indexed page is a web page discovered and added to a search engine’s database or index. When a page gets indexed, it becomes eligible to appear in search engine results.

For example, if you make content or pages live on your website, search engines send bots or spiders to crawl the web and discover new or updated content. Once a bot finds a page, it analyzes the content and adds it to the search engine’s index if it meets specific criteria. Indexed pages can appear in search results when users search for relevant keywords.

Internal links are hyperlinks that connect different pages within the same website. These links play a crucial role in navigating your website and keeping your audience engaged for long periods of time. 

Additionally, internal links can improve your SEO efforts by helping search engines understand your site’s structure and the relationships between pages. Connecting your content through internal links can strengthen the authority of essential pages and enhance your website’s overall visibility in search results.

JavaScript

JavaScript is a programming language that is used to create interactive and dynamic content on a website. Importantly, JavaScript enables features like forms, sliders, and animations, which make web pages look more engaging.

JavaScript code snapshot

At the top, JavaScript can update content on a web page without requiring a page to reload. Such live updates enable live chats, real-time updates, and quick data updates. 

Keywords

Keywords are specific words or phrases that describe your content’s main topic or themes. In SEO, these keywords are essential in helping search engines understand what your page is about and match it with relevant user queries. 

If a user searches for “mistakes to avoid in link building” on Google and your content includes that phrase, it may suggest your article to the user. However, having the keyword in your content doesn’t guarantee top placement; Google also considers authority and trustworthiness.

Keyword Analysis

Keyword analysis is researching relevant keywords that users often use to search related to their niche or industry. Many keyword analysis tools on the market help you understand which keywords to target in your content to attract a more relevant audience. 

Generally, the keyword analysis process involves: 

  • Finding the relevant keywords that users might regularly search for.
  • Checking how often each keyword is searched for.
  • Understanding how many websites are targeting the exact keywords. 
  • Selecting the relevant keywords, having good volume and density, and having manageable competition. 

Keyword Density

Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears in your content. It is calculated by dividing the number of times the keyword appears by the total word count and multiplying by 100.

It is not a strict rule, but generally, to avoid keyword stuffing, writers keep keyword density around 1 – 2%. That is 2 times in 1000 words of content. Striking the right balance between keyword density helps improve your SEO performance while maintaining a natural flow for readers. 

Link building is acquiring hyperlinks from other websites that are on your own. In SEO, link building is essential because having more websites linked to yours can increase your chances of ranking higher in search results.

Here are the critical aspects of link building: 

  • It is always better to have links from reputed websites than many from low-quality ones. 
  •  Create high-quality, valuable content that others naturally want to link to.
  • Aim for various link sources to avoid over-dependence on any single type.

Meta Title

The meta title is the title tag of a page that appears in search engine results and browser tabs. 

Meta Title example snapshot

When you search for your query, the results that are shown on SERPs with the title of the content are known as the meta title. Generally, the title is 60 characters to ensure it displays fully in search results. 

Meta Description

A meta description summarises a webpage’s content and appears in search engine results below the title. It gives users a quick preview of the page’s content and can influence their decision to click on your link.

Meta Description example snapshot

Generally, the characteristics of meta description is 160 characters. This meta description helps provide a concise overview of the page’s content and ensures it displays correctly in search results.

A no-follow link is a type of hyperlink that tells search engines not to pass any authority, or “link juice,” from the linking page to the linked page. It is specified in the HTML code with the rel=”nofollow” attribute.

According to the report, a mix of 60% do-follow and 40% no-follow links for a natural link profile is essential for long-term success. So, SEO professionals should treat no-follow links with the same care as do-follow links when building backlinks.

Negative SEO

Negative SEO means using unethical techniques to harm a competitor’s search engine rankings. These tactics sabotage a website’s visibility in search results, which often violates search engine guidelines.

The common practices that are done through negative SEO are:

  • Creating a large number of low-quality or spammy links to a competitor’s site to make it appear untrustworthy to search engines.
  • Copying a competitor’s content and reposting it on other sites to cause duplicate content issues.
  • Breaking into a competitor’s website to alter or delete content or inject malicious code.

On-page SEO

On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing website pages to increase organic traffic and improve search engine traffic. It involves making adjustments and improvements directly on the pages. 

The significant practices of on-page SEO include adding keywords, optimizing URLs, analyzing meta titles and descriptions, and improving SERP rankings. Overall, On-page SEO is about enhancing your web pages’ quality and relevance for better search engine visibility and user engagement.

Organic Traffic

When a website visitor lands on your website through unpaid search engine results, this is known as organic search or organic traffic. For example, suppose you upload a video recipe for baking a strawberry cake on YouTube and include a link in the description for more information. If a viewer clicks on the link and visits your page, that’s considered organic traffic.

This traffic came without paid advertisements, email marketing, influencer marketing, PPC, or native ads. Such traffic has more potential to be converted into clients and grow revenue for the business. 

Page Authority

Page authority is a metric that predicts how well a specific webpage will rank in search engine results. It’s often measured on a scale from 1 to 100, with a higher score indicating a better ability to rank. The metric considers factors such as the quality and quantity of inbound links (backlinks), the relevance and quality of content, and other on-page SEO factors.

Page Speed

Page speed is the time it takes for a webpage to load fully for a user. It is crucial to user experience and can impact a site’s search engine rankings. 

According to the report, 40% of users abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load. Websites that rank higher typically load in around 1.65 seconds. 

Hence, page speed is crucial from an SEO perspective. Proper optimization can lead to better search engine rankings and increased conversion rates. 

Query

In the context of search engines, a query is the search term or phrase that a user enters into the search engine’s search bar. It represents the information or content that the user is looking for.

Ranking

In SEO abbreviation, rankings refer to a webpage’s position in search engine results pages (SERPs) for a particular search query. Higher rankings typically mean a webpage is closer to the top of the first page of search results. The higher your webpage rankings are, the more you will gain traffic to your website. 

Website organic ranking example

According to reports, the number 1 result in the organic SERPs receives an average of 31.7% of the traffic. However, sponsored ads are paid services offered by Google, which may appear on top of the SERP under the “Sponsored” tag. Organic rankings appear below these sponsored listings in search results.

Redirect

A redirect is a method used to send users and search engines from one URL to another. In SEO terms, redirects are important for maintaining the flow of traffic and preserving search engine rankings. 

The two most common types are 301 redirects (permanent) and 302 redirects (temporary). A 301 redirect permanently forwards traffic from one URL to another, while a 302 redirect is used for temporary changes.

Referral Traffic

Referral traffic is the number of visitors who arrive at your website through links from other websites. When someone clicks a hyperlink on another site that leads to your website, it is considered referral traffic. 

Website traffic sources sanpshot

About 9% of overall traffic is generated by referral links. Hence, maintaining a good network of quality referral links can help drive targeted traffic to your website. Crucially, proper redirect implementation ensures a smooth transition for both users and search engines, which improves website authority overall. 

Schema

Schema in the context of SEO refers to a structured data vocabulary that helps search engines understand the content on your website more effectively. By adding schema markup to your HTML, you provide explicit information about your content and how search engines should categorize it.

Search Engine

A search engine is a platform or tool that helps users find information online by searching for specific keywords or phrases. When a user enters a query, the search engine scans its index to find the most relevant web pages. 

These pages are presented in an organized manner, with a variety of options for the user to select the most relevant page for their query. The user clicks on the page and gets the information they seek. 

The most reputable examples of search engines are Google, Bing, and Yahoo. 

SERP (Search Engine Results Page) 

It’s the page you see after you enter a search query into Google, Bing, or any other search engine. This page displays a list of web pages the search engine deems relevant to your search terms. It lists the most pertinent web pages, along with other information, based on the search terms the user entered.

What is SERP

SERPs are designed to provide the most relevant and useful results to users based on their search terms. However, understanding SERPs is important for SEO, as it’s where your website aims to rank for relevant searches. By optimizing your website’s content and technical aspects, you can increase your chances of appearing higher in SERPs and attracting more organic traffic.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO refers to the behind-the-scenes optimization of your website to make it easier for search engines to find, understand, and index your content. It essentially focuses on the technical aspects that improve your website’s crawlability, usability, and overall health in the eyes of search engines.

User Experience —

In simple term, the overall experience a user has when interacting with websites or pages is known as user experience. User experience relies on the user’s journey, including how easily they navigate to other pages, find information, spend time on the website, and complete tasks.

The user experience is crucial for boosting your search engine rankings because it can lower bounce rates and drive more traffic to your site. Importantly, prioritizing mobile-friendly design, improved crawlability, and using structured data helps establish a strong base for your website to perform better in search results.

URL

URL stands for unique resource locator. It is a web address that points to a specific resource on the internet, such as a webpage, image, or file. It is a unique identifier that helps locate and access content online. 

An example of URL is:

Example of website URL
  • The first part of the URL, such as “http://” or “https://,” indicates the protocol used to access the resource.
  • The domain name identifies the website, such as “backlinko.com.”
  • The path specifies the location of a specific resource within the domain, such as “/actionable-seo-tips.”
  • Optional parameters that provide additional information about the resource, such as filters or categories.

Vertical search is a type of specialized search engine that focuses on a specific kind of content or category of information. Instead of offering general search results, these search engines target specific areas of interest.

Vertical search

For example, if you need images on SEO strategies, you can directly click on images. It will redirect you to the images page where you will find pictures related to the queries you entered. Such vertical search will make it easier for you to find the visual content you require on search engines. 

Website Visibility

Website visibility refers to how easily users can find a website through search engines or other channels. It measures how prominently your website appears in search results and other places on the internet.

Generally, website visibility depends upon the quality of your content, backlinks, authority, and trustworthiness. The higher your website ranks in search engine results pages (SERPs), the more visible it is to users. Increasing website visibility can lead to more traffic, higher engagement, and more significant conversion opportunities.

XML Sitemap

An XML sitemap is a file that lists all the important pages on your website. It helps search engines find and understand your content better. To find your website’s XML sitemap, search for it on Google: www.Yoursitename.com/sitemap.xml. 

XML Sitemap Snapshot

Here’s how it works:

  • The sitemap includes URLs (web addresses) of your pages.
  • It helps search engines know which pages to crawl and index.
  • Sitemaps can also include information about when pages were last updated.

Having an XML sitemap can improve your website’s visibility in search results. It’s a useful tool to help search engines discover and prioritize your content.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is a popular tool or plugin for optimizing your website for search engines. It helps you choose the right keywords for your content, checks your writing style, and automatically creates an XML sitemap to help search engines find your content.

Basically, Yoast SEO is a tool that gauges your content against different parameters and provides keywords to include for better ranking and improved performance. 

Zero-click

Zero-click refers to a search scenario where the user finds the information they require directly on the search engine results page (SERP) without clicking through to a website. Search engines, like Google, provide quick answers and data in featured snippets, knowledge panels, or other rich results at the top of the SERP.

For example, if you search for the current weather, the answer may be displayed on the results page, allowing you to get the information without clicking any links. This can affect website traffic since users might find what they need without visiting a website.

What’s Next? 

Understanding the 50+ SEO terms in this glossary is essential for staying competitive in the ever-changing world of search engine optimization. These fundamental concepts provide the knowledge you need to optimize your website and improve its visibility. If you found helpful tips and insights in this article, try to implement them today in your practice and get the desired results you want.

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