Fed up of trying to figure out what the latest SEO jargon is talking about? Then look no further! Jellyfish Livewire has compiled an SEO glossary to help you bust those jargon terms.
Webpage status notification that the webpage or file has been permanently moved. This tells the search engine robot that the current URL is no longer valid and has been replaced. All links and PageRank are typically reassigned to the URL which is pointed to by the redirect. This redirect is implemented on the server (server-side).
An approach to website design that reviews site usage using different browsers and settings, particularly those required by the visually impaired
A programme used by search engines to determine which webpages to suggest for a given keyword search query.
A text description of a webpage image.
The visible text of a link.
The amount of trust that a site is credited with for a particular search query.
A page which contains many inbound links relating to a topic. Expert pages or hubs are given more weighting by search engines in order to identify authority pages.
A website which has many incoming links from other related expert or hub sites.
Hyperlinks which link to a particular webpage. Also known as inbound-links.
Unethical SEO practices that contravene search engine guidelines.
A website or section of a website that contains commentary, opinion or advice on particular topics.
Also known as a robot, spider or crawler. A programme search engines use to find and add webpages to their search indexes.
The proportion of visitors to a page or site that exit after visiting a single page, expressed as a percentage.
Website navigation tool.
The date when the search robot last visited a page.
Google robots take a snapshot of each page visited as they crawl the web. They then cache these for backup if the original page is unavailable.
The simplified version of a domain, e.g. http://domain.com without the www subdomain prefix http://www.domain.com.
The issues that arise due to duplicate pages and content.
Webpage content (text body copy) is separated from code used for presentation (layout and formatting), which is stored in a separate Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) file (.css).
Showing a different version of a page to search robots and human visitors.
Posting blog comments solely for the purpose of generating links.
Text or imagery published on a webpage that is intended to have value for a user.
Software to manage the addition and modification of webpages on a server.
The proportion of visitors to a page or site that convert to the outcome required, such as lead or sale, expressed as a percentage.
A top-level domain used for a specific country or dependent territory, e.g., .co.uk (United Kingdom), .fr (France)
Links that direct a visitor to a specific page within the site rather than the homepage.
A label indicated by the domain naming system (DNS) to denote the internet address (IP address) of a server.
Visitors are directed to an alternative domain.
Evaluated by the number of different domains that link to a website.
An approach to SEO no longer widely used and no longer recommended due to search engine penalties. Doorway pages are not connected to the remainder of the site and are optimized for a particular keyphrase to entice site visitors and sometimes a specific search engine. Often used in conjunction with cloaking, redirecting to other content.
Search engines make an assessment of duplicate content within a site or on different domains and may penalise if they judge duplication is taking place. Alternatively, they may simply give a higher relevance and ranking to the page with the highest link equity. Limited duplication such as print and screen versions of content should not cause a problem. You should check for deliberate and accidental duplication of pages within your site.
This term is often used to describe the problem of pages not being included within the index when in fact it is a filter that is applied.
Content which is delivered to the user via special websites or programmes such as news aggregators.
A Free For All (FFA) page or site is one with many outgoing links to unrelated websites, containing little if any unique content.
A webpage design where two or more documents appear on the same screen, each within its own frame.
A webpage that is designed to attract traffic from a search engine and then redirect it to another site or page.
A simple keyphrase without any qualifiers, i.e. [car insurance]
Sites which are added to the index do not perform well in terms of ranking for a period of several months. Although the existence of this effect is debated, it is evident in many cases and is clearly intended to prevent unscrupulous sites gaming the index by frequently creating new pages.
Google APIs are an Application Programming Interface which enables any third party to develop software which can call Google functions to perform queries with specific keyphrases. It requires the use of a Google API key. Google has different APIs, e.g. for Web (search engine), Mapping, AdWords and Desktop. Developing programmes which interface with the API can help agencies or clients gain competitive advantage through performing a more sophisticated analysis.
Maliciously trying to lower a sites rank by sending it links from the “bad neighbourhood”. This is the SEO equivalent of yelling “Good luck with that infection!” to your friend in the playground. There is some controversy as to if this works or is just an SEO urban myth.
Also known as Trust, Authority, PageRank. This measures trust and authority from Google, which flows through outgoing links to other pages.
A facility to submit an index of a sites pages to Google to assist its robots with spidering the site. Also contains reporting tools.
Search engines now return other relevant results related to a query within its results.
Google’s robot program
Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, who are the three largest search engines (EN)
Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) or “markup” which is used to add formatting and web functionality to plain text for use on the internet.
A trusted expert page, with high quality content that links out to related pages.
A new Google search algorithm launched in August 2013 designed to understand the context of more complex queries.
A database created by search engine robots which contains information on the URL of each page crawled, such as the keyphrases it contains, keyword density, formatting and PageRank which together with other information which determines weighting in SERPs.
The number of pages of a domain which are included in the index of each search engine.
Ensuring that as many relevant pages of a website are included within the search engine indexes.
The combination of organisation, labelling, and navigation schemes comprising an information system.
The unique numerical address of a computer.
The combination of words users of search engines type into a search box which form a search query.
A structured approach to identification of keyphrases used to attract visitors to your site through search marketing.
These are added to the generic keyphrase (e.g. ”car insurance”) to narrow the search, e.g. “car insurance uk”.
Different forms of a given keyphrase, i.e. plurals and different word sequences. Careful analysis of these can give better results.
The excessive reuse of the same keyword on too many webpages within the same site. This practice makes it difficult for users and search engines to determine which page is most relevant for the keyword.
The frequency of a keyword or phrase in a piece of text, usually expressed as a percentage.
The repeated use of a keyphrase within a page or within a meta keyword tag. Penalties may be applied for keyword stuffing.
The keyphrase or search query which is typed into the search engine.
Latent semantic indexing (LSI) refers to the search engines index commonly associated groups of words. SEOs refer to these same groups of words as “long tail searches”. The majority of searches consist of three or more words strung together. See also “long tail”. The significance is that it might be almost impossible to rank well for “mortgage”, but it might be fairly easy to rank for “second mortgage to finance monster truck team”.
The hypertext used to form the text of a link, in the HTML code these are the words between the brackets, e.g. <a href="http://www.domain.com">Anchor text which forms link when viewed in browser</a>.
A structured activity to gain good quality hyperlinks to your site from relevant sites with a good PageRank and link context.
The relevance of a link for a particular keyphrase based on different aspects of the page where the link originates. Context includes link anchor text, keywords adjacent to the link, keyword density and markup in other tags such as title tag.
A page that is rated by the search engine as having higher relevance based on its link popularity and link context.
A reciprocal linking scheme often facilitated by a site devoted to directory pages. Link exchanges usually allow links to sites of low or no quality, and add no value themselves. Quality directories are usually human edited for quality assurance.
A network of sites that link to other sites for the sole purpose of increasing link popularity. They tend to contain links to totally unrelated sites. Search engines can identify and penalise most forms of link farms.
An assessment of the importance of a link in indicating relevance for a particular keyphrase based on the link context, the PageRank of the page and the dilution effect of outbound links. Alternatively, an assessment of the link popularity for a range of backlinks for a page or site.
Creation of a page which is deliberately defined to attract backlinks, particularly from other blogs. Typically it consists of useful content for a target audience such as an informative article, list of links, free tools etc.
A frequency distribution showing the typical decline in popularity of items within a sector when a consumer has a choice in selecting these items. In search, the most common search terms for a site or market sector have much higher volumes than the less common phrases, which together are important in generating qualified visitors.Long-tail concept refers to longer more specific search queries that are often less targeted than shorter broad queries. For example a search for “widgets” might be very broad while “red widgets with reverse threads” would be a long tail search. A large percentage of all searches are long tail searches.
A term that is sometimes used instead of ‘Manual Penalty’.
A manual penalty is typically a penalty notification sent from Google to webmasters through Google’s webmaster tools platform. These penalty notices tend to target poor quality backlinks or manipulated backlink profiles. However they can also be received for anything that falls outside of Googles Webmaster Quality Guidelines.
An approach to SEO where a group of pages link to each other to distribute PageRank more evenly.
A meta tag which summarises the content of the page in a short paragraph.
A meta tag which is used to list keywords relevant to the page.
Statements within the head section of an HTML page which furnish information about the page. Meta information may be in the SERPs but is not visible on the page. It is very important to have unique and accurate meta title and description tags, because they may be the information that the search engines rely upon the most to determine what the page is about. Also, they are the first impression that users get about your page within the SERPs.
An identical site at a different address.
Multilingual SEO involves improving results from users of local versions of search engines using their local language (sometimes in combination with English). The main activities are directed at including pages developed by a company in the index of the local language version of search engine targeted, improving rankings for target keyphrases through on-page optimization and local link building.
The pages listing results from a search engine query which are displayed in a sequence according to relevance of match between the keyword phrase typed into a search engine and a webpage according to a ranking algorithm used by the search engine.
The nofollow attribute or tag applies to the “a href” HTML command for coding hyperlinks which indicates that the search robot should not follow a link. This has been used in many ways. In particular, it is commonly used in forums to prevent comment spam when links are posted to forums for the purpose of building PageRank on third-party sites. Google has also advised that this approach should be used for paid static ads on sites. It can also be used to limit PageRank leakage if required. An example of the syntax is: Visit external site.
Devising page content, structure and HTML markup to prove relevance of a search keyphrase to the search engines.
Links from a page to another page. The origination point of backlinks or inbound links.
Google’s trademarked approach to assess the value of a webpage based on the number of inbound links or backlinks. PageRank (PR) is a value between 0 and 1 assigned by the Google algorithm, which quantifies link popularity and trust among other proprietary factors. Often confused with Toolbar PageRank.
Refers to attempts to focus PageRank within a site to pages targeted for SEO rather than less relevant pages, primarily by adding the nofollow attribute to internal site links, such as links to a privacy page.
A relevant ad with a link to a company page is displayed when the user of a search engine types in a specific phrase. A fee is charged every time a link is clicked, with the ad’s position mainly determined by the amount bid.
Google search algorithm, first released in February 2011, primarily concerned with onsite quality and targeting low-quality websites and thin content.
The practice of charging a fee to include a website in a search engine or directory. While quite common, usually what is technically paid for is more rapid consideration to avoid Google’s prohibition on paid links.
Google algorithm released in April 2012 that targets web spam and over-optimisation techniques such as keyword stuffing and link farms. Google Penguin assesses various factors including the quality of a website’s backlink profile.
With personalised search, the search engine monitors a user’s preferences based on their search terms or, potentially, profile information and returns what it believes are the most relevant search results based on the user’s search history and other similar types of searches performed by other searchers. The search engine is likely to give more weighting in the search results to sites the user has visited before and related sites, as indicated by bookmarks and linking patterns.
An approach to website design which involves maximising returns from web investments based on web analytics, heuristics and usability.
A form of advertising where a website will be promoted by search engines when a user searches for a specific term. These results are separated from natural, unpaid results.
Preferred landing pages are pages which are targeted to be the first listing returned for search on a target keyphrase. Performance of PLPs will be assessed against the target keyphrases.
The criteria used by the search engine in their algorithms to determine how high a website or page is displayed in the natural listings for a particular phrase.
An XML-based content distribution format commonly used for accessing blog information and other feeds of information that are regularly updated. Accessed by different types of RSS reader.
Links are exchanged between sites. The effectiveness of this will depend on the link quality and whether links are direct or not.
Including rich media such as audio and video or podcasts within your own site or through syndication on third-party sites to engage searchers with brands.
Automated software agents located on a search engine server that collect page data from different sites by following links between pages and sites. Robots follow policies which determine how often they visit a site. Search engine robots collect data about each page which is added into the search engine index.
Robots.txt is the text file located on the root directory of each domain used to instruct a robot to include or exclude page(s) from a site, e.g.: http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/exclusion-admin.html
Elements of the algorithm which may penalise pages or sites for search engine spamming.
A database containing details of pages crawled by search engine robots. Includes assessments of keyphrases and information needed to determine ranking factors.
Promoting an organization through search engines to meet its objectives by delivering relevant content in the search listings when Users search and encouraging them to click through to a destination site. The two key techniques of SEM are search engine optimisation and PPC. SEM is about connecting the searchers with information which will help them find what they are looking for and will help site owners generate revenue or disseminate information.
A structured approach used to increase the position of a company or its products in search engine result pages for brand and key terms. This involves various techniques including link building, website improvements and keyword optimisation.
The search engine uses a complex evaluation of different ranking factors to assess the order of relevance of results returned on the SERPs for a given search phrase.
The page(s) containing the results after a user types a keyphrase into a search engine. SERPs contain both natural, organic listings and paid listings.
A search engine is notified of a URL (usually the homepage) for indexing either directly or indirectly.
The sequence of searches a user will type in and the different types of sites they will visit from the point when they start searching until they find what they are looking for.
Files stored on a web server that record every item downloaded by users. These include .html files and images files. Each item is time stamped with the time of download and the referring source (the previous page) leading to site visit including search engines and keyphrase entered also recorded. Server log files are summarised and analysed by web analytics software.
Included as part of the URL as a parameter for tracking Visitors between different pages.
Google has a completely automated algorithm to produce what it calls sitelinks. These are the links to different parts of a site below the main heading link and description. Google has not officially explained the algorithm, but it typically occurs in response to a brand or company name search for larger companies.
A page or structured group of pages which link to every user accessible page on a website, and which hopefully improves site usability by clarifying the data structure of the site for its users. An XML sitemap is often kept in the root directory of a site just to help search engine spiders to find all of the site pages.
Page related content published in the SERPs below the hyperlink to the webpage. In order of precedence, this text is taken from the meta tags, snippets within body copy or the open directory. The text which is displayed depends on match with search term entered.
Social bookmarking involves web users sharing links under different categories or tags.
An endless loop of automatically generated links which can “trap” a spider program. Sometimes intentionally used to prevent automated scraping or e-mail address harvesting.
Often animated, webpages without significant textual content. Splash pages are designed to impress.
A webpage without dynamic content or variables such as session IDs in the URL.
Important keyphrases that are targeted for SEO as they combine high search volume and intent to purchase or other required site outcome, consistent with usage by the site’s target audience.
Supplemental pages are pages contained in a search engine index that are identified as having less weighting or trust than regular pages. Consequently, they are less likely to be returned in response to a search query.
The phrase(s) that a particular page is being optimised for, to help improve ranking.
Part of the markup in thesection of an HTML document which is used as the hyperlink in the SERPs and appears at the top of the browser window.
A web address used to locate a webpage on a web server.
An approach to website design intended to enable the completion of user tasks and to improve user experience. Typically measured by increasing task completion rates and decreasing completion time (or number of clicks).
The client application or software service which initiates a request for a webpage. Examples include web browsers and spiders.
A website that provides facilities for site visitors to add their own content, including comments, page creation and reviews, or the opportunity to upload their own media such as images, audio and video clips.
Vertical search engines are specialist search engines that cover a particular vertical industry sector. Alternatively, vertical search engines may focus on a particular type of media including video, audio, images, blog content, news, etc.
Online viral marketing involves generating word-of-mouth buzz, known as word of mouse, using email to send links to a website that include a viral agent such as a video clip, game, competition or other content.
Techniques used to assess and improve the contribution of e-marketing to a business, including reviewing traffic volume, referrals, clickstreams, online reach data, customer satisfaction surveys, leads and sales.
An approach to SEO which follows an ethical approach, which consists of implementing generally agreed best-practices within the industry.
A record of the geolocation and owner of a domain.