Here is a list of SEO terms 

301 Also useful for dealing with canonical issues, a concrete server redirect - the change of address for a web page found in the htaccess file on apache servers.

adwords A very common way of basic website advertisement. Google Pay Per Click contextual advertisement program. 

adwords site Made For Google Adsense Advertisements (MFA) - websites are designed from the ground up as a GA advertisements. TV programming is usually Made For Advertisement so this is  not always a bad thing.

affiliate An affiliate site markets services or products that are sold by other  websites or businesses trading for commissions or fees.

algorithm (algo) A program used by search engines to settle on what pages to recommend for a given search query.

alt text A description of a graphic on the web. Unless the graphic is undelieverable, which usually isn’t displayed to the end user, or a browser is used that doesn’t display graphics. Search engines can’t tell one picture from another so Alt text is important.  Web browsers for visually challenged people rely on the alt text to make the content of graphics accessible to the users. Alt text is the place where acceptable for the spider to get different content than the human user, only because the alt text is accessible to the user, and when properly used is an accurate description of the associated picture.

analytics A program that assists in analyzing and gathering data regarding website usage. Google analytics is a feature popular, rich, free analytics program.

anchor text The text of a link, visible to the user. Search engines use anchor text to specify the link to the content on the landing page and the relevancy of the referring site. If possible all three will share some keywords in common.

astroturfing (the opposite of total disclosure) attempting to evolve a political agenda or commercial while pretending to be impartial grassroots applicant in a social group. In other words when someone takes part in a user forum with the secret purpose of customer recruitment, branding, or public relations.

authority (trust, link juice, Google juice) The amount of trust that a site is qualified for with a particular search query. Authority/trust is derived from related incoming links from other trusted sites.

authority site A website which has many received links from  related expert/hub sites. Because of this synchronized citation from familiar hubs an authority site usually has pagerank, high trust, and search results placement. An example of an authority site is Wikipedia.

B2B Business to Business.

B2C Business to Consumer

back link Any link into a page or site from any other page or site.  (e.j. inlink, incoming link)

black hat Optimization tactics for a search engine that are counter to finest practices such as the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

blog A website which presents content in a more or less chronological series. Content may or may not be time sensitive. Most blogs use a Content Management System such as WordPress, rather than individually crafted WebPages. The Blogger can chose to concentrate on content creation instead of arcane code.

Bot  A program which performs a task more or less autonomously. Search engines use bots to add web pages and locate their search indexes. Spammers frequently use bots to “scrape” content for the purpose of plagiarizing for exploitation by the Spammer. ( i.e robot, spider, crawler)

bounce rate The percentage of users who come into a site and then proceed to leave it without viewing any other pages.  Usually when someone locates a site on accident or what they find isn’t what they were looking for.

bread crumbs In a horizontal bar above the main content, web site navigation, which helps the user better understand how to get back to the root areas and where they are on the site.

canonical issues (duplicate content) canon = legitimate or official version - It is nearly impossible to avoid duplicate content, especially with CMSs like Wordpress, due to the fact that,, and are supposedly seen as dupes by the SEs. However these issues can be messed with successfully in quite a lot of ways including - using the no index Meta tag in the non-canonical copies, and 301 server redirects to the canon.


click fraud Indecent clicks on a PPC advertisement usually by the publisher or his minions for the use of unwarranted profit. Click fraud is a large concern for ad agencies like Google, it lowers promoters confidence that they will get evenhanded value for their ad spend.

cloak The act of delivering distinctive content to a search engine spider than seen by the human users. This Black Hat tactic is frowned upon by the search engines and caries a virtual death penalty of the site/domain being banned from the search engine outcome.

CMS Content Management System – Wordpress is an example of one of these programs, which separate nearly all of the dull Webmaster tasks from content creation so that a publisher can be successful without acquiring or understanding sophisticated coding skills if that is what they decide.

code swapping Altering the content after high rankings are achieved. (i.e. bait and switch)

comment spam Posting blog comments for the purpose of producing an inlink to another site. The reason many blogs use link condoms.

content Part of a web page which is projected to have value for and be of interest to the user. Advertising, branding, navigation, and boilerplate aren’t usually considered content.  (i.e. text, copy)

contextual advertisement Advertising directly related to the content.

conversion (goal) Reaching an experimental goal on a website. Sign ups, add clicks, and sales are types of conversions.

conversion rate Percentage of members who convert - see conversion.

CPC Cost Per Click - the amount that is paid per click for a Pay Per Click Advertiser

CPM (Cost Per Thousand impressions) A numerical metric used to measure the average value / cost of Pay Per Click ads. M -  the Roman numeral for one thousand.

crawler (bot, spider) A program that moves through the worldwide web or a website by a link structure to gather data.

directory A site dedicated to directory pages. (i.e. Yahoo directory)


directory page A page of links to linked WebPages.

doorway A web page designed to attract traffic away from a search engine. A doorway page that redirects users (but not spiders) to a different site or page is implementing cloaking.  (i.e.gateway)


duplicate content Content that is similar or identical to content found on another website or page. A site may not be penalized for duplicate content but it will receive little Trust from the search engines matched up to the content that the SE considers being the original.

e commerce site A website dedicated to retail sales.


feed Content which is delivered to the user using special programs or websites such as news aggregators.


FFA   A site or page with several outgoing links to unconnected websites, containing little if any exclusive content. Link farms are only planned for spiders, and have slight if any value to human users, and thus are penalized or unnoticed by the search engines. (i.e.Free For All)

frames a web page design where multiple documents appear on the same screen, each within its own frame. Spiders often fail to correctly navigate Frames, so they are said to be bad for SEO.  Some users don’t care for frames because its similar to having two small monitors neither show a full page of information at one time.

gateway page A web page that is made to focus traffic from a search engine and redirect it to another page or site.  Users and search engines are served different content.  A doorway page isn’t quite the same as cloaking but the effect is the same.  (i.e doorway page)


gadget see gizmo\


gizmo (gadget, widget) small applications used on web pages to provide precise functions such as a IP address display or hit counter. Gizmos make good link bait.

Google bomb Done usually for humorous effect, it is the shared attempt of many webmasters to alter the Google search results. The “miserable failure” - George Bush, and “greatest living American” - Steven Colbert Google bombs are famous examples.

Google bowling Cruelly trying to lower a sites rank by sending it links from the “bad neighborhood”  there is debate as to if this works or is just an SEO urban myth.

Google dance The change in SERPs caused by an update of the Google algorithm or database, this causes great angst and concern for webmasters who slip in the SERPs.  This is also known as the period of time during a Google index update when different data centers have different data.

Google juice (i.e. trust, authority, pagerank) Trust and authority from Google, it flows through outgoing links to other pages.

Googlebot Google’s spider program

GYM The big three of a search Google - Yahoo - Microsoft,

hit  Web traffic was once judged by hits, but now it is a largely empty term replaced by pageviews or impressions.  A hit happens every time a server sends an object - graphics, documents, include files, etc. One pageview could generate many hits.


hub A trusted page with premium content that links to related pages. (i.e expert page)

HTML “Markup” or directives which are used to add formatting and web functionality to plain text for use on the internet. HTML is the top of the search engines, and should be sternly and entirely adhered to on web pages.  (i.e Hyper Text Markup Language)

impression (page view) When a user views a webpage a single time.


in bound link (inlink, incoming link) Inbound links from connected pages are the source of pagerank and trust.

index Noun - a database of WebPages and their content utilized by the search engines.

index Verb – adding a web page to a search engine index.

indexed Pages Pages on a site which have been indexed.

inlink Inbound links from linked pages, which are the source of trust and pagerank. (incoming link, inbound link)

keyword - key phrase The phrase or word that a user keys into a search engine.


keyword cannibalization The extreme reuse of the same keyword on many web pages in the same site. This makes it challenging for the users and the search engines to uncover which page is most applicable for the keyword.

keyword density Percentage of words on a web page which are a specific keyword. If this value is unusually high the page may be penalized.

keyword research The hard work of deciding which keywords are suitable for targeting.

keyword spam (keyword stuffing) Improperly high keyword density.

keyword stuffing (keyword spam) Incorrectly high keyword density.

landing page the page landed on by a user, when they click on a link in a SERP.


latent semantic indexing (LSI) The search engines index associated groups of words in a document. SEOs refer to the same groups of words as “Long Tail Searches”. The bulk of searches which consist of three or more strung together words.  See “long tail”.

link A part on a web page that can be clicked on to make the browser jump to another page or another part of current page.

link bait A webpage with the purpose of attracting incoming links, often by means of social media.

link building  cultivating incoming links to a site.

link condom Any of the numerous methods used to avoid passing links to another page,  to avoid possible harmful results of indorsing a bad site by using an outgoing link, or to discourage link spam in user produced content.

linkerati internet users are the most productive targets of linkbait. The Linkerati includes - forum posters, social taggers, bloggers, resource maintainers, and other content creators, etc - they are most likely to create inward links or link generating traffic (in the case of social networkers). Suggested by lorisa.


link exchange devoted to directory pages, a link exchange is a joint linking system often facilitated by a site.  Allow links to sites of low or no quality, and add no value themselves. Quality directories are typically human edited for quality assurance.

link farm a group of sites which all link to each other.- Previous Definition revised based upon advice fromMichael Martinez


link juice (trust, pagerank, authority)

link love An outgoing link, creative by any type of link condom, which passes trust.

link partner (reciprocal linking, link exchange) Two sites that link to one another. Search engines typically don’t see them as high value links, because of the shared nature.

link popularity how the value of a site is measured.  This is based on the quality and number of sites linking to it.

link spam (Comment Spam) Unnecessary links such as those posted in user created content, such as blog comments.

link text (Anchor text) The text of a link visible to the user. Search engines use anchor text to link to the information on the landing page and to indicate the relevancy of the referring site.  All three will preferably share some keywords in common.

long tail  longer more precise search queries that are usually targeted fewer than less lengthy broad queries.  For example searching for “widgets” may be very broad when in turn “red widgets with reverse threads” would be a long tail search. A high percentage of all searches are long tail searches/

LSI(Latent Semantic Indexing.) the search engines index frequently associates groups of words in a document. SEOs refers to these groups of words as “Long Tail”. Most searches consist of three or more words linked together.  The importance is that it may be impossible to rank well for “mortgage”, but fairly simple to rank for “second mortgage to finance monster truck team” (also see “long tail”)

mashup A web page which consists of primarily single purpose software and several small programs (gizmos and gadgets) or just links to such programs. Often popular with users, mashups are simple and fast content to produce and can produce great link bait. Tool collection pages are occasionally mashups.


META tags furnishing information about the page, these are statements in the HEAD section of an HTML page. META information may be in the SERPs but is not able to be seen on the page. It is important to have exclusive and accurate META title and description tags, that may be the information that the search engines needs the most to establish what the page is about. They are also the first impression that users recieve about your page within the SERPs.

metric analytics programs use this as a standard of measurement.

MFA Made For Advertisements - websites are designed from scratch as a venue for advertisements. This is sometimes, but not always a bad thing. TV programming is an example of MFA.

mirror site An identical site at a different address.

monetize To pull out income from a site. Adsense ads make it easy to Monetize a website.

natural search results The search engine results which are not paid or sponsored, in any way.


nofollow A command found in the HEAD area of a web page or in an individual link code, which instructs robots steer clear of a specific link or any links on the page. Type of a link condom.

noindex A command found in either the HEAD section of a web page or within individual link code, which instructs robots to not index the page or the specific link. A form of link condom.

non reciprocal link if site one site links to another site, but the site does not link back, then the link is considered non reciprocal. Search engines often give more value to non-reciprocal links than to reciprocal ones because they are less likely to be the cause of involvement between sites.

organic link those that are published only because they are considered to add value for users.


outlink (Out going link)

pagerank (PR) assigned by the Google algorithm, a value between 0 and 1, which calculates a link popularity and trust along with other (proprietary) factors. Sometimes confused with Toolbar Pagerank. - Previous Definition revised based upon advice from Michael Martinez


pay for inclusion PFI Charging a fee to include a website in their directory or search engine. Usually what is paid for is more attention being paid to steer clear of Googles ban on paid links.

portal A web service that offers an array of features to attract users to make the portal their “home page” on the web. Examples of portals are..IGoogle, Yahoo, and MSN.

PPA (Pay Per Action ) This is an example similar to Pay Per Click minus the fact that publishers only get paid when click throughs result in conversions.

PPC (Pay Per Click) a related advertisement system where advertisers pay add agencies (such as Google) whenever a user clicks on their ad. Adwords is one example of PPC advertising.

proprietary method (bullshit, snake oil) In order to receive “Top Ten Rankings”, SEO service providers often use this sales term to imply that they can do something unique.

reciprocal link (link exchange, link partner) Two sites which link to each other. These are not usually seen as high value links by Search engines, because of the mutual and possible incestuous nature.


redirect Any of many methods used to alter the address of a landing page such as when a site is moved to a new place, or in the case of a doorway.

regional long tail (RLT) coined by Chris Paston of - a many word keyword term which has a city or region name. Especially useful for the service industry.


RLT also see Regional Long Tail

robots.txt a file in the root directory of a website use to restrict and manage the behavior of search engine spiders.

ROI (Return On Investment) One of many uses of analytics software to analyze and calculate return on investment, and therefore cost / benefit of different schemes.

sandbox It is said that Google puts all new sites into a “sandbox,” stopping them from ranking well for anything until a decided period of time has passed. The exact behavior or existence of the sandbox is not accepted collectively among SEOs.


scrape duplicating content from a site, often made possible by automated bots. - Definition revised based upon advice from Michael Martinez

SE (Search Engine)

search engine (SE) a program, which searches for relevant matches in a group of documents or document of a users keyword phrase and returns a list of the most relevant matches. Internet search engines like Google and Yahoo search the entire internet for relevant matches.

search engine spam Pages made to cause search engines to bring less relevant or inappropriate results. Search Engine Optimizers are frequently unfairly perceived as search engine Spammers.  In some cases they actually are.

SEM Stands for search engine marketing; SEM is sometimes used to explain acts linked to positioning, researching and submitting a Web site within search engines to accomplish the very best exposure of your Web site. SEM includes subjects such as paid listings, search engine optimization, and other search-engine related functions and services that will heighten exposure and traffic to your Web site.

SEO stands for search engine optimization, the practice of increasing the amount of visitors to a Web site by reaching a high rank in the search results of a search engine. To increase the chance that users will visit the site, a Web site must rank higher in the results of a search. It is common for Internet users to not look/click past the first few pages of search results, therefore high rank in SERPs is necessary for attaining traffic for a site. SEO assists in ensuring a site is accessible to a search engine and increases the chances the site will be indexed and constructively ranked by the search engine.

SERP Search Engine Results Page

site map A page or group of pages that link to every user available page on a website.  This is done with intent to improve the sites usability; it clarifies the data structure of the site for the users. An XML sitemap is usually kept in the root directory of a site to help search engine spiders find all of the site pages.

SMWC (Slapping Myself With Celery) this is the more vegan-trendy, extreme reaction similar to a “spit take”.   Sometimes combined with other acronyms. - WTF/SMWC, or perhaps ROTFL/SMWC.

SMM (Social Media Marketing) Brand or Website promotion through social media

SMP (Social Media Poisoning) - any of many (possibly illegal) black hat methods intended to involve a competitor as a spammer - An example, blog comment spamming in the name / brand of a competitor. A term coined by Rand Fishkin

sock puppet  When an online individual wants to create multiple user profiles or hide a true identify.  

social bookmark A form of Social Media where users bookmarks are combined for public access.

social media Sharing perspectives and information by people online using  Various online technologies. Blogs, social bookmarking, wikis, forums, user reviews and rating sites (digg, reddit) are all examples of Social Media.

social media marketing (SMM) Brand or website endorsement through social media

social media poisoning (Social Media Poisoning) - any of many (possibly illegal) black hat methods intended to involve a competitor as a spammer - An example, blog comment spamming in the name / brand of a competitor. A term coined by Rand Fishkin.

spam ad page (SpamAd page) A Made For Advertisement/Adsense page that uses scraped or machine produced text for content, it has little value to users other than the slight value of the ads. Spammers often create sites with hundreds of these pages.

spamdexing Spamdexing or search engine spamming is the practice of dishonestly modifying web pages to increase the probability of that spammer being placed closer to the top of search engine results, or to pressure the category to which the page is assigned in a deceitful manner.

spammer A person who uses spam to go after a goal.

spider (bot, crawler) A dedicated bot used by search engines to locate and add web pages to their indexes.

spider trap an endless loop of routinely generated links which can “trap” a spider program. Sometimes intentionally used to avert automated scraping or e-mail address harvesting.

splash page Usually animated, graphics pages without significant textual content. Splash pages are intended to be appleaing to individuals by their flashiness, but without attention to SEOs it may look like dead ends to search engine spiders, which can only navigate through text links. Poorly executed splash pages may be bad for SEO and often a frustration for users. - Definition revised based upon advice from Michael Martinez


splog Spam Blog which usually contains little value to humans, and is sometimes machine generated or made up of scraped content.

static page A web page without lively content or variables such as session IDs in the URL. They are great for SEO work in that they are friendly to search engine spiders.

stickiness Improvement of bounce rate.  Website changes that lure users to stay on the site longer, and view more pages improve the sites “stickiness”.


supplemental index (supplemental results) Pages with very low pagerank, often appear in the SERPs with a label of Supplemental Result, which are still applicable to a search query,. Googles representative’s say that this is not indicative of a penalty, only low pagerank. - Previous Definition revised based upon advice fromMichael Martinez


text link A plain HTML link that does not involve special code or graphic such as flash or java script.


time on page The amount of time that a user spends on a page before clicking off. This is a good indicator of quality and relevance.

toolbar pagerank (PR) a value between 0 and 10 assigned by the Google algorithm, which calculates page importance and is not the same as pagerank. Toolbar Pagerank is updated a few times a year, and is not a dependable indicator of current status. Often confused with Pagerank. - Definition added based upon advice from Michael Martinez


trust rank make a distinction linking spam pages and valuable pages by computing trusted human from link relationships evaluated seed pages.

URL AKA Web Address- Uniform Resource Locator  


user generated content (UGC) Folksonomies, Social Media, wikis, and some blogs rely heavily on User Generated Content. One could say that Google is taking advantage of the entire web as UGC for an advertising venue.

walled garden a group of pages links to one another, but not linked to by any other pages. A walled garden can still be indexed if it is incorporated in a sitemap, but it will probably have extremely low pagerank.

web 2.0 Is characterized by websites, which promote user interaction.

white hat SEO techniques, which agree with best practice guidelines, and do not try to unscrupulously “game” or manipulate SERPs.

widget 1) (gadget, gizmo) small applications used on web pages to supply specific functions such as a hit counter or IP address display. This program can make good link bait. 2) a term borrowed from economics which means “any product or commodity.”

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