Not sure what a particular “term” means? – Check out our list below and if you can’t find the term you are looking for, let us know and we will add it to the list.

Glossary of Terms

301 Is a type of redirect (see redirect_

Adwords Google’s PPC or pay per click platform.

 Algorithm (algo) the formula used by search engines to decide what to show in the results (SERP)

Alt text a brief description of a picture to help Google categorise the image

Analytics the means of gathering information about a website (e.g. Google Analytics)

Anchor text The descriptive text in a link (describing the location of the link)

Authority (trust, link juice) the term used to describe how ‘strong’ a site or domain is.

Authority site A well-linked or alterative site.

B2B Business to Business.

B2C Business to Consumer

Back link a link to or from a site.

Black hat negative seo, dated seo tactics that are not best practice and against Google’s guidelines

Blog or sometimes ‘article’ are web based, often-informal subject driven articles or posts

Robot (spider, crawler). A piece of code used to take information from a site.  Google uses there to index websites for categorisation so they can use them in the search engine results.

Bounce rate the number/per cent of people who enter a site then leave without interacting.

Bread crumbs a web site navigation technique where by it is easy reverse navigate the site.  I.e. leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find your way back.

Canonical issues (duplicate content) canon = legitimate or official version or part of the recognised ‘canon’-

Click fraud improper clicks on ads

Cloak to show different content to a user or search engine or vice versa

CMS Content Management System – programs designed to contain and mange a website e.g. wordpress, Drupal, magneto

Code swapping (bait and switch changing the page or content after rankings are achieved.

Comment spam links to a site in blog comments

content (text, copy) is the part of your site that has information designed for the user of that site or customer.

contextual advertisement advertising relating to the content.

Conversion (goal) achieving a goal on your site. Add clicks, sign ups, and sales are examples of conversions.

Conversion rate who many actions (e.g. clicks) turn into desired results

CPC Cost Per Click in a paid search or display campaign

CPM (Cost Per Thousand impressions) Cost per thousand views of an ad in Adwords or similar

Crawler (bot, spider) a piece of software or code that ‘crawls’ through the world wide web and indexes (see indexes) URL’s, information and links

Directory A site similar to an online version of Yellow Pages or White pages containing business information or links. The Yahoo directory is an example.

Directory page See above

Duplicate content  Content which is similar or plagiarised

E-Commerce Site A website for to retail sales or ‘shopping cart’ site

Feed Content which is delivered through websites or programs such as your Facebook main page, twitter feed

FFA (Free For All) a link pages that has no oversight and will accept any link submission.

Frames a web page design where two or more documents appear on the same screen, These are best avoided.

Gateway page (doorway page) A web page that is designed to attract traffic from a search engine and then redirect it to another site or page.

Google juice is trust, authority, pagerank the that is used to measure and rank a page.

Googlebot Google’s spider/crawler/indexer software

Hit Formerly the way a sites traffic was measured.  Now more likely to be a page view

Hub a well trusted  or authoritative page with quality content that links out to other pages

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) directives to add formatting and web functionality to plain text for use on web pages

Impression (page view) a view of a page, listing or ad

In Bound Link an link coming in to a site

Index  to add a site to a list or index of a search engine

indexed Pages The pages on a site crawled by a search engine .

keyword – key phrase Word, phrases or query entered in a search engine.

Keyword Cannibalization  Overuse or targeting of the same keywords on different pages

keyword density How many times the keyword is mentioned or used on a page.

keyword research the process of determining how which keywords to target, use or optimise for

keyword spam (keyword stuffing) to many keywords or used improperly

keyword stuffing (keyword spam) as above

landing page the page a link or ad ‘lands’ on

link Something that can be clicked that leads to another page or site

link bait A page or text used to entice a click to another site. “you wont believe what you’ll  find here if you click this link!’ sort of thing

link building the activity of getting links to your site.

link exchange  reciprocal linking scheme – you give me a link and I’ll link to your site.

link farm  sites which all link to each other.-

link juice (trust, authority, pagerank)

link partner (link exchange, reciprocal linking

link popularity a measure of the value of a site based upon the number and quality of sites that link to it

link spam (Comment Spam) Unwanted links such as those posted in user generated content like blog comments.

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

long tail longer more specific search queries i.e. ‘seo company Melbourne cbd’

META tags test in the heading section of the  within  HTML page which gives info information about the page

metric  a numerical measurement.

mirror site An identical site.

monetize  To earn money from a site through Google advertising like adsense (not sales or ecommerce)

natural/organic search results  The ones that aren’t paid for or paid per click

nofollow or No Follow A command to indicate that the site does not intend to pass on authority or link juice through that link.

noindex \\ an instruction not to index a page or link

non reciprocal link opposite of reciprocal link – see above

organic link one that has been gained naturally or ‘organically’

outlink Out going link

pagerank (PR) a value between 0 and 1 assigned by the Google algorithm, which is used to determine the ranking of a site

PPA (Pay Per Action) Similar to pay per click but ‘action’ driven. Meaning the cost is incurred when the action is performed, i.e. sign up, view video.

PPC (Pay Per Click) a form of advertising in which each ‘click’ is charged to the advertiser.  Google Adwords is the best example of this.

proprietary method – in SEO terms, it doesn’t exist.  If someone offers it to you, run!

reciprocal link (link exchange, link partner) I link to your site and you link back in return.  Generally, not seen as a great method of acquiring.

redirect A method used to alter the address of a landing page such as when a site is moved to a different domain.

regional long tail  – a keyword search term which containing a city or region name. Very useful for the service industry.

RLT see Regional Long Tail

robots.txt a file used to restrict or control the how search engine spiders crawl the site

ROI (Return On Investment) One use of analytics software is to analyze and quantify return on investment, and thus cost / benefit of different schemes.

sandbox There has been debate and speculation that Google puts all new sites into a “sandbox,” preventing them from ranking well for anything until a set period of time has passed. The existence or exact behavior of the sandbox is not universally accepted among SEOs.

scrape copying content from a site, often facilitated by automated bots. – Definition revised based upon advice from Michael Martinez

SE (Search Engine)

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

search engine spam Pages created to cause search engines to deliver inappropriate or less relevant results. Search Engine Optimizers are sometimes unfairly perceived as search engine Spammers. Of course in some cases they actually are.

SEM Short for search engine marketing, SEM is often used to describe acts associated with researching, submitting and positioning a Web site within search engines to achieve maximum exposure of your Web site. SEM includes things such as search engine optimization, paid listings and other search-engine related services and functions that will increase exposure and traffic to your Web site.

SEO Short for search engine optimization, improving websites user experience to satisfy ‘searcher needs’.

SERP Search Engine Results Page

site map A page or structured group of pages which link to every user accessible page on a website, and hopefully improves site usability by clarifying the data structure of the site for the 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.

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

SMP (Social Media Poisoning) A term coined by Rand Fishkin – any of several (possibly illegal) black hat techniques designed to implicate a competitor as a spammer – For example, blog comment spamming in the name / brand of a competitor

sock puppet an online identity used to either hide a persons real identity or to establish multiple user profiles.

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

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

social media marketing (SMM) Website or brand promotion through social media

social media poisoning (SMP) A term coined by Rand Fishkin – any of several (possibly illegal) black hat techniques designed to implicate a competitor as a spammer – For example blog comment spamming in the name / brand of a competitor

spam ad page (SpamAd page) A Made For Adsense/Advertisement page which uses scraped or machine generated text for content, and has no real value to users other than the slight value of the adds. Spammers sometimes create sites with hundreds of these pages.

spamdexing Spamdexing or search engine spamming is the practice of deceptively modifying web pages to increase the chance of them being placed close to the beginning of search engine results, or to influence the category to which the page is assigned in a dishonest manner. – Wikipedia

spammer A person who uses spam to pursue a goal.

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

spider trap 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.

splash page Often animated, graphics pages without significant textual content. Splash pages are intended to look flashy to humans, but without attention to SEO 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 pain in the ass for users. – Definition revised based upon advice from Michael Martinez

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

static page A web page without dynamic content or variables such as session IDs in the URL. Static pages are good for SEO work in that they are friendly to search engine spiders.

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


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

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

time on page The amount of time that a user spends on one page before clicking off. An indication of quality and relevance.

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

trust rank a method of differentiating between valuable pages and spam by quantifying link relationships from trusted human evaluated seed pages.

URL Uniform Resource Locator – AKA Web Address

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

walled garden a group of pages which link to each other, but are not linked to by any other pages. A walled garden can still be indexed if it is included in a sitemap, but it will probably have very low pagerank.

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

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

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

WIDGET (applications used on web pages for specific uses such as click to call or page view counter