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Understand SEO Terminology is half the process.

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seo terms map

SEO Glossary


1. 301 redirect

Redirection happens when you visit one specific page and immediately after that you’re being automatically redirected to a different page (with a different URL).

2. Alt tag

It’s an HTML attribute of the IMG tag. The IMG tag is responsible for displaying images. The alt tag/attribute is the text that gets displayed in case the image can’t be loaded (if the file is missing, for example)..

3. Anchor text

Every link consists of two main elements. There’s the web address that the link is pointing to (the destination) and there’s the anchor text. The anchor text is the text that works as the link.

4. Backlinks

Backlink is simply a link placed on someone else’s website that points back to your site. Backlinks are one of the most important factors for SEO. Getting a lot of backlinks with relevant anchor texts is the shortest way of improving your search engine rankings.

5. Black hat SEO

Like everything SEO has its dark side too. Black hat SEO is the name for all SEO practices that are known for being manipulative or unethical, and in the long run can hurt your website, or even get it banned from search engines.

6. Canonical tag

It’s an HTML link element that lets webmasters to inform search engines about some duplicate content pages they’ve created. The tag is placed in the HEAD section of the HTML structure. Here’s what it looks like:

<link rel=”canonical” href=”” />

This tag informs that the current page is a copy of the page located under the address set in the canonical tag (href).

7. Cloaking (page cloaking)

It’s a practice of taking a webpage and building it in a way so it displays different content to people and to search engines. 

8. Deep linking

On the World Wide Web, deep linking is making a hyperlink that points to a specific page or image on a website, instead of that website’s main or home page. Such links are called deep links.

9. Do-follow link

It’s a standard HTML link that doesn’t have the rel=”nofollow” attribute. Do-follow links are the most valuable ones from an SEO perspective.

10. Domain name (and hosting)

Domain is your unique address on the internet.

11. Duplicate content

If you have two separate pages within your website that have the same content on them (or very similar content) then you have duplicate content. 

12. Keywords

Keywords are single words or whole phrases of a particular SEO importance for a given page or website.

13. Keyword density

Keyword density is a number describing how often does a specific phrase appear in a piece of text. 

14. Keyword stuffing

If you take a random piece of text in English some words will occur more frequently than the other. For example, words like: and, or, it occur very frequently, while words like: powerhouse, mushrooming occur very rarely. 

15. Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)

LSI is considered to be an important factor for search engines when ranking your page. It’s said that search engines analyze the content on your page and search for LSI keywords supporting your main keyword.

16. Linkbait

Content that is most likely to attract a lot of links, hence – linkbait.

17. Link building

This is one of the biggest SEO terms. Link building is simply a process of getting backlinks to your page.

18. Link farm

It’s a network of websites that link to each other for the sole purpose of increasing their rankings and PageRanks. 

19. Link sculpting

By using the “nofollow” attribute of a link you can make some of the links on your site unimportant from an SEO point of view. 

20. Meta description

It’s a short description of a blog/page/post used mostly as a summary by search engines. 

21. Meta keywords

It’s a list of keywords and keyphrases for each blog/page/post used mostly by search engines.

22. Meta tags

Meta tags consist of two main elements: meta description, and meta keywords. Meta tags are placed in the HEAD section of the HTML structure of your page. The information contained in those tags is usually not meant for the users but for the search engines. 

23. Natural links

All links your page has acquired naturally without you actively building them.

24. Nofollow

“Nofollow” is a very popular term in today’s SEO. When in fact it’s just an optional attribute of a link. However, its “optionalism” doesn’t make it unimportant. In fact, it’s the most important attribute from a SEO standpoint.

25. Off-page SEO

The are two main elements of SEO: “on-page” and “off-page”. Off-page practices are everything you do outside your page to improve its rankings.

26. On-page SEO

The are two main elements of SEO: “on-page” and “off-page”. On-page practices are everything you do on your page to improve its rankings.

27. Organic search

You’re doing organic search when you visit Google, input a phrase and push the search button.

28. Organic search results (natural search results)

When you do a search on Google the results will most often come in two columns. The column on the right presents the paid results The column on the left presents the organic search results.

29. PageRank

PageRank or PR is an algorithm first created by Larry Page (one of two founding fathers of Google) to calculate (although “estimate” might be a better word here) the importance of a given website. 

30. Robots.txt

This is a file. One that’s particularly important for SEO. It notifies the search engines which areas of your site are restricted for them. 

31. Sandbox, supplemental index

Google is believed to have a second index called the sandbox (or the supplemental index). Not every new page appears in the main index straight away. Some of them are put into the sandbox until Google decides that they are worthy of appearing in the main index.

32. Search engine

What you see at is a search engine. Essentially, search engines are software applications. 

33. SEM

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing.

34. SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s a practice of improving site’s rankings in the search engines for given keywords. 

35. SERP

SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page (SERPS – Search Engine Results Pages).

36. Spider (crawler, bot, robot)

Search engine spider is a special piece of software that browses the web, looks for new sites, checks what’s going on on them and sends the data back to Google..

37. Supplemental result

Supplemental Result is a URL residing in Google’s supplemental index [i.e. sandbox], a secondary database containing pages of less importance, as measured primarily by Google’s PageRank algorithm. 

38. Title tag

Every page has a title tag. From a user’s standpoint the title tag is visible only in one place – your browser’s title bar.

39. URL (URI)

It’s simply the address of a specific web page.

40. White hat SEO

As opposed to the black hat SEO, white hat SEO is a set of all SEO practices that search engines encourage you to use. 

41. XML sitemap

It’s a file (usually sitemap.xml). Its main function is to give search engines a map of all the different URLs that your site contains (all pages, posts, archives, etc). 

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