When I first started to learn SEO, the hardest part I found was taking in the sheer amount of SEO terminology and jargon that’s associated with it…SERP, Canonical tag, SEM, Blackhat, META tags…… the list goes on and on.

But fear no more! To help any ‘wet behind the ears’ newbie coming into the world of search, I have pulled together a full A to Z listing of all the terminology used within the search marketing world.

Now this is going be a living and growing list, so with any future Google algorithm changes that might happen, I will add any new terms that might come along it.

Have I missed any off? Let me know and will add them. 

ALT Tags

Used to display a short text description of an image when you hover your mouse over it. The ALT description is also displayed in place of the image if the user is browsing with image display turned off. Image ALT tags are useful to your page’s visitors. Equally as important, they can help with your search engine rankings by increasing the keyword density (if you use your keywords in your ALT tags).


A complex mathematical formula used by a search engine to rank the web pages that it finds by crawling the web. Could be worth saying that search engines are very secretive of their algorithms?


Google AdWords is Google’s advertising platform in which advertisers bid on certain keywords in order for their ads to appear on Google’s search result pages.

Anchor Text

The “clickable” part of the link structure. Using keywords in the link anchor text of your inbound links will help your search engine rankings for those keywords.


The degree of trust accredited to a website and a measure of the quality of its content.


A link to your website from another website on the web.

Black hat

SEO practices which go against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, such as cloaking, hidden text and doorway pages.

Bounce Rate

The number of visitors who visit a website without navigating to any other pages on that site.


The practice of displaying different content to the search engines from that which is displayed to visitors. This is a common black hat SEO technique.


Content Management System. A programme that manages the publishing, editing, and modifying of content from a central interface. Examples include WordPress and Joomla.


Cost Per Click. The amount paid by the advertiser when someone clicks on a pay-per-click advertisement.

Domain Authority

A score is given to your domain by Google from 0/100 representing the authority and trust from Google.

Duplicate Content

Two or more separate webpages that contain the same content.

Doorway Page

A hidden page intended to be displayed only to the search engines rather than human readers. This is another common black hat SEO technique.

Fresh Content

Search engines love fresh content. Fresh content has a better chance of being ranked higher if it talks about trending topics or breaking news. Updating outdated pages can help keep your content relevant for users and search engines.


Do we need to explain?


Google’s own crawler; used for seeking out new web pages and changes to existing web pages.

Heading Tags

In HTML coding the header tags from h1 to h6 form a hierarchy. The h1 tag is the most important tag. Every page must have an h1 tag.


Hyper Text Markup Language or HTML is the code that web pages are built from. Good HTML formatting helps inform search engines what the web page is about.


The process whereby the search engines add your website to the search engine indexes.


A single page view by a visitor to your website.


A computer programming language commonly used to create interactive effects within web browsers.

Keyword Research

The process of determining which keywords to target in your SEO campaign. A popular keyword research tool is the Google AdWords Keyword Tool.


Key Performance Indicators. A measurable value that shows how effectively you are achieving key SEO objectives.

Keyword Stuffing

The practice of overusing keywords in your content, a common black hat SEO technique.

Long Tail Keyword

Longer and more specific and niche search engine queries. Typically consisting of three or more words.

Landing Page

The page people end up on when clicking a link in the search engine’s results page or elsewhere on the Web.


An element on a web page that allows you to click and be directed to a different URL or web page.

Link Building

The process of gathering and creating incoming links to a website with the purpose of obtaining a better ranking in search engines.

Link Farm

A group of websites which all link to one another with the sole focus of unfairly obtaining a better ranking in a search engine for the desired keywords. Considered black hat SEO and in breach of Google’s quality guidelines.


Moz builds tools that make inbound marketing easy. Backed by industry-leading data and a large community of SEOs.

Meta Tags

Snippets of code in the header section of a web page containing important information about the page, such as a title and description which accompany search engine results.

Mobile Optimisation

On June 21, 2015, Google announced if your website was mobile friendly, it may negative effect on your rankings. #mobilegeddon


A meta tag placed in the header section of a web page telling the search engine crawlers to ignore a link.


A meta tag placed in the header section of a web page telling the search engine crawlers not to index the page.

Over Optimisation

Sometimes you can overdo it. If Google thinks your trying to beat the system adding the same keyword in every part of the page and multiple times in a short sentence, then your page is over optimised and you maybe be penalised for it.


A value assigned by Google which helps to determine the popularity and authority of a web page. Google recently said they would no longer update a website’s page rank.


Pay Per Click. A form of online advertising where advertisers pay advertising agencies (such as Facebook Ads and Google Adwords) for each click they receive to their ad.

Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets are structured data markup in websites HTML which helps Google algorithms better index and understands the content. Some data can also be used to create and display Rich Snippets within the search results.

Responsive web design (RWD)

Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at designing sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience, easy reading and navigation across a wide range of devices from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones and tablets.


Any of several ways of redirecting a particular URL to a different, active, webpage. These methods include 301’s and 302’s.


A text file in the root directory of a website containing commands to control the behaviour of the search engine robots.

Rel: canonical

This tag tells Bing and Google that the given page should be treated as though it were a copy of the URL that all of the links and content metrics the engines apply should actually be credited toward the provided URL.

Social Signals

Google and Bing use data from social sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ in order to determine how high to rank a website.


Schema is a type of structured data markup in websites HTML which helps Google algorithms better index and understand the content.


The practice of optimising a website for the benefit of internet search engine and improved rankings. Also known as Search Engine Optimisation, SEM and Search Engine Marketing.


SERP or Search Engine Results Page is the page displayed when someone enters a search query into Google or another search engine.


Another term for “web crawler” or “bot”. Used by search engines to find new and updated web pages across the internet.


Trust is a massive ranking factor used by Google. The more trust Google has in your website the higher it will show your pages with the search results pages.

Unnatural Links

Unnatural Links are links which will look to search engines to be of gain via Black Hat techniques via link farms and spamming.


A web page address. URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator

Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster tools (recently renamed to Search Console) is an essential tool for managing SEO. GWT helps you view your site as Google would see it. With insight to pages indexed, links pointing to your site. 404 errors and keywords.

White Hat

White Hat SEO practices which meet Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and will not incur penalties.

XML Sitemaps

XML sitemaps help all the search engine find and crawl on the pages within your website. The sitemaps also give the search engine important information of when the page was updated and how important the pages are. Adding an XML sitemap to Google Webmaster tools is essential SEO best practice.


A free SEO plugin for WordPress with a load of great features to help with sitemaps, META details, Schema and more.

If you want to know more about SEO, Get in touch with the me today

Posted on April 25, 2019 in SEO Tips

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