SEO Glossary

3XX Redirections:

The HTTP status messages in 300 series are redirection response. These indicate that the resource requested has moved or has been redirected to a new direction.

301: A 301 redirect is a permanent server redirection which passes 90-99% link juice (a general term in SEO that refers to the power or equity passes to a website via links from external or internal sources giving it greater visibility and higher rankings). This also deals with canonical issues.

302: A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect which passes 0% link juice.

4XX Errors:

This is a class of http status codes that indicates that the request for the resource contains a bad syntax or cannot be fulfilled presumably by some fault at the client's end sending a request.

403: A web server may return a 403 Forbidden HTTP message. This is in response to a request from a client for a web page which indicates that the server can be reached and understands the request but refuses to take any further action.

404 ‘Not found’: when the server or the content management system is unable to locate the URL that has being requested for although the files that are being searched for exist.

5XX server error:

5xx server error happens in cases in which the server is aware that it has encountered an error or is incapable of performing the request.

500: Internal Server Error: This is a generic error message that occurs when unexpected condition is encountered and no more specific message is suitable.

501: ‘Not implemented’: The server either does not recognize the request method or lacks the ability to complete the request, usually implying future availability.

502:‘Bad Gateway’: The server was acting as a gateway (a router or a proxy server that routes between networks) and receives an invalid response from the upstream server.

503: Service Unavailable: The server is unavailable for a temporary state (because it is overloaded or down for maintenance.


Absolute Link/URL: A link that shows the full URL of the page being linked at. These links are better at handling the canonical issues. These are safe to use with reference to site hijacking and incase user is switching to new a CMS. Those URLs that contain a fully qualified domain name and path are absolute URL.

Ad words: An automated system that Google has developed to assist in the marketing of products and services in the Google Search Engine, via the use of a placed text ad that appears when the people search for phrases relates to the offering. It appears as a „Sponsored Link's. In simple words it is a common way of basic website advertisement. It's Google's advertisement and link auction network

Algorithm (Search Engine ): a set of programs used by search engines which determine resultant pages of a given query.

Affiliate Marketing: a marketing program that allows merchants and advertisers to expand their market reach. A performance based marketing where a business rewards one or more affiliates who bring visitors through their marketing efforts. This kind of marketing overlaps with internet marketing methods to some degree uses advertising methods like organic SEO, PPC, Email marketing and content marketing.

Alt Text: a simple bit of HTML code and an on-page SEO factor that essentially describes an image mainly so that the user knows what the image represents in case the images are not displayed correctly. The alternative attribute is to be used within the 'alt text' or the 'alt tag' of the image element. The alt text helps your website climb the top of the search results and attract additional traffic.

Alexa: a subsidiary of which measure's a website's popularity, taking into account both number of visitors and the number of pages viewed on each visit. Alexa collects traffic data on a daily basis and interprets the website's position and assigns 'Ranks' in a massive league table based on visitor and number of pages viewed by each visitor.

Analytics: software created by Google to track conversion statistics, gather data and analyze user all the data about the website usage. All you need to do is include a Tracking Code on back end of your website and keep a track of the performance of the website.

Anchor Text: a visible, clickable text in a hyperlink that a user can follow to another page on a website. In case an image has to be linked the „alt tag' is used in place of the anchor text. Search engines use the Anchor Text to indicate the referring site and link to the content of the landing page.


B2B: (Business to Business) describes commerce transactions between businesses, between manufacturer and wholesaler

B2C: (Business to Customer) Also termed as 'Retail' – is the sale of goods and services from individuals or businesses to the end user or customers.

Back link:(in-link, incoming link) link pointing to one website from another website.

Black Hat (Unethical SEO): the black hat SEO is a technique that is used to get higher search rankings in an unprincipled manner. The black hat SEO usually undertakes the following practices:

  • Break the search engine rules and regulations.
  • Unethically present the content in different visual or non visual manner to the search engine spiders and users.
  • Create a poor user experience through SEO techniques utilized on the website.

Blog: a periodically updated journal mainly formatted in reverse chronological order. These not only archive and categorize information but also provide user interaction like leaving comments and posts. Commonly blogs are personal i.e. based on personal experiences of bloggers.

Bookmarking: a great traffic boosting technique where content and links are openly shared with other users and has a high growth potential. Essentially a social bookmark is a link that people post to other website. By bookmarking pages, back-links to the content are created which is a great factor for increasing the page rank.

Bread-Crumb Navigation: a web site navigation that breaks the site structure into links of categories and sub-categories allowing major categories of information to be linked in a range of sequential order. This kind of navigation is displayed to the user, in order to let the user know where exactly the web page is located within the web page.

Example: Home > SEO Tools > SEO for Firefox

Bounce Rate: the percentage of visitors visiting a particular webpage who navigate away from the website after viewing only that page is the bounce rate. A high bounce rate typically indicates that most of the visitors are not getting relevant information on that webpage.


Canonical Issue: the canonical tag is created to avoid the issue of content duplication.

Example: A website with URL and a website with URL are treated as duplicate sites by Google although they seem to be the same.

The search engines have to deal with duplicate content and choose which link should be favored over all others that contain identical content. The canonical issue can be resolved using a 301 redirect. The 301 redirect will tell the search engine that the pages should be redirected to one URL type.

Click Fraud: improper clicks on a PPC advertisement are conducted usually by the publisher for the purpose of underserved profit. Click fraud is a huge issue for advertisement agencies like Google, as it lowers the advertiser's confidence that they will get fair value for ad spent.

Cloaking: A Black Hat Tactic of displaying different content or pages to search engine crawlers. It is basically a method in which a website returns altered web pages to search engines where a human reading the site would see different content or information than the Googlebot or a robot reading the site. Cloaking helps to improve the search engine ranking by misleading the robots that the content on the page is different than it really is.

CMS:(Content Management System) – programs such as Word-Press and Magento that allow publishing, editing and modifying content as well as maintenance from a central interface. A CMS system may also be termed as blog software programs that separate the monotonous webmaster tasks from content creation so that the publisher can be effective without acquiring or even understanding sophisticated coding skills.

Comment: several CMS allow readers to leave a feedback. Posting blog comments is for the purpose of generating an in-link to another site and this also helps in getting the authornoticed.

Content: content is an informative text or a copy is that part of a web page that is proposed to have value and be of interest to the readers.

Copyright: the legal rights to publish and produce a particular piece of work.

Cookie: small data file written to a user's local machine to track them. Cookies are used in order to help websites customize the user experience and help affiliate program managers track conversations.

Conversion: several forms of advertising when followed easily a Conversion is reached when a quantifiable desired goal is achieved. Ad clicks; sign ups etc. are examples of conversion.

CPC:(Cost per Click) is the rate at which Pay per Advertiser is paid per click.

CPM: (Cost per Thousand Impressions): a statistical measurement used to quantify the average value/ cost of PPC advertisements.

Crawler: (Bot, Spider) – a program that visits a website that has been submitted by its owners as new or updated. It reads its pages in order to create entries for a search engine index. Crawler, the name is gained as they crawl through a website page at a time, following links to other pages on the site until all pages have been read.


Dead Link: a link which is no longer functional.

Deep Link: most high quality websites have several links pointing to an interior page. Therefore, a tool used by websites to point a visitor to directly land to a page within a website instead of the landing page or the front page of the website.

Dedicated Server: Is a server that does not serve more than one website. It is a small collection of websites owned by a single person. A dedicated server tends to be more reliable than a shared or virtual server.

Directory: a categorized catalog of websites, manually organized by tropical editorial experts. Certain directories cater to specific niche topics, while others are more comprehensive in nature. DMOZ and Yahoo Directory are good examples.

DNS: Domain Name Server is a naming scheme mechanism used to help resolve a domain mane/ host name to a specific TCP/IP address.

Duplicate Content: content which is identical and is found on another website is duplicate content. As search engines do not index multiple versions or similar content. Hence, strict filtering is conducted by the search engines and the penalty is imposed.

Doorway(Gateway): pages designed to rank for highly targeted search queries and attracting traffic, typically designed to redirect searched to a page with other advertisements. A doorway page redirects a user not specifically a crawler to another site or page implementing cloaking.


e-Commerce Website: a dynamic website where buying and selling of products and services is conducted online between businesses or consumers. It's a website devoted to retail sales.

Ethical SEO: search engine marketing using techniques and tactics that search engines would consider legal and acceptable. Also known as White Hat SEO, the approach is based on the principal of following the guidelines set by major search engines rather than trying to cheat them(Black Hat SEO).

External Link (Outbound Link): a link which references another domain. Linking out to other resources is a good way to help search engines understand what your site is all about. Search Engines prefer high quality editorial links both to and from your website.


Favicon: Favicon is a small 16 by 16 pixel picture/image user sees beside some URLs in the browser's address bar

Feed: several CMS such as blogs allow readers to subscribe to content update notifications via RSS or XML feeds. Feeds also refer to PPC syndicated feeds or merchant product feeds. A software or website used to subscribe to feed update notification is called a feed reader.

FFA: (Free for all) these are pages which allow to add link to them. In other words a page or a site with several outgoing links to unrelated websites can also be called as a Link Farm (the process of exchanging reciprocal links with websites in order to increase Search engine Optimization) Link Farms are only proposed for spiders, having a little value to human users.


Google Bomb: the practice of deliberately modifying HTML pages to increase the likelihood of a website to rank high instantly in the search engine results, or to influence the category to which the page is assigned in a misleading or dishonest manner.

Google Bowling: when the competitor websites try to mischievously lower the site's rank the practice is known as Google Bowling. This is often done by purchasing Google bombing services for a competitor's website and attacking the competitor by displaying their page further down in the search engine results.

Google Dance: an outdated term used to describe the period of time in which Google rebuilds its rankings and as a result ranking's in Google SERP's may fluctuate.

Guest Blogging: this is a method used by bloggers to increase blog traffic. Here posts are published on other blogger's blogs. In other words, someone who writes their own blog but posts on other's website in order to get back links and increase their site's ranking.


H1 tag: Heading – headings consist in a range from H1 to H6 are used to differentiate the heading of a page from the rest of the content. The H1 heading tag is the most important as search spiders pay attention to the words used in it as it should contain the basic title, description of the content that the page contains.

Hidden text: An SEO technique where the search engine spiders read the text which the humans are unable to see. The main idea is to load the page with keywords so that the page ranks improve in the SERP's. Google considers it to be a search spam.

Home Page: the main page on your website largely responsible for helping develop a brand name of your products and services. It is easier to get the Home page ranked in the search engines.

HTML: (Hyper Text Markup Language) is the language in which the web pages on the WWW are created. Web functionality can be added and formatted to plain text for the internet use.

Hummingbird: Hummingbird is a new search algorithm that Google uses to return better results. It approaches search engine queries in a brand new intelligent way utilizing new technology combined with older features of existing algorithms. Hummingbird evaluat es the search engine query using long tailed keywords and tries to decipher the context of the question rather than chasing the specific keywords within the question. Main goal is to provide results that actually answer a question/ query.


Inbound link:(in-link, incoming link) the biggest factor for Google's determination of your page rank. These links are found elsewhere on the internet that directs a user to your own website. These are different from reciprocal links. These help in increasing the traffic of your website thus, ranking high in search engine results.

Index: the term indexing is used to describe the process when search engines completely analyze the content on your website. All the links images and their alt tags, location of keywords etc. are evaluated. This becomes an assortment of information of a particular website in Google's database which has billions of other documents in its catalogs.

Infographics: A visual representation of information. In place of writing a lengthy content that covers a lot of space and is monotonous for the readers Infographics can be implemented tying up all data in form of an image. Infographics is mainly link bait, where web content is created into attractive image format giving crisp and precise information to attract attention of the people

IP Address: Internet Protocol Address: An identifier for a computer for a computer on the TCP/IP network. The format of an IP address is an IP address is a 32 bit numeric address written in four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be from 0-255. Each and every machine in the world has a unique IP address.


JavaScript: A scripting language that allows website administrators to apply various effects or changes in the content on their website for browsing. Search engines often have the difficulty in reading the content that is inside of JavaScript.


Keywords: A word or a phrase is likely to be searched by targeted clients. In other words, strategically selected words that are intended to communicate with human requirement and Google search crawlers are called Keywords.

Keyword Density: The percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on a page is called keyword density. With reference to SEO, keyword density can be used as a factor in determining whether a web page is relevant to a particular keyword or phrase.

Keyword Cannibalization: this arises when multiple pages on your webs ite mainly target the same keyword with the intention of capturing huge traffic. However, Google degrades the rank of these pages and penalizes it.

Keyword Research: the practice used in SEO by experts to find and search for the real search terms that are most likely to be searched by the people. These keywords and phrases specially focus on the SEO and PPC marketing campaigns and help a website rank higher in the Google Search Results.

Keyword Stuffing (Keyword spam): Inappropriately loading or using high density keywords on a particular page or a website is called Keyword stuffing. This is considered to be an unethical SEO technique, leading to lower ranking results or even banning a website temporarily or permanently.


Landing Page: The page on a website, where a users land once they click a link in the Google SERPs.

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)- the contents of a web Page are crawled by a search engine and the most common keywords and phrases are grouped together and identified as the keywords for the page. LSI words are mainly synonyms related to the title of your page. In the LSI Google sort's sites on the frequency of a variety of terms and key phrases linked together instead of on frequency of a single term. In terms of SEO this refers to a group of words also called as 'Long Tail'.

Link: A part on a web page that can be clicked to navigate around other pages, which form a part of the current page.

Link Farm: A link farm is a website or a group of websites that are created basically for the purpose of increasing the link popularity of another site by increasing the number of incoming links. A lookalike of a regular web page, but the majority of content has hyperlinks that are random and unrelated. Link farm is considered to be a 'Black Hat' SEO technique.

Link Bait: The art of targeting, creating and formatting information that provokes the target audience to point high quality links on your website. Thus, in simple words link bait is a viral content with the specific aim to attract incoming links from mainly via social media.

Long Tail: the frequency distribution pattern in which occurrences are most densely clustered. These are more precise and specific, therefore having a higher value. A large percentage of all searches are long tail searches.

Link Juice: A spoken term in SEO that refers to the power passed to a website via links from external to internal sources. This can be considered as a vote of recommendation towards your website and is among the most important factors determining your site's Page rank.


Meta Tags: Meta tags give a search engine more information about a web page. This information is not visible for the visitors but the web page itself. The statements within the HEAD section of the HTML page contain accurate information. The Meta tag mainly contains information related to: Meta Title, Meta description, Meta Robots, Meta Keywords. These are the first impression that the users get about the page within SERPs.

Mirror Site: a site which mirrors or duplicates the content of another website at a different address.


No Follow: an attribute that prevents a link from passing link authority. A no follow link is a link that does not count as a point in page's favor; it doesn't even boost the page rank, and doesn't help the page getting results in SERPs. The No Follow instructs the robots not to follow the links on the page or a specific link.

No Index: this code in the head section mainly tells the search engine spiders not to record or index the information on the web page.


Organic Search Results: Most search engines provide two types of search results: paid results (typically at the top of the website) and organic or natural results. The results on the SERPs that are determined algorithmically and appear below the fold are organic search results. An organic search is a search that generates results that were not paid advertisements.


Page Rank(PR): Google uses a value algorithm to rank websites in the search engine results. The importance of a website is measured by analyzing the number and quality of links attached to the page. The more important websites are likely to receive more links from other website.

Panda: (Google's farmer) refers to a series of updates released by Google to check the relevancy and grammatical sense of the content in its search engine ranking algorithm. This update intends to discourage people who create large amounts of inferior content in an attempt to claim many keyword rankings without generating much value for the users.

Pay Per Action (PPA): Very similar to pay per click with the exception that publishers only get paid when click through results in conversations.

Pay Per Click (PPC): PPC advertising or “Paid Search” or “Search Engine Marketing(SEM)” is the process of paying for the advertising sites and search engines but the advertiser is not charged until a visitor clicks on an advertisement. Mostly PPC is an auction where advertisers compete for the position against others.

Penguin: an update by Google that was announced on April 24, 2012. The update catches the sites that are deemed to be spamming its search results. These websites are particularly those ones that buy links or obtain links through link networks that help boosting their Google rankings.



Re-direction: A Redirect is the process when both the users and the search engines are sent to a different URL from where they originally were requested. 301, 302 are the major kinds of Redirections to be found.

Reciprocal Links: A reciprocal link is a mutual link exchange between two websites, to ensure mutual traffic. These are not high value links as they are reciprocal in nature. Google considers it to be a ranking manipulation.

Reputation Management: enduring the brand related keywords in the display results which strengthen and help tackle the negative subject matter that actually can damage the prominence of a brand and specifically the customer's perceptions about the brand is reputation management.

Relative Link/URL: A link that shows relation of the current URL to the URL of the page being linked at. In other words, those URLs that do not contain a fully qualified domain name and path, but instead only a portion of the path

Robot.txt: a file in the root directory of a website that is used to restrict and control the behavior of search engine spiders.

Return on Investment (ROI): A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or comparing the efficiency of a number of different investments. To calculate ROI, the benefit or return is divided by the cost of investment and the outcome is expressed as a percentage or ratio.

Formula: ROI = (Gain from Investment - Cost of Investment) / Cost of Investment

RSS:(Rich Site Summary or Real Simple Syndication)- is a method of associating information to a feed reader. Or some other software that allows clients to subscribe to a channel they are interested in. RSS uses a family of web feed formats to publish frequently updated information like blog updates, headlines, and videos etc. an RSS feed includes full or summarized text like author's name ad date of publishing.


Sandbox: the sandbox effect simply means that Google temporarily reduces the page rank of new domains, placing them into what is referred to as 'sandbox'. This is so done so as to counter the techniques used by SEO's to manipulate the Google's page ranking by creating loads of inbound links to other web sites that they own.

Search Engine: a software system/program which helps users to search for information on the WWW. The search results are presented in a format which is referred to as SERPs or search engine result pages. Search engines mine data available in databases or open directories. Search engines like Google, Bing etc. maintain real time information by running an algorithm on a web crawler.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM): is a form of internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing the visibility in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) by means of optimization and advertising. The techniques included in this process are search engine optimization (SEO) or pay per click listings (PPC). Therefore, researching submitting and positioning a web site within search engine that prove to increase the exposure and traffic on your website is SEM.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): the process of boosting visitors or traffic to a website by achieving a high ranking in the search results in a search engine. The higher a website ranks in the results of a search the greater is the chance that users visit the site. The process of SEO ensures that that a website is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that site shall be indexed and ranked high in the search engines.

Search Engines Results Pages (SERPs): the listing of the results by a search engine in response to a query mainly a keyword, which normally include the title, a short description, keywords that match the content a client is searching for and a reference URL that connects to the full version of the website.

Site Map: a list of pages of a website which are accessible to crawlers or even users. It may be in form of a document used as a planning tool for the web page or design that lists the pages on a website that are organized in a hierarchical manner. This helps in improving site usability by clarifying the data structures of the site. An XML sitemap is often kept in the root directory of a site so as to help search engine spiders to find all of the site pages.

SMM (Social Media Marketing): gaining traffic or attention through social media websites for a brand or product.

Spam: Undesirable email messages are spam messages.

Spamdexing: a word derived from 'spam' and 'indexing' refers to the practice of search engine spamming. Websites when are created and indexed illegitimately with a high ranking in the search engine is called Spamdexing. This practice is also used to manipulate the search engine's understanding of a category. This is a black hat SEO technique.

Splash Page: elegantly designed and animated graphics without much text content on it. A web page typically offering poor usability and does not offer search engine content to index. This increases the bounce rate of the website and the pages are not indexed in the Google SERPs as there is no content on the page.

Static Page: Web pages where no dynamic content or variables such as IDs and URLs exist are static pages. These are SEO friendly pages.

Submission: also known as search engine submission is the submitting of a URL to a directory or a search engine for inclusion in the index. Usually the registration is free but sometimes payment is also requires.


Text Link: A plain HTML link that does not involve graphic or any special codes like java script or flash.

Title: the title element is used to describe the contents of a document. In SEO terminology, a title should be Unique, Descriptive, not excessively long. Page title appears in the search results and text links lead to sites once a user clicks on them. Strategic keywords can be included which may help the website to be indexed properly.

Trust Rank: Search relevancy algorithm which places additional importance on links from trusted websites that are controlled by major corporations, institutions and governmental agencies.


URL:(Uniform Resource Locator)– is a unique address to any web page or a web document.


Viral Marketing: also known as buzz marketing is the method by which brand awareness can be increased or in other words marketing activities like product sales etc. are conducted by word of mouth or enhanced effects of the internet and mobile networks.


Web 2.0: describes WWW sites that use technology beyond the static pages of earlier websites. It focuses on the ability for people to collaborate and share information online. The improved functionality of web 2.0 includes open communication with an emphasis on web based communities for sharing more information like Blogs, Wikis and Web Services etc.

White Hat SEO: also named as Natural Search Optimization or Organic Search Engine Optimization. This is the legitimate use of keyword-focused copy and tags, Crawler friendly site architecture, search engine submissions and quality back link network to improve a site's position, page rank and click through rate. This does not involve the use of Cloaking, Spam or any other Black Hat SEO technique.


XML:(Extensible Markup Language) – a simple and flexible text based programming language used in combination with HTML. XML is useful for data exchange and the creation of customized tags.


Yahoo Directory: one of the original and most popular authoritative web directories where a legitimate website can pick up a trusted link. The directory helps your website boost your rankings in major search engines.



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