There are a lot of terms used in Search Engine Optimisation. And it can be sometimes intimidating. It feels like learning a whole new language. But in this guide, we gathered all the terms and the ones you’ll encounter while optimising your website in one place. So, let’s get started!
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect for both the search engine and the user from the URL they requested to the one you want to send them to. You may want to use a 301 redirect in one of the three situations:
- When you want to redirect the traffic to an old page, but the page is physically somewhere else now. For instance, while rebranding or renaming your website.
- When you want to maximize domain authority by associating common web conventions (www., blog., etc.) with one URL
- When you want to direct traffic from different URLs to a website owned by the same organization.
A 302 redirect is used when you want to send the search engine and the user to a different page than the one they requested for only a limited period of time. This is only used if you’re eventually planning to get the old page back. You may use it in one of the following situations:
- When your page or website is being updated or redesigned.
- When you want to get some consumer feedback on a new page without hurting your rankings on the original one.
However, do keep in mind that 302 redirects are frequently abused by people wanting to send search engines to an illegitimate page. For the same reason, search engines don’t look upon 302 redirects in a favorable way.
Alt tags (also known as alt descriptions and alt attributes) are text alternatives for images to improve your search engine rankings. Since search engine crawlers can’t interpret images, alt tags help them index the image properly. The best format for an alt tag is descriptive without resorting to keyword stuffing.
An Anchor Text (also known as link label or link title) is the clickable text used to link one web page to another. For example, the keyword SEO Management will lead you to our SEO homepage. Search engines use anchor texts to determine what your page is about. The more anchor text hyperlinks the same page gets; the more confident search engines become regarding potentially ranking it for the anchor text keyword.
Backlinks (also known as inbound links or incoming links) are created when one website links to another. It is a way for search engines to determine how noteworthy a website is. If your website receives backlinks from other websites (especially reputed ones), the search engines infer that your website is worth linking to. This vote of confidence automatically puts you in the good books of the search engines and increases your rankings.
Bad Neighbors are websites that are severely downgraded by search engines. They may appear either far down or not at all on search engine pages. A site may be a bad neighbor for one of the following reasons:
- PPC - It has porn, pills, and/or casinos.
- Low-quality content - duplicate, stolen, irrelevant content, etc.
- Low-quality site - banned domains, new sites, illegal sites, etc.
Your rankings will not be affected if you receive a backlink from a bad neighbor, mainly because you can’t control it. However, if you give a backlink to a bad neighbor, your rankings are sure to go down.
Black Hat SEO refers to aggressive SEO practices against search engine guidelines, used to increase your website’s rank artificially. Some of these techniques are keyword stuffing, link manipulation, and cloaking. Such unethical tactics can result in the search engines banning you even if you may have inadvertently used one.
Broad Match is the default keyword match option that lets your Ad appear whenever someone searches for any key phrases in your keyword, its variations, or its synonyms. For instance, if your keyword is SEO Management, in a broad match, your Ad could appear if someone searches for SEO, Management, or Search Engine. It has the widest reach among all match types but also has the least relevance.
Click-Through Rate (CTR) is the ratio of the number of people who click on a specific link to 100 people who view the page. CTR is used in Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising to indicate how much attention your keywords are getting.
A black hat SEO technique, cloaking offers a different version of the same page to search engine crawlers and human visitors, effectively deceiving both.
Crawler (or spider) is a search engine tool that collects data from the web. It visits a website and takes note of its text content, internal links, and external links and indexes everything.
Deep Linking refers to providing backlinks to pages other than the home page (or the main entry pages) of your website. Deep linking can help you increase your domain authority and improve conversion, among other things.
The duration for which a website has been live and active is referred to as its domain age. The higher your website’s domain age, the more it inspires trust among the users and the search engines.
Doorway (or gateway) pages are created to rank highly for specific keywords. However, once the users click on the search result, they are redirected to the page that the website wants them to visit. Similar to other black hat tactics, doorway pages can also result in getting your website banned by the search engines.
One of the four keyword match types, ‘exact match,’ provides minimum reach and maximum relevance by only including the exact search string in the search results. For instance, if you search for SEO Management, only the pages with this specific string will appear, and pages that have Search Engine Optimization Management won’t be. Exact matches filter the results and can be used when searching for a competitive keyword.
Geotargeting refers to targeting potential buyers for your advertisement based on their particular location. Search engines use geotargeting to offer more relevant results to the users as well.
Used in the HTML coding of a page, a heading tag separates the sections of text on a page and defines the importance of the heading. Keywords placed in the heading tags, from the most important heading (H1) to the lowest-level heading (H6), weigh more than the once placed in the body.
A clickable word, phrase, or image that leads you to a new page or a new section in the same document is referred to as a hyperlink.
- Noun - The database used by a search engine from which search results are retrieved.
- Verb - The act of collecting the information by the crawler for this database.
A hyperlink that leads the user to another page (or another section of the same page) on the same website or domain is referred to as an internal link. Internal links are useful for navigation and receive the same value from search engines as inbound links do.
Words or phrases in your content that make it possible for people to find it through search engines are referred to as keywords. Smartly including keywords that describe what your page is about without resorting to keyword stuffing, is one of the best SEO techniques for increasing organic traffic.
The ratio between the number of times a particular keyword appears in your content to the overall word count is referred to as keyword density.
Exploring alternative search terms that users enter into search engines while looking for a particular subject is referred to as keyword research. These popular search terms are then strategically placed in the content to make it rank higher on search engines.
Inserting a large number of keywords in the web page’s visible content, meta tags, or backlink anchor text to artificially rank higher in search engine rankings is referred to as keyword stuffing. This is a black hat technique that can, in fact, lower your search engine rankings or even get you banned.
A Landing Page is a page on your website that is designed to convert your visitors into leads by capturing their email addresses or other information.
Link building refers to the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to yours. The number and quality of inbound links you have determine how high your search engine rankings are.
A Link Exchange (or reciprocal link) refers to providing backlinks to other webmasters in exchange for them doing the same for your website or web pages. While it is a good way to gain more backlinks, one-way links have more value.
Link Farms are websites created solely to provide backlinks to other websites. Since these sites do not have a high search engine ranking, the backlinks received from them are also of low or no value.
A black hat tactic of posting out-of-context links in discussion forums, comment sections, and other such places with the intention of increasing your site’s ranking refers to link spamming.
String keywords of three or more words that are very specific to what your target audience is searching for are called long-tail keywords. Their search volume is low, but they have a high value because the traffic is targeted.
You didn’t find the term you need? Follow this linked guide for a Part 2 of our SEO Glossary Terms!