SEO Glossary

SEO glossary word meanings explained

Important SEO term meanings explained in plain English by Perth’s SEO expert. SEO word/phrase definitions are explained in this SEO glossary by an Australian SEO expert. Demystifying SEO jargon. See the list below of words and acronyms used in SEO and some web development.

SERPSearch Engine Results Page.
SEOSearch engine optimisation. Read what does SEO do?
SEMSearch engine marketing. Pay Per Click (PPC) to search engines. Google’s brand of SEM is Adwords.
URLWeb address. See it in the address line of web browsers.
SMOSocial Media Optimisation or Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Digital marketingOnline marketing, web marketing, internet marketing including: SEO, SMO, online advertising, email marketing, map marketing, video marketing online, CRM marketing, SEM
Address lineWhere you can type/paste a URL near the top of a web browser to get to a web page.
httpSSecure website protected by encryption. Shows as a black padlock after you arrive at the website. https
ImpressionsHow many times your listing shows on SERPs
CTRClick Through Rate. How many times your link was clicked versus time.
Organic SERPsYour unpaid listings showing on search engines. With Google organic listings start under Google Business Profiles.
GMBGoogle My Business. Previously named Google Places.
GBPGMB’s latest renaming to Google Business Profile.
GSCGoogle Search Console emails tips and stats to website owners
GAGoogle Analytics
Google InsightsSimplified version of GA. Available via GBP.
DoFollow linkConfers link juice to the target URL.
NoFollow linkBlocks search engine spiders from following a link. No link juice. Most social sites only provide nofollow links.
H tagHierarchical level of headings on a web page for page structure. Every web page should have only one H1 tag, preferably for good SEO at the top of your page. Used incorrectly by many web designers for formatting only. Eg They’ll use a h1 tag for a big font for non-keyword rich tex in the middle of the page. Also used incorrectly by many copywriters for persuasion by using my pet hate word “welcome” in H1 tags at the top of web pages.
BacklinkA link from another website web page with a link to your page.
Link buildingThe campaign of getting more, hopefully, quality backlinks to your web pages. Natural link building is best done by having quality, interesting content on your web pages that inspire webmasters to link to your pages. Paid link building if caught out is a search engine penalty.
Absolute linkOut bound link. A link from another website web page to another website web page.
Relative linkA link from one of your web pages to another one of your web pages.
Image alt tagOriginally invented in the HTML of images for visually impared people so that computers could read out a description of the image. Used by search engines to confirm that image alt tags support the copywriting for SEO and other SEO ranking signals.
UXUser experience.
Page load speedThe speed at which your web page loads. A UX that is an important search engine ranking signal
Canonical URLBest representative page from a group of duplicate pages
hypertextThe words linking from. In the old days by default, it was blue and underlined.
hyperlinkLink from hypertext
PRPage rank. A term dropped by Google. Page authority. Power/performance potential of a web page in SERPs.
DR/DADomain Rating (by Authority (by The authority of a whole website. Websites with a high DR usually perform better in SERPs for every phrase.
URA web page rating index by aHrefs. Similar to PR (Google’s old Page Rank).
CMSContent Management System. Software in the cloud used for making websites. The most popular brand of CMS is WordPress.
HTMLThe behind a web page code that displays a page on a web browser. It’s what search engines and I look at. It’s the end result that CMS and purist HTML editors produce. How to see HTML? Right-click this web page in a plain white area. Select/left-click “view page source”.
Page titleThe most important SEO factor. Should be limited to 60 characters. In Google SERPs page titles show in bold fonts on top of each listing description.
cPanelBrand name of a popular web hosting management system.
Description meta tagAfter page titles in HTML, it’s the second most important SEO factor. Should be limited to 156 characters. In Google SERPs it shows under bold page title words.
ServerA rack of reliable hard drives that run all the time, with backup servers to host your website when they are stopped for maintenance or fail. Fast servers us solid state hard drives. (no moving parts)
Web hosting service providerA business that hosts your website in their hopefully secure, reliable data centre with backup electricity generators, barbed wire fences and bomb proof walls to keep their servers racks of hard drives with your web files on either a shared hard drive or a dedicated hard drive for hosting your web content.
CDNA worldwide network of servers. One on each continent, with copies of your website to enable faster loading of your web pages and your web content (eg photos) to people near to a server than the original server you hosted with. Eg You export Margaret River wine to the UK. You should have a copy of your website on a server in Europe.
Exact match domain nameLook in the address line of your browser to see a URL with /seo-glossary/ between forward slashes. An exact match domain name eg contains exactly the words some hoteliers might search for. Years ago a spokesperson at Google said exact match domain names don’t help. I and many SEO experts disagree with that missinformation. Exact match domain names are not the SEO silver bullet but I believe they help. My old has been Google SERP first for the broad search term hotel marketing asia for decades and because the page is static html before WordPress and other CMS were invented and came up with dynamic web pages, it hasn’t had any maintenance since it was made – no wasted time on the frequent need for CMS updates.
An exact match search can either have + instead of space between words in a search phrase or wrap the phrase in apostrophes. Eg “acl surgery perth” which will significantly cut down the number of search results by only listing web pages with the words acl followed by surgery followed by Perth.
Broad match searchThe most common way of searching with spaces between words. eg perth orthopaedic surgery. The SERP for this will show SERPs for Perth orthopaedic surgery, orthopaedic surgery in Perth, and other combinations of word order.
Web page schemaWeb page schema is a way of providing search engines with additional information about the content on your web pages. Using Schema markup, also known as structured data, you can provide semantic vocabulary (code) that helps search engines identify and classify the elements on your page. This allows them to better understand the content and provides more accurate search results for users.
Web serverA hopefully secure and reliable hard drive in a data centre with your web content, eg pages and images, which are served to the world wide web www.
cPanelA popular web hosting control panel brand. Use it for all sorts of things like file management of content on your web server.
Content MarketingContent marketing is best done with SEO. Adding content online, usually on a web page and driving people to experience it. Examples of content are words, images, sounds, videos, charts, spreadsheets, forms, maps, etc. Besides SEO other types of marketing including traditional marketing can be used to send visitors to your content.
Orphaned ContentOrphaned content is content on your website that does not get any links from other posts or pages on the same website.
What is orphaned content?
What is orphaned content?
Above is a list of SEO meaning explained in plain English.
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