Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

AMP is a HTML framework designed for producing stripped-down, fast-loading web page versions that are optimised for mobile. Accelerated Mobile Pages were introduced by Google.


Adwords is a bidding platform that is owned and controlled by Google. Users bid for their ads and keywords to be displayed to searchers at the top of Google’s search results. Adwords results are separated from the organic search results and usually have the word ‘Ad’ written in bold to the left of their title.


Answer Engine Optimisation (AEO) is closely related to voice search and featured snippets. It is often thought to be an extra part to SEO strategy, where the main focus is providing instant answers to searchers.


Ahrefs is a complete SEO tool that is designed to help increase search traffic through research and monitoring. Originally, Ahrefs focused mostly on backlink data but has since expanded to compete across the full SEO spectrum against other tools like SEMrush and Moz.

Alt text

Alternative text (alt text) is the description that goes alongside an image on a webpage. It’s used by both screen readers and search engines.

Anchor text

The anchor text visible text of a hyperlink that users can click on. Google uses anchor text to get a better understanding of the content that’s on the linked page. Anchor text is a useful way to put links into sentences and paragraphs without having to add the full URL.

API (Application Programming Interface)

An API is a set of instructions that allows programmers to access a specific piece of software. API’s basically enable other developers to connect what they’ve designed to the piece of software to either include it on their website or power their website.

Article spinning

Article or content spinning is the practice of taking a piece of content and rewriting it to generate several “new” pieces of content. Article spinning is normally considered to be low quality and spammy by Google and other search engines.

Article syndication

Article syndication is where one or more third-party sites republish content without any rewriting or spinning, it is exactly the same as content that originally appeared somewhere else.



Backlinks are links from one page on a website to another page on a different website. Search engines like Google examine the quality of a backlink to determine the importance of a page and where to rank it. Backlinks are also referred to as an external link, inbound link, or incoming link.

Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing Webmaster Tools is a free service from Microsoft which helps to monitor and troubleshoot the appearance of your website in Bing’s search results.

Black hat SEO

Black hat SEO is a term describing the use of techniques, tactics, and strategies that breach a search engine’s guidelines. Its focus is on locating and exploiting loopholes in algorithms, most notably Google’s webmaster guidelines.


Often using a content management system like WordPress, blogs are posted on websites to provide general information on the topic related to the products/services that site is promoting. If correctly formatted and optimised, they can be very useful in drawing traffic to a website

Bounce rate

The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that leave a website after only viewing one page compared to the normal of total visitors to the site. A person might land on a website, click through to another page, leave a comment, or add an item to their cart and then leave the site without taking any further action.

Branded keywords

Branded keywords are words and phrases that are related to your brand, products, or services. They are also referred to as brand keywords, branded searches, or branded search terms.

Breadcrumbs / breadcrumb navigation

Breadcrumb navigation involves internal links on a website that give users and search engines a clear path to follow around your site.

Broken link

A broken link will no longer successfully connect to a webpage. This could be because the page doesn’t exist anymore and so returns a 404 error, the URL has been wrongly entered in the code, or the link’s code is incorrect.


Cached page

A cached page is a version of a webpage that Google has saved on their servers the last time they visited it.

Call to Action (CTA)

A key website feature that encourages visitors to perform a specific action. The Call to Action (CTA) normally references a button or a link a user will click in order to buy something or make contact with the company. Although, the desired action might be something as simple as reading more information or watching a video. For example, a classic CTA would be a ‘buy now’ button next to a product.

Canonical URL

A canonical URL is the designated or referenced URL for a page. For SEO this relates to choosing a canonical URL for the entire website and 301 redirecting all duplicate pages to this canonical URL.

CMS (Content Management System)

A CMS is a software platform used by a lot of websites as it allows anyone to create website pages and content without any specific knowledge of coding. There are an increasing number of content management systems, some are opensource like WordPress.


Co-citation works on the principle that good websites will link to/talk about other relevant and good websites. It often occurs when two documents are cited together by other documents.


Co-occurrence works due the proximity of specific keywords to your brand name around the web. So, when keywords show up together on pages that talk about a certain topic. A website could get a ranking benefit from this co-occurrence even without a direct inbound link.

Conversion rate

The conversion rate of a website is determined by its goals and is calculated by the number of visitors that complete these goals to the total number of visitors. It’s normally given as a percentage.

Core web vitals

Metrics that are used to measure user experience, they are part of Google’s Page Experience.


A crawl is when a bot is on a webpage or website. Search engine bots ‘crawl’ a website in order to index it. Google and other engines will crawl more popular websites more often than other less popular sites.

Crawl budget

This is how fast and the number of pages a search engine wants to crawl on a website. It is based on the concept that a bot has a certain amount of time to crawl and index a website, putting greater emphasis on onsite optimisation.


An internet program that’s designed to systematically browse the internet. Crawlers is another term for bots, and they are mostly used for search engines to find and process pages for indexing and displaying them in the search results.

CTR (Click Through Rate)

In SEO, the CTR is normally used to describe the percentage of people that click on a search result compared with the number of people that have seen the search result.



If a website gets de-indexed, it means it has been removed from a search engine’s database. This is most often because a website has infringed on the search engine’s guidelines. Black hat SEO for example, can lead to a ranking penalty or being totally removed from a search engine’s index.


A unique address for webpages and websites to be located on the world wide web.

Domain rating

A metric by Ahrefs to show the relative link popularity of a website, based on a 0-100 logarithmic scale. The higher the domain rating of a website, the stronger their backlink profile.

Doorway page

Doorway pages are designed to rank for similar search queries. They draw traffic from search engines, but then redirect them to another page.

Duplicate content

When the content on a webpage is extremely similar or the same as content on another page, either on the same website or another website.



Transactions that occur online using the internet. A website that can carry out a transaction without any face-to-face contact with the customer would be classed as an E-commerce site.

Editorial link

A link that directs searchers to your site that you didn’t ask or pay for.

Evergreen content

This is an SEO buzzword that describes content that doesn’t decrease in value over time. The information within the content is universal and won’t go out of date.

Exact match domain

A website domain that includes the keyword or combination of keywords which the website is meant to be optimised for. Exact match domains (EMDs) have been the root of a lot of debate in the SEO world. Ranking algorithms will favour EMDs that aren’t perceived as spammy like

External link

A link going from one webpage to another that’s not on the same domain/website.


Faceted navigation

Type of navigation that is found on category or archive pages of sites that work with several listings.


Gated content

Restricted website content that visitors can only see after they have provided their contact details

Gateway page

A gateway page is basically another name for a doorway page. It’s designed to rank for particular search terms without providing any useful information or answering the search query. When it is clicked from SERP, the page will redirect the user to a different page.

Google algorithm

The way in which Google ranks matching results when someone performs a search.

Google Analytics

A Google platform which enables users to read and analyse data from their website. Google Analytics works by a piece of code being added to the website so it can track the data. The collected data is based on visitors to the site and their behaviour, for example, bounce rates, visitor flow, and location. Google Analytics can be used most effectively when in conjunction with Google’s Webmaster Tools.

Google bombing

When you get a website to a higher rank on Google for unrelated or irrelevant search terms using black hat SEO methods.

Google Business Profile

Free business listing from Google that will show up in both web search results and maps.

Google dance

Google dance is a slang term to describe a time every month when Google would update its servers and add the new pages it crawled during this time. As a result, there would be significant fluctuations in the rankings. Nowadays however, Google crawls the internet 24/7 and updates its results straight away, meaning Google dance has now become obsolete.

Google Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner is a component of Google Adwords. It is a system that allows you to check the monthly, search volume, competition, and cost per click for selected search terms. Search volumes provides you with an indication, it’s not exact, and competition will either be low, medium, or high. Geographical locations can be assigned, or new ideas for keywords automatically generated. Google Keyword Planner is used by many digital marketers as one of the starting points for keyword research.

Google sandbox

The Google Sandbox hasn’t been confirmed but it’s a theory that Google places restrictions and prevents new websites from ranking in the top results for a period of time.

Google Webmaster Guidelines

A set of rules and best practices provided by Google to help people with websites. The guidelines were designed to help them make their websites more visible to Google and ultimately rank better in the search results.

Grey hat SEO

SEO tactics and strategies that can be considered borderline between black hat and white hat. They often involve techniques that haven’t strictly been denounced by Google but are frowned upon and could be in the future.

Guest blogging

Guest blogging is when you write and publish a blog on a website other than your own. People typically write guest blogs in order to get a backlink for their own website or to increase their exposure on the internet.


H1 tag

HTML heading that is mostly used to mark up the title of a web page.

Header tags

Header tags are simply HTML tags that are used to separate headings and subheadings from the rest of the content on a page. They are added in descending order of importance from H1 to H6.

Holistic SEO

Holistic SEO is the approach of improving all aspects of a website to reach a higher rank in search engines.


The process in which information is securely exchanged between users and websites on the internet. HTTPS is designed to authenticate websites and encrypt any information that is communicated between clients and servers, meaning both are protected from being compromised by hackers


A link hat that leads to either information on the same document or another webpage.


Inbound link

Link from your website to another site, the same as an external link.


Indexed is the term used when a website has been crawled by Google and then added to their index. Once it has been indexed, Google will then display your website for relevant search queries.

Internal link

Links from one page on a website to other pages on the same website.


JavaScript SEO

This is part of technical SEO that aims to make websites with a lot of JavaScript more search friendly


Keyword cannibalisation

When a keyword is used too often on the same or different pages on the same website. Google and other search engines will then struggle to work out which page to return to the user.

Keyword density

Keyword density is a metric that informs how many times a keyword appears on a webpage or website compared with the total number of words.

Keyword difficulty

Metric used by SEO tool providers to determine a keyword’s ranking difficulty.

Keyword research

The SEO practice of finding which keywords will be targeted through an ongoing campaign. Keyword research should be very in-depth and thorough as it’s one of the driving forces behind campaigns. Keyword research can be done through brainstorming, Google’s keyword planner, competitor research, and the autofill function of search engines.

Keyword stuffing

Unnaturally adding too many keywords onto a webpage or website. This could be repeating the keyword over and over again or hiding repetition of the keyword. Keyword stuffing is often done to manipulate rankings, but it’s often thought of negatively.


Landing page

A landing page is the first page that users see when visiting a website. This could be the first page you land on after clicking a search result on Google, or the page that a paid advert links to. It’s your opportunity to make a good first impression on the visitor so they explore your products and services further.

Link bait

The practice of writing content that is specifically designed to earn links from other websites. Even though in an ideal world all content should be made to ‘earn’ links, the term link bait is often used to describe a style of earning links.

Link building

This is a popular SEO practice, where someone will look to gain links for a website proactively. Link building is potentially the most famous part of SEO. Getting other websites to link to pages on your website is a good way to build authority and improve your ranking on Google.

Link equity

‘Authority’ that is established when one page links to another and the overall strength of a website.

Link exchange

The agreement between two or more websites to link to each other as part of a link building strategy or for referral traffic.

Link farm

Also known as link farming, a link farm is when a group of websites is created to link to each other with the aim of improving search engine rankings. Link farming is not permitted in Google’s webmaster guidelines.

Link rot

Link rot or link delay is the process in which links become broken or devalued because of a lack of relevancy. Links are not always permanent. Pages can get deleted, information becomes outdated or irrelevant and websites change their content.

Link schemes

Links that intend to manipulate PageRank or a site’s Google search results ranking.

Link spam

Irrelevant links added to pages to try and increase rankings in search engines. Link spam is a term used to describe different link building methods used by spammers.

Local SEO

The process of ‘optimising’ your presence online to show up and rank higher in related local searches.

Long tail keyword

The longer phrases that users search for on Google. These terms are often more targeted and have less search volume than more generic keywords and searches. Long tail keywords are normally best targeted through detailed content about the subject.


Manual penalty/action

A manual penalty or action is when websites or pages are demoted or removed by Google because they don’t adhere to their webmaster guidelines.

Meta description

A short but detailed description of what a webpage is about. Despite Google not considering meta descriptions for ranking purposes, it’s still an important bit of text for click through rates due to the meta description being displayed in search results.

Meta keywords

Meta tags that give certain search engines (not including Google) more information regarding the content of a page.

Meta redirect

Code that instructs the web browser to redirect the user to a different URL after a certain amount of time.

Meta tags

Pieces of code that tell search engines key information about your web page to display in the results. The information is situated within the head of a page and describes the content of that page.


Parameters or values that relate to SEO. For example, the number of links going to a site could be described as its link metrics.

Mobile-first indexing

In 2016 Google revealed that it would be changing its algorithms to prioritise content that is displayed on mobile devices over desktops.


Natural link

A link that occurs organically within the content on a page.

Navigational query

A search query used to locate a specific website; it can be similar to branded searches.

Negative SEO

When someone uses black-hat tactics to try and sabotage the rankings of a competing website or page.


A piece of code that was added to a hyperlink to stop the spreading of link juice to the destination site of the link. It was introduced to prevent search engine bots from following the link and crawling the destination site. It tells Google not to consider that link for ranking purposes.


A meta tag that tells search engines not to index a page. This essentially makes the page invisible, so it won’t show up in any search results.


Off-page SEO

The work completed and efforts made outside the website to help improve its rankings on search engines. Some of the most common and popular methods of off-page SEO are social media and link building.

On-page SEO

Opposite to off-page, this is the work carried out on the pages of a website to help better its SEO performance. This can include filling in meta data, improving page speed or information architecture, content, or alt tags.

Open Graph

An API created by Facebook that allows developers to connect their website with Facebook. How URLs are displayed when shared on social media is controlled by Open Graph.

Organic search results

Non-paid search results from Google that cannot be influenced by advertisers or purchased. They naturally occur in an order determined by the search engine after each website has been crawled and indexed.

Orphan page

Pages on a website that don’t have internal links pointing to it from any other page. Since robots use hyperlinks to crawl a website, orphan pages often struggle to get indexed due to not clearly representing how a user would navigate the website.

Outbound link

A link on your website that points out to another website or page.

Over optimised

When a certain element of SEO has been used too much. Common ways SEO is over optimised is with link anchor text and overuse of keyword rich alt text on images.



An algorithm introduced by Google that judges the value of a page by looking at the quantity and quality of other pages that link to it. Websites are assigned a score of 0-10.

Paid links

Backlinks that have been acquired through a transaction. Often, it’s a paid transaction but it doesn’t always have to be. A paid link might be defined as one that’s acquired by the gifting of a product.

People Also Ask

A feature on the search engine results page that answers questions related to a user’s search query.

Pillar page

A pillar page is a high-quality guide about a broad topic. It’s part of a topic cluster, which are grouped pages designed to rank.

Plug ins

A piece of software that can be installed into another software to perform a specific function.

PPC (Pay Per Click)

Platforms for advertisers to bid for keywords and ads. PPC is also used to describe Google Adwords and can be for any form of digital advertising that charges the advertiser anytime the ad is clicked on.

Private Blog Network (PBN)

A network of websites made with the sole purpose of linking out to another website and improve its organic search visibility.


Quality score

A Google Adwords term that can impact the rank and cost of an advert, scored on a scale of 1-10. The quality score given is based on the relevance and use of the website to the user for any given keyword.


When information is requested, it can also be used to refer to a ‘search term’ (what a user enters into a search engine).



An AI learning system developed by Google to get a better understanding of new and long-tail search queries in order to return more relevant search results.

Reciprocal link

When two websites have links pointing to each other. Reciprocal links can be naturally occurring but when added systematically it can look like link spam.

Reconsideration request

A request for Google to review a website once any spam or other problems have been resolved that were highlighted in a manual penalty/action or security issues notification.

Referral traffic

Web traffic that has come from other websites. For example, if a blog contained a link to a website, any users that arrived on the site by clicking the blog link would be considered referral traffic.

Related searches

Search queries related to the keyword that’s been entered into a search engine. After typing in a search term, scroll to the bottom of the SERP and you’ll see a list of related searches.

Resource pages

Pages that curate and provide links out to useful and reputable industry resources.

Rich snippet

Added to Google’s algorithm in 2009, rich snippets are displayed in search results to give the user more detailed information on results.


Also referred to as the Robot Exclusion Standard, it is a file with a set of instructions for bots entering the website. It essentially tells search engines where they can and can’t go on your site, such as avoiding pages you don’t want the bot to index.


Schema markup

A labelling system that provides search engines with more information. It’s structured data that enables Google to better understand and represent content in the search results.

Search algorithm

List of rules search engine’s use to rank matching results when a user conducts a search.

Search engine poisoning

When hackers create fake websites that look like legitimate search engine results. The goal is usually to steal personal information or install malware.


The pages that display results in order of relevance to the user’s search query. Google typically returns around 10 results per page.

Search intent

The reason for a search.

Search term

A word or set of words that a user enters into a search engine to get specific results.

Search volume

The average number of times that users enter a particular query into a search engine each month.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Helping to improve a website’s ranking on the SERPs and generate traffic through a range of different tactics.

SEO audit

The process of assessing and evaluating your website to see how well it’s performing in search engines.


A Google Analytics metric that represents visitors to your site. They might explore multiple pages in a session or have several sessions (tabs) open, but the maximum time limit for a session is 30 minutes.


Useful links to other pages or parts of a page that could appear under some Google search results.


A sitemap is an XML file that documents the layout of each page on the website with links to that page. The file should include all the pages on your website you want Google to index.


A short summary of the content of a webpage, it’s displayed under the URL of an organic search result. Its aim is to describe how the content on that page is relevant to the user and emphasises keywords from the search query. The length of these descriptions can vary, and they are influenced by different factors.

Structured data

Generally speaking, this is any data that has been organised (in any format). In terms of SEO, structured data typically describes mark up languages like ‘’. It’s a previously agreed language that correctly labels content, meaning it’s easier for search engines to show results and information.


Part of a website that’s located under the root directory. It’s represented by an addition at the front of the root domain name.


Technical SEO

Fixing technical problems and making improvements to help search engines find, crawl, comprehend, and index your website pages.

Thin content

Content that offers little or no use to the searcher. Thin content is normally used by spammers to boost the amount of content and therefore keywords on a website.

Title tags

The title tag informs the user of what content is on the page. It is normally one of the first places that keywords are added to a web page.


The people that visit a website. Sometimes robots make up some of the statistics of website traffic, but these are categorised as spam.

Transactional query

A search query where someone has the intention of finding something to buy but hasn’t decided where to get it from yet.


An algorithm that analyses links to separate useful web pages from spam.


UGC link attribute

An attribute that highlights a link is for user-generated content (UGC). It is normally used for comments, forum posts, or any other sections where people can add content.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

A unique web address.

URL Rating (UR)

How strong a target page’s backlink profile is on a 0-100 scale, with 100 being the strongest.

User experience (UX)

Often referred to as UX, it’s the experience a user has when they visit a page or website. UX accounts for everything from how the content is written, to the look of the site, and the ease of finding information and buying a product.

User journey

The way in which people explore a website (or the internet generally). Analysing user journeys can help increase how efficiently the website converts visitors into customers.


Video rich snippets

A search result that is displayed in the form of a video, most likely a YouTube video, on the SERP. For certain search queries, videos can be incredibly popular and successful in boosting traffic, such as for search terms that ask a ‘how to’ question.

Voice search

A method of searching the internet with your voice, speaking into a device like a mobile phone or virtual assistant and having the results spoken back to you, rather than typing into a text box.


Website authority

A metric from SEO tool providers that measures the strength of a website.

Website structure

How a website is organised, and its pages are interlinked.


Any content that is produced with the intention of manipulating search engine rankings.

White Hat SEO

SEO strategies, tactics, and techniques that work in accordance with Google guidelines. Normally, White Hat SEO is more focussed on the user than trying to alter search rankings.



HTTP header sent from a server that dictates the indexing of a page.


YMYL update

Also called the medic update, pages that could affect a person’s future happiness, health, safety, or financial stability will be held to a higher standard by search engines.

Yoast SEO

One of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress, currently with more than 5 million downloads.


Zero-result SERPs

In 2018, Google added an update that removed organic results for multiple definitive search queries like dates and times, famous birthdays, and mathematical equations. The update was stopped but might return at some point in the future.


301 redirect

A redirect that takes users from one page to another. These redirects are often used for canonical URL problems and deleted pages and tells the search engines that the page has permanently moved

302 redirect

A temporary redirect that suggests a web page or resource was briefly moved from one place to another.

404 error

The error message that is displayed when a certain page the user has selected can’t be found. This error usually comes up if a page has been deleted or the URL hasn’t been typed in correctly.

410 error

The 410 error code is similar to the 404, but whilst 404 means that a page is gone and cannot be found, 410 tells Google and the user that resources used to exist on the link but don’t anymore, and the change is permanent.