SEO GLOSSARY – All You Need to Know About SEO

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Above the fold

Above the fold refers to the upper area of a webpage that is visible without a user having to scroll down.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project is a Google initiative to build fast loading pages for zs. So called ‘AMP‘ pages are designed to load quickly, whilst still including rich content such as videos, animations and ads. The pages are powered by the AMP 


Google AdWords is Google’s Pay Per Click online marketing platform, first launched in the year 2000. Users can buy advertising across the Google network of web properties and also on other third-party websites via the Google Display Network.


Founded in 2011 by Dmitry Gerasimenko, Ahrefs is a SaaS SEO platform most popular for its backlink discovery tool Site Explorer.

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Algorithm, sometimes shortened to ‘algo’, refers to a set of rules that a computer program, or in this case a search engine, uses to make calculations or fulfill a task. It is most frequently used in relation to Google’s algorithms. The PageRank algorithm is one of the most famous examples of a Google algorithm.

Alt text

Alt text (alternative text) is a word or phrase that can be added to an image element in HTML, used to describe the image to users and search engines. Eg: <img src=”/dictionary.jpg” alt=”Dictionary with red cover” />

Image result for alt text for images examples

Anchor text

Anchor text refers to the words or phrases used in the text of a link. The anchor text is found inside the <a> tag in HTML. Eg: <a href=””>This is the anchor text</a>

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Authority in terms of SEO refers to the authority of a website, which is measured by a variety of metrics and different services. A website that has attributes such as good rankings, strong backlinks and popularity, would be considered to have high authority.

Authority site

An authority site is a particularly high-quality website. An authority site could technically be a commercial website that is the authority on a topic, though for many SEOs in certain contexts (ie for the purposes of writing an article) an authority site is generally considered to be either governmental, an association, or otherwise neutral from a commercial perspective.




Backlinks are links from one site to another. The acquisition of backlinks is usually a standard part of a full SEO campaign.

Image result for backlink image

Black hat

Black hat (also see: White hat, Grey hat) refers to an SEO or technique that is more aggressive in nature. Blackhat SEOs frequently use combinations of (among other techniques) spam link acquisition and bulk site creation methods to try and rank in the search engine results.

Blogger outreach

Blogger outreach is the process of contacting and working with bloggers as part of a marketing campaign.


A bot (alternately spider, crawler,) is a software application that runs automated tasks over the internet. Google’s main bot for web crawling is Googlebot.

Bounce rate

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of users that view one page then leave a website. For example, if 8 in every 10 users leave a website after viewing one page then there is said to be an 80% bounce rate.

Branded link

In terms of anchor text, a branded link is a link which contains to company brand or similar derivative in the anchor text. 


Breadcrumbs, as seen on websites or on search engine results pages, are a set of navigational links that refer to root areas and categories of a resource.

Image result for breadcrumbs seo

Broken links

A broken link is a link to a URL that is not working correctly. If a user were to click the link it would lead to a 404 page or other types of the error page in the browser.



Canonical Tag

The rel=”canonical” link element can be used to specify the canonical URL of a webpage.

Canonical URL

The canonical URL is the preferred URL a webmaster wishes to display for a particular webpage, and can be used to rectify a variety of canonicalization and duplicate content-related issues.

Citation (Local SEO)

When looking at local SEO, a citation is usually seen as a reference to the name, address and phone number (NAP) of a business.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Click-Through Rate (CTR) is the rate, usually expressed as a percentage, at which users click an ad in PPC or a link in a result set in SEO.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A Content Delivery Network, usually shortened to CDN, is a distributed network of hosting locations that serve HTML or static resources based on user geo-location.

Image result for content delivery network

Content marketing

Content marketing involves the creation and distribution of content as part of a marketing strategy, usually designed to attract new customers.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Conversion Rate Optimization, usually shortened to CRO, is the practice of optimizing the user experience of websites and landing pages to optimize your goals/revenue.

Crawl / Crawling

Crawling is the process by which a bot visits a website. In the search engine indexing process, crawling is when a search engine bot (such as Googlebot), visits a web resource in order to view, parse, and then if required index the resource.

Crawl Errors

Crawl errors are errors that occur during the crawling process by a search engine bot or other crawlers. Errors could include DNS errors, server connectivity issues, or errors caused by the unavailability of a resource such as the Robots.txt file.



De-index / De-indexing

A resource that has been de-indexed has been temporarily or permanently removed from search engine results. the resource is no longer in the search engine index.

Domain Authority (DA)

Domain Authority is a metric created by Moz, which on a 100 point scale is designed to reflect how well a domain will rank in search engines. A higher score represents a higher domain authority.

Do-follow Link

A do-follow link (or ‘follow link’) is a link that has not had the Nofollow rel attribute applied to it. This means generally speaking that it is a link that passes PageRank. ‘Do-follow’ is not a value or attribute that is used in the code itself.

Duplicate content

Duplicate content is text-based content that appears in more than one location or replicates partially or fully content that already exists elsewhere on the web.



E-Commerce SEO

SEO that is focused on increasing traffic and sales for e-commerce related websites that sell products online.

External link

An external link is a link that points to a different website than the link is found on.



URL Inspection [Formerly ⇒ Fetch as Google (Fetch as Googlebot)]

Found in Google Search Console the Fetch as Google tool allows webmasters to submit to and check the rendering of a resource in Google – simulating a visit from Googlebot.



Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a web analytics tool available at both a freemium and premium level by Google. Users can track information about visitors, including data on pages viewed and much more.


Googlebot is Google’s primary bot that is used to crawl web pages.




Hits are visitors to a website. A successful campaign could be said to be one that delivered a lot of hits. Hits are not necessarily specific to a particular platform, they could be search engine visits, PPC, social media, or from people clicking a link on another website.

H1 Tag / Element

The H1 tag is the most important heading element on a web resource. Generally, there should only be one H1 on a page, but it is not a major problem to use more than one if it helps to describe the content of a page, if there are for example there is more than one section on a page. 


Image sitemap

An image sitemap is an XML sitemap file that is designed to show to a search engine the images used on a website.

Index / Indexing

Index (noun) & Indexing (verb) in SEO can refer to various processes related to being crawled and then stored in a search engine’s database. A webmaster that is having indexing issues is having problems at some stage that is causing a resource or resources not to be found (indexed) in a search engine.

Internal link

An internal link is a link that points to a resource found on the same website that the link is found on. For example a link from to




From an SEO perspective a keyword is a word (or phrase) from which people might find a website when used as a query in Google.

Keyword Planner

The Google Keyword Planner is a service for finding keyword ideas that is part of Google AdWords.

Keyword research

Keyword research is the process by which SEOs try to find the words and phrases that potential customers might search for to find a resource.




A link (also see backlink) is a hyper-link that when clicked will take a user from one resource or area of a page to another.

Link bait

Link bait is a piece of content or action that is undertaken for the purpose of gaining links. An example of a piece of link bait might be an incendiary blog-post on a topic.

Local SEO

SEO that is aimed at local and regional listings in search engines.

Meta Description

The meta description is an attribute that describes the content of the webpage to search engines. The meta description may then be implemented in the snippet shown in search engine results.

Mobile first indexing

In November 2016 Google announced that they were experimenting with a mobile first index, meaning a stronger focus on mobile sites in algorithmic calculations.



Negative SEO

Negative SEO (also see Google Bowling) is the practice maliciously trying to alter the search engine results of a website or competitor.


Nofollow is a value that can be assigned to the rel attribute in HTML, for the purpose of not passing on SEO value. No follow links are now the standard when it comes to comment links for example.


To ‘noindex’ a resource is to issue an instruction to search engines not to index (include) the resource in search engine results. 



Open Graph Protocol / Open Graph META Tags

The Open Graph Protocol is a structured data platform created by Facebook. Using Open Graph Meta tags such as og:title and og:image it is possible to provide information about a resource to Facebook and other platforms.

Organic Traffic

Organic traffic is genuine web traffic (users/visitors to a web resource) that originates from non-paid search engine queries. Ie. visits from search engines that did not come from AdWords or other paid search engine distribution channels.




PageRank is a computer algorithm used by Google as part of their ranking systems. 

Page Authority (PA)

Page Authority is a metric created by Moz, which on a 100 point scale that attempts to reflect how well a specific page/URL will rank in search engines. A higher score represents a higher Page Authority.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Pay per click, usually shortened to the acronym PPC, is a marketing model whereby adverts are shown to users with the aim of delivering traffic to a resource. Advertisers are charged simply speaking on the basis of how many times users click the adverts and visit the resource. Google’s PPC marketing platform Adwords is the current market leader in much of the world.

Preferred domain

The preferred domain refers to the domain (www vs non-www) which a webmaster would like Google to use in search engine results pages.

Private Blog Network (PBN)

A Private Blog Network, usually shortened to PBN, is a network of blogs created for SEO/link purposes.




A query is a request for information from a database or service. In SEO it refers more specifically to the query that a user makes to a search engine.




RankBrain is a machine learning artificial intelligence project announced to be in use by Google in October 2015.


Rankings, as they are known in SEO, refers to the position(s) of a website in the Google – or another provider’s – search engine results pages (SERPs).

Rich cards

Rich cards are a new type of mobile-optimized search result format developed from rich snippets.

Rich snippets

Rich snippets are enhanced results in Google, such as those that have been customized with structured data.

Robots.txt (robots exclusion standard)

The Robots.txt file is used as a communication method to control indexing from search engine bots. It is possible to allow and disallow all or specific search engines on areas of a website.

Robots Meta Tag

The Robots meta tag can contain one or more comma-separated values that instruct search engines as to how a resource should be indexed and/or its links crawled. Possible values include Noindex, Nofollow and noarchive. Index, Follow is the default value so does not need to be expressed.

ROI (Return On Investment)

ROI, short for Return On Investment, refers to the benefit that can be received from a service or action.

Root domain

The root domain of a website is the shortest possible formation of a domain name/URL, not including a  subdomain. For example, is the root domain of




The ‘Google Sandbox’ is an algorithm that has allegedly existed since 2004, a filter that potentially affects new websites and/or links.

Search Console

Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools) is the search engine’s main webmaster portal. Search Console allows users to register on websites with Google, adjust settings, submit sitemaps, and use a variety of site maintenance related tools such as Fetch as Google.

Search engine friendly (SEF) URLs

URLs that are seen as friendly to search engines – specifically looking at the characters and symbols that come after the domain name. Namely URLs which have characteristics such as being clean of unnecessary information and descriptive as to the topic of the page.

Search operators

Using search operators it is possible to possible to refine search results and access other search engine features. Operators include words such as site:, cache: and info: as well as punctuation such as the minus symbol (-). The official list of Google search operators can be found here.

Search visibility

How visible a website is in the search engine results for different keywords. A website with high search visibility can be found in high positions for multiple keywords and queries.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Search Engine Optimisation usually referred to by the acronym SEO, is the process of using optimization techniques to help a website or resource to rank properly in search engines, with the ultimate aim of delivering an increased amount of organic traffic, leads and customers.

SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)

SERPs, short for Search Engine Results Pages, is the search engine results for a particular keyword search.


A sitemap allows webmasters to submit to search engines a list of crawlable resources for indexing.

Static / HTML Sitemap

A static or HTML sitemap, is a user view-able HTML sitemap that links to resources that can be viewed by users and also crawled by a search engine for indexing.



Title tag

The title tag (<title>) is used to indicate the title of a webpage to search engines. The title tag is one of the most important SEO related elements on the page, and may be implemented by Google and other search engines as the main title in a search engine result snippet.



Unique content

Unique content is a term used in SEO to mean text based content that is original and has not been used before. If a webpage is said to be lacking in unique content, it means that it has little content that is unique to that particular page.



Website speed

Website load speed refers to how quickly a webpage loads for users. In 2010 Google announced that website load speed is now an official ranking factor.

White hat

White hat SEO is the practice of SEO methods that are intended to stay within the Google Webmaster Guidelines.


In terms of websites, widgets are usually simple dynamic apps that can be added to websites. Links included in widgets are subject to the Google Webmaster Guidelines.



XML Sitemap

An XML sitemap is a .xml file that contains a sitemap/list of resources for search engines to crawl and index.



200 OK

200 OK is a server response code that represents a successful load of the webpage. This is the standard HTTP status response.

301 Moved Permanently

0 Moved Permanently is a server response code used for permanent redirection. In SEO it is frequently requested as it is the ideal type of redirect for situations such as if a URL changes.

302 Found

302 Found is a response code used for temporary redirection. It is less rarely requested than a 301 and is only used in situations where a redirect is known to be temporary.

404 Not Found

404 Not Found is a response that a resource cannot be found at this time. The resource may still be available in the future.

500 Internal Server Error

500 Internal Server Error is a generic error message that means there was a problem that prevented the web page from loading.

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