SEO Glossary 2023
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the set of techniques and strategies that are applied to improve the visibility and positioning of a website in the results of search engines, such as Google or Bing.
The objective of SEO is to attract more organic (non-paid) and quality (relevant and segmented) traffic to a web page, thus increasing the chances of conversion and user loyalty.
SEO is a discipline in constant evolution, since search engine algorithms are frequently updated to offer a better user experience and adapt to new trends and market demands.
For this reason, it is important to be up to date with the changes and news that affect SEO and to know the most relevant terms and concepts in order to apply them correctly.
We present some of the most used words in SEO.
- AI (Artificial Intelligence) : Artificial intelligence is the ability of machines or computer systems to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as learning, reasoning or understanding natural language. AI is increasingly used in SEO to optimize content, analyze user behavior, personalize searches or generate automatic texts.
- Algorithm : An algorithm is a set of rules or instructions that are followed to solve a problem or perform a task. Search engines use complex algorithms to process user queries, crawl and index web pages, assess their relevance and authority, and display the most appropriate results. Some examples of Google algorithms are PageRank, Panda, Penguin or BERT.
- Anchor text : The anchor text or anchor text is the visible text that is used to link to another web page. The anchor text can be a word, a phrase or an image, and it is usually a different color from the rest of the text to indicate that it is a link. Anchor text helps users and search engines understand the context and topic of the link, so it should be descriptive, relevant, and varied.
- Backlink : A backlink or incoming link is a link that points from another web page to your website. Backlinks are one of the most important factors for SEO, as they indicate the popularity, authority, and trust of your website. However, not all backlinks have the same value, but rather depend on the quality and relevance of the web page that issues them.
- Black hat SEO : Black hat SEO is the set of techniques and practices that are used to manipulate or deceive search engines in order to improve the positioning of a website quickly and illegitimately. Some examples of black hat SEO are keyword stuffing, cloaking, spamming or buying links. Black hat SEO can have negative consequences for your website, such as penalties or bans from search engines.
- Bounce rate : The bounce rate or bounce rate is the percentage of users who leave your website after visiting only one page, without taking any action or interacting with any element. The bounce rate is used as a measure to assess the quality and relevance of your website's content and design, as well as user satisfaction and interest. A high bounce rate may indicate that your website does not meet the expectations or needs of users.
- Canonical tag : The canonical tag or canonical tag is an HTML element that is used to indicate to search engines which is the original or preferred version of a web page when there are several similar or duplicate versions. The canonical tag helps prevent duplicate content issues, which can negatively affect SEO and the user experience.
- Crawling : Crawling or tracking is the process by which search engines explore and inspect Internet web pages through programs called crawlers or bots. The objective of crawling is to collect information about the content, structure and links of web pages, to later store and index it in a database. Crawling is the first step for your website to appear in search engine results.
- CTR (Click Through Rate) : The CTR or click through rate is the percentage of users who click on a link or ad after seeing it. The CTR is used as a measure to evaluate the effectiveness and performance of an SEO, SEM or email marketing campaign, among others. A high CTR can indicate that the link or ad is attractive, relevant and in line with the intentions of the users.
- DA (Domain Authority) : The DA or domain authority is a metric developed by Moz that measures the quality, relevance and popularity of a domain or website on a scale of 1 to 100. The DA is based on several factors, such as the number and quality of backlinks, the time of existence, the history and the content of the website. DA is used as a way of predicting a website's ranking and performance in search engine results.
- Duplicate content : Duplicate content or duplicate content is content that appears on more than one web page, either within the same website (internal content) or on different websites (external content). Duplicate content can negatively affect SEO and the user experience, as it can confuse search engines and users as to which is the original or most relevant version of the content. To avoid duplicate content, you can use techniques such as the canonical tag, the 301 redirect or the noindex tag.
- EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) : The EAT or experience, authority and trustworthiness is a set of criteria that Google's human evaluators use to measure the quality and credibility of a website and its content. The EAT is based on the idea that users look for reliable, accurate and useful information when they search the Internet, especially when it comes to sensitive topics such as health, money or security. The EAT is one of the most important factors for SEO, since it influences the positioning and reputation of a website.
- Featured snippet : A featured snippet or featured snippet is a special type of result that appears at the top of the first page of Google, above the first organic result. A featured snippet displays an excerpt of the content of a web page that directly responds to the user's query, along with the title, URL, and an optional image. A featured snippet aims to provide a quick and accurate response to the user, without the need for them to click on any links.
- FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) : FAQs or frequently asked questions are a type of content that consists of a list of questions and answers on a specific topic, usually related to a product, service or website. The FAQs aim to resolve the most common doubts that users may have, providing clear, concise and useful information. FAQs can improve SEO and user experience, as they can increase organic traffic, reduce bounce rate, build trust, and make navigation easier.
- Google Analytics : Google Analytics is a free tool from Google that allows you to measure and analyze traffic and user behavior on a website. Google Analytics offers a wealth of data and reports on traffic sources, pages viewed, time spent, conversions, searches, audiences, devices, etc. Google Analytics is a must-have tool for SEO as it helps to optimize a website's content, design and usability, as well as to assess the performance and ROI of marketing campaigns.
- Google Search Console : Google Search Console is a free tool from Google that allows you to monitor and improve the status and visibility of a website in Google results. Google Search Console offers information and resources on crawling, indexing, positioning, errors, links, speed, security, mobile compatibility and other technical and quality aspects of a website. Google Search Console is an essential tool for SEO, helping to detect and fix problems, improve performance, and communicate with Google.
- Google Trends – Google Trends is a free tool from Google that allows you to explore and compare Internet search trends globally or locally. Google Trends shows the evolution and popularity of the keywords or topics most searched for by users in a given period of time, as well as related or emerging queries. Google Trends is a very useful tool for SEO, as it helps to identify opportunities, adapt to market demands and create relevant and updated content.
- Heading tag : The heading tag or header tag is an HTML element that is used to structure and prioritize the content of a web page through titles and subtitles. The heading tags range from H1 to H6, with H1 being the most important and H6 being the least important. Heading tags help users and search engines understand the organization and main theme of a web page, so they must be clear, descriptive and contain relevant keywords.
- Hreflang tag : The hreflang tag or hreflang tag is an HTML element that is used to indicate to search engines the language and region of a web page when there are several versions in different languages or directed to different countries. The hreflang tag helps prevent duplicate content issues, improve indexing and positioning of each version, and provide a better user experience by displaying the most appropriate version based on the user's language and location.
- HTML (HyperText Markup Language) : HTML or hypertext markup language is the standard language used to create and structure web pages. HTML is made up of tags or elements that define the content, appearance, and functionality of each part of a web page. HTML is one of the pillars of SEO, since it influences the accessibility, usability and understanding of a web page by users and search engines.
- Indexing : Indexing or indexing is the process by which search engines store and organize the information collected during crawling or tracking in a database called an index. Indexing allows search engines to quickly access and retrieve the most relevant web pages for each user query. Indexing depends on several factors, such as the quality, originality and freshness of the content, the speed and security of the website, and the directives or instructions that are given to search engines through the robots.txt file, the sitemap or meta tags. [More information].
- Internal link : An internal link or internal link is a link that points from a web page to another web page within the same website. Internal links are beneficial for SEO and user experience, as they help distribute link juice or authority among web pages, improve navigation and website structure, reduce bounce rate and increase time of permanence [More information].
- Keyword : A keyword or keyword is a term or phrase that summarizes the theme or purpose of a web page or a search query. Keywords are essential for SEO, since they allow connecting the intention and interest of users with the content and offer of a website. To choose the right keywords, a study or keyword analysis must be carried out, taking into account factors such as search volume, competition, relevance and search intention.
- Junk content : Junk content or junk content is content that has no value or utility to users or search engines, either because it is irrelevant, inaccurate, incomplete, duplicate, spam, or automatically generated. Junk content can negatively affect SEO and the user experience, as it can generate mistrust, dissatisfaction, and penalties from search engines. To avoid junk content, you must create original, useful and updated content, as well as eliminate or improve obsolete or low-quality content.
- Keyword density : The keyword density or keyword density is the percentage that represents the frequency with which a keyword appears in the content of a web page in relation to the total number of words. The keyword density is used as a way to measure the relevance and optimization of a web page for a given keyword. However, keyword density is not a determining factor for SEO, since search engines use other more advanced criteria to evaluate content, such as semantics, intention or quality. In addition, excessive or artificial use of keywords can be considered spam and harm SEO and the user experience.
- Keyword research : The keyword research or study of keywords is the process of identifying and analyzing the most appropriate keywords for a website, a web page or a marketing campaign. The objective of keyword research is to find out the needs, interests and behavior of users when they search on the Internet, as well as the competition and market demand. Keyword research is one of the foundations of SEO, since it allows you to create and optimize the content and structure of a website according to the most relevant and profitable keywords.
- KPI (Key Performance Indicator) : A KPI or key performance indicator is a metric that is used to measure and evaluate the fulfillment of the objectives and strategies of a website or a marketing campaign. The KPIs allow to know the status, progress and result of the actions carried out, as well as to identify the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement. Some examples of KPIs for SEO are organic traffic, positioning, CTR, conversion rate or ROI.
- Landing page : A landing page or destination page is a web page that users arrive after clicking on a link or an advertisement. A landing page aims to capture the attention and interest of users and persuade them to perform a desired action, such as buying a product, subscribing to a service, downloading a file or filling out a form. A landing page must be attractive, clear and relevant to users, as well as be optimized for SEO and SEM.
- Link building : The link building or construction of links is the set of techniques and strategies that are used to obtain backlinks or incoming links from other websites to your website. Link building is one of the most important factors for SEO as it improves the popularity, authority and trust of your website. However, link building must be done with care and quality, avoiding practices such as buying or exchanging links, which can be penalized by search engines.
- Long tail keyword : A long tail keyword or long tail keyword is a keyword made up of three or more terms that specify or detail a search. Long tail keywords typically have lower search volume, but also lower competition and higher conversion intent than generic or short keywords. Long tail keywords are very useful for SEO, since they allow users to be better segmented, offer more personalized content adapted to their needs, and attract qualified traffic.
- Meta description : The meta description or meta description is an HTML element that is used to provide a summary of the content and purpose of a web page. The meta description often appears below a webpage's title and URL in search engine results, as well as in social media or email messages when a link is shared. The meta description aims to capture the attention and interest of users and motivate them to click on the link. Therefore, it must be attractive, clear and relevant, and contain keywords and a call to action.
- Meta tag : A meta tag or meta tag is an HTML element that is used to provide additional information about a web page to search engines and other systems. Meta tags are not visible to users, but they are visible to crawlers or bots that crawl and index web pages. Some examples of meta tags are the title, the meta description, the canonical, the hreflang or the robots. Meta tags are important for SEO, as they help improve the relevance, indexing and positioning of a web page.
- Noindex tag : The noindex tag or noindex tag is an HTML element used to tell search engines not to index a web page or file in their database. The noindex tag is used to prevent duplicate, low-quality, or irrelevant content issues, as well as to protect the privacy or security of a web page or file. The noindex tag can be applied via a meta tag, a robots.txt file, or an HTTP header.
- Nofollow tag : The nofollow tag or nofollow tag is an HTML element used to tell search engines not to follow or transfer authority to an external or internal link. The nofollow tag is used to avoid problems of spam, paid or low quality links, as well as to control the flow of link juice or authority between web pages. The nofollow tag can be applied via a meta tag, a rel attribute, or an HTTP header.
- Mobile-friendly : The mobile-friendly or adapted to mobile phones is an attribute that indicates that a web page is optimized to be viewed and used from mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets. Mobile-friendly implies that a web page has a responsive or adaptable design, which adjusts to the size and orientation of the device's screen, as well as fast loading speed, easy navigation and readable and accessible content. Mobile-friendly is essential for SEO and the user experience, since it improves satisfaction, traffic and the performance of a web page.
- On-page SEO : The on-page SEO or SEO on the page is the set of techniques and strategies that are applied within a web page to improve its relevance, quality and positioning in search engine results. On-page SEO involves optimizing the content, design, structure, speed, security, and other technical and usability aspects of a web page. Some examples of on-page SEO are the use of keywords, meta tags, heading tags, internal links or schema.org.
- Organic traffic : The organic traffic or organic traffic is the traffic that comes from the natural or unpaid results of the search engines. Organic traffic is considered one of the most valuable and profitable sources of traffic for a website, as it indicates that users find the content relevant and useful for their search queries. Organic traffic largely depends on SEO, as it improves the visibility and positioning of a website in search engine results.
- Outbound link : An outbound link or outgoing link is a link that points from a web page to another external web page or from another domain. Outbound links are beneficial for SEO and user experience, as they help provide additional information, support claims, cite sources, or recommend quality, trusted resources to users. However, outbound links should be moderate and relevant, and it is recommended to use the nofollow attribute to avoid losing authority or being associated with low-quality or spammy websites.
- PageRank : PageRank is an algorithm developed by Google that measures the importance and authority of a web page on a scale of 0 to 10, based on the number and quality of backlinks or inbound links it receives. PageRank is one of the factors that influence the positioning and performance of a web page in Google results, although it is not the only or the most determining factor. PageRank is not visible to users, but it can be estimated using external tools.
- Page speed : The page speed or loading speed is the time it takes for a web page to be fully displayed in the user's browser. Page speed is a key factor for SEO and user experience, since it affects crawling, indexing, positioning, traffic, conversion and user satisfaction. A web page should have an optimal page speed, which is considered to be less than 3 seconds, to prevent users from leaving the website or getting a bad impression. Techniques such as compression, minification, caching or lazy loading can be used to improve page speed.
- PPC (Pay Per Click) : PPC or pay per click is an online advertising model that consists of paying a certain amount each time a user clicks on an ad or a sponsored link. PPC is used primarily in SEM, or search engine marketing, where advertisers bid to appear in search engine results based on the keywords they choose. PPC allows you to attract qualified and segmented traffic to a website, as well as accurately measure the return on investment.
- Quality content : The quality content or quality content is the content that meets the expectations and needs of users and search engines. Quality content is characterized by being original, useful, relevant, up-to-date, complete, accurate, well-structured, well-written, and well-designed. Quality content is essential for SEO and user experience, since it improves traffic, positioning, conversion and user loyalty. [More information].
- Query : A query or query is the term or phrase that a user enters into the search box of a search engine to obtain information on a certain topic. A query can be made up of one or more keywords, as well as modifiers or filters that specify or restrict the search. Search engines process user queries and show them the most relevant and appropriate results based on their intentions and preferences. [More information].
- Q&A (Question and Answer) : The Q&A or question and answer is a type of content that consists of a question asked by a user and an answer provided by an expert, a professional or a member of an online community. The Q&A aims to solve the doubts or problems of the users, offering clear, concise and useful information. Q&A can improve SEO and user experience, as it can increase organic traffic, build trust and authority, facilitate interaction, and create valuable content.
- Ranking : Ranking or positioning is the order in which web pages appear in search engine results based on their relevance and authority for a given search query. The ranking depends on several factors, such as content, links, technical aspects, user experience or geolocation. Ranking is one of the main objectives of SEO, since it determines the visibility and traffic of a website. The higher the ranking, the higher the probability that users will click on the link.
- Redirect : A redirect or redirection is a method used to change the URL of a web page to a different URL, either within the same website or on another website. A redirect can be used for various reasons, such as changing the domain, updating the content, improving the structure, fixing errors, or avoiding duplicate content. A redirect can be temporary (302) or permanent (301), and must be done correctly to avoid SEO and user experience issues.
- Rich snippet : A rich snippet or enriched fragment is a special type of result that appears in search engines and that shows additional or prominent information about a web page, such as an image, a rating, a price, a date or a button. A rich snippet aims to offer a better user experience and more information about a web page, as well as increase CTR and organic traffic. To obtain a rich snippet, you must implement schema.org or schema.org, which is a common vocabulary to define the types and properties of semantic or enriched data.
- SERP (Search Engine Results Page) : The SERP or search engine results page is the page that displays the most relevant and appropriate results for a given search query. The SERP is made up of several elements, such as organic results, paid results, featured snippets, images, videos, maps, news or frequently asked questions. The SERP can vary based on search engine, device, location, language, or user history.
- Title tag : The title tag or title tag is an HTML element that is used to define the title or name of a web page. The title tag usually appears at the top of the browser, in the web page tab, as well as in search engine results, where the title and URL of a web page are displayed. The title tag aims to capture the attention and interest of users and describe the content and purpose of a web page. Therefore, it must be unique, clear and relevant, and contain important keywords.
- Traffic : The traffic or traffic is the number of visits or visitors that a website or a web page receives in a certain period of time. Traffic can be categorized based on its origin or source, such as organic traffic, paid traffic, direct traffic, referral traffic, or social traffic. Traffic is one of the most important metrics for SEO and online marketing, as it indicates the popularity, audience, and performance of a website or web page.
- TrustRank : TrustRank is an algorithm developed by Yahoo that measures the trust and quality of a website on a scale of 0 to 10, based on proximity and relationship to other trusted and authoritative websites. TrustRank is one of the factors that influence the positioning and performance of a website in search engine results, although it is not the only one or the most determining factor. TrustRank can be improved by creating original and useful content, gaining quality backlinks, and removing spam or junk content.
- URL (Uniform Resource Locator) : The URL or uniform resource locator is the unique address and identifier of a resource or element on the Internet, such as a web page, an image, a video or a file. The URL is made up of several elements, such as the protocol, domain, subdomain, directory, name, and extension of the resource. The URL is important for SEO and user experience as it indicates the location, content and structure of a resource, and it should be short, clear and descriptive.
- User intent : The user intent or search intention is the objective or purpose that a user has when making a query in a search engine. The user intent can be informative, when the user seeks to learn or know something; transactional, when the user seeks to buy or hire something; or navigational, when the user seeks to access a specific website. The user intent is key to SEO and the user experience, since it allows the creation and optimization of the content and the offer of a website according to the needs and expectations of the users.
- UX (User Experience) : The UX or user experience is the set of perceptions, emotions and reactions that a user has when interacting with a product, service or website. The UX is based on factors such as usability, accessibility, navigability, design, content, speed, security and satisfaction. The UX is essential for SEO and online marketing, since it improves the loyalty, conversion and reputation of a website.
- Voice search : Voice search or voice search is the method that allows users to query search engines by using their voice instead of typing. Voice search is done through devices such as smartphones, tablets, smart speakers, or virtual assistants, such as Siri, Alexa, or Cortana. Voice search is a growing trend for SEO, as it involves tailoring a website's content and structure to the characteristics and intentions of users searching by voice, which are often more natural, conversational, and specific.
- Video SEO : Video SEO or SEO for videos is the set of techniques and strategies used to optimize and position videos in search engines and on video platforms, such as YouTube or Vimeo. Video SEO aims to increase the visibility, traffic, and conversion of a website or a brand by using video as the content format. Video SEO involves optimizing the video title, description, tags, subtitles, thumbnails, and other elements, as well as creating original, useful, and engaging content for users.
- White hat SEO : The white hat SEO or ethical SEO is the set of techniques and practices that are used to improve the positioning of a website in the search engine results in a legitimate and respectful way with the norms and guidelines established by the search engines. Some examples of white hat SEO are the creation of original and useful content, the obtaining of natural and quality backlinks, the improvement of the speed and security of the website or the optimization for mobile devices. White hat SEO has the benefits of improving the reputation, trust and satisfaction of users and avoiding penalties or bans by search engines.
- WordPress : WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that allows you to create and manage websites easily and without the need for technical knowledge. WordPress is one of the most popular and used CMS in the world, as it offers a wide variety of options, functionalities and customization to create professional and attractive websites adapted to the needs and preferences of each user. WordPress is SEO friendly, as it allows you to optimize the content, design, speed, security, and other technical and quality aspects of a website through the use of plugins, themes, or widgets.
- XML sitemap : The XML sitemap or XML site map is a file that contains an ordered and hierarchical list of all the web pages that make up a website. The XML sitemap is used to facilitate the crawling or crawling and indexing of a website by search engines, since it tells them what web pages exist, what is their relative importance, how they are related to each other and when they are updated. The XML sitemap must be created correctly and submitted to search engines using tools such as Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools.
- Zero-click search : A zero-click search or search without clicks is a search that is performed in a search engine and that does not generate any clicks in the results, either because the user gets the answer directly on the results page or because you leave the search without clicking any links. Zero-click searches have increased in recent years due to the increase in featured snippets, images, videos, maps, news and other elements that display relevant and quick information for users. Zero-click searches pose a challenge for SEO, as they reduce organic traffic and conversion of a website.
- Zombie pages : Zombie pages or zombie pages are web pages that do not receive any organic traffic or that receive very little organic traffic for a long period of time. Zombie pages can negatively affect a website's SEO and performance by consuming resources, taking up space, generating duplicate or low-quality content, and diminishing a website's authority and relevance. To prevent zombie pages, you should perform a website analysis and audit, and remove or improve zombie pages based on their value and potential.
Written by Moises Hamui Abadi: I am an entrepreneur, founding partner of Viceversa and SoyMacho. After being in charge of several digital businesses and advising several other businesses; I decided to form MHA Consulting, a digital marketing consultancy dedicated to growing and empowering digital businesses in more than 7 countries and generating more than 1,500 million pesos.
If you want more information on this topic or you are looking for other options to profile your ideal client, at MHA you will find the solution you need. Schedule a call.