July 29, 2016
Anita Sambol

It’s hard to remember and know all the terms that are important for SEO, so we thought a nice illustrated glossary of the most important ones is a great idea.

Everything is kept short and easy to understand. Hope you like the design and be sure to check out clarifications for every term below the infographic!

Infographic explaining basic SEO terms


  • Anchor Text – a clickable text in a hyperlink
  • AdWords – Google’s advertisement program, used for basic website advertisement, with keyword-targeted ads and sold on a cost per click basis
  • Algorithm – program used by search engines that determines which pages will be suggested for which search query
  • Alt Text – alternative text, a short description added to graphic elements (images and videos) that helps search engines understand what the graphic element is about


  • Back Link – an incoming link to a website from another website; a few links from high authority sites (those with high domain rating and traffic) carry more SEO “juice” and help you rank better than a bunch of links from small websites
  • Blog – an online journal updated regularly and presented chronologically
  • Black Hat – marketing techniques that are considered bad and don’t conform to Google’s guidelines; using it can often lead to your site getting penalized
  • Bing – Microsoft’s search engine
  • Bounce Rate – the percentage of website visitors who visit just one page on the website and leave


  • Content – every piece of information on a website – text, images, videos, animations, etc; having quality content is the most important part of SEO
  • Conversion – a goal, achievement on a website; could be getting a certain amount of visits, subscriptions, sales, etc.
  • CPC – Cost Per Click, the amount that is paid per click; measure used in paid advertising such as Facebook PPC (pay-per-click)
  • CTR – Click Through Rate, represents the percentage of people who click on an ad they see
  • Crawler – a program which moves through websites following link structure and gathering data for search engines


  • Deep Linking – building links to inner pages of a website (site.com/page1) and not only the home page (site.com), which makes link building campaign look very natural
  • Directory – a catalog of websites, divided into categories, usually manually organized
  • Duplicate Content – content that is identical or very similar to the content on some other website


  • External links –  links that lead to a website on a different domain, especially good and important when it’s high authority website or blog


  • Fresh Content – new, interesting and relevant pieces of information (text, images, videos); it’s important to update big content pieces at least once every 6 months
  • Feed – content delivered to the user via special programs
  • Filter –  search crawlers look through websites and use various methods to filter out the spammy and unnatural-looking websites


  • Google Search – the most used search engine on the Internet with over 3 billion searches every day, so it’s important to have your website optimized for Google Search
  • Gateway Page – a page created to bring traffic from search engines and redirect visitors to the actual website with information; also called doorway page


  • Headings – used to briefly describe and introduce the subject of the next section; should include keywords and keyword phrases to improve SEO optimization
  • Hits – happens each time a server sends an object; used to be a measure for web traffic, now replaced with impressions
  • .htaccess – configuration file in Apache that is used for protecting files with password or redirect
  • HTML – HyperText Markup Language is the programming language used for creating websites


  • Internal Links –  links from one page on a site to another page on the same site; help with spreading link juice and navigation on the site
  • Inbound Links – incoming links to one website from another website; best to have more links from high authority and related websites
  • Impressions – page views; opening a web page one time counts as one impression or one pageview


  • Javascript – a scripting language that adds various dynamic features when embedded in HTML; not everyone can see that content so be careful


  • Keyword – a word or a phrase that the user writes in a search engine; should be mentioned on the website but not too often; it’s recommended to use different forms of the main keyword
  • Keyword Densitykeyword density refers to the number of times a keyword appears on a given webpage or within a piece of content as a ratio or percentage of the overall word count
  • Keyword Research – a lasting process of finding perfect keywords for a website; takes a lot of variables in consideration – domain age, competition, on page SEO, etc.


  • Link Building – a process of creating incoming links to your website to increase its authority and search ranking; should be as natural as possible with links from high authority websites
  • Long Tail Keywords – more specific and less targeted keywords; used more and more these days; for example, “cheap smartphones” would be your standard keyword, while “best Android 4G smartphone with 13MP camera” represents a long tail keyword
  • LSI – latent semantic indexing, used by search engines, means they often index associated groups of words on a webpage
  • Landing Page – the page that opens when a user clicks on search engine result


  • Meta Description – a short description of the content on the page; should be relevant and unique to the page and keyword rich
  • Metrics – a measurement used by analytical programs; SEO metrics measure page’s authority, backlink count, domain age, etc.; read more about them in our blog series


  • Niche – a subject of the website, a topic the content is focused on; important for finding keywords
  • Negative SEO – trying to compromise a competitor with building lots of bad links to their site, which usually ends with a penalty
  • Nofollow – a command found in the head section of a webpage that instructs search engine crawlers not to index any or specific links on that page


  • Organic Search Results – unpaid search results, organized by relevancy; most clicks on search results are on the organic search results
  • Outbound Links – a link from a website to another website on the different domain; linking to relevant and related websites in your niche is great for SEO


  • Penalty – a punishment for a website that search algorithms define as spam; prevents the site from ranking highly; could happen after too aggressive link building campaign or really bad on page SEO
  • PageRank – used to be the most important metric in SEO, estimates the importance of a website using a formula that takes into consideration the links to the website
  • PPC – Pay Per Click, most used pricing model in online advertising; advertiser gets charged only if someone clicks on an ad


  • Quality Over Quantity –  whether it’s about links or content, quality is always more important than quantity


  • Redirect – several methods used to change the address of a landing page, usually when a site is moved to a new domain; could be used to avoid penalization when building links aggressively
  • robots.txt – a text file found in the root directory of a website; it’s used to control how search engines crawl the website
  • ROI – Return On Investment, a measurement of how much you get in return for each dollar spent


  • Social Media – everyone’s favorite place to waste their free time; can also be used for all kinds of promotional purposes 🙂
  • Sitemap – a page within a website that has links to every page on the website, arranged hierarchically; improves the site’s usability and helps search engines understand the site’s navigation
  • Spider – a bot used by search engines to find webpages and index them; also known as crawler
  • Spam – a low-quality internet content that is often aggressively distributed; search engines hate spam and spammy marketing techniques such as too many ads or unnatural looking backlink profile
  • SERP – Search Engine Results Page, a list of URLs and descriptions that show up when you search for something in search engines


  • Trust Rank – a search relevancy algorithm that gives more weight to links coming from relevant and trusted websites; it’s increased by having more links from high authority sites
  • Trackback – a notification that another website mentioned your website; usually a part of blogging websites; great for monitoring backlinks
  • Title – an element used to describe content on a webpage, an important part of on-page SEO; should be unique, descriptive and not too long; should contain keywords


  • URL –  a web address unique for every website, made out of letters, numbers, dots and lines, including keywords or keyword phrases
  • Unique Visitors – number of unique individuals that opened a website; different from visits since that counts every opening of the website – be it from a new or returning visitor
  • Usability – a term that describes how easy a website is for use and navigate; increase usability by having a nice design, easy navigation and avoid pop up and big ads


  • Visits – number of users that opened a website; increased with quality content, good SEO and more social shares
  • Viral Marketing – marketing techniques that use social media and other technologies to increase brand awareness and build links; while there are some things you can optimize to increase your chances, “going viral” is mostly out of your hands


  • WordPress – easy to use open source blogging platform with thousands of customizable themes and plugins; great for SEO
  • White Hat – SEO techniques and methods that are recommended by search engine guidelines; the guidelines change very often


  • XML – Extensible Markup Language, a simple, very flexible text format used to make it easy to format information using technologies such as RSS
  • XHTML – Extensible HyperText Markup Language, HTML specifications and documents used to conform XML formatting


  • Yahoo – a popular website and search engine
  • YouTube – another great place to “kill” a few hours every day; can be used for viral marketing; embedding YouTube videos inside webpages can increase your overall content quality


  • Zopim or Zoom Chat – to answer all of your SEO questions 😉

*some of the terms and definitions are inspired by Moz and Seobook Glossary.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out using this contact form.

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Anita Sambol
Being one of the first employees at Point Visible allowed Anita to work on everything we do - from link building to educating new employees. She enjoys campaign management and education the most, with occasional dives into Photoshop, all with a good Spotify playlist in the background. At home, she spends time with her daughter and yells at the TV while supporting Arsenal FC.


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