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Glossary

Algorithm

A series of equations and rules used by search engines to determine if websites meet search quality guidelines.

Algorithm Update

Changes made to algorithms based on improvement to the user experience of search engines and search results.

Black Hat SEO

Historic term relating to bad practice SEO - this could include bad links or duplicate on-page content. Black hat SEO violates Google's Search Quality Guidelines.

Call To Action

A call to action for a website user to either click on your search result or carry out a specific enquiry or lead action on your web page.

Conversion Rate

The percentage of your traffic that carry out your chosen final actions.

Conversions

The final action that you want traffic to take on your website.

Crawling

This is the process undertaken by a search engine to investigate and judge a website and web pages. Based on these crawls you will improve or reduce in ranking.

De-Indexing

Refers to a page, or group of pages, which are no longer stored in a search engine's index. De-indexing can be a result of a number of issues.

Domain Name

The main website address - for example www.thisisthedomainname.com

Featured Snippets

Q&A boxes which show at the top or bottom of a search results page that answer questions related to a search.

Google Ads

The Google platform for running PPC campaigns.

Google Analytics

Google's reporting suite that offers insight to traffic and users and can be broken down by user types, landing pages, date ranges etc.

Google Data Studio

A custom reporting dashboard form Google that allows for the building of reports based on specific data you want to see. Pairs with all Google softwares and connections are available for others.

Google My Business

The Google profile which is shown in the map listings at the top of the search results. Shows businesses around your local area related to your search.

Google Search Console

Formally Google Webmaster Tools, this is an insight to site health in the eyes of Google and will allow you to report on any issues to be actioned.

Google Tag Manager

The Google Platform for building events and tracking on the website. Can also be used to control code in a cleaner fashion.

Indexing

A web page that can be found by a search engine is referred to as indexed. This is a search engine's process of organising storing web pages.

KPI

Key performance indicators of SEO campaigns, such as traffic, conversions or rankings.

Local Pack

The set of three map listings shown at the top of search results.

Local SEO

The process of carrying out SEO specifcally targeted at users in a local region.

Mobile SEO

The process of carrying out SEO specifcally targeted at mobile users.

Optimisation

The physical process of improving a page for search engines.

People Also Ask

The set of blue links at the bottom of search results pages that show similar searches to the what has been carried out.

Ranking

The position in Google for a website when a keyword or search query is carried out.

ROI

The return on investment of an SEO campaign, such as £10 for every £1 spent.

Search Engine

A website or app used to make a web search, Google currently controls lion share of the market with 92% of all searches happening through the website.

Search Intent

The understanding of what a user or customer is looking to achieve with their search query.

Search Query

The words or phrases typed into a search engine to find specific results.

SEO

This stands for search engine optimisation and is process of work associated with getting a website to rank higher up in search results. 

SEO campaign

Work over a fixed period of time aimed at improving website traffic and conversions.

SERP Features

Search Engine Results Pages that may be shown differently to the norm, such as with additional products, snippets or actions listed.

SERPs

Search Engine Results Pages - the listings that appear once a search has been carried out on a search engine.

Traffic

The amount of overall visits to a website or web page - traffic can be reported in a umber of formats.

URL

The names of individual pages on a website - for example www.thisisthedomainname.com/the-is-the-url/

User experience

The way in which a website functions, is interacted with and allows traffic to achieve the goal of search intent.

Voice Search

The process of carrying out a search on a voice activated device or through an assistant on a phone.

Webmasters

A term for the owner of the website or manager of a website, commonly used by Google as a way to give accountability to website managers.

White Hat SEO

The process of good SEO that meets Google Search Quality Guidelines.

Assets

The content used to generate links, could be blogs, videos, whitepapers etc.

Brand Anchor Text

Linked text from one site to another that uses a the brand name as the link text.

Citation Flow

A measure of the amount of external links placed on a website, paired with Trust Flow to indentify the value of a website.

DA

Domain authority - a score out of 100 which determines the value of a potential linking website.

Directory Links

Large listings of websites, often organised by industry types. Largely condemned to black hat SEO outside of high value industry or local links.

Do Follow Links

A type of link that allows a search crawler to read the link and then land on the page of the link and start crawling.

Editorial Links

Links to websites from news or feature content on blogs, magazines or newspaper websites.

Exact Match Anchor Text

Linked text from one site to another that uses the exact keyword as the link, less used in 2019.

Guest Blogging

The activity of pairing with a secondary site to provide a blog for their users.

Landing Page

The page which you want to improve ranking for through link building, this is the page a user would land on when searching for services.

Link Building

The process of activity search and gaining links for a website to improve SEO rankings and performance.

Link Exchange

Pairing with a website to link to each other, often used within products and services.

Link Networks

Historic and now discredited form of linking across many websites hosted on the server. These networks are considered black hat SEO.

Link URL

The actual URL of a link - which may not be the landing page. This could be a blog or related page on a website.

Links

The name for when one website places a URL to a secondary website on one of its web pages.

Natural Link Building

The process of building links organically through sharing content, news and valuable sources that other websites want to link back to.

No Follow Links

A type of link that allows only a user to click through to a site, keeping the search crawler on the site that is linking.

Offsite Anchor Text

The physical text of a link from one website to another.

Page Authority (PA)

Page authority - similar to domain authority but used as a measurement purely for an individual URL.

Paid for Links

Links bought purely for SEO benefit, frowned upon within Google Search Quality Guidelines.

Referral Traffic

Traffic that comes to your site from a third party domain, often on which links have been built.

Resource Page

The page which an asset is listed if applicable.

Spam Score

A measurement of how likely a website is likely to be considered as spam, often seen on old directories or websites with a lot of adverts around the content.

Trust Flow

A measure of quality of a website out of 100 - this data tells you the value of how highly a website is trusted and therefore the trust passed on to your website from a link.

Unatural links

The term to links which Google suggests have been built purely for the purpose of SEO benefit. Normally triggered by a spike in links from random sources over a short period of time.

Untargeted Anchor Text

Linked text from one site to another that uses something like 'Click here' or 'Find out more' as the link text.

Alt Text

Used as accessiblity for those who cannot see images, so an alt tag is used to tell users on the website what an image is. Also helps with search ranking by improvements to site accessibility.

Anchor Text

The text within a web page that is linked to another page.

Auto-Generated / Spun Content

The process of using a robot or software to automatically create content. This violates Google Search Quality Guidelines.

Canonical Tags

Tags used to tell Google which page is to be used for indexing in the result of duplicate pages. For example, a single piece of clothing in small, medium and large that is listed on a website in three different URLs.

Content

The actual text on the page that is optimised for search engines and tells customers and users about your products and services.

CTA

A call to action for a website user to either click on your search result or carry out a specific enquiry or lead action on your web page.

Duplicate Content

Content that is a copy of content elsewhere online.

E-A-T

Expertise, Authority, Trust - the three core elements that need to be shown by a website to rank favouribly in a number of markets.

External Links

Web page links placed within the content to other web pages on different websites.

Geotargeting

Targeting by location through content, for example 'SEO agency in London'

Heading 1 Tag

Read by Google to determine what a user should expect to see on the page, should be keyword and seach query optimised. Also used by users as an initial confirmation that have reach an appropriate web page.

Heading 2 Tag

Read by Google to break up content and scan a page to determine what a user should see at different points of a page. Also used by users to ease of page use.

HTTPS/SSL

Known as site protocol, this is a security certifcate and measure used by websites to keep user data secure. This is a Google Ranking Factor.

Image Compression

The process of making an image smaller if it is above around 100kb and slowing down the load time of a web page.

Image Sitemap

A list of images used by Google to determine what images are place on URLs. Improves crawling on a website.

Image Size

The size, usually in kilobytes, of an image on a website.

Image Title

The title of the image BEFORE it is uploaded. This becomes the Image URL.

Keyword Density

The percentage of text on the page that matches target keywords or search queries.

Keyword Stuffing

Adding in too many keywords to a page for the amount of text. This is considered black hat SEO.

Keywords

Used as target search queries that will improve traffic to the website within an SEO campaign.

Link accessibility

The ease in which a user or search crawler can access a link on a web page.

Link equity

The value attained by adding a link to a web page through to a secondary web page.

LSI

Latent Semantic Indexing - the process of using common words or phrases associated with a keyword or search query, but not direct variations. For example, SEO agency as a keyword, campaign management as LSI.

Meta Description

The text which shows under the meta title on search engine rersults pages, usually includes information on products/services and a call to action.

Meta Title

A sign to Google as to what is on a web page, this is the text which shows in the blue link on search results pages.

Panda

The Google Algorithm historically associated with on-page SEO.

Permanent Redirect

Also known as a 301 redirect, this is a piece of code that will move one URL to another. The code tells a seach engine this change is forever.

Schema Tags

Tags added to the website to enhance search engine understanding - for example, recipes, events, FAQs.

Scraped Content

Using a crawler to visit a website and automically take content from it.

Temporary Redirect

Also known as a 302 redirect, this is a piece of code that will move one URL to another. The code tells a search engine this change is only temporary - such as for site maintenance.

Thin Content

Used when there is not enough content on a web page.

YMYL

Your Money or Your Life, a set of additional Google Search Guidelines for On-page SEO aimed at websites where customers and users make a financial decision.

2xx Status Codes

Server codes that denote everything is Ok, most commoly a 200 code.

3xx Status Codes

Codes to determine a redirect of a specific page to another. 301 is permanent, 302 is temporary.

4xx Status Codes

Indicates that the page no longer exists and a user or crawler cannot go any further.

5xx Status Codes

Server based codes that range from a server not working through to incorrect login attempts.

AMP

Accelorated Mobile Pages - a type of coding that stores only basic elements of the mobile version of the site into browsers and delivers largely content to the page, resulting in a faster load time. Most commonly used by news outlets with high turnover of news stories.

Async

Asynchronous - means the browser can start and complete multiple tasks in one go, without the need for each request made to be complete before starting the next.

Browser Caching

Some elements of a website need to load on every page, such as fonts or logos, this is the process storing these files in a browser for a pre-determined amount of time to speed up loading.

Critical Rendering Path

The sequence of events carried out by a search engine to load HTML, Javascript and HTML.

CSS

Cascading Style Sheets - a programming language commonly used to control the design features of a website.

DNS

Domain Name Server - allows for domain names to be linked to IP addresses. In turn this allows the IP address to deliver the website and it's pages to the correct domain.

DOM

Document Object Model - this is how a HTML structure is documented and defines the amount of work needed to be carried out by a server or browser to deliver critical page elements.

File compression

The process of making files smaller on a website to improve their delivery to a browser and speed up load times.

FTP

File Transfer Protocol - this is a standard local programme or protocol that allows for the transfer of files between computers and websites. Most commonly used within web development but at times will form part of SEO updates as well.

Hosting

The product that results in server space being available.

HTML

A programming language that controls most elements on the pages, such as content, images and links.

IP address

The Internet Protocol address of a website. Domain names are used for humans as they are easier to remember, however crawlers and search engines need this in a number format.

Javascript

A programming language that is often used to control the functionality of a website.

JSON-LD

A form of code that sends functions and key information to web browsers. Can be used to improve strutured data of a website.

Lazy Loading

Used on large pages to deliver elements of a page when a user or crawler reaches them. Common on ecommerce websites.

Minification

The reduction in size of coding on the website - normally CSS, Javascript and HTML. This can improve load times and deliver of the website.

Mobile-first Indexing

Indexing of websites using the mobile version of the site as the first crawled, as opposed to the desktop which was used historically.

Page speed

The time in which it takes a website to load, this can be impacted by a number of factors including servers, hosting and onsite code.

Pagination

Opposite to Lazy Loading, this will show products or posts page by page - pre-determined in devlopment by the amount you want to show.

Programming Language

The way functions and coding is written to ensure a server, crawler and browser understand it.

Render Blocking Scripts

A script that forces a page to wait to render core elements, can have a negative impact on user experience and SEO ranking.

Rendering

The process taken by a browser to turn a website into a page.

Server

The physical location of a website, the server will hold the IP address on it and pair with the DNS to deliver the site.

Status Codes

A series of codes used by servers to intentify rules and actions on a website. Used by search crawlers to also navigate a website.

Structured Data

Another way of hosting JSON-LD or Schema tags - in effect, structuring the elements of the website to make them clear for browsers and crawlers.

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