SEO Terminology Glossary

seo terminology

Search Engine Optimisation Terminology

SEO Junkies know that sometimes search engine optimisation can be difficult to get your head around so we've come up with a glossary listing all of the most important SEO terms with a brief description of each. Our team know that you should understand SEO before going ahead with a project so we want to make it easier for you and our search engine optimisation glossary is just for that reason, if anything is missing or you're still unsure then do contact our SEO expert team who will be able to help you out.

301 redirect

A 301 Redirect is a status code that appears when a visitor, either human or a search engine, goes on to a web page that no longer exists. The code tells the visitor that the page has been permanently moved to a new location whilst also informing the visitor of the new location of the webpage.


A backlink is any hyperlink from an external website linking to your website. Good quality backlinks are an important part of the search engine optimisation process.

blackhat seo

The opposite of White Hat SEO. This term refers to dishonest, illegal or unacceptable methods of fooling a search engine in order to gain high rankings. Long term this will result in your site being heavily penalised. Some examples of Black Hat SEO techniques include page cloaking and keyword stuffing.


A blog is simply a web log or online journal typically updated by one person or group but published for public consumption. A blog that allows the public to submit postings starts to resemble more of a forum.

conversion goal

A conversion goal is any page that you wish to designate as a end point within a process. For example a conversion goal may be to get the user to reach the "Thank you for your order page" or simply to have filled out and submitted the "Contact us". Once reached we can consider our aim as having been achieved.

conversion tracking

A conversion occurs when conversion goal is reached. For example, a click on your pay per click advert leads directly to user behavior you deem valuable, such as a purchase, signup, page view, or lead. Tracking such conversions allows you to calculate a return on your investment (ROI), in this example for the amount spent on ppc advertising versus the value of sales derived from that advertising.


Ecommerce or e-commerce is the art and science of selling products and/or services over the web.


Facebook is a social networking website which can be used for personal reasons to keep in contact with friends or for social media; advertising your website right accross the internet for brand awareness and traffic.


An online discussion website which allows multiple users to post entries onto a website about different topics. Each topic usually has it own thread within the forum.

funnel pages

Funnel pages are pages that represent a step in a process to achieving a conversion goal. For example to get from A to E you have to first go through funnel pages B, C and D. Funnel pages are useful for analysing drop out rates especially on an ecommerce website and help identify if there are any issues in the shopping process causing abandonment at any particular step.

google anayltics

Google Analytics is an advanced website statistics and conversion tracking tool that monitors and analyses the activity of your website and provides sophisticated reporting.

keyword stuffing

A black hat SEO practice of trying to blatantly fill a web page lots and lots of keywords in an attempt to achieve a higher ranking.

keyword efficiency index

Keywords and phrases can be rated using KEI by analysing the total number of searches compared to the the total number of results pages for those keywords and phrases.

latent semantic indexing (lsi)

Latent Semantic Indexing or LSI is the creation of word associations within a context, which search engines are able to use to help establish the topic of any given web page.


LinkedIn is a social networking site aimed at business users for workers and companies to connect with other businesses

(the) long tail

Long tail keyword phrases typically contain more than 3 words in length and are more specific in nature than frequently searched generic phrases. These types of phrases are usually used by people seacrhing for a specific product of service and are more likely to convert into a sale or enquiry because the user intentions are already more specific.

on page seo

On Page SEO refers to the controllable internal factors which affect the ranking of your website such as the coding and accessibility of your website. For example, the correct use of titles, headings and copywriting.

off page seo

Off Page SEO refers to the external factors which affect the ranking of your website such as the analysis of keywords and external links pages. Off-Page search engine optimisation is difficult to establish and maintain but is critical in order to achieve top rankings on all of the popular search engines.

page cloaking

A black hat SEO technique of serving up different content, usually raw text, to a search engine crawler to that which would be served normally be served up to a standard website visitor. This practice can get you banned from some search engines.

pay per click (ppc)

Pay per click refers to paid for adverts and listings such as Google AdWords. The costs associated with PPC far out-weigh those of SEO, however PPC produces guaranteed instant results whereas SEO is more of an ongoing long-term strategy which cannot ever be guaranteed.


The foundation of Google's search algorithm. PageRank is a measure of your sites credibility and is increased by adding more quality one-way external links to your website.


Podcasts are media files, such as video or audio, that are available for users to download via the internet and web syndication. You can find these digital media podcasts using your computer or any other device connected to the internet and play back in your own time.

robot.txt files

Robot.txt files specify which pages the search engine spiders can or cannot crawl.

really simple syndication (rss)

RSS is an XML format for syndicating (publishing) web content. A website that wants to allow other sites to publish some of its content creates an RSS document and registers the document with an RSS publisher. A user that can read RSS-distributed content can use the content on a different site. Syndicated content includes such data as news feeds, events listings, news stories, headlines, project updates, excerpts from discussion forums or even corporate information.

search engine optimisation (seo)

Search engine optimisation or search engine optimisation is the process of maximising the visibility of your published web information so that when a user queries a search engine using specific keyword and phrases your site will appear highly ranked within the natural listings or search engine results pages (SERPS).

search engine optimiser

Someone who engages in the practice of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques

search engine results pages (serps)

Search engine results pages are simply the natural or organic pages displayed by a search engine for any given query on a keyword or phrase.

social bookmarking

Social bookmarking websites allow users to save webpages of interest to them and share these with other online users. Social bookmarking and networking together are parts of social media optimisation

social media optimisation (smo)

Social media optimisation (SMO) uses social media sites (Facebook, and YouTube etc) to get marketing messages across. Methods of SMO include adding an RSS feed and blogging.

social networking

Social networking websites are online communities which enable us to contact and interact with other users. Social networking is the term for the use of these web-based applications and networks to communicate with online users


Twitter is a social networking website used by individual users as well as business to communicate and share with other online users. Twitter is a micro-blogging service website giving you 140 characters to write your update and send a 'tweet' to your connected followers

white hat seo

The opposite of Black Hat SEO. This term refers to the use of ethical optimisation techniques, i.e. those which are deemed to be honest, legal, and acceptable methods for both On Page and Off Page SEO. Failure to adhere to ethical optimisation will ultimately result in your website being penalised or even worse blacklisted from search index databases.

xml sitemap

XML Sitemaps are datafiles that have been created using the XML format that lists every url on a website, and is made available to search engine spiders to enhance their ability to index the site more fully.


YouTube is an online video website where people can share and view videos uploaded by other users, another website that's part of the social networking group

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