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I remember the first time I heard SEO I was thoroughly confused, what does it mean? How does it work? As I started my journey of attempting to make sense of Search Engine Optimization, I found myself utterly confused, mainly because I had very little knowledge of key terminology. I wish I had taken a moment to understand the vernacular used as it would have been a great help. That being said, we compiled a list of terminology for your review, when you’re having SEO discussions; I hope you will feel slightly more informed than I did.

 

Please also note, the key terms below and their corresponding descriptions were not created by myself - I wish I was that good! I have compiled this list using the following sources, check them out for more terminology!

 

MOZ - https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/seo-glossary

 

PATHFINDER SEO - https://pathfinderseo.com/guide/seo-glossary/

 

SearchEngine Journal - https://www.searchenginejournal.com/seo-101/seo-glossary-terms-definitions/#close

 


 

Crawling: The process by which search engines discover your web pages

De-indexed: a page or group of pages that are removed from Google’s index.

Indexing: The storing and organizing of content found during crawling

Intent: what users really want from the words they typed into a search bar

Organic: Earned placement in search results opposed to paid advertisements

Query: Words typed into a search bar.

Ranking: Ordering search results by relevance to the query

Search Engine: is a software program that is designed to carry out web searches

SERP: Is an acronym for “search engine results page” – what you see after a search

Traffic: when users visit your website

White Hat: Search engine optimization practices that comply with Google’s quality guidelines

Black Hat: Search engine optimization practices that violate Google’s quality guidelines

Bots: these are what scour the Internet to find content, a.k.a crawlers or spiders

Cache: a saved version of your web page

Cloaking: showing different content to search engines than you show to human visitors

Engagement: Data that represents how searchers interact with your site from search results

JavaScript: A programming language that adds dynamic elements to static web pages

Navigation: A list of links that help visitors navigate to other pages on your website

Sitemap: A list of URLs on your site that crawlers can use to discover and index our content

Alt text: Alternative text is the text in HTML code that describes the images on web pages

Anchor text: the text with which you link to pages

Header tags: An HTML element used to designate headings on your page

Image compression: Making image file sizes smaller without degrading the image’s quality resulting in a faster speed of page loading

SSL certificate: A “Secure Sockets Layer” used to encrypt data passed between the web server and browser of the searcher.

Click-Through Rate (CTR): The rate (expressed in a percentage) at which users click on an organic search result. This is calculated by dividing the total number of organic clicks by the total number of impressions then multiplying by 100.

CMS: Is an acronym for Content Management System. A web-based application that lets people create, upload and manage digital assets

Content: Words, images, videos, or sounds that convey information that is meant to be distributed to and consumed by an audience

CSS: Cascading Style Sheets describe how HTML elements (e.g., colour, fonts) should appear on webpages and adapt when viewed on different devices

Google Analytics: a free web analytics program that can be used to track audience behaviour, traffic acquisition sources, content performance and more

Keyword: A word, words, or phrase that an SEO professional or marketer targets for the purpose of matching and ranking for what users are searching for

Meta Tags: information that appears in the HTML source code of a webpage to describe its contents to search engines.

Responsive Website: A website designed to automatically adapt to a user’s screen size, whether it’s being viewed on a desktop or mobile device

Title Tag: An HTML meta tag that acts as the title of a webpage. This is typically the tag search engines use when displaying search listings. It should include strategic and relevant keywords for that specific page

User Experience (UX): The overall feeling users are left with after interacting with a brand, its online presence, and its product/services

Content is King: An often-used phrase which emphasizes the importance of content to search engine optimization. The search engines value content because it’s proof of your relevance and expertise

Mobile-First Indexing: In 2018, Google started crawling and indexing web pages based on the mobile versions of websites instead of the desktop version

 

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