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SEO Glossary of Jargon Busting Industry Terms

SEO is all about trial and error until you find something that works. That’s why knowledge is 100% power when it comes to effective SEO strategy. In other words, ‘If you’re not in the know, you can’t SEO’…Yea, I just said that. If you’re ever stuck and want to know what something means in plain english, use this jargon busting SEO dictionary full of all the industry terms you need to know, along with examples to make things crystal clear.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #



Standing for ‘Asynchronous Javascript and XML’ which is a technique for creating faster, more intuitive and more interactive web applications and page content with the help of XML, HTML, CSS and Javascript. Most notably, it is a technique for exchanging server data and updating sections of a page without refreshing or reloading a page.

Example: AJAX can be used within a webpage for infinite scrolling that calls/requests more content on the fly.


An acronym for ‘Application Programming Interface’. An API is used as a messenger to fetch data in real time from an entirely separate application or system and returns a response based on the data.

Example: When booking a flight with an airline you will interact with a form online that is linked to an API that fetches & returns data from a system that holds seat booking information.

AB Testing/Split Testing

The simplest and most common form of web testing. It is the process of selecting a random group of web users and showing half of them one version of your page (page A/Control page) and the other half another version of your page (page B). The technique can be used in a variety of ways to test new web page elements such as calls to action to help determine which page or element on a page drives better results such as an increase in conversions.

Example: On my homepage, If I wanted to drive more email sign ups. To do that, I change the colour of my email sign up element and improve the content to be more enthusiastic. Instead of going out on a limb I run an experiment & split test/AB test this with my control (my current email sign up elements) and my new page variation. I run the experiment for a length of time to see which content converts more sign ups. The winning variation gets rolled out on site full time.

Absolute URL

This is the full URL of a particular web page in its absolute entirety.


Affiliate Marketing

A method of driving sales using an external source. Affiliate marketing is a process of providing click-through referral opportunities to external web sites that take commission for each referral click that converts into a sale.

Example: A popular voucher/discount website provides a 10% discount code for their users to apply to a merchant’s goods. When users click through to the merchant site and purchase goods, the voucher site receives a commission on the overall sale.


Example: Penguin, Panda, Pigeon, Pirate

ALT Text

Example: A picture of a puppy on a blog about pets could have alt text reading: ‘A brown Labrador puppy playing fetch.’

Anchor Text

Example: Visit TrafficThat for awesome SEO strategy & traffic tips. The text within the hyperlink is the anchor text.


Authority is simply ranking strength. Backlinks from others websites can bring varying degrees of authority to a page or domain. The domain a page of content is published on influences the authority of the content.

Example: If I receive a followed link to TrafficThat from Forbes, it will pass more authority (strength) than a link from a less authoritative business blog.



An acronym for ‘Business to Business’. Simply, it’s a business that markets is products & services to another business rather than consumers.

Example: An SEO/digital marketing agency.


An acronym for ‘Business to Consumer’. Simply a business that markets it’s products & services to consumers.


Backlink/Inbound link

A backlink is a link pointing to your website from another. Every backlink is considered a vote of confidence by one site linking to another site. Every backlink also have varying degrees of strength/authority which are determined by factors such as; the size & popularity of the website linking, the position of the link on the page & how many people click the link etc.

Example: wrote an article about my blog & provided a backlink to my website. (this is a great signal that my website is reputable)

Backlink Profile

The totaling amount of backlinks/referring domains builds a profile of how trustworthy a website is. Search engines use backlink profiles to determine the authority of a website compared to others as well as identifying any unusual link building activity that goes against their webmaster guidelines.

Example: Hypothetically if TrafficThat had 200 referring domains & 300 backlinks in total, this would build a profile of 200 differing domain strengths linking (possibly ranging from to A healthy profile would consist of a range of differing domain strengths as opposed to a profile with low quality backlinks only.

Bounce Rate

The calculated percentage of users who land on a website and leave without progressing to another page.

Example: Let’s say 100 users hit my website homepage through google in a given period. 20 of those users bounce (Don’t click on anything and leave very quickly). My bounce rate for this page in the given period is therefore 20%.


Aka a ‘web log’. A blog is an online journal that typically surrounds a particular topic & often represents the personality of the author or web site.

Example: is a blog written by me (Adam Durrant) all about SEO strategy.


An experience for customers applicable to B2B or B2C represented by images, ideologies & symbols such as names, logos, fonts or colours that build a recognisable design scheme. A brand is developed to represent company values & personality and is often defined by a recognisable logo.

Example: Google.


An increase in consumer recognition for the branded company or its product/service.

Example: As a consumer, I personally associate the brand Google primarily as a search engine. It is the brand I think of first over others as a consumer because of its branding.

Brand Messaging

The underlying value conveyed by your brand through language utilized in content, social media & branding in an attempt to relate, inspire, persuade & motivate consumers to purchase from your company.

Example: Brand messaging can take many forms one of which is slogans such as ‘impossible is nothing’ – Adidas.

Brand Reputation

How a particular brand is viewed by others. Mainly this is concerning whether a brand is trustworthy & reputable. Brand reputation is very fragile & can be tarnished with something as simple as a tweet.

Example: The tax shaming scandal in 2013 had a negative effect on Starbucks’ brand reputation.

Branding Strategy  

Strategically developing a strong brand reputation by appealing to consumers in order to increase recognition, create branded search volume & ultimately drive sales.

Example: Two important components to a branding strategy is purpose & consistency.


A grouping for related behaviours, demographic characteristics, keywords or other entities that need to be grouped. It is industry jargon to describe a virtual container for stuff.

Example: When promoting an SEO campaign via outreach I may segregate my prospects into separate buckets such as, bloggers, local media, national media etc.

Buying Funnel

Aka the ‘Buying Cycle’ or ‘Sales Funnel’. A buying funnel refers to the typical model of a consumer’s path when making a purchase online. Starting from brand awareness, educating themselves on the product/s, viewing product options & prices then to full intent to make a purchase.

Example: To provide a simplified path; when buying a product from amazon I have to visit, view a product, consider the price & educate myself on the quality based on reviews, add it to the basket & purchase. This could be considered an average buying funnel for

Buzz Monitoring

Buzz is defined as ‘chatter’ or ‘publicity’ in the industry. Monitoring this buzz is beneficial for many reasons such as monitoring link building campaigns, PR, brand awareness or brand perception etc.

Example: I have utilized google alerts to crawl the web & find mentions of my brand in publications so that I can contact the writers of the publications to request a link to my website.



An acronym for ‘Cost of Acquisition’. Associated with PPC, COA refers to the actual cost involved to acquire a user to visit a website in the hope of performing your desired action such as an online purchase.

Example: If the term I’m bidding on within my PPC campaign costs £1 every time someone clicks it, the COA is £1.


An acronym for ‘Cost Per Acquisition/Action’ which refers to the total costs of a PPC campaign divided by the number of visitors that actually performed a desired action e.g. purchasing.

Example: My latest PPC campaign cost £100 and resulted in 10 purchases on my eCommerce site. So my CPA is 100/10. It cost me £10 worth of clicks to generate 1 sale so my CPA is £10.


An Acronym for ‘Cost Per Thousand Impressions’. Associated with physical website display space CPM refers to how much a hosting website will charge for every 1000 user impressions.

Example: I inquire about advertising with the mailonline to generate visitors to my website. Hypothetically speaking they may come back and explain that the charge is £50 per 1000 impressions to host an advert in a space on their website.


A small file generated by a website that is saved in your web browser containing preferences & data about a user specifically on that websites.

Example: When checking a ‘remember me on this computer’ checkbox, a cookie is created with this preference to remember credentials.


An Acronym for ‘Click-Through Rate’ is the rate at which people click on a particular search result or PPC ad based on the number of impressions the search page receives.

Example: if a search term has 1000 impressions per month on average and you receive 200 of those clicks on average. The CTR for your result is 20%.


Simply, it is the process of allocating the best page/URL to represent either one source of duplicated content or a collection of content referring to exactly the same topic.

Example: Let’s say i’ve opened up a new coffee shop & my website homepage lives at but it also lives at Although humans won’t be able to tell the difference, a search engine will see each variation as a unique URL and therefore will identify each page as duplicate content. Using the Canonical tag  you can tell search engines that you have allocated one of those variations as the main URL.


An acronym for ‘Cascading Style Sheets’. CSS is a search engine friendly coding language utilized alongside HTML that customises how content is displayed & presented. Primarily CSS is used to design the layout of a page and how it’s mark up content is shown.

Example: I have used CSS to change how this text is presented.


An outdated blackhat SEO technique which involves displaying different versions of onsite content for users & for search engines.

Example: Showing a content rich & optimised page to search engines in order to manipulate how well the page will rank but, show a completely different page to users.

Competitive Analysis

Aka ‘CA’ is the assessment & analysis of a competitor website in terms of SEO.

Example: If I notice that a competitor has improved rankings on a commercial search term i’m competing against, I may conduct some CA to identify where the increase may have come from. I may find that link building efforts or on-site changes have implemented. From this I can inform my own strategy going forward.

Content Management System

Aka ‘CMS’ is an application for managing content and documents within a website. A CMS eliminates the necessity to write a large amount of code when managing a website. With a CMS you can create new pages, publish content & structure content hierarchy etc using just a few clicks.

Example: An open source CMS that accounts for a huge amount of the web is WordPress.

Conversion Action

The intended action you’d like a user to take on your web page. This could include actions such as signing up to a company newsletter, requesting a demo, downloading of content or making a purchase etc.

Example: I may optimise a landing page to influence users to perform a conversion action such as signing up to my email list.

Conversion Rate

Is the number of user sessions on a website that result in a completed conversion action such as purchasing goods or downloading a piece of content.

Example: If in one week I receive 1000 sessions and 300 sessions resulted in a sales conversion, then my conversion rate will be 300/1000*100 = 30%


Aka a ‘spider’or ‘bot’. A crawler is a programme that explores & gathers web page content by ‘reading’ a web page’s code & following hyperlinks located on the webpage to discover more pages & more content. Crawling is the first stage of a search engine’s process of discovering content, indexing it and recalling the results when a query is made.

Example: If I have produced a brand new content page on my website, I can request that the page be crawled by google (or googlebot) so that it is discovered quickly & indexed using google search console.

Crawl Budget

The amount of resource a search engine allocates to crawling a website. Crawl budget takes into account how often to crawl based on your server load as well as how popular a page is and how stale the content contained is in a search engine’s index.



An acronym for ‘Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language’ which is the combination of website development technologies that come together to make a dynamic experience.

Example: HTML, CSS & Javascript coming together to make dynamic navigation menus, animation & text effects.

Doorway Page

Aka a ‘Bridge Page’. A doorway page is an outdated black hat SEO technique of building a web page (or domain) to rank highly within a search engine for a specific group of terms (often by keyword stuffing) for the sole purpose of gaining traffic to manipulate it.

Example: When a user clicks on a high ranking doorway page, rather than providing content relevant to the user’s query, the doorway page funnels the user to another page that is unrelated but is the desire of the site owner.

Deep Linking

A link that directs a user to a specific & relevant location of a website based on their query rather than a homepage.

Example: If I query ‘Mens raincoats’ into Google, I will likely receive a deep link organic results of website product pages featuring mens raincoats such as:


Refers to a specific web site address.

Example: is my domain name.

Domain Authority (DA)

A simple & effective metric used to identify how likely a website will rank in a search engine from 1-100. It is used as an initial indication of the power of a domain based on factors such as; referring domains, age, popularity & size.

Example: The bbc website has a DA of 100 & starbucks has a DA of 63.

Dwell Time

Also referred to as ‘long clicks’ vs ‘short clicks’. Dwell time is the total amount of time a user spends on a particular page before clicking/going back to the search engine results page.

Example: It is considered a poor signal if a user clicks back to search results after a few seconds of viewing your web page as they did not find what they were searching for. If they stay for 1-2 minutes it’s a clear signal that the user has consumed the content fully.

Disavow Tool

A tool to remove backlinks pointing to your websites that are low quality and have no control over. If you believe some links in your backlink profile are harming your website, you can use the disavow tool. It is simply a list of URL’s or domains in a txt document.

Example: If a spammy article directory picks up a blog post that I had written & continuously sends links to my website that are poor quality, I can combat this with the disavow tool to ensure this does not affect the ranking of my website.



Aka ‘Electronic Commerce’. ECommerce is the process of conducting commercial sales & transactions over the internet.

Example: is arguably the biggest eCommerce website on the planet.

Eye Tracking Study 

A study conducted to measure the point of an individual’s gaze (where their eyes are looking). In web terms, this is mostly used to understand user interaction within the confines of a website. Eye tracking studies help to optimise a website & improve UX.

Example: Eye tracking studies have revealed common traits of a web user such as the infamous ‘F-shaped Pattern for Reading Web Content’ which although was conducted in 2006 is still relevant today.

Engagement Metrics

Metrics that reflect user engagement when interacting with a website or search engine results page. Although not currently announced by Google, many believe that google are actively using engagement metrics as a ranking factor.

Example: Metrics that are thought to be factored include bounce rate, time on page, session length, dwell time etc.


The way in which Google determines ranking positions is in a constant flow of change. This has come to be known as the ‘Google Everflux’. It means that Google’s algorithms & signals are constantly changing & conflicting with one another to determine quality & relevance.

Example: Some competitive search results have been known to change hourly as a result of everflux.

External Link

The opposite of a backlink in that an external link is a link from your own website out to another. External linking can be a positive signal for a website, providing the links are going to be useful for readers as a further resource.

Example: If I wrote an article about banana smoothie recipes. I could include an external link to a well known banana smoothie chef (if that even exists)



Aka ‘Adobe Flash’ previously ‘Shockwave Flash’ is a software platform popularly used to add animation & interactivity to a web page as well as being used to create desktop & mobile game applications. Flash is currently not indexable by search engines.

Example: The interactive & animated elements of monoface are built with flash.


An identifiable icon associated with a website usually displayed in the address bar.

Example: You can find TrafficThat’s favicon at the top of your browser tab.

Fuzzy Search

A spell checker that assists with common input errors by returning search results that are most relevant to a search query that is misspelled or ‘Fuzzy’.

Example: Typing ‘Misissipi’ into Google will likely prompt a fuzzy search and you will be served a list of relevant results as well as a question, ‘Did you mean Mississippi?’.

A link that passes ‘juice’ & authority to the destination page. When adding a link to a page, a HTML hyperlink is set to ‘follow’ as default.



An acronym for ‘Graphical User Interface’. GUI is a type of interface that allows users to interact with a website, electronic device or application through visual icons, buttons and visual indicators that represent functioning code or commands.

Example: A basic example could be programme icons on your desktop. These are simple icons that onces clicked execute a command such as opening a browser.

Guest Posting

Writing a post or article on another website as a guest. Often guest posts are written by authoritative industry leaders discussing a topic.


A method of delivering tailored content specific to an area of locality someone searches from. Companies that sell goods online & via physical stores often geo-target searchers & provide content that differs from their standard offering to increase conversion.

Example: If I google ‘flower delivery’ when i’m having a coffee in london, I am served a geo-targetted page by Interflora informing me of the nearest florists that I can physically go to, rather than simply offering me their usual online goods.

Google Search Console (GSC)

Previously known as ‘Google Webmaster Tools’ is a free service offered by Google to help webmasters monitor and manage their search engine presence.

Google Analytics

A web analytics tool provided by Google that reports website traffic & provides statistics such as bounce rate, users, sessions, page views etc.


Hybrid Anchor Text

Anchor text that supports the targeted keywords of a page but are not exact match.

Example: If I write a blogpost titled ‘Everything you need to know about Eggnog’. If I receive backlinks to this page, I may receive hybrid anchor texts such as; ‘What is Eggnog’, ‘Types of Eggnog’, ‘How to make Eggnog’, ‘Types of Eggnog’ etc.


An Acronym for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol.” HTTP is the foundation of data communication on the world wide web.

Example: When entering you are requesting to fetch my homepage from the web server. In return, you will receive the source code that makes up the page including html & css.


An acronym for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.” HTTPS is the same as HTTP but is encrypted from end to end. Meaning when you request access to a HTTPS page & actually get the data it is encrypted & therefore secure from malicious activity. Currently HTTPS is considered a minor ranking factor.

Head Terms

Search terms that are short, straightforward, competitive & have large search volume. Head terms are often priority keywords for a website as a whole that often drive a lot of commercial value.

Example: If I write a blog post about how to make a banana smoothie, a head term I would optimise for the page would be ‘Banana smoothie’.


A Google algorithm implemented to understand & pay more attention to every word within a query. Hummingbird ensures that the semantic and conversational meaning of a given query is taken into account when returning search results.

Example: Searching ‘Who is the richest person in the world’, Google will now break down the question & return an answer to the question in the form of names of people. Before Hummingbird, the results for the same query would have been bolded words that vaguely match semantically to the query.


An acronym for ‘Hypertext Markup Language’. HTML is a standard language of code used to create the foundations of a web page. The ‘Markup Language’ refers to the tags used to define layout, structure and elements within a page.

Example: All web pages start with HTML with a  followed by an opening and opening tag.



A HTML element that allows you to embed a document from another source inside it. The Iframe behaves like an inline image as users can scroll it out of view.

Example: Youtube’s default embed code contains an Iframe to display only the playable video.


A single display of your organic/paid search result or advertisement to a user.

Example: When five users search a query & your web page is relevant and ranking high up on the first page, your page will receive five impressions. However, if your web page ranks on the second page of the search results, it is unlikely all five users will click to the second page so you may only receive 1-2 impressions.


The index of a search engine refers to the database of pages crawled and stored held in a series of servers ready to return as search results.


Aka ‘crawlability’, indexability refers to the capability of a website or it’s contents to be indexed correctly by search engines. If there are indexability issues with a website it will not appear in search results.

Example: If a web page is very deep within a website’s information architecture it may not get crawled & this is an indexability problem.

Internal Link

A HTML link that points from a page on your own website to another page on your websitesite. Internal links are a good signal that helps google understand the topical relevance of the page being linked to using the anchor text of the link.

Example: A header navigation link referring to other pages are examples of internal links.

Information Architecture

Simply, IA is the organizing, categorizing and structuring of web pages & content to be easy to navigate & suitable for search engine indexability.

Example: Generally speaking for a typical website the architecture will follow a path of homepage – category pages – specific content pages. This enables everything on the site to be reached within 2 or less clicks.



A scripting language that can be utilised in a HTML document to apply dynamic features outside the realms of HTML.

Example: Javascript is often utilised to create a read more function that shows or hides additional content.


An acronym for ‘JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data’ which is a lightweight linked data format that is easily interpreted & written by humans.

Example: JSON-LD is adopted by Google to leverage the implementation of Schema. JSON-LD is the preferred way to implement Schema as it can simply be pasted into a HTMl document.



A singular word relating to a specific topic or type of content.

Example: This piece of content is a glossary of terms, so a keyword to include within the title of my content needs to be the keyword ‘glossary’.

Keyword Phrase

A combination of words that a searcher may use that includes a keyword along with other phrases such as specific product brands or contextual words etc.

Example: Someone looking for coffee beans may use the keyword phrase ‘coffee beans delivered’ in order to get the desired results relevant to their search intent.

Keyword Density

The number of times a keyword or keyword phrase appears on a page divided by the amount of words on a page. A high keyword density is a clear indication of spam to a search engine which may result in being demoted or even penalised.

Example: If a keyword appears 5 times on a page with 100 words, the keyword density is 5%.

Keyword Stuffing

An outdated technique of adding an inordinate amount of keywords into the HTML or meta tags of a website in order to manipulate search engines..

Example: Stuffing keywords into a sentence so much so that the sentence makes no sense.


An acronym for ‘Key Performance Indicators’. KPI’s are metrics used to determine the success of business targets.

Example: If a business objective is to drive more visits to a website a KPI of this goal could be websessions.

Knowledge Graph

A knowledge base used by Google to enhance search results with more direct answers.

Example: Googling ‘Will Smith’ will display a knowledge panel with images, information about net worth, movies he’s appeared in etc. All this information is pulled from a variety of sources housed in the knowledge graph.


Landing Page

A web page that a searcher arrives at after clicking on a result. A landing page serves as an entry point into a website.

Example: Often companies will optimise a landing page for potential customers to convert on such as, providing examples of their work, information about their service along with a clear call to action.

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)

A mathematical technique of understanding the relationships between words & phrases within a piece of content. This is also taken into account with how the page is indexed by google. In other words, this means that LSI will often enable google to return quality results that don’t contain the keyword entered in the initial query.

Example: This piece of content is an SEO Glossary however it may also rank for SEO Dictionary as LSI understands that glossary and dictionary are very closely related.

Link Farming

A group of websites that link to each other in the group. These are often created with automated programmes.

Example: Establishing 5 web sites that all link to each other with no real reason other than to manipulate search engines. These website are often used as part of paid link schemes.


Content on a website designed purely to attract people to create links to it and improve search engine visibility.

Example: Creating a definitive or ultimate guide to a niche topic & acting as a go to resource.

Log File

All server software stores information about incoming and outgoing activities on a website. Web log files function like a “black box” that records everything during an airplane’s flight. If you do not have permission to access these files, then you will need the help of a server administrator.

Example: Log files record everything from IP addresses, types of machines used to access a site or which pages & files were viewed etc.


Keyword queries that are long, specific & yield lower search volume.

Example: A long tail query about banana smoothie may read; ‘how to make banana smoothie with milk’


Meta Description

Aka ‘Description Tag’ is a description you provide search engines that summarises the content of your page. Designed so a searcher can read the description to get an idea of the page contents before clicking. The description needs to be between 150-160 characters to be optimal.

Meta Title

Aka ‘Title Tag’ is the title you provide a search engine for your web page that will appear as the written link in a results page. The tag sits in the of your web page & is required to be around 60 characters in length to be optimal.


A standard of measurement that usually takes more than one characteristic into account.

Example: A very well known SEO metric is domain authority which quantifies several characteristics to determine how likely a website is to rank in a search engine.

Multivariate Testing

A type of testing that tests a wide variety of options. Unlike A/B testing which modifies one variable and tests it against a control.

Example: Rather than A vs B, multivariate may be; A vs B vs C vs D vs E variants to determine the best outcome or combination of outcomes.

Manual Penalty

Aka ‘Manual Action’ is an intentional penalty against your website that has been manually actioned by a google employee. Manual actions are given if google have determined that your site or page/s do not comply with Google’s webmaster quality guidelines.


Naked Links

A hyperlink with anchor text that exactly matches the destination URL.


NoFollow Link

A link that does not pass authority or pass link influence to the destination page.

Example: If a company has sent a blogger goods to review and they write a post with a link to the company site, the link should be tagged with ‘NoFollow’ to adhere to google guidelines as this is technically a link acquired through financial gain (paid links).


A directive that can be applied on a page level in the form of a meta tag & also domain level in robot.txt file. This is a simple directive that tells search engines not to index either the page or domain.

Example: The noindex directive can be used if you have an on site search function that creates a new page for every search. These pages will likely be thin, filled with duplicate content & won’t provide anything unique so, it doesn’t need indexing. Indexing these types of pages may in fact harm & dilute your SEO efforts, in particular your PageRank.

Negative SEO

The process of using black hat techniques to demote or penalise another website.

Example: To demote a competitor website (although I do not recommend this) you could build poor quality, spammy links on mass that violate google guidelines and point them to the site. This makes it look as though they were built by the webmaster and can highly likely get the site penalised.


Organic Results

Search results that are returned organically or naturally. In other words the 10 listings on a search engine results page that have not been acquired through paid advertising.

Example: Results that are not organic are differentiated with a small [Ad] box.

On-Page Optimisation

Refers to measures applied on a web page to improve search engine visibility.

Example: Including a

header with a main target keyword.

Off-Page Optimisation

Refers to measures applied off a page or website in order to improve search engine visibility.

Example: Link building.



The process of linking to content throughout multiple pages on your website systematically.

Example: To get to this piece of content from the homepage you will have needed to either click the post on the blog or a link from the navigation of the website.

External backlinks acquired from another website through payment alone in order to flow authority from one site to another.

Example: A website owner approaches an authoritative site and requests a link in exchange for financial gain. This is hugely against webmaster guidelines and holds a penalty of being de-indexed from google’s search engine.


An Acronym for ‘Pay Per Click’ which refers to the placement of paid ads in google’s search engine based on keywords.

Example: I could utilise PPC to place an ad in the search engine results page whenever a user searches for ‘SEO Glossary’. When the user clicks my ad I will be charged the cost of the keyword at that time. This varies per industry & key word.

PageRank (PR)

Simply put, PageRank is an algorithmic scale between 1-10 that estimates & measures the level of importance of a website. PR is influenced by number & quality of links that point to a particular domain. Today, the PR algorithm is still utilised to provide an idea of how authoritative a website is however, it is working alongside several hundred other contributing factors.

Example: The assumption with PageRank is that more ‘important’ websites have more backlinks and therefore have higher page rank.


Profiles of customer or target audience that you may be targeting with your product or content. A persona is often referred to when building marketing strategy.

Example: A brief persona for TrafficThat’s content may be someone like Tim. Tim is a small business owner, aged between 25-39, a decision maker, possibly married with children, living in an urban location with a degree education. His goals are to save time online, find & share content that will help his business & maximise the SEO of his website on a budget.

Position (P)

Usually referring to the number of organic results (1-10) down a search engine results page your content page appears for a given query.

Example: Hypothetically, this SEO glossary page may rank position 7 (P7) in the UK for the query ‘SEO Glossary’.


An algorithm designed by google to sniff out un-natural links & catch websites that buy links or gain them through a black hat link network. This algorithm is now real-time, meaning when it spots an unnatural link it will discount it from your profile.

Example: Pre-penguin algorithm, webmasters could spam google’s search results with content that was irrelevant, poor quality & useless to users by buying & sourcing links unnaturally and pointing them to this content.


An algorithm designed by google to demote websites with ‘thin’ & poor quality content from ranking highly.

Example: The algorithm stops websites such as thin affiliate websites or thin content sites from ranking highly. These websites are usually produced with the sole purpose of generating ad revenue. Site owners produce poor quality or spun content from another source that spam a search engine with poor quality results.


An algorithm designed by google to penalise websites that produce & provide pirated material. Although google don’t produce the pirated content they do play a huge role in distributing the content when someone searches for pirated content, hence the combating algorithm.

Example: The algorithm targets websites with copyright violation reports and removes them from search results.


A user pogo-sticks when they enter a query into google, click on a result and realise it is not going to answer their question or fulfill their intent. When the user realises this, they then bounce back to the results page & click on another result. This process of jumping in and out of results on one page is known as pogo-sticking.

Example: Users pogo-stick because they cannot find relevant content to their desired intent for searching. If a user searches for ‘Banana Smoothie’ and they see a search result with information about banana smoothies they are likely to click on it. If however, they are searching for a recipe in particular and the piece of content does not have a recipe, the user is likely to bounce and subsequently pogo-stick until they find a recipe.


An algorithm designed by google to make local search queries more relevant, accurate and useful for users. Pidgeon incorporates many of google’s trademark quality & relevance factors & applies them to local results.

Example: Searching ‘flowers’ returns a local pack of florists in the nearby area with addresses, telephone numbers & aggregated reviews to choose from.



A word or phrase a user enters into a search engine in order to find information. There are three types of query; transactional, informational and navigational.

Example: An informational query users may use to find TrafficThat may be ‘SEO Strategy’.



An acronym for ‘Return on Investment’. ROI for SEO is often discussed during a pitch with an agency or SEO campaign. It is very difficult to calculate an accurate ROI for SEO as campaigns can affect multiple keywords & multiple channel

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SEO Glossary of Jargon Busting Industry Terms


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