SEO Jargon

A detailed SEO glossary with descriptions of each term.

Here are the most common terms you might need to know during your website optimisation.


A permanent redirect of one page address to a new page. The best way to replace or update page names on your website


The error code given when the web browser cannot find the page you are looking for.


Google’s advertising portal, where you can bid on advertising space and jump the listings with paid for ads.


Complex code written by the search engines that takes all manner of things into consideration when deciding where to rank websites.

Alt text

Hidden text that describes an image, useful for SEO purposes as well as helping blind people know what’s on the page.


Google’s free tool that allows you to monitor stats and visitors on your website, which is extremely useful to monitor SEO progress.


Business to business marketing.

Back link

A link from a site to your site. Building up back links is an integral part of SEO.

Black hat

A technique which is considered illegal by the search engines. Using these techniques will likely get you banned from Google and it’s almost impossible to get back on.


Also known as a robot, spider or crawler, these algorithms travel the web and report back to search engines.

Bounce rate

The percentage of visitors to your site that left straight away when reaching your home page.


A small and easy to use navigational menu that displays the ‘path’ you went down to get to the current page.

Click fraud

Clicking on your competitors adverts to cost them money.


Stands for content management system. These allow you to edit and update your own content.

Comment spam

Robots or people adding junk links to your comments section.

Contextual advertisement

Advertising that is relevant to the website it is placed on.


Also known as a goal. If the aim of your website is to get bookings, then a completed booking would be a conversion.

Conversion rate

The percentage of visitors that complete the task above.


Stands for cost per click, and is the amount that you are willing to pay per click to advertise on Google.


A website that lists links to other websites. Directories can be a useful way to get good quality backlinks early on in your websites life.

Duplicate content

Identical content that appears on two separate pages. This is usually a bad thing but is fairly harmless on blog pages for example as it is unavoidable. Copying content from another website can be disastrous for your ranking.


An online shop, where you can buy things direct online.


A visit to your site.


Stands for hyper text markup language, and is the code that websites display in.


Similar to hit, an impression is a visit, or a view of a particular item / page.

In bound link

A link that is coming from another website to yours.


If a page is indexed, it means it is listed on Google and can be found in the search engine results.


An integral part of SEO, a keyword is a word that describes your business. The goal of SEO is to use keywords to make sure that when people search for things on Google, your site is displayed at the top.

Keyword density

The ratio of keywords to non-keywords in your page content. This shouldn’t be too high or too low.

Keyword research

Researching keyword popularity before starting SEO work will give you the best list of keywords to use on your website.

Landing page

The homepage of your website, or the page designated as a destination for an ad.


A link from one website / page to another.

Link building

Building up backlinks to your site so that your site is ranked higher on Google.

Link spam

Paying for junk links from non relevant websites can decrease your ranking.

Link text

The text that appears as the link to a page / website. Ideally the text should be relevant to the page.

Meta tags

Hidden tags that tell search engines what the page is about.


To make money from your website / page by placing relevant ads in the content.

Natural results

The top ranked listings on a search engine that have not been paid for.


This tag tells search engines not to follow this link.


This tag tells search engines not to add this site to their results.

Organic link

A natural link that links to a page / website that has not been paid for.


Stands for pay per click. The advertising that appears at the top of the search engine results after you search for something.


A text file uploaded to your site that gives commands to search engine bots / crawlers.


Automatically taking content from one site and displaying it on yours.


Stands for search engine marketing, a combined approach of SEO and advertising.


Stands for search engine optimisation, the process of trying to naturally increase your ranking without paying for ads. Considered much more sustainable in the long run.


Stands for search engine results page – the page you see full of links after you search for something online.


A complete list of all the pages on your site. These are helpful to the search engines as they give a complete list of pages for them to index.


Someone, or a robot, that spams comment boards or forums with links to cheap shoes etc.


See bot.

Splash page

A homepage that displays an animation, or a severely minimalised block of content. You usually have to click to enter the site. This is now considered bad for SEO.

Static page

A page that displays information that has been created manually and that does not come from a CMS, database.


Submitting your site to a directory, or to be listed on a search engine.


Stands for  uniform resource locator, a URL is the page address.

White hat

SEO practices that are considered safe, and that will not get you punished by the search engines for trying to manipulate the results by cheating.