SEO Glossary

Algorithm – An equation that is used by search engines to decide how to rank and rate search queries. Algorithms vary for each search engine so knowledge of working with one is paramount.

Alt Text – Used to describe a graphic or image. Alt text is important because search engines cannot tell one image from another. An images alt text is written in HTML and can be read in the page source.

Anchor Text – The visible part of a link. Anchor text informs the search engine what the link is about i.e. this page is a SEO Glossary. Getting quality links with relevant anchor text is an important part of the Google algorithm.

Authority Sites – Are websites that have a large amount of inbound links from other well known, trusted authority sites. Examples of an authority site are, and

Back Link – Any link that is coming into a page that is from a separately different website. These links pass on trust and Pagerank which helps increase rankings in search engines.

Black Hat SEO – Tactics that are seen to go against a search engines best practice e.g. Keyword Stuffing and Doorway Pages. For example a website purposely going against the Google webmaster guidelines.

Bot (Also known as spider, robot or crawler) – A program that searches the internet to gather data. Once found the bots give the information back to the search engine so that it can index the page.

Bread Crumbs – Website navigation along the top toolbar. Bread crumbs are used to help the user find their way around the website.

Cloaking – A black hat technique that delivers different results, one to the search engine and one to a human user. This technique is frowned upon by every major search engine and usually results in the website being banned from search engine results.

Duplicate Content – Content or copy that is related or identical to another website or page. The website that has taken the content won’t necessarily be banned but they will receive only a very small benefit from a search engine in comparison to the original owner. Duplicate Content on the same website can lead to indexing problems in search engines so is usually frowned upon.

Google Dance – Changes that are made to Google’s algorithm which usually result in changes in ranking results causing great dismay to webmasters around the world!

Index (Noun) – A database of webpage’s that are saved and used by search engines.

Index (Verb) – To add a page to a search engine index.

Keyword Density – The percentage of words that are shown on any given webpage. If the keyword density percentage is deemed unnaturally high then the page and website can be penalised.

Keyword Research – An underrated and vital part of any SEO campaign. Finding the correct keywords for your SEO campaign is very important as it is the foundation of all the work that we do.

Link Building – Actively looking for websites/pages that will link to your site.

LSI – (Latent Search Indexing) – Often deemed as the future of search. LSI is basically the way that search engines index pages that are associated with similar and commonly used keywords. For example “Recruitment SEO” will be seen alongside similar search queries like ranking, internet marketing, search engine, organic seo etc.

Long Tail Search – More specific and longer search queries that are more targeted and thus more likely to result in a sale, application etc. By revolving your SEO campaign around long tail keywords you will be getting more relevant traffic.

Meta Description Tags – The Meta Description is what is used to describe the page when a user finds it in the search engine results pages. Any eye catching relevant meta description can make the difference between a user clicking on your website or not.

Meta Keyword Tags – The Meta Keywords are only visible in the page source of a webpage. Meta Keywords don’t really affect search engine results but are useful in informing the search engines on what the page is about.

Meta Title Tags – Meta Titles are based at the top of a page and are the first thing that a user will see on your website in the search engine results. Keeping your meta titles fresh, original and relevant will attract users and help increase rankings.

No Follow – A command found in the <Head> of a webpage’s HTML, that instructs search engine bots to not follow a specific link on the webpage.

No Index – Another command found in the <Head> of a webpage’s HTML, that instructs the search engine bots to not index the chosen page in the search engine results.

Pagerank – Often confused with toolbar Pagerank. Pagerank is valued between 0 & 1, measuring a websites trust, link popularity and other factors that are featured in Google algorithm.

Redirect – Method used to redirect a user to a different landing page. Usually used when a website has moved to a new domain.

Robots.txt – The robots.txt file is used to control search engine spiders/bots. The robots.txt file can be used to allow or disallow access to pages and links.

Sitemap – A page on your website that is linked to every other page on the website. This helps usability as well as making it easier for a bot to index all of your pages.

Supplemental Index – Pages with low Pagerank that are still thought of as relevant to a search query. Often seen appearing in search engine results with a label of supplemental result. This doesn’t indicate poor quality or any signs of a penalty but only low Pagerank.

Toolbar Pagerank – Based on the Google toolbar, PR is graded between 0 & 10 and shows the importance of a particular page or website. Toolbar Pagerank is generally updated every 3-4 months but is not seen as a vital or reliable indicator of a webpage’s quality.

White Hat SEO – Techniques that are used to search engine best practice guidelines. Are designed to work naturally and fairly without upsetting Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.