There are so many search engine optimization terms and trying to keep everything straight, especially when you are new to learning all this online stuff can be a challenge. So, to help you get a handle on all these fancy-schmancy terms here is an SEO Glossary. Some of the definitions below might have slightly different definition in other places on the internet, but the differences are probably due to how people use different words to describe terms.
Anchor Text – The actual text part of a link (usually underlined). Used by search engines as an important ranking factor. Search engines (Google) pay particular attention to the text used in a hyperlink and associate the keywords contained in the anchor text to the page being linked to.
AdSense – A fast and easy way for website publishers of all sizes to display relevant Google ads on their website’s content pages and earn money.
Alt Tags – Alternate text associated with a web page graphic that gets displayed when the Internet user hovers the mouse over the graphic. Alt tags should convey what the graphic is for or about and contain good relevant. keywords.
Back Links – In bound links pointing to a web page.
Banner Ad – A graphic image, usually a GIF or JPEG, that can be placed anywhere on a web page, most frequently centered across the top.
Blog – An web site with entries made on a regular if not daily basis. Some blogs are maintained by an anonymous author who uses a nickname or handle instead of his or her real name.
Blogroll – Link list on a blog, usually linking to other blogs owned by the same company or friends of that blogger.
Body – The area in the middle of a web page, where the content is located.
Browser – Platform used to view the world wide web. The most popular are Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Mozilla’s Firefox, and Apple’s Safari.
Clickthrough Rate (CTR) – The rate at which people click on a link such as a search engine listing or a banner ad.
Cookie – Small data file written to a user’s local machine to track them. Cookies are used to help websites customize your user experience and help affiliate program managers track conversions.
Copyright – The legal rights to publish and reproduce a particular piece of work.
Crawling – Also referred to as robots, bots, crawler, spider. These are programs used by a search engine to explore the World Wide Web in an automated manner and download the HTML content
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) – A protocol for transferring data between computers.
Footer – The area at the bottom of the web page.
HTML – Stands for HyperText Markup Language. The programming language used to mark up web content and display it in a formatted manner.
Header – The area to the top of the web page
Home Page – The main page on your website, which is largely responsible for helping develop your brand and setting up the navigational schemes that will be used to help users and search engines navigate your website
Index – Collection of data used as bank to search through to find a match to a user fed query. The larger search engines have billions of documents in their catalogs.
IP Address (Internet Protocol Address) – Every computer connected to the internet has an IP address. Some websites and servers have unique IP addresses, but most web hosts host multiple websites on a single host.
Keyword – A word that a search engine user might use to find relevant web page(s). If a keyword doesn’t appear anywhere in the text of your web page, it’s highly unlikely your page will appear in the search results (unless of course you have bid on that keyword in a pay-per-click search engine).
Keyword Density – The number of occurrences that a given keyword appears on a web page.
Link – A reference from one web document to another web document or another position in the same document. Links are expressed as URLs.
Meta Description – The meta description tag is typically a sentence or two of content which describes the content of the page.
Meta Keywords – A meta tag hidden in the HTML that lists keywords relevant to the page’s content.
Organic Search Results – Most major search engines have results that consist of paid ads and unpaid listings. The unpaid / algorithmic listings are called the organic search results. Organic search results are organized by relevancy, which is largely determined based on linkage data, page content, usage data, and historical domain and trust related data.
Page Rank (PR) – A logarithmic scale based on link equity which estimates the importance of web documents.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) – Marketing a website in search engines.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – The art and science of publishing information and marketing it in a manner that helps search engines understand your information is relevant to relevant search queries.
SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) – The page on which the search engines show the results for a search query.
Site Map – Page which can be used to help give search engines a secondary route to navigate through your site.
Target Market – the market in which advertisers wish to sell their product or service to.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator) – The unique address of any web document.
WordPress – Popular blogging software platform.
This list of terms and their definitions should give you a good starting point of the most frequently used terms. Please keep in mind that there are a lot more terms to learn, but at least you have a foundation now. If a term you are looking for is not in the SEO Glossary, then check a good place to look is Wikipedia.