SEO Jargon Buster

seo jargon buster

Sharing is caring!

seo jargon buster

The acronyms and words used when talking about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) can sometimes be confusing. We put a list together, which is in no way exhaustive, which contains the words we feel are most important to understand.

Since this post, we have completed a more up to date version of our SEO jargon buster, which includes far more terms, which you can find here.


301 redirect: This is a page which appears when the website at the URL searched for, has permanently moved to another URL. It will usually contain information about where the website has moved to.

Algorithms: The formula or procedure a search engine goes through to determine where a page should rank in the search results.

Alt text: Alternative text – Used to describe an image. If the image cannot be viewed, the alt text will show up instead. It can also help with search engine optimisation as search engines can ‘see’ the alt text, whereas they cannot differentiate from one image to the next.

Analytics: A collection of data containing information about the way the website is used, such as hits or total time spent on the website.

Black hat: These are search engine optimisation techniques which go against best practice guidelines and attempt to trick a search engine into giving your page a higher page rank.

CAPTCHA: Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computer and Humans Apart – This is a ‘test’ to tell humans and computers apart, mostly used for stopping bots or automated programs from spamming a website.
You will often see this when you try to create an account on a website, a box containing random letters, numbers or words will appear. It’s easy for a human to read them and type them out again, but it’s much harder for a program to do.

CMS: Content Management System – A program such as WordPress or Tumblr, which allows the creation of content without needing to do any of the coding side of content creation.

CPC: Cost Per Click – Each time a banner or advertisement is clicked on, the advertiser will be charged.

Grey hat: Search engine optimisation techniques which bend best practice rules as opposed to breaking them completely.

Hits: A request for something on a web page to load, such as the page or a graphic.
Hits are not a good indication of website traffic as things like images count for a ‘hit’. For example, if your page has six images and it’s loaded once, that would class as seven hits.

HTML: HyperText Markup Language – A language made up of a variety of tags which will determine how a website will look, such as the layout and the text colour.

Long tail: A phrase made up of keywords as opposed to search one or two keywords.
It’s much easier to have a higher ranking for long tail phrases; however this is because they’re searched for less often.

META tag: A HTML tag which contains information about what platform the website was built on and keywords which relate to the website. This information will not be displayed on the website itself.

On site SEO: This is any work carried out on a website that will help search engines find your website, such as using keywords throughout and using alt text.

Off site SEO: Links back to your website are considered recommendations by search engines, so if your page has been linked back to a search engine will think the content you have produced is high quality and useful and will therefore give you a higher page ranking.

Pagerank or PR: This is how relevant a search engine considers your page to be in relation to the keywords searched.
If you have a high page rank, then the search engine considers the page to be very relevant to the words searched. If you have a low page rank then a search engine doesn’t consider your page relevant to what has been searched.
This is why using keywords is vital for search engine optimisation.

Pageview: Quite simply, the amount of times a page has been loaded.

PPC: Pay Per Click – An advertiser will pay each time an advert or banner is clicked on which takes someone back to their website.

RSS feed: Really Simple Syndication – If an RSS Feed is set up on your blog any new posts will be sent to anyone who subscribes to your RSS Feed. New posts will show up in their RSS Reader or content aggregator.
You can send the entire post to the RSS Reader or just part of the text or a description to encourage the reader want to click through to your website to read the full post.

SEM: Search Engine Marketing – A type of internet marketing which relies on search engines to promote a company.
Search Engine Marketing is usually paid for, via things like Pay Per Click and Cost Per Click.

SEO: Search Engine Optimisation – This is improving your search engine rankings by using things such as keywords and long tail phrases throughout your website.
The better your search engine optmisation is, the higher your rankings will be, meaning more people will be visiting your website.

SE: Search Engine – Examples; Google, Yahoo, Bing.

SERP: Search Engine Results Page – The list of pages a search engine produces which are relevant to the words searched, starting with the most relevant at the top.

URL: Uniform Resource Locator – This is the address of a web page.

White hat: Search engine optimisation techniques which stick to best practice rules and don’t trick or cheat a search engine into awarding it a page ranking higher than it should be.



You can find more useful advice on how to maintain the best SEO in our blogs. Or if you need a helping hand to get you started, or run it for you, we can help. Call us today on 01543 495752 to see what we could do for your SEO.

Sharing is caring!