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SEO Dictionary

SEO Word to Know

If you’re new to search engine optimization like I am, you might feel overwhelmed by the lingo. To make life easier, I am keeping a running list of tech words that I don’t mind sharing! Hope this helps!

  1. Anchor – any hyperlinked text that is clickable. SEO best practice demands text must be relevant to the linked page. “Anchor” refers to the HTML tag <a>.
  2. ATF – “above the fold”, copy that is on the topmost part of the page and should be the most eye-catching, emotionally driven to hook the viewer
  3. Backlinks – links that redirect users back to your site, a similar term to Off Site SEO.
  4. Black Hat SEO – SEO strategies that target search engines and not a human audience. This practice often violates search engine terms of service and can be considered unethical and illegal. Using black hat tools can result in websites being banned from search engines. These tactics might include spam, hidden text and links, and false reporting competitors.
  5. Canonicalization – the process of adding an HTML canonical tag that lets Google know the page is the master copy and should appear first in search results above duplicates.
  6. Copy – any writing used in an advertisement for a product or service
  7. CMS – “content management system”, a computer platform for the creation and editing web content, such as WordPress.
  8. CPA – “cost per acquisition”, a metric of determining payout in web ads based a purchase that can traced back to a visitor click.
  9. CPC – “cost per click”, a metric of determining payout in web advertisements based on how many times a viewer clicks the ad.
  10. CPM – “cost per milli”, a form of CPC where payout Is determined by every 1000 clicks/impressions of the web ad. For example: $.1 CPM = $100
  11. Crawl – a Googlebot (or other search engine host program) sweep of the Internet that processes and updates page information to properly index keywords for queries.
  12. CTA – “call to action”, line that drives reader to made a decision (click, donate, buy product or service)
  13. Ghostwrite – to write articles, speeches, online posts, etc… on behalf of someone else where they generally receive full credit
  14. Keyword – words and phrases that are people search to retrieve information that form the topic of content.
  15. Keyword Cannibalization – an SEO error involving having multiple pages that target one keyword, thus confusing Google between choosing the most relevant page. To eliminate this kind of internal duplicate copy, have a logical system of subcategories for content in a well structured site architecture.
  16. Keyword Clout – a group of keywords related by semantic relevance (ex: lawyer / attorney). Generally, Google favors high keyword clout and crawls for themes, not blanket keyword density.
  17. LSI – “latent semantic indexing”, a Google analytics method that determines relevancy of keywords to the overall content. Google uses this algorithm to flag pages with heading tags and keywords that have no relevance to the content for “keyword stuffing”.
  18. MKP – “maximum keywords per page”, the optimal number of keywords for an individual page for Google rankings, generally 7 depending on the niche. Google prefers broad key term matches per page over highly specific limited pages. MKP is generally determined by keyword clout groupings. This term is used in Kang’s formula to determine the maximum number of pages per site = Total keywords (niche x location keywords) / MKP + 1 service areas page, rounding to the higher whole number. The max number of page for SEO purposes can give a fair estimate content cost for Adwords.
  19. Off Site SEO – The practice of creating many other trusted sites that link back to your business main website. These other sites serve little content purpose except to advertise your link. Generally though they should not duplicate copy exactly.
  20. Organic Search – searches that appear first on Google naturally (not paid)
  21. Landing Page – the first page a viewer sees and is redirected to on a website.
  22. PBN – “public blog networking”, the practice of buying out expired domains from existing businesses with strong backlinks, mimicking the company while avoiding false advertising, linking to your sites, and then putting a bot-blocker so SEO tracking sites cannot view it. This “fake” site fools Google into thinking the site is credible and your link therefore valid, thus giving you higher rankings. If Google does detect fraud in a crawl, it will blacklist the domain and every domain that links out from it.
  23. PPC – “Pay Per Click” – an advertising method where the publisher of a website is paid every time an ad is clicked. This is another term used to describe SEM.
  24. SEM – “search engine marketing”, the process of gaining more traffic on a site by purchasing ads on search engines.
  25. SEO – “search engine optimization”, the art and science of constructing digital copy to result in the best online searches for a product or service.
  26. SMM – “social media marketing”, using social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc…) to promote a business or social action.
  27. SERP – “search engine results page”, the page that displays in response to a search term query.
  28. TLD – “top level domains”, or the part of the URL that follow the dot symbol and can denote the purpose (.com, .org, .edu, .gov, etc…) and country location (.uk, .au, .ph, etc…).
  29. USP – “unique selling proposition”, the part of the product that is not offered by other companies
  30. White Hat SEO – SEO strategies that target a human audience and follow search engine service guidelines.