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Search Engine Optimization Glossary

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What is search engine optimization?

The process of optimizing a website using search engine guidelines and techniques to rank higher for industry keyword phrases in organic search engine result pages (SERPs) to increase the number of visitors to a website. The downside to organic search is that it takes time to get indexed and start generating traffic. Increasing organic traffic, and reaching page one for targeted keyword phrases takes time, persistence, plenty of research and revisions; however, it's well worth it. Consider this? Organic searches perform over four times better than paid search in terms of conversions.

What is local search engine optimization?

Local search engine optimization helps local businesses appear in search results based on keywords entered into a search engine and the user's location. A popular phrase added to a keyword phrase, "pizza shop near me".

What is Domain Authority (DA)?

Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). Domain Authority is calculated by evaluating multiple factors, including linking root domains and the number of total links, into a single DA score. (

Learn about Local SEO, Domain Authority (DA) and other SEO terms.

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 SEO Glossary

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Listed below are commonly used words and phrases about search engine optimization (SEO). Please feel free to reference or link to the page from your website or blog. If you have any suggestions that would help readers understand SEO, please feel free to contact us with an addition.

301 Redirect - the process of redirecting an old web page to a new web page. 301 implies that the change is permanent and not temporary. If you have changed web page names or the page no longer exists, always use 301 Redirect. This way users and search engines will be automatically redirected to the correct page. Search engines frown upon broken links and may even stop indexing your website if the spider should have problems finding web pages on your site.

Alt Tag - HTML tag used within an image tag to provide alternate text when images cannot be found or displayed.

Anchor Tag - an HTML tag that allows you to create a link to another web page, document, or to a bookmark within the current web page.

B2B - (Business to Business) marketing strategy that involves transactions between businesses.

B2C - (Business to Consumer) transaction of goods or services directly to the end consumer.

Backlink - links from one website and pointing to another website or web page. Helps with domain authority and search engine results.

Black Hat SEO - unaccepted SEO practices used to get higher rankings in search engines. Search engines work very hard to find and remove websites using Black Hat SEO methods.

Blog - (Web Log) an online journal or commentary on a specific subject, where users can typically interact by leaving comments.

Bot - programs created to search the web automatically to index web pages, collect emails, spam and so on. Search engine bots are also referred to as spiders.

Cloaking - process of showing a different web page to a search engine spider than what is actually seen by viewers, the method is commonly used by spammers.

Contextual Links - backlinks that are embedded within the content of a web page, and are surrounded by other content.

CPC - (Cost Per Click) typical rate of measuring the expense involved with acquiring web traffic.

CTR - (Click Through Rate) method of measuring the success of an online advertising campaign. Calculated by dividing the number of users' who clicked on an ad by the number of times the ad was shown (also called impressions).

Dynamic Website - a website whose content is not fixed. The content shown on a web page is based on user-selected input, text or images may change on a specific date or time using scripts that can also be controlled by databases or software such as a CMS (Content Management System).

Indexing - the term used to describe when a search engine finds content on the web and lists it in its search results. Search engines keep all the data it finds in databases.

Keywords/Keyword Phrases - word or combination of words that search engines use to establish the topic of a given web page.

Keyword Density - how frequently a keyword or keyword phrase is used on a specific web page. 1-3% is ideal for a web page.

Meta Tags - used in web pages to provide descriptive information that helps a search engine identify the topic of a web page along with other items such as author, page description, page keywords and more. The keyword meta tag is no longer used by search engines.

On-page SEO - methods and strategies used internally to help their website rank better in search engines.

Off-page SEO - methods and strategies used externally on other websites, such as social media outlets, blogs, etc. to help a website rank better in search engines.

Organic Search - search results that appear in a search engine that are not paid advertisements. The results that come up naturally based on their indexing within a search engine.

PPC - (Pay Per Click) advertising technique where an advertiser pays for their ads on another website(s). The advertiser will only pay if someone clicks on the ad. The ads are typically banners, but can also be a text link.

Reciprocal Link - a method where websites exchange links, in the hopes of helping each other with search engine optimization and attract viewers. ** Should really not be used anymore. Work on getting backlinks from quality high DA websites.

Search Engine - a website whose primary function is to help web users find web pages on any given searched topic. The web user inputs a keyword phrase and the search engine returns listings it finds most relevant to the web user's keyword phrase. The big three are Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

SEM - (Search Engine Marketing) marketing a website via search engines such as Google. This may be improving rank in organic listings, purchasing paid listings or a combination of both.

SEO - using standards and strategies for a website so that the website ranks well in organic listings of search engines.

SMM – social media marketing

SERP - (Search Engine Results Page) the listing of web pages, blogs and other items that a search engine shows a user after they've entered a search query, such as "web designer in Tampa Florida".

Spider - programs created to search the web automatically to index web pages, collect emails, spam and so on.

Title Tag - a metadata element that determines the actual "title" of a webpage. The title appears in the top bar of your web browser.

TLD - (Top Level Domain) A top-level domain is one of the domains at the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name System of the Internet.

URL - (Uniform Resource Locator) web address, example

White Hat SEO - accepted SEO practices in order to get higher rankings in search engine results.

Quick Look at SEO Stats

Google currently holds over 90% of the total search engine market share (Google Images), followed by YouTube (owned by Google), Bing, Yahoo! and Amazon.
Social Media Shares (U.S.)
Facebook 50.87%
Pinterest 35.9%
Twitter 7.81%
Instagram 1.87%
YouTube 1.6%
Tumblr 1.04%
Desktop vs Mobile
vs Tablet Market Share in U.S.
Desktop 47.84%
Mobile 44.22%
Tablet 7.94%
Browser Version Market
Share in the U.S.
Safari iPhone 22.94%
Chrome 75.0 21.16%
Chrome for Android 18.5%
Safari iPad 5.75% 
IE 11.0 3.41%
Edge 18 2.67%

Social Media Platforms
Active Users


Facebook has over 2.2 billion active users


Instagram has 1 billion active users


YouTube has 1.9 billion active users


Twitter has over 330 million active users


Pinterest has 300 million active users


LinkedIn has over 100 million active users
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