SEO Slang: Online Marketing Glossary

Here are a few examples of seo slang, the common terminology you may hear experts use when discussing online marketing strategies. Do you know the lingo?

Algorithm – An algorithm is essentially the equation in a computer program that search engines use to determine where to place a website on results pages. There are literally thousands of factors that go into this equation, many of which are not shared with anyone.

Backlinks – Backlinks, or Inbound Links, are links from a different website pointing to one’s own website. To clarify an often confused notion about backlinks, these are not links on one’s website going to another site. The links must be coming in to the website to be valuable.

Black Hat – “Black Hat” is a term used in the SEO industry to describe frowned-upon practices for improving placement on search engines. Examples of Black Hat SEO include paying for links to one’s website that are created specifically for placement purposes, or using tiny or white text to conceal the use of keywords on a page. Black Hat SEO techniques may work for a short time initially, but will eventually result in penalty from the Search Engines, and in rare instances, search engines will blacklist a website from search results permanently.

Code – A broad term for behind the scenes computer programming text or instructions used to create, design, or enhance a website. Code can also be used to provide additional information to search engines, such as schema markup.

Conversion – When a visitor to a website performs an action that has been defined as valuable to the business, such as making an online purchase, downloading a white paper, or watching a video. Many conversions can be measured through analytics software, and used to determine ROI for their online marketing efforts.

CPC (Cost Per Click) – Used in paid search, the amount charged for a click on a paid search ad.

CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) – Used in paid search, a cost structure where one pays the search engine based on the number of impressions or times its ads are shown, instead of paying for each click on the ad.

CTR (Click Through Rate) – Used in paid search, a ratio showing how often an ad is displayed on a SERP to how many times the ad was actually clicked. CTR can be used to gauge how well one’s keywords and ads are performing.

Domain Name – The name of a website, typically the name of the business. Also see URL.

Duplicate Content – Having the same text repeated on a page, or on more than one page of a website. Duplicate content can also appear on more than one website. If discovered, search engines will choose one duplicate content page to index, and will ignore the other page(s) with the same content.

Impression – Used primarily in paid search, the number of times each paid search ad is shown on a SERP.

Internal Links – Links within a website directing users from one page on the website to another page on the website.

Keywords – Words or phrases that are used to match a website or ads with the terms that people query.

Keyword Stuffing – Putting too many keywords or instances of keywords within the text on a page for the purpose of trying to place higher on search engines. Search engine algorithms in general will lower placement of a site’s page on the SERP when it detects keyword stuffing.

Landing Page – The web page to which a visitor is directed when clicking on a paid search ad or an organic listing. The term is also used in email marketing, where a user opens an email and clicks on link, arriving at a specific landing page.

Link Juice – The power of a link. The more respected or credible the source website or domain is, the more powerful the outbound links it sends to other websites. Search engines analyze the links and apply link juice to them. The more link juice, the higher it will place a website on search engine queries.

LSO (Local Search Optimization) – Also known as Local Search, LSO refers to optimizing a website for placement in the local (or maps) portion or search results. LSO is typically used by businesses targeting a local audience, like a restaurant or doctor, and receives primarily mobile visits.

Organic Search Results – Organic search results are displayed below the Paid Search Results at the top of a search engine results page. Additionally, if  local search results appear on a query, organic search results will appear below the map results that appear on the page. Organic search results are presented as a result of the search engine using an Algorithm to determine where to place each website in results.

Page Rank – A score or rank given to a website by search engines.  The higher the page rank, the more credible or respected the website is.

Paid Search Results – Paid Search Results display at the top, side, and very bottom of Search Engine Results pages on highly competitive keywords. Paid search results typically have a different colored background, and may have the word “Ad” listed next to them. They are obtained by using PPC Marketing.

PPC (Pay Per Click) – Commonly known as Paid Search (for example Google AdWords and Bing Ads), PPC is an internet advertising model that directs traffic to websites.  When discussing PPC, experts are referring to the ads that appear at the top and right margin of search results for some queries. The search engine charges a fee to the sponsoring company for every click on an ad. The fee charged depends on the competitiveness of the keyword, and is determined by the search engine.

PPC Marketing – The process of creating a PPC campaign, selecting keywords, determining bid amounts, and writing ad copy that displays on search engines whenever one of the specified keywords is searched upon.

QS (Quality Score) – Used in paid search, a 1 through 10 score given to each keyword in one’s paid search account.  It is an estimate of the quality of an ad and the corresponding landing pages triggered by that keyword. A high quality score reduces the cost of the click, and is displayed more often and also higher on the SERP.

Query – Also known as search query or search term.  It is the term or phrase entered in the search engine by a person in order to find relevant results, products, or answers to what is being searched on.

Reciprocal Link – When one site links to a website, and that same website links back. Reciprocal links can aid a website visitor in finding additional relevant information, and should be used for that purpose. However, search engines do not apply as much link juice to reciprocal links as they do to one-way links.

Schema – Also known as schema markup, it is code that provides additional information to search engines, such as location information and product information.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) – This is a blanket term that includes both Paid Search and Organic SEO.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – SEO typically refers to organic search engine optimization, meaning a site isn’t paying for placement through Paid Search. Also see Organic Search Results.

SERP (Search Engine Result Page) – The page of listings returned by a search engine when one performs a query. There are usually 10 organic results links per page. A desired online marketing goal is to be at the top of the list on a SERP for numerous queries indicating interest in the products or services a website offers.

Spam – Junk, nonsense, or non-relevant information usually sent by email.

Spider – Term for the program used by search engines to view or “crawl” websites.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) – Refers to an address on the Internet. It has two main parts: Protocol -http:// or https:// and the website’s domain name —

White Hat –“White Hat” means using ethical, search engine-approved SEO techniques to improve website placement. White Hat methods are acceptable techniques that improve the overall experience for visitors to a website, or things that will help search engines to deliver more relevant results to searchers. Examples of White Hat methods are adding new, original content to a website that attracts natural links, and implementing structured data markup in a page’s code.