SEO is integral to your website. Search engines are a massive section of referrals to a website. Ensuring that your website is optimised to succeed is important. You can read more about that here. But when you begin to research the subject you will find endless terms. So to help out we at Greenwich Design have compiled the list of the most common terms you might come across when researching SEO and a quick definition for each.


SEO Related Terms


301 – This is a permanent server redirect – Used when a company moves to a new website or when companies own multiple website URLs.


AdWords – This is  Google’s Pay Per Click advertisement system.  PPC is a very common form of website advertisement.

Affiliate – An affiliate website markets products or services that are actually sold by another website or business in exchange for fees or commissions.

Algorithm (algo) – A type of code or program that is used by search engines to determine what pages to suggest for a given search query. These are updated regularly to constantly improve the Search Engines user experience.

Alt text – A description of a graphic or image. It is usually not displayed to the end user. Unless the graphic is undeliverable. Alt text is important because search engines can’t tell what an image is specifically about. Special web browsers for visually challenged people rely on the alt text to make the content of graphics accessible to the users.

Analytics – Software which assists in gathering and analysing the data about website usage. Google Analytics is a popular, free analytics program.

Anchor Text – This is the bit of a link that the user can see.. Search engines use anchor text to indicate the relevancy of the referring site and of the link to the content on the landing page. Ideally all three will share some keywords in common.


B2B –  Business to Business.

B2C – Business to Consumer

Back Link (inlink, incoming link) – A link into a page or site from any other page or site.

Black Hat –  Using techniques to improve SEO that are not in line with search engines code of practice. This can be penalised if discovered.

Blog –  A website that effectively posts content in a chronological order. Most bloggers use a CMS such as WordPress which allows them to concentrate on content production rather than having to deal with coding each page.

Bot (robot, spider, crawler) – A program which performs a task more or less autonomously. Search engines use bots to find and add web pages to their search indexes.

Bounce Rate – The percentage of users who enter a site and then leave it without viewing anywhere else on the site.


CMS Content Management System – Programs such as WordPress. These allow people to concentrate on content production and publishing rather than having to learn code.

Code Swapping (bait and switch) – A black hat technique that involves changing the content after high rankings are achieved.

Content (text, copy) –  The part of a web page that is intended to be for the user.

Contextual Advertisement – Advertising which is related to the content.

Conversion (goal) – Quantifiable data, the amount of people who have visited the website and fulfilled the action desired. Ad clicks/Sales/etc.

Conversion Rate – Percentage of users who convert – see conversion.

CPC Cost Per Click – the rate that is paid per click for a Pay Per Click Advertiser.

Crawler (bot, spider) –  A program which moves through the worldwide web or a website by way of the link structure to gather data.


Directory –  A site devoted to directory pages. The Moo Directory for example.

Domain Authority – The providence of a website overall. The higher the DA the better the ranking on a search engine is likely to be.

Duplicate Content –  Content which is similar or identical to the content of a different website or pages content. A site is usually not penalised for this. However it will not trust the duplicate content as much as it does for the original content.


E-Commerce – A method of retail sale on the internet. Shopify is an example of this.


Gadget/Gizmos/Widgets –  Small applications usually embedded into sites. They provide functions such as hit counters or to display changeable information.

Google Bomb. This is when a group of Webmasters join together to produce a specific Google result. For example, one of the most infamous was ‘Miserable Failure’ returning the result of George W Bush.


Hit – The number of people who clicked onto a website. Now replaced by views or impressions.

Hub (expert page) – A trusted website that contains high quality content and links out to related pages.

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) – The primary language of the internet. It is used to add formatting and functionality to websites. HTML should be strictly and exclusively adhered to on web pages.


Impression (page view) – The event where a user views a webpage one time.

Inbound link (inlink, incoming link) –  Inbound links are what increase a Domain Authority. More links from more trusted websites results in a bigger increase to DA.


Keyword or Key Phrase – The word or phrase that a user enters into a search engine.


Link Condom –  A way in which to not endorse a website by providing it with a backlink. Usually used on websites that allow for comment posting to ensure people do not add links to bad domains.

Long Tail – Utilising a more specific search phrase. For example “Cars” would return a broad set of results. Whereas White Volkswagen Car will return more specific results. This would be a long tail search.


Meta Data – This comes in the form of tags and descriptions. This is heavily relied on to explain what the page does to search engines. It is not visible unless revealed by software or by viewing the code.

Mirror Site –  An identical site at a different address.

Monetise – To utilise a website to make money. AdSense ads are an easy way to Monetise a website.


Organic search results – Search results which were not paid for in any way.


Page Authority – The individual pages’ providence on each domain. SEO helps to improve this.

PPA (Pay Per Action) Very similar to Pay Per Click except publishers only get paid when clicks result in conversions.

PPC (Pay Per Click) An advertisement method where the company pays each time a user clicks the link.


robots.txt –  A file in the root directory of a website. Used to restrict and control the behaviour of search engine spiders.

ROI (Return On Investment) – How worthwhile the investment is. Most companies quantify this based purely on money however this could be increased brand awareness or exposure.


SE –  Search Engine. For example, Google. SE are also in charge of creating the algorithms that inform your SEO strategy.

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation. The practice of setting your website up so that it gets the best results from the algorithms that are used by Google and Bing. This results in a higher ranking on the various search engines.

SERP –  Search Engine Results Page

Greenwich Design Google Results Page

Site Map – A page or structured group of pages which link to every user accessible page on a website. This improves the UX and increases the likelihood of better Search Engine Rankings.

Spammer –  Someone who uses spam to pursue a goal.

Static page – A web page without dynamic content or variables such as session IDs in the URL. Static pages are good for SEO work in that they are friendly to search engine spiders.

Stickiness – how likely a website is to keep people on the website.


URL Uniform Resource Locator – AKA Web Address

UX –  This stands for User Experience. it is related to the accessibility and the quality of time a user will have when on your website. A good UX will reduce the bounce rate and improve your SE rankings.


Web 2.0 – The collaborative web. People share information. Opposed to the original web which was websites that held information and were not interactive.

White Hat –  SEO that is achieved within the guides from Search Engines such as Google.