SEO Glossary. A practice guide of search engine optimisation terms.
A keyword is a word or phrase used to make a search.
In the example below donuts delivered is the keyword and Google suggests more commonly searched keywords, such as donuts delivered to your door.
Of the billions of searches made, you need to decide which ones you want your site to come top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) for.
These will be your target keywords. Later we’ll look at some online tools that can help you find and choose your target keywords.
Organic and paid search results
The results of my donuts delivered search contain lists of both paid-for (pay per click – PPC) and free (aka organic) website pages.
How search engines work
If you understand how a search engine works then you have the foundation for getting your website to the top of the search engines’ results. Let’s take a simplified look at how a search engine works:
Google visits billions of website pages. Google finds more pages by following (crawling) the links it finds on those billions of pages.
Google stores the information it finds in its index. Google’s index is like a huge filing system for all the pages it finds.
When you search for donuts delivery Google searches its index for all the pages containing donuts delivery.
Typically, Google will find thousands, even millions, of matches for a search.
For example, if shows there were 6,620,000 matches for a donuts delivery search. This means that 6,620,000 pages are competing to be shown on the first results page for that search and have a chance of being visited.
If your site does not at least contain the words in a search then it is not even in the race to be found for that search. Google must then decide what order to display its results in
Google uses over 200 factors to decide what order to display the matching pages. Each matching page is scored for each of the 200-plus factors and the scores totaled.
The total score is then used to rank the matching pages and decide the order the results are presented on the search results page (highest at the top).
A ranking algorithm created by Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to calculate theimportance, authority, and reliability of a web page from a scale of 0 – 10, with 0 being the lowestand 10 being the highest.
Rich snippets or structured data markup are a type of microdata markup (using the Schema.org vocabulary) that are added to webpages, with the purpose of making the webpage result on thesearch engine results pages more visually outstanding, and also display information related thequery.
A text file that website owners use to provide instructions to search engine spiders about whichfiles and directories to ignore when crawling a website. The robots.txt file is stored in the root of thedomain.
A sitemap can be in HTML or XML format. HTML sitemaps are included on the front end of thewebsite for users to gain a birds-eye-view and easily navigate through a site.
Whereas XMLsitemaps are created to submit to search engines for better site crawling and indexation.You may submit your sitemap to: Google Webmaster Tools or Bing Webmaster Tools
The process of acquiring backlinks through outreach, submission, and PR
A backlink is any external link from another domain that links to any page on your domain.
Backlinks are a major ranking factor in Search Engine Optimization and that means having morebacklinks correlate to higher rankings
Black Hat SEO
Refers to the use of shady practices, automated programs, andaggressive techniques aimed at manipulating search engines to drive a site’s rankings up.Websites that go against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines risk getting dealt with a manual oralgorithmic penalty
Canonical URL (rel=canonical)
The rel=canonical tag is used to tell search engines that various URLs have essentially similarcontent. Search engines will then only index the canonical URL.
This takes care of duplicatecontent issues which confuse search engines as to which content they should rank.
The rel=canonical code is placed on the duplicated pages which you do not want search engines toindex. Search engines will then follow the specified URL and index it instead
The method of optimising a local business to rank on the local search results. This includesbuilding local citations, earning Google My Business reviews, and building the website’s PageAuthority
Long Tail Keywords
Keywords phrases that are longer and more specific to the searcher’s intent. The reverse would beshort tail keywords which are more generic in nature
Refers to external website related activities (mainly link building and content marketing) in order toboost a website’s search engine ranking positions.Extends to Local SEO where local citation building and link building play a big part in ranking Google My Business pages on the local search results
Refers to internal website activities such as keyword, site speed, mobile, and content optimisationin order a boost a website’s search engine ranking positions