At Podium we value our clients and want to make your life a little easier – that’s one of the many reasons you’ve hired us, right?

We try to be as jargon-free as possible, but every now and then something might slip through the net. We’re always happy to explain what on earth we’re banging on about, but just as a back-up, we’ve put together a list of SEO terms to refer to whenever you need them.

Here is the Podium SEO jargon-buster!

.htaccess file: A file that can be used to alter the configuration of the Apache Web Server software to enable/disable existing features. This can include redirect functionality and password protection.

301 redirect: A permanent redirect which passes between 90-99% of link equity to the redirected page. In most cases, this is the best method for implementing redirects on a website.

302 redirect: A temporary redirect which is not usually recommended for SEO best practice.

4xx status codes: A not found error is displayed when a user or search engine requests a page that cannot be accessed.

5xx status codes:  A HTTP status code that indicates that something has gone wrong on the website’s server.

Algorithm: A set of rules in which a search engine follows to display search engine results based on a user’s search query.

Alt text: A HTML tag used to describe the appearance of an image on a page.

AMP: Accelerated Mobile Pages is a web component framework designed for publishers to have pages load quickly on mobile devices.

Anchor text: The clickable text in a hyperlink. In terms of SEO, best practice is to ensure the anchor text is relevant to the page the user is clicking to.

Backlink: A link that is given to a website from another.

Black hat: An unethical practice against search engine guidelines (something we don’t practice at Podium). This can include techniques such as keyword stuffing and cloaking.

Bot: A crawler that systematically browses the web for the purpose of indexing websites in the search engine.

Bounce rate: The percentage of users to a website who leave after only viewing one page.

Broken link: A link on a website that no longer works and displays an error.

Browser: A software application used for accessing the web such as Chrome, Safari, FireFox and Internet Explorer.

Cache: A temporary storage area that holds the most recently downloaded web pages.

Canonical tag: A tag used to tell search engines that a specific URL represents the ‘preferred’ version of a web page. This helps to prevent duplicate content.

Click-through rate: The percentage of users that click through to a website from the search engine results page.

Cloaking: A technique used in which the content presented to the search engine crawler is different from that presented to the user’s browser. This is a black-hat technique and not something we would recommend!

CMS: Content Management System manages the creation and modification of digital content.

Crawling: The process by which Googlebot discovers new and updated pages to be added to the index.

CSS: Cascading Style Sheets is a language used for describing how HTML elements are to be presented on a website.

De-indexed: When a website or page has been taken out of the index and doesn’t show on the search engine results page.

Disavow: The process of removing backlinks to your site. This can help recover from/prevent link-related penalties.

Do-follow: By default, links are dofollow unless they are modified to be nofollow. They enable search engines to follow through to the page. A dofollow backlink gives the potential to improve ranking and credibility.

Domain Authority: A search engine ranking score developed by Moz. The score ranges from 1 to 100 with higher scores corresponding to a higher ability to rank.

Duplicate content: Content that appears on the internet in more than one place. This is a big no and can result in poor rankings and or a manual penalty.

Featured snippet: A selected search result that appears on top of Google’s organic results. The aim of a featured snippet is to answer a user’s query instantly.

Header tag: Displayed as <h1> and will usually be the title of a page or post. Other header tags are <h2>, <h3> etc.

Hreflang: A tag that tells Google which language you are using on a specific page of a website.

HTML: Hyper Text Markup Language is used for creating web pages.

HTTPS: Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure is a protocol for securing the communication between the browser and web server.

Indexing: The process of adding web pages into Google search.

Internal link: A link that points from one page to another within the same website.

JavaScript: A high level programming language of the web.

Keyword difficulty: An estimation of how difficult it would be to rank for a specific keyword. The higher the number, the more competitive the keyword.

Keyword stuffing: A technique used which involves adding high numbers of a keyword on a web page in order to manipulate rankings in Google. This is a black hat practice which we don’t recommend.

Keyword: A word or phrase that is used within your web content to make it possible for users to find your website via search engines.

Landing page: A web page which serves as the entry point from when a user lands on a web site.

Link building: An SEO tactic which involves building backlinks to a website from third party sites to help improve search engine visibility.

Link equity: Also known as ‘link juice’, is a search engine ranking factor based on the idea that links can pass authority from one to the other.

Link profile: The makeup of links that are pointing to a website. Google favours a natural and varied link profile from different and authoritative resources.

Long-tail keywords: Key phrases that are usually three of four words and very specific to your products or services.

Manual penalty: A manual penalty can be applied by Google if a website is not adhering to its terms and conditions. Such penalty can result in the loss of organic visibility, traffic and revenue.

Meta description: A snippet shown in the search engine results page of up to 155 characters which summarises a page’s content. A well-optimised meta description can help increase click through rate and improve rankings.

Meta title: A meta title sits within HTML code and helps search engines understand what a web page is about. A well-optimised meta title can help increase visibility and improve rankings.

Mobile-first indexing: A development by Google which means they will use the mobile version of a page for indexing and ranking as opposed to desktop.

No-follow: A tag used to tell search engines not to follow the link meaning that ‘link equity’ is not carried through.

NoIndex: A HTML tag within a web page that is used to tell search engines not to include the page within their index.

Off-page: Actions that can be taken to help increase rankings without directly altering a website. This can include link building, social media, PR and other advertisement.

On-page: Actions that can be taken to optimise a web site or page in order to rank higher. This can include fixing technical issues or updating content.

Organic: Organic traffic is referred to the users who visit a website from an unpaid listing within a search engine.

Orphan page: A page that cannot be found as it doesn’t contain any outgoing links. This makes it difficult for search engines to find these pages.

Page speed: The time in which it takes a website to load. Page speed is an important factor in Google’s algorithm.

PageRank: An algorithm used by Google to rank web pages.

Pagination: The process of separating website content on to different pages. This is often found on product pages or blogs.

Paid search: A form of digital marketing that involves paying for ad listings on search engines in the form of Pay Per Click.

Panda: A major Google algorithm update that aimed to lower the rank of websites that have low quality/thin content.

Penguin: A major Google algorithm update that aimed to lower the rank of websites that build/buy spammy backlinks.

Ranking: A website’s position within the search engine results page.

Redirect: To send users and search engines to a different URL from the one they originally requested.

Rich snippet: A term used to describe structured data markup that website owners can add to their HTML to help search engines to better understand what information is contained on each web page.

Robots.txt: A text file webmasters can create to instruct bots on how to crawl and index pages on their website. A set of extensible schemas that enables webmasters to embed structured data on their web pages for use by search engines.

Scraped content: The action of taking content from other places on the internet without permission. This is against Google’s guidelines and can result in a loss of rankings.

Search engine: A program that searches for and identifies items in a database that correspond to keywords specified by the user such as Google and Bing etc.

Search volume: The amount of searches that occur for a specific keyword within a time frame (usually per month).

SERP: Search Engine Results Page that is displayed by search engines in response to a search query.

Sitelink: A hyperlink to a website’s subpage that appear under Google listings.

Sitemap: A model of a website’s content to help search engines and users navigate the site.

Thin content: Content that has little or no added value to a web page and can result in a Google penalty.

Traffic: This is measured in visits or sessions and refers to users who visit a website.

URL: The address of a World Wide Web page.

White hat: SEO techniques that are approved by the major search engines and something we practice at Podium.