SEO Top 100 Terms You Should Know

Sandy Rowley
8 min readJun 17, 2024


SEO Company in Reno shares their secrets…

The top 100 SEO (Search Engine Optimization) terms and what they mean:

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — The practice of optimizing websites to rank higher in search engine results pages for relevant queries.

2. Algorithm — The complex mathematical formulas that search engines use to rank websites and determine relevance.

3. Keyword — Words or phrases that describe the content of a web page and what users are searching for.

4. Backlink — An inbound link to a website or webpage from another website. Backlinks are a ranking signal for search engines.

5. PageRank — Google’s algorithm for ranking web pages based on the quantity and quality of inbound links.

6. Domain Authority (DA) — A metric that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines, based on metrics like age, popularity and size.

7. Sitemap — A file that lists all of the pages on a website to help search engines discover and crawl the content.

8. Robots.txt — A file that instructs search engine crawlers on which pages or directories can or cannot be crawled.

9. Indexing — The process of search engines adding web pages to their database to be displayed as results for relevant queries.

10. Crawling — The process of search engines discovering new and updated web content by following links.

11. On-Page SEO — The practice of optimizing individual web pages to rank higher in search engines.

12. Off-Page SEO — Actions taken outside of a website to improve its position in search rankings, such as link building.

13. Anchor Text — The visible text portion of a link that indicates where the link points to.

14. Title Tag — An HTML element that specifies the title of a web page, shown on search engine results pages.

15. Meta Description — A short description of a web page’s content in the HTML that appears under page titles in search results.

16. Alt Text — Text associated with images to describe them to search engines and for accessibility.

17. Heading Tags (H1, H2, etc.) — HTML tags that identify headings and subheadings to structure content.

18. Internal Linking — Links from one page on a website to another page on the same website.

19. External Linking — Links from one website to a page on a different website.

20. Broken Link — A link that leads to a non-existent web page, which can negatively impact SEO.

21. Redirect — A technique to forward users and search engines from one URL to another.

22. 301 Redirect — A permanent redirect from one URL to another.

23. Canonicalization — The process search engines use to determine the single URL representing a piece of content.

24. Duplicate Content — Identical or very similar content appearing on the internet in multiple locations, which can dilute ranking power.

25. Keyword Density — The ratio of times a keyword appears on a web page compared to the total word count.

26. Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) — A concept that related words/synonyms can influence rankings.

27. Keyword Stuffing — Overusing keywords to the point of making content unreadable, a spam tactic.

28. Long-Tail Keyword — A very specific, multi-word keyword phrase users might search for.

29. Search Volume — The number of times a keyword is searched per month.

30. Search Intent — The reason behind a user’s search, like information, navigation, transaction, etc.

31. SERP — Search Engine Results Page, the list of results Google provides for a search.

32. SERP Feature — Special displays on SERPs like featured snippets, knowledge panels, etc.

33. Rich Snippet — Enhanced displays in SERPs with additional details like review stars or pricing.

34. Click-Through Rate (CTR) — The ratio of users who click on a specific result to the total viewers of that result.

35. Bounce Rate — The percentage of users leaving a site after viewing just one page.

36. Dwell Time — How long users spend on a web page after clicking from search results.

37. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) — Paid advertising on search engines like Google Ads.

38. Cost Per Click (CPC) — How much an advertiser pays for each click on their search ad.

39. Quality Score — Google’s rating of relevance for search ads, influencing ad position and CPC.

40. Target CPA — Target Cost Per Acquisition, a bid strategy focused on a set cost per conversion.

41. Link Building — The process of getting other websites to link back to a given website.

42. Link Farm — A network of websites created to artificially links between them, an illegal SEO tactic.

43. Nofollow Link — An HTML attribute instructing search engines not to pass link equity.

44. Schema Markup — Structured data on a website that provides details for search engines.

45. AMP — Accelerated Mobile Pages, a Google framework for lightweight mobile web pages.

46. Mobile-First Indexing — Google using the mobile version of websites for ranking and indexing.

47. Responsive Design — Web design adapting layouts to different devices and screen sizes.

48. URL Structure — How the words and folders in a URL are organized for optimal SEO.

49. Breadcrumb Navigation — Links at the top of a webpage showing the current location within a site.

50. Site Architecture — How the pages of a website are organized and structured.

51. Interlinking — Creating contextual links between pages on the same website.

52. Image Optimization — Optimizing images to load faster and be properly indexed by search engines.

53. XML Sitemap — A sitemap formatted specifically for web crawlers to easily find content.

54. RSS Feed — A format allowing frequent updates to be published and subscribed to.

55. Search Appearance — How listings appear in SERPs, customizable in Google Search Console.

56. Site Audit — A comprehensive technical analysis of a website’s optimization levels.

57. Site Health — The overall technical performance and optimization state of a website.

58. Usability — How easy a website is for visitors to use and navigate.

59. Crawl Budget — The amount of pages from a website that get crawled by search engines.

60. Rendering — How a webpage appears visually after elements like HTML, CSS and JavaScript load.

61. Log File Analysis — Analyzing server log data to identify crawling and traffic patterns.

62. Thin Content — Webpages with little to no unique, valuable or insightful content.

63. Content Gap Analysis — Evaluating what content ranks well compared to a website’s content.

64. Topic Cluster — An SEO content strategy organizing content around core topics.

65. Evergreen Content — Content that provides value and stays relevant over long periods.

66. Guest Posting — Contributing content to third-party websites to earn backlinks.

67. Competitive Analysis — Evaluating the strategies and performance of competing websites.

68. Video SEO — Optimizing videos and video content for ranking in search results.

69. Local SEO — Optimizing a website’s ability to rank for queries with local search intent.

70. Google Business Profile — A free business listing integrated into Google Search and Maps.

71. Franchise SEO — Optimizing websites for franchises with physical multi-locations.

72. Enterprise SEO — Managing large, complex websites with many sections and stakeholders.

73. Voice Search — Verbally asking devices like Alexa/Siri a question to retrieve search results.

74. Featured Snippet — A rich result in SERPs that directly answers a query on the search page.

75. People Also Ask — Related questions in SERPs that users may want answers for as well.

76. E-A-T — Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness — ranking factors Google considers.

77. LSA — Latent Semantic Analysis, a technique identifying patterns in relationships of terms.

78. TF-IDF — Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency, assigning weights to keywords.

79. Natural Language Processing — Enabling computers to understand, analyze and generate human language.

80. BERT — Google’s natural language processing model, impacting about 10% of queries.

81. Here is the definition for MUM — The Multitask Unified Model:

82. MUM (Multitask Unified Model)** — MUM is Google’s new AI model that is being developed as a next generation technology to help better understand natural language and improve search results. Some key things to know about MUM:

- It is a unified model that can multitask across many different applications like answering questions, analyzing insights in data, and generating content.

- It has advanced natural language processing capabilities to understand nuanced language, context, and multi-modal inputs like text, images, and video together.

- MUM aims to make searches more natural and conversational, picking up on context that current search engines may miss.

- It can transfer knowledge across tasks, providing more complete and insightful answers by combining information from different sources.

- MUM builds upon BERT’s language understanding, but handles multi-modal inputs and multitasks better.

- Google is aiming for MUM to not just find relevant information, but to also synthesize it, analyze it, and generate insights and content.

- It has potential applications in search, but also other Google products like Maps, Shopping, Photos, and even powering new AI-driven services.

So in summary, MUM represents Google’s big advancement into more intelligent AI systems that deeply understand information to provide better, more complete search results and capabilities across Google’s products and apps.

83. Crawl Depth — How many clicks away from the homepage search engines will crawl pages.

84. Crawl Error — Issues encountered by search engine crawlers when trying to access pages.

85. Crawl Rate — How frequently search engines crawl and re-crawl pages on a website.

86. E.E.A.T — Google’s concept of Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust as ranking factors.

87. Hreflang Tag — An attribute indicating what language and region a page is intended for.

88. Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) — A technique for determining topics that web pages cover.

89. Negative SEO — Malicious tactics attempting to sabotage rankings of other websites.

90. Outbound Link — A link from one website pointing to another external website.

91. Penalty — A rankings demotion or removal in search results due to a policy violation.

92. Query Deserves Freshness (QDF) — A Google signal giving preference to newer, fresher content.

93. Site Migration — Moving from one website URL to a new domain.
Site Speed — How quickly pages on a website load, a user experience signal for rankings.

94. Black Hat SEO — Aggressive, deceptive tactics violating search engine guidelines.

95. White Hat SEO — Following search engines’ rules and best practices for optimization.

96. Grey Hat SEO — Tactics in a grey area between white hat and black hat methods.

97. Hidden Content — Any text or links visually obscured, considered deceptive by search engines.

98. Cloaking — Delivering different content to search engines than users see, a banned tactic.

99. Pogo-Sticking — When users quickly revisit search results after clicking a listing.

100. Barnacle SEO — Optimizing third-party content to rank for branded keywords.