Search engine optimization, like any specialized industry, has its own unique set of terminology, definitions, and abbreviations.
This SEO glossary compiles more than 200 of the most common terms you are likely to hear and will definitely need to know during your SEO career.
Above the Fold
Content that appears on a website before the user scrolls. Google created the Page Layout Algorithm in 2012 to lower the rankings of websites featuring too many ads in this space.
A complex computer program used by search engines to retrieve data and deliver results for a query. Search engines use a combination of algorithms to deliver ranked webpages via a results page based on a number of ranking factors and signals.
Some algorithmic changes go completely unnoticed. However, the impact of a major algorithmic change can usually be seen quite quickly, though the change sometimes takes a few weeks to completely roll out. Algorithmic changes come in three forms:
- Algorithm Update: The search engine changes certain signals of an existing algorithm.
- Algorithm Refresh: The search engine re-runs an existing algorithm using the exact same signals as last time.
- New Algorithm: The search engine adds a new algorithm to improve search quality. For example: Google Panda, Google Penguin.
HTML code that provides information used by search engines and screen readers (for blind and visually-impaired people) to understand the contents of an image.
Also known as: Alt Text
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open-source HTML framework that allows a desktop-first page to be delivered faster on mobile. It was used as a criterion to gain visibility in the news Top Stories carousel.
The AMP logo has since been removed from search results and Google announced that AMP is no longer a requirement for appearing in Top Stories. The emphasis is now on Core Web Vitals to measure faster delivery and page loading and the influence of AMP is now questionable.
The science of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data to take future action based on what has (or hasn’t) worked historically.
Also see: Google Analytics
The clickable word or words of a link. This text is intended to provide contextual information to people and search engines about what the webpage or website being linked to is about. For instance, if you were creating a link to send your visitors to Search Engine Journal, “Search Engine Journal” is the anchor text.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The science of making computers perform tasks that require human