SEO Glossary: Terms & Definitions You Need to Know


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is complex, it can be challenging to keep up with the terminology marketers use. But if you’re still eager to learn more about it, you’ve come to the perfect place. In this blog post, you will find a list of the most important SEO terms and their definition, to help you get familiar with SEO:


A backlink is when a website links to a page on an external website with an anchor text. Backlinks can also be called inbound links or incoming links.

Black Hat SEO:

Unethical tactics that violate search engines guidelines used to get a higher site ranking in search results. Practices such as keyword stuffing, doorway pages, or cloaking are considered Black Hat SEO methods and are penalised by search engines.


It is a list of spammers or sites that are considered unsafe and harmful to users by search engines. If your site is blacklisted, it is penalised and removed from the list of search engines.


Cloaking is a Black Hat SEO technique that consists in presenting a different website to the search engines than what is actually seen by users when they are visiting the websites.

This method is prohibited and if your site is using this technique it can be blacklisted from the search index. Please bear in mind that showing HTML to robots and Flash to users is considered “cloaking”: users must be able to see the HTML.

The NoScript and JavaScript content must be the same.

Doorway Pages:

Doorway pages, or satellite pages are exclusively created to rank high in search engine results for specific search queries. They generally contain a certain amount of links directing to a site to fake its popularity, or internal links to create anchors and have little value for users. This practice results in your site being banned from the search engine’s index.

Google Search Console:

Free service from Google that allows users to dive deeper into the performance of their website and help them improve its visibility and overall features.

Grey Hat SEO:

Grey hat SEO groups together the methods that don’t fall within the scope of the white hat or the black hat practices. More specifically, grey hat practices aren’t allowed by Google, and websites using them might get penalised, but Google doesn’t explicitly forbid them. Examples of Grey hat techniques: paying for reviews, using expired domains, creating duplicate content, etc.

HTTP status codes:

When a server gets a request for a page, it shows an HTTP status code in return. The main HTTP status codes can be found below:

  • 200 OK: page found and accessible
  • 301: page permanently redirected. This can be done with a PHP function or the file .htaccess.
  • 302: page temporarily redirected. (You should avoid this type of redirection).
  • 404: page not found.


They are the words and phrases that describe your website. In terms of SEO, they are the words and phrases users enter into search engines.

Keyword stuffing:

It is a Black Hat SEO Technique, in which a list of relevant keywords are added into a web either in the meta tags or in the visible content in an attempt to rank higher in search engines.

Meta Tags:

Meta tags are snippets of code that provide data about a page to search engines. It is therefore not directly visible to users.


PageRank is an algorithm used by Google that evaluates and ranks web pages in their search engine results. The algorithm was named after Google co-founder Larry Page.


The sandbox effect is a theory that some websites are prevented from reaching the top of the search engine results even though their content is excellent and the number of backlinks pointing to them is very high and of high quality. The websites assumed to be affected by the Sandbox effect are websites with new domains and websites with highly competitive keywords.

The theory has nonetheless never been confirmed to be true by Google.

Satellite website:

A satellite website is a website made to support another website. This is a Black Hat SEO technique used to include a certain amount of links pointing to a parent site.

Search Engine:

A software program that allows you to find information and content online using keywords or phrases.


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, the process of getting traffic from organic or natural search results in search engines. It aims to increase a website’s visibility when people search for products or services.

SEO spam or spamdexing:

SEO spam or spamdexing is the attempt to manipulate the ranking of irrelevant websites with low-quality content on search engine results pages. Such attempts are penalised and websites using those methods can be removed from appearing in search results.

SERP (Search Engine Results Pages):

The page that search engines display in response to a user’s query.


A sitemap is an XML file that presents the general architecture of a website. It provides search engines crawlers with a list of webpages on a website.


A snippet is a single search result in a set of search results and it usually consists of a URL, a title and description of the page.

TLD (Top Level Domain)

This term refers to the last part of a domain name following the dot such as .es, .com, .net, .info, .org…

It has the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name System of the Internet.

TLDs are divided into ccTLDs and gTLDs:

  • ccTLD (country code TLD): Every country owns a TLD (usually the country ISO code). Examples: .fr for France, .uk for The United Kingdom, .de for Germany.
  • gTLD (generic TLD): TLD not associated with a specific country. Example: .net


URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator and it is a web address that contains different parts such as the domain name or the location of the resource on the server. For example:

White Hat SEO:

White hat SEO consists in improving the rank of your website on SERPs with the use of techniques that are ethical and compliant with search engines guidelines.

We hope our comprehensive SEO Glossary has helped you better understand SEO vocabulary. Whether you are a beginner or you want to expand your knowledge, you might want to bookmark this page for future reference!

Optimanova Solutions
Optimanova Solutions
Optimanova Solutions is an International Digital Marketing agency with over 15 years of experience in PPC and SEO and certified partners of Google, Facebook and Microsoft Ads

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