SEO Glossary


On-Page Elements

Title Tags – An on-page SEO element that lives in the section of the HTML of a page. It is typically visible in the tab at the top of your browser and display as the blue link in most search engines. It is the most important on-page SEO element next to the actual content on the page.

Meta Description – An on-page SEO element that lives in the section of the HTML of a page. The meta description is only visible under the title tag and URL on a search engine results page. The keywords in the meta description that match the user’s query are bolded when they do a search. It is said to have not be included in Google’s algorithm but it can entice user’s to click on the result.

Headings (H1, H2, H3) – Headings define the main content and sub-topics within a page. They help search engines identify the key elements within the content and establish relevancy.

Alt Text – Alt text lives in the HTML of a page and is used to describe an image. It was originally invented to assist the blind when using a screen reader.

Internal Links – Internal links live within the content of a page and are used to connect relevant pages on the same site (not external). Internal links can pass value from one page to another and also enhance overall relevancy within a site.

Technical Elements

Schema Markup – Schema markup can be added to a website to structure key data on the page. You can markup things like events, reviews, articles, phone numbers and addresses to help search engine bots better understand your content.

XML Sitemap – A list of the pages on your website. It assists with the overall crawlability of a website.

Robots.txt – This tells search engine bots what they can and cannot crawl on your website.

301 Redirects – These tell search engine bots that a new page has replaced an old page and help to pass value from any internal or external links pointing to the old page.

404 Pages – Broken pages or pages that no longer exist on a website. 404 pages are bad for user experience but do not have a true impact on SEO unless the page was authoritative and had quality links pointing at it. In that case you would want to implement a 301 redirect to a new or similar page.

Off-Page Elements

Backlink – A link from another website. Arguably the most important element of SEO, backlinks basically act as votes for a website. Authority and relevancy are the key elements of a backlink. You always want quality over quantity. Google can penalize a website for spammy backlink practices.

Citations – Structured or unstructured mentions of a brand online. Typically citations come in the form of a business listing on a directory website which includes items like the business name, address and phone number.

Anchor Cloud – Refers to the composition of a website’s backlink profile. It can consist of branded links, naked URL’s, keyword-rich anchors, and image links.


SERP – A search engine results page.

Algorithm Related

Panda – Refers to the content portion of Google’s algorithm. Having thin or duplicate content can result in a penalty from Google.

Penguin – Refers to the backlink portion of Google’s algorithm. Participating is spammy backlink practices can result in a penalty from Google.

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