Back to Basics: Common Search Engine Optimization Terms

Advanced Digital Blog Series, Search Engine Optimization | posted on September 5, 2016

Have you ever finished a conversation with your search engine optimization analyst and were left with your head spinning a little bit by some of the terms they’ve used? It’s understandable, the search engine optimization process can be confusing if you’re not constantly involved in the process. Here are a few of our commonly used terms when we discuss SEO with our clients:


  • Algorithm – Google’s algorithm calculations give you a specific result on the search result page. By using different items, such as your frequently visited page, location, etc., Google is able to give you what it thinks you’re looking for.
  • Black Hat – Techniques that go against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, which include: keyword stuffing, paying for links, automatically generating content, hidden text, etc. Using these practices could result in your website not appearing in organic listings.
  • Blog – This section of your website is updated most frequently, including information such as: latest news, tips in your industry, etc. The content is written more conversational than the remaining pages of your website.
  • Bounce rate – This measurement is how long users are staying on your website before navigating elsewhere. If people are coming to your website and leaving quickly, this could affect your organic search result ranking because the algorithm will think users are not finding what they need on your website.
  • Crawler – A bot scans your website automatically to discover additional pages, images, etc.
  • Directory – The directories are much like an old phone book. They’ll list your business name, phone number, address and website. Some directories, such as Yelp or Google+, will also allow users to provide testimonials on your business.
  • Duplicate Content – The content of your website should be unique to your business. If you have the same content across multiple domains, search engines will think you’re using black hat tactics to rank your business.
  • Organic Ranking – By creating relevant content, link building and other SEO tactics, search engines will list your website in the results located below the paid ads or local map listings.
  • Sitemap – A page or document listing all of the pages of your website that provides the user or GoogleBot with information on your website’s structure.

The Advanced Digital team values communication with clients and are always open to answering their questions. The list above is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to SEO terminology. Are there any SEO terms that you’ve wondered about? Let us know in the comments below.

Leave a Reply