Local SEO Glossary and Terminology used within the local SEO space. This Local SEO glossary also covers the more common SEO terms, if you come across something you don’t understand and we have not listed, reach out to us and we will add it to the list with an explanation for you.
200 – 404
Status OK, meaning the page was properly found and loaded in the browser.
Moved Permanently, preferably used to redirect pages or websites.
Found, but temporarily at another URL.
File not found.
Above the Fold
This refers to the content that readers see before scrolling. Sometimes, it can also refer to the top ad space.
This shows the entire URL of the page being linked. Relative links, on the other hand, use shorter versions of the URL address. Because relative links are more prone to being hacked, using an absolute link is the preferred method.
Activity bias is the act of advertising in certain areas, or websites, where people are more likely to be drawn. One example of activity bias would be advertising vitamin supplements on a health website. All in all, advertising primarily relies on location.
AdCenter, now called Bing Ads, is a pay-per-click service with a bunch of different cool features, including day parting and demographic based bidding. Compared to Google Adwords, adCenter is actually pretty new and recent. As a result, most of adCenter’s prices are relatively low.
This is Google’s advertising network that allows all sizes of publishers to post advertisements near content and share the click profits with Google. Also known as Google AdWords and now re-branded to Google Ads.
These kinds of programs let merchants expand their reach and paying agents a commission for every sale.
Some search systems take user account age, site age and page age into consideration to determine trust in the website.
Owned by Amazon, this is a service that measures the level of traffic a site receives. It is a free website, though very biased toward marketing communities.
Major search engines cannot distinguish images, so using an alt attribute helps them understand the purpose of an image by describing the image through text.
An anchor text is the visible text used to follow out to a link, which is usually highlighted. Using anchor text on a website can dramatically improve SEO. However, using over optimised anchor text will attract unwanted attention from search engines. In this case, the excess anchor text is either filtered or discounted entirely.
Short for Application Program Interface, this is a series of routines required to access software functions.
Short for Active Server Pages, this is a dynamic language for Microsoft.
A domain’s ability to rank high in search engines.
These are trusted sites with experts discussing their knowledge.
Automated Bid Management Software
PPC engines become more complex every day, so to help cope with this, developers have authored software to make it easier to control how much you spend.
See inbound link.
Bait and Switch
Bait and switch is the act of attracting customers by advertising really low prices, then encouraging the person to buy more expensive items, goods or services. This is a very common practice throughout the entire business world. Another effective method is to link to information websites rather than commercial, as people are more attracted to them.
Bait and switch can also be used with business pages, where a business page takes calls but then farms the service out to a different business, also known as Lead Generators.
Businesses used to be based on eyes rather than value, so ads were irrelevant as users ignored common ones, or banner blindness. Banner blindness can also be applied to websites / business sites that have a scrolling banner above the fold, it may show several slides about the business, ultimately this is what users are becoming blind to.
When it comes to SEO terminology, bias refers to the behaviour of search engines. For the most part, search engines are geared toward giving better content to people. Therefore, non commercial websites, such as informational websites, will typically receive better prominence. Search engines also prefer websites that have been around and are well sited.
Black Hat SEO
Any marketing strategy that search engines find deceptive is considered black hat SEO. It’s also important to note that the guidelines change rather frequently, so it’s important to remain updated. The hands down most effective, long terms business strategy is to stay away from tempting quick routes that will have a short term impact.
Block Level Analysis
This is a process that breaks down a web page into smaller segments, or blocks. Not only does this make it easier for search engines to analyze, but it helps the engines distinguish between content that’s either page or navigational specific, along with many other things.
This is a journal / news updated periodically formatted in reverse order, chronologically. These are often personal and are very authoritative as many websites tend to link to them. This gives people reason to return and click through interesting links. Blogs are also a great way for local business to enhance their location and service by providing localised content.
Blog Comment Spam
Because comments on a blog, or any site for that matter, can be used for links, people try to take advantage and post comments for links. This spam commenting can be done either manually or automatically. The latter method requires software. If you have a comment system on a local business website, I would recommend removing or turning off.
Owned by Google, this is a free blogging platform either through a blogspot.com subdomain or your own domain. Avoid a subdomain if you are serious about marketing.
This is a blog’s link list, often linking to other blogs by the blog.
Bloggers use bold font to throw out words to skimming readers, and some search engines consider these words to have slightly more weight to them. All the sections in this local SEO glossary are in bold.
Most browsers let you bookmark a page, and many Web services allow you to share these resources. Browsers, including Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Mozilla and Firefox, have this bookmark feature. Bookmarks help people be more productive through better organisation.
This is the response associated with a company or its products.
Brand pages are used, well by brands, that typically don’t have a single bricks and mortar premises. They could have thousands or none. Brand pages are not connected to Google maps and they don’t produce a knowledge panel in search like a business page would.
These are the keywords associated with a brand
This is a technique used for search engines to understand page relationship. Home >> Category >> Product / Service
This is a hyperlink that is not functioning as desired as it does not go to the desired location. This can be due to misspelling or a missing page.
What you use to view websites.
Business directories are listing of business and details, either by category, location or speciality. Local business directories are the easiest starting point for business citations.
UK Business Directories
A Google business page is used for a business with a physical address that customers can visit in person during the stated business hours. The business page will appear in Maps, local pack and provide a knowledge panel for the business name in search.
Prior to purchasing something, consumers research what products best fit their needs. Keyword marketing can help you reach them at any point within this cycle.
Search engines store this copy of a website. When you search for something, you are actually searching this index.
Content management systems have errors that cause duplicates to become indexed under different URLs, such as having the “www” in and away from the URL.
Short for Common Gateway Interface. This adds interactivity to a site.
A citation is essentially a business profile of some description on a website other than your own. Typically they will appear on business directory type websites. They may be paid citations or free ones. Each citation will consist of at least the business name, address, contact details and, more often than not, a link to the official business website.
This is when one displays different content to searchers and to search engines. Penalty waiting to happen
Search result listings can be grouped together to appear more organised and ensure that top results are diverse. This can also refer to search engines grouping authorities to enhance value by showing relationships.
Content Management System like WordPress.
In some algorithms, links that appear near another one may be considered related.
Blogs and other CMS permit users to leave feedback in the form of comments.
Some developers put comments in the source code to make it easier to learn which block of code is designed to perform certain tasks. In the past, marketers put keywords here to boost traffic, but this method is obsolete.
These are links that search engines try to understand based just on the words within them. Some advanced search engines try to match the text words to a word set, and co-citation can be taken into consideration as well.
This is a search that tries to match results with the query concept rather than the words themselves.
Programs tend to generate advertisements based on a Web page content. The most popular example is Google AdWords.
It is easy to track online advertising, and conversions are reached when completing a desired goal, such as making a sale or filling out a survey, or calling the business from the website.
These are the legal rights to publish certain content.
This is a small data file stored on a user’s machine, used to customise his experience and track conversions for affiliates.
Short for Cost Per Action, this is a measure of how effective some online advertising campaigns are. This can be clicking an ad or buying a product.
Short for Cost Per click, many ads are sold based on a price per click.
Short for Cost Per Thousand Ad Impressions, this is used to measure how much potential a website has.
This refers to how deeply a website is crawled and indexed by a search engine bot
This refers to how often a website is trawled by a search engine bot
Short for Cascading Style Sheets, this is a method of giving documents a style.
Short for Click through Rate, this is the percentage of people who click viewed ads or pages in a site, which works to see how relevant a keyword is.
This is when you turn your ad campaigns off or on, change the price of an ad bid or any kind of constraints on the budget based on when the audience is available and will not be available.
When a link no longer functions.
When a link goes to an internal page in a website.
Top Level Link:
Servers limited to serving one website.
Deep Link Ratio
The number of links pointing to an internal page versus to a home page, also called internal linking.
Being removed from a search engine whether temporarily or permanently, also called de-indexed.
These are the characteristics that define parts of a websites global audience
Search engines give a small snippet of words to bring context to the title of a result, also known as a meta description.
This is a catalogue of websites often organised by topic.
Owned by AOL and run by volunteers, this is the Open Directory Project.
Either Domain Name System or Domain Name Server, which is a mechanism used to resolve a name to a TCP/IP address.
These are designed to rank high in search queries. Can get you Penalised
A popular program for developing websites.
Content that is the same or very similar to other content. Search engines do not want multiple versions of the same content and will not list duplicate content. Google Panda specifically targets duplicate, thin content and will filter these from search results.
This is content that changes over time or uses a language like PHP to render it. Search engines still are behind on playing nice with these, so consider rewriting the URLs to mask the dynamics.
ASP, PHP and other languages that quickly build Web pages on demand.
Earnings Per Click
This is how much money you make for every click on an ad. A lot of business don’t calculate this when embarking on Ads and as a result can actually loose money when advertising.
Search engines consider links to be votes of quality, counting these links over others.
HTML tag that italicises text for emphasis.
This is the first page that a person sees when they visit a website. For a large majority of websites, this is also called the home page. A website’s choice of entry page can make all the difference when it comes to relevance and the user finding the site/page useful. Can also be referred to as a splash page.
The opposite of black hat SEO, this is avoiding using techniques that search engines consider to be exploitative and unethical. Can also be called White Hat SEO.
Search engines update all the time, and Google refers to this as everflux. If you are using a rank tracker you will notice that there are always slight variations in your positions.
This is a high quality page that links to other resources that are not affiliates of their own purposes.
Any link pointing a different domain.
The exceptions listed under Creative Commons or Copyright without first asking permission to post something.
The icon beside a URL.
Many CMS like blogs let readers subscribe to receive notifications of new posts.
This is software used to read a feed.
Short for Free For All, these are pages where anybody can post links.
Some activities make a site look unnatural, which cause them to be removed from search results. They may do this by either decreasing their relevance for a search query or removing them all together.
A popular Web browser, typically used by apple and IOS systems.
Animation software based on vector graphics that makes it easier to make a website look interactive. Please don’t use this, search engines can’t read it.
See outbound links.
Created by Netscape, this displays smaller pages on one display for consistent site navigation. However, it’s difficult to link where necessary.
This is dynamic content that lets readers come back later to see new posts. Or it can be content that has recently been published.
Short for File Transfer Protocol, it helps to transfer data between servers and computers.
Google Advertising Professional, or marketers proficient with AdWords. Now called Google Partners
The leading search engine when it comes to reaching the most users.
The search engine spider Google uses.
A free database of information Google created.
Pointing thousands of links to a page to make it rank well.
Pointing thousands of links to knock out a competitor out of ranking. Now called negative SEO
Google’s payment service.
This refers to back when Google updated their algorithms and SERPs fluctuate.
Google Keyword Tool
A research tool Google provides to estimate keyword competition.
This is part of a results page that Google sometimes uses to display search from News, Base and other services. Google is also using this to display featured snippets that answers a question.
Google Rich Snippet Testing Tool
This allows you to test whether you have correctly installed rich snippets or schema markup: https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/u/0/
Webmasters use this to help Google index a website. Sitemaps should also be submitted to the attached sites Google Search Console to keep Google up to day with a sites pages.
Google thinks one result may be more relevant than others, so it links several deep links at the top of the results page.
Google Supplemental Index
This is an index storing sites with low trust scores.
Google Traffic Estimator
This is a tool that estimates traffic based on a keyword or search term per the price you budget for a click
This is a tool that shows how a keyword changes over time.
Google Webmaster Guidelines
Google provides guidelines to best practice and what to avoid.
Google Website Optimiser
A free platform where AdWords advertisers can improve conversion rates.
This briefly describes the nature of the content it precedes.
The title of an article.
This was a popular SEO technique to show text to spiders that humans do not see. Possible penalty waiting to happen, do not try this.
This is an algorithm ranking based on relevancy scores.
Making a search engine think there is another website at your URL through 302 redirects. In local SEO this is typically when a Google Business Listing gets hijacked and the tel number and or the url is changed.
The main website page that is generally the easiest to rank in a search engine results page. In local SEO there are certain best practices which will help position a sites pages.
A configuration file that can be used to redirect or password protect files.
HyperText Markup Language with which pages are created.
HyperText Transfer Protocol which is used to communicate between browsers and servers. It is now recommended that websites use HTTPS which is a secure hypettext transfer protocol.
Sites that link to trusted sites within the community.
Short for Inverse Document Frequency.
An inbound link is simply a link that directs users from one website to another. Inbound links are highly effective at increasing a pages value due to the fact that these links connect websites with one another. In other words, two or more websites linked with each other are likely to share some of the same traffic.
A link that goes from one page on a site to another on the same site.
Structuring content in a useful way.
Science based on sorting large data sets for information.
The Web browser by Microsoft. Yes people still use this, just check your referral traffic in Analytics
Internet Protocol Address; every computer on the Internet has one, and some servers have unique ones as well.
Internet Service Provider.
A phrase that people may search for to retrieve a certain sector of websites that offer this information. They’re included in just about every web page as well. Search engine algorithms are now starting to become wiser, focusing primarily on content and understanding the actual words and meaning of a web page.
A former measure of relevancy on how frequently keywords appear in content.
The relationship between keywords.
Discovering relevant keywords to focus SEO campaigns.
Excessively putting too much of the same keyword in one piece of content.
The business knowledge panel is created from information extracted from a Google business page, which gets displayed in search results for the businesses name and in some cases for service related search terms.
The linked destination to a page or ad. A landing page has a huge impact on their overall conversion rate because is the primary page that’ll grab the users attention.
Landing Page Quality Scores
Google’s measure to filter noisy ads.
Citing one document to another document.
Targeting an audience and provoking them to provide a high quality link to your website.
Building high quality data for search engines to trust your website and consider it authoritative.
Rapidly increasing the number of links pointing to one domain.
The rate at which a website loses pointed links.
A measure of the strength of a website based on link popularity.
Website that offers no editorial control when linking elsewhere. A manual penalty waiting to happen.
Files on a server that log where traffic comes in and what search terms are used.
Trying to retain link popularity by not linking out.
Quantity of links pointing at a site.
Quality of links pointing at a site.
Measuring what percent of the links of a website are broken.
Local SEO is driven by the same ideas and practices as traditional SEO with a vital difference being the businesses location or the area that the business serves.
This is a more detailed search term rather then a generic one, it can include three words or more, example : Local SEO Consultant
Search engines make manual reviews to catch spam and test algorithms.
Used to refer to viral ideas.
One or two sentences that briefly describe a page’s content in 160 characters. Like a landing page, the meta description plays a major role if whether or not a person clicks on the website link.
A tag that can highlight targeted keywords. These are no longer used by search engines within its algorithm.
A tag used to refresh to another URL.
An engine that pulls top results and rearranges them.
Meta title, descriptions, keywords.
Measuring how many people think of your product.
Site mirroring another site.
Multi Dimensional Scaling
Taking snapshots of documents for indexing.
Natural Language Processing
Algorithms attempting to understand a search query
See editorial link.
See organic search results
Scheme helping users understand where they are within a website. This could be drop down navigation, breadcrumbs of product lists on page.
Niche describes the primary topic that a website focuses on, whether it be sports, cars or anything else. However, a niche can usually be broken down into smaller sub-categories, including search marketing, privacy, legal issues and other things of the like.
An attribute preventing a link from passing link authority.
The basic premise of Negative SEO is to point links at a competitor’s website. Then allow Googles own algorithm to penalise the website for low quality, “paid for” links.
The effort in creating a schema of a domain.
Software that can be modified freely.
Organic Search Results
Search engines have paid and unpaid listings, the latter of which are organic search results.
Linking from one website to an external one.
Overture Keyword Selector Tool
Keyword research tool that uses Yahoo statistics.
A page rank basically measures the importance of different websites pages. This is an internal process with Google. The old Page Rank toolbar that Google used to display for sites has been depreciated and no longer exists.
A way to let websites buy exposure after passing editorial quality.
See text link ads.
Pay For Performance
A structure of payment where workers receive commission to have others perform actions.
Search engines stop spamming websites from ranking high by penalising them. This is what a link penalty looks like.
Altering results based on history or location.
PHP Hypertext Pre-processor used to render sites or add interactivity.
Words generally considered to be part of low quality content.
Portable Document Format, a universal file format by Adobe that lets files be viewed as printer-friendly content.
Pay Per Click, a pricing model that only charges an advertiser when someone clicks the ad.
An engine’s ability to list satisfactory results.
Measuring the similarity between words. In local SEO this is also used to provide results based on the users location, businesses listed closest to the user.
Content worth linking to.
Search engines count these links as votes of trust more than any other kind. When it comes to SEO, or search engine optimisation, high quality links count significantly more than low quality ones. In general, a link is considered of high quality if it’s trustworthy, hard to obtain, aged, related and has good content.
The string of text entered into a search engine
Some searchers can refine a query that isn’t pulling up desired results.
Linking to one another.
Telling a browser that a page has moved. Use 301 for permanent changes and 302 for temporary ones.
A company that lets users register a domain name.
Sites can ask this after being penalised for spamming. In local SEO a user would need to request re-inclusion if the Google Business Listing had become suspended.
The source that linked to a website.
Links that show the relation from one URL to the other. A relative link is essentially a substitute for the absolute. Although both do pretty much the same thing, relative links are much harder to corrupt and hijack. Therefore, most websites and links used today are relative links.
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Measuring the usefulness of a search engine result.
Ensuring search engines show the right results for your brand.
See URL rewrite.
The file that tells search engines what documents to skip, but they can still appear.
Return on Investment, which is how much you get back for your investment.
Rich Site Summary, a method to syndicate information to a feed reader.
Browsers keep a record of what pages you visit by default.
A tool used to find information using keywords.
Search engine marketing.
Search engine optimisation.
SEO Copy writing
Formatting copy in a way that makes a page look relevant to many search queries.
Search Engine Results Page.
Typically through SEO, marketing sites through engines.
The computer that houses files and serves them to the Internet.
Files servers host that show traffic sources and trends.
Singular Value Decomposition
Breaking down a large database to find the relevance.
Stealing traffic from another website.
The page used to give search engines a structured way to go through a website.
Websites where users create, share, the content.
Creating and distributing spam.
Crawlers from search engines to help them learn what pages to index.
Web page that gives poor usability and little content to index.
Programs used to spy on other users to create targeted ads and collect research.
Server Side Includes, a way to call parts of another page.
Infrequently changing content, or content without social elements or dynamic parts.
Making information systems aware of your website. This is no longer required for most large search engines.
Documents that are less trusted and do not rank high.
Classification system that organises subjects and are often hierarchical.
Measuring how often a keyword appears.
Term Vector Database
Weighted document index looking to understand the subject based on similarity to other documents.
Synonym search engines that help improve relevancy on return.
This element is used to describe the overall document contents. Also called meta title
Major search companies try to get market share by releasing these with features like spell checkers and tracking usage.
Automatically notifying a website that you mentioned them.
Algorithm that places weighting on trusted website links controlled by government, educational and corporate institutions.
Some SEO marketers have no creativity when it comes to marketing services as ethical. However, SEO is generally neither ethical nor unethical; it is usually categorised as either effective or ineffective.
Vector Space Model
See term vector database.
Search service focused on a particular field, much like Usenet.
Marketing techniques like blogging or video that gets shared by thousands of people – think chain reaction
A website on a virtual server.
Servers that can host several top level domains on one computer.
A record that shows the ownership data for a domain.
White Hat SEO
SEO techniques considered to be within the confines of the search engine guidelines are considered to be white hat SEO. This differs from those that are somewhat deceptive in nature and are therefore known as black hat SEO.
The software that permits collaborative editing.
The most popular online collaborative encyclopaedia that runs on wiki software.
English word database used to help engines understand the relationship between words.
Popular platform for blogging using open source software, either in the form of a hosted solution or in a program that can be downloaded and self-hosted elsewhere.
Xenu Link Sleuth
Popular and free software used to create a sitemap and check for broken internal and external links.
Short for Extensible HyperText Markup Language to move HTML to XML formatting.
Short for Extensible Markup Language, which is a flexible format from SGML to make it easy to format information using RSS and other technologies.
Originally started as Yahoo Directory, it is now an Internet portal company and search engine.
A free service where users can ask and answer questions and lets Yahoo create a network of free content.
One of the original authoritative Web directories.
Feature rich video website owned by Google.