Glossary: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

We write a lot about SEO / Search Engine Optimization here on Return On Now. To be sure we are all speaking the same language, please use the following glossary of terminology as a reference point when reading our commentary.


301 Redirect

A type of redirect that is set up to be permanent. 301 redirects are effective at preventing Page Not Found errors when used to send traffic to the new location of the deleted page, or relevant content to the original topic.


404 Error

A type of error that returns when a page is no longer present where expected on a server. 404 errors often originate when a page is moved or deleted without a 301 redirect established to forward the traffic to the right page.


API – Application Program Interface

This term describes a pre-built set of connector logic made available for developers to build add-on functions or applications for a specific platform or application.


Authority

The esteem placed on a website or page by search engines, weighted as part of their ranking system or algorithm. Authority is heavily influenced by frequency of content creation, backlinks to the page / site from reputable sources, and site / domain age.


Backlink

Links pointing to your website from external websites. Backlinks are a key component of Authority and can significantly influence your site’s ranking in SERPs.


Black Hat SEO

Using shady or unethical means to get a website ranked well on search engines, rather than building usable, high quality, active websites that follow the generally accepted rules of SEO.


Blog

Short for “Weblog”, blog describes a frequently updated online journal. Entries or typically displayed in reverse chronological order. A blog can be very helpful for SEO and as a content creation vehicle that can be promoted via Social Media. Individual entries on a blog are referred to as “blog posts” and not “blogs.”


Internal Link

Links pointing from one page on a website to another page on the same website. Search engines use internal linking to determine relative Authority between multiple pages on the same website.


Keyword Research

The practice of analyzing a large number of possible keywords to determine which should be used within your own SEO efforts. Our approach to keyword research includes analysis of overall search volume and SEO competition (i.e. how hard would it be to rank for each individual keyword), plus clustering of keywords into semantic topics for deployment to the website / content.


Link Building

The practice of performing outreach to existing websites in hopes of placing content linking to your own website, or for other means such as fixing broken links, inserting links into existing content, or other ways to add links that will pass some domain authority from their website to your own.


Off-Page SEO

One of the three pillars of SEO (On-page, Off-page, Technical), Off-page is a term describing everything you do on websites that you do not control to help improve your search engine optimization / organic performance.


On-Page SEO

One of the three pillars of SEO (On-page, Off-page, Technical), On-page is a term describing everything you do on your own website’s content and meta tags to help improve your search engine optimization / organic performance.


SERP – Search Engine Results Page

The list of websites that search engines serve up when you search for a keyword or phrase.


Technical SEO

One of the three pillars of SEO (On-page, Off-page, Technical), Technical SEO is a term describing everything you do on your own website’s back-end and/or hosting setup to help boost performance and make it easier for search engines to crawl, index, and rank your content.


White Hat SEO

Also referred to as “ethical SEO”, White Hat SEO describes the practice of pursuing higher website rankings through the standard means that are recommended by Google and other search engines.