Common SEO Acronyms, Terminology and Definitions

As SEO experts, sometimes we get into the weeds. Frasca Digital put together this quick reference page to define the most common buzz words, terms, acronyms, and anything else that makes you say, “this sounds way too complicated.”

Basically, this article is a list of words related to SEO and SEO terminology. If you’re new to SEO, then you’re in the right place. Oh yeah, and we put this list in alphabetical order because we’re awesome.

So sit back, grab some coffee, and get ready to scroll.

SEO Terminology and Phrases

  1. Alt Text – Alternative text that describes images on-page for screen readers and Google Image indexing.
  2. Anchor Text – This is the text that appears highlighted in a hypertext link and that can be clicked to open the target web page.
  3. Bot – The bots are what crawl the web from search engines and can also be referred to as “crawlers” or “spiders”.
  4. DA – Stands for domain authority – a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.
  5. DNS – Stands for domain name server and allows a domain name to be translated to an IP address.
  6. SERP – Stands for search engine results page.
  7. Featured Snippets – The featured snippet is the search result box that appears at the very top of the SERP. A featured snippet box will only appear for high-volume searches.
  8. Hreflang – This is code on a that communicates to search engines which language the content is in and helps serve the correct language of a page to people searching in that language.
  9. Indexing – This is the process of a search engine collecting data for search engine results. Google and other search engines crawl your site, indexing the content such as text and images, so the webpage can be found after a search query.
  10. IP Address – Stands for internet protocol and is a set of numbers unique to each specific website. Websites live on servers and every device on a network, including the one you are reading this blog post on, has a unique identifier/IP address. Just as you would address a letter to send in the mail, the internet works in a similar fashion with to and from addresses during communication.
  11. Keyword Stuffing – The overuse of keywords on-page. When is too much of a keyword? According to SEO leader Yoast, roughly 3% is a safe target. So that means three out of every 100 words should be a keyword.
  12. Local Pack – This is the first three business listings that appear when a user conducts a local search (like a “near me” query).
  13. Long-Tail Keywords – Keyword searches with a string of more than three words. Tend to be more specific and with a clear intent. Ex: ‘how to restore a bicycle’ or ‘how much is duct cleaning?’
  14. Open Graph – What is Open Graph? Open Graph is an internet protocol that was originally created by Facebook to standardize the use of metadata within a webpage to represent the content of a page. Within it, you can provide details as simple as the title of a page or as specific as the duration of a video. These pieces all fit together to form a representation of each individual page of the internet.
  15. PA – Stands for page authority. Similar to DA (domain authority), page authority is a score developed by Moz that predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engine result pages (SERP). Page Authority scores range from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.
  16. PAA – Refers to the “people also ask” box that is featured on SERPs with a list of common questions in relation to the query with suggested answers.
  17. Protocol – This is the “http” or “https” (preferred) that appears right before the domain name of a website. The “s” means a site is securely transferred between the server and browser. If your site isn’t secure, follow the HTTPs steps here or work with a web developer to make it secure.
  18. Query – Keywords entered into a search bar.
  19. Redirection / Status Codes: 301 and 302– Sends a user from one URL to another. Website owners will often use a redirect when they decide to rename a page or combine content from two pages into one, thus deleting one page, but forcing the old url to redirect to the new url. Ex: yourdomain.com/service redirects to yourdomain.com/new-service. This is helpful for repeat visitors who have saved a particular page as a favorite in their browser. This is also a good practice to avoid showing a 404 or ‘Page Not Found’ after being indexed.
  20. Rel=canonical – Also known as a canonical tag, this is a piece of code that communicates to a search engine which webpage is an original and which is a duplicate. This is implemented to avoid duplicate content crawl errors.
  21. Schema – Structured code that provides additional information about content to search engines. Schema.org is a great reference for setting up SEO schema on your website
  22. Sitemap – A map of URLs on a website meant for establishing a hierarchy and assisting with indexation of content. Usually found as: [example.com/sitemap.xml]. Bonus tip: be sure to submit all of your website’s sitemaps to Google Search Console.
  23. Status Codes – Requests for a page that were either successful or unsuccessful. Most common website status codes: 200, 301, 404. Classes of status codes include: 2xx, 4xx, and 5xx. 2xx status codes means the request for a page was successful. 4xx means there was an error (404 Not Found). 5xx means the server couldn’t perform a request.
  24. Thin Content – When content on-page is too minimal and of low value. Writing content that is informative and enjoyable to your readers is the most important factor involved in writing quality content that will improve your SEO. Typically, a page with “thin content” has less than 300 words on it.
  25. Title Tag – Also known as page title, this is an HTML title element for a webpage. The title of this page is ‘A Guide to SEO Acronyms & Terms’.
  26. URL – Stands for uniform resource locator and is the address of a web page. Is a URL the same as a domain name? Actually, the answer is no. But the terms are used so interchangeably. A domain is frascadigital.com, a url is https://frascadigital.com/2021/09/12/quick-tips-for-getting-started-with-seo/
  27. Voice Search – A way of searching with voice commands and questions. The featured snippet or first search result is what is delivered to the searcher. A significant majority of voice search queries are questions seeking answers, as opposed to conversions.

Ready to learn how SEO can grow your small business?

Yes, this is our obligatory plug to contact us today at Frasca Digital if you would like to learn more about SEO, or if you would like a free SEO website audit.

We hope this article helped you learn something new. Got something we didn’t include? Shoot us an email or leave a comment below and we’ll add it!


Digital marketing expert specializing in SEO, MarTech and Website Design services in the Baltimore, MD market.

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