SEO – Glossary

Don’t understand some of the high-tech jargon?
Don’t worry as we’ve prepared this easy to understand glossary of common SEO



Stands for search engine optimisation. The aim of SEO is to rank a website higher in the search engine results pages so it is one of the first sites found by search engine users.
Statistically the higher the website is in the search engine results the more clicks it will receive.

On-Page / on-site Search Engine Optimisation

Refers to the improvements made to a website’s pages to make it more appealing to Google. There are a number of things that can be done to make your pages friendlier to the search engines. Here are just a few:

  • Add your primary keywords to the websites page titles.
  • Name the pages accurately with the keywords most relevant to the page.
  • Use original content. Original content refers to text, images and video that does not appear elsewhere on the internet.
  • Include a mix of media such as images, audio and video with relevant names and descriptions.
  • Arrange your pages in themed categories.
  • Ensure your pages load quickly.

When the above improvements are made to your website it will be positioned well to take advantage of off-page page optimisation (promotion).

Off-Page / off-site Search Engine Optimisation

Also known as off-page promotion or off-site SEO, it refers to everything that can be done to promote your website away from the site itself. The aim is to increase your website’s authority by increasing the number of relevant websites pointing links back towards (backlinks) your website. Ideally the links will be from a number of different properties.


Search engines are built around the use of ‘keywords’ or ‘key phrases.’ When we use search engines like Bing or Google we input phrases hoping the most relevant results are returned. We want our website listing to be displayed as high as possible for the keywords that are most relevant to the website. Some years ago website owners used to just place these keywords all over their website to try and trick the search results. This is now a dangerous thing to do. Keyword stuffing (as it is known) is considered spammy by
the search engines.

The best practice is to include your keyword in the page name and page title and then place relevant well written content on the page. The content should be written for humans and not the Search ‘Bots’.

Longer phrases (sometimes called ‘long tail keywords’ due to the greater number of words they have) are easier to rank for due to lesser competition and often have more targeted buyers (commercial intent). Short keyword phrases (short tail) like ‘cars’ bring more traffic, are harder to rank for and are less targeted. It is best to aim for a balance of traffic versus commercial intent.


Articles are text based documents that form the core content for a web page. Typically they are 600 to 1000 words long and contain original useful content relating to the topic on the website. Articles will naturally have several related key phrases in them and can bring you search traffic for multiple phrases.

Re-written Articles

Original articles are referred to as ‘core’ articles. Re-writes of the core articles can be done by hand or using a machine (spinning). When articles are re-written by hand you will get a quality version of the core article that can be used to place on other websites.


This is the simple action of ‘announcing’ each new link to the popular ping networks such as Pingomatic. It is just another way to ensure the new content gets noticed by search engines. We use multiple methods in our packages to insulate results

Backlink Boosting

Link Boosting is a process where we power up the backlinks to your website with additional layers of links RSS feed submission, pinging and posting. When we ‘boost’ your links you not only get links to your website, but you get links to the links pointing at your website. This strategy helps us to index the links from our SEO campaign much faster. Additionally, it helps build a more effective link building strategy since we pass score Page Rank and Link Power back to your target site. Link Boosting is reserved for our higher packages.



It’s a file that gives directions to search engine robots about the pages inside your website that should and should not be crawled. This is an important addition to your website to block private pages from appearing in search results.


This file makes navigation of your website easier and having an updated sitemap is good for search engines and users. It is recommended that the XML version of your sitemap is submitted to Google using Search Console so you could receive alerts if Google has issues crawling your site.


This refers to a web server function where an old URL can be redirected to a new URL.


This refers to the permanent static hyperlink to a particular web page, also known as it’s URL. It is recommended that no URL should be longer than 115 characters in length. It is advisable that permalinks are easy to be read by users. Poor permalink structure could lead to lower click-through-rates from search listings and hurt website rankings.

Indexed Pages

This refers to the number of pages of a website that are included in Google search results. Generally, the more pages your website has indexed in search results the better since each page is another opportunity to rank.


A regularly updated web log, typically run by a group or an individual, that is written in a conversational or informal style. Search engines want to deliver results that are helpful to users, so when you write valuable content pieces and add them on your site, Google takes notice. By increasing the amount of useful indexable content you have, each high-quality blog post that you publish is another opportunity to get traffic from search engines.


These are values that are set dynamically in a page’s URL. Parameters can cause problems for crawlers by creating unnecessarily high numbers of URLs that point to a similar or identical content on a website. Therefore, search robots consume much more bandwidth than necessary or are unable to completely index all the content on your website when parameters are present.


The practice of segmenting links to content on multiple pages. If this is implemented properly, it can prevent duplicate content problems both for landing pages and individual articles that allow browsing access to them.

Page Speed Score

This indicates how fast a page could be. Page Speed does not measure the load time of the page but a high score means that your website is optimised, while a lower score signifies a room for improvement. Studies show that a high pagespeed score contributes to high search rankings.

Mobile Responsive

This means a website with one URL and HTML regardless of the device making it easier
and more efficient for Google to crawl and index your website.

Text to HTML Ratio

This refers to the amount of text on a specific web page versus the HTML code on the same page.

Internal Duplicate Content

This refers to substantive pieces of content within the domain that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Internal duplicate content should be avoided as if not handled correctly can appear like an attempt to trick search engines.

External Duplicate Content

Is content that appears on search engines on more than one domain or URL.

Broken Links

Refers to a set of links that doesn’t work which often results in an error page. This occurs when the link points to a web page that has been removed. If Google encounters too many broken links on a site it may deem that a website provides poor user experience which could cause a negative effect on crawl rate and ranking problems.

Structured Markup

Structured Markup enables search engines to easily understand the current data on your website and use this information to improve your website’s visibility on search results.

Meta Title

Meta titles are one of the most important on page ranking elements of a web page. Meta titles are often used on search engine results pages to display preview snippets for a given page.

Meta Description

Is an HTML attribute that provides a brief summary of the contents of web pages. These are commonly used on search engine result pages to display preview snippets for a given page.

Meta Keywords

This is a specific type of meta tag that appears on the HTML code of a webpage. This tag passes no SEO value and misuse of this tag can potentially create a negative impact on your website’s ability to rank.

Canonical Tag

Is an HTML element that helps website owners prevent duplicate content issues by determining the preferred or canonical version of a specific web page.


This is the emphasised text on the page. It is usually the largest text that stands out.

Image Alternative Text (ALT Tag)

This text helps search engines to understand what an image is about. This could be helpful in case images on a page can’t be found.

Image Titles

It is an attribute that can be added to the image tag in HTML. This is used to give a title to your image.

Keyword Density

Is the measurement of the number of times a specific phrase or keyword appears compared to the total number of words on a page. It is recommended that keyword density is low to prevent your website getting penalised because of keyword stuffing.

Domain Authority

A metric created and developed by Moz and one of the most important numbers in SEO. The higher the authority of a domain (DA) the more likely it is you will get high rankings and traffic. Domain Authority is influenced primarily by the number and quality of websites linking to your website.

Page Authority

A metric created and developed by Moz that scores how likely it is that a particular page will rank on search engines.

Link Distribution

Is the percentage of the number of inbound links that are linked to the homepage compared to the number of inbound links that are linked to inner pages of the website. A trustworthy website will have links to the homepage and inner pages.

Anchor Text Density

Is the percentage of times a keyphrase or keyword is used as anchor text by referring domains.

Sitewide Links

These are the external links that are present on each page of a referring domain. These are commonly seen in the sidebar or footer of the website.

Unnatural Links

These are links who’s purpose is to manipulate a website’s ranking in search engines. Links to your website may appear unnatural if they appear on unrelated or low quality websites. These kind of links may be considered as a violation to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Email Outreach

An email outreach program is when you create an email and send it to other website owners / bloggers to either review your product, site, service etc or post your content with the aim to gain a backlink.

Guest Post

Guest posting means writing and publishing an article on someone else’s website or blog. This is often done for SEO with the aim to gain a backlink.

Local Citation

A local citation is any online mention of the name, address, and phone number for a local business. Citations can occur on local business directories, on websites and apps, and on social platforms. Citations help Internet users to discover local businesses and can also impact local search engine rankings.

Directory Listing

A web directory or link directory is an online list or catalog of websites. Directories typically list entries on businesses, and their contact information.

Referring Domains

A Referring Domain also known as a ref domain, is a domain that backlinks are coming from.

Backlink Profile

A link profile (or portfolio) is just a way of saying all the sites currently linking to your site. It is important that Google considers your profile to be natural.

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Sam Sayer
Sam Sayer
10:48 04 Mar 19
I've worked with several SEO companies over the years but none impressed me so much as Springhill. SEO has always been a dark art - it changes constantly and what worked one month cha change to the next - there’s a reason we decided not to offer it as a service as it’s such a specialist skillset - and one that Springhill know inside out. From the first meeting I was impressed with the analysis, but crucially I wasn’t bombarded with jargon. It is technical stuff, but Springhill made it easy to decipher and I understood where progress could be made. I know it can be a long process to climb the rankings, especially as I’m in such a competitive category, but the gains in just 3 months were phenomenal. In addition, their understanding of websites themselves mean I can refer them with ease, knowing I can trust them to make any necessary changes on my clients sites too, not something I give out lightly! All in all the service has been prompt, delivered over and above my expectations and I’m already looking to get started with the next campaign. Highly recommended!
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