WordPress SEO Glossary

Algorithm

Computer program used to solve an equation or perform a computation. In the case of search, algorithms are used to rank the results of web search.

ALT

An attribute for different HTML tags including the IMG tag used to describe images. It defines an alternative text for those who would be able to see the result of the tag.

Author

In WordPress SEO this refers to the user who was the author of a post.

Authoritativeness

Part of the concept of page quality. The A of EAT. Evaluates whether the creator or the website owner is an authority on the subject dealt with on a webpage.

Backlinks

Backlinks are links that a page receives from other pages. They are used to calculate PageRank, an important ranking factor in Google.

Bing

A search engine provided by Microsoft.

Blog

Shortened from “web log” a blog is a type of website based on the regular publication of blog posts by one or more authors. WordPress sites are not all blogs.

Breadcrumbs

Navigational feature of webpages, breadcrumbs are links to parent pages of the current page.

Browser

Software such as Chrome, Safari or Firefox that people use to browse the web on their PC or phone.

Citations

Originally meaning content that one author cites from another in a publication. It was used as a method of ranking academics (better academics got the most citations) and became the inspiration for using backlinks to rank webpages.

CMS

Acronym of Content Management System. Software that allows users to create and manage websites, often without having to use HTML code. WordPress is a CMS.

Comments

In the context of WordPress, the comments that visitors can leave on blog posts.

Content Analysis

A feature in SEOPress that allows you to analyze the content of a page or post in relation to a keyword.

Conversions

In the context of web analytics, a conversion is a visit to the website that results in an important action for the web owner. This could be sending a contact form or completing a purchase.

Core Updates

A core update is a major change to Google’s algorithm.

Crawling

In the context of search engines, crawling is the process of software visiting webpages and following links from one page to another. The software “crawls” like a spider on a web (the World Wide Web).

Data Centers

These are industrial buildings containing computers that store data. Google’s index, a copy of the entire web, is stored in data centers across the world.

Domain           

In the context of the web, a domain is part of a URL. For example, seopress.org in https://www.seopress.org/pricing/. Domain names are bought from registrars.

DuckDuckGo

Is a search engine that can be used as an alternative to Google.

EAT

Is a concept from Google’s Quality Raters Guidelines and used to evaluate page quality. It is an acronym of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

Ecommerce

An ecommerce site is a site that sells goods or services online. Using plugins such as WooCommerce, WordPress can be used to run an ecommerce.

Expertise

Part of the concept of page quality. The E of EAT. It evaluates the expertise an author has on a subject.

Google

In the context of SEO, Google refers to the Google search engine. Google is also many other products including Android, Chrome, YouTube and web services like Google Analytics, Google Maps, etc.

Google Ads

Is an advertising platform, formally known as Google Adwords. Among other types of advertising, Google Ads allow sites to place ads in search results by bidding on keywords.

Google Images

Search engine dedicated to image search. Can be used as a standalone search engine from Google.com although results from Google Images may also be integrated into web search results.

Google Keyword Planner

Tool provided by Google Ads to anticipate the volumes of searches for keywords based on historic search data.

Google My Business

Business listing service provided by Google. Results from Google My Business are integrated into Google and Google Maps search results.

Google News

Search engine for news stories. Can be accessed independently from Google.com, Google News results can also be integrated into web search results.

Google Search Console

Formally known as Google Webmaster Tools, this service gives webmasters access to information about their indexation and search history on Google.

Google Suggest

To help users, Google autocompletes searches as they are typed. The technology behind this is called Google Suggest.

Guest blogging

Publishing articles from authors who usually publish on different sites. In SEO it has been used as a scheme to get backlinks from other sites.

H1

HTML tag used to indicate that some text is the main header (title) on a page. Normally a page has only one H1.

H2

HTML tag used to indicate that some text is a sub-header (subtitle) on a page.

Homepage

In the context of SEO, refers to the top-level page of a website usually on the root directory without a folder or filename. For example, https://www.seopress.org/.

HTML

Acronym for HyperText Markup Language, this is the code that webpages are written in. It is written as a series of tags.

HTTP

Acronym for HyperText Transfer Protocol and found at the beginning of URLs, this protocol lays down the rules for transferring data from a server to a client (your computer or phone) and links between pages.

HTTPS

Secure version of HTTP – the S stands for Secure. The content of URLs that start with https rather than http is encrypted whereas data transferred over http is not.

Index

Commonly used to refer to the entire database and indexes that a search engine uses to search for results. Can also refer to a single index that contains a list of URLs.

Keyword

In the context of SEO refers to a search query (of one or more words) that you would like your site to be visible for.

Keyword Density

How many times your keyword is used in a page based on the total number of words. Some SEOs think that having a keyword density above or below certain levels influence ranking.

Keyword Stuffing

A technique of adding a keyword many, many times to a page. May once have given a ranking boost in early search engines, it is now something to avoid.

Knowledge Graph

Refers to Google’s Knowledge Graph which is an encyclopedic database about people, places and events. Used to understand searches and also present information in search results.

Knowledge Panel

Can be part of the search results provided by Google. Usually giving more information on a company, person or other entity from Google’s Knowledge Graph or Google My Business.

Link

Refers to a clickable hypertext link in webpages. These can be links in the menu, buttons or more typically underlined text links. Links may take users from one site to another or to another page in the same site.

Link Schemes

Term given by Google to attempts to obtain links unnaturally to improve ranking.

Linkbuilding

Actions whose intention is to obtain links for a web site.

Local

In the context of SEO refers to localized search results (i.e., based on a geographical position) or local SEO.

LocalBusiness

A structured data definition from Schema.org that can be used to identify the business behind a website or a business that is mentioned on a webpage.

Local pack

Refers to a block of results in the search engine that contains a pack of local addresses and telephone numbers in response to a query. In Google results, these addresses are provided by Google Maps.

Long Tail (keyword)

Refers to search queries with many words and therefore more precise meaning, but possibly fewer searches.

Manual Action

In the context of search engines refers to a website or page being blacklisted or receiving a ranking penalty from a human rather than an algorithm.

META DESCRIPTION

Text provided in HTML using a META tag. This can be used by Google as the description of a page to complete search results.

Metabox

In the context of WordPress, refers to a block in an editor. SEOPress adds Metaboxes to the standard editor interfaces to allow you to add and manage data important for SEO.

Page Speed

How fast a page loads in a browser. Pages that load slowly are penalized by search engines. Users don’t like them much either!

PageRank

Patented mathematical formula invented by Google founder Larry Page to rank webpages based on the backlinks they receive from other pages.

Permalink

Permalink is the WordPress term for a page’s URL. Perma underlining the fact that this should be the permenant address of a page and Link because this is what other sites will use to link to you.

Post

In WordPress this usually refers to a blog post type of publication and is distinct from a static page. However, WordPress also refers to posts and pages as types of post and therefore synonymous with webpage.

Post Types

WordPress has standard post types like pages and posts, but also allows the creation of custom post types that can have different formats to pages and posts.

Quality Raters Guidelines

This is a document produced by Google for internal use by Quality Raters whose job it is to evaluate the quality of search results.

Query, Queries

In the context of SEO a query refers to the words used to search (or query) a search engine.

Ranking          

In SEO this generally refers to the position of a website in search results. Improving ranking means featuring higher in search-engine results.

Ranking Factors

These are things that influence the ranking of a webpage in search engines because they are part of the ranking algorithm. For example, using HTTPS is a ranking factor.

Redirections

Like a forwarding address when you move home, web servers allow you to redirect visitors that arrive on an old URL to the new one. When you change domain name for example, or a permalink.

Result

In the context of SEO, results can be the entire results page shown and result the individual result for one page. An individual result is also called a snippet.

Rich Snippets

See snippet. Rich snippets have extra features such as an image, price or ratings that enhance their appearance.

Robots

Synonymous with Crawler or Spider, a robot is a computer program that visits websites and indexes their content.

Robots.txt

Is a file on a web server used to give instructions to robots. Instructions that indicate not to index certain files or dossiers. It is completely up to the robot to obey or ignore these instructions.

Schema.org

Is a vocabulary initiated by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex to allow webmasters to describe content of their websites using structured data and published on https://schema.org/.

SEO Plugin

A WordPress plugin that helps you perform SEO tasks that standard WordPress will not let you do. The best SEO plugin is SEOPress.

SERP

Acronym for Search Engine Results Page, the results shown by a search engine for a query.

Sitemap

Is a file provided on a website to indicate to search engines the URLs it can index. Different formats of sitemap exist for webpages, images, videos and language equivalents (HREFLANG).

Snippet

The block dedicated to one result in search engines. In organic results a snippet can be just a link to the site, a URL and a short description. It can be enrichened with a logo, image, reviews and other content.

 

Spam

In the context of SEO spam means pages and sites that have been created (usually mass-produced) to cheat the search engines. Recognizable by humans due to low-quality content and design, but not always to search engines.

Structured Data

Code added to webpages to explain content to search engines. For example, that the text “1 hour” corresponds to the cooking time in a recipe.

Tags

In HTML refers to HTML tags, such as TITLE or H1, with which webpages are written. But in WordPress, refers to a taxonomy that can be used to group posts together in tag pages.

Taxonomy, Taxonomies

In WordPress the term refers to groups of posts, pages or custom post types. The standard taxonomies are tags and categories, but you can also create your own.

TITLE

An important HTML code used as the title the browser tab when a page is open. Important for SEO because it is used by search engines to provide the link to the page in search results.

Traffic

On the web refers to the number of people that visit your website. The more traffic you have, more people visit your website.

Trustworthiness

Part of Google’s EAT quality ratings that can refer to the online reputation of the person or organization responsible for a page’s content. Also refers to the accuracy of the content.

URL, URLs

Acronym for Unique Resource Locator, the unique address of a page, image or other resource on internet. The URLs for webpages start with “http”.

Webmaster Tools

Was the old name for Google’s Search Console and is used by Microsoft as Bing Webmaster Tools, giving verified website owners details about their indexation on a search engine.

XML

Acronym for eXtensible Markup Language a filetype (.xml) and type of code that is used to provide data. Used, for example, for sitemaps.

Yahoo!

A company with a wide range of activities, but historically well known as a search directory and then search engine. Results for Yahoo! Search are now provided by Microsoft’s Bing.

YMYL  

Acronym for Your Money or Your Life and used in Google’s Quality Raters Guidelines to describe content that can have an impact on the finances or the health of the person reading it.

Last modified: February 1, 2021