SEO Terminology explained

SEO Terminology

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has matured around the world. In India too, the importance of SEO is increasingly being felt by owners of websites. However, for someone new to the internet and search marketing, many of the terms commonly used in the industry can be confusing. Here is a glossary of terms used in Search Engine Optimization, arranged alphabetically. While we have tried to compile the most commonly used terms for your benefit, it is by no means an exhaustive list.

SEO Terms Starting With: A to C

Algorithm: Search engines determine which website (or web page) to rank based on a formula that takes many factors into consideration. This formula, also called the search engine's algorithm, helps the search engine decide how a web page should rank in the search results pages.

ALT text: When a picture cannot be displayed, the browser shows an empty box in its place. ALT text is the text that is displayed in this box. The ALT text is also displayed when you move your mouse over the image at the top. Search engines cannot read pictures. However, they can read the ALT text and understand what the picture is about.

Anchor Text: Anchor text is the text in a hyperlink that is clickable. It is also called the Link Text. For example if we made the words "affordable SEO" clickable and linked them to our website's home page, the words "affordable SEO" would become the anchor text for the link. It would then appear as affordable SEO.

Below the fold: Many web pages contain information that cannot be displayed on one screen. When a page contains more than a screen full of content, a scroll bar appears on the right side which allows you to read the content below the first screen. This content, which is not visible to the visitor to the web page till s/he scrolls, is below the fold.

Clustering: Even when search engines find many pages from within a website relevant to the information someone is searching for, they only limit the results to show one or two pages. This is called clustering.

CSS: Cascading Style Sheets. These are used to manipulate how the content of a web page is displayed. These include formatting, coloring, fonts, spacing, etc.

SEO Terms Starting With: D to N

Doorway Page: Creation of doorway pages is an unethical SEO practice. Doorway pages are designed in such a way that they seem appealing to searchers. However, after drawing in traffic from the internet, these pages redirect users to other pages or websites without giving any relevant information.

Filter Words: Search engines consider common words like is, am, do, for, the, was, were, etc., as irrelevant and ignore them while indexing websites. These are called Filter Words.

Hit: When someone clicks on a link, a request is sent to the server asking for information. This is called a hit.

IBL or Inbound Links: When another website links to your website, it is called an in-bound link.

SEO Terms Starting With: O to Z

OBL or Outbound Link: A link from a page within your website to another site is called an out-bound link. For example, if we provide a link to Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) from our website, it would be an out-bound link.

Query: When a search engine executes a search, or when someone searches for information on asearch engine, it is called a query.

SE: Search engine. A website that helps you locate websites or information you are seeking on the Internet.

SEM: Search engine marketing. This includes all forms of marketing and advertising efforts made through search engines, or marketing efforts made to help people locate websites through search engines.

SEO: Making a website friendly to search engines, so that search engines can determine what the website contains and display it in the search results for relevant searches is called SEO or Search Engine Optimization.

SEP: Search engine placement.

SERP: Search Engine (Search) Results Page. This is the page on which your website features when someone queries a search engine for a term relevant to your website.

Stemming: Stemming is another term for creating variations of a word. For example, for the searched term "eat" a search engine which supports stemming will also look for related terms like eating, eats, etc.

Stop Word: While filter words are ignored by search engines while indexing a website, stop words are ignored by the search engine if they are a part of a search query. Common stop words include get, I, me, the, you, etc.

URL: The Universal Resource Locator (URL), is the unique identity of your website through which it is recognized across the internet.


Raghupati is the COO and Director of Operations at VTech SEO. VTech SEO provides high quality outsourced SEO services, web design services and content services to growing businesses around the world. We also offer white label SEO services to web design firms, digital marketing firms and advertising agencies.

VTech SEO is among India's leading SEO firms for growing businesses from around the world. VTech SEO offers outsourced SEO services, HTML based web design services, content services, and other outsourced services from our offices in India and USA.


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