Essential SEO Terms You Should Know

If you are on this post, it means either you are a blogger or a website owner who wants to improve traffic. In both cases, SEO is very important for you. So you should know something about SEO which is really helpful in getting a better place in Google search results. Before you start learning SEO and reading the guides teaching SEO, you must know the essential SEO terms. Most of the SEO guides directly use these terms. If you have no idea about these, you will find it hard to understand those SEO guides.

SEO Terms

Essential SEO Terms

These are some terms used in SEO that you should know:

1. Backlink:

A backlink is a direct link to a page from another page. If a website links to any page or home page of your website, that website has given a bank link to you. Backlinks directly affect your website’s page rank and trust. Google counts these links as a vote to the website. But all backlinks do not give the same value. If a backlink is nofollow, it does not count for the page rank. But dofollow link is counted as a vote and increases the page rank. Now Google does not publicly show the page rank data, but backlink is still very important.

2. Moz rank

Moz rank is a logarithmic ranking number (0-10.0) provided by SEOmoz. This number depends on various factors including inbound links pointing to a website or page. 10.0 Moz rank is for the best-linked page on the internet. And 0 has no or negligible inbound links. After Google stops showing page rank data, Moz rank has become an essential factor. Read more about Moz Rank in our different articles.

3. Indexing

Indexing is the process done by search engines. Search engines access web pages on the Internet, read their data, and save it in their database to make it available for showing in search results of relevant keywords.

4. Meta Tags:

Meta tags are used to give search engines some information about the content of your pages. The meta tags are placed inside the HEAD section of your HTML code and thus are not visible to human visitors. These tell the search engines about the main keywords the website is about. There is one myth about meta tags. People think that these tags have great importance in Google’s eyes. But it’s wrong. Google Bots ignores keyword meta tags. But for other search engines, you must add meta tags.

5. Canonical URL

Canonical URL is the unique URL of a page. Specifying the canonical URL is necessary when the page can be accessed from more than one address. Canonical URL helps search engines understand what page should be indexed for that content.

6. Keyword Density:

Keyword density is the factor by which the keyword is used on a web page. A formula calculates it. Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on the page. As per Google’s quality guidelines, keyword density must be between 3-5%.

7. Long Tail Keyword:

Long-tail keywords are long keyword phrases. with more than 3 words. For more organic traffic, try searching for long-tail keywords. These usually have less search volume but less competition. So, optimizing for these keywords is easier. These keywords are generally longer than three words.

8. Link Building

Link Building is the process of getting more backlinks from different websites. The high number of inbound links helps in getting better search engine ranking. So, link building always helps in SEO.

9. Anchor Text

Anchor text is the text of a backlink that is clickable on the web page. If you have a rich keyword in the anchor text, it helps in SEO because Google will associate these keywords with the content of your website. I have a website on web design tutorials so “web design tutorials” is the best anchor text for me.

<a href=””>web design tutorials</a>
here web design tutorials is the anchor text

10. NoFollow link:

This is a link attribute that tells Google not to follow the link. This type of link is not counted in valuable backlinks. When Google sees the nofollow attribute it does not follow it and never passes the link juice to the linked page. To make a link nofollow, simply add rel=nofollow in the link attribute.

Ex: <a href=”URL” rel=”nofollow”>

11. DoFollow link:

This is also a link attribute that tells Google to follow a link. These types of links are counted as valuable backlinks and help linked websites. Google always gives dofollow backlinks more value. So, getting more dofollow links from relevant pages help in getting better value.  To make a link nofollow, simply add rel=dofollow in the link attribute.

Ex: <a href=”URL” rel=”dofollow”>

12. Robots.txt:

This is a text file placed on the website’s root. It is used to instruct search engine bots about the website structure. It also tells them which page they can crawl and which can not.

13. Bounce rate:

Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page views of your website in which the visitors left your website from the landing page. It means how many visitors bounce to another website after viewing only a single page of your website. A website must have less bounce rate.

Read: How to reduce bounce rate of your website

14. Sandbox

Sandbox is a separate index of Google where it puts new websites. When a website is in the sandbox, it will not appear in the search results. If Google verifies that the website is legitimate, it will move it out of the sandbox and into the main index. If it thinks that some website is spamming the web, it moves that website to the sandbox.

15. Google Panda

Google Panda is Google’s algorithm that penalizes content farm websites and websites having low-quality content. It was launched back in February 2011. Since then, Google has pushed many updates to this algorithm. This algorithm has changed the way of SEO.

16. Google Penguin

In April 2012, Google has announced Google Penguin Algorithm. This algorithm penalizes all those websites which do not meet Google’s quality guidelines. It changes the way people create backlinks. Now all black hat backlinks tricks are dead. If you have low-quality backlinks, you will surely see a fall in traffic.

17. Google dance

Google dance is a recent term introduced recently after Google started pushing updates to the Google database or algorithm regularly. Google dance is basically the temporary fluctuation in ranking on Google SERP.

18. Internal Links

Internal links are links that point to the web pages of the same website. For example, all the links that point to the pages of on this page will be called Internal pages because they point to pages of this website. Internal links help in better crawling and indexing. It also helps in reducing the bounce rate.

19. Link building

Link building is the process of getting inbound links from other websites. Inbound links are the links from other websites that point to different pages of your websites. Link building is an important process because inbound links or backlinks show the value of a page. The more backlinks a page gets, the better the ranking opportunities. In short, link building is the process of getting backlinks from other websites.

20. On-page SEO

On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing the content and images of a page for a keyword. It includes optimizing HTML structure, improving title tag and descriptions, keyword density, and improving the internal linking structure. I have written a guide on On-page SEO. You shouldn’t miss that.

21. Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO is the practice of SEO optimization where you don’t work on content but on promotion. It includes social media sharing, link building, and guest posting. Read Off-page SEO tips in detail.

22. 301 redirect

Redirection is the process when you open a link but it is immediately sent to another page. There are basically two types of redirection: temporary and permanent. The 301 redirect is a permanent redirection. It shows that the URL of a web page has been changed and the first link doesn’t exist and its content has been moved to the second link where the redirection is being done.

Final Words

I wrote this article a few years back and updated it with the time. I will keep on updating this article in the future as well. SEO is not the same as it used to be a few years back. So, it is important to be aware of everything new. There are many other terms for SEO but this time I think these are the main ones you should know. If you still have anything to ask, you can always leave comments.


I am a tech blogger, traveler, and entrepreneur


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