SEO Terms Glossary

May 31, 2023

If you have been doing any sort of research into SEO then you will probably have come across a number of different terms that you might not recognize. In order to help you understand more about SEO, we have put together a glossary of common terms relating to search engine optimization.

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It refers to the practice of optimizing a website or online content to improve its visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). The primary goal of SEO is to increase organic (non-paid) traffic to a website by making it more relevant and authoritative in the eyes of search engines.

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo use complex algorithms to determine the relevance and quality of websites when users search for specific keywords or phrases. SEO involves various techniques and strategies to align a website with these algorithms, thereby increasing its chances of appearing higher in search results. Due to the complex nature of SEO, many small business owners choose to work with an SEO company in Knoxville to make sure they are effective in their efforts to optimize their websites for search engines.

SEO encompasses both on-page and off-page optimization. On-page SEO involves optimizing elements within a website, such as content, HTML tags, headings, and internal linking, to make it more search engine-friendly and user-friendly. It also involves keyword research and optimization to target relevant search queries.

Off-page SEO focuses on activities outside the website itself, such as link building, social media marketing, online reputation management, and influencer outreach. These activities aim to increase the website's authority, credibility, and visibility across the web, which can positively impact its search engine rankings.

Effective SEO requires keeping up with search engine algorithm updates, staying updated on industry trends, and following best practices. It is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring, analysis, and optimization to maintain and improve a website's visibility in search engine results. This is why working with an experienced SEO Company in Knoxville is advised.

SEO Glossary of Terms

Now that you have a better understanding of what SEO entails, let’s take a look at a few of the common SEO terms that you have probably seen online and explain what they mean.

  • Black Hat SEO - This refers to some of the search engine optimization techniques that actually violate Google’s terms of service and may result in your site being penalized in the rankings. This includes techniques such as keyword stuffing, hidden text, manipulative links, and misleading redirects. An SEO company in Knoxville can help you to create an SEO strategy that does not involve black hat techniques. This would be a ‘white hat’ SEO strategy because it does comply with Google’s guidelines.
  • Organic Ranking - Ranking refers to the order of the search results being displayed in order of their relevance to the search query. When we talk specifically about organic ranking we are talking about rank placement earned without the use of paid advertising. These are the listings that rank based on merit.
  • SERP - SERP is an acronym that means ‘Search Engine Results Page’ and refers to the page of results or listings returned to you after performing a Google or Yahoo search.
  • Local Queries - Local searches are when someone is looking for a service or product in close proximity to them by using a search that includes something like ‘pharmacies near me’ or ‘gyms in Knoxville’. About 46% of all Google searches are for local businesses with 1.5 billion ‘Near Me’ searches every month. Talk to an SEO company in Knoxville about implementing a Local SEO campaign for your business.
  • Long-Tail Keywords - Long-tail keywords are search queries that contain longer phrases rather than single words. Typically they will have 3 or more words and the results are more specific than for a short keyword.
  • Alt Text - This is descriptive text that is added to images in the HTML code to allow search engine spiders to read the image and use it to help determine ranking order.
  • Keyword Stuffing - This is a black hat SEO technique that involves the spammy tactic of overusing keyword and their variants to try and force Google to rank the page for those keyword searches.
  • Meta Descriptions - A meta description is an HTML element that serves to describe the content of the page. This can help Google with ranking and the meta description will often be used as a description for the snippet showing on the search engine results page.
  • Mobile First Indexing - In 2018, Google started to prioritize mobile websites over their desktop versions. This is a direct result of the fact that over 55% of website traffic comes from a mobile device. If your website is not optimized for mobile viewing, then it is likely it will not perform well in search ranking compared with competitors who have full mobile optimization. Talk to an SEO company in Knoxville about optimizing your site for your mobile audience.
  • AMP - AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), a simplified version of HTML designed to make page loading faster for mobile users.

To Your Best Online!


Ingrid Maddox, Internet Marketing & Strategy Consultant. bluedress INTERNET MARKETING®, an Internet Marketing Company headquartered in Knoxville, TN. Internet Marketing Developed, Implemented, and Managed to Full Circle! Organic Internet Search Engine Guru. Turn-Key Internet Optimization Programs Placing You Everywhere and Anywhere You Need to Be Online.