SEO Optimization Terms Defined: Let’s Make it Simple


Optimizing your site with search engine optimization or SEO can be a simple or a difficult process. Oftentimes the difference can be because of what you know, what you learn and how you lay out your plan. First place to start is by understanding the terms that make up the different pieces of SEO. Below I have defined 12 terms to make it simpler to begin. Note, I will use Google as my only example going through this as the main search engine, but all applies to other search engines as well.

Simple Definitions

Meta tags: The physical definition says that meta tags are words, phrases or statements added to the “Head” section of an HTML page that offers information about the page itself. Meta tags help Google know what the page is about.

Keyword: This is the key to SEO. No pun intended. A keyword is what a user types into Google to find what they are looking for. For example, if you own a Volkswagen and need to find a dealership, you would probably type into Google something like “VW dealers Los Angeles” or “Long Island VW dealers”. Keywords usually include what you are looking for and the location, whatever or whoever it is. These keywords are the terms you will use to optimize your entire site.

Duplicate content: Aside from being something to steer clear of, duplicate content is exactly what it sounds like: the same or very similar content that is on another website or page. If Google sees too much duplicate content, the site may be penalized for it and not be “trusted” in the future for real, unique and original content.

Pagerank: Google offers a pagerank system that puts a value to a website from 0 and 10. This number represents the link popularity and authentication of a website. As your website grows, so will this number. The higher the number, the higher in search results you go.

About Links

No-follow links: These particular links are instructed to not be followed by Google-bots, -crawlers or –spiders. This means a command is added to the “Head” section of a web page or within individual link code to tell Google not to look at or follow those particular links.

Back-link: Rather simply, any link for your website that is linked from any other page or site. For example, if you are and on they have a link on one of their web pages that link to your site, that would be a back-link.

Link-poor: This is a description for a site that has no or very little external links being pointed to it. This would make it harder for your site to be found or for Google to find if there are no links helping the process. SEO helps link-poor sites grow into rich sites full of links.

Link bait: “Link bait is any content or feature, within a website, designed specifically to gain attention or encourage others to link to the website” or so says Wikipedia. And I would agree. Oftentimes this is used in social media, which includes press releases or articles. If a title is interesting enough in your company blog, readers will read about it. If the post is even more so, then they may share it or link it out to others.


Crawler (bot, spider): Crawler was sort of defined earlier as the program that visits links, and that’s exactly what it is. Websites and pages are “crawled” by way of the link structure to gather data.

White hat SEO: This is the correctly done and best practiced guideline techniques for SEO. These techniques do not try to manipulate Google, but try to work with the websites features to improve its standings. The opposite is Black Hat SEO where they go against guidelines such as the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

Blog farms: Blogs that are created for the sole purpose of creating duplicate content, non-valued content and just a place to add additional links are labeled as blog farms. There are normally multiples of blogs that link together, which creates the farm effect.

Analytics: Any program that helps websites gather and analyze data about website usage. Google analytics is one of the most popular as well as few analytics programs available for website owners.

With these terms, you will be able to have a foundation of information to build from. You will learn plenty as you work your way through the process of adding SEO.

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