SEO Dictionary

The SEO Dictionary below is where you will learn about SEO terms. Our digital marketing professionals will optimize your website for performance. We will create online marketing that will drive targeted traffic to increase ROI and decrease marketing costs, but if you are interested in learning yourself how to do some on-page search engine optimization – make sure to read below about how to improve your web page rankings by using the terms listed below in our search engine optimization dictionary of terms. If you are taking a college class an are looking for an online dictionary of terms for a class, I hope this is a great resource to pass on. It is by no means a complete list, but it is a constant work in progress.


Improving Your Webpage Rankings


There are many, many on-page, off-page and general SEO factors that help your website in the search engines, but here is a list of seo terms that will improve your webpage rankings. This list has been updated for SEO Factors relating to Google’s new strategies as of January 01, 2012.

SEO Dictionary Terms


Keywords in <title> tag

The title tag is one of the most important places to have a keyword because the <title> tag shows in search results as your page title. The title tag must be short (5 or 6 words at most) and the keyword must be near the beginning.


Keywords in the URL

Keywords in a URLs help a lot – e.g. –, where “SEO” is the keyword phrase you attempt to rank. If you don’t have the keywords in other parts of the document, don’t rely on having them in the URL.


Keyword density in document text

Another very important factor you need to check. Keyword density of 3-7 % for major keywords is best and 1-2% for minor keywords. Keyword density of over 10% is suspicious and will be considered keyword stuffing. Naturally written text is key.


Keyword anchor text

Also very important, is the anchor text of inbound links. If you have the keyword in the anchor text in a link from another site, this is regarded as a plus 1 factor from the site. This promotes your site in general, but also says you are important for the key word as well.


Keywords in headings (<H1>, <H2>, <H3> tags)

One more place where keywords count a lot is the Header tags. But if you use these tags make sure you have those particular keywords.


Keywords at the start of a document

Also count, though not as much as anchor text, title tag or headings. However, have in mind that the beginning of a document does not necessarily mean the first paragraph – for instance if you use tables, the first paragraph of text might be in the second half of the table.


Keywords in <alt> tags

Spiders don’t read images but they do read their textual descriptions in the <alt> tag, so if you have images on your page, fill in the <alt> tag with some keywords about the image.


Keywords in metatags

Don’t believe that these are getting less and less important, especially for Google. Optimizing for these tags properly is essential for your search results. You only need to look at how your page displays in Google to know these are important.


Keyword proximity

Keyword proximity measures how close in the text the keywords are. It is best if they are immediately one after the other (e.g. “search optimization”), with no other words between them. For instance, if you have “search” in the first paragraph and “optimization” in the third paragraph, this also counts but not as much as having the phrase “search optimization” without any other words in between. Keyword proximity is applicable for keyword phrases that consist of 2 or more words.


Keyword phrases

In addition to keywords, you can optimize for keyword phrases that consist of several words – e.g. “SEO services”. It is best when the keyword phrases you optimize for are popular ones, so you can get a lot of exact matches of the search string, but sometimes it makes sense to optimize for 2 or 3 separate keywords (“SEO” and “services”) than for one phrase that might occasionally get an exact match.


Secondary keywords

Optimizing for secondary keywords can be a gold mine because when everybody else is optimizing for the most popular keywords, there will be less competition (and probably more hits) for pages that are optimized for the minor words. For instance, “search engine marketing strategies” might have thousand times less hits than “search engine marketing”, but you can reach more local targeted traffic.


Anchor text of inbound links

As discussed in the Keywords section, this is one of the most important factors for good rankings. It is best if you have a keyword in the anchor text, but even if you don’t, it is still OK.


Origin of inbound links

Besides the anchor text, it is important if the site that links to you is a reputable one or not. Generally sites with greater Google PR are considered reputable.


Links from similar sites

Having links from similar sites is very, very useful. It indicates that the competition is voting for you and you are popular within your topical community.


Links from .edu and .gov sites

These links are precious because .edu and .gov sites are more reputable than .com. .biz, .info, etc. domains. Additionally, such links are hard to obtain.


Number of backlinks

Generally the more, the better. But the page rank and reputation of the sites is more important than the number of links. For instance a page rank 6 site linking to you optimizes you page on Google the first day.


Anchor text of internal links

This also matters, though not as much as the anchor text of inbound links.


Around-the-anchor text

The text that is immediately before and after the anchor text also matters because it further indicates the relevance of the link – i.e. if the link is artificial or it naturally flows in the text.


Age and how many links/mo

The older, the better. Getting too many new links in a short period of time is bad. Work on getting at most 10 links/month for a small site and maybe 20/mo for larger sites.


Links from directories

Directory links are great, but choose your directories wisely. Being listed in DMOZ, Yahoo Directory and similar directories is a great boost for your ranking, but having tons of links from PR 0 directories is useless and it can even be regarded as link spamming, if you have hundreds or thousands of such links.


Number of outgoing links on the page that links to you

The fewer, the better for you because this way your link looks more important.


Named anchors

Named anchors (the target place of internal links) are useful for internal navigation but are also useful for SEO because you stress additionally that a particular page, paragraph or text is important. In the code, named anchors look like this: <A href= “#keywords”>Read about keywords</A> and “#keywords” is the named anchor.


<Description> metatag

Metatags still matter, the <description> tag is important. Use the <Description> metatag to write the description of your site. The <Description> metatag has one great advantage – it shows up in the description of your site in search results.


<Keywords> metatag

The <Keywords> metatag also matters. Keep the metatag reasonably long – 10 to 20 keywords at most I normally choose 6-8 for newer sites. And don’t stuff the <Keywords> tag with keywords that you don’t have on the page, this is bad for your rankings.


Unique content

Having more content (relevant content, which is different from the content on other sites both in wording and topics) is a real boost for your site’s rankings.


Frequency of content change

Frequent changes are favored. As you saw this page was updated 01-01-2012.


Keywords font size

When a keyword in the document text is in a larger font size in comparison to other on-page text, this makes it more noticeable, so therefore it is more important than the rest of the text. The same applies to headings (<h1>, <h2> and <h3> tags), which Google Bot sees as a larger font size than the rest of the text.


Keywords formatting

Bold and italic are another way to emphasize important words and phrases. However, use bold, italic and larger font sizes within reason because otherwise you might achieve just the opposite effect.


Keyword-rich URLs and filenames

A very important factor, for all search engines.



It is great to have a complete and up-to-date sitemap, spiders love it, no matter if it is a plain old HTML sitemap or the special Google sitemap format.


Hyphens in URLs

Hyphens between the words in an URL increase readability and help with SEO rankings. This applies both to hyphens in domain names and in the rest of the URL.


Interested in learning more… try the Free SEO Tools Blog. Have more SEO terms you want explained or have found another dictionary of SEO terms, let me know.

One thought on “SEO Dictionary

  1. If you have any other terms that might offer others some assistance it would be great to hear you input. Please feel free to add terms below you think were forgotten.

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