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SEO Glossary Part Two

SEO Glossary: Part Two

Everything you need to know about SEO.

Part Two: M-X

  M        N          O          P          Q          R          S          T          U        W         X


Back to Part One: A-L



Made for AdSense (MFA)

A term to describe sites that have been made purely for the purpose of a Google AdSense advertisement venue.


Meta Description

A hidden meta tag in the HTML on a site that describes the content that is on the page. Using 12 to 20 words, the brief description allows you to control how your page is described when it comes up on a search result page. It does not alter your rank, however.


Meta Keywords

A hidden meta tag in the HTML that contains all of the relevant keywords about your page’s content. This also does not help your rank much, as it is easy to manipulate.



A description attached to any web page(s) that are user-friendly on a mobile device: cell phones or tablets.



The name for Google’s planned mobile-friendly algorithm installation, prior to its activation in 2015.



A module that can rewrite requested URLs on Apache web servers. If desired, a site developer can plug in URLs, and the program will manufacture them to be search-engine friendly. Doing this increases a site’s chance to be indexed for a dynamic database-driven website.



A term for any site that earns income for the web publisher.

Example: Featuring AdSense ads on a site monetizes it.




If placed before a link, the attribute (rel=”nofollow”) will instruct search engines not to pass on any link juice onto the page that is linked out to. It can also be placed in the head section of a page, so that all links on the page will stop producing link juice.



When placed in the head section of a web page, robots will know that this page does not get indexed and will move on.


Nonreciprocal Link

A link that only goes from one site to another site, without the link juice being exchanged back to the original site. Simply, the link only goes one way, thus only giving one site the inbound link equity. Nonreciprocal links are actually more favored in terms of rank signals, because it usually means that the link was genuine; there was no prior collaboration between web sites.


Organic Search Results

Search results that are not paid for or sponsored.


Outbound Link

A link that goes “off-site” to another web site. This is also called an outlink or an outgoing link.


Page Load Time

The measure of time a page takes to fully load. Page load time is an important rank signal according to Google, as it corresponds with a positive work experience.



The manipulative act of copying content from authoritative sites and pasting it onto your own website in effort to boost your ranking illegally. Pagejacking goes against search engine guidelines and is strongly looked down upon.


PageRank (PR)

Google’s algorithm that looks at a page’s inbound link profile and evaluates how significant the page is in terms of importance. While this is a powerful rank measure, PR does not take into consideration the relevance of the links or how credible the page is. It is purely a numerical value.


PDF (Portable Document Format)

A file format that stay in a permanent, unalterable form after its creation. Only the document creator can edit the PDF to maintain control of how it appears. Opposite of HTML, PDFs stay the same no matter the computer or web browser software used to open it.


As the most popular web programing language, PHP is used to build dynamic websites that can be utilized to write server-side programs that access databases. PHP can be embedded into HTML code, renders quicker response times and provides improved security.

Probabilistic Model

A method of document retrieval determined by search query relevancy.


Pull-Down List

A web page insert that allows a user to select from a number of options. A pull-down list appears as a box with a default answer. Then, when clicked on, expands into a larger list of choices.

Example: Clicking on a pull-down list to choose the year that you were born in.



Any keyword or phrase that has been entered into a search engine or database. Search engines evaluate the query, then provide relevant results in response.


Reciprocal Linking

The exchange of links between two websites. It is a trade, in essence, that gives both sites link equity. However, reciprocal links are not as powerful as nonreciprocal links, as it indicates collusion between two parties.



Any means of changing a landing page from one URL to another. A redirect is automatic and does not require any action from the user.

Example: 301 redirects are a popular mode of redirecting a page that no longer exists, to a different page.



The name for a website that offers a link for a user to click on and travel to your web page. Thus, your website gets traffic and a decent amount of data for SEO purposes. The user is considered a referred visitor, while the initial website is called the referrer.


Relative Link

A link that does not indicate the complete web address and its location. In relative links, the http:// is not specified, so the web server will look for a web page that is in a similar directory as the page.

Absolute Links are the opposite of these, as absolute links provide all of the information a server needs to find the content.



The measure of whether or not a web page will be useful or interesting to a user performing a search query.


Repeat Visitor

A user who accesses a website or page on more than one occasion over a duration of time.


Return on Investment (ROI)

An equation to determine the benefits reared as a result from a monetary investment. This is a good way to evaluate if you gained anything from a purchase or investment.

ROI= Revenue/Cost

Example: If you wanted to see if your ads were beneficial to your business, then you would measure the total cost that you invested in an ad budget, and compare it to the numerical value of leads that you received.



Another name for a search engine agent used to crawl the Web via hyperlinks. Other names for this type of program include crawler, bot, or spider.



A text file that can tell a search engine agent how to interact with a web page. IF placed in a website’s directory and linked in the HTML code, a robots.txt file can allow a spider or bot into the site, or it can deny them access to the page.



An old concept that used to imply that Google would put brand new websites into a “holding pen.” These new sites would be unable to rank until a certain amount of time had passed, then they would be able to compete.


Search Console

An application that provides information about how Google sees a website. This was formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools.


Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Any collection of acts that are attempting to gain exposure of a website through search engine results pages. SEM can involve search engine optimization, PPC campaigns, social media marketing, and anything else that is done in effort to boost online exposure.


Search Engine Optimization

The practice of achieving a high rank on search results pages to gain more website traffic.


Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

A page of retrieved results, provided by a search engine in response to a search query.


Search Engine Spam

Any act that violates search engine guidelines in effort to manipulate rank.

Example: a page that is created to deliberately cause search engines to give false or inappropriate results.


Search Intent

The true aim behind a search query. Users who are searching for something often shorten or simplify what they are truly trying to ask, so search engines have to decipher the query and attempt to give accurate results in response to the assumed search intent.


Search Term

Any keyword or phrase used to search via search engine.



A file that lists all accessible pages on a website. There are two types of sitemaps: HTML sitemaps and XML sitemaps. An HTML sitemap is a visible and accessible page on a site that lists and links out to all the pages available. Users are able to view this sitemap and utilize it for navigation and clarification. An XML sitemap, on the other hand, is not available for users to view. Instead, its purpose is to help search engine bots to discern what pages are there to crawl and index.


Social Media Marketing (SMM)

The act of promoting an organization or brand through social media platforms.



A jargonized term for keyword-driven wording that is manipulated to gain search engine results. Spamglish comes in the form of keyword repetition, gibberish, and meaningless sentences, all of which is now looked down upon.



A person who manipulates and exploits search engine guidelines to gain a higher rank position for a site.



Another search engine agent used to crawl the Web via hyperlinks. Other names for this type of program include crawler, bot, or robot.


Spider Trap

When a spider travels on a dynamic site that has multiple changing URL’s, it is possible that the spider will get trapped in an infinite cycle of link jumping and page hopping, unable to get out.

Example: A dynamic site with changing URLs could be a site with a calendar program that constantly changes its data.


Static Page

A website page that always appears the same way with the same content.



A search engine practice that evaluates the root of all words in effort to provide search results that are based off of the spelling of the root. This is done to give more accurate, useful, and satisfying results based on the search query.



A measure of how well a site is able to retain a user’s interest. This can be evaluated based on how long a user spends on certain pages or how far they travel between pages on the site.



Words that a search engine has decided are not particularly relevant—words like the, a, are, of and with—and therefore not worth including them in the index of a web page. Given this, a web developer may not use stopwords in URLS or in <title> tags because it dilutes the density of the other keywords.


Supplemental Index

Google’s secondary database that includes the pages that were not as credible or have less importance than primary pages. This index is composed of all the supplemental pages, and makes it so that they are less likely to show up on a results page.


Tagging (tags)

Simple words or phrases that are used to describe and categorize content.

Example: A Blog page that has a list of Tags to describe what each post was about.


Target Audience

The specific group of people that a business has chosen to advertise to.



A system of classification that categorizes vocabulary and subject matter in a hierarchical manner.


Text Link

A simple HTML link that does not feature graphic or special code—things like Flash or JavaScript.



The primary keyword that a web page has chosen to focus on.


Thin Affiliate

An associate site that has very little value in terms of content.


Thin Content

Content that has little value or substance to it. Search engines tend to look past thin content, and thus, do not include it in search result pages.


Time on Page

The time duration that a user spends on a page before leaving the site or leaving to another page. This is an important metric to consider when evaluating user satisfaction, quality, and relevancy.


<title> tag

The bit of text appearing at the top of the browser that describes the webpage that you are viewing. It is most often in the tab above the address bar where the URL is. Search engines place a lot of value upon the <title> tag, even though it is discreet in appearance.



A feature that a user can add on to their browser window. It often includes a search box.

Example: Google Toolbar.


Toolbar PageRank (PR)

Though it is not the same as PageRank, the Google Toolbar PageRank assigns a value (between 0 and 10) to a page. This is very casual and does not consider all factors that contribute to a page’s value and relevancy.



The number of users that view a website.



A value metric that evaluates the trustworthiness of a website or page.


Unique Visitors

Individuals who have visited your website on multiple occasions over a period of time.  If a user accesses your site on various occasions, they will still be considered just one unique visitor. One must consider this when tracking their site traffic, as multiple page visits may not equal the number of users.


URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

Also known as a web address, the URL is a unique and specific location for web pages, email addresses, or even files.


URL Rewrite

A strategy that simplifies URLs in effort to make them more user-friendly and search engine-friendly.



A broad term that is used to describe how easy it is for a user to do things on a website, whether it refers to navigation, information search, making a purchase, etc.


User Agent

The middleman between a robot and a web server that delivers basic information about the source of the visit to a website.

Example: Googlebot/2.1 was an agent that strings text and information that Googlebot used.


User Intent

The true objective that a user was aiming for when performing a search query. Search engines have to decipher what the intention of a search is to give the user more accurate results.


User-Generated Content (UGC)

Content that is created by multiple users, then published for public online access. Things like videos, blogs, wikis, podcasts, social media posts, or discussion groups are considered UGC.


User Session

The descriptor for when a user accesses your website, browses for a period of time over any number of pages, then leaves your website. A user session can end either by exiting the site or going idle from inactivity.


Webmaster Tools

An application that provides information about how Google sees a website. Prior to 2015, this application was called Google Webmaster Tools, but is now called Search Console. Bing also has a program like this called Bing Webmaster Tools.


Web Address

Also known as a URL, a web address provides the exact location of a web page, an email address or a file.


Web Browser

A software program that a user downloads to access the Web.
Example: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Opera.


White Hat SEO

The ethical practice of SEO. This includes following the guidelines of search engines without any means of manipulation or deceit to gain an advantage


XML (eXtensible Markup Language)

A scripting language used by programmers to define the properties of a page, document, or site.


XML Sitemap

A file, accessible only to search engines, that contains all URLs on a website that are available to be crawled. This is a common practice to help search engines travel through all your site’s pages so that they can be properly indexed in a time efficient manner, as opposed to a bot having to find all of the pages itself. Users cannot view XML sitemaps.


301 Status Code

Often called a 301 Redirect, this HTTP status code indicates a permanent server redirect.  The original page no longer exists, since content has been moved to a new location.  Users and search engines should consider the new page the canonical version of the requested content.


302 Status Code

This status code indicates that the requested content is “found,” but is temporarily located at an alternate URL.  For a 302, the client continues to use the original URL request for future requests.


400 Status Code

This code indicates a “bad request,” which means that the server cannot understand the request due to incorrect syntax.


401 Status Code

The 401 “unauthorized” status code indicates that the server requires user authentication before fulfilling the request.


403 Status Code

The 403 “forbidden” status code means that the server understood the request, but refuses to fulfill it.  Often, the webmaster will provide a reason for denial.  If no reason is provided, a 404 “not found” status code can be displayed instead.


404 Status Code

The 404 “not found” status code indicates a document that the server cannot find.  Additionally, the server could be denying the request without providing a reason, which results in a 404 rather than a 403.


410 Status Code

This code indicates a document that has been intentionally removed.  The document is considered “gone,” and there is no forwarding address.  This code is generally used for limited-display documents such as promotions.


500 Status Code

This error occurs when there is an “internal server error” that is keeping the request from being fulfilled.


501 Status Code

This error occurs when the server does not understand the document request method.  The server cannot fulfill the request and will display a “not implemented” message.