SEO Acronyms and Phrases Explained (2018 Update)


Ever feel like you have no idea what other SEO’s are talking about with all the SEO acronyms they use?

Well that feeling ends here…

Note: I will be updating this list in the near future, so if you want to stick around and see the update, make sure you join our free Facebook group.

Alt text: Tells screen readers what the picture is about (small ranking factor)

Anchor text: clickable words of text with an attached link (small ranking factor)

White Hat SEO: SEO that “abides” by Google’s Webmaster Guidelines

Grey Hat SEO: SEO that doesn’t technically abide by Google’s guidelines, but may not get you penalized.

Black Hat SEO: SEO that doesn’t abide by Google’s webmaster guidelines ( (tutorial here:

Tinfoil or Green Hat SEO: Terms SEO’s use sarcastically to make fun of the fact that they think all SEO is black hat. Green hat is apparently the hat you wear the helps make you money, and tinfoil is the one that protects you from the aliens.

CMS: Content Management System (Like WordPress or Squarespace) used to manage content on a site opposed to using FTP to manage content.

CSS: Cascading Style Sheets: Used to style a websites HTML

CTA: Call To Action: A term used to describe where you can point your visitors to buy or sign up for your product or service, CTA’s are usually done at the first or the end part of content. Common question: “What’s your CTA?”
Pro tip: if your CTA isn’t above the fold on your home page, it probably should be.

CTR: Click through rate: The amount of clicks divided by the number impressions of a given search result (big ranking factor) (Tutorial here:

Conversion: A term used to describe a sale, lead, or event on a website. (N/A on ranking factor)

Conversion tracking: Sales, lead, or event tracking. Usually conversion tracking is implemented on a thank you page.

Conversion point: Where somebody ended up converting on a webpage.

Conversion Funnel: A funnel you can create in Google Analytics to track a conversion path and abandonment rate in said funnel. (Tutorial:

CRO: Conversion rate optimization: Optimizing your pages or website for user experience to increase the amount of conversions that page or website gets.

DA: Domain Authority: A metric created by Moz to estimate the overall authority of a website based off links

PA: Page Authority: A metric created by Moz to estimate the overall authority of a page based off links (internal and external)

DR and PR: Same as Moz except this rating was made by ahrefs

Do-follow Link: A link that passes Page Rank to another page

No-follow Link: A link that passes no Page Rank to another page.

DMCA: Digital Millenium Copyright Act: a law to regulate digital media

EMD: Exact Match Domain: Thought to still be a ranking factor, exact match domains are used to help rank for keywords, however this topic is still debated. (I think it isn’t a ranking factor but may help branding, and CTR’s)

G+: Google Plus: Google’s social media platform.

G+ 1: Similar to a Facebook like but on Google Plus.

HTML: Hypertext markup language: HTML is a system used to markup web pages

HTTP: HyperText Transfer Protocol: HTTP is the base of data communication for the internet.

HTTPS: HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure: Is a more secure version of HTTP used to encrypt incoming and outgoing information on the web.

LSA: Latent Semantic Analysis: a technique used in language processing to analyze relationships between documents and terms they contain.

LSI: Latent Semantic Indexing: An indexing and retrieval method that uses something called SVD (singular value decomposition) to find similarities and relationships between terms and concepts in a collection of text.

Impressions: How many times a searcher see’s your search result.

OBL’s: Out Bound Links or External Links: Links that are pointing from a website to another

Internal Links: Links that are pointed internally to other pages within the same website

PR: PageRank: Named by Larry Page, Page rank is a score given by Google’s algorithm which is based off links pointing to a webpage.

ROI: Return on Investment: How much money a person made off their initial investment.

RSS: Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary: A web feed that lets users access updates to new content.

GA: Google Analytics: A web based platform used to measure the performance of a website and see unique data about its visitors.

GSC: Google Search Console: Let’s website owners check for warnings, errors, indexation status, and issues with their website. Also, gives webmaster the ability to submit sitemaps, disavow links, and more.

UCG: User Generated Content: Content created by users on a website.

URL: Uniform Resource Locator: The address of a web page.

URI: Uniform Resource Identifier A string of characters used to identify a resource

UX or UE: User Experience: How a visitor interacts with your site, either in a negative or positive way.

UEO: User Experience Optimization: Coined by Chase Reiner, User experience optimization is the art of improving a website or landing page for users in order to achieve higher rankings, more conversions, lower bounce rates, and higher dwell times. (Very likely a ranking factor) (UEO course here:

UI: User Intent: Used to describe what a searcher is intending on finding during a search.

UIO: User Intent Optimization: Another term coined by Chase Reiner, used to optimize your title tags, meta descriptions, and content to provide the best UX based on intent.

Schema Markup: Schema Markup was created by Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex to use structured markup that search engines can understand.

Supplemental Index: Google’s separate index of websites that it queries if it can find a good match for certain keywords. (I’m not sure whether or not Google still uses a supplemental index since it was made in 2003)

SMM: Social Media Marketing: Using social media platforms to market your website, product, or service

SMO: Social Media Optimization: Optimizing your social media profiles to show in search through Google and the platforms themselves.

Adwords: Paid advertising by Google

SEM: Search Engine Marketing: Marketing used to promote websites primarily through paid advertising.

PPC: Pay Per Click: Type of bidding style specified through Adwords.

CPC: Cost Per Click: How much an Adwords advertiser pays per click.

ECPC: Enhanced Cost Per Click: Automatic bid adjustments made by Google to get you more conversions

CPM: Cost Per Thousand Impressions: The amount you pay per thousand impressions

CPA: Cost Per Acquisition: How much you pay per conversion

Adwords Video Network:

CPV: Cost Per View: A view counts when a viewer interacts with an ad by clicking on it or watches the ad for at least 30 seconds.

Local Terms:

Local SEO: Search engine optimization used to target local based terms such as “keyword” + “city” or “keyword” + “location”

NAP or NAPW: Name, Address, Phone, Number, Website: used to show Google consistency signals of a business.

NAP Consistency: This term is used to show how consistent your NAP is across different citation sources. (Definite ranking factor)

Citations: Citations consist of one or more of NAPW (Definite ranking factor especially for GMB (Google My Business)

Hyper Local Citations: Citations that are made in your target area (these are the most powerful).

Niche Specific Citations: Citations that are made on sites related to your niche (These are the second best).

Generic Citations: Citations that are made on indexing or non indexing sites (these may not even help).

GMB: Google My Business: An online listing used to show Google visitors information about your local based business.

GMB Optimization: Google My Business Optimization: Optimizing a Google My Business with pictures (with well written file URL’s), categories, business information, and responding to reviews. (Optimizing your GMB will likely help rank it higher, it’s said that you don’t get a ranking benefit until you respond to your reviews.) (GMB Optimization tutorial here: Pro tip: Geotagging your images doesn’t help with GMB optimization but may help with other local indexing platforms.

Geotagging images: Editing images XHIF data in order to add location signals to local indexing platforms or a website. (N/A Ranking factor)

Important Error Codes:

301: Permanent redirect
302: Temporary Redirect

404: Webpage temporarily unavailable
410: Webpage pnermenatly unavailable

Did I miss any that you’d like to add? Leave a comment!

1 Comment

  1. Joyita Paul Chowdhury

    Hi Chase,
    very good read!
    just one thing
    ‘User Generated Content’ stands for UGC which is Written UCG And spell of Permanently is wrong


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