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The Most Common SEO Jargon that Website Owners Need to Know

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimising a website in order to improve its ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). There are many different jargons and technical terms used in the field of SEO, some of which are listed below:



This stands for "Search Engine Results Page". In layman's terms, it's the list of websites and other information that appears when you search for something on a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. 


When you type in a word or phrase in the search bar and hit enter, the search engine will go through all the websites on the internet that are relevant to what you're looking for and it will list them in order of relevance on the SERP. 


The top result on the SERP is considered to be the most relevant and useful for what you're searching for. It's important for website owners to understand the importance of SERP and how to optimize for them, so their website can appear on the first page of the SERP as it will increase the chances of potential customers visiting their website.



This refers to the process by which search engines like Google, Bing, and others crawl and store web pages or other online content in their databases. When a search engine indexes a webpage, it means that the page has been discovered, analyzed, and added to the search engine's index, which is a massive database of web pages.



Words or phrases that a user might type into a search engine to find a particular website or piece of content.


Meta Tags

HTML tags that provide metadata about a webpage, including the page's title and description. These tags are used by search engines to understand the content of a webpage and to determine its relevance to a particular search query.


While meta tags, specifically the meta title and meta description tags, can have an impact on search engine ranking, recent studies have shown that their impact is relatively small and can be considered a minor factor in SEO ranking.


Search engines, like Google, have evolved over time and use a variety of other factors to determine the relevance and quality of a website. These factors include the content of the website, the quality and number of backlinks, the website's structure and user experience, and many others.


Meta tags, although important, are just one of many factors that search engines take into account when ranking websites. It's important to have well-written meta tags, but they should not be considered the only optimization strategy. The most important thing is to have high-quality, relevant, and well-written content on your website and to make sure that your website is easy to navigate and provides value to the user.


It's also important to note that search engines are constantly updating their algorithms and the weight of different ranking factors can change over time, so it's important to stay up-to-date with the latest guidelines and best practices.



Links from other websites that point to a particular webpage. Backlinks are important for SEO because they indicate the popularity and authority of a webpage.


Imagine you own a website that sells organic fruits and vegetables. If another website that provides information about healthy eating writes an article about the benefits of eating organic produce and includes a link to your website, that's a backlink. If a lot of websites, blogs, and forums related to healthy eating, organic food and gardening link to your website, it signals to search engines that your website is a valuable resource and it will likely appear higher in search results when people search for organic fruits and vegetables.


Domain Authority

A measure of the strength and trustworthiness of a domain. Domain authority is determined by factors such as the number and quality of backlinks, the age of the domain, and the quality of the content on the website.


On-page Optimization

The practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. On-page optimization involves improving the content and HTML source code of a webpage.


Off-page Optimization

The practice of improving the ranking of a webpage by building backlinks and improving the overall authority of the domain.


Black Hat SEO

Techniques that attempt to improve the ranking of a webpage by manipulating search engine algorithms or by deceiving users. Black hat SEO techniques are generally considered to be unethical and can result in penalties or bans from search engines.


Some examples of black hat SEO strategies include:


  • Keyword Stuffing - This is the practice of including an excessive number of keywords in a webpage's content, meta tags, and other elements in an attempt to improve the webpage's ranking for those keywords.


  • Hidden text or links -This is the practice of hiding text or links on a webpage by using the same colour as the background or by making the text very small. The hidden text or links are intended to be read by search engines, but not by users.


  • Cloaking - This is the practice of presenting different content or URLs to search engines than to users. The intent is to deceive the search engines into ranking a webpage higher than it deserves to be ranked.


  • Link Farms - This is the practice of creating large numbers of low-quality websites that link to another website in an attempt to artificially boost the other website's search engine rankings.


  •  Doorway PagesThis is the practice of creating a group of web pages that are specifically designed to rank well in search engine results pages and redirect users to another webpage.


  • Duplicate ContentThis is the practice of copying content from other websites and publishing it on your own website without proper attribution.


  • Article SpinningThis is the practice of using automated software to rephrase or reword existing articles and then publish them as new content on your website.


White Hat SEO

Techniques that aim to improve the ranking of a webpage by making it more relevant and user-friendly, rather than by attempting to manipulate search engine algorithms. White hat SEO techniques are generally considered to be ethical and are recommended techniques by search engines such as Google.



A set of rules that a search engine uses to determine the relevance and ranking of web pages in its search results. These days Google employs the use of AI to assist with this process and is incredibly accurate at detecting black-hat SEO techniques vs. white-hat techniques.


Canonical Tagging

The process of choosing the most appropriate URL to represent a group of similar pages. This helps to prevent duplication and improve the SEO of the website.



A sitemap is a file that lists all the important pages on your website. Submitting a sitemap to search engines helps them discover and index your pages more efficiently.


The Take Away

Website owners must familiarize themselves with the most common SEO jargon to effectively navigate the world of search engine optimization. Understanding terms such as SERPs, indexing, keywords, meta tags, backlinks, on-page/off-page optimization, and white hat SEO techniques is essential for improving website visibility and driving organic traffic. By grasping these concepts, website owners can optimize their websites and enhance their chances of success in search engine rankings.


Moreover, being familiar with SEO terminology helps website owners identify and avoid tactics that could result in penalties or bans from search engines while attempting to boost website traffic.


For those who lack the time or expertise to handle the complexities of SEO, specialized services like Web Ninja can be invaluable. Web Ninja understands the challenges faced by busy website owners and provides tailored solutions to optimize their websites. 


By entrusting their SEO needs to Web Ninja, website owners can focus on their core operations while experts work on enhancing organic rankings, increasing online visibility, and driving targeted traffic. Ultimately, this comprehensive approach leads to improved brand recognition, increased customer engagement, and higher conversions and revenue for website owners.