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13 basic SEO terms everyone should know about

Many claim that the age of SEO is over. Do a search online for “SEO is dead” and you will see what I’m talking about.

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But I’d disagree: SEO is not dead –it’s thriving and is still an excellent method for driving targeted traffic to your web properties. When people are looking for answers and solutions, more often than not they’ll open their favourite browser to search for information. The internet is an information portal and there’s no better way to find the answers you are looking for than by typing your question into a search engine.

Search engines are constantly updating their search algorithm to give their users the best results. So how do you make sure you are always on the first page? With an optimised SEO campaign.

But are you familiar with the SEO terminology digital marketers use? Here are a couple of my favourite SEO terms:

1. Search engine optimisation

In plain English, it means the processes that help a website achieve higher organic rankings on the search engines for specific keywords and phrases.

2. Black hat search engine optimisation

This is the under-the-table, unethical method of gaining rankings on search engines. If you practise black-hat SEO and you’re caught, your website can be heavily penalised by the search engines.

3. White hat search engine optimisation

This is the accepted method of SEO to improve your organic rankings on search engines, and increase targeted traffic to your website.

4. Search engine algorithm

Google’s search algorithm is the engine that is used to find the most trusted and relevant website pages for any search query.

5. Doorway pages

This is a black-hat SEO method that involves creating fake website page that users will never see. Doorway pages can be used to trick the search engine spiders into indexing a website page higher. Once again, get caught and you will be banned.

6. Keyword stuffing

Because keyword density plays an important role in the indexing of your website, some webmasters try to trick search engines by artificially stuffing all the website content with keywords. It doesn’t work and will get your website penalised.

7. Anchor text

This is the text that will link to another website page or document within the current website.

8. Nofollow link

A nofollow link doesn’t carry over any PR value (explained below) to the page it is linking to. These are mostly used when you want to cut down irrelevant links to content to improve the overall value of your website. By default, if you don’t specify that a link should be “nofollow’, it will automatically be “dofollow”, which will carry value over to the destination page.

9. Pagerank or PR

This is part of the algorithm that Google uses to estimate the importance of pages. The idea is that a link from a page with a high PR is seen as a vote of trust to the page it is linking to. Even though this is still used, many other factors are more influential than just the physical page rank of a page.

10. Alt text

This is a tag that you can place on links and images. It is the text that is displayed when you hover your mouse over the object.

11. Bot (spider)

These are programs used by search engines to crawl your website.

12: Cloaking

This is another black-hat method to show a one website page to search engines and a different one to users. The purpose of cloaking is to get ranked for specific keyword phrases, and then redirect the incoming traffic to another page.

13. Link farm

A link farm is a website or directory that groups websites together and links to each one with the sole purpose of increasing PR and gaining top organic rankings. Link farms used to work back in the day, but are now considered black hat by the search engines.

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