Common Search Engine Optimization Terms

  • SEO: Search Engine Optimization
  • SEM: Search Engine Marketing
  • On-site SEO: Search engine optimization techniques applied on your website (also called “on-page”)
  • Off-site SEO: Search engine optimization techniques cultivated on external website (also called “off-page”)
  • Domain: The “nice name” of the root URL of a IP address, i.e.
  • Website: All of the files (including pages, images and scripts) housed under a single domain
  • URL: A single page (including content and scripts), i.e.
  • Links / hyperlinks: a reference to data that the reader can directly follow, or that is followed automatically, points to a whole webpage or to a specific element within a webpage.
  • Content:  Visible text, photos, videos
  • Meta-data/Meta-content: Text embedded in page source code, not visible to the user
  • Spiders: Automated computer programs that follow links from webpage to webpage (“crawling”) in order to record webpage content in the search engine’s index
  • Index: A search engine’s database storing the date from every web page that its spider visits.
  • Indexed site: A site that has been added to a search engines’ index


Sé Reed
Sé Reed is a small business advocate and independent web developer, specializing in the development and implementation of comprehensive web strategies for small businesses. Sé teaches and speaks on topics including WordPress, SEO, and small business and the Internet, and is a regular contributor to the weekly webcast WPWatercooler. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Google+