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SEO Glossary

The file request was successful; the response code indicates that the request has succeeded; hence the status is OK. For example, in a browser, a website or image was found and loaded correctly. 

The HTTP Status 200 (OK) value indicates that the server has successfully processed the request. 

The payload of the answer is determined by the HTTP method used for the request.

You can see more about staus codes on the Mozilla Documentation.

301 Moved Permanently redirect status response code indicates that the requested URL/page has been moved to the URL given by the Location headers.

For most pages or websites, this is the recommended way of redirection. 

If you’re going to move an entire site to a new location, you should start by moving a single file or folder, and if that goes smoothly, you can move the remainder of the site after that. 

Depending on your site’s authority and crawl frequency, it could take anywhere from a few days to a month or more for the 301 redirect to be picked up.

302 Found redirect status response code indicates that the resource requested has been temporarily moved to the URL.
Generally, as it relates to SEO, it is typically best to avoid using 302 redirects. Some search engines have trouble handling redirects. 

Some search engines have allowed competing businesses to hijack competitor listings due to the poor processing of 302 redirects.

401 Unauthorized response status code indicates that the client request has not been completed because it lacks valid authentication credentials for the requested resource.

In simpler terms, it means you might not be allowed on the page because you are not logged in, or you don’t have enough privileges.

404 Not Found response status code indicates that the server cannot find the requested page/resource.

When documents do exist, some content management systems send 404 status codes. 

Ensure that requests for existing files return a 200 status code, while requests for non-existant files return a 404 status code. 

Check with your server to see if you can build up a custom 404 error page that makes it simple for site visitors to find what they’re looking for e.g 

  • look at your most used and/or relevant navigational options
  • Report any issues with your site’s navigation.

A phrase used to describe the top half of a newspaper in the past. It refers to the region of content that can be seen before scrolling in email or on the web. 

Some people also refer to an ad that displays at the top of the screen as “above the fold.”

An absolute link is a hyperlink that contains the full address of the destination file of the Website.

Some links only provide relative link routes instead of including the reference URL in the href tag.

Because of canonicalization and hijacking difficulties, absolute links are usually favored over relative links.

Activity bias is the natural human tendency to favor activity over inactivity.

This can also be used in ad retargeting, where ads can be pushed towards people interested and are more likely to interact.

Correlation doesn’t mean causation. Activity bias is sometimes referred to as the active participation hypothesis.

Retargeting primarily uses paid ads to target audiences who have visited your website or social media profiles. 

Most of us have seen this at work where you start seeing ads based on the services or products you were searching for earlier.

Most of us don’t realize it but the moment you do, you’d think maybe Google read your mind.

It’s good practice when you’re trying to get potential clients back.

AdWords is Google’s advertisement and link auction network. Most of Google’s ads are keyword targeted and sold on a price per click basis in an auction which factors in ad CTR (Click Through Rate) also known as max bid.

To use Google Ads, organizations must first determine the campaign’s goals and the network it will employ:

  • Search campaigns are exclusively text-based and appear in Google.com and partner search engine results. (Search campaigns are displayed on Webopedia, a partner search site!)
  • Display campaigns are primarily graphics-based, but they can also include text. These campaigns take advantage of Google’s Display Network, which includes publishers who monetize their sites with Google AdSense.
  • Video campaigns are displayed on YouTube and combine text, images, and video.
  • Existing retail product listings created in the Google Merchant Center are the focus of shopping campaigns.

This is a process of increasing sales through merchants by allowing them to increase the exposure of your product and paying them every time sale is made.

It’s a type of performance-based marketing in which a company pays one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer they bring in through their own marketing efforts. 

Affiliates only get paid if visitors complete an action.

10 Blue links

This phrase refers to the traditional way in which search engine results were displayed. Once a query had been searched, the search engine would bring up 10 blue links as the results.

This method is extremely basic but ultimately laid the groundwork for the way search engines results are presented today.

10 blue links, as a phrase, is generally used today to refer to outdated search engine results pages and a basic layout. SERP’s have been upgraded and improved upon a lot since the 10 blue links days, with Google offering the best example of that.

 Google now offers a myriad of results when you conduct a search expanding upon a simple list of relevant websites. Typically, a Google search will include elements such as relevant shopping options, a Google maps result, a Google business page and even image results.

3 Pack.

If you’re a business or organization that relies on local customers to buy your products and services then you’ll want to know about the 3 Pack. 3 Pack refers to a type of SEO that focuses on driving local, nearby traffic to your business, it is the listing of three businesses you see in the search results when you search for a keyword that is locally relevant such as “near me” or “near [location]”.

These searches appear with a map above it that highlights where the businesses in the 3 Pack are. Google interprets your search query and offers up three Google My Business listings that may be most suitable, based on what it is you’re looking for.

For example, if I lived in Pretoria, and wanted some sushi, I would Google “sushi in Pretoria”, in seconds the search engine brings up a 3 Pack that presents three different sushi restaurants that are in Pretoria that I might be interested in.

301 redirect 

Sends users to a different URL to the one they clicked on. Different to a 302 redirect, which is temporary, a 301 redirect is a permanent change. The term ‘301 redirect’ is taken from the HTTP status code for this action.

Commonly, 301 redirects are used when a company has a new website under a different domain name and needs to ensure users can find it whilst being unable to access the old URL. Once a 301 redirect has been placed on a URL that webpage is no longer accessible as it will automatically send users to the new page.

Often, when a URL has garnered a high value in terms of its linking and ranking Google, the owner won’t want to lose the quality by simply removing the page. Instead, a 301 redirect can transfer the value of the original URL to the new URL to which users are being directed too.

302 Redirects

A 302 Redirect tells search engines that a page, or an entire website, has been moved somewhere else temporarily. This type of redirect is ideal if you want to briefly direct people to a temporary page that they can use, be it to get contact details, business locations, or to purchase products and services, while you work on building a new site or updating the current one.

Crucially, you should only use a 302 Redirect if you fully intend to restore your original website. Another handy use for a 302 is if you want to test a new page and glean customer feedback, without impacting the ranking and general SEO value of the existing page.

The difference between a 302 Redirect and a 301 Redirect is that the latter is a more permanent option (more than a year). You’d only use a 301 if you were permanently closing your website, or web page, for an extended period, say 12 months or more

404 error

The error code received when the link you’ve clicked doesn’t exist. Broken links can occur when the webpage no longer exists or it’s been moved to another URL. This can happen if a 301 redirect hasn’t been applied to the old URL or the redirect hasn’t been applied properly.

404 errors are quite common as sites are moved all the time without the owners of pages linking to the site ever being notified. When the user attempts to view the webpage via the broken link, Google will return with the 404 error notifying the user it no longer exists. Custom 404 error pages can be created by website owners which notify their users on what they should do once they receive the message. Just like with 301 redirects, the 404 error got its name from the HTTP status code.

A

AEO – AEO stands for Answer Engine Optimization and is a form of SEO that has gained greater popularity in recent years thanks to the rise in voice searches, and devices such as Alexa, Google Home, and HomePod by Apple

As more and more people use voice-assisted devices, the need for industries and sectors to adapt their marketing and SEO to accommodate it has grown. AEO focuses far more on one singular answer, this is because you’re not viewing a screen, you’re listening to the answer so there can only be one response, not a list of six or seven.

AEO isn’t going to replace SEO, billions of people are still going to search for things the old fashioned way (if you can call it that), but the prevalence of AEO is certainly going to increase

It can even match or surpass the number of searches made by typing out queries, especially as voice technology and AI get more sophisticated.

AI

Artificial intelligence is intelligence that is displayed by machines which is different to the natural intelligence that humans and animals demonstrate. AI is a form of intelligence that doesn’t involve emotions or consciousness. 

The term can also refer to any machine or piece of technology that displays particular problem-solving traits and has been shown to learn as it is fed new information. The goal of AI is to allow machines to receive information and make rational decisions based on the data. 

Rather than what we have now where machines are just facilitators for our decisions and play no part in the process other than storing and displaying the information we’ve created. Machine learning is an associated term and this refers to the idea of computers learning and adapting to new data on their own.

Agile Content Development – Agile Content Development (ACD) is a methodology that looks to continuously improve and optimize content. Rather than just writing content based on data, publishing it, and seeing how the chips fall, ACD aims to tweak and change content based on requirements and search behaviour.

By continuously improving it, the content has a far greater chance of ranking higher, for longer, because it is being tweaked and kept current. ACD is a customer-centric methodology and must meet demands, queries, and intentions at different times.

Agile Content Development is split into four phases: Discovery, Briefing, Optimization, and Measurement. By adopting this method, copywriters can enjoy real-time recommendations on keywords and topics that inform their content creations and ensure it is always optimized. ACD removes the guesswork and replaces it with knowledge.

ACD should be something all copywriters and website owners do to avoid work becoming stale, outdated, and ranking for keywords that are no longer relevant or getting the search traffic they once had.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a tool used by marketing agencies and businesses for thorough SEO analysis and to monitor backlinks. Ahrefs is made up of a range of different tools that can help people looking to rank for keywords, and monitor the performance of pages that have already been indexed by search engines.

Split into six parts, Ahrefs is one of the most comprehensive SEO analysis tools out there, it is divided up as follows:

  • Site Explorer – Helps to analyse backlinks and profile competitor sites.
  • Content Explorer – Discover the most popular content in your industry so that you can emulate it, and beat it.
  • Keywords Explorer – Find industry-relevant keywords to target, and base your content on.
  • Rank Tracker – Track your keyword rankings and create reports.
  • Site Audit – Analyse your website and discover SEO issues that need fixing.
  • Alerts – Be the first to hear of new backlinks, mentions, and updated keyword rankings for your site.

Alexa Rank

Alexa Rank is a relatively new global ranking system that lists millions and millions of websites in order of popularity. The way this system works is that the lower the ranking, the better. Amazon calculates this ranking by examining the average daily unique visitors and the number of page views over the most recent three month period. 

Alexa Rank should be thought of in the same way as Google Analytics and is Amazon’s attempt to compete in this market. Ironically the website that has the best Alexa Ranking – 1 – is Google, which just showcases the breadth and power of this internet behemoth.

It is popular but isn’t without its sceptics, while the ranking system may allow businesses to charge more for advertising, and attract better quality guest writers, the data is limited to users that have the programme installed so websites with extremely high traffic, maybe ranked poorly, despite having great results.

Algorithm – An algorithm is defined as a process or set of rules that are carried out by calculations and similar problem-solving operations. Algorithms are often carried out by computers because they are extremely complex and hard to understand. 

In terms of how it relates to SEO, an algorithm is a complex system that Google undergoes to determine the rank and return of the billions and trillions of pages that are indexed by the site every single day. 

The algorithm at Google is quite mysterious and is relatively unknown to people who don’t work there. However, things such as long-form content, ontology and long-tail keywords are favoured by it and are often rewarded with a high ranking.

Alt Tag 

Alt tags, otherwise known as alt text or alt attributes are image descriptions written in HTML that inform search engines about the images you are displaying on your web page. 

This is important because search engine bots aren’t very good at reading actual images, so by specifying alternate text and including a brief but accurate description of the image, you are giving web crawlers a better, clearer and more comprehensive description of your web page.

Often overlooked, alt tags can be optimised with proper keywords and descriptions to improve visibility on Google’s image search while also improving indexing accuracy and improving content relevance.

Anchor Text

Anchor text is the clickable text of any link, often denoted as blue underlined text. Every time you see a link and click on it, you’re reading and clicking on the anchor text. Anchor text is used to provide information – both to users and to search engines – about what the web page being linked to is about. For example, when we link here to a blog we wrote about anchor text earlier this year, the text you click on to be directed to the blog is the anchor text.

Anchor text is more important than a lot of people give it credit for, because it helps navigability and allows crawlers and users to better understand and move around your website. And if you try to influence this with spammy keyword stuffing tactics, you’ll find yourself penalized for it.

Answer The Public 

Answer The Public (ATP) is a handy keyword research tool that visualizes search engine queries and questions, auto-complete terms, and suggests keywords in something called a “search cloud”. ATP breaks down a search term into six different categories, the 5 Ws (‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’, and ‘why’) as well as ‘how’, ‘can’, ‘are’, ‘which’, and ‘will’. It creates these in the form of reports that can be saved, stored, and shared by multiple users (this is a feature that is only available on pro accounts).

ATP is perfect for businesses looking to examine search intent and glean insight into what their potential customers are searching for. By using ATP, businesses can plan out content and create documents that directly answer these questions. It is a good place to start, but businesses should be aware that ATP doesn’t come with search volumes, however, it does help give them greater insight and a better understanding of their target market.

Attribute rel=”no-follow”  

‘“No-follow” refers to the value of the same name that is found in the rel attribute. A rel attribute is another sub term that provides context about the relation of the linking page to the link target. The “no-follow” value is used to signal to search engines that they should essentially ignore this link and not put any authority on it. 

The concept behind the term is an old one and dates back to 2005. Google introduced this feature to try and prevent spammy links from giving undue authority to sites and blogs. The “no follow” link attribute allows Google to learn about the context of the link and use that information to make a ranking fairer. 

There are four main reasons why you’d use this attribute. The main reason you’d use it is in cases where you want to link but not be associated with the link target. 

The other reasons include when you link to widgets, certification badges, and press releases. Unfortunately, Google now no longer treats them as directives and instead takes it as a hint that they shouldn’t put any SEO weight on those links.

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