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Official SEO Glossary

Dictionary, Glossary, Term list, Lexicon,Wordbook, Vocabulary of SEO

Ever since Google teased the idea of publishing an SEO Glossary to define common SEO terms, several SEOs have taken to Twitter to voice their outrage of the idea. It seems SEOs can’t agree on just who should be the one to define not only SEO but many key SEO terms. Never fear, as the industry’s leading authority @WTFSEO is coming to the rescue.

We’ve analyzed over 100,000 SEO tweets about best practices, forum answers to SEO questions, SEO blog posts, and audits from several major SEO firms. We then fed all the data to our machine learning program and asked it to come up with the most definitive, unbiased SEO glossary ever.

Below you’ll find our official glossary of SEO terms.

AI
A powerpoint presentation full of buzzwords describing a product that the presenter hasn’t built yet
Big Data
in SEO, this means a spreadsheet with more than 1,000 rows
Bing
Search engine your mom uses. Literally just her and nobody else
Black Hat SEO
An unethical form of SEO practiced by anybody who outranks your site
Causation
See: Correlation
Core Update
When Google changes everything over a 2 week period, yet analysis and recovery articles appear within 3 minutes of the announcement
Core Web Vitals
Simultaneously the most impactful and least impactful ranking factor. No need to understand what they are, just run the report and copy what it says into your SEO audit
Correlation
See: Causation
Crawling
How quickly a site with a really poor PageSpeed score loads
Cumulative Layout Shift
A method sites use to have you click on the wrong article so they get more pageviews
DA
Domain Authority. Despite being created by Moz and having nothing to do with Google, many SEOs believe it’s the most important ranking factor.
De-Indexed
What happens when that helpful dev, who says they know SEO, decides to “clean up the code” on your site
Directories
The optimal URL format – much better than subdomains
EAT
Expertise, Authority, and Trust.Example: Most SEOs believe that they are the only ones with enough EAT to define EAT.
Featured Snippets
The reason your CTO keeps telling you to add FAQ pages because his buddy’s nephew told him that’s how to get one
Google
Search engine that started out as a softcore website offering backrubs
Image Carousels
Nowhere near as fun as they sound
Incognito Mode
Required before using a search engine for those… spicier searches
It Depends
The standard answer to most SEO questions
KPI
The things you make up, based on your actual results, when submitting for a search award
Local Pack
When you’re ranking #1 organically, this is the mechanism by which your 3-5 biggest competitors can make that completely irrelevant
LSI Keywords
These are not a thing for Google, but are a huge thing for SEOs. Nobody really knows what it means or what they are, but you need to use them in your keyword strategy
Negative SEO
The most likely reason behind any rankings drop
Organic Traffic
Ranking without the use of chemical fertilizers, just plain old, biodegradable, natural links
Pagerank
A method for evaluating how much a link should cost
PBN
Private Blog Network. A good SEO strategy when you do it, spam when somebody else does
Query Deserves Freshness (QDF)
The reason you have an intern update all your title tags every 6-1/2 weeks
Ranking
If you’re not first; you’re worst
SEM
For those that have to pay for it
SEO
SEO stands for SnakE Oil. SEO has been declared dead more than Kenny from South Park.
Subdomains
The optimal URL format – much better than Directories
TF-IDF
A concept used to determine which SEOs understand programming and which ones don’t
URL
The unique address of an individual page (Note: not necessarily the unique address of a unique individual page)
Webmaster Guidelines
See: Rosetta Stone

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