When it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO), all the different phrases, and acronyms can get confusing.

Knowing these keywords is important to really understand SEO. So we’ve rounded up a list to create the ultimate jargon busting glossary.

Read on to see our super simple definitions and quick explanations on why this affects SEO and your website.


Also known as inbound or one-way links, these  link from outside domains that lead to pages from your domain. These can help to promote your website from being referenced in other credible sites.

Black Hat SEO

These involve unethical practices that go against search engine guidelines,  to rank higher in search results. Using these tactics can procure penalisations for your site so be careful to stay away from these.

White Hat SEO

On the other side of the coin, these are legitimate tactics approved by search engine guidelines. These can improve your search result ranking and maintain the integrity of your website.


This is the continual process of a search engine sending bots (known as crawlers or spiders) to a web page or post and “reading” the page. These crawlers follow links on one page that lead to another so they can ascertain what content is on each page in a quick and manageable way.


An acronym for Search Engine Results Page, which shows the listings after a user submits a search query. Ranking highly in SERP’s means more exposure, clicks, traffic and more.


This is a type of programming that allows websites to be dynamically built and adapted to the user. It also makes the website easy to crawl.


Cascading Style Sheets describe how style, fonts and all visual HTML aspects of a website are displayed. Without CSS your site will not look easy on the eye.

Low Text-HTML Ratio

This means there are not enough words to how much code there is on your page. The ideal text-to-HTML ratio is between 25-70% or 300-1000 visible words. If it is too low, search engines can't pick up it's value, so will not rank highly in SERP’s.


This refers to the process developers use to minimise code and remove unnecessary or redundant data.  without affecting its functionality, making pages load faster.

Canonical Tags

This is a small piece of HTML code that helps search engines determine the “main” version of the page from the rest of the pages that look otherwise the same. It lets these search engines know which part of the page you want to appear in search results.


An XML sitemap is a file that lists a website’s essential pages, so Google can find and crawl them easier. Google ranks individual pages rather than websites as a whole, so having a sitemap can definitely help your SEO.

Title Tags

A title tag is an HTML code that indicates the title of a web page. This appears in SERP’s, social media posts and browser tabs. Optimising these tags is one of the best ways to improve your SEO score, but keep them brief so they don’t get cut off when viewing.

Alt Text

An abbreviated version of Alternative text. It is written text that describes an image and appears in place of the image if it fails to load on a user’s screen. It helps screen-reading tools describe images to visually-impaired users and allows search engines to better crawl and rank your site.

Orphan Pages

These are pages of a site that have no links leading to them. Meaning it’s harder for users and crawlers to find the page, as the title will have to be searched directly. Orphan pages can cause a couple of problems for SEO such as low ranking and traffic as well as crawl waste.


These are files you can upload to tell crawlers what URLs they can access on your site. It is mainly used for controlling crawl traffic and making sure your site is not overloaded with requests.


Hopefully, this list has eased any confusion you may have felt beforehand. So you can go ahead and master SEO with the new terminology you’ve learnt.

If you’d like to learn more, you can read our recent blog all about digital PR and why it’s important for your business.