The Ultimate Digital Marketing & SEO Glossary

digital marketing and SEO glossaryIf you are confused by all of the technical jargon and confusing terms that are used in Internet Marketing you are in the right place. I’ve even put together a PDF version of my digital marketing & SEO glossary for you to download!

Use the glossary index below to find the definitions for a range of internet marketing, blogging & SEO terminology, abbreviations and acronyms.

If you have any questions or need further help then just leave a comment and I’ll help you out =D

Digital Marketing & SEO Glossary Of Terms

# A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P R S T U V W X


404 – An error message when a page cannot be found on a website.

301 Redirect – A permanent redirect from one URL to another URL. 301 redirects are often used to mask affiliate links.

302 Redirect – A temporary redirect from one URL to another URL.


Above The Fold – The area of the webpage that can be viewed without the user scrolling down.

Adsense – A contextual ad serving platform ran by Google which allows webmasters to create an income stream by placing ads on their sites.

Adwords – An advertising network ran by Google to allow advertisers to place ads across Google products. Adwords is Google’s #1 income stream.

Affiliate – When you are affiliated with a company or service. Usually by selling/advertising their products/services for a commission on sales.

Affiliate Marketing – Marketing/advertising products or services that you do not own in exchange for a commission on confirmed sales or leads you have generated.

Alexa Rank – A measure based on traffic to a website. The lower the number the better. For example a website with an Alexa rank of 40 gets more traffic than one ranked 200.

Algorithm – A set of criteria or rules used to rank websites in search results. Often referred to as the Google Search Algorithm.

ALT Text – The ALT tag or ALT text is a bit of HTML code that is added to an image. This is the text that appears when you hold your mouse over an image on a website.

Analytics – The collection and analysis of data. Most people collect data about traffic coming to their website including number of visitors, pages visited and so forth using Google Analytics.

Anchor Text – The clickable text of a link.

Article Spinning – When you spin an article you can create hundreds of unique articles from 1 seed article by providing alternative words and sentences in the text.

Authority – The overall authority a website has based on a range of factors such as popularity, traffic, backlinks, social media shares and so forth. The more popular a website is, the more authority it has.

Authority Site – An authoritative site in its niche that is well established with a great user experience and fantastic content.

Authorship – Google Authorship is used to identify the author of a particular piece of content on the web via their Google+ profile and Authorship rich snippet markup.

Automation – Automating a manual task with a bot such as filling in a web form, signing up to websites, submitting content and so forth.


Backlink – When one website links to your website.

Below The Fold – The area of the webpage that cannot be seen until the user has scrolled down the page.

Black hat SEO – An aggressive form of search engine optimization often using automated tools and unethical practices.

Blog – This website is a blog! An online journal where people can share opinions and discuss various topics.

Blog Network – A collection of blogs usually owned by the same person that are setup anonymously to manipulate search engine rankings through backlinks.

Blogosphere – The blogging community

Bot – A computer program that can interact with the internet, usually to automate tasks or scrape data. Examples of bots: Googlebot, Ahrefsbot, Semrushbot, etc…

Bounce Rate – The percentage of people that leave a site without visiting any other pages.

Breadcrumbs – A navigation trail on a website that allows you to see where the current page is in the hierarchy/structure.

Broken Link – A backlink that points to a page that no longer exists and returns a 404 error.


Cache – Serves static versions of dynamic web pages to reduce server load, bandwidth and increase page speed.

Call To Action (CTA) – Words or buttons that encourage the user to take a certain action. Clicking on a link or making a purchase for example.

Canonical – The preferred/main page when multiple pages have very similar content.

Captcha – A challenge/response test to reduce spam. Usually asking people to type in the characters they see in an image or solve a simple math problem.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) – A web language used to apply styles to web elements such as font size, colour, background & alignment.

Citation – Mention of your business name or address on another webpage, with or without a backlink.

Click Through Rate (CTR) – The percentage of users that saw an advert compared to how many clicked it. If the ad was seen 100 times and clicked on 40 times, you would have a 40% click through rate.

Cloak – When you show different content to search engines and humans. Usually serving up a highly optimised page to search engine bots and an entirely different page to human visitors.

Content Management System (CMS) – A user friendly system to manage and publish a range of content online including text, images & videos. This blog is run on the Wordpress CMS.

Content Spinning – When you take a seed piece of content and ‘spin’ it with alternative words and sentences to produce hundreds of unique articles.

Conversion – When a user takes the desired action. Perhaps signing up to an email list or buying a product, that user has ‘converted’.

Conversion Rate – The percentage of people that convert. For example if 4 out of 10 visitors buy a product you have a 40% conversion rate.

Cookie – A text file that is used by web browsers and websites to store data such as login sessions or to track your activity across a site.

Copywriting – The use of words to create compelling text usually used to sell products or capture peoples attention.

Cost Per Click (CPC) – How much you will pay/have paid for each click on your link or advert.

Cost Per Mille (CPM) – The cost for 1,000 impressions or views of your advert.

Crawler – A bot or piece of software that crawls the web to extract and create an index of data.

Cross Site Scripting (XSS) – A security vulnerability in web forms that can be used to inject code & gain admin access.


Dedicated Hosting – Website hosting that is not shared with anyone else. You have a dedicated server serving only your website without sharing resources with other sites.

Deep Linking – When you create a backlink to an inner page of a website (any page that isn’t the homepage).

Disavow – The Google Disavow tool that allows you to tell Google which backlinks it should ignore when calculating your sites ranking.

DoFollow – A backlink that can be followed by search engine spiders/crawlers/bots.

Domain Name – A unique name made up of letters, numbers, dashes and periods to identify a website such as www.matthewwoodward.co.uk

Downsell – Part of a sales funnel when a user has rejected a more expensive product. You try to sell them something more affordable instead.

Dripfeed – When you drip out a certain action over a period of time. Such as drip feeding 70 backlinks over a week, would see them drip feed at a rate of 10 per day.

Duplicate Content – Two webpages that feature either duplicate or very similar pieces of content. This is a key cause of the Google Panda penalty.


Ebook – A digital version of a book which can be delivered in a number of formats including PDF or for a device like the Amazon Kindle.

Ecommerce – Electronic commerce is the buying or selling of products/services on the internet. See our Ecommerce SEO guide for more.

Email List – A list of peoples email addresses that have signed up to your newsletter, bought your/product service.

Email Marketing – A form of direct marketing delivered to peoples email inbox’s. Sometimes this maybe an email to alert of a new blog post or new special offers etc.

Expired Domain – The used car world of domains. Expired domains were previously registered by someone else but they chose not to renew it and let it expire.

External Link – A link on a webpage that points to a webpage on a different site/domain name.


Feed – A feed of data that can serve a number of purposes. For example RSS feeds are used to get the latest updates from websites.

Footprint – Something that is constant across a number of websites. For example most sites that used the Wordpress CMS can be found by searching for the “powered by wordpress” footprint in Google.

Funnel – When you guide web users through a predefined funnel that usually has multiple calls to action. For example visit website > buy product > buy upsell > join newsletter is a ‘funnel’.


Google Bot – The search crawler/bot software developed by Google to spider the web and index it.

Google Bowling – Maliciously trying to lower a competitors websites standing with Google. This is now known as Negative SEO.

Google Dance – When a websites rankings in Google are fluctuating rather than remaining stable. Google Dances often happen in the first few months of a websites life or after link building.

Guest Post – When you are invited to publish an article on someone else’s website or blog. This is usually done to create a backlink to your site or to increase traffic/brand awareness/engagement.


Hacker – A highly skilled computer programmer. Often confused with the term Cracker which is the same as a hacker, but with malicious/illegal intent.

Hits – The total amount of times your website was accessed. A hit is a person visiting your site.

HtAccess – An Apache web server configuration file that can be used to create redirects, block spammers and increase your websites security.

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) – A programming language used to create websites. I used HTML to make the text bold.


Internet Marketing (IM) – Using the internet to market product or services either as a business owner or an affiliate.

Impression – When a user views your advert or webpage.

Inbound Link – A backlink pointing to your website.

Income Report – A websites monthly earnings and expenses usually compiled in a report format to publicly track progress and growth.

Indexed – If a webpage is included in Google’s index of the web.

Internal Link – A link on a webpage that points to another page on the same website/domain name.


Keyword – An important word/search term that you want to optimise and rank your website for.

Keyword Density – The percentage a keyword appears on a page in comparison to the rest of the text. If you have 100 words but 3 of those are you target keyword – you would have a 3% keyword density.

Keyword Research – Researching keywords to asses their search volumes, commercial intent and strength of competition in search engines.

Keyword Spam – When you repeat a keyword on a page multiple times through a variety of methods to manipulate the search engines.

Keyword Stuffing – When a keyword phrase is used excessively throughout a webpage to falsely increase keyword density.


Landing Page – The page you intend the user to first arrive on. Landing pages usually have a clear call to action.

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) – An indexing and retrieval method that works out which words are relevant to other words. Eg Google knows that the word SEO is related to link building, keyword density & link bait.

Link – A link from one website to another.

Link Bait – A piece of content that is created with the goal of attracting backlinks from other websites.

Link Building – When a person creates backlinks to website they own or are in control of.

Link Pyramid – A backlink structure that takes the form of the Pyramid with your website at the peak. For example your website may have 100 links pointing to it. Each of those 100, may have 200 links pointing at them. And each of those 200, may have 300 links pointing at them creating a pyramid structure.

Link Velocity – The speed at which backlinks to a website are created or removed.


Made For Adsense (MFA) – Websites that are specifically built to make money with the Google Adsense program.

Meta Description – The description of a webpage that appears in search engine results pages defined with the Meta Description tag in the head section of a webpage.

Meta Keywords – The keywords that are used to help search engines workout what a webpage is about. Google dropped support for Meta Keywords in 1998. It is good practice to remove meta keywords entirely in modern times.

Meta Robots – A meta tag placed in the head section of a webpage to tell search engine spiders whether to index or follow that specific page.

Meta Tags – A collection of tags that include the Meta Title, Meta Description, Meta Keywords & Meta Robots tags that each serve different purposes.

Meta Title – The title of a webpage usually seen in the browsers taskbar or in search engine result pages.

Monetize – Introducing features to the website that allow it to make money. This could be in the form of banner advertising, affiliate marketing or launching a product/service.

Money Site – Your main website that is used to generate an income.


Negative SEO – Formally known as Google Bowling, Negative SEO is the malicious practice of harming a competitors websites standing with Google.

Niche – A specific topic or market that you target. This blogs niche is internet marketing.

NoFollow – A tag that can be added to links telling search engines not to follow them or give them any weight when calculating rankings. Any paid or affiliate link should have the nofollow tag.

NoIndex – A tag used to tell search engines not to index the current page. You can also noindex entire sections of websites with the robots.txt file.


Offsite SEO – Search engine optimisation techniques that are applied without making changes to your website such as link building or increasing social signals.

One Way Link – A link that points to a website that does not provide a link back.

Online Marketing – Using the internet to market and sell products and services either as an affiliate or a business owner.

Onsite SEO – Search engine optimisation techniques that are applied by making changes to the website.

Opt In – When a user joints your email list or opts in to receive communication from you.

Organic Link – A backlink to your website that is created naturally by another webmaster.

Outbound Link – A link on a webpage that points to a webpage on a different site/domain name.


Page Rank – A Google based metric that determines how authoritative a site or webpage is based on the incoming backlinks. PageRank ranges from 0 the least important upto 10 the most important.

Page Title – The title of a webpage from the Meta Title tag.

Panda – The Google Panda update & penalty was introduced in February 2011 targeting low quality sites and duplicate content.

Pay Per Action (PPA) – An advertising model where you only pay for a completed action such as a confirmed sale, email subscription or inbound sales enquiry.

Pay Per Click (PPC) – An advertising model where you pay a set amount for every click your advert receives.

Penalty – A search engine penalty which may either be algorithmic (automated based on a set of rules) or manually applied after a human review of your site.

Penguin – The Google Penguin update & penalty was introduced in April 2012 targeting unnatural backlink profiles.

PHP – A programming language also known as Hypertext Preproccesor and is usually used to serve dynamic content and interactions with databases.

Plugin – A file or bit of code that can be easily installed to add new functionality to a website or content management system.

Popunder – An advert, banner or webpage that is automatically triggered to appear underneath the current web browser. This is considered an unobtrusive form of advertising.

Popup – An advert, banner or webpage that is automatically triggered to appear on top of the current web browser which is highly intrusive.

Private Label Rights (PLR) – A license given to digital products that usually allows you to modify, reuse or resell them as you wish.

Private Proxies – Proxies that are not publicly accessible and require a private login/authorization for use. Private proxies are faster and much more reliable.

Proxies – A proxy allows the user to hide their IP address and allows them to remain anonymous/appear to be using a different computer in another location to connect to the internet.

Public Proxies – Proxies that are free to use publicly accessible although often slow, unreliable and shared with thousands of people.


Reciprocal Link – When you link to a webpage and they return the favour by linking back.

Return On Investment (ROI) – The percentage of profit made above the initial investment. If you invested £100 and earnt £140 you would have a 40% return on investment.

Redirect – When you redirect a user from one webpage to another.

Rich Snippet – HTML tags used to mark up specific data such as a review, review rating, price, address, phone number etc that Google is now using to display directly in search results.

Robots.txt – The Robot Exclusion Standard is a text file placed at the root of a website that contains instructions for bots/spiders/robots crawling your site.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) – A standard data feed system used to deliver updates/content from websites.


Sales Funnel – A funnel or series of webpages designed to get the user to buy products/services.

SAPE – A Russian based blog network.

Scrape – A piece of software or a bot that spiders the web to collect/scrape data.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – Using search engines to market to your target audience either through SEO or paid methods such as PPC.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – Optimising your website and strategy to gain higher rankings in the organic search engine results.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP) – The page of results you see after conducting a search in a search engine like Google.

Shared Hosting – Website hosting that is shared with other websites. The servers resources are shared equally between the users which is fine for smaller sites.

Site Audit – Conducting a full review or analysis of a site to meet a variety of goals. Such as ensuring a smooth user experience by checking for broken links or an indepth SEO audit to identify onsite SEO problems.

Site Speed – How fast a website loads – the faster it loads the better!

Sitelinks – A list of links to related inner page that appear underneath specific results on search engine results page.

Sitemap – A page that links to all other pages on the site allowing spiders to easily find all of the pages on your website. Please also see XML Sitemap.

Social Bookmark – A type of backlink that is usually created when a user publicly bookmarks your site with a service like Reddit.

Social Media – A website or application that is used for social reasons such as Facebook.

Social Media Marketing (SMM) – Using social media channels such as Facebook & Twitter to market to your target audience.

Social Share – When a user shares your webpage on social media. Examples are clicking on a like button, tweeting about it or posting it on Google+.

Social Signals – An offsite SEO measurement that can determine the popularity of a specific webpage based on how many times it has been shared & discussed on social media sites.

Spider – A bot or piece of software that is used to crawl the internet and index data.

Spinning – When you take a seed piece of content and ‘spin’ it with alternative words and sentences to produce hundreds of unique articles.

Split Testing – When you test different versions of web pages to see which performs better. This is usually measured in return on investment, conversion rate and click through rate. You can split test headlines, images or entire layouts and designs.

Spun – When an article is formatted with spinning markup – it is ‘spun’.

Subscriber – When a user subscribes to your site either through an email subscription, RSS subscription or by following you on social media.


Target Audience – A group of people that will be interested in your product/service/blog – eg my target audience is internet marketers and small business owners.

TED – A global business conference that invites business leaders with a huge range of backgrounds to deliver inspiring talks.

Tier 1 – The first layer/tier of backlinks pointing to your website in a tiered link building or pyramid link structure.

Tier 2 – The second layer/tier of backlinks pointing to the first layer/tier of backlinks in a tiered link building or pyramid link structure.

Tier 3 – The third layer/tier of backlinks pointing to the second layer/tier of backlinks in a tiered link building or pyramid link structure.

Tiered Link Building – A backlink structure that takes the form of the Pyramid with your website at the peak. For example your website may have 100 links pointing to it (tier 1). Each of those 100, may have 200 links pointing at them (tier 2). And each of those 200, may have 300 links pointing at them (tier 3) creating a pyramid structure.

Traffic – How many people visit your website.

Traffic Driving – Marketing activity with the goal of increasing traffic to a website.

Traffic Generation – Marketing activity with the goal of increasing traffic to a website.


Uniform Resource Locator (URL) – The address of a webpage on the internet.

Upsell – Part of a sales funnel when a user has bought a product. You try to up sell them to buy something with a higher price tag.

Usability – How usable a webpage is often improving its design to make it easier to use and increase conversion rates.

User Generated Content (UGC) – When users create content on your website either by submitting a comment, creating a forum topic, uploading a video and so forth. YouTube is a great example of a UGC site.


Virtual Private Server (VPS) – A virtual server usually running Windows or Linux that you can remote into. Most SEO’s use them to run use a VPS to run link building software uninterrupted or to host websites depending on your goal.


Warrior Special Offer (WSO) – A product that is sold in the WarriorForum special offers section. These products are usually low quality and make false claims, avoid.

Web 2.0 – Refers to the transitional period of the web from static webpages to webpages that allow sharing & interaction. The second generation of the web.

Web Hosting – A service that will host your website for you allowing users all over the world to access it 24/7.

Webmaster – The owner of a website.

Webmaster Tools – Usually meaning Google Webmaster Tools or Bing Webmaster Tools you can get additional information about your websites status in the search engines.

White hat SEO – Using ethical SEO practices to increase your sites popularity and ranking in search engines.

Wiki – A website that takes advantage of user generated content and collaborative editing.

Wordpress – A popular content management system. I use Wordpress to power this blog.


XML Sitemap – A list of pages you want search engines to find created in a standard XML format.

Are You Still Confused?

If you are still confusing with digital marketing terms or couldn’t find the definition you are looking for then please let me know in the comments.

I will be happy to personally answer your questions and add the words to my digital marketing & SEO glossary above to help other people out as well.

94 Responses

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      I will indeed :)

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      Thanks Afroza :)

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      Which scroll?

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    Superb Matt.. this the dictionary of SEO. Maximum all ters are cover in this article.. Thanks :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 17th, 2015 at 2:41 pm

      No problem Bharti :)

  29. john

    Really Good List. There are many term that i don’t know. It’s very useful for beginner like me. Thanks for sharing

    • Matthew Woodward
      November 21st, 2015 at 6:14 pm

      No problem :)

  30. alex

    Hi Matt,

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    • Matthew Woodward
      October 1st, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      No problem :)

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    • Matthew Woodward
      August 24th, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      They are on this page if you use your browser find tool

      • bob
        August 25th, 2015 at 7:13 am

        thanks – I found LSI, but “LPI” remains a mystery. Do these terms essentially mean the same thing?

        • Matthew Woodward
          August 26th, 2015 at 11:03 am

          The only thing that could possibly reference is Local Paid Inclusion which was a service that blew up a while back

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      July 13th, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      No problem glad to be of service :)

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    It is very useful. There are many term that i don’t know. Now i can use it in a easy way

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      No problemo Jane =D

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      Thanks hope you enjoy it :)

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      July 18th, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      Glad it helps!

  37. Christy Maniyattu

    Thanks Matt. Really Helpful resource. When can we see the updated list.

    • Matthew Woodward
      July 7th, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      Actually that’s on my list for this week :)

  38. Aidatama

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    • Matthew Woodward
      April 18th, 2014 at 10:12 am

      No worrys!

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    Whats an API?

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    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2014 at 9:02 pm

      Thanks I wish you all the luck :)

  41. Matthew Fritz

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    • Matthew Woodward
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      Google aren’t indexing it like I want them to though, grr!

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      Its SO CLOSE now ^^

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    mate! Do you mind if i translate these word to Turkish and publish in my blog?

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 17th, 2013 at 8:30 am

      I would prefer you wrote it yourself, feel free to use mine as a guideline/template though

  44. Daniel Persson

    Man, I starting to become intelligent only by reading your site. I have learnt so many new words that I didin´t had a clue about. Thanks Matt.

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 14th, 2013 at 8:38 am

      Hahah cheers Dan!

  45. Jeremy

    Great internet marketing list Matt. Keep us posted on if it gets picked up by google for direct usage.
    What plugin are you using for the lock PDF content until socially shared? Thanks

  46. Alex

    I’d expect this to work Matt. As you say you are giving google exactly what it wants.

    I’m interested in the implementation of this for a niche blog of mine – how to get your glossary divided into the pages above! Is this theme specific or a plugin?



    • Matthew Woodward
      August 13th, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      Its not pages its just HTML code with same page anchors to move you to the different letters.

      Try and define words in your niche then look at all the results and how they construct the pages to be included ^^

  47. Greg Nunan

    Awesome list Matthew. Top quality as usual. Bit of an extension of an already mentioned one, but “Expired Domain” is a term dear to my heart ;-). Worth a mention?

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 13th, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      Added :P

    • Acisse
      September 1st, 2015 at 10:24 am

      Really Good List. Thanks for sharing.

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