SEO Jargon is part of everyday life within advertising and marketing.

Every SEO client I deal with will have heard me mention anchor text or external links. However, taking a step back and realising that not everyone knows what ALT text or a BOT is, leads to our SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) jargon buster and hopefully improving your knowledge and understanding.

SEO Jargon Buster (Updated August 2017)

Algorithm – A unique set of rules and factors used by computers to solve a problem or query. A search engine uses algorithms to determine the rankings for its search results pages.

ALT text – A word or phrase that describes the content of an image. This is displayed if an image is not loaded, and it also helps search engines to index a page. E.g. “The homepage of my website features an image of a fruit and vegetable garden. I included ALT text ‘fruit and vegetables’ to describe it.”

Anchor text – The clickable text that forms part of a hyperlink. For example, if clicking ‘SEO Services’ on a webpage takes you to ‘’, then ‘SEO Services’ is the anchor text used.

Black hat – Manipulative or deceptive SEO tactics that optimise websites for search engines, not for people. These tactics are almost certainly against a search engines webmaster guidelines and will result in your website being blocked and removed from their index.

Bot, crawler or spider – A program that browses and indexes content on the internet. This data is then used to help search engines deliver relevant search results.

Destination page – The page being linked to from another page. E.g. “If you click the link to ‘Gallery’, you’ll see a destination page full of images of our fruits and vegetables.”

SEO Jargon Buster

External links – Links from other websites to yours. When investing in SEO it is vital that the external links you build are from trusted, related and well indexed websites.

Internal links – Links from one page to another page within your website.

Meta description – A snippet of text in a web page’s code that describes the content of the page, and is used as the website’s description in a search engine results page.

Meta keywords – A short list of words that describe the content of a webpage. These aren’t used by search engines as a signal for ranking.

Ranking – A listing’s position on a search engine results page. Search engine optimisation (SEO) – The practice of making changes to web pages, content, and the promotion of that content, to improve visibility in organic – or unpaid – search engine results.

Search engine results page (SERP) – A list of results appearing in a search engine in response to a person’s search query. SERPs contain organic results as well as ads.

Title element – The title of a web page as indicated in the HTML. Also often used as the title of your page in a search engine results page. E.g. “I pay careful attention to the title element of my web pages, to help search engines understand what the pages are about.”

Web spam or spam – Techniques that are used by some websites to try and cheat their way to the top of search results, for example repeating keywords and paying other sites to link to yours. This is considered bad practice because truly relevant websites get buried in the results. E.g. “I received email offers to rank first in Google search results but have turned them down because the techniques used are spam.”


White hat – Tactics that optimise web pages for people, not for search engines. This is done by following best practices for creating good content and increasing search visibility. E.g. “I only use white hat tactics to help search engines find my website.”

XML sitemap – A list of all the web pages that make up your site. This helps search engines to understand your website. E.g. “Adding a sitemap helped search engines understand the pages on my website.”