SEO Jargon Buster

If you’re confused by the jargon that accompanies search engine optimisation (SEO), you don’t need to feel ashamed - there are literally hundreds of phrases that have been coined over the past thirty years, describing numerous techniques, types of websites, pages, processes and links that experts use in their daily language (mainly just for posturing and to assert their dominance).

The trouble is that SEO jargon can alienate the rest of us, which is a side effect that some agencies relish. After all, if you don’t understand what’s happening, who are you to question their results?

Unfortunately, this type of relationship has become quite common with an old-hat SEO contract, but as an agile marketing agency we like to do things a little differently!

We don’t judge ourselves on criteria that our clients don’t understand. Instead, our aim is to work with you to achieve the overarching goals of your company. Working in this way allows us to provide genuine value, through a range of fluid marketing services tailored to your needs. This approach gives the benefits to the client, rather than the marketing agency doing the work.

As search marketing is an important part of the services an agile marketing agency offers, we want to help you to understand what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. It’s inevitable that sometimes we do use some language you may not understand but the bottom line is that SEO isn’t as confusing as you might think! With our Jargon buster; we’ll help you to understand what SEO can do for you.


In the context of search engine optimisation, ‘algorithm’ refers to a search engine’s process, criteria and system of ranking a website in its search results. These algorithms are highly complex and are constantly updating. Google, for example, rolls out 500 to 600 minor updates a year with the occasional major update such as ‘Hummingbird’ earlier this year. For search marketers, staying up to date with these changes is crucial, as the spammy way in which SEO was undertaken before 2011 is an entirely different process to today’s content and user driven model.


A ‘keyphrase’ is the query, search term or phrase which users type into a search engine. Researching what key phrases your customers are finding you for and identifying new opportunities is one of the most high-return activities in SEO. Optimising and ranking for the right keyphrases is an ongoing process which we aim to refine and develop over the course of a campaign to make sure that we’re bringing the right traffic to your site.


A SERP is the acronym for the Search Engine Results Page, meaning the results returned from a search engine in response to a users organic search. In search marketing, high rankings on the SERP page is the dominant term for search engine success. The majority of traffic (33%) coming from Google is through the number one result, meaning that achieving this elusive position will usually result in high levels of traffic. However, whether or not this is the right traffic for your site depends on your key phrase research, for example a luxury sock website achieving the number one position for ‘cheap socks’ is not useful to anyone and unlikely to result in conversions!

Domain Authority and Page Authority

Domain Authority is the predictive ranking system scored from 1-100 to reflect how likely your overall site or specific page is to perform in the search results. This metric is calculated through combining a number of metrics which include the number of links, the quality of these links and your social profile which acts as a way of predicting how trustworthy your site is – and how high up it will in appear in the search results. Domain Authority and Page Authority should only be used as an indication but, if these metrics are high this usually corresponds with high search rankings and increased levels of traffic!

Link Building

We like to think of links as votes or recommendations – the more links a page has, the more likely the page is to rank highly in the search results. In basic terms, links indicate to search engines the popularity, relevancy and importance of a page through factors known as link signals which determine whether links to a page are genuine and trustworthy. Link building and solicitation is therefore a key strategy and an essential component of any SEO campaign but also one of the hardest to measure as it’s impossible to know the exact amount of trust that’s passed from one link to another.

Content Marketing

Content marketing refers to the generation of blogs, articles, videos, eBooks and so on, with the purpose of ‘shareability’ and the creation of inbound links. Google’s latest update, Hummingbird, focuses on the relevancy, trust and authority of content; which signals the importance of content marketing in SEO as well as the future of marketing. Link building is still important, however, a high number of links combined with a lack of social sharing can now negatively affect a website’s ranking. This focus on content marketing signals a change from ‘spammy’ SEO into engaging, customer focused marketing. In this new age of SEO, content is King.

We’re sure that you’ll come across many more phrases as you delve deeper into the world of search marketing, but as we use the phrases and techniques on a daily basis we hope these explanations are of use to you. Check out the rest of our blog for more tips and tricks, and let us know if you find this useful or if you have any suggestions!


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