SEO Glossary

Whether you’re new to SEO or an old hand at taking care of your website marketing, the number of new terms and phrases in this area of search engine optimization can be daunting. But the following SEO Glossary of inbound marketing and technical website terms can keep you up to date and on track with everything you need to know.


Exploiting a price difference between two markets by buying a commodity in one market and reselling it in another, resulting in a profit of the markets’ price difference.

In SEO terms, an arbitrage involves hosting ads from Yahoo! Publisher or Google Adsense on your blog or website and then paying less than the cost of the hosted ad to one of those search engines to host an advertisement for your own website. The net result of this, assuming users click the hosted ad on your site, is a net profit of the price difference between the links.


There are two types of authorities:

Topical authorities are sites that are trusted widely enough to be used as a source by experts within a given field. On the Internet, a topical authority is a page that is referenced from many topical experts and hub sites. A topical hub is a page that references many authorities.

Example potential topical authorities:

  • the largest brands in a field
  • top blogs about a subject
  • the subject’s Wikipedia article

General Authorities are sites that are also widely trusted but offer information outside that of one given field. The entire Wikipedia directory is considered a general authority, as would be an Encyclopedia.


Traditionally, bait-and-switch is a marketing technique that involves advertising a product or service, engaging a customer with that advertisement, and then changing the offer after their attention has been captured. In the digital world, it refers to enticing customers to link to something or share it with friends and then changing the purpose of the link or linked-to page after it has been shared. The bait-and-switch technique is widely frowned upon, and used as a part of many Black Hat SEO Campaigns.


Behavioral Targeting is ad targeting based on recent search experience and/or implied search intent. For example, if a person searches for an electric guitar on the internet earlier in the day, cookies installed on his or her machine may display advertisements for electric guitars later in the day, when the searcher is browsing Facebook or searching for something completely unrelated.


Black Hat SEO is bad. MmmKay! Black Hat SEO is a disapproved search engine optimization or manipulation that could increase a page’s ranking in a search engine result page (SERP) under deceptive tactics or practices. These practices are typically against the search engine’s terms of service and can result in the website being banned from the search engine and any affiliated sites. Many tactics and strategies utilized by black hat SEO practitioners have been openly denounced on Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and Bing’s Webmaster Guidelines.


A blog is a web journal, usually a part of a much larger website, that displays entries in reverse chronological order. Blogs are not only used to archive and categorize posts but also allow for interaction between the blog author and its reader base through the use of comments and social media sharing.

Many blogs are personal journals, but some companies use them to share relevant information about their industry or employees. Blogs have the potential to develop heavy link equity because if the content is relevant enough to a particular customer base, they will return frequently and link to the content.


Blog Comment Spam is a black hat SEO practice, which involves commenting on blog posts for the sole purpose of linking back to your website. In this case, no relevant content is provided to the discussion on the blog, and the post is usually an unwarranted advertisement for a website.


Branded Keywords are keywords or keyword phrases associated with a specific brand. Branded keywords usually appear late in the buying process, and are some of the highest-valued and highest-converting keywords.


A Content Management System is software used to update and add information to a website. Blog software, such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, are some of the most popular open-source content management systems. Content Management Systems make it easy to create, structure and edit a website, even for users with little computer savvy.