Beginners Guide to SEO / Glossary of Key SEO Terms

01Glossary of Key SEO Terms

Last updated: 11.3.20

SEO can be a very complicated subject area, especially with all the technical terminology used. However, SEO doesn’t need to be hard to understand. There are some very simple things you need to learn at least to get you a rudimentary start on being able to optimise your website.  To help you get a clearer understanding, here is a glossary of some basic SEO terms:


301 Redirects

If your website or page has been moved to another location, a 301 redirect allows you to automatically point users to the new location. This can prevent users from landing on broken pages on your site.


An index is a database of web pages used by search engines. It contains your website’s URL and content such as text, images, video and so on. If a webpage is not in the index, then search engines like Google will not be able to find it.


Also called a bot or spider refers to a robot (automated software) which can visit (crawl) up to billions of web pages a day to look for new or updated web pages. Sitemaps and linking structures on your website help tell the crawler which pages to visit. Once it visits a website or webpage, it then indexes it.


This is the name of Google’s crawler. Each search engine has their own crawler, such as Yahoo Slurp is the name of Yahoo’s crawler.


SEO is short for search engine optimisation. It is the process of improving your website’s position in search engines and increasing your site’s traffic from search engines.

Search Queries

A search query is simply the search term a user enters into a search engine like Google.


A sitemap is a file which lists all the pages on your website and the relationship between them. Search engines use this file as a guide on what pages to crawl on your website.


This is an important file which is added to your website’s directory to tell the search engines to exclude certain pages from being crawled by crawlers. This is especially useful if you want to exclude admin pages from being indexed. And for hiding duplicate content from search engines, such as content on category and tag pages.


Now that you have a basic introduction to some of the most used SEO terminology, you can get down to optimising your website for search engines.