The definitive list of all SEO terms

Discover the ultimate definitions for essential (Yoast) SEO terms in our curated SEO glossary. Quickly grasp key concepts and streamline your understanding of SEO practices and simplify your SEO learning journey with our comprehensive glossary.

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301 Redirect

A 301 redirect is a permanent way to send users and search engines to a URL different from the one they originally requested. It’s like a change of address notice for the web. When a page is moved to a new location, a 301 redirect ensures visitors find the new page, and search engines transfer the original page’s ranking power to the new location. Use a 301 redirect to maintain SEO value when a URL is changed or when merging websites.

302 Found

A 302 Found status code indicates a temporary redirection of a webpage. Unlike a 301 redirect, which is permanent, a 302 tells browsers and search engines that the original page still exists and that the move to the new URL is only for a short period. You might use a 302 redirect when you’re doing maintenance or running a promotion and want to temporarily direct traffic to another page without affecting the SEO value of the original URL.

307 Temporary redirect

A 307 Temporary Redirect signals that a webpage’s location has temporarily moved to a new URL. Unlike the 302 Found, which can be used more loosely for temporary redirections, the 307 redirect strictly maintains the original request method when it redirects to the new location. Use a 307 when you need to briefly relocate a page while ensuring that the request details remain unchanged, reassuring both users and search engines that the original URL will be back in use shortly.

404 Not found

When a server can’t find the requested webpage, it displays a 404 Page Not Found HTTP status code. This error message indicates that the link is broken, the URL is mistyped, or the page no longer exists without a redirect. To improve the user experience, website owners customize their 404 pages with helpful navigation options, search features, or friendly messages to help visitors find their way back to the website’s active content.

410 Content deleted

A 410 Content Deleted HTTP status code actively informs users and search engines that a webpage was intentionally removed and is permanently unavailable. This status code serves as a deliberate confirmation of deletion rather than the ambiguous message a 404 Page Not Found might convey. Employ a 410 status code to communicate a page’s permanent removal, prompting search engines to swiftly and permanently purge the URL from their indices.

451 Unavailable for legal reasons

A 451 Unavailable for Legal Reasons HTTP status code explicitly states that legal restrictions prevent access to a webpage. Web servers use this code to notify users that a government order, copyright infringement, or other legal demands enforce the content’s unavailability. This code clearly states that the restriction is for legal compliance, not because of technical issues or content relocation. Deploy a 451 status code when legal obligations require you to block access to content on your site.

A – E

A/B testing

A/B testing, or split testing, compares two versions of a webpage or app against each other to determine which performs better. It involves showing version A to one group of users and version B to another while measuring the effectiveness of each version based on specific metrics such as conversion rates, clicks, or engagement levels. The goal is to identify which variation yields the most favorable outcome and use that version for the wider audience.

Above the fold

“Above the fold” describes the area of a webpage that users can see without scrolling when they first load the page in a browser. This concept comes from newspaper layout practices, where editors place the most important stories above the paper’s fold for immediate visibility. On a website, designers prioritize this space for engaging content to grab users’ attention and motivate them to stay and explore further — offering a good user experience.

Admin bar menu (Yoast SEO feature)

You see the Yoast SEO admin bar menu at the top of the screen. It lets you see and access the notifications the plugin has for you. It also gives you quick access to the Yoast SEO general settings. On top of that, the menu will help you quickly check your focus keyphrase and your SEO and readability scores while previewing a page. And it contains helpful links to external SEO tools that help you analyze the page.

Affiliate link

An affiliate link is a specific URL that contains the affiliate’s ID or username. In affiliate marketing, advertisers use these links to record the traffic sent to the advertiser’s website. This tracking helps to determine whether the affiliate’s marketing efforts result in a sale, for which they may earn a commission. It’s important to disclose the use of affiliate links to maintain transparency with users.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a digital performance-based advertising strategy. Businesses pay external websites or individuals, known as affiliates, a commission for directing traffic or sales to their products or services through their marketing efforts. Affiliates earn a reward, typically a percentage of a sale, for each customer they bring in. This model incentivizes affiliates to promote the business and helps it expand its reach.

AI-generated content

AI-generated content, such as text, images, or videos, is created by artificial intelligence using machine learning models. It offers efficiency and scalability in content creation but raises questions about accuracy and ethics. As AI evolves, it increasingly complements human creativity.

Algorithm

An algorithm is a set of step-by-step instructions or rules designed to perform a specific task or solve a problem. In computing, algorithms are the foundation of software programs, guiding computers through the processes needed to execute functions and make decisions. Algorithms can be simple, like a formula for adding two numbers, or complex, like those used in search engines to rank web pages.

Alt tag/alt text

An alt tag, or “alt text,” provides a textual description of an image on a webpage. Web developers use it within HTML to describe the appearance and function of an image, which is crucial for users who cannot see the image directly, such as visually impaired individuals using screen readers. Search engines also use alt text to understand the context of an image, which can aid in image search rankings.

Anchor text

Anchor text is the clickable, often blue and underlined text in a hyperlink that users see on a webpage. It provides both users and search engines with relevant contextual information about the content of the link’s destination. Effective anchor text is typically concise and descriptive, indicating what users can expect to find if they click the link. It’s an important factor in SEO as it helps search engines associate linked pages with specific topics or keywords, influencing how those pages rank for those terms in search results.

Apache server

An Apache server, officially known as the Apache HTTP Server, is a widely-used web server software that plays a crucial role in the internet infrastructure. It is designed to serve web content, such as HTML pages, images, and multimedia, to users’ browsers upon request. Developed and maintained by an open-source community under the Apache Software Foundation, it is known for its flexibility, power, and widespread compatibility with various operating systems.

Application Program Interface (API)

An Application Program Interface (API) is a set of rules and protocols for building and interacting with software applications. APIs enable different software programs to communicate with each other, allowing them to exchange data and functionality easily and securely. They act as an intermediary that processes requests and ensures seamless functioning of enterprise systems.

Author archives (WordPress)

Unique pages in WordPress for each author, which include all posts published by the author. If your blog is a single-person blog, you don’t need author archives because the archive page will be the same as the archive for the entire site. So, it’s best to disable author archives if there’s only one author. However, you can enable the author’s archives if multiple authors are writing for your site. If you do that, you’ll have the same settings for author archives as for taxonomies and content types in Yoast SEO. That means you can set the title template, meta description template, etc.

Authoritativeness (E-E-A-T)

Authoritativeness measures a website or content creator’s credibility and standing within their field or industry. Google uses it as a key factor in their E-E-A-T (Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) criteria to determine rankings in search results. A source gains authoritativeness through recognition from other reputable entities in the same domain, including citations, references, or endorsements. Authoritative sources offer reliable, accurate, and respected information, often backed by a history of trusted contributions.

B2B SEO

B2B SEO, or business-to-business search engine optimization, targets the specific needs and search behaviors of businesses looking for products or services from other companies. Instead of appealing to the general consumer, B2B SEO focuses on strategies that attract the attention of decision-makers within companies. B2B SEO requires understanding the longer sales cycles and a more informed and analytical audience, which is typical of B2B transactions.

Back-end

The back-end of a website refers to the server-side components that handle the site’s functioning and are not visible to users. It includes the server hosting the website, running a content management system like WordPress, and the database storing and managing the website’s data.

Backlink

A backlink, often called an “inbound link” or “external link,” is a hyperlink on one website that points to another website. It’s a critical element in SEO because search engines, like Google, consider backlinks as endorsements of content quality. The more reputable sources link to a webpage, the more authoritative it appears to search engines, which can improve that page’s search rankings.

Backlink analysis

Backlink analysis reviews the inbound links pointing to a website to assess their quantity, quality, and relevance. It involves using tools to collect data on backlinks and evaluating factors like the linking site’s authority, the link’s context, anchor text, and whether the link is dofollow or nofollow.

Banner (online ad)

A banner is a form of online advertising that embeds a graphic image or animation within a web page to promote a brand, product, or service. Typically rectangular, banners appear at websites’ top, bottom, or sides and can be static or animated. Users redirect to the advertiser’s landing page or website when they click on a banner ad.

Black hat SEO

Black hat SEO refers to aggressive and unethical tactics that violate search engine guidelines to boost a website’s rankings in search results. These practices aim for quick gains in search visibility, often at the expense of user experience and long-term site credibility. This is not something we at Yoast practice — we like holistic SEO.

Blog

A blog — like the Yoast SEO blog — is an online platform or section of a website where individuals or organizations regularly publish content, typically in an informal or conversational style. Blogs are a medium for sharing thoughts, insights, news, and updates on various topics. Each entry, known as a blog post, is usually displayed in reverse chronological order, with the newest content appearing first.

Bounce rate

Bounce rate traditionally is a metric in web analytics that indicates the percentage of visitors who enter a website and then leave (“bounce”) without continuing to other pages within the same site. However, the introduction of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) shifted the focus from bounce rate to more nuanced engagement metrics. GA4 measures “Engaged Sessions,” where a session is considered engaged if it lasts longer than 10 seconds, includes a conversion event, or the user views two or more pages.

Brand

A brand distinguishes a product or service with a distinctive design, emblem, name, or a mix of these elements, setting it apart from rival offerings. It represents the identity of a company or product, encompassing the values, attributes, and overall experience it promises to its customers. A brand extends beyond physical characteristics to include perceptions and emotional connections with the audience. It is built through consistent marketing, customer service, product quality, and overall user experience. Strong branding can lead to recognition, loyalty, and preference in the marketplace.

Branded keywords

Branded keywords are search terms that include a brand’s name or specific trademarks. They may also contain product names, name variations, or a combination of the brand and a product or service type. These keywords are used by individuals familiar with the brand and looking for something directly related. Branded keywords are crucial for a company’s SEO strategy, as they often lead to higher conversion rates due to the existing awareness and interest from the searcher.

Breadcrumbs (in WordPress)

A clickable path that you find on top of a page that helps users find their way around a site. You can use breadcrumbs in various ways with Yoast SEO. To implement them on your entire site, you must configure them with Yoast SEO. Alternatively, with the Yoast SEO breadcrumbs block, you can implement breadcrumbs on individual posts and pages. You will find settings that let you optimize your breadcrumbs in the Yoast SEO sidebar and meta box and the Yoast SEO Search appearance settings.

Broken link

A broken link is a hyperlink that fails to connect to its intended webpage or resource because the destination no longer exists or has moved. Reasons for broken links include deleted or relocated content, changes in URL structure, or an expired domain. These links create dead ends for users and can damage a website’s SEO by suggesting to search engines that the site is not well-maintained.

Browser

A browser, short for web browser, is a software application used to access, retrieve, and view information on the internet. As a user’s gateway to the World Wide Web, browsers translate web pages and resources – such as HTML files, images, and multimedia content – into visual and audible formats that people can easily read and interact with. Popular browsers include Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge, each offering unique features and user experiences.

Caching

Caching stores copies of content, such as files or data, in a temporary location, called a cache to speed up user access. When someone visits a website or uses an application, the system caches elements like images, scripts, and HTML files. On subsequent visits, the system loads this cached data quickly, leading to faster load times, reduced bandwidth consumption, and enhanced user experience. Caching plays a vital role in optimizing website performance and efficiency.

Call to action (CTA)

A call to action (CTA) is a prompt on a website, advertisement, or content instructing the audience to take a specific step. CTAs typically take the form of a button or link with imperative phrases like “Buy now,” “Sign up,” “Learn more,” or “Contact us.” The purpose of a CTA is to guide users toward a desired action, which could be anything from purchasing to subscribing to a newsletter.

Canonical URL

A canonical URL is an HTML element that tells search engines the preferred web page version. You use it when there are multiple pages with similar or duplicate content. By specifying a canonical URL, website owners guide search engines to index the chosen version and consolidate ranking signals, such as links and content metrics, to that URL. This practice avoids issues with duplicate content. You can easily set a canonical URL with the Advanced settings in Yoast SEO.

Cart abandon rate

The cart abandon rate is a metric that measures the percentage of online shoppers who add items to their shopping cart but exit the website without completing the purchase. High cart abandon rates can indicate issues with the checkout process, such as unexpected costs, complicated navigation, lack of payment options, or security concerns.

Cascading style sheets (CSS)

CSS, or cascading style sheets, is a language used to define and control the layout and design of a web document. It separates content (written in HTML or a similar markup language) from design instructions. This allows web developers to specify how elements should be displayed in color, font, spacing, size, and more. CSS enables consistent styling across multiple web pages, ensuring a uniform look and feel. Additionally, it allows for responsive design, enabling web pages to adjust dynamically to the screen sizes of different devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and desktops.

Checkout page

A checkout page is the part of an online store where customers finalize their purchases. On this page, they review their shopping cart, enter shipping information, and provide payment details. A well-designed checkout page streamlines the process, reduces cart abandonment, and provides a secure environment for handling sensitive customer information. The goal is to make completing a purchase as easy and hassle-free as possible.

Click-through rate (CTR)

CTR, or Click-Through Rate, measures the percentage of people who click on a specific link or advertisement out of the total number who see it. It is calculated by dividing the number of clicks a link receives by the number of times the link is shown (impressions), then multiplying the result by 100 to get a percentage. A high CTR indicates that the content is relevant and compelling to the audience, prompting them to take action.

Cloaking

Cloaking involves deliberately presenting content different from users’ browsers to search engine spiders to manipulate search engine rankings. This technique misleads search engines into indexing content that the user does not see, such as showing HTML text to the search engine while displaying something else to the user. Search engines, like Google, consider cloaking a violation of their guidelines and may penalize or ban websites that engage in this practice.

Compression

Regarding site speed, compression reduces the size of website files, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and images, before sending them from the server to the user’s browser. This process speeds up loading times, improves user experience, and conserves bandwidth. Compression tools like Gzip and Brotli compress these files, which are then quickly transferred and decompressed by the user’s browser for display.

Content

In digital marketing and SEO, content refers to any information or experience delivered to an audience through a medium. This includes text, images, videos, audio, infographics, animations, and more. Content serves various purposes, such as entertaining, educating, persuading, or informing viewers, and plays a crucial role in attracting and engaging users online. High-quality content is essential for good SEO, as it can improve search engine rankings, drive traffic, and encourage user interaction.

Content delivery network (CDN)

A content delivery network, or CDN, is a system of distributed servers that deliver web content to users based on their geographic location, the origin of the web page, and a content delivery server. CDNs are designed to expedite the loading time of websites by caching content in multiple locations worldwide. When a user requests a webpage, the CDN redirects the request to the server closest to the user, minimizing latency and bandwidth usage. This speeds up access to data and content, increases reliability, and reduces the load on the original server, enhancing the overall user experience.

Content management system (CMS)

A CMS, or content management system, is a software application that enables users to create, manage, and modify website content without requiring specialized technical knowledge. It provides a user-friendly interface, allowing easy editing and organization of text, images, videos, and other media for web pages. Popular CMS platforms include WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, offering various features and customization options.

Content marketing

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. Instead of pitching products or services, content marketing provides potential customers with information that educates, entertains, or solves problems.

Content strategy

A content strategy outlines how to create, publish, and manage content to meet specific business goals and audience needs. It involves identifying target audiences, deciding content types and channels, and setting objectives like engagement or conversion. The strategy ensures content is relevant, valuable, and aligned with brand messaging, aiming to improve visibility and authority. Effective content strategies require regular review and adaptation based on performance and user feedback.

Content words

Content words are the words in a sentence that carry significant information and meaning. Nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs convey the core message and essential details. Words with an intrinsic meaning, like dog, training, or puppy. These words are crucial for Google and users to understand your content. If you look at the content words in a sentence, they should tell you what the topic of an article is. You might not understand the exact relationship of the words; that’s what function words are for.

Conversion

A conversion is a user’s action on a website that fulfills a desired goal beyond simple page browsing. Conversions vary depending on the objectives of the website or campaign. It can include purchasing, signing up for a newsletter, registering for a webinar, or filling out a contact form. Tracking conversions is essential for understanding the effectiveness of online marketing efforts and measuring the return on investment (ROI).

Conversion rate optimization (CRO)

CRO, or conversion rate optimization, is the process of enhancing a website to increase the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action, thus improving the site’s conversion rate. This involves understanding how users navigate a site, their actions, and what stops them from completing its goals. The aim is to make the site more user-friendly and persuasive, leading to higher conversions without necessarily increasing the amount of traffic.

Cornerstone content

Cornerstone content, also known as pillar content, is the content at your website’s core. For example, on yoast.com, we have a selection of ultimate guides on various SEO topics. Those form our cornerstone content. They are the articles we link to the most and the articles that give the most detailed, in-depth information on the different topics. In Yoast SEO, you can indicate whether a post or a page is cornerstone content. If you do, Yoast SEO will be stricter in its SEO analysis. Yoast SEO Premium features a Cornerstone content workout that helps you add links to your cornerstone posts and increase their chance to rank better!

Crawl budget

Crawl budget refers to the number of pages on a website that a search engine’s crawler, such as Googlebot, will index within a certain timeframe. This concept is crucial for larger websites, as it determines how often and deeply a search engine will explore its content. The crawl budget is influenced by the site’s server response time, the freshness and quality of content, and the number of errors encountered.

Crawlers

Crawlers, or spiders or bots, are automated programs that search engines deploy to visit and index website content. They travel across the internet by following links from one page to another and gathering data from those pages, which search engines then use to build and update their indexes. This indexing is critical for search engines to provide accurate and relevant search results. SEOs can direct how crawlers interact with their sites using a robots.txt file.

CSV file (Yoast SEO feature)

Similar to a spreadsheet, a CSV is a file that contains data. In Yoast SEO, you can download a list of all your redirects in a CSV file. You can use that file to make bulk changes to the redirects. When you finish the changes, you can return to these settings and import the CSV file in the Import Redirects tab.

Date archives (WordPress)

Date archives in WordPress are automatically generated pages that organize posts by their publication dates. Visitors can browse these archives to view all the content published within a specific time frame, such as a particular month or year. From an SEO perspective, these pages do not have any added value. Most people will likely look for content based on a topic, not by date. This is why we recommend you disable date archives in Yoast SEO.

Domain

A domain is a unique name that identifies a website’s location online. It serves as a human-readable address for an IP (Internet Protocol) address, a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network. Domains are structured in a hierarchy, with top-level domains (TLDs) like .com, .org, and .net at the top. These are followed by second-level domains, which are the names chosen by individuals or organizations. For example, in the domain example.com, example is the second-level domain, and .com is the TLD.

Domain name system (DNS)

DNS, or domain name system, is the internet’s equivalent of a phone book. It translates human-friendly domain names like example.com into IP addresses that computers use to identify each other on the network. This system is critical for the functionality of the internet, allowing users to access websites using easy-to-remember names rather than a complex series of numbers. DNS is a distributed and hierarchical system, ensuring a fast and reliable method for matching domain names with IP addresses.

Duplicate content

Duplicate content occurs when identical or very similar text appears on multiple web pages, either within the same website or across different sites. This can lead to confusion for search engines when indexing and presenting search results, potentially diminishing the visibility of such content. To manage duplicate content, website owners should use strategies like canonical tags or 301 redirects, which help search engines understand which pages to prioritize for indexing.

Ecommerce

Ecommerce is buying and selling goods or services using the internet and transferring money and data to execute these transactions. It encompasses online business activities for physical and digital products and services, including retail, wholesale, dropshipping, crowdfunding, subscription, and digital payment systems. It has revolutionized how businesses and consumers interact, offering convenience, a broader selection, competitive pricing, and access to a global market.

Ecommerce SEO

Ecommerce SEO is optimizing an online store to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract more traffic. This involves tailoring aspects of the website to appeal to search engines, including optimizing product descriptions, using relevant keywords, ensuring fast loading times, and creating a mobile-friendly design. It also includes building a quality backlink profile and crafting a user-friendly site architecture with clear navigation. The goal of ecommerce SEO is to increase visibility for product-related searches, which can lead to more clicks, conversions, and sales.

Elementor integration (Yoast SEO for WordPress feature)

Elementor is a popular drag-and-drop page builder plugin for WordPress that enables users to create custom websites without needing to write code. The Yoast SEO integration with Elementor lets you work on your SEO seamlessly while building a page with Elementor.

Enhanced Slack sharing (Yoast SEO for WordPress feature)

This Yoast SEO feature enhances the link previews when a page from your site gets shared on Slack. It adds the author’s name and an estimated reading time to the preview. That increases its visibility and usefulness, which may drive more traffic to your site.

Estimated reading time (Yoast SEO for WordPress feature)

A feature in Yoast SEO Premium that lets you automatically add a block with the estimated reading time of your content. The feature also appears in the Insights tab in Yoast SEO Premium.

Exact match

Exact match means that Yoast SEO recognizes the keyphrase occurring in the same order you’ve entered in the focus keyphrase field. In most cases, the exact match keyphrase isn’t that important. What is important is that the most meaningful words, so-called content words, like dog, training, or puppy, of your keyphrase appear enough times in your copy. Word order and words that don’t carry any intrinsic meaning, aka function words, like have or your, in most cases, don’t matter that much. When an exact match matters, you can force Yoast SEO to look only at this by putting the keyword between quotation marks.

Excerpt (WordPress platform specific)

In WordPress, an excerpt is a brief summary or a selected portion of a blog post or page displayed in search results, archive pages, or blog feeds rather than the full content. Excerpts give readers a snapshot of what the post is about, enticing them to click through and read the entire piece. They are handy for improving user experience by preventing lengthy content from cluttering overview pages.

Experience (E-E-A-T)

In E-E-A-T, Experience highlights the importance of content created by authors with firsthand knowledge or practical involvement in the topic they are discussing. Personal experience adds significant value to the content, making it more authentic and relatable for the reader. This dimension of E-E-A-T underlines that formal expertise and real-world experience contribute to the quality and trustworthiness of online information, especially in areas where personal insight can provide unique and useful perspectives.

Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T)

E-E-A-T stands for experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, emphasizing the value of personal insight in content creation. It’s a guideline used by Google to assess content quality, particularly for websites that can impact users’ health, finances, or safety. E-E-A-T ensures helpful content is created by knowledgeable, reliable sources, offering accurate and trustworthy information.

Expertise (E-E-A-T)

Expertise in E-E-A-T refers to the level of knowledge and skill a content creator possesses in a specific field or subject area. It underscores the importance of content produced by individuals or organizations that deeply understand the topic, ensuring the information is accurate, detailed, and helpful to the reader. Expertise is crucial for establishing credibility and trust with the audience, particularly on topics that require specialized knowledge. It ensures that content informs and adds value based on the author’s proficiency and command over the subject matter.

External link

An external link is a hyperlink that points from one website to a page on a different website. These links lead users away from the site they are currently on and direct them to content on another domain. External links are important for providing additional information or sources, enhancing content credibility, and connecting with the broader web community. For SEO, having reputable external sites link to your content can improve your website’s authority and search engine rankings.

F – M

FAQ block (Yoast SEO for WordPress feature)

A Yoast SEO structured data block in the WordPress block editor that lets you create FAQ pages. The block automatically adds structured data to your site, making it eligible for rich results. FAQ schema is a structured data markup that website owners can add to their HTML to help search engines understand the content of Frequently Asked Questions pages. By implementing this schema, webmasters provide detailed information about each question and its corresponding answer in a way that search engines can easily parse.

Favicon

A favicon is a small, iconic image representing a website. These are displayed in various places, such as the browser’s address bar, tab title, bookmarks list, and browsing history. Google asks favicons to be 48×48 pixels or more in size and formatted as .ico, .png, or .gif files. A well-designed favicon is part of a website’s branding and enhances its professionalism and visual appeal.

Flesch Reading Ease

The Flesch Reading Ease is a readability test designed to indicate how easy a text is to understand. It uses a formula that considers the average length of sentences (measured by the number of words) and the average number of syllables per word. The result is a score ranging from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating material that is easier to read. Scores typically break down as follows: 90-100 is easily understood by an average 11-year-old student, 60-70 could be understood by 13- to 15-year-old students, and 0-30 would be best understood by university graduates. If you score 60 or higher, Yoast SEO will give you a green light.

Focus keyphrase

In Yoast SEO, the focus keyphrase is the primary term you aim to rank for in search engines with a specific piece of content. It can be a single keyword or a multi-word keyphrase, selected during keyword research. Each page or post should target a unique focus keyphrase to avoid internal competition for rankings. While “keyword” often refers to single words and “keyphrase” to multiple words, the two terms are used interchangeably. Additional related keywords can be added for optimization, but the content should primarily align with the focus keyphrase. For the SEO analysis in Yoast SEO to work, you need to set a focus keyphrase.

Footer

A footer is a section at the bottom of a webpage that typically contains supplementary information about a website. This can include contact details, copyright information, links to privacy policies and terms of service, site navigation, social media icons, and sometimes a brief about the company or organization. The footer remains consistent across pages and is used to help users find important information and navigate the site more easily.

Front-end

The front-end of a website is the part that users interact with directly. It encompasses everything users experience visually on the screen, including the layout, design, colors, fonts, and interactive elements like buttons, images, and navigation menus. The front-end is built using various technologies, typically HTML for structure, CSS for styling, and JavaScript for interactivity.

Function words

Function words express the grammatical relationship between words. They don’t carry intrinsic meaning but help you build a sentence or express feelings. Functions words are, for instance, prepositions (in, at, for), auxiliary verbs (can, do, have, may), possessive pronouns (your, his, our), or some nouns and verbs with little meaning (thing, regular, become, appear). In most cases, they don’t carry any intrinsic meaning, so they won’t help Google or users understand what your article is about. Therefore, Yoast SEO strips these words from your keyphrase in these languages and looks at the occurrence of content words.

Generative AI

Generative AI refers to artificial intelligence models that can generate new content or data that is similar to, but not exactly the same as, what they have been trained on. This includes creating text, images, videos, music, and other media types. Generative AI typically uses machine learning techniques like deep learning and neural networks to understand patterns and features in the data and then uses that understanding to generate new, original outputs. Yoast SEO Premium uses generative AI for titles and meta descriptions.

Google algorithm

The Google algorithm is a complex system used to retrieve data from its search index and deliver the best possible results for a query. Google uses algorithms and numerous ranking signals to deliver webpages ranked by relevance on its search engine results pages (SERPs). These algorithms consider various factors, including the words of the query, relevance and usability of pages, expertise of sources, and location and settings. The weight applied to each factor varies depending on the nature of the query. Google continually updates its algorithm to ensure the most accurate and relevant search results.

Googlebot

Googlebot is the generic name for Google’s web crawling bot, also known as a spider. It discovers and retrieves pages on the web to add to the index. The process involves making requests for web pages, downloading them, and then following the links on those pages to discover new pages. Googlebot uses an algorithmic process to determine which sites to crawl, how often, and how many pages to fetch from each site. Its crawling process is essential for finding new content, updating existing content, and removing outdated content in the index, ensuring users access the latest and most relevant search results.

Headings

Headings are titles or subtitles used in the content of a webpage, typically marked up in HTML with tags from <h1> to <h6>. These tags represent six levels of section headings, with <h1> being the highest (or most important) level and <h6> the lowest. Headings structure content for users and search engines, outline what content is about, and improve readability. In SEO, proper headings are vital as they help search engines understand the hierarchy and relevance of content on a page.

Helpful content

Helpful content is information that directly addresses and satisfies the needs or questions of users. It is both informative and engaging, providing clear and actionable insights. Helpful content is typically high quality content, well-researched, written with authority, and focused on delivering genuine value to the reader. It is the type of content that users find relevant, easy to understand, and enriching, often leaving them more knowledgeable or skilled after consumption.

Helpful content update (HCU)

The Helpful Content Update is a significant change to Google’s search algorithm, introduced to ensure users are more likely to encounter useful, high-quality content in search results. The update aims to reward content created primarily for human readers, offering genuinely valuable information, rather than content designed to rank well but lacking substance or relevance. This update encourages content creators to focus on satisfying user intent and providing a fulfilling experience to improve their search performance.

Homepage

A homepage is the main web page of a website, serving as the starting point for navigation and the face of the site’s online presence. Visitors see the page when entering a website’s domain name in their browser. The homepage overviews the website’s offerings, featuring links to important sections, recent content, and calls to action. A well-designed homepage is crucial for making a positive first impression, engaging users, and encouraging further site exploration.

How-to block (Yoast SEO for WordPress feature)

How-to structured data is a schema markup you can add to your HTML to communicate to search engines that your content is a step-by-step guide. Yoast SEO has a structured data block that you can use in the WordPress block editor to create how-to articles. The block automatically adds the correct structured data to the page, making it eligible for rich results.

HTTP/HTTPS

HTTP is the protocol for data transfer on the web, while HTTPS is the secure version, encrypting data to protect it during transmission. HTTPS is essential for sensitive data and is favored by search engines for providing a safer browsing experience, often reflected in higher search rankings.

HyperText Markup Language (HTML)

HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is the standard language for creating and structuring web pages. It uses tags, like <p> for paragraphs and <a> for links, to format text, embed images, and create interactive forms. HTML tags also support attributes for additional styling and functionality. HTML is the backbone of web content and works with CSS and JavaScript to build a website’s visual and interactive aspects.

Inclusive language

Inclusive language is communication that avoids using words, expressions, or assumptions that might exclude or marginalize certain groups based on race, gender, age, ability, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation. Inclusive language aims to be respectful, accurate, and sensitive to differences, promoting equality and diversity. Inclusive language is important in content marketing as it helps to create a welcoming environment for all audiences, fostering positive relationships and broadening the appeal of content to diverse groups. Yoast SEO has an inclusive language check.

Index

In SEO, “index” refers to the collection of web pages and content that a search engine has discovered and stored. When a page is indexed, the search engine has visited it, analyzed the content, and added it to its database. Indexing is crucial for web pages to appear in search engine results pages (SERPs). Search engines like Google use complex algorithms to decide which pages to index and how to rank them for specific queries.

Index coverage

Index coverage refers to the extent to which a search engine has discovered, crawled, and indexed pages from a website. It encompasses analyzing which pages are indexed and accessible in search results versus those that are blocked, have errors, or are otherwise not indexed. Understanding index coverage is crucial for website owners and SEO professionals because it directly impacts a site’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Information architecture (IA)

IA, or information architecture, refers to how a website’s content is structured and organized. It involves creating a logical framework that enables users to navigate a site and find the information they need efficiently. Good IA considers how content is categorized, the hierarchy of information, and the terminology used in menus and links. Information architecture also aids search engines in understanding the relationship between pieces of content, which can impact a site’s SEO performance.

Insights (Yoast SEO for WordPress feature)

A Yoast SEO Premium feature that shows you the most prominent words that occur in the content you are working on. That helps you ensure that you are keeping your content focused and on topic. In addition, the insights tab contains the estimated reading time of your content.

Internal link

An internal link is a hyperlink that points to another page on the same website. These links help users navigate a website and find additional information, and they also enable search engines to discover and index more pages on the site. Internal linking establishes site architecture and spreads link equity (ranking power) throughout the site. Internal links can enhance SEO by highlighting the most important pages and improving the user experience.

Internal linking suggestions (Yoast SEO for WordPress feature)

A Yoast SEO Premium feature that provides you with a list of posts, pages, and other custom types of content that you can link to from the post you are working on. It saves you time by finding the URLs of the most relevant content, so you don’t have to search for it manually.

Internal search

Internal search allows users to search for information within the site. It’s a search box where users can enter keywords to find specific content or products. Internal search helps users quickly locate items without navigating the entire site. Analyzing internal search data can provide insights into user behavior and preferences. This informs content strategy, site structure improvements, and optimization for better engagement and conversion rates.

JavaScript (SEO)

JavaScript is a programming language that enables dynamic content and interactive features on web pages. It allows developers to implement complex things like animated graphics, interactive forms, and real-time content updates. JavaScript works on the client side of the web, which means it runs in the user’s browser. This allows faster response times and a more seamless experience without constant page reloads. JavaScript SEO is about optimizing the performance of your scripts.

Key performance indicator (KPI)

A key performance indicator, or KPI, is a measurable value that shows how effectively you achieve key objectives. KPIs are used to evaluate success at reaching targets and identify improvement areas. In online marketing and SEO, common KPIs include website traffic, conversion rates, bounce rates, average time on page, search engine rankings, return on investment (ROI), and more.

Keyword cannibalization

Keyword cannibalization occurs when multiple pages on a website target the same or very similar keywords or keyphrases. As a result, these compete against each other in search engine results pages (SERPs). This can dilute the ranking potential of each individual page as search engines struggle to determine which page is most relevant for a given query. Cannibalization can lead to several SEO issues, such as reduced click-through rates, lower page rankings, and diminished authority for each competing page. 

Keyword density

Keyword density refers to the percentage of times a keyword or keyphrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words. While keyword density used to be a significant factor in SEO, modern search engines now use more sophisticated methods to evaluate content relevance and quality. Overusing keywords, a practice known as keyword stuffing, can negatively impact SEO as it degrades content readability. It can be seen as manipulative by search engines. Balancing keyword usage with natural, valuable content creation is important for the best SEO results. Yoast SEO offers a keyword density grade to help you prevent keyword stuffing.

Keyword research

Keyword research identifies the terms and phrases used in search engines to use that data for a specific purpose, often for search engine optimization (SEO) or general marketing. It helps to discover the queries that target audiences are searching for, the popularity of these queries, the competitiveness of the keywords, and the intent behind the searches.

Keywords/keyphrases

Keywords or keyphrases are the terms that users enter into search engines when looking for information, products, or services. They form the basis of search queries. A keyword can be a single word, while a keyphrase consists of two or more words used together.

Knowledge graph

The Knowledge Graph is Google’s system for organizing and providing rich, contextual information in search results. It pulls from various sources to display quick, factual details in a dedicated panel, enhancing the user’s search experience with immediate, relevant data on people, places, and things. Yoast SEO uses the information you add to its settings to feed Google’s knowledge graph automatically.

Landing page

A landing page is a standalone web page created for a marketing or advertising campaign. It’s where a visitor “lands” after clicking on a link in an email or ads from Google, Bing, social media platforms, or other websites. Unlike general web pages, which typically have multiple goals and encourage exploration, landing pages are designed with a single focus or goal, known as a call to action (CTA). This simplicity helps guide users toward the intended conversion action, such as signing up for a newsletter, downloading a free guide, or purchasing.

Large language model (LLM)

A Large Language Model (LLM) is an advanced AI system trained on vast amounts of text to understand and generate human-like language. It can perform tasks such as answering questions, writing content, and translating text, making it a powerful tool for natural language processing and human-computer interaction.

Link

A link is a connection between one web page and another, allowing users to navigate from one piece of content to another with a single click. Technically known as a hyperlink, it can be text or an image that, when clicked, takes the user to the target page, which could be within the same site (an internal link) or on a different site (an external link).

Link building

Link building is obtaining hyperlinks from other websites to your own, aiming to improve search engine visibility and authority. Techniques include creating shareable content, outreach, guest blogging, and community engagement. Quality links can boost a site’s ranking and drive traffic.

Link rot

Link rot refers to the process by which hyperlinks on a website become outdated or broken, leading to pages that are no longer accessible. This can happen when linked content is moved or deleted, causing the link to point to a non-existent page (often resulting in a 404 error). Link rot degrades the user experience and can negatively impact a website’s SEO performance. Regular maintenance and checking for broken links are important to prevent link rot.

Local search

Local search refers to using search engines to find businesses, services, or products within a specific geographic area. When users conduct local searches, they typically include location-specific terms, such as a city or zip code, or rely on geolocation data. Search engines then provide results relevant to the user’s location, often displayed with a map, business listings, and contact information.

Long tail keywords

Long tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point-of-purchase or searching for something specific. They are typically three or more long words and are highly targeted, often less competitive than shorter, more generic keywords. Long tail keywords can drive less traffic overall, but the traffic they attract is usually more focused and has a higher conversion rate due to the specificity of the search query.

Media attachment (Yoast SEO for WordPress feature)

When you upload something to WordPress, it automatically creates an attachment page for that upload. For example, an image in a post has a separate attachment page with its title and image. This kind of page is not useful in most cases because it contains thin content, which is bad for SEO. Yoast SEO handles the issue by redirecting all attachment pages to the media’s URL. So, people and search engines will land on the image URL instead of the attachment page.

Meta description

The meta description is short text (up to 155 characters) to describe your page’s content. It appears in the search results as part of the snippet preview, so you should ensure it invites people to click on it. You can edit your meta description in the search appearance tab in Yoast SEO. You’ll get feedback on the length of your meta description and whether you used your keyphrase.

Meta robots tag

Meta robots tags are elements within the HTML code of a webpage that provide instructions to search engine crawlers about how to index and crawl that page. These tags can indicate whether search engines should follow links on the page or show the page in search results. Common values for meta robots tags include index or noindex to control indexing, and follow or nofollow to control link following.

Meta tags

Meta tags are snippets of text that describe a webpage’s content; they don’t appear on the page itself but only in its code. Common types of meta tags include the meta description tag, which provides a brief description of the page, and meta robots tags, which instruct search engines on how to crawl and index the page’s content. Meta tags can influence how search engines interact with a page and how the page is represented in SERPs.

Microsoft Bing

Microsoft Bing is a search engine that provides web search services, including web, video, image, and map search products. Launched in 2009, Bing offers an alternative to other search engines like Google, aiming to deliver relevant search results with a user-friendly interface. It incorporates features like instant answers, a rewards program, and integration with digital AI assistants, Cortana and Copilot.

Mobile SEO

Mobile SEO refers to optimizing a website for search engines to ensure an excellent and effective user experience on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Mobile SEO focuses on design and performance factors such as responsive design, fast page load times, and easy navigation on a smaller screen.

Multilingual site

A multilingual site is a website that provides content in more than one language, catering to speakers of different languages. This type of site typically includes features that allow users to select their preferred language, often through a language switcher. Proper SEO for multilingual sites involves using hreflang tags and other localization techniques to ensure that the correct language content is served to users in search results.

N – R

Natural language processing (NLP)

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a field of artificial intelligence that helps computers understand and respond to human language. In SEO, NLP improves how search engines understand content and queries, enhancing the relevance and accuracy of search results, particularly for voice searches and complex queries.

Navigation

Navigation refers to the system that allows users to move around a website. It includes elements like menus, dropdowns, and links that help visitors find information and features within the site. Effective navigation is intuitive and organized, making it easy for users to locate the content they seek and enhancing the overall user experience. Good website navigation is also essential for SEO, allowing search engines to crawl and index the site more efficiently.

Niche

A niche is a specialized market segment for a particular product or service. It is characterized by specific needs, preferences, or identity that distinguishes it from the broader market. In SEO and digital marketing, focusing on a niche involves tailoring content and strategies to appeal to a specific, often narrow, audience rather than a general one. This can lead to less competition, higher engagement, and more effective targeting in marketing efforts.

Nofollow

Nofollow is an HTML tag attribute that tells search engines not to count a hyperlink as an endorsement, preventing it from influencing the linked page’s ranking. It’s often used to deter spam in user-generated content or in paid links.

Noindex

Noindex is an HTML meta tag that prevents search engine crawlers from including a specific webpage in their indexes. When a page has a noindex tag, search engines will not show it in search results, making it invisible to users searching through search engines. This tag is helpful for pages that should not be publicly discoverable via search, such as private user information, duplicate content, or temporary pages.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO refers to actions taken outside your website to impact your rankings within search engine results pages (SERPs). This includes efforts like link building from other reputable sites, social media marketing, influencer outreach, and any other activities that can increase the site’s trustworthiness and authority from the perspective of search engines.

On-page SEO

On-page SEO involves optimizing web page content for search engines and users. Common on-page SEO practices include optimizing title tags, content, internal links, and URLs. It also ensures that the website has experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T), provides a good user experience, and includes relevant keywords in the content. Effective on-page SEO helps search engines understand the content of a page and gauge if it’s a relevant result for a search query.

Open graph metadata

Pieces of code that give social media platforms like Facebook, X, and Pinterest information about your content. For example, the code contains information about your site’s name, the type of content, the title of the page, the featured image, the author’s name, etc. The more complete the information, the better your posts will look when shared on social media. In Yoast SEO, you can enable Open graph metadata and determine what your pages look like when shared on Facebook and X.

Organic search results

Organic search results are listings on search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms, as opposed to being advertisements. The search engine’s algorithms determine these results and can be influenced by proper SEO practices. Organic listings are considered important for long-term and cost-effective visibility on search engines.

Orphaned content

Orphaned content is content that doesn’t have any links pointing to it and thus will stay undiscovered by visitors and search engines. Yoast SEO Premium contains a workout to help you locate and clean up your orphaned content.

Outbound links

Outbound links are links from your site to other sites. The internet is a web of sites that are connected with links. Adding links to external sites helps build the web and make relevant connections within it! Yoast SEO reminds you to add some outbound links in the SEO check.

PageRank

PageRank is an algorithm Google uses to rank web pages in their search engine results. It measures the importance of website pages by counting the number and quality of links to a page, which indicates the page’s authority. The underlying assumption is that more important websites will likely receive more links from other websites. While PageRank is no longer the only algorithm used by Google to rank search results, it was one of the first to determine a page’s relevance or importance.

Pagination

Pagination is a technique used to divide content across multiple pages on a website. It’s commonly seen on e-commerce sites, blogs, and any site with a large amount of content, such as search results or product listings. Pagination helps improve user experience by making content more manageable and navigable. 

Paragraph length

The length of your paragraphs can influence the readability of your online content. Shorter paragraphs make it easy for readers to scan the text. They are also easier to read and understand. Yoast SEO will show a green traffic light in its Readability analysis if your paragraphs are below 150 words.

Passive voice

Passive voice is a grammatical construction in which the actor and receiver are switched around. For example, a sentence using the active voice would be “I ate the pasta,” while the passive voice version would be: “The pasta was eaten by me.” Since passive voice sentences tend to be wordier and more difficult to understand, we recommend using them sparsely. Yoast SEO will warn you if your content contains too much passive voice.

Pay-per-click (PPC)

PPC, or pay-per-click, is an online advertising model where advertisers pay a fee each time a user clicks on one of their ads. Advertisers bid for ad placement in search engine sponsored links or on social media platforms, aiming to drive traffic to their websites more effectively than through organic search. PPC campaigns can significantly increase visibility and direct traffic from targeted audiences.

People-first content

People-first content emphasizes creating content that genuinely serves the audience’s needs and interests, placing user value and engagement over strict SEO tactics. This approach enhances trust, loyalty, and user satisfaction, aligning with search engines’ focus on rewarding content that offers a positive and meaningful user experience.

Permalink

A permalink is a permanent static hyperlink to a specific web page or entry in a blog. It’s a URL intended to remain unchanged for many years, providing a reliable link to content even after adding new content to the website. A permalink consists of your domain name (example: yoast.com) and a slug (like /wordpress-seo/). Permalinks are usually structured to be user-friendly and often include keywords that give users an idea of the page content.

PHP

PHP, short for Hypertext Preprocessor, is an open-source server-side scripting language used extensively in web development for creating dynamic and interactive web pages. It executes on the server, processing code before sending HTML to the client’s browser. PHP enables web developers to generate content that changes in response to various conditions, such as user interactions or database queries.

Product page

A product page is a specific page on an e-commerce website that provides detailed information about a particular product. It typically includes a description, images, pricing, product features, customer reviews, and purchase options. The product page is designed to give potential customers enough compelling information to make an informed buying decision.

Progressive web app (PWA)

A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a type of application software delivered through the web, built using common web technologies, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It is intended to work on any platform using a standards-compliant browser, including desktop and mobile devices. PWAs are designed to offer a high-quality user experience that is fast, reliable, and engaging. Thanks to service workers, they can work offline or on low-quality networks and can be added to the home screen, receiving push notifications just like a native app.

Quality content

Quality content is informative, engaging, and relevant material that meets the needs and interests of its intended audience. It is well-researched, accurate, and provides value, often educating, entertaining, or solving problems for readers. Quality content is also well-written and visually appealing, with a clear structure and purpose. From an SEO perspective, quality content is favored by search engines and can lead to higher rankings in search results, as it signals that the content is likely to satisfy user queries.

Query

A query is a question or request for information that a user types into a search engine. In SEO, understanding the specific queries that lead users to a website helps optimize the content to match these searches better. It also improves visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). Queries can range from single words to complex, long-tail phrases and are essential for gauging user intent and tailoring content accordingly.

Rank

In SEO, “rank” or “ranking” refers to a website’s position in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for a particular query. A page’s rank indicates how relevant and authoritative a search engine considers it to other pages for a given search term. Higher rankings generally lead to more visibility and traffic. SEO practices aim to improve a website’s rank for targeted keywords.

Ranking factor

A ranking factor is a criterion that search engines like Google use to evaluate and determine the relevance and authority of a webpage to rank it in search engine results pages (SERPs). These factors are part of complex algorithms designed to provide users with the most relevant and high-quality content for their search queries. Ranking factors can include a wide range of elements. Each ranking factor’s precise weight and importance vary over time as search engines update their algorithms to improve user experience and combat spam.

Readability analysis in Yoast SEO

The readability analysis in Yoast SEO uses an algorithm to determine how readable your post is. For example, it checks the length of your sentences and paragraphs, the use of passive voice and transition words, and your subheadings distribution. It also gives you feedback, which you can use to make your text easier to read and understand.

Redirect

A redirect is a way to send users and search engines to a different URL from the one they initially requested. The most common types of redirects are 301, permanent redirects, which tell the browser that the content has moved permanently to a new location, and 302, temporary redirects, which indicate a temporary move. Redirects are used for various reasons, such as when a webpage is deleted or moved, a website is restructured, or multiple domains lead to the same website.

Redirect manager (Yoast SEO Premium feature)

The redirect manager in Yoast SEO Premium is a feature that helps users handle website redirects. When a page URL changes, the redirect manager automatically redirects the old URL to the new one, ensuring that users and search engines are directed to the correct page. This prevents 404 errors, maintains user experience, and helps preserve search engine rankings by properly managing link equity.

Regex redirects (Yoast SEO for WordPress feature)

If you’re an expert SEO and need to do complex redirections, you may need to use Regex – regular expressions –  redirects. With Regex redirects, you can, for instance, make a single redirect to move entire groups of URLs containing a specific keyword to a new location. This could save you time while working on a massive SEO project.

Related keyphrases

Related keyphrases are words and phrases that are connected to your focus keyphrase. Google uses these related words to understand your text and entities better and connect them to the other content on your site. If you have a strong coherence between all the content on your site, you’re more likely a source of high-quality information for people and, therefore, a good search result. In Yoast SEO Premium for WordPress, as well as Yoast SEO for Shopify you can set related keyphrases for your post or page.

Relative URL

A relative URL is a web address that provides the path to a resource on a website without including the domain name. It is ‘relative’ to the current domain, making linking to resources within the same site convenient without specifying the full URL.

Relevance

Relevance refers to the degree to which content, information, or search results match a user’s query or intent. Search engines use complex algorithms to evaluate and rank content by relevance, aiming to provide the most helpful and accurate information at the top of search results. For websites and content creators, ensuring relevance involves understanding the audience’s needs and interests, using appropriate keywords, and providing valuable and timely content.

Responsive design

A responsive website is designed to automatically adjust and provide an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices, from desktop monitors to mobile phones. It uses flexible layouts, images, and cascading style sheet (CSS) media queries to adapt the presentation of the website to the size of the device’s screen. This means that navigation menus, images, and content will be reformatted to fit the device’s display.

REST API: Head endpoint (Yoast SEO feature)

The Yoast SEO REST API endpoint in the General settings of Yoast SEO gives you all the metadata you need for a specific URL. This makes it easy for headless WordPress sites to use Yoast SEO for all their SEO meta output.

Rich results

Rich results (formerly known as rich snippets) are enhanced search results displayed by Google that provide additional data about a webpage beyond the standard title, URL, and meta description. These results can include ratings, images, other text, or interactive features, making the search listing more visually appealing and potentially increasing click-through rates.

Robots.txt

Robots.txt is a text file webmasters create to instruct web crawling bots (robots) how to crawl and index pages on their website. The file is placed in the website’s root directory and uses the Robots Exclusion Standard to tell bots which directories or files hosted on the website they should not access or scan. It helps control crawler traffic but should be used carefully to avoid inadvertently blocking important pages.

RSS (Yoast SEO feature)

An RSS feed allows users to track updates from their favorite websites. However, scraper sites can abuse that and use the RSS feed to republish content without your permission and without linking back to your site. The RSS settings in Yoast SEO let you add links back to your site at the end of each blog post and show search engines the article’s source. In addition, with these settings, you can edit the content you want to put in the feed before each post and the content you want to put in the feed after each post.

S – Z

Schema.org structured data

Schema.org structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content. It is a collaborative effort by Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and Yandex to create a common set of schemas for structured data markup on web pages. By adding schema.org vocabulary to HTML markup, site owners can help search engines better understand the information on web pages and provide richer search results.

Search appearance (Yoast SEO feature)

A feature in Yoast SEO that lets you see what your post or page may look like when it appears in the search results. With this feature, you can edit and preview (both for mobile and desktop) your SEO title, slug, and meta description. You’ll also find the AI generator for titles and meta descriptions here.

Search engine

A search engine is a software system designed to carry out web searches, which means searching the World Wide Web systematically for particular information specified in a textual web search query. The search results are generally presented in a line of results, often called search engine results pages (SERPs). Search engines help users find information quickly and efficiently, and they use algorithms to index and rank content based on relevance, quality, and many other factors.

Search results pages (SERP)

SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page, the page a search engine displays in response to a user’s query. The SERP typically lists web pages, titles, descriptions, and URLs relevant to the user’s search terms. The SERPs may also feature rich results like snippets, images, maps, and videos. SERPs are dynamic and vary widely based on the user’s location, search history, and device type.

Security: no advanced or schema settings for authors (Yoast SEO for WordPress feature)

A toggle in the Yoast SEO General settings lets you disable the Advanced tab in the Yoast SEO metabox and sidebar for the authors’ user type. The Advanced tab contains settings that allow users to block search engines from crawling a page. It also includes settings that let you change the Schema metadata of a post or page. You should handle those settings carefully. By default, only administrators and editors have access to those settings.

Semantic search

Semantic search refers to search engines’ ability to understand the intent and contextual meaning behind a user’s search query. Instead of relying solely on matching keywords, semantic search considers various factors such as the context of search, the location, the possible variations of words, synonyms, and natural language to provide more accurate and relevant results. It aims to understand the searcher’s intent and the semantic relationships between words to improve the quality of search results. This approach allows for a more intuitive and human-like understanding of queries.

Semrush integration (Yoast SEO feature)

An integration in Yoast SEO that gives you access to valuable keyphrase data powered by Semrush. All you need to do is enter your focus keyphrase in the Yoast SEO input field and click the Get related keyphrases button. You will get a new popup window with data on related keyphrases, such as search volume and trends. In Yoast SEO Premium, you can click a button and add up to five related keyphrases to your SEO analysis.

Sentence length

Shorter sentences are easier to follow. That does not mean that you only need to write short sentences. However, if many of your sentences are too long, your content may become difficult to read. Yoast SEO checks the length of your sentences. Yoast SEO will give you feedback if 25% of your sentences are longer than 20 words.

SEO analysis in Yoast SEO

The SEO analysis feature of Yoast SEO evaluates the SEO-readiness of content on a page. It checks for keyword usage, readability, meta descriptions, and link distribution. Based on this analysis, Yoast SEO provides actionable feedback and suggestions for optimizing the content to improve its potential to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This analysis helps users refine their content to align with SEO best practices and enhance their website’s visibility.

SEO copywriting

SEO copywriting creates written content to appeal to audiences and rank well in search engines. It involves crafting content that provides value to the reader while including strategic placement of relevant keywords and phrases to optimize search engine visibility. Good SEO copywriting ranks well and engages and converts readers by aligning with their intent and providing useful, compelling information.

SEO title

An SEO title, or title tag, is the title displayed in search engine results pages (SERPs) and browser tabs, acting as a concise descriptor of a web page’s content. It’s optimized with keywords to improve search visibility and is crafted to encourage users to click through from SERPs. The H1 tag, on the other hand, is the main on-page heading that provides context and structure for the content. While both should align closely in meaning, the SEO title is tailored for external search relevance, whereas the H1 tag focuses on internal content clarity.

SEO title width

SEO title width refers to the number of characters or pixels a title tag occupies on a search engine results page (SERP). Search engines like Google have limits on how much of the title tag they display. A title that is too long may be truncated with an ellipsis (“…”). The width is not strictly based on character count, as characters can vary in width; it’s often measured in pixels. That is why Yoast SEO checks your title width instead of its length.

SEO-friendly URL

An SEO-friendly URL is a webpage address that is easy for users and search engines to read. It usually includes keywords that explain the page content and is structured in a way that is easy to understand and remember. SEO-friendly URLs are typically short, descriptive, and free of unnecessary parameters or characters. They often follow a logical hierarchy, indicating the path to the page on the website.

Server

A server is a computer or system that provides resources, data, services, or programs to other computers, known as clients, over a network. In most common use cases, a server refers to a web server where web pages are stored and served in response to client web browsers’ requests.

Server-side

Server-side refers to operations performed by the server in a client-server relationship in computer networking. Typically, server-side operations involve processing the backend logic of a website, such as database interactions, user authentication, and serving web pages.

Siblings block (Yoast SEO feature)

An internal linking block in Yoast SEO Premium, that lets you automatically add a list of related links to a page.

Site connections

In Yoast SEO, the site connections settings — previously known as webmaster tools settings — let you connect your site with some of the most popular webmaster tools such as Google Search Console, Microsoft Bing, Yandex, etc. Doing that lets you get insights into your site’s performance on those search engines.

Site speed

Site speed refers to how quickly a website’s content loads when a user visits a page. It is a critical factor for user experience and SEO, as faster loading times improve user satisfaction and can contribute to higher search engine rankings. Google and other search engines consider site speed in their ranking algorithms, recognizing that users prefer fast-loading sites.

SKU

SKU, or Stock Keeping Unit, is a unique code that consists of letters and numbers used by retailers to identify and track the inventory of a product. An SKU is often used to distinguish products from each other, reflecting characteristics like brand, size, color, and type.

Slug

A slug is the part of a URL that identifies a particular page on a website in an easy-to-read form. It’s the portion of the URL that comes after the domain name and is typically a string of words separated by hyphens, which describes or names the page’s content. For example, in the URL, https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/ the slug is /wordpress-seo/.

Social media appearance

The social media appearance feature in Yoast SEO allows users to control how their content looks when it’s shared on social media platforms like Facebook and X (Twitter). This feature lets you set specific images, titles, and descriptions to accompany the shared link, ensuring the shared content appears attractive and relevant, which can increase engagement and click-through rates.

Spam

Spam refers to unsolicited, irrelevant, or inappropriate messages sent over the web to many users. This can include email spam, comment spam, or internal search spam on websites and blogs, and social media spam. The purpose is often to advertise, phish for personal information, or spread malware. Spam can clutter communication channels, harm user experience, and affect website credibility.

Special pages

A setting in Yoast SEO. There are a few special pages, like the search and 404 pages. A 404 page, for example, informs a user that a 404 error has occurred. In Yoast SEO, you can set the title for such special pages in the Advanced tab of the Yoast SEO settings for WordPress and Shopify.

Spider

A spider is a bot that crawls the web to index content for search results. Also known as a crawler or a robot — like Googlebot –, a spider systematically browses website pages to copy them and check the links they contain, allowing search engines to update their databases with the latest information from the web. Spiders are crucial for the functioning of search engines, as they gather the data needed to deliver relevant and up-to-date search results to users.

Structured data

Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a web page and classifying its content for search engines. It uses a specific vocabulary — schema.org — implemented in the HTML markup. By using structured data, webmasters can help search engines better understand the content of their pages, which can lead to the creation of rich snippets and enhanced search results.

Subheading distribution

Subheading distribution is a part of the Yoast SEO analysis and refers to how you use subheadings in your content. By distributing your subheadings well, you give your content structure and help readers grasp its meaning. In Yoast SEO, you’ll get a green traffic light if you have at least 300 words of text between your subheadings.

Subpages block (Yoast SEO for WordPress feature)

The subpages block is an internal linking block in Yoast SEO Premium. If you have a parent page with many subpages, the block lets you automatically add a list of links to those subpages on the parent page.

Synonyms

Synonyms are words or phrases that have the same meaning. A synonym for dog, for instance, is hound, or canine. Using synonyms in your copy can help people understand it better, especially when discussing difficult topics. Using synonyms also improves a text’s readability; if you repeat the same word very often in your copy, it looks like you’ve written it for search engines, not humans. You can add synonyms for your keyphrase in Yoast SEO Premium for WordPress and Yoast SEO for Shopify. When you are adding more than one synonym, make sure to separate the synonyms with a comma! Yoast SEO will then consider all the synonyms you’ve added for its analysis.

Tags

In a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, tags are keywords or terms assigned to pieces of content, such as blog posts, to help organize and categorize the information. Tags are typically more specific than categories, and describe your post in more detail. They facilitate search and navigation within the site, allowing users to discover related content by clicking on a tag. Unlike categories, tags are optional, and there’s usually no hierarchy, meaning they’re not nested.

Taxonomies (WordPress)

Taxonomies are a WordPress term for content that can be grouped in categories or tags, for example. So, taxonomies are ways to structure content within WordPress, and tags and categories are examples of a taxonomy system.

Testimonials

Testimonials are written or recorded statements supporting your credibility and expertise. They also strengthen your reputation by expressing other people’s trust in your business and services. Testimonials often come from customers who have had a positive experience with your company and are willing to vouch for your products or services. They can be displayed on websites, social media, or marketing materials.

Text link counter (Yoast SEO feature)

The text link counter is a feature in Yoast SEO that counts the number of internal links a post contains and the number of links on your site that point to that post. This accessible overview of the internal links can help you improve your site structure. For example, if you notice a post with too few links, you can check your content and decide if you can link it to any of your other posts. That will make finding it easier for your readers and search engines.

Theme (WordPress)

In WordPress, a theme is a collection of files that work together to create the design and functionality of a WordPress site. Each theme may include template files, stylesheets, images, and possibly JavaScript files. Themes can be changed and managed from the WordPress admin area under “Appearance” without altering the content or health of the site. They provide the visual design for a website, controlling content presentation and other design elements like layouts, colors, fonts, and widget locations.

Theme modification (Yoast SEO for Shopify)

When you install Yoast SEO for Shopify, we modify your theme. We add code, such as structured data, to your theme. However, we do not change anything in how your shop looks. When you uninstall Yoast SEO, it is possible to delete those changes.

Thin content

Thin content is a term used in SEO to describe web pages that offer little or no value to users, typically because they lack substantial or quality content. This might include pages with very little text, pages that duplicate content from other sources (such as manufacturer descriptions), or pages that are stuffed with keywords but don’t provide helpful information.

Title separator

The title separator is a symbol that separates different parts of your SEO title from each other. For example, the separator could be a hyphen (-), a traffic light (•), or a vertical bar (|). You can set the title separator in the Yoast SEO. 

Title tag

The title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page. Title tags are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline for a given result and are important for usability, SEO, and social sharing. The content of the title tag is one of the most important factors for both search engine and user optimization, as it gives users a quick insight into the page’s content and how it’s relevant to their query.

Top-level domain (TLD)

A top-level domain (TLD) is the part of a website’s address that comes after the last dot. It is the highest level of domain names in the internet’s domain name system. Examples include .com, .org, .net, and country codes like .uk and .jp. TLDs help organize the internet by indicating a website’s purpose or geographical area.

Topical authority

Topical authority refers to the level of expertise and credibility a website or content creator has established within a specific niche or subject area. It is determined by the depth, relevance, and quality of the content provided on the subject, as well as the recognition by both users and search engines as a trusted source of information.

Transition words

Transition words are used to show the relationship between sentences and paragraphs. For example, words and phrases such as in conclusion, therefore, and however are some examples of transition words. Using these words in your content makes it easier to read and understand. Yoast SEO checks how often you use transition words in your content and gives you feedback.

Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T)

Trustworthiness in E-E-A-T emphasizes the importance of content, authors, and websites being reliable and credible. It signifies that the information provided is accurate, honest, and transparent. Also, the website takes measures to ensure user privacy and security. Trustworthiness also involves the author’s and website’s reputation among users and experts in the field. This factor is crucial in building confidence among readers, encouraging them to trust the content for making decisions, particularly in sensitive areas like health or finance.

Uniform resource locator (URL)

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the address that directs you to a specific resource on the internet, like a webpage. It’s what you type into a web browser’s address bar. A URL includes a protocol (like HTTP or HTTPS), the domain name (or IP address), and may consist of a path to a specific page or file, and sometimes parameters that provide specific information to the server. For example, https://example.com/page is a URL where https is the protocol, example.com the domain name, and /page the path to a specific page.

Usability

Usability refers to how easy and intuitive it is for users to interact with a site. It encompasses the design, layout, and navigation, ensuring that users can find what they’re looking for and accomplish their tasks without confusion or difficulty. High usability contributes to a positive user experience, encouraging visitors to stay longer on the site, return in the future, and complete desired actions, such as purchasing or signing up for a newsletter.

Usage data

Usage data refers to the information collected about how users interact with a website or digital platform. This data includes metrics such as page views, time spent on the site, navigation paths, clicks, and interactions with specific elements. It can also encompass user behaviors, preferences, and patterns.

Usage tracking (Yoast SEO feature)

Yoast SEO usage tracking is enabled if you opt in. In Yoast SEO Premium, it’s enabled by default. We use usage tracking to improve Yoast SEO. For example, we track basic things like your site’s language, your PHP version, any other plugins you may use, etc.

User agent

A user agent is a string of text that a web browser or other application sends to a web server, identifying itself and providing information about the device and operating system it’s running on. This information can include the browser type and version, the operating system, and sometimes details about plugins installed or language preferences. Web servers use this data to deliver content in a format optimized for the user’s device and browser capabilities.

User experience (UX)

User experience (UX) refers to the overall experience and satisfaction when interacting with a website, application, or digital product. It encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction, including how easy and pleasant the product is to use, the efficiency in achieving desired tasks, and how the product meets the user’s needs and expectations.

User-generated content (UGC)

User-generated content (UGC) refers to any form of content — such as text, posts, images, videos, reviews, and comments —created and shared by users or customers rather than the brand or business itself. UGC can appear on various platforms, including social media, forums, product review pages, and blogs.

White hat SEO

White hat refers to ethical and approved practices in SEO that aim to improve a website’s search engine rankings and ensure its security while adhering to search engine guidelines and policies. These practices focus on providing value to the user, using techniques like quality content creation, website optimization for speed and usability, and earning backlinks from reputable sources. White hat strategies are designed to produce long-term, sustainable growth and avoid penalties or bans from search engines, unlike black hat tactics that seek to exploit loopholes for quick gains.

Whitespace

Whitespace refers to the unmarked space between web page elements, such as text, images, and buttons. It’s not necessarily white; “whitespace” means empty space. This design element is crucial for creating a layout that is easy to navigate and pleasant. Whitespace helps to reduce clutter, improve readability, and guide users’ attention to important content or actions.

Word forms (Yoast SEO feature)

Word forms are the different forms you can create of a word. This means a word’s singular and plural forms: dog and dogs. But also, different grammatical tenses, voices, or numbers, for instance, train, trains, was trained or training. Yoast SEO Premium also recognizes these different word forms in various languages. It will recognize different word forms of the words in your keyphrase in various sections of your content.

WordPress

WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) used to create and manage websites. It’s known for its flexibility, ease of use, and extensive range of features. WordPress allows users, from beginners to experts, to build anything from simple blogs to complex websites and online stores. It offers thousands of themes and plugins, enabling customization and addition of functionality such as SEO tools, social media integration, and e-commerce capabilities.

XML sitemap

An XML sitemap is a file that lists all important pages of a website, ensuring search engines like Google can find and crawl them. It acts like a roadmap for search engines, highlighting the structure of your site and providing the data they need to make your pages visible in search results. An XML sitemap includes URLs for each page, along with additional information such as when the page was last updated and more. Yoast SEO automatically generates highly optimized XML sitemaps for your site.