A list of terms and definitions related to search engine optimization, digital marketing, and the Semrush toolkit. You can use this SEO glossary to understand the most common technical terms in the industry as well as some of the metrics and features unique to Semrush.
301 redirect - The HTTP status code to indicate a permanent redirect forwarding one URL to another. Once a 301 redirect is added to a page, all users and bots that go to that page will automatically be sent to the redirected page. These redirects can help a website retain SEO value from a backlink that was going to a page that no longer exists.
302 redirect - An HTTP status code that indicates a temporary redirect, similar to a 301 redirect. The main difference between the two redirects is that a 301 is permanent and a 302 is temporary. In terms of SEO, search engines will not pass along the trust signals from the backlinks pointing to an old page through a 302 like they would through 301.
404 - The HTTP status code that indicates when a webpage or document that can no longer be found by the server.
Access log – A log file listing all of the requests for individual files made by people or bots on a website.
Ad Keyword – The query entered into a search engine that triggers Paid results.
Adobe Analytics – An analytics software made by Adobe that gathers data on real-time web analytics and marketing channels. It is similar to Google Analytics and can be used to better understand a website’s marketing segments and user interaction.
AMPs (Accelerated Mobile Pages) – A project supported by Google to create mobile versions of webpages that load as fast as possible in search. These pages are built using a special set of HTML to make the page light and easy to serve quickly.
Anchor texts – Texts that appear highlighted in a hypertext link that ultimately bring you to a specific webpage when clicked.
Authority Score – A compound metric used to gauge a domain’s overall quality and influence on SEO. The score is based on the domain’s domain score, trust score, quantity of backlinks, quantity of referring domains, quantity of referring IPs, correlation between domain score and trust score, follow vs. nofollow links, organic search traffic (from our Organic Positions report), and number of users (from our Traffic Analytics report).
Average Difficulty – The Average Difficulty, located at the top of the keyword chart, is the combined average keyword difficulty of every keyword result analyzed by the Keyword Magic Tool. You can also find this metric in the same location within the Keyword Analyzer. This can give you a general understanding of how hard it is going to be to run an SEO campaign in this keyword’s market. The higher the percentage, the more difficult it becomes to get a high ranking for each keyword.
Average Volume – Average monthly search volume for a queried term.
Backlinks – Incoming links to a website or web page from another resource.
Beta – A term used when a software is in the final testing phase before being fully released to customers.
Bounce rate - A Google Analytics metric that tells you the percentage of users that land on one page of a website and then leave the site without viewing any other pages.
Canonical URL - A solution for solving issues related to duplicate content. If you have two webpages on your site that have duplicate content (for example, example.com/shoes/red and example.com/shop/red-shoes), making one of them the canonical URL tells search engines that you want that page to be the one displayed in search results over the other. The code for this would look like <link rel=canonical href= “https://example.com/shoes/red” />
Carousel – A SERP Feature consisting of a set of images displayed near the top of a SERP. The Image Carousel differs from the standard image result in that the Carousel will bring you to a new SERP for the image that you select.
Click Potential – Metric used to gauge the predicted chance of getting a click through to your website if your search result occupied the top position of the SERP. Click Potential depends on the presence of SERP Features that would hinder searchers from clicking on an organic website results.
Clickstream data – A clickstream is a sequential path of pages taken by an Internet user. Clickstream data is the result of analyzing large batches of such clickstreams through data processing, cleaning and organizing. This data can be used to understand how people navigate websites and pages on the Internet.
Com. – Competitive Density, or the level of competition in Google Ads measured from 0 to 1. The higher the number – the greater the competition.
Common Keywords – Keywords for which multiple domains rank among the top Google search results.
Competitors in Google Ads – The websites that rank highly for the same queries as the analyzed domain in Google Paid results.
Competitors in organic search – Sites that compete with the analyzed website in organic search results.
Content Marketing – A strategic marketing approach that entails creating and distributing content (blog posts, ebooks, videos, infographics, etc) that is valuable to an audience. The valuable content attracts attention to a brand, builds an audience, and eventually helps grow revenue.
Cost % – A metric (shown in both the Organic Positions & Advertising Positions reports) based on the overall Traffic Cost shown on the top left of your report. You will notice a Costs % for each keyword the queried domain ranks for. This represents how much of the overall cost being displayed is coming from a given keyword.
CPC (Cost Per Click) – This metric represents how expensive the average advertising bid on that particular keyword would cost across the databases in Semrush. Each database that contains this keyword will be displayed along with the corresponding CPC in that region.
Crawl budget – Google defines crawl budget as “the number of URLs GoogleBot can and wants to crawl” on a website. It is affected by GoogleBot’s crawl rate and also how popular your pages are. Read more from Google here.
Cross Group Negatives - A method of optimizing a Google Ads campaign via implementing one ad group’s keywords as another ad group’s negative keywords. This prevents your ads in separate ad groups from competing against each other and harming click-through rate / quality score.
CTR (Click-through rate) – Represents the percentage of clicks over impressions of a hyperlink or PPC advertisement, measuring how effective the link or ad is at attracting traffic.
Declined Keywords – Terms that have decreased in ranking for a domain, yet still remain in the top 100 positions.
Destination Site – The site that the user visited directly after leaving a domain.
Direct traffic – Traffic from users going to your site through a browser's address bar without going through a third party.
Disavow List – A list of backlinks that can be sent to Google in order to not take them into consideration when reviewing your site for a potential Google Penalty. If you have backlinks that may create the risk of receiving a Google Penalty, you can add them to a Disavow list and send the information to Google. You will be able to create your disavow list in a Backlink Audit campaign.
Domain Score – measures the importance of a domain on a 100 point scale based on the volume of links pointing back to the domain.
Domain Strength - The strength of the domain that relies on the amount of keywords for which the domain is positioned within the top results and the average position for them.
Duplicate Content – Content that appears in more than one location on the Internet. Duplicate content can confuse search engines when deciding which page to index in search, and in turn this hurts the website’s SEO.
Ecommerce (electronic commerce) – refers to the buying and selling of goods and services over the Internet. Ecommerce can be classified as business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), or consumer-to-consumer (C2C).
Estimated Accuracy – A metric in the Traffic Analytics report that gauges the accuracy of the data presented. Since accuracy is dependent on the size of the data sample used to estimate the domain traffic, larger websites will generally have higher accuracy than less popular websites.
Estimated Reach -– This metric (found in Brand Monitoring) estimates the number of people that could have seen a mention. The number is calculated based on the domain’s traffic value, its tier and tier-related reach ratio using Semrush big-data analysis.
Estimated Traffic – There are three tools in Semrush that can estimate website traffic: Domain Analytics, Traffic Analytics and Position Tracking.
In Domain Analytics, we present estimated traffic based on the keyword positions that we see a website ranking for, the monthly volume of those searches, and average click through rates per position. This estimation is solely based on traffic from search (either organic or paid).
The second place is Traffic Analytics. This tool estimates website traffic based on clickstream data and the estimation takes into account traffic from multiple sources - search, direct, referral, social, and advertising traffic.
Position Tracking has an estimated traffic metric that is based on the local search volume and positioning that a domain has coming from only the keywords that are being tracked in the campaign. In this tool, estimated traffic represents a daily estimated number of visits.
Facebook Engagement – A measure of how well your audience liked, shared or commented on your Facebook posts during the selected time period and how this number changed in comparison with the previous period.
Featured Snippet – A SERP Feature that gives summarized answers to specific questions asked within Google.
Follow links – Links that have influence on the rankings of the linked site. These links help communicate a signal of trust in a web page to search engines.
GA (Google Analytics) – A platform used to gather data on your website.
Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) – Google's link auction network, also used for advertisement, where most keywords are sold on a cost per click basis.
Google Ads Keywords – The keywords for which the domain's Ads appear amongst the top results
Google Ads Top – The advertising block of Google Ads, located above the Organic results in Google
Google Ads Traffic – Estimated monthly amount of visitors coming to a website from Google Ads.
Google Ads Traffic Price – Estimated monthly expenses for a Google Ads campaign.
Google Analytics – A free web analytics service provided by Google. It brings you detailed analytics about the activity on your website.
Google Data Studio – A free online tool that lets you to customize visual reports using data from various sources.
Google My Business – A free service offered by Google that local businesses can use to verify their information and improve their visibility on Google Search and Google Maps.
Google Search Console – A free analytics service (formerly titled Webmaster Tools) provided by Google that offers data on a domain’s search visibility and performance. It can be used in the assessment of a website’s crawlability and SEO.
Google SE Traffic – Estimated monthly amount of visitors coming from the first 100 Google search results.
GSC (Google Search Console) – A free analytics service (formerly titled Webmaster Tools) provided by Google that offers data on a domain’s keywords, backlinks and top landing pages.
Heading tag - Heading tags indicate the levels of the headings within a webpage or document. These tags form a hierarchy from highest level of importance/organization <h1> to the lowest <h6>. Using heading tags to relevantly indicate the levels of your webpage helps search engines understand your content better which is good for SEO.
Historical Data – The data that allows you to perform research on keywords and domains from previous months. Domain Analytics and Keyword Analytics historical data goes back to January 2012. PLA historical data goes back to September 2013. Traffic Analytics historical data goes back to April 2016.
Improved Keywords – Terms a domain is still ranking within the top 100 positions for, but has moved up in ranking since their previous position within the top 100 results.
Internal LinkRank – Measures the flow of "link juice" between your website’s pages using a 100-point scale (from 0 to 100). If a page is linked by a large number of authoritative pages within your website, it will have a high LinkRank score.
Keyword (Google Ads) – The term on which the website is bidding on in Google Ads and is found amongst the top Paid results in Google for it.
Keyword (organic) – The term for which the domain is positioned amongst the top Organic results in Google.
Keyword (related) – Semantically or otherwise related queries, generated by the Semrush algorithm.
Keyword – A word or expression used as a query in an online search engine.
Keyword Difficulty – The estimation that shows how difficult it would be to compete in organic search for a certain keyword using SEO. The higher the estimation, the harder would it be to compete with the current websites ranking at the top of Google.
Keyword Overview – The main keyword analytics report for a word or phrase that is queried in the Semrush search bar.
Keyword Research – The process of uncovering keywords worthy of using for SEO and SEM campaigns.
Knowledge Graph – A SERP Feature located at the top or right hand side of the page providing a quick profile on a query along with images and related searches.
Landing Page – The page to which a visitor is led via a click on an advertisement or a link in the search result.
Link Building – The digital marketing practice of actively working to generate more incoming links to a site for the benefit of the website’s SEO. Common tactics include outreach, link baiting, linking in comment sections, and more.
Local Pack – a SERP Feature consisting of a list of relevant local businesses with contact information and a map.
Long tail keyword - A long tail keyword is a search query that falls within the “long tail” of the search demand curve. These are keywords with low monthly search volume, but describe a specific intention and have a higher probability of conversion through SEO or PPC. You can find long tail keywords in Semrush by using the Keyword Magic Tool and adding filters for number of words, keyword difficulty, volume, and more.
Meta description - A short description of a webpage implemented through an HTML tag. This description is what appears under the blue link of a webpage on a search engine results page. In written form the tag looks like <meta name= “description” content = “short description of the page here.”/>
Minification - The process of minimizing code and markup involved in your web documents and scripts. As a result of minification, websites can see faster page loading times and improve their user experience.
NAP (Name, Address, and Phone) – A term used to describe the most basic necessary information that a business should list online. Having a business’s NAP consistent across all online citations is an important factor in local SEO.
National level data – The data that takes into consideration an aggregate of search engine positions all over the country to provide search results that avoid bias from specific locations. Viewing national level data is a way of gauging how you're doing against competitors on a national level.
Negative Keywords - Keywords that allow you to choose what not to target with a Google Ads campaign. Just like regular keywords in an ad campaign, negative keywords can be set with match types such as exact match, phrase match, and broad match. When you add a negative keyword to your campaign, your ads will not appear in the search results for that search. This practice helps advertisers save budget and maximize ROI.
Nofollow links – links that do not have influence on the rankings of the linked site. To make a link a nofollow link, add the rel="nofollow" attribute to the HTML of the link.
Not-provided – Is the default placeholder that Google Analytics displays in the Keywords report to hide the most popular keywords that drive organic search traffic to a website. In order to discover these hidden keywords, you need to use a third party tool like Semrush or Google Search Console. This was implemented by Google in 2011 in an effort to protect the privacy of searchers.
Number of results – The amount of all search results in the search engine returned for a search query.
Online visibility – The overall presence of a business or brand on the Internet. Improving online visibility allows a business to reach more customers and make more money. This can be achieved through digital marketing campaigns, SEO, PPC, Public Relations, social media marketing (SMM), blogging, and outreach among other strategies.
Open Graph - Open Graph protocol is a form of markup that you can add to the metadata of a webpage that will enable your content to become a rich object when shared via social networks. This protocol allows objects on your website like videos, images, and audio files to appear in the timeline when your link is over Twitter, for example.
Organic keywords – Terms that enable a site to rank in the Google Organic results.
Organic search results – The search results that are unpaid and generally organized by relevance, popularity, and common usage.
Orphaned pages – Pages of a website that have no internal links pointing to them from within the website. This can be harmful to SEO as orphaned pages are harder for search engines *and users* to locate than pages with internal links.
Pagerank – A logarithmic scale based on link impartiality which values the importance of web documents.
Page Score – Measures the importance of a web page on a 100 point scale based on the volume of links pointing back to the page.
Page title - An HTML tag, also known as a title tag that specifies the title of a webpage. The code is placed within the header tag (<header>) of a webpage’s HTML. The text written in the tag is what will appear as the page’s clickable title when it ranks on a search engine results page. For this reason, page titles are highly important to SEO. In written form the page title looks like <title>Title of Page</title>.
Pagination – The division of web page content into numbered pages, commonly organized with numbered navigation at the bottom of a page and parameters in the URL.
Pos. – The domain's position in Google Organic or Paid results
PPC (Pay Per Click) – An Internet advertising model used to draw traffic to your website by using ads (Google Ads) where the advertiser pays a price for each click.
Public Relations – A marketing discipline concerned with managing a person or brand’s public reputation and communications. PR practices include writing and distributing press releases, outreach, and forming public partnerships.
Query – A word or phrase entered into a search engine.
Quality score - Quality score is Google’s measurement for the quality of an ad and is based on a handful of factors, including:
- expected click through rate from the SERP
- the relevance of the ad to the keyword
- relevance of the landing page to the ad and keyword
Readability Score – A metric based on the Flesch-Kincaid test of readability and Semrush will suggest the average of your top ten rivals’ readability scores as the goal for your content’s readability.
Referral Traffic – Traffic that is being sent to your site from a web source (backlink) outside of Google. For example, whenever someone clicks on a hyperlink from another site that directs to yours, it would be considered Referral Traffic.
Referrer – The search result, domain or a social media source, from which a website visitor originates
Related keywords – The keywords that are similar to a term being queried and generate similar search engine results.
Relevancy – Shows the extent to which the site corresponds to the searcher's query according to the search engine'' s algorithm
Results – The amount of all search results returned for a keyword
Reviews – A unique SERP Feature, in that they are mainly focused on domains that deal with commercial businesses. The rating that coincides with your reviews will always be located directly under your link and will display your "star" rating as well as how many reviews you have.
Rich snippet - A rich snippet on a search engine result displays extra information associated with a URL. For example, review stars, business hours, images, and categories are all examples of rich snippets that can appear with a regular result. These bits of information appearing on SERPs are the result of applying structured data markup to your website and labelling your site’s information accordingly.
Robots.txt – A public file used by webmasters that gives instructions to bots about how to crawl their website. Bots will read the robots.txt file before visiting URLs and the file has the ability to tell bots not to visit specific pages with a “disallow” command. This file can also tell a bot the specific URLs of a website's sitemaps if there are multiple sitemaps for a single site. To find a domain’s robots.txt, enter /robots.txt after the TLD. For example: semrush.com/robots.txt
Root domain – The highest hierarchical level of a website that contains all subdomains and subfolders within it. The root domain is followed by a period and the TLD (.com, .org, etc). For example, example.com is a root domain while blog.example.com is a subdomain within it.
SaaS (Software as a Service) – A model of delivering software through a subscription based license hosted from a central location on the web. Semrush is an example of a SaaS, along with other services like Gmail, Netflix, or Salesforce.
SAB (Service Area Business) - A business that may or may not have a local storefront, but offers services by traveling to customers’ locations. Common examples include delivery services, plumbers, landscaping companies, etc. Specifying your service radius to Google within Google My Business is an important part of local SEO.
Search traffic – Traffic that comes to your site directly from a search engine.
SE Keywords – The number of keywords bringing users to the website via Google's top 100 organic search results.
Semrush Rank – A custom ranking for domains. This is displaying how high of a presence a domain has on the Internet based on organic rankings and search traffic. This number is calculated based on the visibility of the domain’s ranking for the keywords that are displayed in our database. The amount of information we show for this domain will be based on how we get our data.
SEM (Search engine marketing) – A professional service with the goal of bringing more traffic to a website through digital marketing. Tactics include PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, Google Shopping, Social Media Marketing, SEO, Content Marketing, and more.
SEO (Search engine optimization) – A professional service with the goal of acquiring more organic traffic to a website from search engines. Tactics include making changes to the technical and content aspects of a website in order to improve its visibility.
SERP Source – Refers to a snapshot of the Search Engine Results Page where Semrush gathered its data. When Semrush determines a ranking for a domain/keyword, you can see the ranking reflected in the SERP Source. Once you click the icon, a pop-up window will be displayed asking you to “View the SERP” and then you can see the screenshot.
SERP – Stands for search engine results page and is the listing of all the web pages given by a search engine in response to a query.
SE Traffic – Estimated monthly amount of visits that the domain can be expected to get due to being positioned amongst Google results
SE Traffic Price - Estimated monthly price for an Ad campaign for the same amount of keywords as shown in the Domain's report.
Sitelinks – A SERP Features that show the domain's main page as well as more specially, targeted internal links.
Site map – An html file on a website that lists links to all the areas of a website. While an XML sitemap is intended for search engines, an HTML site map is intended to improve the user experience for website visitors.
Sitemap.xml – An XML file listing the URLs of a website. This file communicates to bots and crawlers what files and information are available on a site. When search engines are crawling a website, they will review the sitemap to understand what is important and how to navigate the site to find documents and files. This is different than a site map HTML file, which is used to show people the areas of a website.
SMM (Social media marketing) – a professional service that uses social media platforms to promote a product or service on the Internet.
Social traffic – Traffic that comes to your site from various social media platforms.
SSL Certificate – A small data file that encrypts and protects digital information. When a certificate is implemented by a site, it ensures a secure connection between a web server and web browser, protecting the information of the Internet user and website. When a website uses an SSL certificate it will add the padlock icon and https to the website’s address.
Sponsored – An attribute that is used for advertising and other paid content. To mark sponsored content, add the rel="sponsored" attribute to the corresponding link <a href="http://www.awesomeurl.com/" rel="sponsored">Link text</a>
Subdomain – An area of a website within a root domain that has its own address indicated by its name and a period before the root domain. For example, blog.example.com is a subdomain within the example.com root domain.
Subfolder - a subfolder is a section within a website indicated by a backslash “/” after the TLD and the name of the folder. For example, example.com/subfolder is a subfolder within the example.com domain.
Title tag - An HTML tag, also known as a page title that specifies the title of a webpage. The code is placed within the header tag (<header>) of a webpage’s HTML. The text written in the tag is what will appear as the page’s clickable title when it ranks on a search engine results page. For this reason, title tags are highly important to SEO. In written form the title tag looks like <title>Title of Page</title>.
TLD (Top level domain) – Represents the extension of a domain (.gov, .org, .edu, etc.)
Topic Efficiency – This metric (found in Topic Research) represents the ratio between a topic’s search volume and difficulty. A higher Topic Efficiency score is generally the result of higher volume and lower difficulty. High Topic Efficiency can represent a good topic to target with content marketing efforts.
Traffic % – The Traffic % (shown in the Organic Positions & Advertising Positions reports) coincides with the overall traffic number shown in the top left in both reports. You will notice a Traffic % for each keyword and corresponding landing page the queried domain ranks for. This represents how much of the overall traffic is coming from the specific keyword to a specific page.
Traffic Cost – (found in Domain Analytics) Is how much an advertiser would have to spend on average per month in Google Ads to rank for all of the keywords and positions listed in the report. This number is provided to give you a baseline estimation of how valuable a domain’s keyword portfolio is. This metric is gathered through a proprietary method that takes multiple values into consideration including CPC, volume, competition level, and more.
Trend – Indicates the changes in the number of searches for this keyword over the last 12 months.
Trust score – Measures the trustworthiness of a webpage or domain on a 100-point scale based on the number of links coming from highly trusted websites. Since Trust Score places more emphasis on high quality backlinks, if you notice a big difference between Trust Score and Page Score, you may be a victim of a large number of low quality backlinks.
Tweet Listings – Links from Twitter that are listed within the SERP.
Twitter Engagement – A measure of how well your audience favorited your tweets, retweeted your tweets or mentioned you during the selected time period.
UGC (User-generated content) – User Generated Content is any form of content written and published by a user of an online platform. Common cases include posts on social media sites, comment threads, forums, or other websites where users can interact and publish their thoughts.
UGC is also an attribute that labels links within all user-generated content, including comments and forum posts. The UGC attribute may be omitted if the content is created by contributors or noteworthy authors. To make a UGC link, add the rel="ugc" attribute to the corresponding link, i.e: <ahref="http://www.awesomeurl.com/" rel="ugc">Link text</a>
URL (Google Ads) – The landing page to which a user is redirected after clicking on an ad in Google Ads.
URL (Landing page) – The landing page to which a user is redirected after clicking on a search result.
URL (SE) – The landing page within a website which is returned in search results for a query.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator) – A web address of a page or document on the Internet. Internet users can enter a URL in a browser to find a page they are looking for. For example, https://www.semrush.com/kb/925-glossary is a URL.
Visibility % – (found in Position Tracking) refers to how visible the domain, subdomain or URL you're tracking is across the results pages of the keywords added to your project. This will be the metric displayed in the line graph in your project. If this number is at 100% this would mean that the domain, subdomain or URL being tracked are ranking in the 1st position for all of the keywords in the project.
Visibility trend – Refers to how visible the domain, subdomain or URL you are tracking is based on the keywords added to your Position Tracking project. This will be the metric displayed in the line graph in your project. If this number is at 100% this would mean that the domain, subdomain or URL being tracked are ranking in the 1st position for all of the keywords in the project.
Vol. trend – Indicates the changes in the number of searches for this keyword over the last 12 months
Volatility – A way to measure a tendency towards change or unpredictability. In relation to search engines, high volatility means there is a high amount of change occurring in the search results. Low volatility means that there is general stability.
Volume – The average monthly number of searches this keyword receives in one of Google's regional databases.