301-redirect

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect which passes between 90-99% of link equity (ranking power) to the redirected page. 301 refers to the HTTP status code for this type of redirect. In most instances, the 301 redirect is the best method for implementing redirects on a website.

404-error

This means the file or page that the browser is requesting wasn’t found by the server. 404s don’t indicate whether the missing page or resource is missing permanently or only temporarily. You can see what this looks like on your site by typing in a URL that doesn’t exist. It’s like hitting a brick wall. Just as you’ve experienced, your visitors will hit a page that has a 404 error and either try again (if you’re lucky) or wander away to another site that has the information they’re seeking.

Every site will have some pages that return 404 status codes. These pages don’t always have to be redirected; there are other options. One common misconception is that it’s an SEO best practice to simply 301 redirect pages that return a 404 status code to the homepage of the given domain. This is actually a bad idea for the majority of cases, because it can confuse users who may not realize that the webpage they were trying to access doesn’t exist.

If the pages returning 404 codes are high-authority pages with lots of traffic or have an obvious URL that visitors or links are intended to reach, you should employ 301 redirects to the most relevant page possible. For example, if your page on sugar-free cupcakes no longer exists, you may want to redirect this URL with a 301 to your sugar-free recipe category page.

500-error

Instead of the problem being with pages missing or not found, this status code indicates a problem with the server. A 500 is a classic server error and will affect access to your site. Human visitors and bots alike will be lost, and your link equity will go nowhere fast. Search engines prefer sites that are well maintained, so you’ll want to investigate these status codes and get these fixed as soon as you encounter them.

Absolute path

An absolute path refers to the complete details needed to locate a file or folder, starting from the root element and ending with the other subdirectories. Absolute paths are used in websites and operating systems for locating files and folders. An absolute path is also known as an absolute pathname or full path.

Alt-text

Also called “alt tags” and “alt descriptions,” alt text is the written copy that appears in place of an image on a webpage if the image fails to load on a user’s screen. This text helps screen-reading tools describe images to visually impaired readers and allows search engines to better crawl and rank your website.

Anchor-text

Anchor text is the visible characters and words that hyperlinks display when linking to another document or location on the web. It usually appears as blue underlined text, but you change your website’s link colors and styles through your HTML or CSS.

Anchor text can provide both search engines and users relevant contextual information about the content of the link’s destination.

Anchor text html example

In the above example of the link code ‘Tiny dancing horse’ is the anchor text for the link.

Search engines use external anchor text (text other pages use to link to your site) as a reflection of how other people view your page – and by extension, what your pages may be about. While website owners typically can’t control how other sites link to theirs, “you can make sure that anchor text you use within your own site is useful, descriptive, and relevant.” (Source: Google)

If many sites think that a particular page is relevant for a given set of terms, that page can manage to rank well even if the terms don’t appear in the text itself.

Backlink

Backlinks (also known as “inbound links”, “incoming links” or “one way links”) are links from one website to a page on another website. Google and other major search engines consider backlinks “votes” for a specific page. Pages with a high number of backlinks tend to have high organic search engine rankings.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate (sometimes confused with exit rate) is a term used in web site traffic analysis. It essentially represents the percentage of initial visitors to a site who “bounce” away to a different site or back to a search engine query results page, rather than continue on to other pages within the same site.

Built for AdSense

Google’s AdSense monetization platform for website publishers has continued to grow. As a result, a new business model appeared: “built for AdSense”.

Thousands of websites that were built specifically to satisfy search engine algorithms and rank high in the search engine results pages. Some of these were called “content farms” (see eHow) while others were simply called “built for AdSense” websites.

In both cases, the main goal of the publisher was to generate revenue through the display of advertising through providers like Google AdSense, rather than be a comprehensive resource on the given topic.

Critics claim that these sites produce marginal content, not of benefit to users, but good enough for search engines to rank.

Canonical-URL

A canonical URL is the URL of the page that Google thinks is most representative from a set of duplicate pages on your site. For example, if you have URLs for the same page (for example: example.com?dress=1234 and example.com/dresses/1234), Google chooses one as canonical.