SEO Abbreviations & Acronyms For Intermediate SEOs

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SEO can get complicated real fast thanks to all the abbreviations and acronyms online marketers use.

If you find yourself lost in conversations when talking about SEO or simply need a refresher, we have you covered.

Below are some of the acronyms and abbreviations used by intermediate SEOs.

Note: Some acronyms/abbreviations have more than one meaning.


AJAX — Asynchronous Javascript and XML

ALT — Alternative Text Attribute (Short description of media content and links)

AOV — Average Order Value (Average amount a user orders on a site)

API — Application Program Interface (Set of functions used in the creation of a software)

AR — Augmented Reality (Placing a generated image on top of the user’s view)

AS — Article Submission (Submitting content to article directory sites)

ASP — Application Service Provider

ATD — Agency Trading Desk


B2B — Business to Business (Marketing directly to other businesses)

B2C — Business to Consumer (Marketing directly to consumers)

BH — Black Hat (Shady SEO practices)

BL — Backlink (Links coming from outside your domain)

BR — Bounce Rate (Percentage/number of people who leave your site upon arrival)


CAPTCHA — Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart

ccTLD — Country Code Top-Level Domain (Examples: .us [USA], .uk [United Kingdom], .au [Australia])

CF — Citation Flow (From Majestic; Used to measure link equity)

CGI — Common Gateway Interface

CLV — Customer Lifetime Value

CMS — Content Management System (Like WordPress or Medium)

COA — Cost of Acquisition (How much you pay to get a paying customer)

CPA — Cost Per Acquisition (Average value of acquiring each customer)

CPC — Cost Per Click (How much you pay for each click on your PPC campaign)

CPI — Cost Per Impression (Cost per number of times an ad is seen)

CPL — Cost Per Lead (How much you pay per lead generated)

CPM — Cost Per Thousand Impressions (How much you pay per 1,000 ad views)

CPO — Cost Per Order

CPV — Cost Per View

CR — Conversion Rate (Rate at which customers take a desired action)

CRM — Customer Relationship Management

CRO — Conversion Rate Optimization

CSE — Comparison Shopping Engine OR Custom Search Engine

CSS — Cascading Style Sheets

CTA — Call To Action (The step you want users to take) OR Content-Targeted Advertising

CTR — Click-Through Rate (Measures how many people click on your links/ads)


DA — Domain Authority (From Moz; Measures how well a site will rank on search engines)

DC — Data Center

DFO — Data Feed Optimization

DKI — Dynamic Keyword Insertion

DLP — Directory Listings Page

DLR — Deep Link Ratio

DMCA — Digital Millennium Copyright Act

DMM — Digital Media Marketing

DMP — Data Management Platform

DNS — Domain Name System

DR — Domain Ranking OR Direct Response

DRP — Directory Submission

DS — Directory Results Pages

DSP — Demand-Side Platform

DSRP — Directory Search Results Page


ECPC — Enhanced Cost Per Click

EMD — Exact Match Domain (A domain name that includes the keyword you want to rank for)

EPC — Earnings Per Click

EPM — Earnings Per Thousand

ERD — Education Referring Domains

ESP — Email Service Provider (Examples: Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, HubSpot)


FBML — Facebook Markup Language (Lets you change your FB business page appearance)

FCP — Frequently Cached Page

FFA — Free For All Pages

FTP — File Transfer Protocol


GA — Google Analytics (Tool for tracking and reporting website traffic and other data)

GAP — Google Advertising Professional

GAS — Guaranteed Article Submission

GDS — Guaranteed Directory Submission

GIS — Google Image Search

GIY — Google It Yourself

GMB — Google My Business (Tool for improving the online presence of local businesses)

GRD — Government Referring Domains

GSC — Google Search Console (Tool for fixing site issues to improve your performance on Google)

GTM — Google Tag Manager (Tool that puts all your marketing tags under one line of code for site efficiency)

GUI — Graphical User Interface

GWT — Google Webmaster Tools (Former name of Google Search Console)

GYM — Google, Yahoo, MSN


H1 — Level 1 Heading Markup

H2 — Level 2 Heading Markup

H3 — Level 3 Heading Markup

H4 — Level 4 Heading Markup

H5 — Level 5 Heading Markup

Href — Hypertext Reference

HTML — Hypertext Markup Language

HTTP — HyperText Transfer Protocol

HTTPS — HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure


IBL — Inbound Links (Links pointing towards your site/page)

IDF — Inverse Document Frequency

IFTTTIf This Then That (Tool for automating commands)

IM — Internet Marketing

IP — Internet Protocol

ISP — Internet Service Provider

IYP — Internet Yellow Pages


JGI — Just Google It


KDA — Keyword Density Analyzer (Tool for measuring the density of keywords in a page)

KEI — Keyword Effectiveness Index (Method for determining what keywords to use)

KPI — Key Performance Indicator (A measure by which to evaluate the success of a campaign)


LB — Link Building (The process of getting other websites to link back to your domain)

LPO — Landing Page Optimization (The process of optimizing a specific landing page)

LSA — Latent Semantic Analysis

LSEO — Local Search Engine Optimization (Ranking for localized search terms)

LSI — Latent Semantic Indexing (Method of comparing the relationship between keywords)

LTKW — Long Tail Keyword (Longer, more specific keywords; usually 3 to 4 words in length)

LTV — Lifetime Value (The average amount spent by a customer since the beginning)


MCP — Moderately Cached Page

MFA — Made For Advertising

MQL — Marketing Qualified Lead (A person who’ll likely become a customer thanks to marketing)

MTO — Meta Tags Optimization (Improving metadata to be more effective for ranking online)

MVT — Multivariate Testing (Testing variables to see which option to use on a campaign)


NAP — Name, Address, Phone Number (Used in the context of local SEO marketing)

NSEO — Negative SEO (Refers to black hat SEO tactics)


OBL — Outbound Links (Links pointing outside your site/page)

ODP — Open Directory Project (Human-edited index of websites)

ORM — Online Reputation Management (Curating online content to remove damaging information)

OS — Operating System OR Open Source

OSE — Open Site Explorer (From Moz; Tool that tracks links pointing to your site)

OWBL — One-Way Backlink (The opposite of reciprocal link building)


P4P — Paid For Placement (The act of paying to be featured prominently on SERPs; usually through ad placements)

PA — Page Authority (From Moz; Predicts how a specific page will rank on search engines)

PBN — Private Blog Network (Collection of sites that link to one another; a black hat tactic)

PDF — Portable Document Format

PFI — Pay For Inclusion

PFL — Pay For Listings

PFP — Pay for Performance

PHP — Hypertext Preprocessor

PPC — Pay Per Click (Google Adwords; Paying every time a user clicks on your ad)

PPCSE — Pay-Per-Click Search Engine

PPL — Pay Per Lead

PPP — Pay Per Post

PPR — Pay Per Rank

PPS — Pay Per Sale

PR — Press Release OR Page Rank (An algorithm used by Google to rank websites)

PV — Page Views (Count of how many users have viewed a page; Not to be confused with page visit)


QA — Quality Assurance (Inspecting to product to make sure it’s up to standard)

QS — Quality Score (Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of your keywords)


RD — Referring Domains (A domain that linked back to you regardless of frequency)

RFI — Request for Information

RI — Regular Index

RM — Reputation Management

ROI — Return on Investment (Determines how much you’ve gained/lost from an SEO campaign)

RSS — Really Simple Syndication OR Rich Site Summary

RTB — Real-Time Bidding (Ads are bought on a per-impression basis)

RTD — Real-Time Data (Data that is delivered immediately)

RTL — Regional Long Tail


SaaS — Software as a Service (Software services that are accessed online)

SB — Social Bookmarking (Services that let you save pages online instead of your browser)

SD — Semantic Distance (Calculates distance between relevant keywords)

SE — Search Engine

SEM — Search Engine Marketing (Ranking a site through organic and paid advertising)

SEO — Search Engine Optimization (Ranking a site through on-site and off-site strategies)

SEP — Search Engine Positioning (Your rank in search engine result pages)

SER — Search Engine Ranking

SERM — Search Engine Results Management (Similar in definition to SEO)

SERP — Search Engine Results Page (Shows results based on the search phrase used)

SES — Search Engine Strategies

SEWSearch Engine Watch (A popular SEO news and features website)

SI — Supplemental Index (A separate index where Google stores webpages)

SLA — Service Level Agreement (An agreement between a service provider and a client)

SMB — Small and Medium Businesses

SMEs — Small And Medium-Sized Enterprises OR Subject-Matter Expert

SMM — Social Media Marketing (Using social media to increase brand awareness)

SMO — Social Media Optimization (Optimizing social media pages to increase visibility)

SMP — Social Media Platform (Refers to social media sites)

SNS — Social Networking Service (An alternative name for social media sites)

SQL — Sales Qualified Lead (A potential customer vetted by the marketing and sales teams)

SRM — Search Reputation Management (Using search results to influence brand impression)

SSI — Server Side Includes (A scripting language used in web development)

SSL — Secure Sockets Layer (A security protocol for encrypting server-client exchanges)

SSP — Supply-Side Platform (Lets you manage, sell, and optimize ad space on websites)

STW — Search the Web

SWL — Sitewide Link (A link that appears on all your pages)


TBPR — Toolbar PageRank (A browser extension by Google; No longer exists)

TF — Trust Flow (From Majestic; A site’s score based on the links it has)

TF-IDF    — Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency

TLD — Top-Level Domain (The suffix attached at the end of your domain [.com, .net, etc.])

TLP — Top-Level Page

TOS — Terms of Service (Agreement between user and provider for using a service)

TR — TrustRank (The use of trust signals to fight spam)

TSETSB — The Search Engine That Spam Built

TTF — Topical Trust Flow (From Majestic; Provides website categorization)


UCD — User-Centric Design (Prioritizing user experience first when building a site)

UCG — User-Generated Content (Additional content by users [comments, forums, etc.])

UEO — User Experience Optimization (Improving user experience on a website)

UI — User Interface (Means of how users inetract with your website)

UIO — User Intent Optimization (Optimizing a site based on what user intends to do)

UR — URL Ranking 

URI — Uniform Resource Identifier (Characters used to find a source on a network like URLs)

URL — Uniform Resource Locator (The address of a website)

USP — Unique Selling Point OR Unique Selling Proposition (What makes your product stand out)

UTM — Urchin Tracking Module (Tracking code that you add to a page for monitoring campaigns)

UV — Unique Visitor (A person who visits a site during a certain period of time)

UX — User Experience (The experience a user has while visiting a site)


VA — Virtual Assistant (Someone who helps you work from a remote location)

VIPS — Visual-Block Page Segmentation

VOD — Video on Demand (Service where users choose to watch any video from a database)

VS — Video Submission (Uploading videos online like you do on YouTube)


W3CWorld Wide Web Consortium (An international organization that develops web standards)

WH — White Hat (SEO tactics that are seen as the best practices)

WMT — Webmaster Tools (Tool that evaluates your performance on search engines)

WMWWebmaster World (An online forum that focuses on SEO)

WOMM — Word-of-Mouth Marketing (Spreading information about a brand organically)


XHTML — Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (A stricter version of HTML)

XML — Extensible Markup Language (Markup language that stores and transports data)


YOY — Year-on-Year (Evaluating site performance over the course of a business year)

YTD — Year-to-Date (Period of time that covers the start of the year to the current day)

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