Canonical Tag

The rel="canonical" link element can be used to specify the canonical URL of a webpage.

Canonical URL

The canonical URL is the preferred URL a webmaster wishes to display for a particular webpage, and can be used to rectify a variety of canonicalisation and duplicate content related issues.


A country-code top-level domain. For instance, a company based in the United Kingdom would have a domain like this: www.example.co.uk, where uk is the ccTLD.

Citation (Local SEO)

When looking at local SEO, a citation is usually seen as a reference to the name, address and phone number (NAP) of a business.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

Click Through Rate (CTR) is the rate, usually expressed as a percentage, at which users click an ad in PPC, or a link in a result set in SEO.


Stands for Content Management System. A web-based application that lets people create, upload, and manage digital assets.


How frequently two websites (or webpages) are mentioned together by a third-party website, even if those first two items don’t link to (or reference) each other. This is a way search engines can establish subject similarity.

For instance, imagine Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Roundtable never linked to or mentioned each other. However, other websites and blogs would likely mention both SEJ and SER on lists of popular search engine news publications.

Cloak / Cloaking

Cloaking is the black hat (and not recommended) practice of serving different content to Google than as seen by users. It is a technique that is generally still used only by spammers and those with malicious intent.


  • Words, images, videos, or sounds (or any combination thereof) that convey information that is meant to be distributed to and consumed by an audience.
  • One of the two most important Google ranking factors (along with links). Search engines want to reward content that is useful, informative, valuable, credible,  unique,  and engaging with better traffic and visibility.

Content is King”

A phrase often used by speakers at conferences and writers on popular SEO (and digital marketing) publications. In this context, “content is king” usually means that content is essential for you to have any SEO, digital marketing, or business success.

This phrase actually dates back to a Bill Gates essay, “Content is King”, published January 3, 1996.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A Content Delivery Network, usually shortened to CDN, is a distributed network of hosting locations that serve HTML or static resources based on user geo-location.

Content marketing

Content marketing involves the creation and distribution of content as part of a marketing strategy, usually designed to attract new customers.

Comment Spam

Poorly written comments, often off-topic and self-promotional, posted by spambots in the hopes of getting a free (but ultimately worthless) link.


There are two types of competition:

  • Direct Competitors: Companies that sell similar products and/or services, serve the same needs, and target a similar audience both online and offline.
  • SEO Competitors: Companies that vie for the same keywords and organic search visibility, but with unalike products or services that address different needs and/or target audiences.


When a user completes a desired action on a website. Examples of conversions include:

  • Completing a purchase.
  • Adding items to a shopping cart.
  • Completing a form (e.g., requesting a demo, registering for a webinar/event).
  • Downloading premium content (e.g., ebook, whitepaper).
  • Subscribing to an email newsletter.
  • Video views.

Conversion Rate

The rate (expressed in a percentage) at which website users complete a desired action. This is calculated by dividing the total number of conversions by traffic, then multiplying by 100.

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

Conversion Rate Optimisation, usually shorted to CRO, is the practice of optimising the user experience of websites and landing pages to achieve the most goals/revenue.


The extent to which a relationship exists between two or more elements. Often used in SEO research to infer relationships of variables on search rankings due to the black box nature of algorithms. Always remember, however, that correlation ≠ causation.

Crawl Budget

The total number of URLs search engines can and want to crawl on a website during a specific time period.

Crawl / Crawling

Crawling is the process by which a bot visits a website. In the search engine indexing process, crawling is when a search engine bot (such as Googlebot), visits a web resource in order to view, parse, and then if required index the resource.

Crawl Errors

Crawl errors are errors that occur during the crawling process by a search engine bot or other crawler. Errors could include DNS errors, server connectivity issues, or errors caused by the unavailability of a resource such as the Robots.txt file.


Cascading Style Sheets describe how HTML elements (e.g., color, fonts) should appear on webpages and adapt when viewed on different devices.

Customer Journey

All of the potential moments (or touchpoints) at which a prospect is exposed to or engages with a brand. All of these interactions are designed to eventually persuade, influence, and convert that prospect to become a customer, client, or subscriber.

Though customer journeys can vary greatly by business type and industry, typically it is made up of four main “stages”:

Awareness > Consideration > Decision > Retention

Google’s Avinash Kaushik offers an alternative framework:

See > Think > Do > Care

Also known as: Buying Process, Consumer Decision Journey, the Customer Journey to Online Purchase, Marketing Funnel, Path to Purchase, Purchase Funnel

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