Top Terms You Should Know about Online Search

July 29, 2019 Stephanie Ewen


seo tablet search

There is no shortage of resources online talking about search engine optimization. But, like any industry, online search has its own language and abbreviations. If you plan to invest time in reading these resources, it helps to have a basic understanding of the terminology. Here are the most common terms and a brief explanation of what they mean.

  1. SEO – This stands for search engine optimization. It is a term for making your insurance website easy for Google to understand, crawl and index. We’ll get to those terms later in the list.
  2. Featured snippet – A featured snippet is often an answer to a question searched in Google. It shows a piece of the answer to the question.

google featured snippet

  1. Google My Business listing – This is a Google-owned directory of business listings. When someone searches for your agency, your Google My Business listing appears to the right of search results. Business listings also appear in the local pack of search results. We will get to that term later in the list too.

Google my business

  1. Indexing – This is the act of search engines storing and organizing content found during the crawling of your website.
  2. Local pack – This is a list of Google My Business listings that appear for local searches. This often appears for search queries with terms like Near me.

local pack

  1. Organic – This refers to the type of placement your website gets in the search results. It is free to appear in organic search results. Unlike paid search placements, these spots must be earned.
  2. SERP – This stand for Search Engine Results Page. It is the list of websites that show up after you perform a search. Read our blog post on The Anatomy of a Search Engine Results Page for more.
  3. Traffic – This is visits to your insurance website. It is the amount of views your website gets over time.
  4. URL – This stands for Uniform Resource Locators. It is a webpage’s address on the internet. For example, the URL for the ITC blog is
  5. Ranking – On a SERP, this is the order of websites, by relevance, to your search query.
  6. Query – The word or phrase you type into the search bar.
  7. Intent – What you really want from the words you type into the search bar.  
  8. Black hat – These are types of tactics used by some that violate Google’s quality guidelines. Do not use these.
  9. White hat – SEO tactics that follow Google’s quality guidelines.
  10. Webmaster guidelines – These are the rules of engagement from Google and Bing for website owners. Their purpose is to help website owners create content that can be easily found, indexed, and perform well in search results.

Search engine optimization is a big topic that confuses a lot of business owners. Before you start working on your website’s SEO it is important to have some understanding of basic terminology. Hopefully we helped to broaden your understanding of SEO and the language used.

Have you come across an SEO term you don’t know? Shoot me a comment below with a term you would like a meaning for and I’ll do my best to answer!

About the Author

Stephanie Ewen

Stephanie Ewen helps ITC customers with the search engine optimization of their websites. She has been working in marketing for more than 10 years. Her specialties include web design and search engine optimization (SEO). To stay on top of the latest SEO trends and algorithm updates, Stephanie reads blog articles and participating in courses produced by some foremost experts in SEO. She is certified in inbound marketing, Google Analytics and fusion marketing. Stephanie is an avid softball fan and enjoys volunteering and spending time with her husband, kids and grandkids.

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