Relevant Domain Terms
Black hat SEO: also known as “unethical SEO”, black hat SEO refers to aggressive practices that tend to violate Google’s (or other search engine’s) guidelines. People using black hat SEO tactics are mainly focused on optimizing websites for search engines, instead of minding user experience (i.e. human audiences). See SEO and white hat SEO domain terms.
Click-through-rate (CTR): the ratio of visitors who follow a specific link to a certain webpage and the number of total visitors who view the same page. There has been quite a debate on whether or not CTR can directly affect one’s SEO. However, since there are numerous benefits of a higher CTR (e.g. increased traffic from the same ranking), you should make an effort to increase organic visits.
Country code top-level domain (ccTLD): linked to specific geographical areas. Some examples of ccTLDs are: .eu, .uk, .us, .me.
Country code second-level domains (ccSLD): a specific domain name class that many country code top-level (ccTLD) domains have. For instance, in .co.me, the ccSLD is .co.
Domain age: there are different ways to define domain age. Some see it as the length of time a certain domain has been registered and active for. But the SEO-relevant definition we’re using is the following: domain age is the length of time that’s passed since the first moment a domain has been indexed by search engines.
Domain authority (DA): the measure of a domain’s overall power. It’s a metric that includes over 40 ranking signals. Different tools have different names for it (i.e. Domain Authority, Domain Rating), and use different signals to calculate it. It aims to give a prediction on how well a certain website will rank in Google’s search results.
Domain extensions: categories of Internet domain names. They are a part of your domain name, located right after the dot (for example, .com, .net, .me). There are dozens to choose from: different types of extensions offer different kinds of opportunities for building your online presence. See top-level domains.
Domain migration: shifting (migrating) data from one domain to another in a safe manner, without losing any data.
Domain name: the first online point of contact of your brand with your customers. It is the online address of your website, connected to a specific IP address.
Domain Name Server (DNS): they basically function as Internet phone books. While humans can easily understand and read domain names, machines can access websites only through IP addresses. That is where DNS steps in, sort of like a dispatcher: it gives directions and translates your domain name into a machine-friendly language, i.e. IP addresses.
Domain Status Codes: an indicator of your domain’s current status, displayed in the domain record and the WHOIS database.
Exact-match domains (EMD): a domain highly relevant for your business, product, or service which matches exactly the keyword or keyword phrase users typically type in their search queries.
Generic top-level domain (gTLD): one category of top-level domains. Initially, they were called generic to stress the difference between them and ccTLDs. See top-level domain and country code top-level domain terms.
ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers): a private, non-profit organization responsible for IP address allocation, domain name system management, coordinating and maintaining databases related to namespaces, etc. In short, ICANN aims to keep the Internet secure and stable.
IP address: a unique series of numbers separated by full stops that identifies each computer using the Internet Protocol for network communication.
Page authority (PA): a metric developed by Moz that predicts how well a specific web page is ranked in Google and other search engines.
PageRank: Provided by Google, it indicates the authority of a website based on the number and quality of links pointing to a certain domain name.
Premium domain names: high quality, memorable, traffic-generating domains that have been registered and can be purchased for a premium price. Some sell for millions of dollars: yep, that’s how much people value a good name.
Resellers: as defined by ICANN, a reseller is a third-party company that offers domain name registration services.
Registrant: the one who registers a domain name.
Registrar: an accredited organization that sells domain names (e.g. Hostgator, GoDaddy, NameCheap, Name.com, Domain.com).
Registry: an organization that manages top-level domains. It sets all the rules related to the domain name it’s selling and cooperates with registrars (so they too sell their domain to the public).
Root domain: the highest hierarchical level of a site. It is separated from the top-level domain by a dot. See second-level domain.
Search engine optimization (SEO): a set of techniques implemented with the goal to achieve better ranking in the search results page in order to maximize the number of website visitors.
Search Engine Results Page (SERP): a result page displayed by search engines as a response to a user’s query.
Second-level domain (SLD): what most people call a “domain name”, although it is only one part of a domain name. It is located left of the dot. For instance, in example.com, example is the second-level domain. See country code second level domain terms.
Secure Socket Layer (SSL): a standard encryption technology that’s used to safely transfer data from a user’s browser to a web server. It’s a transfer protocol developed for the purpose of safe online transactions. Secured websites that own SSL digital certificate have a “https://” in front of the website URL.
Servers: computer programs or devices that provide functionality for clients. See web hosting domain terms.
Shared hosting: a type of web hosting where numerous websites reside on a single web server connected to the Internet. Typically cheaper than a virtual private server. See virtual private server.
Subdomain: an extension of your domain name with a special URL that is needed for access. Subdomains are used for the better organization of your website or managing different mail addresses. For instance, subdomains can be used for different language versions of your site. If your site is called example.me, a German version would be de.example.me.
Subfolder (or subdirectory): a new folder that has been added to your domain or subdomain. It’s typically used for better navigation through the website. For instance, if you want a blog section on your website, the subfolder URL would look like this: example.me/blog.
Top-level domain (TLD): part of a domain name located right of the dot. Examples are .com, .org, .photography, .uk and more. See generic top-level domain and country code top-level domain.
Virtual private server (VPS): a web hosting service. It’s a virtual machine with its own operating system and typically implies superuser-access, meaning you can manage system administration on your own if you want to.
Web hosting (or – hosting) service: a service that enables you to post a website online. Websites are hosted on special computers called servers. See shared hosting and virtual private server.
White hat SEO: also known as “ethical SEO”, white hat SEO implies using optimization strategies that have human audience in mind and play by Google’s rules.
WHOIS: a query and response protocol. WHOIS databases provide detailed information about domains, mainly in terms of domain ownership (e.g. name, address, contact information) and the party responsible for the domain.