Audit Glossary

Quickly learn Audit-related definitions by going through our Glossary!

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A

Audit

Audit, as the name suggests, is a go-to tool if you want to review your already existing content. It allows you to check how your article is doing when it comes to SEO practices compared to your direct competitors.

Action

Action corresponds to what we need you to do to meet the suggested range for a specific part of your page.

You may need to add some occurrences of a specific element, remove them, or keep the number unchanged.

Anchored elements

Elements of your page that are anchored/hyperlinked, including images and text. Anything that is between <a> </a> tags is considered an anchor.

If some suggested keywords, images, or headings are hyperlinked, we would not count them towards occurances.

Anchored content is not calculated towards the score, as it describes the page it links to rather than the page it's on. So if you're making a hyperlink out of a term, you're telling the crawler: Hey, this page is about what I wrote in <a> tag of my code.

In other words, it counts more toward the optimization of the linked page than the content you're optimizing.

This approach helps us be more accurate with the suggestions as it also helps us to exclude the navigation, menu, and footers from the suggestions & calculations.

B

Backlinks

Backlinks are links from one website to a page on a different website.

Surfer is mostly known for its on-page optimization capabilities, but it has an off-page feature too. In Missing common backlinks, you will find domains and specific URLs that link to your competitors but not to you.

For backlinks suggestions, we display domains that are linking to at least 3 pages out of the top 20 but are not linking to the Audited page. This data might not be 100% accurate since we use a 3rd party database for backlinks, and we don't fetch that content live.

Since it's an element of off-page SEO, which is not our main value proposition, we recommend treating the backlinks section in Audit as a general hint and not as a strict guideline to follow.

Body

Everything that is within the <body> tags of your page and the main subject of Audit analysis, including hidden content and things like image alt-texts.

Excluded from the analysis are hyperlinked content/anchored elements.

C

Competitors

Competitors are the websites that, at the moment of creating a query, are in the top 10 ranking spots in Google for your targeted word and location combination.

The suggestions are only based on the competitors selected.

To choose the competitors for the analysis, click on the Gear icon, and based on your knowledge and experience, select the competitors that you do want to benchmark your content against. Here's a list of a few tips that will help you in this process:

  • Try choosing competitors who have well-optimized content. In other words, rather select those that have a Content Score of 60+.

  • Avoid selecting domains that have a high ranking place and high authority but a very low Content Score. It will be counterproductive to compare your content to theirs - they do not owe the high position to good SEO practices but rather to their domain's high authority - for example, Wikipedia, Quora, or Amazon.

  • Avoid selecting domains that serve a different search intent than your page. If you are running an informative blog, you should rather not select any e-commerce businesses.

  • Select at least 3 competitors for the best results.

Crawler

Crawler is Surfer's bot used to scan your & your competitors' websites.

SERPs and the domains themselves may be slightly different depending if you are searching for a word on your computer or on your mobile device.

Desktop crawler is our bot that is looking at the top pages from the SERP for desktop devices and crawling the desktop version of those sites.

Mobile crawler is our bot that is looking at the top pages from the SERP for mobile devices and crawling the mobile version of those sites.

Credit

Credits correspond to how many times per month/year (depending on your plan) you can use Audit. 

One Audit query equals one credit from your limit.

Content Score

Content Score is a numerical value between 0 and 100 that corresponds to the quality and relevancy of the website's content in reference to a given keyword and location combination.

Your Content Score for the same piece of content may vary depending on the query parameters (keyword, crawler, location, selected competitors) and query type (Content Editor, Audit).

Copy link

The Copy link option allows you to share your Audit with anyone - even with those who don't have a Surfer account. And you also do not need to share your own account to do that!

All you need to do is click the 'Copy link' button in the top right corner of the page. The URL will be automatically saved in your clipboard, and you can now send it to others.

D

Desktop crawler

SERPs and domains themselves may be slightly different depending if you are searching for a word on your computer or on your mobile device.

Desktop crawler is our bot that is looking at the top pages from the SERP for desktop devices and crawling the desktop version of those sites.

E

Exact keywords

The exact keyword is the term you used when creating your Audit query – that's the word you are providing with the targeted location and the page URL when creating the query. In this example, the exact keyword is "b2b content marketing".

Surfer will not only show you how many times your competitors used this keyword on their pages but also make suggestions according to good practices, like putting at least one exact keyword in your title or h1.

H

H1

An H1 tag is an HTML heading used to mark up and highlight a webpage's main subject.

Your H1 is anything that is between <h1> </h1> tags in your webpage's source code.

A page should generally have only one h1 element, and adding more is rather considered a bad practice.

H2-H6

HTML subheading tags are used to improve your webpage's structure, sectioning, and readability.

Your H2-H6 content is anything that is between <h2,3,4,5,6> </h2,3,4,5,6> tags in your webpage's source code.

A page can have multiple of each of the H2-H6 elements.

Hyperlinked elements

Elements of your page that are anchored/hyperlinked, including images and text. Anything that is between <a> </a> tags is considered an anchor.

If some suggested keywords, images, or headings are hyperlinked, we would not count them towards occurances.

Anchored content is not calculated towards the score, as it describes the page it links to rather than the page it's on. So if you're making a hyperlink out of a term, you're telling the crawler: Hey, this page is about what I wrote in <a> tag of my code.

In other words, it counts more toward the optimization of the linked page than the content you're optimizing.

This approach helps us be more accurate with the suggestions as it also helps us to exclude the navigation, menu, and footers from the suggestions & calculations.

Internal links

Building the right structure of your domain using internal links is one of the essential things to do in SEO.

Surfer will look up linking possibilities using the site search and suggest other URLs within your domain you should consider as internal links sources.

The internal links from the suggestions section are meant to redirect users from one of the suggested pages to the Audited page. The URL to the Audited page has to be somewhere on the suggested page - not the other way around.

Images

This section corresponds to the number of image elements on your and your competitors' pages. 

L

Load time

Our crawler will measure the time it needs for your page to load and compare it to how long it took for your competitors' pages to load (on average).

Please keep in mind that this is a technical SEO element which is why Surfer will not be able to provide you with specific optimization tips for this part of your domain.

Location

Top-ranking pages may vary depending on the search location. If you are in Poland, your "pizza" Google search will provide different results than in Germany.

You can select a country or a city for more local-oriented businesses.

Once a query is created, you cannot change the targeted location. If you selected the wrong location by mistake, reach out to our Support team via live chat or at [email protected].

M

Missing common backlinks

Backlinks are links from one website to a page on a different website.

Surfer is mostly known for its on-page optimization capabilities, but it has an off-page feature too. In Missing common backlinks, you will find domains and specific URLs that link to your competitors but not to you.

For backlinks suggestions, we display domains that are linking to at least 3 pages out of the top 20 but are not linking to the Audited page. This data might not be 100% accurate since we use a 3rd party database for backlinks, and we don't fetch that content live.

Since it's an element of off-page SEO, which is not our main value proposition, we recommend treating the backlinks section in Audit as a general hint and not as a strict guideline to follow.

Mark as done

The Check icon or "Mark as done" button's purpose is solely organizational. Once you click on it, a special "Done" tag will be added to your query.

You can remove the dag by clicking on the button once again, or you can use the clear tags option on the main dashboard.

Mobile crawler

SERPs and domains themselves may be slightly different depending if you are searching for a word on your computer or on your mobile device.

Mobile crawler is our bot that is looking at the top pages from the SERP for mobile devices and crawling the mobile version of those sites.

N

NLP

NLP stands for Natural Language Processing. It allows our crawlers to understand the written text more contextually.

While Google created its NLP algorithms for general purposes, Surfer NLP is a little bit more SEO oriented. Each top Google search result is measured and analyzed with AI-powered techniques making SEO efforts more effective. 

NLP is automatically enabled for queries targeting a language with NLP support. Depending on the language of the query, Surfer uses either the NLP API of Google or our own NLP engine to extract data about entities and sentiment. To deepen our analysis and make the data actionable, we cross it with our True Density calculation.

NLP connected with Google API supports English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese, whereas Surfer NLP only supports Polish, English, Danish, and Dutch.

O

"Oops, we're unable to crawl this page"

If you are seeing this message, it means that our crawler has faced an issue when attempting to crawl your page.

P

Partial keywords

Partial keywords are counted when the first 3 letters of a word in your content are the same as the first three letters of the exact keyword.

For example: if the main phrase is "b2b content marketing”, the partials will be any words starting with b2b*, con*, and mar*.

This section will guide you on how you can cover the content gap with partial keywords and will point out where you can add them. Sure, it’s probably not on the top of the list of priorities, we suggest that you focus on keyword density first, but every little tool we have to optimize content helps.

We’ve found that using this strategy helps to fill any content gaps; it allows for natural variations that other sites are using, which you don’t have actually to try and think up. It also helps the content to read naturally, so it improves the user experience.

Exact keywords

The exact keyword is the keyword you created your Audit for – that's the word you are providing with the targeted location and the page URL when creating the query. In this example, the exact keyword is "b2b content marketing".

Surfer will show you how many times your competitors used those keywords on their pages but also make suggestions according to good practices, like putting at least one exact keyword in your title.

Page structure

This section will analyze the structure of your page but will take into account only those elements that are visible and not anchored. It can't be placed within a <a> tag, or its CSS display property cannot be set to hide.

Always compare the results of the audit with the version of the website that was auditioned. If you pick the mobile crawler, make sure you're viewing the mobile version of your page, as the content may vary.

Paragraphs

The number of words placed within the <p> tag of the page's code. Usually, it's the main content on the page.

Excluded from the calculation is hyperlinked content.

Q

Query

At Surfer, there are a few types of queries - Audit query, Content Editor query, Keyword Research query, and SERP Analyzer query.

Audit query is created once you will provide the parameters (targeted keyword, URL, location, crawler) and click the "Create Audit" button.

Each Audit query requires one Audit credit. Once it's created, you cannot change any of the parameters. If you made a mistake, reach out to our Support team via live chat or at [email protected].

R

Refresh

To make it easier for you when it comes to tracking your changes and updates, we introduced the Refresh button. Clicking it will cause Surfer to re-crawl your page so you will see what the progress is.

After up to a few minutes, your suggestions will reflect on the changes you made on your page between running your initial query and refreshing the Audit.

❗Please note that it will not cause Surfer to re-crawl your competitor's pages. The refreshing purpose is rather organizational for you to be able to see your progress. If you want Surfer to recrawl the whole SERP for your targeted keyword, you will need to run a new query.

Relevance

The keyword Relevance is a percentage number based on our own calculations. 

If the competitors have specific terms on their pages, Surfer will also suggest those terms. If a keyword has a high relevancy percentage, it means that our algorithm has analyzed its importance based on multiple factors, including how often the word is used, how many competitors are using it, and others.

S

Strong, b

Words within your <body> tags that are bold – either in <strong> or <b> tags. Hyperlinked/anchored content is excluded.

Example:

<b> My page is awesome! </b> = 4 words

<strong> Surfer is cool </strong> = 3 words

Select competitors

Competitors are the websites that, at the moment of creating a query, are in the top 10 ranking spots in Google for your targeted word and location combination.

The suggestions are only based on the competitors selected, and the Select Competitors option will allow you to review them.

To choose the competitors for the analysis, click on the "Select competitors" button, and based on your knowledge and experience, select the competitors that you do want to benchmark your content against. Here's a list of a few tips that will help you in this process:

  • Try choosing competitors who have well-optimized content. In other words, rather select those that have a Content Score of 60+.

  • Avoid selecting domains that have a high ranking place and high authority but a very low Content Score. It will be counterproductive to compare your content to theirs - they do not owe the high position to good SEO practices but rather to their domain's high authority - for example, Wikipedia, Quora, or Amazon.

  • Avoid selecting domains that serve a different search intent than your page. If you are running an informative blog, you should rather not select any e-commerce businesses.

  • Select at least 3 competitors for the best results.

SERP

Search Engine Results Pages (also known as “SERPs” or “SERP”) are what you see in your browser after looking up a specific keyword. You type something into Google, and what you get back is the SERP.

Good SEO practices or paid Google ads can help bring your page to higher positions in SERP. 

Suggested range

Your webpage has x words, while the suggested range is between y and z words. That sentence is pretty understandable, but where do those ranges come from?

The lower limit of the suggested range (y) is pretty simple and straightforward. It's just an average calculated for all of your selected competitors for your Audit.

The upper limit (z), on the other hand, is slightly more complicated. We are looking at your selected competitors, and we are focusing on the one that has the most number of occurances of that specific element on their page. Then, depending on which factor this is, we are also adding 10-15% to this number, and that's how we get the upper limit of the range.

Search intent

Search intent (or “user intent”) is the WHY behind the search query. It answers the question of why people look for stuff and what they expect to find.

There are four most widely recognized types of search intent: informational, navigational, transactional, and commercial.


When it comes to Audit and search intent, you need to remember to select only those competitors that serve the same search intent as your page. You do not want to compare an e-commerce business to an informative blog, etc.

Sentiment

Sentiment is an option that can be enabled or disabled while you are creating your Audit query.

Enabling it will add a new column to your Terms to Use table. This column will contain the average sentiment (if detected) for a specific word. 

Google doesn’t treat all phrases equally for all keywords. We also have to take into account additional factors - including the sentiment analysis, wether it's positive, negative, or neutral.

T

Terms to use

Following the Terms to Use section suggestions will make the biggest impact on your rankings.

This part would tell you exclusively which words and phrases you should use, which ones you're still missing, and what are the suggested ranges based on your competitors.

All of the above are based on our AI-powered algorithms. For the number of occurrences suggested, we take the average density on competitors' pages and recalculate it to then apply it to your current word count.

Time to first byte

In this section, you can check the server response time and how long exactly it takes until Surfer is able to load the first byte of your website. It is worth keeping this ratio as low as possible.

In general, the faster the page, the better, but please keep in mind that this is a technical SEO element which is why Surfer will not be able to provide you with specific optimization tips for this part of your domain.

Title and meta description

Surfer will check how long your title and meta description elements are in comparison to your competitors.

While we can't help you with writing these elements, we will give you tips to make sure that you are meeting the SERP average length.

W

Word count

Word count is calculated based on your and your competitors' pages source code, and it's the number of words within the <body> tags. We are, however, excluding from the analysis any words that are hyperlinked. 

  • Words in body

This section analyzes everything that's within the <body> tag of the source code, not only the main content but also the surrounding elements.

  • Words in h2 to h6

The number of words in the headings, excluding h1.

  • Words in paragraphs

The number of words placed within the <p> tag of the page code. Usually, it's the main content on the page.

  • Words in strong, b

Words that are bold – either in <strong> or <b> tags.

The whole word count section depends strongly on how the pages of your competitors are structured. For instance, if they used more lists (so respectively <li> or <ul> tags instead of <p>), they might have fewer words in paragraphs but the same amount of words in the body.

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