SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is the process by which an entity (e.g., a website, person, business, or institution) engages in specific practices to change or improve its ranking on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) of internet search engines. The most common search engines targeted for SEO are Google, Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo. SEO methods are customized for each search engine and the needs of individual parties.
There are ethical ways of performing SEO that stay within the bounds and rules of search engines, such as developing high-quality content associated with a person or business that achieves high rankings through its own merits. By contrast, “black hat” SEO techniques use less ethical means of improving search rankings, such as fake websites, manipulative website information, keyword bombing, and other tactics that search engines will punish with low rankings if detected.