11 Percent of Americans Believe HTML is an STD, and Other Surprising Findings Around Tech Jargon


HTML, SSL, VPS…the list of acronyms used in the hosting industry goes on and on. As service providers, using jargon without clearly explaining or educating customers on their definition can create a lot of confusion.

According to a recent study that surveyed 2,392 men and women 18 years of age or older in the US, 11 percent of respondents reported to believe HTML was a sexually transmitted disease. (I wonder what they would think about HTML5).

Conducted by coupons website Vouchercloud.net, the survey showed that a staggering 77 percent of respondents could not identify what SEO means, and 27 percent identified gigabyte as an insect commonly found in South America.

While the type of people that would look for coupons online are likely a different demographic than those on the cutting edge of new technology, the sample of respondents is still large enough to be of a concern to service providers, especially those who provide basic shared hosting or similar services targeted to individual users.

Though there is no direct correlation, this study does come as some service providers I’ve talked to are moving away from positioning offerings as ‘hosting’ or ‘cloud’, and instead are increasingly presenting them to potential customers as solutions to a business problem. With this approach, and a focus on education and consultation, individuals and small businesses may come away with a better understanding of the technology available to them, and why they need to buy it from you.


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  1. HTML is one thing, but it's a pretty cheap shot to say a "staggering" amount of people don't know what SEO means. Why should they? This survey only says "2392 US Nationals" which could be anything - no attempt to qualify or describe the audience. That alone makes this survey worthless.

  2. bill

    i want to see the survey

    • Nicole Henderson Post author

      Hi Bill, The full survey results are here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B9HJeR-F9NIeczNDb2hVb2p6UTQ/view?sle=true