Organic search, or unpaid search, is the technique in which search engines pull the most relevant matches for each user’s entered keywords from all of the indexed content within the internet and lists the results in order of relevance to the query rather than displaying advertisements.
Organic vs Paid
Organic search differs from paid search in that organic search displays the unpaid, natural results chosen by each search engine algorithm and can gradually increase in rank as SEO improves.
While paid search lets marketers pay to display their online advertisements on the search engine results page when searchers use match the targeted keywords or phrases. This method of marketing can get costly depending on the desired keywords and in turn, the cost per click (CPC).
Utilizing both SEO and SEM efforts, however, provides the most effective results for a campaign. With a combination of organic and paid search, marketers can see significant increases in click through rate(CTR), traffic, conversions, and ROI.
How Does a Search Engine Work?
Search engines have two main actions: 1. Crawling and indexing the information and 2. Providing the indexed information to their searchers.
While there are many different search engines used around the world, the most dominant search engine is Google. As the most used search engine, Google attempts to provide the most relevant answers to its frequent searchers by using specific algorithms for its crawl and index.
Crawling and Indexing
When search engines crawl, they crawl through billions of pages on the web and index every page that contains a possible answer to each searcher’s keywords. Also known as a spider, the crawler continues to discover new and updated pages of content to keep its search index updated for the best results.
The search index of each search engine functions as its primary database, filing and categorizing keywords as well as the pages and documents that each specific keyword appear on. By doing so, the search engine is able quickly retrieve the information its users are searching for with the keywords from their query.
Providing Relevant Answers in Search
Search engines like Google use ranking algorithms to provide the most relevant matches on the results page for each searcher’s query. Though the algorithms for relevant keyword ranking is unknown, the ranking does involve the natural frequency and positioning of keywords on pages that match individual queries, the page’s authority, and other various factors.
The Importance of Organic Search
For digital marketers, organic search can be a favorable long-term investment for their businesses and websites. Unlike paid search, the results of search engine optimization take time to rise through the ranks. One does not simply pay for first page advertising.
Though the gratification of optimizing a website for organic search is not instantaneous, the effort and its results can cost less than a Google Ads campaign (formerly AdWords) and oftentimes holds a higher credibility with searchers. There is certain distrust that some searchers hold onto when it comes to paid advertisements as some many ads fail to replicate the authenticity, relevance, and authority that organic results hold.
With a methodical practice and techniques, marketers optimize their websites and content for the keywords that they believe their visitors will search for. By improving a site’s visibility organically on the search engine result page through technical SEO and through keyword research and planning, the value of the site’s visitor increases because of the searcher’s intent from the keywords in their search query. Focusing on organic search and keyword relevance will allow search engines to retrieve the best results for its searcher and allow the website to rise through the rankings for its targeted keywords.