Organic Search results are listings in the search engines that are natural, and by this we mean they are not paid, or manipulated in any way apart from the optimisation of websites and search engine marketing techniques. Organic search results are displayed in the main area of a search engine. Usually there will be some paid advertising above the organic search listings, and then the organic listings displayed underneath.
Google, Yahoo and Bing search engines place advertising on their search results pages, these are usually other businesses wanting to get fast track results by paying for advertising space above the natural search listings. The ads are specifically designed to look similar to the Organic search results, this is to confuse the user into thinking these are the natural results to the users search request, i.e the keyword.
As identified by Pew Research Enter, only 38% understood that many of the highest placed results on search engine pages were actually paid placement adverts. It became important to the digital marketing industry to differentiate between the two types of rankings, paid search and organic search, as the consensus among internet users was that all the results were in fact the Organic Search results which was misleading, which is exactly what the search engine companies wanted the user to think.
However, a 2012 Google study found that 81% of PPC (Pay Per Click) impressions and 66% of PPC click’s happen when there is no associated organic search result on the first page, but it is very rare not to have associated organic results listed in the search engines, at least, it was prior to 2009. After this date, the organic results became extremely hap hazard, and this drove up the revenues for the PPC advertising stream, which happens to be the main source of income for Google. However it was so obvious to the users and digital industry that Google had to make changes, and began showing more relevant content in their organic search results. Furthermore, because of the earlier changes in Googles algorithm, research has shown that searchers may have a bias against ads, unless the ads are strictly relevant to the searcher’s need or intent. In the same report, dating back to 1997, it shows users actually avoid clicking results that they know to be ads.
Furthermore, when studying PPC results and the keywords used to display the customers paid advert, sometimes the keywords the search engines decide to use to display the ad have no bearing to the customers business at all. This has brought distrust towards the search engines, hence businesses are looking for the Organic Search route as this is more trusted from the users point of view, and cheaper in the long run for the business.
Organic Search still remains the most clicked out of all results in the search engines with a massive 70% of users still clicking on Organic Search results.
The advantages of Organic Search is that it is long lasting and extremely rewarding, once the work has been done on the website with optimisation, at the same time keeping your social media and content generation going so you are interacting with your customers, and you will reap the rewards from continued business from new customers.
However, if you are simply relying on paid results (PPC) and paying every time someone clicks on your advert, this can become very expensive, especially on its own with no other digital marketing services. Once you stop paying for your PPC, that’s it, no more new customers. On the other side, if you stop your organic search promotion, social media and content, you are still going to get customers from your Organic Search as the positioning of your website organically does not disappear entirely.